10 Best Mirrorless Cameras For Wildlife Photography for 2023 – Reviews and Buying Guides

Wildlife photography is a challenging and rewarding pursuit that requires patience, skill, and the right equipment. Choosing the best camera for shooting wildlife is crucial as it can make a significant difference in the results. With the rise of mirrorless cameras in recent years, many wildlife photographers have shifted to these lightweight and versatile cameras. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best mirrorless cameras for wildlife photography, along with a comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed decision. So if you’re looking for the best mirrorless camera for wildlife photography, read on.

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Last update on 2023-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A Brief Overview of Mirrorless Cameras For Wildlife Photography

Mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly popular for wildlife photography due to their compact size, advanced autofocus capabilities, and high-end image quality. They are popular among wildlife photographers because they are lightweight and easy to carry on long hikes, allowing photographers to capture stunning images without being weighed down by bulky equipment. With mirrorless cameras, you can take advantage of fast autofocus systems that can track moving subjects with ease, making them perfect for capturing fast-moving wildlife such as birds in flight or running animals.

Additionally, mirrorless cameras are capable of delivering high-quality images with stunning detail and clarity. They rival the image quality of DSLR cameras, and in some cases, even surpass them. They often feature larger sensors and advanced image stabilization systems, allowing for sharp and vibrant images in any lighting condition. Mirrorless cameras also offer the ability to shoot with silent shutters, which makes them ideal for photographing animals without disturbing them. Overall, mirrorless cameras are a great choice for wildlife photographers looking for a compact and versatile camera system that can reliably capture stunning images in any condition.

10 Best Mirrorless Cameras For Wildlife Photography Comparison

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 20.1 MP Digital Camera - Black (Renewed)
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Last update on 2023-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Does Buying Mirrorless Cameras For Wildlife Photography benefit you?

Mirrorless cameras have gained immense popularity in recent years and have become a go-to option for wildlife photographers. There are several reasons why these cameras are a great choice for capturing stunning wildlife shots. Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons.

Fast autofocusing

Mirrorless cameras are preferred for wildlife photography because of their fast autofocusing capabilities. The technology used in these cameras allows for quicker and more accurate focus on the subject, even when it moves quickly. This is essential when trying to capture wildlife in action or in difficult lighting conditions.

The autofocus system of mirrorless cameras is based on contrast detection, which can detect even the slightest changes in contrast of the subject. This makes it easier for the camera to focus even in low light or in situations where the subject is camouflaged. The autofocus also covers a wide area of the frame, making it possible to keep the subject in focus even as it moves around. For these reasons, wildlife photographers prefer mirrorless cameras for their fast and accurate autofocus capabilities.

Smaller and lighter than DSLRs

Mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly popular for wildlife photography because they are smaller and lighter than their DSLR counterparts. This is a significant advantage, especially when shooting in remote or rugged locations where every ounce of weight counts.

The mirrorless camera’s compact form factor is achieved by eliminating the bulky mirror box that defines DSLRs. Without the mirror box, mirrorless cameras can be made smaller and lighter; yet, they retain the same high-quality image sensors, optics, and advanced autofocus systems as DSLRs. As a result, mirrorless cameras are much easier to carry, hold steady, and maneuver through difficult terrain. Wildlife photographers can pack more gear in a smaller camera bag, reducing the burden of carrying multiple lenses and other gear. Thus, they are an excellent choice for wildlife photography where mobility and flexibility are essential.

Electronic Viewfinders for better exposure previewing

Mirrorless cameras typically have an electronic viewfinder (EVF) which provides a live preview of the photo, allowing photographers to adjust settings like exposure, white balance, and focus in real-time. This is especially useful for wildlife photography as animals can move quickly and lighting conditions can change rapidly. With an EVF, photographers can see exactly how the photo will look before they take the shot.

Another advantage of an EVF is that it can show the photographer a histogram, highlighting the distribution of light and dark areas in the photo. This makes it easier for the photographer to adjust exposure settings to capture the detail and texture of the subject, rather than just relying on guesswork. Overall, an electronic viewfinder can help wildlife photographers to capture sharper, well-exposed photos with greater clarity and detail.

Guide to Choose the Best Mirrorless Cameras For Wildlife Photography

Before investing in a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography, it is important to keep in mind some crucial factors that can make a significant difference in the quality of your shots.


Megapixels are an important factor to consider when buying a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography. This is because the number of megapixels directly affects the resolution and level of detail in your images. Higher megapixels means that you will be able to capture more fine details, which is especially important for wildlife photography where capturing the details of animals, birds, and insects is critical.

Moreover, higher megapixels also give you more flexibility in post-processing your images. You can crop your images and still have a high-resolution photo, allowing you to get closer to your subject without losing quality. It is a good idea to choose a mirrorless camera with a high megapixel count to ensure that you can capture the level of detail that you need for wildlife photography. However, keep in mind that more megapixels also mean larger file sizes, so make sure to have plenty of storage space available for your photos.


When considering mirrorless cameras for wildlife photography, autofocus is a crucial factor to consider. Unlike DSLRs, mirrorless cameras use contrast detection or hybrid autofocus systems, which may not always perform as accurately or as quickly as phase detection autofocus found in many DSLRs.

A good autofocus system can make all the difference when capturing fast-moving wildlife, ensuring that your shots are in focus and sharp. Therefore, it’s essential to research and test out different mirrorless cameras to ensure that their autofocus systems can keep up with the demands of wildlife photography. While many mirrorless cameras now boast advanced autofocus systems, it’s essential to consider whether they perform well in real-world situations before making a purchase.

Burst rate

Burst rate, also known as continuous shooting speed, is an important factor to consider when buying a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography. Burst rate refers to how many photos a camera can capture per second in continuous shooting mode. This feature is crucial as wildlife photography requires capturing a fast-moving subject, and the ability to take multiple shots in a burst allows photographers to select the best possible shot.

A higher burst rate also increases the chances of capturing a specific action or behavior of the wildlife. A burst rate of around 10 frames per second or higher is ideal for wildlife photography, as it enables photographers to capture precise moments in a fast-paced environment. Therefore, considering burst rate before buying a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography helps to ensure that photographers have the necessary tools to capture stunning wildlife images.

ISO range

ISO range is an important consideration when it comes to mirrorless cameras for wildlife photography. This is because wildlife photography often involves shooting in low light conditions, at dawn or dusk or in heavily shadowed areas. A camera’s ISO range determines how sensitive the sensor is to light, and the higher the ISO range, the better it performs in low light conditions. This is especially important when shooting fast-moving wildlife, as it allows for faster shutter speeds and reduces the likelihood of motion blur.

In addition, the ISO range also affects the quality of the image produced. A higher ISO range may result in noise or graininess in the image, which can reduce the clarity and sharpness of the photograph. As such, it’s important to consider the optimal ISO range for the type of wildlife photography you want to do. For example, if you need to shoot in low light conditions frequently, you may want a camera with a high ISO range, but if you’re shooting during the day under bright sunlight, this may not be as crucial a factor.

Lens availability

When it comes to wildlife photography, the right lens is crucial for capturing clear and sharp images of fast-moving animals from afar. Mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly popular among wildlife photographers due to their lightweight and compact design, but it’s important to consider their lens availability before investing in one.

Mirrorless cameras have smaller lens mount systems compared to DSLRs, limiting the range of lenses that can be used. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the camera you purchase has a variety of high-quality lenses available in the mount that you choose. A lack of lens options may limit your ability to capture images that require specific focal lengths or might be a hassle to find the right one for your needs. Ultimately, the right lens selection is paramount for capturing stunning wildlife images, so it’s essential to consider this factor before investing in a new camera.

Weather sealing

When photographing wildlife, one often has to deal with unpredictable weather conditions. This is where weather sealing comes into play. Weather sealing protects the camera from dust, moisture, and other environmental elements. Mirrorless cameras with weather sealing can withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and dust.

In addition, wildlife photography often requires spending hours in the field, sometimes in remote locations. Weather sealing ensures that the camera remains protected and functional throughout the shoot, even when subjected to harsh conditions. So, when buying a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography, it’s crucial to consider weather sealing to ensure durability and longevity.


What are the advantages of using a mirrorless camera for wildlife photography?

Mirrorless cameras offer several advantages for wildlife photography. Firstly, they are generally smaller and lighter than DSLR cameras, making them easier to carry around for long periods of time in the field. This can be particularly useful for photographers who are trekking through rugged terrain or traveling to remote locations.

Secondly, mirrorless cameras often have faster and more accurate autofocus than DSLRs. This is especially important for capturing fast-moving subjects like birds in flight or running animals. Some mirrorless cameras also have advanced tracking systems that can keep up with moving subjects and maintain focus even when the animal is partially obscured.

Finally, mirrorless cameras often have silent shooting modes, which can be immensely helpful when shooting skittish wildlife. Being able to take photos without the sound of a shutter can help minimize disturbance and allow photographers to get closer to their subjects. Overall, these advantages make mirrorless cameras a great option for wildlife photographers looking for a lightweight, versatile, and effective tool for capturing stunning wildlife images.

Which brand/model of mirrorless camera is best suited for wildlife photography?

There are several brands and models of mirrorless cameras that can be suitable for wildlife photography. However, some of the best options include the Sony Alpha A9 II, Fujifilm X-T3, and Olympus OM-D E-M1X. These cameras have fast autofocus systems, high burst rates, and excellent image quality, which are essential features for capturing fast-moving wildlife.

The Sony Alpha A9 II is particularly renowned for its autofocus system, which includes 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points. It also has a 20fps burst rate, which enables you to capture multiple shots in quick succession. The Fujifilm X-T3, on the other hand, has a higher resolution (26.1 megapixels) and a robust weather-sealed body that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Finally, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X has an impressive image stabilization system and a fast burst rate of 18fps, making it an excellent choice for wildlife photography.

How does the autofocus system of a mirrorless camera perform for fast-moving wildlife subjects?

The autofocus system of a mirrorless camera performs exceptionally well for fast-moving wildlife subjects. The mirrorless camera’s autofocus system is faster and more accurate than DSLR’s autofocus system, as it uses a hybrid autofocus system that combines both phase-detection and contrast-detection. This hybrid autofocus system allows for better tracking of moving subjects and ensures that the focus stays on the animal’s eyes or face even when the subject is moving.

Moreover, mirrorless cameras have a high frame rate, which enables continuous shooting at high-speed bursts without any loss of focus. With the help of the electronic viewfinder and silent shutter function, photographers can effortlessly track and capture the wildlife without disturbing them. The mirrorless camera’s autofocus system also features advanced algorithms that intelligently predict the animal’s movement with ease, meaning that the camera’s autofocus can quickly adjust the focus, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving animals.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, choosing the best mirrorless camera for wildlife photography can be a daunting task, but with the wide range of options available, there is something to suit every photographer’s needs. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, the cameras on this list offer excellent image quality and advanced features that will help you capture stunning photos of wildlife in their natural habitat. So, invest in the best mirrorless camera for wildlife photography and embark on an exciting journey to capture the beauty of nature.

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