What camera do you use for nature photography?

You may be interested in checking links from https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/improving-site-speed/24606
iNat already downsizes photos, it takes a lot to edit photos, creating separate copies for iNat would be too much of a hassle and can lead to mess in folders or wrongly applied sizing.

Thanks Marina! I don’t submit a lot and have a filing system for keeping track of submitted photos so downsizing before submitting hasn’t been a problem for me. Thanks for the references. If nothing else, it’s good to know I’m not the only one finding it slow sometimes. Stay safe!


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I started using a Nikon D100 with macro lens this year (50mm I think) and there’s a lot of factors that separate a good shot from a great one. I had issues with adapting settings to bright sun. For example, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93528105 vs https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/99812001
Mostly, getting close enough to fast and shy insects is tricky. I started using a gardening kneel pad for prone shots.

Any photography tips, fellow naturalists?

Most of my images are still shots from Ring cameras. For “serious” work, I love my Canon Powershot SXX50 HS, which is old but wonderful because of the long lens. But I also occasionally us my iPhone 11 if I’m out and about. Here are two samples. The woodpecker was almost full telephoto, braced against the roof of my car.

Are we talking about the auto focus?

No, I actually never warmed up to the auto focus function which usually is shitty in the macro range. I almost always focus manually

I use the PowerShot SX740 HS. It’s not the world’s best camera, that’s for sure, but it’s an overall decent nature camera. It’s got a nice macro setting and a good zoom. It gets a little fuzzy after you cross into the digital zoom as opposed to the optical one, but it zooms well enough to take good photos of far-away things.

It’s also got an articulating screen that goes up and down, for mobility. I’ve found this to be useful in situations where I have to set the camera on the ground and look at the organism through the screen, facing up. It also has some pretty good video stabilization and shoots in 4K, which is fantastic for filming wildlife.

If anyone on this thread happens to be searching for a good long-zoom, macro, and overall useful point-and-shoot nature camera, this (or really any of the recent Powershots) are very good options.

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One camera i just started using is the Akaso Brave 7LE, an action camera similar to a GoPro. It has a lot of nice features, including time-lapse capability and a remote shutter release and for a tiny, relatively inexpensive camera seems to take good quality photos -
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) from Lassen County, CA, USA on January 12, 2022 at 03:56 PM by Tom Rickman · iNaturalist
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) from Lassen County, CA, USA on January 11, 2022 at 03:30 PM by Tom Rickman · iNaturalist

I recently purchased a Canon SX70HS. I’m satisfied with the camera. The only thing I have problem with is taking pictures of fast moving objects especially swifts and all. Also it would have been better with more zoom.

I have a Canon EOS REBEL T3i, which is a good camera, but a little bulky, so I don’t always carry it with me. I’m using the lenses it came with the camera, as well as I have a 50 mm prime lens and 70-300 mm zoom lens (the cheap one!). I find that changing lenses is a hassle, especially when I have to do it in the field.

Another camera I have is a Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS. It’s not that great, but I’ve taken some amazing photos with it. Its main advantage is its size, I can carry it with me anywhere, even in the front pocket of my shirt. The 12x Optical Zoom is very useful, considering the size of this camera.

In 2019 I purchased a Canon PowerShot SX730 HS—for some inexplicable reason I got it for just over 1/3 of its regular price. I love it: it is compact, has plenty of handy features and a 40x Optical, 4x Digital and 160x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer. I especially like the 40x zoom; interestingly, using the digital zoom I was still able to take quite decent photos.

By the way, I joined a local camera club in 2003 (when I bought my first digital camera) and since then I’ve read a number of books & magazines on photography and attended a lot of presentations. I know that whereas better (and more expensive) photo equipment will potentially let us take better photographs, ultimately it’s the person behind the camera that plays the most important role. That’s why several years ago I decided to just focus on taking nice photos, which are watchable, but not really artistic, spellbinding or technically outstanding–and my modest photography equipment reflects that approach.


I just want to add that over two years ago I bought a Kaiser Baas X300 Action Camera and it actually came quite handy as I made a video of a Hermit Thrush nest with 3 chicks which was on my campsite (you can find the link to my modest YouTube video channel in my profile).

Just last month I bought a Kaiser Baas X400 Action Camera for just CAN $50/about US$39 (which is an amazing price, considering that the camera boasts 4K resolution and comes with a waterproof case). I’m going to use it this summer—perhaps I’ll be lucky again and will make a video of a nest full of chicks!

Incidentally, I’ve been successfully using my Kaiser Baas X300 as a webcam with my desktop computer—the picture quality is excellent and nobody has every complained about having issues hearing me.

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It’s the best choice for me, if we talk about casual trips and travels.

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