Since originally published in December of 2021, a lot has changed in the camera world, so we updated our post on a quick comparison of the animal autofocus detection of various cameras. You can check out the post here. 2022 showed us a lot of new changes in the camera world with great things coming in terms of technology. Besides insanely fast frame rates, companies started to show what’s possible with their animal detection systems. So we’re quickly talking about all of them.
A lot of this can be read about in our post and further explored within our hyperlinked reviews. But here’s what you need to know.
- Canon is pretty much the king! The Canon EOS R3 puts animal detection and bird detection together. The focusing was passed down to the R7 and R10, but the R7 is really the strong contender here.
- Nikon does group animals and birds together, but at the time of publishing this story, the Z9 is the only Nikon model to do it.
- Sony separated Animals and birds into different categories, but it works very well.
- Panasonic keeps birds and animals together with varying degrees of success.
- Leica doesn’t have animal autofocus detection yet.
- Fujifilm finally has animal detection, and separates birds with the X series cameras. It does a pretty good job.
- OM SYSTEM has animal and bird detection separated. Coupled with the Pro Capture mode and the fantastic processor in the OM-1, it’s one of the most capable systems out there for capturing animals and birds. We rate it above Nikon and almost as good as Sony and Canon.
Overall, cameras have done a great job at putting AI databases at the front for animal detection. Further, they’ve also provided lenses that can support this kind of work. But of course, we think they could do more. There’s a sincere need for more fast primes from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and the L mount alliance for full-frame cameras. And even so, Fujifilm could do more than just their 200mm f2 lens. In fact, that’s one of the most innovative lenses out there with its teleconverter being made just for an f2 aperture lens.
Lots of folks hate on Micro Four Thirds, but they shouldn’t be counted out. OM SYSTEM does things with computational photography no other camera company does. They’re also the lightest system of wildlife photography. All they need to do is give their customers faster telephoto prime lenses. An OM SYSTEM 200mm f2 lens would be incredible, especially if it had a teleconverter. Anything that could render an f8 depth of field equivalence in full-frame would be super welcome.
With all this AI, some folks are scared it’s going to eventually replace the photographer. When film photography was outdone by digital, things changed and more photographers popped up. The same thing happened for mirrorless cameras and smartphones. If anything, it just means that the bottom end is coming up. And it should mean that you as a photographer may need to reconsider how you’re shooting. Maybe you should be using this new AI autofocus tech to bolster your skills. Rather than focusing on just getting the bird in the shot, use the AI and focus on your composition for example. Or try a new approach.