Wildlife Photography equipment start

We began our journey in photography capturing architecture, landscapes, plants or animals at the zoo, with a Nikon D5600 and two kit lens: Nikkor 18-55 mm and 70-300 mm.
Soon we started to love photographing birds and aspiring more and more to wildlife photography. But we felt that we were limited by our equipment so we have done some research about what we needed to make the first steps to wildlife.

Here is our starting pack:

1. Camera
While starting photographing birds, we realized that we need not only bigger lens, but also an action camera.
After some research we choosed the Nikon D500, which seemed the most suited for wildlife and for our budget at the time.
It made a big difference comparing with our first D5600.
The maximum continuous shooting speed is 10 frames/second (fps), and the autofocus system is very fast and precise. 

Here are some shots with the D500:

2. Lens
As any wildlife photographer knows, you always need a bigger focal length, in order get a better shot of the animals, more clarity, close-ups and sharpness, so we bought the Sigma 250-600 f/5-6.3 Contemporary.
The Nikkor 70-300 is also pretty good for wildlife but not enough, that depends on what do you want to obtain with the shot or how close you can get on the animals.

Here are some photos captured with 300 and with 600 mm

These were taken from the same distance and no crop was applied:

With crop applied:

3. Binocular
It’s a nice to have for spotting and identifying species, although we haven’t used it to often until now, or maybe we didn’t have a very good one until now.

4. Camera straps
Another important aspect for us is to feel comfortable. We have these two models of camera straps, over the shoulder with quick release. The quick release was a must have for us as it allows you a good flexibility with the camera.
Also, an important aspect if you order one is to check his length, for some models it might happen to be too short and impossible to use.

Here’s ours:

5. Backpack
A good backpack is also very important for wildlife, as for the equipment’s protection, space for the lens and also your own comfort.

We think that we made an excellent choice with this Lowepro Protactic model.
A few pro’s that we want to mention are:
• we can keep both cameras with the lens attached (300 and 600 mm);
• it’s waterproof, having also a raincoat attached;
• it has many adjustable compartments, for accessories, laptop and also exterior compartments included for tripod ;
• it’s comfortable and suited for long walks in nature or at the mountain.
This is it:

6. Camouflage clothes and hides
Animals can feel us anyway but we want to be as discreet as possible. This means using camouflage clothes and we also bought recently a hide.

Anyway, remember that the equipment is not your most important tool. The most important tool is learning about the animals that you want to photograph, having patience and perseverance to obtain the best shots.

Thank you for your interest, we would also like to hear from you. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this topic don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.

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