Lightweight wildlife photography camera

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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wanderr New Member • Posts: 2
Lightweight wildlife photography camera


I'm a hiker, amateur wildlife photographer, and recently certified scuba diver. I'm currently shooting with a Sony a6000 with the 55-210 lens, and have been ready for an upgrade for a while, but now that I am getting into diving and want to invest in an underwater housing the desire to figure out what my next camera will be is a little more urgent!

I use my camera almost exclusively for wildlife photography, primarily to capture the interesting wildlife I encounter on my hikes (probably 70% birds). I had other DSLRs before the a6000, but found that I would often choose to leave them at home because I didn't feel like lugging around all that extra weight. The a6000 is compact and light enough that I almost always bring it with me, so I am looking for something around the same weight or lighter.

Things that are important to me:

- Weight. As mentioned, I want gear that I won't mind taking on long/arduous hikes with me. The best camera is the one you have with you.

- Fast and accurate autofocus with the ability to quickly override/provide hints. I usually only have a second to compose my shot before the animal moves on.

- Fast shutter, continuous burst mode. Digital shutter would be great, quiet shooting would disturb the wildlife less and means faster burst speeds. Fast card write speeds would be awesome. It's annoying how fast the buffer fills up on my a6000 and how long it takes to drain. (Note: I shoot in RAW)

- Long reach without a huge lens. I like that the APS-C sensor makes the 55-210 lens closer to 315 on the long end.

- Decent low light performance & ability to capture moving subjects. Often shooting on dense forest floors where not a ton of light comes through, and often trying to shoot animals in motion. IBIS seems like it would be a big help.

Other niceties would be things like 3rd party app support that Canon and Nikon cameras enjoy, easy/built in geotagging, easy remote transfer to phone (Sony solution here is clunky/not worth the hassle).

The obvious upgrade is the a6600, but it's missing digital shutter and doesn't feel like a huge upgrade with the same megapixels, and probably has the same annoyances when it comes to transferring photos to my phone. Is there anything else that seems like a good match? In looking around it seems like there are a lot of good mirrorless options out there, but it's been especially hard to get a sense of how cameras compare in terms of autofocus performance especially in regards to wildlife photography.

Sony a6000
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