Capturing the Moment: Gear for Birdwatching

Alamo is home to world-class birdwatching, touting some of the more unique species of birds in the region. Birders from across the country flock to Alamo to catch a glimpse of some of our beautiful and rare feathered guests.

Birdwatching and nature photography go hand-in-hand, and getting good photos of birds in the wild is especially challenging. With that in mind, we’d like to give beginners a better sense of birdwatching gear to get the most out of their photos. Seeing beautiful birds is one thing; capturing that moment on film is something else entirely.

Digital Needs

birding-gearWhen it comes to nature photography, a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera is the best way to go. DSLRs offer users versatility and allow the use of different lenses depending on the situation. They also have excellent autofocus features as well as high-speed shooting capabilities.

Photographing nature is tough because animals, especially birds, are unpredictable and can move very quickly. A good DSLR will allow you to capture great photos without fear of scaring off birds. They can also capture high-speed moments such as birds taking flight.

Important Terms

When shopping for DSLRs, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to features. Megapixels can easily distract a first-time buyer since companies will always tout a higher amount. The truth is that an effective camera for beginners and professionals alike should be around eight megapixels. Anything higher is great but may not be worth the price.

Frame rate determines how many photos a camera can take in a second. If you’re looking to capture action shots and birds in flight, a higher frame rate is crucial to catching the proper image. Autofocus functions are good for beginners, but the more sophisticated they get, the higher the price. If you’re just starting out, keep things simple.

Point-and-Shoot vs. Camera Bodies

DSLRs, while preferred, are not the only options for budding photographers. Certain point-and-shoot cameras are great, though they lack the versatility of larger DSLRs. Camera bodies, though more expensive, are the choice of professionals due to their wealth of features, versatility and customization.

They’re a worthwhile investment, even for beginners, but if you’re looking for a more compact option, point-and-shoot cameras like the Canon Powershot S120 or the Sony RX100 IV are good options for the more portable variation.

The Beauty of Alamo

Whatever gear you pick, the City of Alamo will give you memories you will never forget. We’re a beautiful and growing city that’s also the birding capital of South Texas. Whether you come for a weekend or lay down roots, Alamo welcomes all.


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