This is my review of the best cameras to take out on safaris and capture stunning shots of both landscapes and animals.
All of the below choices do a great job on a safari, but the Fujifilm X-T3 is the best of the best thanks to its well-rounded design and strong construction.
I enjoy photography and making movies, two activities that have given me intimate knowledge of how cameras work as well as what attributes make them stand out. That, combined with my love of travel and ample research, allowed me to pick the best camera for safaris.
The X-T3 checks every box when it comes to a good safari camera. From the stunning resolution to crisp clarity, advanced autofocus, and a sturdy build the model will deliver you excellent wildlife photography with every click.
However, it’s far from the only safari camera out there. This guide will cover some other excellent options and break down what key traits you want to look for when getting them.
- Best Overall: Fujifilm X-T3
- Most Durable: Canon 90D
- Most Intuitive: Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ1000
- Best DSLR: Canon 5D
- Best Budget: Canon Powershot SX740
Top Choices for Best Camera for Safari
The following choices are my favorite safari cameras that all bring something unique to the table.
- Best for: Overall
- Key Features: Mirrorless design. 4k recording and strong internal SD card. Excellent processor. Tough, weather-resistant body and top tier autofocus function.
- Optical Zoom: 3x
- Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Style: Mirrorless
Equipped with a slew of impressive features, including amazing autofocus and 4K recording, the Fujifilm X-T3 is a wonderful model to bring out with you to a safari.
This easy-to-handle item does well in low-light, gives you a strong processor, and has some of the best resolution on the market. That combination enables you to take up close plant and animal pictures with stunning clarity.
The other reason this model makes the top of the list is its strong construction. Not only did Fujifilm give the X-T3 excellent materials, they also outfitted it with a solid all-weather design to ensure you never get caught off guard while on your journey.
This is not a perfect camera. It lacks true image stabilization and the battery life could definitely be longer. Even so, it will give you incredible videos and shots no matter where you go.
- Best for: Durability.
- Key Features: 4K UHD 30P. Excellent image quality thanks to the 32.5 megapixel CMOS sensor. Wireless connectivity. A powerful, all-weather build.
- Optical Zoom: 0x
- Weight: 1.32 pounds
- Style: DSLR
The Canon 90D is a strong, well-made camera. The weather-proofing, in particular, makes it an excellent choice for those who want to go out into dusty, wet, or unstable environments. You’re never going to have to worry about any external factors affecting your shooting capabilities.
This camera is also more than a strong body. There are a ton of impressive specs packed into this device. The 32.5 megapixel CMOS sensor works wonders, and the full HD 120 video looks incredible.
The camera even comes with full Wi-Fi functionality, making it easy to connect to your phone, as well as a full dynamic range. It could be a bit better in low-light and all the menus and functions are much too busy for what they offer.
Despite those small drawbacks, the 90D is a strong device that will help you record or capture anything you see on your safari.
- Best for: Casual or new users.
- Key Features: Streamlined, easy-to-use design. Strong sensor that works well in low light situations. Wi-Fi capabilities and excellent lens stabilization.
- Optical Zoom: 16x
- Weight: 1.83 pounds
- Style: Point and shoot
If you’re a novice to the photography world or someone who doesn’t want to get overwhelmed by modern features, the Panasonic Lumix is the way to go.
This is a well-rounded model that does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. That’s due to the 1MP MOS sensor, which gives you better low light capture, as well as the amazing lens stabilizer that enables you to shoot without blur.
Another bonus here is the Wi-Fi capabilities that let you integrate the camera with your smartphone. You get remote imaging control through the Panasonic image app. The body is also extremely strong and the build is natural to use. That’s useful if you’re out shooting all day.
This camera is definitely not the most feature-heavy out there, which might be a bummer for those who want something cutting edge. The lens is also not interchangeable. Even so, it still makes my list for safari cameras because of how easily it lets you capture photos with ease.
- Best for: DSLR fans.
- Key Features: Great weather sealing for a multitude of conditions. Great resolution. 4k motion JPEG video. Good weight and comfortable to handle.
- Optical Zoom: 1x
- Weight: 1.76 pounds
- Style: DSLR
There are many great camera types to take out onto a safari, but if you want the best of the best, a DSLR is a great purchase. There are a few solid models, but the Canon 5D is one of the best thanks to its lightweight design, handability, and stunning resolution.
This is a model you’ll be able to bring out into just about any environment (thanks to the weather sealing) and it provides stunning 4K motion capture. There are a few setbacks, however. This is not the best camera for low light situations. It lacks a tilt screen and electronic viewfinder (EVF).
You should also note that this is one of the more expensive safari camera options out there, but that’s when you get when looking at a higher-end DSLR. Overall, the inherent versatility and full-frame sensor easily put it on my list.
- Best for: Budget users
- Key Features: 40x optical zoom. Solid optical image stabilizer with zoom framing assist. Shoots in 4k video and has a high-speed continuous shooting. Small size. Easy portable.
- Optical Zoom: 40x
- Weight: 0.61 pounds
- Style: Point and shoot
The Powershot SX740 is a fantastic safari camera for those who want something that won’t cost an arm and a leg. That alone makes it worth the purchase, but the specs and impressive handleability truly put it over the top.
This model comes in at a much lower price point than many more premium options, but still does a good job when you’re out on safari. Even while saving some money, you get 4K video, 40x optical zoom, an optical image stabilizer, and high-speed continuous shooting.
Another bonus is the size. This is a lightweight camera with a smaller shell that you can easily carry around in your pocket or bag. It’s also easy to hold for long periods of time, meaning you’ll have no issue while you bring it around on a longer safari.
You will certainly not get any extra features or premium traits, but most people looking for a compact device won’t even notice they’re gone.
Best Camera for Safari: What to Look For
When getting a safari camera, there are a few key attributes you want to keep in mind. The following will give you a better device.
You need to be quick when out on a safari. That means your camera needs to be quick too. It’s easy to miss something if you aren’t ready, especially with so many interesting animals running around. To ensure you get perfect shots, you need a device with a good frame rate (fps).
That metric shows how many frames a camera can capture in one second, and it gives you more chances at taking the picture or image you want. A high FPS is important when photographing wildlife in particular because you never know when an animal will move or react.
When you’re out on Safari, you’re going out into the wild. Not only does that mean sun, and rain, it also means you’re going to encounter different obstacles and unknown factors. When entering such regions, it’s important to get a camera that’s able to withstand both heat and cold.
When possible, purchase a device that’s able to withstand bumps, dings, or accidents. Safaris, while fun and relaxing, can also be unpredictable. If you’re taking an interesting shot or something unexpected happens you want to ensure your camera can bounce back with ease.
When getting a camera for a fun event, like a safari, it can be easy to go overboard. That’s to say, you can end up spending a lot of money on something that, while impressive, you can’t easily use.
That might mean it’s too bulky, comes with too many buttons, or is filled with extra features you don’t understand. Always avoid getting something that’s too much for your experience level.
Not only will that make the camera much less fun to use, it may also cause problems when trying to snap a fast photo and cause you to miss a good opportunity. Streamlined devices with simple interfaces are always preferred unless you’re truly experienced with your device.
The Fujifilm X-T3 is my pick for the best safari camera. It’s packed to the brim with exciting features, including 4k recording and a great internal SD card. Everything comes out picture perfect and clear.
The large sensor is excellent if you want to venture out at dusk or in the early morning. All of that is then complemented by a strong body to ensure you’ll be able to shoot no matter what weather you encounter.