If you want to get into the wildlife photography game then I have one bit of advice for you – get a camera with a lens that gives you some serious zoom.

Despite the advancements in smartphone cameras they simply don’t zoom well enough to get good wildlife pics for anything that isn’t within arms reach.

Try taking a picture of something bad ass like a hyena on your smartphone. That hyena picture will be crap unless it is getting close to you in order to eat your gorgeous face.

Yup, I took a picture of a hyena carrying around a wildebeest head with my smartphone. It’s crap. Complete crap.

Point-and-clicks generally have better zooming lens. This will help your cause, but most animals will be just far enough away that the quality of your photos won’t be great.

I took this photo of an owl with a point-and-click. The zoom lens on the point-and-click closed the distance between the owl and I to the point where I could get a picture that is obviously an owl. However, it’s not a good photo – the owl is small in the frame.

Thus, you need a DSLR camera, I like Canons, and a large lens. I recommend the Canon 100-400mm lens.

Why I Like The Canon 100-400mm Lens:

Closing Distance

The zoom capabilities of the Canon 100-400mm lens REALLY let you close the distance between yourself and an animal. That, in my opinion, is the most important thing when it comes to gear that enhances your wildlife photography – you need a lens that will let you “get closer” to the animal without actually getting closer.

Check this out…

Here is where I was compared to the nest of storks…

I’m a good 25-30 feet from the tree where the stork nest resides.

Here is the picture I got with a Canon Rebel DSLR and the Canon 100-400mm lens…

The Canon 100-400mm lens cuts right through the distance. I mean, did you notice that there is a fat ass iguana on the left branch?? I didn’t even see that iguana with the naked eye.

This lens easily closes 30 feet of distance between you and an animal. That is great for animals that would be spooked by your approach or would want to kill you.

Pros Of The Canon 100-400mm Lens: Capturing Detail

The Canon 100-400mm lens really lets you capture exquisite detail…

Look at the skin on this gorgeous girl!

Capturing the details of nature is where it’s at: bumps on an elephant’s skin, manatee whiskers, or the eye of a caiman – this lens delivers on those details!

Why I Like The Canon 100-400mm Lens:

Ah, but even the best tools have their flaws. The Canon 100-400mm lens is no different…

It’s Heavy

I’ve lugged this lens around Brazil, Peru, the Everglades, and more. If you are on foot and carrying around this lens you will become all too familiar with its weight. Get yourself some kind of shoulder harness for your DSLR to help distribute the weight of the lens.

I always have to have one hand on the camera when I’m hiking with it. Otherwise, it will swing everywhere and you will feel the weight in your neck.

It’s Pricey

Hey, a high quality lens comes with a price – between $1,700-$2,200.

If you can afford this lens and you take it to the wild places of the world then definitely get an insurance policy on it. You would hate to break it and completely lose your investment.


The Canon 100-400mm lens is a great lens for wildlife photography – the pros vastly outweigh the cons.

This lens really allowed me to level-up in my wildlife photography and gave me the ability to capture images that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get. If you can afford it then I highly recommend this lens!

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