Best Digital Cameras For the Outdoor Enthusiast

Best digital Cameras for outdoor enthusiasts

Have you ever noticed how your camping vacation photos look nothing like those cool landscape shots you see framed in posts? Or how that wildlife shot you took barely shows the wildlife?

Taking great nature photos isn’t so much about having the right camera (although there are a few things to look for) as it is about having the right technique. I could probably write a book about it, but fortunately, someone has saved me the trouble, so I’ll give you a few tips here and then recommend you read The Nature Photographers Complete guide to Professional Field Techniques.

Nature Photography Tips:

Take lots of pictures. This is probably the best way to get better pictures, just take a lot of them. Try different things. Experiment. This is really the best way to learn to start taking better pictures in general and it definitely applies to nature photography.

Also, be mindful of the amount of light you have to work with. Great light is generally the time of the day when the sun is low in the sky. Many professional photographers spend a lot of money on cameras with fast lenses to take advantage of this brief window each day so just keep that in mind even if you opt to stick with a more economical camera.

Remember that the number one rule of nature photography is do not harm.

Okay, so let’s move on to gear considerations and then I’ll get to a few good cameras to consider.

Get a camera with manual override. You need to be able to override the automatic functions on your camera when taking nature shots and you’ll want it to be easy so if you have to navigate through a dizzying array of menus, you’ll want to pass on that camera.

Get a camera with depth of field preview and some for of mirror lock up.

Finally, get a camera that is upgradeable and that has a lot of accessories available.

If you plan on taking wildlife shots, then a telephoto lens will probably serve you well.

Okay, let’s start talking brands here. Most professional photographers use either Nikon of Canon cameras. Minolta is number 3 on the list. While there are other quality cameras available (such as those from Leica and Sigma), I’m going to recommend you stick with Canon or Nikon.

Here are my top 5 choices for cameras for shooting nature and wildlife photography (pick one that fits your budget (they range from about $400 to $4000) – links to each camera are available in the photo below, just use the arrows to select the one you like:

1. Canon EOS -1D Mark III 2. Canon EOS 40D 3. Nikon D300 DX 12.3MP Digital SLR 4. Canon Powershot S5 IS 5. Nikon Coolpix P80