What camera system has the best autofocus function for animal detection?

You’ve arrived at the ideal location if you’re interested in learning more about your camera’s animal detection autofocus. We have also been interested in it. Additionally, each camera system approaches the task differently. And for some people, it might be really perplexing. It may also be quite annoying at other times. Therefore, we are investigating animal detection on several camera systems.

Depending on the camera system, different animals may be detected. Numerous of them combine bird and animal detection. The largest producer of full-frame cameras that doesn’t do this is Sony. However, in essence, it instructs the autofocus to scan the area and favor concentrating on an animal above a person, a bike, a vehicle, etc. You’re in luck since we’ve examined several cameras that can accomplish this.

To be clear, we’ve tested each of the cameras we discuss in this piece.


There are a few methods to autofocus on Canon cameras. The technology can analyze a scene and identify certain elements. It will identify all kinds of animals if you set it to animal vs. human. In order to recognize animals, we have employed the Canon EOS R3, Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R6, and Canon EOS R7. Each time, the animal detection mode successfully discovered both birds and animals.

This practically translates to fewer missed shots for you. You may easily adjust your camera to animal mode while strolling through a forest. You can be taking pictures of chipmunks one second and hawks the next. Otherwise, in order to gain focus, you would have to physically move the autofocus point over the object. Focusing on a bird through trees is often considerably tougher than that. However, a system that detected the warbler in the trees could get it more quickly.

Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:

EOS R5 Canon
EOS R6 Canon
EOS R3 Canon

September 2022 update: The most cutting-edge camera for Nikon in terms of animal identification is the Z9. Animals and birds are bundled together in it. Since the Z7 II and Z6 II only offer detection for essentially pets, we utilized the Z9 in our evaluation and found it to be much superior. Additionally, we are aware of the Z9’s enhanced focusing.
Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:

Sony Z9

Sony has a system that is intricate yet efficient. You’ll need to adjust the camera appropriately if you bring the Sony a1 or even an earlier model like the Sony a7r III into the forest to shoot pictures of birds and other wildlife. When you point your camera at your dog, the Sony a1 won’t perform the best job of focusing on it in bird-detection mode. You will thus need to rapidly access the menu system and change it to animal emphasis priority. Additionally, it works nicely with the Sony a7 IV.

This is something we’ve done, and at times it’s been really frustrating.

Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:

a Sony A1 and an a7 IV


September 2022 update: The world of nature has now welcomed Fujifilm! They feature two cameras that can distinguish between animal and bird detection. The XH2 is one option; it is slower than the XH2s, its elder sister. With the appropriate lenses, the latter, which is built for speed, may do well.

Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:

Panasonic XH2s

You may take pictures of birds with an animal-autofocus detecting camera like the Panasonic S5. The G9 and GH5 II are two examples of Micro Four Thirds cameras that can accomplish it. Overall, it performs a reasonably excellent job, although it doesn’t follow the subjects as well as Sony and Canon do. It just doesn’t have the same hit rate even after adjusting the focusing profiles.
Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:

S5 Panasonic

Fujifilm GH5 II

The Olympus OMD EM1x offers an animal and bird focusing feature. But it’s not all that good. In light of our evaluation:

“In terms of wildlife, I was really dissatisfied with the tracking, which was essentially inconsistent. I had problems with otters, monkeys, and birds. I was very disappointed with birds. as the birds remained motionless, the Olympus OMD EM1X was able to focus on them pretty darn well, but as they began to get ready to take flight, the camera couldn’t really keep up to concentrate on them for every photo. For the record, I was using the low continuous silence option, which produces 18 frames per second. C-AF and tracking can only function in that manner.

Undoubtedly, this is frustrating. Though it still isn’t as excellent as the OM SYSTEM OM-1, it has made some progress. When used with the appropriate lenses, the OM1 has emerged as one of the top birding cameras we’ve tested with firmware upgrades.

Best Cameras for Detecting Animals and Birds:



Although the Leica SL2-S lacks focusing for animals, the system has sometimes recognized moving animals as moving objects. Additionally, it has tracked them traveling slowly with respectable efficiency.

In our opinion, Canon offers the greatest mechanism for focusing that detects animals.

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