Level up your kit bag: The gear I've got for wildlife photography… and the gear I WISH I had

MPB Level Up Your Kit Bag
(Image credit: Dan Mold)

As the technique editor for  PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, I’ve dabbled in all sorts of photographic genres over the years – from high-end fashion to pet portraits, and from intricate still life setups to shooting vast landscapes all around the globe. 

In recent times, I’ve realized that wildlife photography is both what I consider myself to be best at, and what I enjoy the most – so it’s no surprise that my kit bag has evolved as my style has changed, to help me take the best possible animal and wildlife photos.

As camera technology moves forward, I’m at an awkward crossroads in the evolution of my gear selection, with my Canon DSLR kit slowly being phased out by newer, feature-rich mirrorless models. I’m sure this is something that many DSLR photographers can relate to.

I currently have one foot in each of the mirrorless and DSLR camps, with my trusty Canon EOS 6D Mark II , which has been my reliable workhorse body for many years, and a newer Canon EOS R body sitting in my camera bag. I use the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R to make my DSLR EF lenses compatible with Canon’s mirrorless RF mount, although I imagine that at some point I will replace with newer RF lenses.

PhotoPlus's technique editor, Dan Mold, has a great wildlife setup – but there are a couple of things he would change… (Image credit: Dan Mold)

My current photographic setup, while far from ideal, is perfectly serviceable for the types of pictures I want to take. If I start feeling held back or restricted too often – for example, not having a fast enough burst rate or a powerful enough zoom lens – then I might find it time to call it a day and fully commit to mirrorless technology.

It’s reassuring that MPB.com, the world’s largest digital photography gear resale platform, offers both a value-packed path into mirrorless cameras and lenses, and a convenient way to sell my gear on, ensuring that other people have an affordable way to enhance their own kit bag. 

It’s reassuring that MPB.com, the world’s largest digital photography gear resale platform, offers both a value-packed path into mirrorless cameras and lenses, and a convenient way to sell my gear on, ensuring that other people have an affordable way to enhance their own kit bag.

Dive into Dan's kit bag

(Image credit: Dan Mold)

1) Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
New price: £119
MPB price*: £109 (Excellent condition)
This adapter from Canon is currently a vital bit of kit for me: it enables me to use all my EF DSLR lenses with my mirrorless EOS R body, making them fully compatible with autofocus and aperture control. To cash in my DSLR lenses and buy their mirrorless counterparts would set me back a small fortune, so this small adapter
has been a life (and money!) saver.

2) Canon EOS R
New price: £1,849
MPB price*: £1,279 (Excellent condition)
The future of cameras seems to be gravitating towards mirrorless, so I’ve finally bitten the bullet and got my hands on Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera: the EOS R. Since I currently own both a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, the above mount adapter means that I can still use my collection of EF lenses on this body. 

3) Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
New price: £1,599
MPB price*: £739 (Good condition)
A wide-angle lens may not be your first choice for wildlife shots but, if you can get close enough safely, it can be brilliant for animal portraits. The wide focal length is great for showing animals in their environment, which will give your shots more context, and its maximum aperture of f/2.8 is perfect for blurring backgrounds, too.

(Image credit: Dan Mold)

4) Canon EOS 6D Mark II
New price: £1,429
MPB price*: £1,099 (Good condition)
This has been my workhorse camera body for the past few years, and I’ve always been able to rely on it on for my professional photoshoots. It delivers fantastic image quality and plenty of detail, all in an ergonomic build: the buttons are all well placed, so it's easy to dial in settings rapidly, which makes a big difference while shooting on the hoof.

5) Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP Di USD VC Macro
New price: £649
MPB price*: £229 (Well Used condition) 
A focal length of around 90mm is perfect for portraits, including headshots of animals. This Tamron lens has proven to be super-sharp and has a wide aperture of f/2.8, making it easy to blur the backgrounds with a shallow depth of field effect, too. As a macro lens it enables you focus much closer to your subjects, so you can get frame-filling shots of tiny critters.

6) Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
New price: £1,509
MPB price*: £754 (Good condition)
This is my go-to telephoto lens for far-away animals and birds flying through the air. The focal length ranges from short telephoto at 70mm
to more zoomed in at 200mm, giving you scope to perfect your compositions. The maximum f/2.8 aperture is key in my photos: it floods the sensor with light, making faster shutter speeds possible.

* Prices are subject to availability and are subject to change

(Image credit: Dan Mold)

Essential kit

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS – great for wildlife
New: £1,509 • MPB price*: £754 (Good condition)

This is my favorite optic for wildlife photography. The 70-200mm focal range is versatile for close-up portraits and for zooming in on further away animals – and as a professional L-series lens, it has the super-sharp image quality you’d normally expect from a prime. To cap everything off, it has image stabilization for sharper handheld shots as well.

Time to trade it in?

(Image credit: Canon/Park Cameras)

Canon EOS 6D Mark II
MPB trade-in price: £840 (Excellent condition)

The 6D Mark II has been the workhorse camera in my kit bag for years, but this DSLR is a little long in the tooth and lacking some important new features that I could enjoy with a well-chosen upgrade…

1) Canon EOS R5
New: £4,299 • MPB price*: £3,799 (Excellent condition)
With a 45MP full-frame sensor capable of capturing 8K video in a portable mirrorless body, modern cameras don’t get much better than this! 

2) Canon EOS R6
New: £2,599 • MPB price*: £2,519 (Like New)
This doesn't pack as much punch as the R5, but it makes a much less noticeable dent in your wallet – and it’s even more affordable when purchased second-hand.

3) Canon EOS 7D Mark II
New: £999 • MPB price*: £649 (Good condition)
The 7D Mark II is ideal for wildlife, as it has an APS-C sensor that gives lenses even more reach (thanks to the 1.6x crop factor, which multiplies the focal length of your glass). It would be an ideal backup camera body. 

Trade in and upgrade at: www.mpb.com/sell

(Image credit: Dan Mold)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1


Digital Camera World is one of the leading authorities on camera and photography news, reviews, techniques, tutorials, comparisons, deals and industry analysis. The site doesn't just specialize in cameras, but all aspects of photography, videography and imaging – including camera phones, gimbals, lenses, lighting, editing software, filters, tripods, laptops, printers, photo books, desks, binoculars and more. 

Whether you're using, looking to buy or trying to get the most out of a compact camera, action camera, camera drone, cinema camera, beginner camera or professional camera, Digital Camera World has a roster of experts with combined experience of over 100 years when it comes to cameras, photography and imaging.