Though most photographers prefer to photograph birds using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, there is a specific budget type camera system that allows you to photograph birds for a lot less. These cameras are known as bridge cameras, and most come with super zoom built-in lenses. In this discussion, we will look at a few such camera systems.
Nikon Coolpix P1000
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 has a 125x optical zoom. The focal length of the built-in lens ranges from 24 to 3000mm on a 35mm format camera equivalent. It is a significant zoom range that lets you get in very close to a bird and capture a breathtaking shot. The aperture range is f/2.8 to f/8. Even at f/8, the lens is quite significant to ensure that the camera can capture a decent bokeh. The camera comes with an electronic viewfinder for composing your shot. But for the best results, the rear LCD screen is what makes the best sense to use.
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
The 60x optical zoom of the FZ80 makes it one of our top choices for a superzoom camera for bird photography. In actual 35mm format, the zoom is equivalent to 20-1200mm. It’s an affordable piece of equipment that let’s get very close to a bird without having to scare the living daylights out of it. The bright f/2.8 -5.9 aperture is excellent for capturing nice bokeh. Plus, the lens comes with Panasonic’s O.I.S. technology that ensures that the camera can be hand-held and shoot at such high zooms with sharp results.
Canon PowerShot SX540 HS
This is a superzoom bridge camera with a topical zoom range of 50x. That makes it slightly shorter than the previous two cameras we have read about just now. The 50x optical zoom translates into a 35mm optical range of 24-1200. That’s a significant range for all conceivable purposes. For birding, you would rarely be shooting at an excess of 800mm because it becomes very difficult to steady the hands at such fantastic zooms. There is no digital viewfinder on the camera, so you’re limited to only the 3-inch rear LCD screen at the back of the camera.
Sony Cybershot DSCH300
The Sony Cybershot DSCH300 rounds up this list of the best superzoom cameras for bird photography. This one has the shortest optical zoom range at 35x. But at 25-875mm on a 35mm format equivalent, this is one of the best cameras you can buy for under $200. If you’re a bird photographer looking for something to start practicing your vocation, this is a neat choice. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and a 3-inch rear LCD screen compensate for the shorter optical reach.
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