Best Digital Cameras for Nature for 2017

Best Digital Cameras For Nature For 2017

For nature photography, the best digital camera must be versatile enough to capture high quality landscapes as well as being capable of taking close ups of flowers, insects, birds and similar subjects. Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras are the most advanced and versatile of all cameras due to the vast range of lenses and accessories available for each system. Some of the features to look for when choosing a digital camera or Digital SLR include:

Speed - the digital camera must have minimal shutter lag for fast picture taking. This is especially useful in nature photography involving animals or in freezing movement such as a fast flowing river.

Zoom lens - the zoom lens must be 3x or longer and must be capable of producing sharp high quality photos.

Manual controls - aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual control can be useful in achieving creative results, controlling depth of field, action shots and for macro photography.

Battery Life - the digital camera battery must be able to last for a reasonable time before recharging is required.

Large LCD - the LCD viewfinder must be 2" or larger to accurately view and compose the picture.

Except where otherwise stated, all the digital cameras recommended have the above features. Other features or additions which can be useful include:

Powerful zoom - A wide angle zoom for landscapes and panoramic pictures can be useful. Also a long telephoto zoom lens is also desirable for distant shots of animals as well as compressing perspective in landscape shots.

Optical image stabilizer - for shooting in low light conditions without flash or using a camera with a large telephoto lens.

Although many mid to high end digital compacts will provide good to excellent results when it comes to nature photography, a digital SLR still offers the best all round solution in terms of image quality, range of specialist lenses including super telephoto, powerful flashguns, numerous accessories including filters, accurate viewing through an SLR viewfinder, saving raw images and ultra fast operation for capturing the moment. The final choice between digital compact and SLR may depend on portability, price and the photographic expertise of the user.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

For: - 20 MP 1 inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor. Weather sealed body.
- Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24 to 600mm (equiv) f2.4-4 lens.
- 4k video. Super slow motion up to 960 fps. Shoots at 14 fps.
- XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. 3 inch multi angle LCD.

Against: Large lens can suffer from slow focusing.
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Sony Alpha a6300

For: - 24.2 MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor. Weather sealed body.
- UHD 4k video. 1080p video up to 120 fps. Shoots at 11 fps.
- 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder with 120 fps mode. Wi-Fi and NFC.
- Large range of Sony and independent lenses. 3 inch LCD with tilt.

Against: - Poor menu. Cannot convert RAW images in camera.
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Nikon DL24-500

For: - 20.8 MP CX BSI CMOS sensor. 4k video with stereo sound.
- Shoots at 20 fps with AF or 60 fps with fixed focus.
- Nikkor 24 to 500mm (equiv) f2.8-5.6 ED VR lens. Wi-Fi and NFC.
- Eye level OLED viewfinder with 2.36m dots. Jpeg and RAW.
- 3 inch vari-angle OLED touchscreen LCD with 1037k dots.

Against: - Low battery life. No weather sealing.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8

For: - 20.3 MP Live MOS sensor. Built in image stabilisation.
- 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder. Many micro four thirds lenses.
- 3 inch articulated 1m dot OLED touchscreen LCD. Shoots at 8 fps.
- 4k video. External mic jack. 8 MP stills from 4K video.

Against: - No major issues.
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Pentax K-3 II

For: - 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor. In body shake reduction.
- Pixel shift resolution for more detailed still objects or scenes.
- Fixed 3.2 inch LCD with 1,037k dots. Optical viewfinder.
- Dust and moisture resistant body. Shoots at 8.3 fps.

Against: - Fixed 3.2 inch LCD. No touch facility.
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