10 Best Superzoom Cameras for Birding (Beginner’s Guide)

Tori Rhodes
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Birding is a really fun hobby that interests lots of people.

The idea of spending a day outside looking for the birds is exciting, especially if you get to see rare species. However, you need a camera that will be able to spot the birds from afar.

If you are using a high-end camera which is perfect for this, then you probably don’t need to read this. For those of you with a mid-range (prosumer) or a beginner DSLR, this article will help you pick the right camera for your birding needs.

I’m going to guide you through all the things you should look out for in the camera to make sure it will be perfect for you. I’ll also give you my personal recommendations so you will always be aware of the types of cameras that are out there and the one that will be best for you.

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital CameraBest OverallNikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital CameraBudget PickPanasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera
Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IVUpgrade PickSony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV

1. Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera

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  • Easy to use
  • Checkable ISO setting
  • Incredible zoom
  • 3.2 inch viewing screen
  • Cost effective
  • Available in other colors
  • Waterproof and dust-proof


  • Slow startup
  • LCD drains battery
  • Low image quality in low light and action shots
  • Touchscreen is difficult to use

Nikon has created a superzoom camera that is distinguished by its lens and features. With a fancy 3.2″ LCD screen and a 24X optical zoom, the COOLPIX P1000 is ideal for birding.

The camera is stored in a sports body which is waterproof to a level of 2″ for 30 minutes. It also comes with a built-in GPS, which is a rare feature for a camera.

Almost every bird photographer or wannabe is familiar with Nikon cameras. Their COOLPIX P1000 is a powerful superzoom camera, perfect for any level of photographer.

2. Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV

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  • 25x Zoom (35mm DSLR equivalent to a 560mm f/4 lens)
  • World’s fastest auto focus speed: 0.03 seconds
  • Impressive 4K video features and image quality
  • 4K Video Recording at 30fps & Full HD up to 120fps
  • Great sensitivity: up to ISO 51,200
  • Impressive battery life
  • Built-in WiFi and NFC for fast pairing and wireless image transfer
  • Advanced SteadyShot Image Stabilization


  • Newer models offer even more zoom
  • Convoluted menus require patience to navigate
  • No image stabilization when recording video internally

The Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 line is a bank for people who love to photograph wildlife. It’s equipped with an impressive 25x zoom lens – 25.5mm to 575mm – with the equivalent of a 35mm DSLR. It has a 1” sensor with 23.4 megapixels. The camera shoots video in 4K and has a 0.03-s autofocus. It’s one of the best cameras out there for photographing moving wildlife from afar.

3. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera

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When you’re into bird photography, it’s a good idea that you get a camera that will serve you well for years to come. With the Panasonic Lumix FZ80, you’ll enjoy all the features you need to amass some incredible images of the birds you encounter.

Unfortunately, if you’re expecting the camera to work great in low-light conditions, you’re bound to be disappointed. The camera has a 35-350mm lens which is incredible for birds, but when it comes to shooting in low-light conditions like dusk, you’re likely to experience blurry images.

4. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 II 20.1MP Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 II 20.1MP Digital Camera

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  • Simple
  • Easy to use
  • 4K video
  • Wide-angle lens
  • Long Battery Life


  • No viewfinder
  • Shallow image zoom
  • Zoom doesn’t start at wide and only goes to 400mm

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II sits at the top of the current superzoom camera line and its excellent image quality is one of the main reasons why. You’re getting a solid piece of kit without having to break the bank.

The Lumix FZ1000 II is a point-and-shoot camera that can shoot 4K video at 60p, 1080p at 96 fps and offers a 12.1-megapixel 1-inch sensor that delivers fantastic detail. The camera is packed with features that serious hobbyists and amateurs alike will enjoy.

It’s an ideal option if you’re looking for a superzoom with a very long zoom lens that you can take on the go.

5. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS 4K Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS 4K Camera

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  • Ready to take full-sized, high-quality photo and videos
  • Terrific for birding
  • Features a 4K video mode
  • The built-in Wi-fi allows for easy connection to apps such as the Canon CameraWindow app
  • Easy to set up with a plug and play connection
  • Has a wider view and better editing capabilities than older similar cameras
  • Has a customizable zoom assist
  • Captures vivid and crisp images
  • Comes with a tripod, carrying bag, and more


  • The video quality is not as good as the photos especially when there are a lot of effects applied
  • Not good in low light situations

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS camera is a real blast from the past. It’s a digital super-zoom camera. Today, digital cameras boast a megapixel rating of 20 or higher. The SX70 took it to the extreme with a whopping 50 megapixel rating.

Super-zoom digital cameras have the ability to take photos that could easily be mistaken for a shot taken with a traditional film-based camera. They contain a fantastic zoom lens with the equivalent of 27X zoom. They can capture far away shots without using a bulky and expensive telephoto zoom lens.

6. Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital 18.2 MP Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital 18.2 MP Camera

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  • 20x optical zoom
  • Built-in GPS
  • Wi-Fi and NFC Connection
  • Dynamic Photo Creativity Mode


  • Fixed lens
  • Limited battery life

8GB Kit (Includes the Camera with a Black 8GB Memory Sony Kit SDXC Card, and AC/USB.

Beyond the camera itself, you will also receive a Sony MDR-NC31EM Digital Noise Canceling Headphones.

The Sony DSC-HX99 is a digital camera with a 20x zoom and high-quality image stabilization. It features a DIGIC 6 image processor, which enables it to produce high-resolution images and videos of excellent image clarity that can be appreciated on an HD TV screen.

7. Canon PowerShot G3 X Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon PowerShot G3 X Digital Camera

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  • Great for birding as it gives high quality, clear photos
  • Amazing zoom capabilities
  • Great battery life
  • Compact design
  • The touchscreen functions well
  • Very user friendly
  • Heavier than the Rebel models
  • NFC is a cool but unnecessary feature

This is one of Canon’s most recent additions to their popular superzoom line. It’s a long awaited and much loved (at least by us) high quality camera that takes great photos and goes above and beyond when you are birding.

It’s so easy to use that it makes a great first superzoom camera, although it’s best to avoid it if you are looking for a top-of-the-line Rebel model.

8. Panasonic Lumix FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera Features 12.1 Megapixel

Our rating: 7 / 10

Panasonic Lumix FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera Features 12.1 Megapixel

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  • Ultra-zoom range
  • Durable, waterproof body
  • 2.36m-dot OLED viewfinder display
  • 12.1-megapixel still images
  • 4K/UHD video recording at 30p
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Underwhelming image quality
  • Imprecise viewfinder operation
  • Single control wheel
  • Sluggish performance
  • Low-resolution touchscreen

The FZ300 is radically different to any other camera on this list. Its ultra-zoom lens gives you a huge focal range of 24-600mm in 35mm equivalent for versatile wide to super-telephoto shooting.

We love its truly weatherproof body, great optical image stabilization, vari-angle touchscreen LCD, large electronic viewfinder, and its many different shooting modes such as time-lapse, aperture/shutter/ISO priority, and program.

But let’s take a step back. We would never choose this camera for bird photography; not when it’s more than twice the weight of our next favorite super-zoom, the Sony RX10 III.

9. Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

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  • 30X Optical Zoom
  • 38X Dynamic Fine Zoom
  • 20.3 Megapixel CCD Image Sensor
  • 4K UHD Video Recording
  • Dual Detect Optical VR Image Stabilization
  • WiFi and NFC Connectivity
  • Electronic Vibration Reduction
  • Available In 4 Fun Colors


  • Fixed Lens
  • Can Be Hard To Use
  • Bulky
  • Quite Expensive

If you’re serious about getting great pictures, you need a superzoom. Sure, you can get an awesome camera with just a basic zoom; but those photos won’t have the same impact as the superzoom camera.

There’s a reason this Nikon is called the COOLPIX P900. It’s everything you want in a superzoom and more.

This camera will allow you to capture images in low-light situations thanks to its great ISO performance, sharp and contrast rich images due to a new Expeed C5 image processor, and its optical vibration reducing system.

10. Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera

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  • Excellent for birding, walking tours, and wildlife spotting
  • Offers 5,000 shots on a single battery charge
  • Easy to load the battery
  • Good deal for a point-and-shoot camera
  • Sturdy camera
  • Easy to handle during cold and rainy weather


  • Heavy
  • Sometimes difficult to start


The Nikon COOLPIX B700 camera is a good choice for the beginning hobbyist photographer or those looking to get into bird watching. It features a 24x optical zoom f/2.8-5.8 lens and a 16.0-megapixel sensor. This superzoom camera offers a sturdy, ergonomic design and effective sensor-shift image stabilizer for enhanced handheld shooting in low-light conditions.

The 1080p full HD video is a fun feature as well. You can record for up to 5 hours. Videos play smoothly on a large screen. The camera is capable of capturing every moment of the day. The battery life is impressive and will easily last the day and, if needed, you can extend the battery life with one of the optional battery packs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best camera for birding?

Boasting impressive optics, ease of use, and the support of a huge network of knowledgeable users, the Pentax K-5 IIs has it all. It’s the best camera for bird photographers as well as for casual birders.

The camera also offers the chance to capture wonderful video clips and is a great value for the money. It’s not for everyone, but it could be just the right camera for you if you’re ready to invest a small sum of money.

The Pentax K-5 IIs makes an excellent combo with a decent tripod, stock lens, and padded camera bag for a reasonably cheap price. It is a recommended choice for beginner birders with a Nikon D3300 camera.

The Pentax K-5 IIs is the most effective camera for birding enthusiasts as well as an excellent value for newer birders.

Which Canon camera is best for bird photography?

It is hard to nail the exact best camera for bird photography because all cameras have specific strengths and weaknesses. Each shooter will have their own subjective criteria, and it is up to them to decide which camera suits their needs best.

Here is a list of the main features bird photographers should be looking for:

High Optical Zoom: With its 40x optical zoom, the Canon SP- Rebelso is one of the best options for bird photographers who want a great zoom range.

With its 40x optical zoom, the Canon SP- Rebelso is one of the best options for bird photographers who want a great zoom range. Fast Autofocus: Photographing birds in flight is a difficult task, and right now the Sony A6000 with its 425 autofocus points is a great choice for bird photography.

Which superzoom camera is best?

If you are a novice birder, you need a camera that is easy to use but can also give you fantastic quality images. Opt for a wide angle lens or a zoom lens of at least 8x that will allow you to get close enough to take great shots without leaving you frustrated with blurry photos. Look for shutter speeds of at least 30 seconds or an image stabalizer, both of which help to get better pictures of birds without blurring.

If you want to take more detailed, quality shots, you might opt for something with more megapixels, so you can zoom in to see more detail. Many of the cameras in this list have different options for sharper zoom capabilities, some up to 20x.

Later, as you become an expert, you can invest in more sophisticated equipment. Or you can keep using your superzoom camera; after all, the most important part of birding is getting out there and enjoying nature!

What is the best bridge camera for beginners?

The best bridge cameras for beginners are the ones that have the best user-interface and an excellent sensor. They also make use of in-body image stabilization technology. The best bridge cameras currently on the market are the Panasonic FZ2000 and FZ2500.


As a birder, the best lens for the money is the one that will give you a fantastic point & shoot experience, in terms of convenience and image quality. We chose these ten based on their affordability, ease of use, and overall suggestion.

When you’re going to be snapping photos of fast-moving birds, it’s important to have a camera which will quickly grab a proper focus and keep it locked on so you don’t miss that perfect shot.

You don’t want to put your hard-earned money into a camera that you’re never going to use, however.

Our Recommendation

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital CameraBest OverallNikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital CameraBudget PickPanasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera
Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IVUpgrade PickSony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV