Top 10 Best Nikon Camera Body For Wildlife Photography In 2023 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Wildlife photography requires precision, patience, and a camera that can capture the beauty of nature without disturbing its subjects. Nikon cameras are popular among wildlife photographers for their high-quality image sensors, fast autofocus, and durable bodies. However, with so many options available, choosing the best Nikon camera body for wildlife photography can be overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best Nikon camera bodies for wildlife photography, along with a buying guide to ensure that you choose the best camera for your needs.

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

Everything you Need to Know About Nikon Camera Body For Wildlife Photography

Nikon has a range of camera bodies suitable for wildlife photography, each with its own unique features. The Nikon D500 is a popular choice amongst wildlife photographers due to its outstanding AF system, which offers excellent tracking and accuracy when capturing moving subjects. Its 20.9-megapixel DX-format image sensor allows for detailed and high-quality images even in low light conditions. The camera is also weather-sealed, making it perfect for outdoor and wildlife photography.

Another great option is the Nikon D850, which boasts a full-frame 45.7-megapixel sensor, incredible autofocus, and a tilting touchscreen monitor that makes it easier to capture elusive wildlife. The camera also has a fast burst mode, allowing you to capture action at speeds of up to 7 frames per second. The D850 is a durable and high-performance camera that can withstand harsh environments, making it ideal for wildlife photography. Overall, Nikon offers a variety of camera bodies suitable for wildlife photography, and each one is designed to meet the demands of this specialized field.

10 Best Nikon Camera Body For Wildlife Photography Comparison

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
  • Class leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award winning D500
  • Large 3.2” 922k dot, tilting Lcd screen with touch functionality. Temperature: 0 °c to 40 °c (32 °f to 104 °f) humidity: 85 percentage or less (no...
  • 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous shooting capability
  • 4k ultra hd and 1080p full hd video with stereo sound, power aperture control, auto ISO, 4k UHD time lapse and more
  • Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity through the Nikon snap bridge app
Mastering Nikon Z8: Zero to Hero Guide to Digital Photography & Videography...
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Introduction to the Canon 5D Mark III: Basic Controls
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Nikon Z8 Professional Full Frame Mirrorless 8K Video & Stills Hybrid FX Camera...
  • NIKON USA Authorized Model - Includes FULL USA Warranty | Nikon Z 8 - Ready. Action. The Ultimate Hybrid Camera - Powerful performance. Professional build....
  • 45.7MP stacked CMOS sensor and EXPEED 7 processing engine | Nikon’s most advanced autofocus system. AF algorithm developed using deep learning technology,...
  • Internal 8K/60p and 4K/120p video. Internal 12-bit N-RAW and ProRes RAW recording. Flexible still image file formats. RAW 14-bit, High Efficiency RAW, 10-bit...
  • CAMERA INCLUDES: Nikon Z8 Full Frame Mirrorless Hybrid Camera Body (1695) | EN-EL15c Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery | MH-25a Battery Charger | BF-N1 Body Cap...
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Deco Gear Photo and Video Photography Pro Travel Case | Mini Condenser Microphone UM-MIC100 | 72" Adjustable Monopod with Case | 12" Vlogging...
Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera Features 12.1 Megapixel,...
  • 4K video and 4K photo: Panasonic’s exclusive 4K photo technology uses 30 frames per second in high resolution 4K ultra HD video to extract them as photos;...
  • Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens: 24x zoom (25 600 millimeter with Full zoom range F2; 8 aperture for enhanced low light shooting meeting the stringent quality...
  • High image Quality: The 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor with the venus engine excels in diffraction compensation, yielding images that are crisp and...
  • Rugged Camera Design: Splash Proof/dustproof rugged camera design with tight seals on every Joint, dial and button, so it stands up to harsh weather conditions...
  • 5 Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer Plus: Reduces blur from 1 handed video shooting by compensating for 5 types of movement; Level shot function detects...
Nikon D3100 14.2MP 1080p Digital SLR Camera Body (Black) 25470B - (Renewed)
  • This Certified Refurbished product is refurbished to factory specifications, it shows limited or no wear
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  • Nikon D3100 14.2MP 1080p Digital SLR Camera Body (Black) 25470B
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Nikon D7500 Digital DSLR Camera Body - Black
  • Excel in low light with ISO 100-51200 extendable up to ISO 1640000 (equivalent)
  • 20.9 MP DX-format sensor EXPEED 5
  • 51-point AF system will track your subject, lock onto it, and keep it in focus
  • 4K/UHD video footage
  • D7500 Camera Body, AN-DC3 Strap, BF-1B Body Cap, DK-28 Eyepiece Adapter, EN-EL15a Li-ion Battery, MH-25a Battery Charger, UC-E20 USB Cable..Viewfinder type:...
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Nikon 20.9 D500 Sports & Wildlife Kit with 3.2" LCD, Black (13518)
  • 2 Year Extended Service Coverage (ESC) on the D500 camera body
  • AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens which offers a 300-750mm field of view on the D500's DX image sensor
  • MB-D17 Multi Battery Power Pack which lets you shoot speeds up to 10 fps for up to 200 shots
  • Extra EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery so you won't miss the shot
  • 2 SONY 32GB G Series XQD Memory Cards
Nikon Z 50 | Compact mirrorless stills/video camera | Nikon USA Model
  • Compact, lightweight and durably constructed mirrorless camera
  • First DX-format mirrorless camera to use a large 55mm lens mount, offering advantages in high image quality and lowlight performance.
  • 20.9 MP sensor with robust 4K UHD video features
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for simple pairing to a smartphone.
  • "Selfie" flip down touch LCD screen, great for self-portraits and vlogging.

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

Reasons for Buying Nikon Camera Body For Wildlife Photography

For wildlife photography enthusiasts, choosing the right camera body is crucial to capturing those perfect shots. And if you’re in the market for a new one, then you might want to consider investing in a Nikon camera body. Here are three key reasons why.

High quality image sensors for capturing detail

A high-quality image sensor is one of the most critical components of any digital camera, and it’s essential for wildlife photography. The image sensor is responsible for capturing the light that enters the camera and converting it into digital data that forms the final image. In wildlife photography, the ability to capture fine detail is crucial, and a high-quality image sensor is critical to achieving this.

With a better image sensor, the camera can capture more details and produce sharper and clearer images. The sensor’s size and resolution also play a vital role in the final image quality. A larger sensor allows for a broader dynamic range and better low light performance, which is particularly useful for wildlife photographers who often shoot in challenging conditions. Therefore, investing in a Nikon camera body with a high-quality image sensor can significantly improve the quality of your wildlife photography and help capture the intricate details of your subject.

Fast autofocus and tracking for capturing quick movements

When it comes to wildlife photography, speed is key. Animals move quickly and often unpredictably, and you don’t want to miss a shot because your camera can’t keep up. That’s where fast autofocus and tracking come in. A Nikon camera body designed for wildlife photography will feature advanced autofocus systems that can lock onto your subject quickly and accurately, even in low light or challenging conditions. This means you can stay focused on your subject and capture the action as it happens, without worrying about missed shots or blurry images. With reliable autofocus and tracking, you’ll be able to capture sharp, stunning images of wildlife in its natural habitat, whether you’re shooting fast-moving birds, running predators, or slow-moving reptiles.

Weather resistant and durable for outdoor photography

In wildlife photography, we often need to endure the harsh outdoor conditions to capture great shots. Therefore, having a camera that is weather-resistant and durable is essential. Nikon camera bodies like the Nikon D850 and D500 are built to withstand exposure to the elements. They are sealed against dust and moisture, protecting the internal components from damage. This feature allows photographers to shoot in harsh conditions, such as wetlands, deserts, and rainforests, without worrying about damaging their equipment.

Moreover, Nikon camera bodies also have a tough body built to last. They are constructed with durable materials and reinforced with weather sealing, ensuring that they can handle rough handling and accidental drops. This feature is particularly useful for wildlife photographers, who may need to maneuver through challenging terrains or carry their equipment for extended periods. In summary, having a Nikon camera body that is weather-resistant and durable allows wildlife photographers to focus on capturing the perfect shot without worrying about the safety of their equipment.

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Nikon Camera Body For Wildlife Photography?

To make the most out of wildlife photography, choosing the right camera is crucial. There are certain factors that need to be taken into account to ensure that you end up picking the best Nikon camera body for the job.

Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is an important factor to consider before buying a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography because it determines the level of detail that the camera can capture in an image. The higher the sensor resolution, the more detail and clarity the camera can capture. This is especially important when photographing wildlife, as you want to be able to capture the intricate details of the animal’s fur or feathers. A higher resolution also allows for more cropping flexibility in post-processing, which is beneficial when trying to achieve that perfect shot of a distant subject.

In addition, a higher resolution sensor allows for larger prints without losing image quality. Wildlife photographers often showcase their work in large prints or exhibitions, and a camera with a higher resolution sensor can ensure that the images remain sharp and clear even in large format prints. Overall, considering sensor resolution is critical when purchasing a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography, in order to ensure that you capture the best possible image quality for your subject.

Continuous shooting speed

Continuous shooting speed is an essential factor to consider before buying a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography, as it ensures that you capture those fast-paced animal moments with accuracy and precision. Wildlife photography requires quick reflexes, and a camera with a fast continuous shooting speed gives you the best chance to capture unique moments in the blink of an eye. It allows you to take multiple shots in quick succession, so you can choose the best shot later on.

Furthermore, photographing moving animals can be challenging, and you might not get the right shot with a single click. With a faster continuous shooting speed, you are more likely to capture multiple frames of the animal movement, and this can help you achieve more focused and sharper images. A faster continuous shooting speed also gives you the flexibility to choose from different image options, such as burst mode or high-speed continuous shooting. Overall, to capture wildlife images efficiently, a Nikon camera body with excellent continuous shooting speed is a must-have requirement for any wildlife photographer.

Autofocus system

Autofocus system is an essential feature that a wildlife photographer should consider before buying a Nikon Camera Body. It is because wildlife photography requires fast and accurate focusing, and autofocus systems simplify the process of focusing. The Nikon camera body with the latest autofocus system will help the wildlife photographer to capture their subject in sharp focus.

Moreover, the autofocus system with multiple focus points helps the photographer to select the focus point based on the composition of the image. The Nikon camera body with a fast autofocus system helps the wildlife photographers to capture action shots with great ease. So, for a successful wildlife photography shoot, a Nikon Camera Body with a sophisticated autofocus system is a must-have.

ISO performance

ISO performance is a crucial factor to consider when buying a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography. The ISO determines the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light, and a higher ISO value allows you to shoot in low light conditions without sacrificing image quality. For wildlife photography, the ability to shoot in various lighting situations is essential to capture the perfect shot. A camera with high ISO performance allows you to capture clear and sharp images, even in low light conditions or fast-moving subjects.

Additionally, a strong ISO performance can also help you to avoid motion blur. Wildlife photography often requires you to shoot at higher shutter speeds to freeze the moment, and a high ISO value helps you to maintain a quick shutter speed without underexposing the image. Therefore, when purchasing a Nikon camera body, it is vital to consider its ISO performance to ensure that you have the flexibility to shoot in any lighting conditions and guarantee high-quality images that capture the vitality and drama of wildlife.

Durability/weather resistance

Durability and weather resistance are crucial factors to consider when buying a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography. This is because wildlife photography often involves working in harsh and challenging environments, such as extreme temperatures, rain, snow, and dust. A camera body that is not durable and weather-sealed may not be able to withstand the challenging conditions of wildlife photography, leading to malfunctions and damage.

A durable camera body that is resistant to weather conditions ensures that the camera is protected from dust, moisture, and other elements that could damage its internal components. Additionally, a durable camera body can withstand falls and knocks, providing peace of mind when working in rough terrain. Therefore, it’s important to consider durability and weather resistance when purchasing a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography to ensure that it can withstand the rigors of the environment in which it will be used.


When it comes to wildlife photography, weight and portability are crucial factors to consider when buying a Nikon camera body. Wildlife photography often entails capturing animals in their natural habitat, which can require hiking long distances or navigating rugged terrain. In these scenarios, it is important to have a camera body that is lightweight and easy to carry, enabling photographers to move around quickly and easily. This can also help reduce fatigue, allowing photographers to remain alert and focused on capturing the perfect shot.

Moreover, a lightweight and portable Nikon camera body can also make it easier to shoot animals in motion, as it allows for more flexibility and maneuverability. By being able to adjust and move quickly, photographers can capture animals in action, such as when they are running, jumping, or flying. In summary, weight and portability are two key considerations when buying a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography, as they can greatly enhance the photographer’s mobility, versatility, and ability to capture stunning shots of wild animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best Nikon camera bodies for wildlife photography?

For wildlife photography, Nikon’s top choices are the D850 and D500 camera bodies. The D850 has a 45.7 megapixel full-frame sensor with excellent dynamic range and low noise performance, making it perfect for capturing intricate details in wildlife shots. It also has a broad ISO range of 64-25,600, expandable up to 102,400, that allows for clear shots in low light conditions, ideal for capturing nocturnal animals. Moreover, the camera has an excellent Autofocus system (AF) with fast and accurate performance, allowing photographers to track and focus moving subjects easily.

On the other hand, the D500 is a DX-format camera that has a 20.9-megapixel CMOS sensor that delivers stunning images with fast autofocus. The camera’s fast frame rate of 10 fps, combined with its excellent AF system, makes it the best choice for capturing fast-moving wildlife. The camera is also rugged and can withstand tough conditions, making it perfect for outdoor wildlife photography. Additionally, the D500 has a broad ISO range of 100-51,200, that enables photographers to shoot in challenging light conditions.

What features should I look for in a Nikon camera body for wildlife photography?

For wildlife photography, the most essential feature to look for in a Nikon camera body is its autofocus system. It is recommended to choose a camera that has a fast, advanced, and accurate autofocus system that can track and lock onto moving subjects quickly and reliably. Additionally, choose a camera with a high frame rate to capture fast-moving subjects with ease, and a high-resolution sensor to ensure that the images are sharp and detailed.

Another important factor to consider is the weather sealing of the camera body. As wildlife photography often involves braving harsh weather conditions, it is crucial to select a camera that has a sturdy and weather-resistant build. This will ensure that the camera remains functional even during extreme weather conditions, such as rain, sleet, or snow. Additionally, consider investing in a camera with a long battery life, as this will allow you to keep shooting for extended periods without worrying about running out of power.

How do I set up my Nikon camera body for optimal wildlife photography?

To set up your Nikon camera body for optimal wildlife photography, start by setting your camera to aperture priority mode. This will allow you to control the depth of field, which is important when taking wildlife photos. The next step is to set your ISO to a level that allows for a fast shutter speed, since wildlife is often on the move. You can try setting it at ISO 400 for starters and adjust as necessary.

Then, set your focus mode to continuous or servo focus, which will track the moving subject so that it remains in focus. You can also activate the focus point by touching the focus button on the camera, and select the appropriate focus points for your composition. Finally, set your camera to high speed continuous shooting mode to capture multiple frames per second, which is helpful in capturing fast-moving wildlife. With these settings, you’ll be able to capture amazing wildlife photos with your Nikon camera.

Key Takeaways

Nikon cameras are among the best options for wildlife photography due to their long battery life, high ISO range, and exceptional autofocus performance. From the D850 to the D7500, each model offers unique features that help capture stunning wildlife photos. Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned professional, choosing the right Nikon camera body for wildlife photography is crucial to ensure your photos turn out the best. After careful consideration of the top 10 best Nikon camera bodies for wildlife photography, we confidently recommend the Nikon D850 as the best option for capturing amazing wildlife shots.

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