What’s better than zooming in on your favorite bird, seeing it in magnificent detail and capturing the moment forever?
However, if the photo comes out blurry and out of focus, the disappointment will be real.
Luckily, many superzoom cameras are on the market that is capable of taking sharp, crisp, and highly detailed photos. In the same breath, not all superzoom cameras are equal.
You’ll have to do some research before forking out some serious cash and ending up with a dud.
Table of Contents
Product Overview Of Best Superzoom Cameras for Birding
Last update on 2022-08-01 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
2022’s Best Superzoom Camera For Birding
It doesn’t matter if you want to take photos for fun or if you’re a serious enthusiast looking for a new toy, when it comes to birdwatching, a superzoom camera is a must.
1. Nikon – COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera
This superzoom camera can be used for just about anything from close-up portraits to wildlife photography. It’s a compact camera with a decent electronic viewfinder and a flip-out rotating LCD.
- Easy to use
- Incredible zoom power
- Very portable
- Unique lens
- Lacks more advanced features like RAW
- Images are soft and lack detail in full zoom
- Autofocus slow in low light
- Manual mode not full spectrum
- Small sensor
It may not be the best superzoom camera out there, but if you’re looking for a lot of zoom on a compact camera, look no further. It’s a birder’s dream.
Optical Zoom: 83x Megapixels: 16
Video Resolution: FHD 1080p/60fps
Image Stabilizer: Yes
LCD Screen: 3-inch Vari Angle TFT LCD
Sensor Size: 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Resolution: 16 megapixels (Optical Sensor)/1080p (Video Capture)
Lens: 83x Optical Zoom NIKKOR Super ED VR Lens
Equivalent Focal Range: 24-2000mm
Connections: Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, Hi-speed USB, and HDMI Output
2. Panasonic – Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera
A ‘go-anywhere’ camera that is affordably priced, especially considering its 4K capabilities.
Serious enthusiasts will have a few things to complain about, but at this price point, the Lumix FZ80 performs well enough.
- Great software to help you learn
- Unbelievable zoom range
- Images are crystal clear
- A lot of pre-set filter or scene modes
- Awesome image stabilization
- Quick focus
- Compact camera
- Complicated manual settings
- soft images at 1000 to 1200mm
- Falls short in low light
- Feels cheap
- Small image sensor
Perfect all-rounder superzoom for amateurs and professionals looking for a travel-ready superzoom. The 4K technology makes it possible to capture birds in flight in striking quality.
Optical Zoom: 60x
Video Resolution: 4K/30fps
Image Stabilizer: Yes
LCD Screen: 3 inches Touch Enabled LCD
Sensor Size: 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Resolution: 18.1 megapixels (Optical Sensor)/4K (Video Capture)
Lens: Lumix DC Vario
Equivalent Focal Range: 20-1200mm
Weight: 1.36 lbs
Connections: Wi-Fi, HDMI (output), and USB
3. Kodak – PIXPRO Astro Zoom Digital Camera
Very popular superzoom with a terrific reputation among wildlife photographers and videographers.
- Quality build
- Picture quality is great
- Video is crystal clear
- Packed with features
- Easy to use
- Need tripod for stabilization in full zoom
- Low battery power
A solid entry-level superzoom that offers great bang for your buck.
Optical Zoom: 90x
Sensor: 20MP CMOS Sensor
Shooting Mode: 5 fps Burst Shooting
File Format: JPEG and RAW file format
Connnectivity: Wi-Fi™ Connection
Wireless Option:Wirelessly Control with your iOS™/ANDROID™ Smart Device
4. Panasonic – Lumix FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera
Weather-resistant superzoom allows you to take excellent photos by using its extensive shooting mode and setting options.
- Comfortable control layout
- 4K video
- A lot of features
- Quality build
- Small sensor limits low-light use
- No headphone jack
- Controls overwhelming
- Images grainy
- Not compact
If you’re wanting to take your camera with you on a wild outdoor adventure without worrying about water, dust and general wear and tear, this superzoom is for you.
It can stand up to some of the most challenging environments.
Lens: Leica DC 24x F2.8 Zoom Lens
Frames Per Second: 12
5. Canon – PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera
This versatile superzoom camera takes well-saturated images that are easy on the eye. Extras like 4K video and the flip-up screen broaden the PowerShot SX740’s appeal.
- Large and stabilized zoom lens
- Nice colors on images
- Fast autofocus system
- Sturdy design
- Easy to use
- Image quality lower at max zoom
- No RAW shooting
- A long delay after shooting
- Slow focus
An awesome travel camera with all the zoom you need. It’s wise not to compare image quality too closely with cameras with better specs – you may end up disappointed.
Image Sensor Type: 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS
Total Pixels: Approx. 21.1M
Colour Filter Type: Primary Colour
Image Processor: Type DIGIC 8
Focal Length: 4.3 – 172.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 960 mm)
Zoom: Optical 40x, ZoomPlus 80x
Maximum f/number: f/3.3 – f/6.9
ISO Sensitivity: 100-3200 in 1 stop increments
Shutter Speed: 15 – 1/3200 s
6. Sony HX400V Compact Digital Camera
A solid superzoom camera but lacks features some more advanced photographers will miss. It’s not first in its class but a nifty little camera nonetheless.
- Does-it-all camera
- Sharp photos at long distances
- Slow zoom function works great
- Breaks easily
- Batteries don’t last
- Extremely noisy
- Slow processing speed
- Hard-to-use controls
This camera makes it possible to shoot sharp images at the far reaches of the 50x zoom lens.
However, the price point is on the high side, and you’ll be able to find a better quality cam by paying a few bucks more.
Sensor: 20.4MP Exmor R™ CMOS
Engine: BIONZ X engine for superb detail and noise reduction
Optical Zoom: ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 50x optical zoom lens
Shooting Modes: Optical SteadyShot™ & Optical SteadyShot™ Intelligent Active Mode
7. Nikon – COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera
This superzoom has a list of specs as long as its lens. It may be a lot to handle for beginner shooters, but with practices and patience, you can expect remarkable results.
- Supports RAW
- Dual Detect VR reduces shake
- Has dedicated birdwatch mode
- Short battery life
- No image stabilization, tripod needed
- Small sensor
- Slow autofocus
Made for the hardcore wildlife photographer, the Nikon P1000 is a superzoom superstar.
Optical Zoom: 125x
Video Resolution: 4K UHD/30fps
Image Stabilizer: Yes (Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction)
LCD Screen: 3.2 inch Vari Angle TFT LCD
Sensor Size: 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Resolution: 16 megapixels (Optical Sensor)/4K (Video Capture)
Lens: 125x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED Glass Equivalent Focal Range: 24-3000mm
Weight: 3.12 lbs
Connections: Wi-Fi, SnapBridge, Bluetooth, Hi-speed USB, and HDMI Output
8. Nikon – COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera
Perfect go-to camera for birding. The COOLPIX B700 is an all-rounder, but you can expect to pay for it.
- RAW capable
- Birdwatching mode
- Powerful zoom
- Great 4K video
- Versatile camera
- Vibration Reduction technology
- Very bulky
- Crashes and freezes easily
- Difficult to get in focus
- Small sensor
- Inconsistent quality of images
So powerful, birds barely visible to the naked eye will come into sharp focus.
Lens: NIKKOR Super ED
Zoom: 60x optical zoom
Sensor: BSI CMOS Sensor
Frames Per Second:30fps
Weight: 1.25 lbs
9. Canon – Powershot SX70 20.3MP Digital Camera
More of a ‘sunny day camera,’ this superzoom is perfect for the outdoors and birdwatching. It has features that will keep even the pros happy.
- High-quality viewfinder
- Tilting screen
- Effective image stabilization
- Competent autofocus system
- Build quality could be better
- No weather sealing
- Heavy when the lens is fully extended
- Small sensor
If you’re out to catch birds in the golden hour, give this superzoom a skip.
Zoom: 65x optical zoom
Frames Per Second: 10fps
Weight: 4.24 lbs
10. Canon – Powershot SX530 Super Zoom Digital Camera
This isn’t a ground-breaking superzoom camera, but it does its job well. As with all superzooms, there will be a compromise. You will have a 50x zoom range but the only max aperture of f/3.5 at the wide end.
- Responsive performance
- Fairly compact
- All-day battery life
- Little distortion on max zoom
- Slow to lock focus
- Pricey for what you get
- Body feels cheap
- Small aperture
This camera doesn’t push the boundaries considering that it only offers 50x while Nikon and Panasonic offer cameras at the same price point with a 60x zoom range.
Lens Aperture: f/3.4-f/6.5
Optical Zoom: Optical 50x, ZoomPlus 100x
Focal Length: 4.3 – 215.0 mm
ISO Sensitivity: AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
AUTO ISO: 100 – 1600
Superzoom Vs. DSLR Vs. Mirrorless Vs. Smartphones
When it comes to choosing a camera for birding, there are tons of options. You should select the type of camera that will meet all your requirements. You may opt for Superzoom, DSLR, Mirrorless, or even Smartphones. Let’s have a look at what each type offers-
Undoubtedly these cameras are one of the best camera options for birdwatching. They feature a fixed superzoom lens that allows birdwatchers to have a more precise angle.
With superzoom cameras, the images produced are sharper and more vivid. They are very user-friendly and provide a powerful magnification of almost 125x. From beginners to professionals, everyone can take some amazing shots of their favorite birds through a superzoom camera.
If you’re a professional birdwatcher and you want something that has high-definition features and great quality lenses, getting a DSLR camera should be your ultimate choice.
Although they fall on the more expensive side, they’re worth every penny. Especially if you own a blog on birdwatching and you have to come up with unique shots every time, a DSLR camera will be an excellent option.
One of the main reasons why DSLR cameras are great for birdwatching is because of their ability to track moving birds on a continuous basis. DSLR cameras are also built with maximum durability, so you can count on them in every possible weather.
Another great advantage users find with DSLR cameras is that the lenses are easily replaceable. So, you can use lenses according to your preference with these cameras.
These cameras have been in the game for quite some time. They are perfect for amateurs since they have very easy features and great auto-focusing options.
Images in these cameras are directly reflected by the sensors without going through a viewfinder. The presence of electronic viewfinders in mirrorless cameras also contributes to faster auto-focusing.
So, if you’re looking for affordable cameras with quick and reliable auto-focusing, mirrorless cameras can be an excellent option.
Smartphone cameras are on trend right now because of their convenience and ease of use. You don’t have to pay for an extra camera as they already come provided with your phones. So, you can save money and still get some perfect images for your birding.
Smartphones can be used to capture some pretty good shots through spotting scopes. However, if you’re thinking of capturing images of birds in motion, smartphone cameras can be a disappointing choice. These cameras only work best with still bird photos.
Superzoom Price Timeline
Superzoom cameras come in a wide range of prices. You can choose a top-notch camera if you start planning your budget from the beginning. Usually, superzoom cameras are available in price ranges of 200-2000$.
The price for these cameras differs based on features, magnification, and audio capabilities. Let’s have a look at what features you’ll be getting in what kind of price range-
- $200-400$: You can find superzoom cameras with 20-60x magnification in this price range.
- $500-$600: Superzoom cameras with the ability to take pictures in low-light settings can be availed in this price range.
- $700-$800: You can easily find superzoom cameras with microphone settings and high-frame rates.
- $900-$1000: The highest magnification of almost 125x can be purchased in this range. You can also find features for shooting 4K videos at this price point.
- $1100–$2000: You can find some of the best superzoom cameras in this price range. From excellent optical zoom, sensors, and aperture to microphone settings-this range can cover almost everything.
What About Audio?
Audio is another important factor to consider when you’re birdwatching. It all comes down to the preference of a bird watcher.
Many people prefer taking still shots of the birds, while others love to capture the different sounds of these birds. Usually, bloggers who make videos of their favorite birds prefer using cameras with excellent audio quality.
If you’re an aspiring blogger like this, you need to invest in a camera with an incredible microphone support system.
A great option is opting for external microphones that can be mounted on the cameras. In this way, you can use a microphone when necessary and later unmount it if you only want to take still images.
How Is Bird Photography Different from Other Types of Photography?
Most people assume that bird photography is similar to other types of photography. However, there is a vast difference between bird photography and other kinds.
One of the main differences is that with landscape photography, you don’t have to worry about moving objects too much. But with bird photography, the motion of the birds is an important thing to consider.
You can’t settle for cameras that do not capture moving objects well. No matter how good your light conditions are, if your camera cannot capture the birds clearly in motion, it’s almost useless.
So, to build a career in bird photography, make sure you choose a camera with incredible focusing features, ISO options, and superzoom abilities. Cameras with these features can adapt well to any kind of lighting and produce clear and vivid images per your requirement.
Bird photography also requires you to travel to different locations. Every location has a different climate, and the weather keeps changing in such areas. So, you should look for a camera that is built with resistance to dust and water damage. With a camera like this, your journey can become enjoyable.
What to Look for When Choosing A Superzoom Camera for Birding?
With so many options and a lot of technical terms flying around, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Here’s a brief rundown of what specs you should look for in your superzoom camera.
If you spot a compact camera with a 10x or larger zoom factor, you’re looking at a superzoom.
Of course, a solid superzoom can give you up to 125x magnification. No need to explain why a higher zoom factor is preferable!
The more AF points there are, the better the camera. Autofocus is extremely important. You want a crisp and clear shot, so your camera needs to focus on time.
Quality And Low Light Capability
To get an award-winning shot, the golden hour is the best time to take photos. The time just after sunrise or before sunset is also when most birds are active.
For this reason, a camera that performs well in low-light conditions is important. And the sensor size of the camera should not be too small.
Size And Weight
Although superzoom cameras look like DSLRs, they’re not. They tend to be lighter. This is a good thing because hauling around a heavy camera in search of the perfect photo can be tiring.
Look for models that give you between 300 and 350 shots on a charge. Cameras that can’t do that are not worth your consideration.
Optical or sensor-based image stabilization built into the camera body is better than lens stabilization.
The camera will cost more, but you will save in the long-term because the lenses will be cheaper because they won’t need stabilization.
Price can vary anything between $250 and $1800. Those with a higher price-point will include full features such as Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth connectivity, UHD 4K, multi-zone AF, and the list goes on. What you want to spend depends on what you need.
Which Product Is Best?
Since we’re looking for the perfect superzoom camera to take out on your birding excursions, the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 stands out. Built to shoot wild animals and birds, you’ll capture your favorite feathery friend in crisp clarity.
Given the list of features, this is not really a pickup and shoot type of camera. You will have to spend time getting to know the specs and settings.
Although the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 has its downsides, no image stabilization being the most problematic, the dedicated birdwatch mode is worth a gold star.
However, considering that this superzoom camera is the highest-priced on the list, you’ll have to balance the books and decide if you’re happy to pay for a camera with quite a few faults.
If not, consider the COOLPIX B700. You’ll save a few hundred dollars and still end up with a camera that takes some good quality photos.