Best Mirrorless Camera for Wildlife

close up portrait of lion

You may be a professional and experienced wildlife photographer or are part of the large group of beginners getting into wildlife photography, either way you’ll need a good camera for the job.

Mirrorless cameras are becoming more and more popular for shooting wildlife due to the high spec features in the latest models which are becoming increasingly better than some of the best DSLRs.

This, along with their lightweight design often makes mirrorless cameras the best camera choice for shooting wildlife when on the move.

Best mirrorless cameras for wildlife at a glance:

  1. Canon EOS R6 – Best low-light mirrorless camera for wildlife
  2. Sony A7 IV – Best Sony all-around mirrorless camera for animal photography
  3. Nikon Z6 II – Best Nikon mirrorless camera for wildlife
  4. Canon EOS R5 – Best overall mirrorless camera for wildlife photography
  5. Sony A1 – Best “money is no object” camera for shooting wildlife

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be Wildlife Photographer of the Year. So, let’s go!

Canon EOS R6 – Best low-light mirrorless camera for wildlife

The Canon R6 is currently one of the brand’s highest rated mirrorless cameras!

With Canon discontinuing their range of DSLRs, this is a worthwhile investment.

With a 20MP sensor, 20fps shooting and also 4K video, it has high quality standard features.

For wildlife photography, the Canon R6 is a winner due to its IBIS (in-body image stabilisation and AI subject tracking which is perfect for fast-moving animals or birds.


  • IBIS which isn’t available in most other mirrorless models
  • Excellent auto-focus
  • Good quality 4K video


  • Only 20MP – low compared to the cheaper model R which has 30MP

Sony A7 IV – Best Sony all-around mirrorless camera for animal photography

The Sony A7 IV is the fourth generation of their series of mirrorless cameras, and it has come a long way from the original model, adding a series of high-end features.

This mirrorless camera has a whopping 33MP which ensures the best image quality (detailed and sharp animal photography), and also offers a dust and moisture resistant body (great for wildlife shooting) and built-in image stabilisation.

The Sony A7 IV‘s impressive real-time tracking auto focus and human, animal and bird-eye AF make it an excellent choice for wildlife photography, both for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts.


  • Impressive AF capabilities – important for photographing wildlife
  • 33MP giving professional level image quality
  • Array of functions on the body allowing for greater control


  • Requires a fast SD card due to its high capabilities

Nikon Z6 II – Best Nikon mirrorless camera for wildlife

Quickly catching up to its competitors, the Z6 II is the latest in Nikons small range of high quality mirrorless cameras, and a serious competitor for best mirrorless camera for wildlife.

Although the Nikon Z6 II is largely the same as its predecessors in what it offers: 24.5MP, tilting LCD screen and 14fps continuous shooting, it has a couple of new features.

An added SD card slot allows for more storage, especially when using the 4K video features, and the addition of a second image sensor, meaning this model works faster and produces better results. 


  • Solid build, weather proof body
  • Slightly more affordable than other brands (perhaps a better choice for beginners just getting into wildlife photography)
  • Performs well in low-light conditions
  • Included on my list of best Nikon mirrorless cameras!


  • Doesn’t quite match up to other brand’s capabilities, with lower megapixels and FPS.

Canon EOS R5 – Best overall mirrorless camera for wildlife photography

Canon’s R5 and R6 are very similar however the R5 comes out on top as arguably their best mirrorless camera to date, with a huge price jump to match.

(Both the R5 and R6 made the top 5 mirrorless cameras of 2022)

Not only does it have 8K video, it also has an insane 45MP sensor and 8-stop IBIS.

These features are a class ahead of all but a few extremely high end cameras on the market, making the Canon R5 mirrorless camera a best choice for serious wildlife photographers looking for a lighter body with top-end capabilities.

When paired with a Canon telephoto lens, it’s hard to beat this mirrorless camera!


  • 8K Video – get some great animal videos alongside your photography
  • 45MP – unparalleled image quality
  • ISO up to 102,400
  • Incomparable in-body image stabilisation
  • Extremely fast processing speeds and usability


  • Price limits it to those willing to spend

Sony A1 – Best “money is no object” camera for shooting wildlife

One of the few cameras that may match up to Canon’s R5, the Sony A1 mirrorless camera hosts a range of top end features and is widely considered the most versatile professional camera right now.

In certain areas it actually beats the R5, with 30fps continuous shooting, and 50.1MP, although the cost of this camera certainly shows this.

Also featuring 8K video, the Sony A1 AF is impossibly fast, and perfectly blends high resolution and speed to produce some of the highest quality images you may ever shoot.



  • Be ready to spend!


Now you’ve just got to find the wildlife! Skomer Island in Puffin season is a good place to start!

It’s clear that no matter which of these best mirrorless cameras you hope to buy for shooting wildlife, you will have to shell out some money, however the features and capabilities more than make this worth your while!

Here are some great wildlife photography tips!

For overall quality and accessibility, the Canon R5 is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a very high-quality camera with professional results.

The Nikon Z6 II and Sony A7 IV are also strong contenders in this regard, closely matching up to the specs of both the Canon R6 and Canon R5.

If you have more money to spare and are a professional looking to upgrade, you may consider the Sony A1 for its market leading repertoire of features however at its current price point, you can find many of these features on other slightly cheaper models.

Wildlife photography is also fun for beginners, however if you’re looking to up your game check out one of these courses!

If you’re looking for some wildlife photography inspiration here are my favourite spots in New Zealand!

DISCLOSURE: I may earn a small commission from some of the links above. For the benefit of the doubt, please assume all links might be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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