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Wildlife and Scenic Photography Equipment Recommendations


Hi, I am to photography. For a very long time I have wanted to learn the art of wildlife and scenic photography. What advice do you have on equipment? I am starting from scratch any tips on what equipment I need and tips of capturing beauty of this earth, I would really appreciate any advice or where would be a good place to start. -Thank you-



There are some nice Canon Training Articles available.   On the left side of that page, you can narrow the articles down to say Landscape and Nature Wildlife.

In terms of landscapes or wildlife, are you able to pick one? Or would you like to start with both?   I ask since the equipment will most likely vary (lenses mostly).

In general though, at this point in time, I would recommend any of Canon's R-series cameras along with RF (or RF-S) lenses.   There's a wide range of cameras available at different price points (from the EOS R100 all the way up to the current top being the EOS R3).

By the way, do you have a budget on what you'd be able to spend?


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


Hi Ashley and welcome to the forum:

I have been a wildlife and scenic photographer for over 40 years and it is a wonderful and rewarding past-time.  In pursuing your images you get to see wonderful sights in nature and enjoy the great world we exist within.

I gather that you are new to photography so you have a bit of a learning curve to go through.  Getting a successful image is dependent on your ability to understand the nature of light and exposure, how to measure it and set your camera controls up for the right effect using the three main controls: aperture, shutter speed and ISO (it's actually a word, so don't spell it).
To get you going with that, I suggest viewing the following video on the basics of photography by National Geographic photographer Chris Bray: 

My colleagues will doubtless have other sources for learning the basics and I encourage you to explore them all. 

If you have access to your local library's on-line catalogue, look for an item called Linked-In Learning.  If it is available, you have free access to a great source of on-line tutorials using your library access.  Just do a search for photography fundamentals and you will have a range of courses by professional tutors that cover topics from the very basics to advanced topics.  Also if your local college has courses it may be worthwhile checking out their offerings.

The other aspect of photography is the creative, or artistic side, and that comes with studying the work of others - both photographers and painters.  There are many great wildlife and scenic photographers out there, and among my favourites is Sabastio Salgado - his book of natural images - Genesis, taken in black and white, is a masterpiece.  Still, a search on Google will render many names to follow up on.

Wildlife is a somewhat specialist subject and usually involves getting to know the animals you want to photograph in some depth.  The more you know of them the safer you and they are, and the better you will understand and anticipate their behavior, so allowing you to get better images. I would encourage you  to also watch videos on wildlife, to learn not only about the animals themselves, but to examine the techniques used by the photographers and videographers.  The BBC David Attenborough series are fantastic for that.

Wildlife has many genres: from taking very close-up images of tiny insects and reptiles, to capturing birds or macro predators.  Each of these tends to demand differences in gear, so it is helpful to learn early on what kinds of wildlife you want to photograph.  For example, for close-up images of tiny creatures you may want specialist close-up lenses, but for shooting birds of large animals big reach telephoto lenses, often zooms are required.  So this can get fairly expensive, but there are ways of starting off relatively cheaply.  Very often what are called crop-sensor cameras are an advantage in this area - as you study cameras this will make more sense.
EF 100-400MkII, 286mm, f/8, 1/640sec, ISO-200EF 100-400MkII, 286mm, f/8, 1/640sec, ISO-200  R6MkII, EF 100-400@ 400mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO-6400R6MkII, EF 100-400@ 400mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO-6400  Female Sumatran Tiger: 403mm, f/7.1, 1/80sec, ISO-100Female Sumatran Tiger: 403mm, f/7.1, 1/80sec, ISO-100

Scenic photography is more likely to involve moderately wide to moderate telephoto lenses and Full-frame cameras. So the more specialist you become so the equipment list diverges.

EOS 7D, 105mm, f/8, 1/3200, ISO-200EOS 7D, 105mm, f/8, 1/3200, ISO-200  Muriwai-Gannet colony A.jpg  NZ Fiordland Te Anau Lake Reflections 02a.jpg  NZ Fiordland Wanaka Lake.jpg    20180502063140Day 06 003.jpg Untitled_Panorama1-6-1-1.jpg

So far you notice that I have not suggested a specific camera and lenses, and I am doing so because I hope you can be more specific about which genres you are most inclined towards - as I hope I have explained, each suggests a somewhat different gear list. 
All that said, one of the most important things to do is to learn the basics, and that means study and practice.  So, to help with that, please consider the following document and perhaps use it to answer some of the questions it poses.  The most fundamental question is one of budget, for example!
Considerations for Buying Camera Gear 

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and that great video. It was exactly what I needed to get things started.


As Ricky states, what is your budget?

Canon EOS T7; EF-S 18-55mm IS; EF 28-135mm IS; EF 75-300mm; Sigma 150-600mm DG
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