5 Best Cameras for Wildlife Photography under $500

I know you’re going on a safari and want to capture moving animals and birds. In this situation, you would not want to invest too much in a professional camera to capture wildlife.

That makes sense! 

Do not worry, I understand your problem. 

To answer this, In this post I have listed the 7 Best cameras for wildlife photography under $500 that let you take impressive photos without cutting your pocket too much.

There all cameras are perfect for the outdoor shoot and provide high-quality images. 

I’m sure after reading this article you would be able to finalize a perfect camera for your wildlife journey.

I’m a professional photographer. However, I admit, I’m not experienced with wildlife photography.

But, I understand cameras and their requirements. I guarantee you that all cameras will give you a wonderful experience.

So, without wasting much time, jump into the post.

If you’re in a hurry

I have written a detailed article so that you would be able to make the right buying decision. But, if you’re in a hurry or do not have time to read the whole article. 

Here is my number recommendation for the best wildlife photography camera under $500Panasonic Lumix TZ90.

Buying guide for wildlife photography camera under $500

I do not want you to get confused by throwing the list of cameras for wildlife photography.

Before buying anything you must know what is the important feature that you need in the camera.

Read this buying guide to understand what you should look for when buying a wildlife photography camera.

Sensor size

The sensor of the camera helps to take high-quality photos from a long distance. A long-distance prototrophy is common in wildlife photography, you have to make sure you have a bigger sensor. The bigger sensor the camera offers, the more high-quality image without the noise you get. However, big sensor offering cameras are expensive. 

To buy wildlife cameras under $500, I will recommend going with the camera’s APS-C sensor which gives decent long-distance picture quality. 

Burst mode 

In wildlife photography every movement is critical. You do not know when an animal comes across you and you have to click a picture. For this choose a camera that has quick burst mode and allows multiple frames per second. Ideally, you should get a camera that gives at least 5-10 frames per second (fps).

Weather sealing 

In wildlife photography, you have to spend lots of time outdoors to grab a perfect image of the animal. In this situation, whether is important, you do not want your expensive camera to become faulty because of rain, snow, or dust. When buying a wildlife camera make sure it gives weather sealing to protect your camera in harsh conditions.


It is very difficult to capture photos of steady animals in wildlife photography. Most of the time when you shoot from a distance animals are running back and forth. So, to handle this you need a camera that focuses auto correctly when an animal moves. For this look for a camera that has multiple focus points and an advanced mechanism that allows you to capture the animal even if moving fast.

Image stabilization 

In wildlife photography mostly you’ll use long lenses that are bulking and difficult to stabilize. To counter this problem you must choose a camera that has built-in image stabilization. So that you can handle the camera with shaking hands.

Size and weight

Size and weight are also essential aspects of wildlife photography because you mostly need to hike or walk a long distance to click a picture of the animal. 

In this situation, if you carry a heavy camera. It will become very difficult for you to take pictures.

Lens compatibility

When it comes to wildlife photography, you cannot avoid lens compatibility. Lenses are as important as cameras. To make sure you have the perfect combination. Always check if the lens you’re planning to use is compatible with the camera you’re buying or not. Most camera brands offer their lens with a camera. So if you have a lens make sure it becomes useful with a camera as well.

Low light performance

Usually, the best wildlife photos come in the early morning and late evening time. To take high-quality, colored photos consider buying a camera that can operate in high ISOs without any excessive noise.

Battery life

Wildlife photography takes lots of patience and time to capture the right photographs. In this long time, you do not want your camera to be dead at the right moment. So also check the battery life of the camera or carry extra batteries with you.


Every camera comes with a price, The higher the price of the camera, the more advanced features it will provide. So you have to make a budget keeping in mind all the equipment that you will need with the camera.

So these are important aspects you should consider when buying wildlife cameras. I know that’s a lot to keep in mind. To make your life easier below I have listed all the best cameras for wildlife photography for under $500. You can buy any of these cameras, read the review thoroughly, and understand which camera will fulfill your needs.

Which is the Best Camera for wildlife photography under $500

Best Cameras for Wildlife Photography under $500

Panasonic Lumix TZ90: (Best Camera for wildlife photography under $500)

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 is the best camera for wildlife photography for under $500. This camera offers many advance features that most camera brands do not under this price range. 

I was simply amazed at its 30x zooming capability which makes it very easy to capture a long-distance animal.

This feature is very important in wildlife photography because often you have to click pictures of the animal from a long distance because if you go close it might run away.

With high zooming capability, this camera also shoots video in 4k resolution. With its zooming and 4k common combination, you can take high-definition photos of any animal.

I was taking the pictures in the late evening. I noticed this camera work very well even in low-light conditions. 

When I came to my camp and tried to transfer all my photos to the computer. It takes only a little time because of its built-in wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.

I have to travel a long to take pictures which made me realize that this camera is relatively small and light to other cameras making it perfect for a travel camera.

I am able to take a clear picture of the animals because of its great eye-level finder that works well even in bright sunlight.

Most of the camera’s finder becomes black in the bright sunlight making it difficult to see your photos preview. I must say Panasonic Lumix TZ90 works great in bright sunlight.

I do not find any cons about this camera considering its price. It is the best affordable camera wildlife camera according to me.

Check its price on amazon now! 


  • 30x optical zoom for animal close-ups
  • 4K video for gorgeous footage
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for sharing
  • Great low-light picture quality
  • Compact and light, it’s a wonderful travel camera.
  • Sunlight-friendly eye-level finder


  • Spare batteries are advised due to battery concerns.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330: (Best Camera for wildlife photography under $500)

I have used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 for wildlife photography. And I really impressed with its control setting. It is beginner-friendly and easy to access of control. If you spend half an hour in the controls. You will easily be able to access its all features.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 allows recording video in 4k resolution and 20x zoom which is absolutely fantastic to shoot wildlife photography. You can shoot animal pictures and videos from a long distance in 4k resolution without much noise.

The camera offers various settings such as automatic, manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority. This gives you the freedom to use the camera on your settings.

One of the important things in wildlife photography is to capture images at the correct time. Often there is only a fraction of a second gap between the best picture and the bad picture. 

To solve this you need a camera which has quick burst mode. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 features a relatively good burst mode in this price range that enables you to take a number of pictures in few a seconds.

Image stabilization and dim-light clear picture are essential parts of wildlife photography. 

You do not want to miss your perfect picture because of low-light or shaky hands.

This camera feature an in-built image stabilizer that works great even in low-light condition. It will help you take clear pictures during the early morning or late evening. 

When it comes to photography, you need a perfect angle and a clear view of your target. This Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 has a flexible LCD panel and a viewfinder that allows you to take your picture clearly. You can use both of them or automatically switch between them.

In the modern camera, accessing the feature quickly is important. You do not want to press buttons to navigate to the settings. Fortunately, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 features both buttons as well as a touch screen to make your life easier.

Also, you can use a customizable menu to use your favorite features quickly.

However, I must say this camera is for beginner wildlife photographers because it does allow you to change its in-built lens.

In my view, this is the best 4k wildlife photography camera under $500 only. If you really want a good camera. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 will be a wonderful choice.

Check the current price on amazon now!


  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Records 4k video with 20x magnification with automatic, manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority settings
  • A decent burst mode for action shots
  • Low-light picture stabilizer works well.
  • Flexible LCD panel and viewfinder provide optimal angles.
  • Touchscreen and buttons for easier navigation
  • A customized menu provides rapid access to favorites.


  • Lenses are fixed.
  • May not fit skilled or professional photographers who need additional features.

Canon EOS 4000D: (Best Camera for wildlife photography under $500)

I tried my hands on Canon EOS 4000D. Here is what I think about the camera in reference to wildlife photography.

The camera features an 18-55 mm lens that makes it easy to take creative pictures from a wide range of angles. This makes it easier to take landscape images which is very helpful in wildlife photography. Suppose when you have to take a picture of animals in a group this camera wide lens will perform excellently.

As I mentioned in the buying guide. Most of the good pictures come in wildlife photography during the early morning and late evening. This camera will help to capture high-quality images during low-light conditions because of its 18-megapixel APS-C sensor.

Also, the camera features an ISO range of 100 to 6400 that allows you to take pictures in low light without the need for additional lighting equipment.

This camera is best for beginners because it has features like built-in flash, scene intelligent auto mode, 6 fps continuous shooting speed, and more. That gives a good taste of professional photography for beginners who want to explore more in the photography field.

Not all the kit comes with various accessories like a fast SD-USB device to move data from the SD drive to the USB to your computer, a carrying case, a stripe, a set of filters, and a fast SD card.

No doubt it is a no-brainer deal in this price range.

However, that’s is some drawbacks I noticed in this camera.

I doubt the reliability of the camera as it is refurbished and does not have factory-level quality.

I increase the sales of the kit offers many accessories but some are not so useful with cameras such as a limited wide-angle lens, a rickety full-sized tripod, a 2x “telephoto” lens, a sun shield for your camera, a flash module that has no connection with the camera.

The Canon EOS 4000 features an 18-megapixel ASP-S sensor that is early 2010 technology. Also, its autofocus does not focus that well and live preview does not function on the camera.

However, this is obvious as it is a low-budget camera. But, I must say it is a good camera for wildlife photography for under $500.

Check the price on amazon now! 


  • The 18-55mm lens is versatile and wide-angle, making landscape photography easy.
  • The 18-megapixel APS-C sensor improves low-light shots.
  • The camera’s ISO range of 100 to 6,400 lets you shoot brighter photos without illumination.
  • Its scene-intelligent auto mode, built-in flash, 6 fps continuous shooting speed, and other characteristics make it ideal for beginner photographers who wish to learn more.
  • The package includes a fast SD-USB device, filters, a carrying bag and strap, and a fast SD card.


  • The package includes a flimsy full-sized tripod, a restricted wide-angle lens, a 2x “telephoto” lens, a camera sunscreen, and an unconnected flash module.
  • An 18-megapixel sensor from 2010 may not create high-quality photos.
  • This camera lacks live preview and has poor auto-focus.
  • When you snap a photo, the camera clunks, which may suggest that the original camera was dropped, damaged, and returned.

Canon EOS 2000D: (Best Camera for wildlife photography under $500)

I listed Canon EOS 2000D in the article because this camera also offers great features under $500. 

Here are the features.

The Canon EOS 2000D features a 24.1-megapixel APS-S sensor which helps it take high-quality images from long distances. It can zoom up to 19x which is great for wildlife photography.

Its good season helps to take clear and high-quality pictures even in low-light conditions. 

As compare to Panasonic cameras this canon camera is offering less zooming capability. But, you can go with this camera, if canon is your favorite camera brand.

With that, the Canon EOS 2000D has 9 point autofocus system that works quickly and accurately for shape detail. I take pictures of a moving deer with this camera and I must say it took an excellent picture without any noise.

At this price point, this is the best affordable canon camera. It also comes with various useful accessories such as a universal charger, spare rechargeable battery, camera bag, two memory cards, and a wired shutter release remote.

There is some drawback I feel while using the camera. 

The shutter button bit hard to press making it lag while taking the photo. This is a major difficulty when it comes to wildlife photography because you do not want to lose your perfect shot.

The manual is in pdf form that you need to download. If you’re a beginner and do not know how to use a camera. It might be difficult for you to function in this.

Besides this a found this camera best for wildlife photography.

Check the camera price on amazon now!


  • A 24.1 megapixel APS-C sensor takes high-quality photographs in low light.
  • The 9-point autofocus mechanism sharpens details rapidly.
  • Wildlife photographers of all levels love it.
  • For budget photographers, the pricing is competitive.
  • A backup battery, universal charger, two memory cards, camera case, and wired shutter release remote are included with the camera.


  • No specific cons

GoPro Hero11 Black: (Best Portable Camera for wildlife photography under $500)

GoPros are the most popular camera when it comes to vlogging. I you’re intended to capture the sweet memories of your family while enjoying safari GoPro Hero11 is no doubt the best option.

GoPro Hero11 is the best action camera in the market for under $500.which take high-quality photos and videos. And very easy to carry around because of its compact size.

In wildlife photography stability of the camera is most important because most people walk or seat on a jeep.

The GoPro Hero11’s new stabilization feature is a game changer for wildlife photography because it allows taking stake pictures and videos while traveling.

It also has a new timewarp feature that makes it easier to take stable videos.

GoPro Hero11 is considered a high-action camera but make it is clear that it records excellent high-resolution videos.

You can customize its customize frame rate, resolution, image field, etc according to your need.

Whether is a concern in wildlife photography this is the waterproof camera that I featured in this article.

You can carry multiple batteries and keep taking excellent videos and pictures with this camera.

Also, GoPro Hero11 has an Integral folding mounting bracket that gets attached to various systems.

However, if you take a video in high resolution for a very long time it might get overheated. But, that is common with every camera. 

Check the price of GoPro Hero11 now on amazon!


  • Portable.
  • Takes high-quality photographs and videos for safaris and vacations.
  • The new stabilization function revolutionizes wildlife photography.
  • TimeWarp simplifies time-lapse video stabilization.
  • High-resolution recording.
  • Frame rate, resolution, picture field, and more customizable.
  • Waterproof and rugged for outdoor activities.
  • Replaceable batteries for extended recordings.
  • Universal foldable mounting bracket.


  • Overheats at the highest resolution and frame rate.
  • Avoid data writing troubles using a suggested class (speed) microSD card.
  • Expensive for certain budgets.
  • No remote or silicon lens cover.


These are the best wildlife photography cameras for under $500.

I’m sure by reading this article you will able to take the decision to buy the right camera.

Have you used any of the cameras mentioned in this article?

If yes, Tell me about your experience.

Is there any camera that you know is the best that I haven’t featured in this article?

Tell me in the comment box.

Thank you for reading the article😊

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