Someone who is looking at buying a new camera specifically for photographing birds (or with birds intending to be their main subjects), and knowing they want a Nikon, has a lot of choices.
Is there a “best” Nikon camera for bird photography?
Not really. A great photographer will be able to take superb bird photos with almost any Nikon camera. But that’s not to overlook the fact that some cameras definitely have their advantages for taking photos of birds, which is one of the most challenging types of photography there is.
Is a Nikon D500 going to have a better chance of capturing an eagle flying past trees and bushes than, say, a D3500? Naturally, the D500 with its superior autofocus abilities and fast frame rate is going to put you in a better position for success in those situations; but the lens you’re using will quite obviously play an important part of the equation as well.
Image quality wise: an entry level Nikon DSLR matches the image quality you can get from any other camera in Nikon’s line up, save perhaps the D850. The 24mp DX sensors used in modern Nikons are top of the range. In fact, it’s astounding that we are able to enjoy this superb sensor in such low cost cameras as in the D3XXX and D5XXX of the last few years – if you can do without the pro features of the cameras higher up the range.
This extensive guide takes an in depth look at not only the current range of Nikon cameras, but also the older models that you can pick up used today at a significantly discounted price compared to when they were released. And yes, those 5+ year old camera bodies are still capable of taking brilliant photos today.. despite what the marketing departments will try and make you believe 😉