Best Canon camera for wildlife photography 2023 - Our top picks

best canon camera for wildlife photography

If you're looking for the best Canon camera for wildlife photography, we've got you covered right here.

Canon makes some fantastic pieces of kit, ranging from the best binoculars to the best cameras. However, picking a camera out for wildlife photography is especially difficult because they come in a range of different specs and sizes.

You'll want to keep an eye out for cameras with a rapid continuous shooting speed, as well as an advanced auto-focus system.

In addition, getting a camera with anything up to a 30MP sensor will provide you with some good detail, as well as enhancing the quality of the image when it's printed.

In a more general sense, you'll also have to decide what type of camera you'd like. You can choose between a full-frame snapper and an APS-C camera, or a mirrorless option.

Full-frame cameras are traditionally viewed as better all-rounders with larger sensors also allowing for better low-light performance, whilst a high-end APS-C choice may be better for smaller objects.

This is because smaller frame cameras such as both APS-C and some mirrorless options will have a crop factor of 1.4-1.6x built-in, which can actually be beneficial for providing a little extra magnification.

With all this in mind, we’ve selected these cameras based on our research into their specs, features, general reviews, and other general points that we think make them worth considering. Plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best ones for you.

So with that being said, let’s get into it – here are some top picks for the best Canon camera for wildlife photography available today.

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography Mirrorless - Canon EOS R3

best canon camera for wildlife photography mirrorless
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Credit: Canon
Camera Type: Mirrorless | Megapixel: 24MP | Continuous Shutter Speed: 30 FPS | Video Output: 6K, 60fps | Weight: 1015g

For those wanting a pro-grade mirrorless body to capture some great wildlife shots, the Canon EOS R3 looks to be an incredible choice.

First off, you'll find a 24MP sensor, which is on the larger side for a mirrorless camera and should provide you with some rather detailed shots, especially when paired with the right lens. In addition, its clever Eye-Tracking and subject detection AF will mean that whatever subject you capture should be in focus.

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On the point of clever autofocus, there's also a handy feature called Flexi Zone AF, which allows you to customise the size and shape of the autofocus area. This is particularly useful for focusing on a very specific part of a frame, which, for wildlife photography, could be particularly beneficial.

The Canon EOS R3 also features a shooting rate of 30fps, which is definitely going to help you capture the all-important shot, and the high-speed refresh viewfinder will ensure that the picture you capture is perfectly in-frame.

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography DSLR - Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

best Canon camera for wildlife photography DSLR
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Credit: Canon
Camera Type: DSLR | Megapixel: 20.2MP | Continuous Shutter Speed: 20 FPS | Video Output: 4K, 60fps | Weight: 1335g

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III has long been a favourite of wildlife photographers, not only because of its incredible features but also because of its general frame.

This is arguably the most rugged and weather-sealed camera that Canon offers, which is going to be especially useful for when you're out in the field, be it in jungles, or on the plains. Its 20.2 MP full-frame sensor should provide you with some incredible detail, and a 191-point autofocus system will give you incredible precision.

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In addition, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is also capable of taking full-frame 4K video at 60fps, as well as raw 5.5K video, if you're intending to take some excellent video as much as high-res stills.

A 20fps frame rate is plenty speedy for capturing birds in flight or catching eyes between blinks, for instance, and will mean you can capture some incredible images with this particular Canon offering.

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography APS-C - Canon EOS R7

best Canon camera for wildlife photography APS-C
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Credit: Canon
Camera Type: APS-C | Megapixel: 32MP | Continuous Shutter Speed: 30 FPS | Video Output: 4K, 60fps | Weight: 612g

For those after a powerful APS-C camera, the Canon EOS R7 should be a great option.

With it, you'll be getting a 32MP sensor, which, as this is an APS-C camera, features a 1.6x crop factor. This will aid in providing some additional reach and zoom for capturing close-up shots, which will be useful if paired with a telephoto lens with a long focal length.

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Moreover, the Canon EOS R7 can record hi-res RAW shots with a speed of up to 15fps. A continuous shutter speed of 15fps will provide you with the ability to catch fast-moving animals for instance, and shooting in RAW can provide you with higher quality images than with JPEGs, as well as more flexibility when editing. For more detail on this, Adobe has a useful explainer on shooting in RAW vs. JPEG.

In addition, you'll find some clever Dual Pixel CMOS AF functions that will allow you to focus in on your subjects, and for extra precision, there are also specific eye-tracking and animal auto-focus modes.

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography Compact - Canon EOS M50 Mark II

best Canon camera for wildlife photography compact
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Credit: Canon
Camera Type: Mirrorless | Megapixel: 24.2MP | Continuous Shutter Speed: 7.4 FPS/10 FPS | Video Output: 4K, 24fps | Weight: 387g

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a marvellous choice for those wanting a compact mirrorless camera to take wildlife photos with.

You'll be getting a 24.2-megapixel sensor which should provide detailed shots, and a total of 142 AF points will give you some immense precision, especially with the touch and drag capabilities offered by the flip-out touchscreen.

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The Canon EOS M50 Mark II also features a continuous shooting speed of 7.4 FPS when Servo AF is on, or 10 FPS with fixed AF, if you do want to capture those in-motion shots. You also get the ability to shoot in 4K at 24fps if you want to get some high-quality video as well as photos too.

For convenient connectivity, this particular Canon offering can also connect up to a device via either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and you can even control it via a phone app, too.

Best Canon Camera For Wildlife Photography For Beginners - Canon EOS 4000D

best Canon camera for wildlife photography for beginners
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Camera Type: DSLR | Megapixel: 18.7MP | Continuous Shutter Speed: 3 FPS | Video Output: 1080p, 30fps | Weight: 436g

The Canon EOS 4000D is a great beginner-level DSLR that should give budding photographers a good platform to build on.

An 18.7MP sensor should provide some rather detailed photos, especially given this is a capable full-frame DSLR option. In addition, a nine-point autofocus system should provide nice and clear shots, even for fast-moving subjects.

The Canon EOS 4000D also features a continuous shutter speed of 3fps which, whilst slower than other cameras on our list, will still be fine for beginner to intermediate users and help to capture those faster-moving shots. Moreover, there's also the ability to shoot in 1080p at 30fps for when you do want to shoot some video.

This particular camera also has the versatility of being part of Canon's EF-S lens ecosystem, which will provide you with countless options for wildlife photography, ranging from longer-range telephoto options to macro lenses for up-close shots.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a good wildlife camera cost?

This all depends on the camera you're looking for.

For more of a compact option, you'll be looking at around the $400-$750 mark, but for more pro-grade options, they can run your four-figure sums, and that's without lenses included.

How many megapixels do I need for wildlife photography?

As a general rule, between 12MP and 18MP will be good for all-round wildlife photography, but if you do want more detail and the ability to print out larger, higher quality prints of your photos, then going up for upwards of 20MP will serve you well.

Is a full frame camera good for wildlife photography?

In our humble opinion, we'd say a full-frame camera is definitely great for wildlife photography. This is arguably given the better low light performance on offer that a larger frame camera presents, as well as a lower depth of field - particularly handy if you want to get those blurred background shots.

Are mirrorless cameras good for wildlife photography?

In short, yes. Mirrorless cameras slowly look to be replacing their old DSLR counterparts as the main type of cameras in 2022 and can offer better performance than them, too.

For wildlife photography, the better hardware inside the cameras can allow for better and more complex auto-focus systems, as well as much faster frame rates, which can make catching motion shots a lot easier.

Michelle Valberg, a noted wildlife photographer, has highlighted the benefits of using a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography, which you can check out right here.

What is the best focal length for wildlife photography?

Generally speaking, wildlife photography will require a longer focal length given that you'll be photographing animals from afar and will need to zoom in in order to get those great shots, although this is more a question of lens than the camera you buy.

We'd say that anything between 250-400mm should be a suitable focal length for either APS-C or full frame cameras.

It's worth noting that you may have to consider crop factor on APS-C or mirrorless options of between 1.4 and 1.6x and therefore work out the 'true' focal length of a lens with the crop factor considered.

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