Digital Camera Advice

  • Fowler
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9 years 1 month ago #8684 by Fowler
Fowler created the topic: Digital Camera Advice
I am keen to buy myself a decent digital camera, specially for taking photos of birds. What would you recommend? I want to be able to take a shot from quite a distance and be able to edit the photo later by zooming in and still have clarity.

Thanks

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  • Doug
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9 years 1 month ago #8689 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Hi Fowler.

The first place to start is budget and this is a really broad range. I could advise you go with an entry levelbody and sigma zoon and you will have reasonable reach for under 20K and then I could advise you go for a Canon eos 1D MK III and abuot 50K and a canon 1200mm lens at a ataggering 1.4 million rand.....

If you want to give us some idea of what you are prepared to spend I will be happy to offer some advise accross all brands.

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  • gordon
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9 years 1 month ago #8695 by gordon
gordon replied the topic:
As Doug says there is a such a huge range of prices and options.

I can only give you advice based on my own personal preference so it will be biased...

Canon: Bluntly put, I don't like Canon. I find their camera's are not intuitive to use, are fiddly, have a large number of quality control issues and have very washed out colours. However if you are prepared to wade through all of this, overlook some of the drawbacks, spend a good deal of time setting up the camera and having it fine tuned you CAN get absolutely brilliant results. As far as I am concerned their prime lenses are their main attraction. Not only are their lenses quality pieces of glass from a sharpness point of view, you also have a wide selection to choose from. As Doug has mentioned there are cost issues. US$8000+ for a 600mm F4.0!
I think you will find most bird photographers go for Canon.

Nikon: I don't have a lot of experience with Nikon so cannot comment beyond mentioning that they also have very very good lenses and camera bodies. I don't hear as many complaints about them.

Pentax: My personal favourite. I like the logical layout of the menus and buttons. I love the colour rendition. My slightly older K10D is an absolute dream to use in the field, intuitive and easy to use. It is a very solid camera and was the first to come out with full weather and dust seals. Unlike most other makes, Pentax opted for the shake reduction residing in the camera body not in the lens. Considering my lens only cost me US$120 and it does not have ED glass, I am very happy with the results. There are several drawbacks to the current Pentax bodies and lenses. First Pentax currently have a very small selection of lenses. They have a 300mm SDM F4 prime lens and a 600mm F4 prime lens (made to order) and have just release a 60-250mm F4 SDM lens. If you have US$8500 lying around you can order the 600mm otherwise you will have to get Sigma lenses. Currently in the longer focal range you can get their brilliant 50-500mm zoom, their 300mm F2.8, 500 F4 or 800 F8 primes.
Another drawback in terms of bird photography their frames per second rate. At 3.5 frames per second it is no match for either the Nikon or Canon bodies. In my mind I am not a professional photographer so am happy to have the slower frame rate.

Personally I feel there is nothing better than to escape from a weeks hard work, get into the field and just enjoy taking photo's....

Cheers,
Gordon

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  • sulamk
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9 years 1 month ago #8698 by sulamk
sulamk replied the topic:
Set your self a budget, remember a good lens is a must!
Go to a camera dealer and ask to hold the various cameras that fit your budget, get the one you feel most comfortable with.
I concur with Gordon on Canon, The only ones really worth having fall in the range from the 5d up. their lenses are expensive.
Nikon from the D80 up as the lower price bodies dont have auto focus, and the lenses with built in motors are expensive.

Olympus are good but the four thirds lenses are expensive.
I have gone with the Sony A100 and A200 as they take the minolta a mount lenses which i had a few.


You could also go with a fixed lens camera there are some very good ones out there. remember to factor in a memory card , tripod and bag into your budget.

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  • Doug
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9 years 1 month ago #8699 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Also bear in mind the Canon 5d is not a bird photography caera. It is what is known as full frame. It does not have the 1.5 crop factor of most bodies. It makes it brilliant for studio and wide angle as a 15 mm lens runs at 15mm but for telephoto runs a 300mm at 300mm.

Most othe caeras are aimed at the telephoto market so a 300mm will effectively be a 450m lens which is awesome for birds etc but for landscape/ portrait a 15mm lens runs as a 22mm lens.

The 5d is awesome but is a slightly more specialised body.

Cheers.
Doug

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9 years 1 month ago #8705 by Fowler
Fowler replied the topic:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I need to work out a budget and see whats available, taking into consideration what you have mentioned.

Thanks
Fowler

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9 years 1 month ago #8707 by Fowler
Fowler replied the topic:
How does this camera sound?

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Body
TAMRON Lenses 80-210mm
Sony Camera Bag(Value R780)
2G Memory Card
Mini Tropid
Camer cleanng kit
LCD screen Protector(Two Piece, Value R280)
All accessory included

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9 years 1 month ago #8708 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
I believe the sony alpha is not bad and has the inbody image stabalilzation similar to Pentax and Samsung.

What I can say is that image and colour tone wise I prefer the pentax but at the same time sony always has the best and most stable software of any digital product. Their top end software is always what puts them ahead of others in their field and as for lenses, they bought out Minolta so I believe all those white pro Minolta lenses fit the sony alpha so you have a very nice range of lenses available with awesome optics...

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  • Fowler
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9 years 1 month ago #8710 by Fowler
Fowler replied the topic:
Thanks Doug. There is a guy selling this for R4500. And : Special offer: Sony Lenses DT 16-105mm (Value R5800, only used a few times, basically looked like new,) plus kenko thin 62mm UV filter+ brand new kenko 62mm Circularpl filter, They can be bunndled with above all item at R9800.

Do you think thats a good deal, or will this cut it? :

Sony Alpha DSLR-A200
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Body
TAMRON Lenses 80-210mm
Sony Camera Bag(Value R780)
2G Memory Card
Mini Tropid
Camer cleanng kit
LCD screen Protector(Two Piece, Value R280)
All accessory included

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9 years 1 month ago #8717 by Doug
Doug replied the topic:
Not bad but try and go for a slightly longer lens? Even at 300mm for birds you are really going to struggle. See if you can get something like a sigma in Sony alpha mount.....

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