Looking for Beginner gear for Nature filming

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Minwaabi New Member • Posts: 3
Looking for Beginner gear for Nature filming

I'm looking to get a camera or cameras to take some videos of wildlife for both above and below the water. I would ideally like my budget to be less than $2000 total. In an ideal world, I would like the equipment to be able to take both pictures and videos as I like doing both, but I realize that might not be practical. My assumption is that I'll need one camera/camcorder for above the water and one for below the water, but maybe I'm wrong? I have a Nikon D40 and a couple of basic lenses that are just as old. I have taken some neat pictures (like a heron as it pulled it's head back with a fish in it's mouth and water droplets falling off). But it's lacking in zoom capability, auto focus, stabilization, and it can't take video at all.

For above the water, it seems to me that a good/great zoom and stabilization are the most important features. I will probably be filming from both a kayak and on foot, so I'm looking at a Sony ax53 because of its stabilization features and 20x zoom, but I don't know if there is a better option out there. Also, I don't think it will really take pictures all that well. However, I'm not sure an actual camera will work for what I want. A big zoom probably means a big lens which might not fit in a waterproof case on my kayak and will probably be very unwieldy (I'm assuming a tripod would be next to useless at least half the time from a kayak.) I assume I'll need to get a shotgun microphone to be able to take half decent audio. However, I don't really know much of anything.  So I could be wrong about all of this.

For below the water, I'm thinking about an Olympus TG-6 because again, I'm looking to take pictures/video of things that probably don't want me getting too close, and this camera is supposed to be at least decent in this role. But maybe there is a camera that can do both jobs better? I think this is also good at taking pictures/videos of small things like bugs?

However, I don't know cameras all that well and so I might be missing something real obvious or not so obvious as to better alternatives to what I'm looking for.  I like taking pictures of animals in cool moments (capturing the moment as it were), but I'm most interested at this point in recording critters natural behavior.

Nikon D40
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