The excitement of a screaming run and arm-aching fight are both crucial parts of the carp fishing experience. But it wouldn’t be quite as nice without the means of capturing that moment with an absolute beast of a carp on the bank.
Thanks to social media and amazing advances in photography-tech, high-quality cameras have become a common feature in an anglers carry-all.
However, this great new technology comes with some downsides. Mainly that modern cameras are packed with features and it isn’t easy to get a handle on all the jargon to decide what kind of camera is best.
I receive quite a few queries asking for my recommendations on the best camera for carp fishing, so to settle this once and for all, below are my top picks for the best carp fishing camera.
|Nikon D750||Canon Eos M100||Sony Alpha 5100||Fujifilm X-T2||Canon 5d MKIII|
Max. Frame Rate
LCD Screen Type
Best Camera for Carp Fishing - Product Reviews
Best Overall Camera for Carp Fishing
- Ergonomic with a grip that is long and deep
- Tilting 3.2-inch LCD screen which is great for high and low-angled compositions
- Fantastic image quality in low-light conditions is good for night carp fishing
- Dust and water resistance makes it perfect for near-water photography
- Its 24-MP images are lighter and easier to save
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Great value for money
- Not 4K
- No touchscreen
- Modest shutter speed of 1/4000
Launched in 2014, the Nikon D750 still finds itself amongst the best DSLRs around right now and at a better price point than many direct competitors.
First of all, I like that it has 51 square focusing points, of which 15 are cross-type focus points. This gives this camera one of the best focus abilities and makes it a great choice for shooting something happening fast.
What makes it even better is its shooting ability at 6.5 FPS (frames per second) as this will capture, without any digital noise, between all of those fast movements by your carp.
That’s the main reason why I would put this camera on any list for sports and wildlife photography.
For your trophy shots, you can put it in auto-focus continuous mode at a single focusing point and for the best results.
It has a built-in flash that you can use in its different modes so this is also a solid camera for flash photography.
If you are fond of night fishing, the Nikon D750 also has an auto-focus assist lamp for low-light conditions. This helps you focus any point in low light by releasing a light ray.
For various recommended settings and to get the best out of your Nikon D750, do go through the below video.
In terms of ISO performance of the Nikon D750, it has four high ISO noise reduction settings in low, normal, high, and off. These give you the flexibility of choosing your balance between subject detail and digital noise level in your digital images.
The minimal banding and false colours even at high ISOs is impressive.
Furthermore, the Nikon D750 has fantastic dynamic range. Dynamic range can be termed as a camera’s ability to keep very bright parts of an image from blowing out and very dark parts from being crushed to pure black.
The D750 makes sure your photos retain every detail in the shadows and highlights and ensures that the images are not punchy or contrasted. Dynamic range is measured in stops and just to give you a perspective D750 is a massive 3 stops better than Canon’s 5D III in the lower ISOs.
What a higher dynamic range of D750 means for anglers is less glare effect from the water and less shadowing effect with better detail under those overhanging trees and around bankside foliage.
Overall, there is a lot of great point to pick out on the Nikon D750 as one of the best cameras for carp fishing. What stands out for me is its performance in low-light conditions, fantastic dynamic range, higher adjustability with settings, and an easy-to-use interface.
There are some areas in which it lags behind some of the very latest cameras like the lack of touchscreen, a modest 1/4000 shutter speed and non-4K video but many of those features are overkill for a fishing camera and the D750 comes at a much lower price than other high-end DSLR cameras.
Canon EOS M100
- Compact and easy to use
- Provides crisp and clear image quality for its category
- Has good self-take facilities
- Efficient 3-inch touchscreen
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC functionality
- Excellent price point
- Slow auto-focus, but manual focus is efficient with the touchscreen
- Lacks viewfinder and hot shoe
- Not the best battery runtime
Over the last few years, mirrorless cameras have started to rival the DSLR’s. Although the performance of mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs is debatable, they are much more compact and generally less expensive.
Canon’s EOS M100 is a perfect example. It is lightweight at just 302 grams and costs you under 400 quid.
The main reason for the M100’s inclusion in this list is its simple operation, which is ideal for getting some quick pictures while your fish is out of the water.
The camera has very few controls on the body itself with a three-position mode switch that surrounds the power button.
The lack of physical controls are made up for by its impressive touchscreen implementation, which allows an easy way to navigate through the numerous features should you desire them.
When it comes to image quality, it’s 24-megapixel sensor does a good job. It provides sharp images with a good level of detail.
You can also use it for vlogging with its video mode at 1080/60p video resolution and its tilting screen is a good add-on for using it in this way.
I will say it can be tricky to focus on fast-moving objects due to the lack of a viewfinder and relatively slow auto-focus.
The one let down in the M100 is its image quality in low-light conditions. This is, in part, due to a not-very-bright pop-up flash. What compounds matters is the absence of a hot shoe so you can’t mount an external flash unit. If you plan on taking a lot of night time photos, the M100 may not be a good enough option.
With that said, the Canon EOS M100 is a great option for anglers who are looking for a balanced mixture of performance and value.
Best Value Camera for Carp Fishing
Sony a5100 Mirrorless Camera
It certainly would be unjust to talk about cameras without mentioning Sony. Now, they are one of the pioneers in the “mirrorless revolution”. The Sony a5100 was released back in September 2014 and is, without a doubt, a product still to be admired today for the value it brings.
At 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches and 283 grams, it is compact and is easily pocketable. What pleasantly surprises is its large DSLR-size sensor and 24.3 MP resolution, which is great in this price range.
The standard kit comes with a 16-50 mm lens, which is considered one of the most versatile lenses. This can take care of most of your wide-angle landscapes and macro pictures. However, the Sony Alpha 5100 features an interchangeable lens so you can add any compatible lens at your convenience.
Like earlier options on the list, it comes with a tilting screen. This essentially tilts to 180 degrees and is particularly useful when taking those self-takes and for those interested in vlogging.
Similar to the Canon M100, it has a pop-up flash but lacks a hot shoe. Therefore, you can’t add an external flash unit meaning it might struggle under some low-light conditions. However, with its impressive 10.5 stops dynamic range, it is ideal for day photography and dampens those nasty light rays that bounce off the water.
For ISO performance (light sensitivity), it has a very usable ISO range of 100 to 25600 and produces good JPEG image quality with little to no digital noise. Image stabilization is not the best but it is a trade-off you will have to live with.
The Sony Alpha 5100 comes with 179 phase-detection autofocus points and 25 contrast-detection autofocus points. This, in essence, can capture all of those unpredictable movements by your carp. It can lock in any shot in as little as 0.07 seconds, isn’t that impressive?
On the whole, you will be hard-pressed to find a better option for your outdoor photography than Sony Alpha 5100 in this price range. With its crisp image quality and fast autofocus, it has got most of your carp fishing photography bases covered.
If you are not a fan of the “latest” and would always go with proven technology, Fujifilm’s X-T2 would be a great option. It is an older model of camera but has received high praise during its lifetime. I would recommend it for anybody who has a mid-sized budget and doesn’t want to compromise too much on performance.
The camera is equipped with a 24-MP CMO APS-C sensor and, with its high dynamic range, it comes close to the newer X-T3 and X-T4 that boast 26-MP sensors. It has nice image quality even in high ISO range. The total ISO range is 200 to 12,800, expandable to 51,200.
If customer reviews are anything to go by, the X-T2 has far less digital noise than the newer X-T3 or X-T4. This certainly makes it a better choice for your stills. If I had to pick one major highlight the X-T2, it would be its high-quality super-crisp still shots.
Another thing that stands out is the auto-focusing ability of the X-T2. With a whopping 325 focus points, it is undoubtedly one of the best around. When in Single Point AF mode, you can move between those 325 points and fine-tune your focus the best. I have to say the autofocus is fast and reliable.
Over the years, Canon has built a better reputation than Fujifilm when it comes to finer reproduction of colours but the X-T2 pleasantly surprises with how beautifully it reproduces colour.
For your stills, go with the classic chrome setting as it does not have too much saturation in the shadows and the highlights. It is neutral whilst giving a good amount of saturation in the mid-tones.
The camera body itself has a solid magnesium alloy construction. This makes it tough and highly durable. Furthermore, it has a weather seal to provide dust and water resistance. It can even work in temperatures as low as -10°C.
On to the camera’s functions. It has a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a tilting 3-inch LCD screen. You can tilt the LCD up and down when shooting in landscape and the upward direction when in portrait.
In all honesty, there isn’t enough room here for me to relay everything the Fujifim X-T2 has to offer. The main things you need to know for carp fishing snaps are its amazing capabilities in low-light conditions and its image quality in both JPEGs and RAW files backed by its high ISO performance, good dynamic range and brilliant auto-focus.
A Professional Camera for Fishing
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- 22.3 MP high-resolution full-frame sensor
- Massive ISO range and consistent image quality
- Rugged magnesium-alloy construction making it durable
- 41 cross-type focus points out of 61 total AF points leading to a super-responsive autofocus
- Good battery life and great ergonomics
- Optical viewfinder ensures better clarity
- Fast shutter speed of 1/8000
- High price point
- Rather narrow dynamic range
- No built-in flash
If you take your carp fishing and photography, in general, seriously a Canon 5D Mark III could be the choice for you. I will explain why.
As the name suggests, this one is the successor to the widely praised 5D Mark II. On this upgrade, you’ll first notice the much-improved ergonomics. It is more rounded, curvaceous, fits into your hand nicely and your fingers just slip into place effortlessly. Also, the body is bigger and slightly heavier than the Mark II.
It’s 22.3 MP CMOS delivers 14-bit RAW images that are sharp and rich with colours. In colour saturation, it has a mean saturation of 111.4%, which is typical for DSLRs and remains fairly consistent through the ISO range.
The camera comes with a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600, but can be expanded to massive 102,400.
What sets the 5D Mark III apart is its autofocus. It has 61 AF points, out of which 41 are cross-type points. These give this camera a huge advantage for shooting moving objects. Furthermore, the Mark III features a separate tab for AF configuration and you don’t need to be a pro to get the hang of it.
In automatic AF, it chooses the points it deems most important and is a good setting to go with for talking those after-catch portrait shots.
In video mode, it produces full HD 1080p video at 24, 25, and 30 frames per second and 720p at 60 FPS.
Another noteworthy feature is the fast 1/8000 shutter speed. This speed goes a long way in catching your stills without blur and “freeze” motion. And like any modern DSLR, Canon’s 5D Mark III has fast, difficult-to-measure start-up and shut-down times.
One more plus is this camera features an optical viewfinder (OVF). They are considered superior to electronic viewfinders (EVF) when it comes to providing a better clarity, better dynamic range and immediate view without any of the delay seen in some EVFs.
On the whole, though released in 2012, the Canon 5D Mark III is still relevant and a worthy buy. This is mostly due to its consistent high-quality images even in high ISO’s backed by its full-frame sensor and the fast, responsive auto-focus.
It lacks a built-in flash but, unlike others on the list, it has a hot shoe to place an external flash and produces high-quality night stills and videos.
Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API