If you are serious about taking photos of birds there is only one type of camera you should use, and that is a dslr camera. Point and shoot cameras, even the top end ones, simply aren’t up to snuff and whilst you can take photos of birds with them, they won’t be any good. Many photographers argue mirrorless cameras are the way to go, however I am not so sure. Mirrorless camera technology has come a long way and they are very good, but not for moving subjects. The only type of camera you should use for bird photography is a dslr camera. You can, arguably, use any dslr camera for bird photography however I would recommend a crop sensor camera every time.
I have a full frame dslr camera and a crop sensor dslr camera and I have to say that when I want to go out and take some photos of birds I instantly reach for the crop sensor camera. This may seem strange given full frame cameras have superior image quality but I do have my reasons. Besides, the image quality of my crop sensor camera is still exceptional and you’ll only see the difference in image quality between my full camera and my crop sensor camera is if you go pixel peeping on the computer, and no one does that in real life!
Cameras with a crop sensor have the “crop factor” effect which is very useful. Using the crop sensor camera effectively increases the focal length of my lens by 160%. This means the Canon 100 – 400L IS lens I typically use for bird photography has an effective focal length of 160mm – 640mm, which is really cool, especially since there are times when you always need a little more reach.
My crop sensor camera has faster processors than my full frame camera, which means it has higher burst rate and I can fire off more shots in quick succession. The higher the burst rate the greater the chance of getting a sharp shot, the greater the chance of getting a different type of shot and the higher my hit rate. To put it in perspective the burst rate of my full frame camera is 4 frames per second whereas the burst rate of my crop sensor camera is 8 frames per second.
My crop sensor camera has more autofocus points, and also has more sensitive autofocus points than my full frame camera. The greater the number of autofocus points, combined with their increased sensitivity, means I can lock on to the birds quickly, efficiently and stay locked on them too. My crop sensor camera is built of moving subjects, whereas my full frame camera is slow and struggles with moving subjects therefore it makes sense to use the crop sensor camera.
The camera I use for bird photography
"The awesome Canon 7d - An excellent bird photography camera"
The camera I use for bird photography is the Canon 7d, and I have to say that it is awesome and does everything I need it to, and more. The Canon 7d has a magnesium alloy body and is weather sealed, which makes it super strong and more than capable of being able to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at it. The 7d has super quick processors (for a high burst rate), super sensitive auto focus points (for super quick focusing) and the image quality is superb. The Canon 7d is an excellent tool for bird photography and the only camera I would use instead would be the Canon 1d, which is several times more expensive and something I would never own because it is way over my budget.
If you think the Canon 7d MkII is out of your budget have you considered the Canon 7d markI? This camera has now been discontinued and because of this the price of used and second hand models have gone through the floor, which means there are loads of bargains to be had. If you want to buy a used Canon 7d (and I would seriously consider it) there is only one place to go and that is eBay, where there are loads of deals and bargains to be had.
If you want to check out what used Canon 7ds are currently available on eBay try using the eBay search box below.
What are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a bargain
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.