Best Superzoom Camera For Birding

Best Superzoom Camera For Birding In 2022

You need to get your hands on the best superzoom camera for birding if you want to take sharp, crisp, and detailed shots of some of nature’s most magnificent creatures such as a hawk or an eagle.

Capturing a flying bird in its full glory is not only enthralling but internally satisfying for some people. They have uncanny love and passion for nature and leave no stone unturned to explore new places, phenomena, and animals and capture them in their cameras. However, an out of focus or blurry image will just ruin the moment instead of eternalizing it and this is where a superzoom camera can come to your rescue.

You mostly have to shoot wildlife including birds from a distance and therefore, require a camera with a reliable zoom and a good focal range. However, it must also have specific traits like lightning-fast autofocus, very high continuous shooting speed, and high ISO for birding. 4K video is essential only if you want to record videos as well.

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10 Best Cameras for Birding in 2022

The following are the best birding cameras according to our experts. All these cameras meet the above qualifications besides having some other necessary features for birding.

ImageCamera NameImage StabilizationBurst RateOptical ZoomCheck Price
Canon PowerShot SX70
Canon PowerShot SX70


Yes


10fps


65x


Check Price
Sony a99II
Sony a99II


Yes


12fps


30x


Check Price
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
Panasonic Lumix FZ80


Yes


4K Photo with 30fps


60x


Check Price
Nikon Coolpix P1000
Nikon Coolpix P1000


Yes


7fps


125x


Check Price
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV


Yes


24fps


25x


Check Price
Nikon Coolpix P900
Nikon Coolpix P900


Yes


7fps


83x


Check Price
Canon PowerShot G3 X
Canon PowerShot G3 X


Yes


6fps


25x


Check Price
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS


Yes


6.4fps


65x


Check Price
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II


Yes


12fps


16x


Check Price
Kodak PIXPR Astro Zoom AZ421
Kodak PIXPR Astro Zoom AZ421


Yes


7fps


42x


Check Price

So, let us start the guide with our most favorite camera for bird photography.

1.    Canon PowerShot SX70: Best Budget Camera for Bird Photography

best superzoom camera for birding

Canon PowerShot SX70 is an affordable camera with a 20.3 megapixels CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor. The relatively high continuous shooting speed of 10fps makes it a great camera for capturing moving objects.

The area where the camera excels while birding is the 65x optical zoom and 21mm ultra-wide focal length. It means the camera takes sharp and clear images from far away.

SX70 offers both the wide-angle and super-telephoto range. The Zoom Framing Assistant feature ensures easy tracking of moving objects when the zoom lens is fully extended. The dual scene framing allows you to either choose a 3.0-inch tilting LCD or 0.39-type OLED for framing shots.

The Dual Sensing 5-stop image stabilization results in clear and sharp images even at the telephoto range. Another impressive feature is recording 4K videos at 30fps and the ability to extract still images from the videos. The 4K time-lapse is just icing on the cake.

Although Canon PowerShot SX70 is a little slow to focus yet it is an affordable camera that both novice and professionals can afford.

All in all, it delivers exceptional value for money and some cool features for birding.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

But I like mine. It was an adjustment from the SX 720 I had before because it’s a much bigger body and some settings are accessed differently, but it’s still relatively easy to use and has been great for moon and nature pictures.

Here are the sample images taken with Canon PowerShot SX70 HS.

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Pros
  • 65x optical zoom
  • 4K video and 4K time-lapse
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Stunning built-in microphone
  • HDMI and USB ports
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • DIGIC 8 image processor
  • Very affordable
  • Good image quality
Cons
  • Slow to focus

2.    Sony a9911: Best Super Zoom Camera for Professionals

best superzoom camera for birding

Sony a99II could easily become the best superzoom camera for birding if not for its price. It is a premium camera and offers matchless performance for wildlife and sports photographers.

The camera has a whopping 42.4 megapixels full-frame-back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, known for its brilliant image quality. The ISO range of 100 – 1024004 means it delivers outstanding low light performance.

The 79-point hybrid cross-point autofocus is lightning fast and tracks the subject in a jiffy. Similarly, continuous AE and AF tracking track object quickly and precisely even at full 42.4 megapixels resolution.

The 12 fps continuous shooting speed helps you capture the tiniest of movements without missing any moment. The 5-axis in-body image stabilization ensures high-resolution images.

The camera also produces stunning 4K videos. However, you can also choose Super 35mm mode according to the scene and your artistic requirements.

The rugged and lightweight body combined with all the advanced features to make Sony a9II a good choice for professional birders.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Love the camera, and it’s a MUCH better Performer than the first generation of the Sony a99, which I also have and love!

Pros
  • 12fps continuous shooting speed
  • 42.4 megapixels sensor
  • 79-point hybrid autofocus
  • Continuous AE and AF tracking
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Dust and moisture resistant
  • Stunning images and 4K videos
  • ISO 100-1024004
  • Best for professionals
Cons
  • Very expensive

3.    Panasonic Lumix FZ80: Best Cheap Camera for Birding

best superzoom camera for birding

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a terrific entry-level camera for everyone interested in bird photography.

The extremely long 60x optical zoom facilitates you to magnify the image and take excellent close-ups of birds in the flight. On top of that, the camera has 4K capabilities, fully justifying its price. The 20mm wide-angle lens also delivers breathtaking landscapes.

The 4K photo mode allows you to take 30 high-quality images per second to lock the moving birds and animals. You can subsequently keep the best photos and discard others. The 10fps continuous shooting speed also ensures you don’t miss any moment.

The 18.1 megapixels sensor coupled with a fast and accurate Lumix DFD focusing system results in crystal clear and sharp images. Similarly, the viewfinder is clear even in bright sunlight.

You can easily take the lightweight and compact camera with you to hiking, national parks, forests, mountains, and anywhere you want. The ergonomic grip makes it easy and comfortable to hold.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 offers all the above benefits for just under $400. Therefore, it is also one of the cheapest cameras for birding on our list.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

This camera is perfect for a beginner and then some. I love the zoom and how well it takes photos. Look at the great pic I took from about 50 ft away.

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Pros
  • Very cheap camera
  • 60x optical zoom
  • 20mm wide-angle lens for landscapes
  • 4K video resolution
  • 4K photo mode
  • Post Focus mode
  • Impressive low light performance
  • Sharp and clear images
  • Panasonic’s DFD focusing system
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
Cons
  • Not dust or water-resistant
  • Not compatible with external microphones

4.    Nikon Coolpix P1000: Best Birding Camera for its High Zoom range

When it comes to optical zoom, very few cameras can come close to Nikon Coolpix P1000. It can capture the rings of Saturn quite sharply, nothing to talk about taking close-ups of birds just a few meters away.

Coolpix P1000 can take incredible close-ups of faraway objects because of its whopping 3000mm or 125x optical zoom. It brings distant action close to you that is otherwise impossible to see with naked eyes. The continuous shooting speed of 7fps is comparatively low but still fast enough to capture important moments.

Another great feature is Dual Detect image stabilization. It means you can take sharp handheld pictures even shooting at the maximum zoom range.

The low-light performance of the camera is also quite impressive. Besides having the most powerful zoom, Coolpix P1000 also shoots in 4K. The accessory hot shoe, stereo sound, and HDMI out are other useful features.

The only major complaint regarding Coolpix is its size and weight. It just feels bulky in the hands.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

I love this camera, still a little shaky on some zoom shots but I suspect that has more to do with my tripod than the camera. I have a new heavier one to try. So far worth every penny.

Here are the sample images taken with Nikon Coolpix P1000.

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Pros
  • Unbelievable 125x zoom range
  • Can shoot in RAW
  • 4K video resolution
  • Dual Detect image stabilization
  • Stereo sound
  • HDMI out
  • External microphone jack
Cons
  • Only 7fps continuous shooting speed
  • Bulky body
  • Not water and dust resistant

5.    Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV: Best Superzoom Camera in Terms of Image Quality

best superzoom camera for birding

Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV features the classic and acclaimed Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Ultra Zoom lens. The camera has been a favorite among bird and wildlife photographers mainly for its high-performing lens.

It has a 25x optical zoom (equivalent to 600m) and incredibly fast autofocus that tracks objects in just 0.03 seconds. As a result, the camera does not miss a single shot while it is trying to find focus.

The 5-step advanced image stabilization eliminates camera shakes and shivers, delivering amazing results even at maximum zoom. The burst rate of 24fps makes it one of the fastest superzoom cameras as well.

Serious photographers love this camera for 4K video resolution at 30fps. However, it can also record super slow full HD 1080P movies at 120fps. Therefore, you can take stunning photos and shoot fantastic videos of flying birds.

The built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as 2.36 m OLED electronic viewfinder further enhance the camera’s worth.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV is the best superzoom compact camera for birding in terms of build and image quality.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

The zoom is good. The auto focus is fast. The picture quality is excellent. It does eat up battery life and you will need extra batteries.

Pros
  • 25x (equivalent to 600mm) optical zoom
  • 4K and 1080P recording
  • 5-step image stabilization
  • Long battery life
  • World’s fastest and very powerful autofocus
  • 20 megapixels sensor
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Best superzoom camera for image quality
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Ultra Zoom lens
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Limited video recording length

6.    Nikon Coolpix P900: Best Superzoom Camera for Birding

best superzoom camera for birding

Nikon Coolpix P900 is yet another brilliant camera for birding thanks to 83x optical zoom. You can use this camera to take superb close-ups of wildlife while maintaining a safe distance from them.

The dynamin Find zoom feature enables you to move from highly impressive 2000mm to incredible 4000mm. As a result, the camera allows you to not only shoot eagles clearly but also ladybugs, leaves, branches, and even moon craters.

Coolpix 900 also comes with 5-step image stabilization to keep your cameras and images steady as the birds tend to move a lot. It features both the touchscreen and an electronic viewfinder that make it easier for you to capture flying birds.

The camera doesn’t have 4K video resolution but Full HD 1080/60fps should be sufficient for amateur and casual photographers. It also offers good performance in low light due to high ISO 6400 sensitivity.

Nikon Coolpix P900 is more suitable for beginners because of its affordability and just enough features to take beautiful bird photographs.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

This is perfect for a non-professional birder and macro photographer. Point and shoot but with an awesome zoom and manual control when you need it.

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Pros
  • 83x optical zoom
  • Clear and sharp close-ups of distant objects
  • 5-step image stabilization
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Vari-angle TFT display
  • ISO 6400
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS
  • Affordable camera
Cons
  • Doesn’t shoot RAW
  • The display is not a touchscreen
  • Not compatible with external microphones

7.    Canon PowerShot G3 X Digital Camera: Best Superzoom Compact Camera for Birding

You should also consider Canon PowerShot G3 X if you are looking for an affordable superzoom camera for birding. It features a large 1-inch 20.2 megapixels sensors and 25x optical zoom (equivalent to 24-600mm).

The above two features are enough to capture high-quality images of the faraway objects. However, the lightweight camera has many other tricks on its sleeves.

For example, it offers an ultra-wide-angle range for tremendous landscapes and ultra-long zoom for distant objects. Therefore, it offers scintillating magnification for bird photography.

You don’t need to buy a tripod or gimbal for handheld photos because of the superb in-body image stabilization. The blazing-fast autofocus captures sharp and clear photos of flying birds.  

The DIGIC 6 image processor and ISO 125-12800 also ensure excellent performance in low light. It even has a dedicated Star mode for capturing stars in the sky.

The lightweight and compact camera is an ideal option for traveling long distances for birding. The lack of 4K video is a major shortcoming though.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

I love this camera! I’ve taken great shots in low and bright light. It’s great for indoor and outdoor settings. It’s heavy but worth carrying. It connects to my phone through a Canon app when needed. Very happy with it so far. The photos I posted were taken from approximately 40 feet away.

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Pros
  • 25x optical zoom
  • 20.2 megapixels sensor
  • 3.2-inch flexible touchscreen
  • 24-600mm focal length
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Easy controls
  • Smartphone app support
  • Perfect for travelers
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Dust and water-resistant
Cons
  • No electronic viewfinder
  • No 4K video resolution

8.    Canon PowerShot SX60 HS: Best Bridge Camera for Wildlife

Offering 65x optical zoom, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is perhaps the best superzoom camera for wildlife in general.

It is equivalent to a 21mm wide-angle lens at minimum zoom and a 1365mm telephoto lens at maximum zoom. Therefore, you can take captivating and sharp landscape photos as well as crisp and clear photos of birds and other animals in the distance.

The zoom and focus are fast and silent thanks to the USM and VCM technologies. The built-in optical image stabilization maintains the highest image quality at all zoom ranges. The 6.4fps continuous shooting speed is also quite reasonable.

The camera records videos in Full HD 1080P with a dedicated zoom and movie button for shooting. It doesn’t have 4K but videos are still very impressive to watch. Furthermore, there is a built-in port for external microphones.

The camera comes with both an electronic viewfinder and a bright 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen. The built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows easy sharing and transfer of files. You can also shoot in both RAW and JPEG + RAW for easy editing.

In short, Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is an excellent superzoom camera that combines affordability with some great features.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

SX60 – Nice camera! I really want to like the nikon p900, but after taking some photos with the p900 I was disappointed. After passing 70 – 85 x optical zoom image get blurry though.

Here are the sample images taken with Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.

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Pros
  • Affordable camera
  • 65x optical zoom
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen
  • Excellent image quality
  • Shoots in RAW
  • Fast and quiet autofocus
Cons
  • No full manual focus

9.    Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II: Best Hybrid Superzoom Camera for Birding

Panasonic makes some fantastic superzoom cameras and Lumix FZ1000 II is no exception. The 20.2 megapixels camera provides excellent performance in low light besides being a great option for sports and wildlife photography.

The LEICA DC Vario-Elmarit lens ensures pictures of the highest quality. Similarly, the 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization removes blurring and flaring from both stills and videos.

FZ1000 II comes with 16x optical zoom (25-400mm equivalent), making it the best point-and-shoot camera for birding. The variable aperture range of F2.8 to F4.0 also allows you to take stunning images in different conditions.

it is also a very fast camera with a burst rate of 12fps.

The 3-inch tilting touchscreen and electronic viewfinder come in handy while capturing birds in flight. The video resolution of 4K at 30fps and 4K photo function with a burst rate of 30fps are also quite impressive.

Perhaps the best feature of the camera is Sequence Composition. It allows you to synthesize different images to make a stromotion image.

All in all, Panasonic Lumix is a great choice for people looking for a hybrid camera for birding.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

I love this camera. The lumix Fz1000ii is a light weight camera that takes really nice pictures. I love the telephoto lens for some bird shooting. Great for catching sunrises and sunsets. Still learning how to use it. Very impressed.

Pros
  • Hybrid camera
  • 4K video and 4K photo mode
  • Sequence Composition mode
  • Variable aperture range
  • 16x optical zoom (25-400mm equivalent)
  • 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization
  • Excellent image quality
  • 20 megapixels sensor
Cons
  • Not the best zoom range

10. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421: Cheapest Superzoom Camera for Birding

Finally, we have Kodak PIXPR Astro Zoom AZ421 on our list. It is a very popular superzoom camera among videographers and wildlife photographers alike because of its amazing features.

First of all, it cost you pennies compared to some other superzoom cameras yet its performance is up to the mark. The 16 megapixels camera takes brilliant close-ups of faraway objects thanks to the 42x optical zoom.

The in-body image stabilization delivers crisp and clear handheld images even at the maximum zoom.

The camera also has a 3-inch LCD that allows you to preview your images beforehand or while shooting.

PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421 only records in 720P but you cannot expect everything from a camera that costs less than $200.

Product Test Results

Here are the results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Thrilled with this camera. The zoom lens is ideal for countryside views. Just click and point, anyone can use it

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Pros
  • 42x optical zoom
  • In-body image stabilization
  • 16 megapixels are good for the price
  • 3-inch LCD
  • Good picture quality
Cons
  • Only records videos in 720P
  • Low battery life

What Makes the Best Superzoom Camera for Birding?

After some superzoom camera reviews, it is now time to talk about the essential features of a superzoom camera.

Zoom

The first and most important consideration is of course the zoom range. You have to capture birds from a distance because they are almost always in motion. Therefore, you need a long zoom range to get the shots you want.

Autofocus

Birds don’t remain stationary for long and it is almost impossible to take a shot of a bird sitting quietly in the branches. You would mostly capture them in flight and that is why you need a camera with strong and blazing fast autofocus. Preferably, choose the camera with very high autofocus points.

Image Stabilization

Pictures taken at high zoom tend to have blurs and flares, especially for handheld stills. Controlling cameras and taking clear and sharp handheld images requires a lot of practice. Therefore, your camera should have in-body image stabilization to avoid camera shivers and shakes.

Low Light Performance

Bird photographers may have to visit forests, mountains, marshes, and other low light areas to capture their favorite birds. Sometimes, you would also photograph them in night and that is where a camera with high ISO would come to your rescue.

Weight and Size

You have to travel a lot as a bird photographer. The long journeys involve treading rough terrains, mountains, hills, and forests, etc. while carrying your camera. Advanced cameras have heavy technology and thus, they are big and bulky. However, they are not for birding as well. The best camera for bird photography is often lightweight and does not burden you during your travels.

Battery Life

Consider cameras that have a long battery life, preferably above 350 shots on a single charge.

Price

Prices of superzoom cameras vary from $200 to $2000. Of course, the more expensive cameras would have more features compared to cheap cameras. You have to determine what features you want in your camera and how much money you can spend on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Are superzoom cameras any good?

It depends on your requirements and how you want to use the camera. They are a good choice if you want to have a lighter camera setup devoid of heavy lenses. Superzoom lenses offer most features of a standard DSLR as well as excellent image quality.

2.    How to take a good bird photo?

Bird photography is a different and most difficult form of photography. The bird won’t stay put and pose for you just like modals. You have to do everything yourself for the best shot.

You have to consider factors like background, exposure, sharpness, composition, lighting, and pose before taking a picture to master the art of bird photography.

3.    How do you photograph birds in low light?

You must adjust your ISO settings and aperture to take good images in low light. Use the maximum aperture allowed by your camera, give more time to light to enter the sensor by reducing shutter speed, and increase ISO without creating noise.

4.    What is the best aperture for bird photography?

The best apertures for bird photography are f/4 or f/8 while shooting at the maximum zoom. They would create beautiful blurred bokeh, helping you focus entirely on the bird.

5.    Is 300mm enough for bird photography?

300mm is too low for bird photography in our opinion. The minimum focal length for birding should be 400mm. However, some people use 300mm cameras because they are cheap to buy.

Final Thoughts

Concluding our guide to the best superzoom camera for birding, we can confidently say that the Canon PowerShot SX70 is the best of them all. It not only has a tremendous zooming ability but a host of other features to capture breathtaking taking shots of the birds. On top of that, it is quite affordable as well.

However, which superzoom camera you require depends on your requirements, budget, and personal preference. In this regard, all the cameras on our list deliver excellent performance when it comes to birding.

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