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Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

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Canis Lupus
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Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Canis Lupus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:04 am

Hi all wildlife photography enthusiasts.

I want to purchase an entry level camera that I will use specifically to take pictures of wildlife. I do not even know where to begin in terms of which brand. I have heard that Nikon is the best brand but I will setle for something else if it is good value for money. I also need a zoom lens to capture animals and birds which are some distance away and possible a wide angle lens for landscape shot. I have about R7K to spend. Does anyone have any ideas on which is the best options out there?
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:15 am

Hi Canis, are you looking for a digital SLR (inter-changeable lenses), or a bridge (with built-in lens)?

My best advice is to go to a good shop and try some models out. Rather go to a specialist shop, instead of a bulk retailer.

Also, don't be afraid to buy 2nd hand, especially from a reputable shop. I recommend Kameraz in Rosebank.
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Rooies
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Rooies » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:55 am

I am in the same boat here. My question is, why do people sell their cameras? Isn't it the same as with some motor dealers where they buy a lemon, patch it up to last just long enough for the 30 days warranty. Or they tell you it belonged to an old Tannie who only drove to church with it. How often do we hear, "this car is giving me so much problems, it is time to sell." Why would someone sell a perfectly working camera?

Is it not the same with the camera guys? Are they not beginning to pick up problems with a camera and then sell it before its starts to give more problems.

Most of us mere or less understands the workings of a car and you can easily pick up something during a test drive, but how do you take a camera for a test drive? How can I trust a camera salesman if he tells me that the camera has only been used indoors taking pictures of Brutus the dog growing up and not during a 'Camel Trophy' expedition.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby timbo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Rooies wrote:I am in the same boat here. My question is, why do people sell their cameras? Isn't it the same as with some motor dealers where they buy a lemon, patch it up to last just long enough for the 30 days warranty. Or they tell you it belonged to an old Tannie who only drove to church with it. How often do we hear, "this car is giving me so much problems, it is time to sell." Why would someone sell a perfectly working camera?

Is it not the same with the camera guys? Are they not beginning to pick up problems with a camera and then sell it before its starts to give more problems.

Most of us mere or less understands the workings of a car and you can easily pick up something during a test drive, but how do you take a camera for a test drive? How can I trust a camera salesman if he tells me that the camera has only been used indoors taking pictures of Brutus the dog growing up and not during a 'Camel Trophy' expedition.


Camera's dont have small problems that arent undetectable, you will see a problem before you even take an image. Generally people sell to upgrade, therefore they are generally in good working order still. A place like kamarez oftened does a service of the camera making sure it works and works well before putting it on the shelf for sale. They are fantastic.

The best advice I can give is do your research, see what others are using, see what you feel comfortable with and go in more then once and try the camera, go away and consider it, consider which camera speaks to you more and which seems to fit in better with you.

In terms of brand, Canon have the greatest market share in SA but thats not to say they are the best.

Canon and nikon are the bigger names in photography but then there is also sony to consider. Sony are making decent cameras at the moment

Canon and nikon over bundle deals with 2 or more lenses which may be a good kit to go for as you are a beginner before spending money on upgrading your kit. (eg. the Canon 100-400mm L IS USM retails for aboutn 16k, Nikons equivalent retails for around 20k last I looked)
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Canis Lupus
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Canis Lupus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:45 pm

I will definately go for an SLR Camera so that I can upgrade lenses as my budget allows. I also heard that sony makes good cameras. I see camera brands like Microsoft versus Apple Mac. Both do the same thing but the latter is just more expensive and "cool". At the end of the day if you have the best camera in the world and you lack technical skills and a good eye it's not going to be of much use.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Massimo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:29 pm

Hey guys, I have bought and sold many goods. The reason as to why people sell their camera stuff is to upgrade to something that is better. People start off with lets say a 450D canon and then they use that camera to the max and then decide to upgrade to lets say a canon 7D. Some people can afford to keep the 450D but some need that extra cash to afford the 7d and that two is a second hand body. There is nothing wrong with buying second hand as long as you know what to look out for. I know of a couple of places that sell second hand stuff with a warranty.

As a canon user I would look at getting something like a 650D with a 55-250lens kit and then save up for something decent. I have learnt rather save up for a good lens then just go out and spend on a lens cause u need it now!! If you really want a very GOOD decent body then save up for the 7D second hand goes for around R9k but you wont be sorry!! Like I said im a canon user so this would be my suggestions :) if you need more help just shout :)
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Canis Lupus
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Canis Lupus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:46 pm

I can get a brand new Canon 600D with a 18x55 IS lens and a 55 x 250mm lens for R7500 on kalahari.com. Sounds like a good price.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby JimS » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:17 pm

Hi

Be warned wildlife photography creates a black hole in your bank balance, but it's a rewarding if sometimes frustrating hobby.

Be careful of taking advice on which camera to buy until you have done some research on prices and features, salesman will sell whatever provides the best commision that week.

You can buy a Canon or Nikon camera bundles that can include a wide angle zoom lens and a medium telephoto lens, usually a 55mm - 200mm for your budget of R7k. However you will probably find that the 200mm does not have the "reach" to photograph even mammals the size of lions unless they are very close, and birds will be out of the question. You will need a lens of at least 400mm, Canon, Nikon and Sigma offer zoom lenses in the 100 - 400 bracket for between R12K - R20K. These lenses are large and heavy, between 1.5 and 2 kg and take a little getting use to. A good local website to see prices is www.orms.co.za.

A good website to read user reviews of various cameras and lenses is www.fredmiranda.com. The reviews are be actual users of the gear and give pros and cons.

Another option is a point and shoot camera with a fixed zoom lens. These cameras have become very sophisticated and have zoom lenses that go from wide angle to ultra telephoto of 600mm+ Typical of the camera are the Nikon P510, Canon SX 50 and SX 500, retailing at between R3K - R5K. It's an inexpensive way of getting a big telephoto lens without breaking the bank.

Jim

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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Stark » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:33 pm

I bought a Sony Nex 6 after having a Canon 3ti, and I hands down prefer the Sony. :) the small size of the mirroress camera + the lens options make it a great wildlife camera for the serious yet nonprofessional shutterbug. I'm thinking if picking up a nex 5 or nex 3 as a secondary camera.
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Canis Lupus
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Canis Lupus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:48 pm

Thanks Jim, I will go and look at those websites and will consider a decent point and shoot as an option as well.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Rooies » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:18 pm

Thanks guys for all the input. To join a camera club sounds like a good idea.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:28 am

Remember that in the photocompetitions here some of the best photos were made with bridge cameras!

They should not be underestimated for value or quality, and are easy to handle, while often having a very long reach. Just remember to use a beanbag.
And while you are using it you can save the many thousands you'll need for a DSLR with a decent lens to follow it up. A 7D and 100-400 costs about R23.000 in Europe, in SA it will be more.
But for R8000 you will be able to buy an extremely good bridge camera which will serve you possibly more.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:07 am

I've bought second hand bodies and lenses a few times, from both retail shops (Kameraz) and privately (BidOrBuy, Gumtree etc). So far I have had no problems. Kameraz gave me a 6 month warranty on the body I bought. 3 years later its still in perfect condition, and the price was fantastic.

Personally I wouldn't look beyond Nikon or Canon for an SLR. The range of lenses that these two make, and their speed of development, and customer service, I think are far better than the other brands.
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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby bert » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:17 pm

If you intend to do photography in a big way and want to join a camera club or entering competitions go for the best glass possilble
So start with a kit lens ( like the canon set canis lupis :thumbs_up: )

But if its merely a hobby a bridge camera will be great.
I own both and the bridge is perfect
wont match my L lens 300mm btw, but the lens itself is more expensive then the Panasonic brige Z200 :wink:
Canon, Fuji & Panasonic have great camera's with excellent optics :thumbs_up:

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Re: Help needed in buying camera for wildlife photography

Unread postby arks » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:44 pm

@bert: Is the bridge camera that you have the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200? I'm also thinking about getting that one and if you're happy with it, I'm sure that I will be.
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