Wildlife Photography on a Budget

Posted by Govind Vijayakumar on June 8th, 2019

 Are you interested in doing wildlife photography? Are the prices of telephoto lenses and camera bodies worrying you to try out this type of photography? I have seen many people who are reluctant to get into wildlife photography as the cost of the high end super telephoto lenses and camera bodies are high.


But, what if I tell you that you don’t need expensive gear to shoot wildlife. Yes, it is true; actually, you don’t need a fancy camera and lens to photograph wildlife. You can even do it with an entry level DSLR camera and a standard zoom lens which covers the telephoto range.

You need to have a thorough understanding of photography basics and should know the strengths and limitations of your camera gear. Budget DSLR cameras will have less ISO tolerance. So, you will have a restriction on the ISO levels. For example, anything above ISO 800 tends to be very noisy in most of the entry-level camera models. So, set a threshold limit to your ISO settings. 

Another thing is the lighting. When it comes to shooting wildlife, you are entirely dependent on the natural light. An entry-level camera will not allow you to capture good pictures in low light conditions. So, you will have to make a trade-off here. So, don’t try to shoot in low light conditions; you will end up in a grainy image, which is tough to recover.

Photographing wildlife with an entry-level camera in low light condition will only help to increase the camera shutter count. The final image will end up in the trash bin of your computer. So, don’t waste your camera shutter.

The cheapest telephoto lens which you can get would be the 55-250mm lens, which comes around $ 150. An entry level DSLR camera will cost about $ 300. So, you can get a basic wildlife gear under $ 500. Use this gear to learn wildlife photography and to develop your style.

When an action scene happens, you may miss some of the critical frames if you are using burst mode. It is because you will get only 4-5 frames per second in Burst mode with an entry-level camera. So, don’t feel bad. Another technique is to wait for the moment patiently and trigger the camera once you know the specific action is about to happen. So, you need to time your shots correctly. It will only come through practice.

Later, you can upgrade your camera gear, once you have the budget. The primary kit lens, the 18-55mm one is good for capturing good wide-angle wildlife frames. Many photographers have captured award-winning wildlife images with this lens. So, don’t underestimate this basic kit lens, which you get with all entry-level cameras. 

Concentrate on things like Image composition and Image exposure initially with whatever camera gear you are having. You need to master these two areas in photography to get the best shots out of any camera. 

I have seen people who shoot beautiful images with their bridge cameras. So, it doesn’t matter what type of camera you use. The thing that matters is how you use it. 

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Govind Vijayakumar

About the Author

Govind Vijayakumar
Joined: June 7th, 2019
Articles Posted: 1