Best Camera for Pet Photography

Hello beautiful people,

No camera, no photos? Well, yes and no. Nowadays lots of people are happy with their 1000€ cell phone cameras. And they do deliver better and better images with each generation.

So why should you invest in a dedicated camera that you need to carry around?

Pros of a dedicated camera:

* higher image quality due to the bigger sensor capturing more light
* zoom possibility using a zoom lens with awesome image quality
* macro possibility using a macro lens 
* action images with razor sharp details

So if you want to do more than take some snap shops of your pets, then investing in a dedicated camera makes totally sense.

How to select a camera for animal photography?

Sensor: Crop sensor vs. Full frame

Crop sensors are really good cameras and good work tools. They cost less than a full frame camera and most of the times weigh less than their full frame brothers. It can also be very effective for telephoto photography (animals. Wildlife, sports, action) for the extra reach gained from the crop sensor multiplier.

A full frame sensor provides a wider dynamic range and better low light/high ISO performance yielding a higher quality image than a crop sensor. Full frame cameras will also deliver a shallower depth of field than a crop sensor camera. In other words, when shooting at the same focal length, using the same aperture settings and shooting from the exact same angle/distance to the subject, the full frame camera will have a shallower depth of field (more bokeh) than the crop sensor camera.

Depending on your budget and the look you want from your images, you go either with crop or full frame.

Fast frame rates

Animals tend to not keeping particularly still, which can be problematic when trying to take sharp photos of them. The sharpness almost seems to decrease the faster they move. I know this was me for a long time. 🙃 So what saved me as high or fast frame rates.

Looking for a camera with at least 10fps (frames per second) will capture more steps during the an action photo-shooting.


Look for a cameras which offers super-fast autofocusing, a good spread of AF points across the frame, and in particular, good tracking focus. Many modern cameras also include Animal Eye AF, which helps to get pin sharp shots even as your pet moves across the frame.

Having a fast autofocusing camera it will still be only half of the rent since a “slow” lens will not be able to keep up with your camera nor your pet.

Lenses: Zoom vs Prime

A zoom lens has a variable focal length. By turning the zoom ring, you move optical elements inside the lens to achieve a different angle of view. This means that you can make objects appear larger by turning the zoom ring in one direction, or fit more objects into the frame by turning it in the opposite direction. This makes a zoom lens super versatile.

Modern zoom lenses often offer 3-4 stop image stabilization systems (Canon’s Image Stabilization (IS), Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR), Sigma’s Optical Stabilization (OS) or Tamron’s Vibration Compensation (VC)). A single zoom lens can replace two or three prime lenses. This also means that you only need to worry about moving around with a single attached lens.

A prime lens is a lens with a fixed focal length. What this means is that such a lens has a set angle of view that can not be changed – unless you move, you can not make the image appear larger or smaller within the frame. The only way of enlarging your subject and making it fill more of the frame is by physically getting closer to it. In turn, the only way to fit more into the frame is to step back.

Prime lenses offer not just better light gathering abilities, but also shallow depth of field, which can result in photographs with beautifully rendered background highlights known as “ bokeh“. A fast prime lens will allow you to shoot subjects in low light environments without introducing blur, thanks to a larger / wider aperture.

Soooo, what should you choose? This is really hard to answer because it depends on each person.

Breath in, breath out and press the shutter. Hugs, Alex

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