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 Post subject: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
Hi Guys,

I am looking to purchase a decent camera package, so I hope someone can give me their profossional opinion.

There are 2 options:

Option 1
Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR with 3.0-Inch LCD and 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens @ 1400 USD
Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Wide Angle-Telephoto DG Macro Autofocus Zoom Lens @ 240USD
or
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens @ 300USD
or both :)

Option 2
Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lens @ 940 USD
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras @ 135USD
or
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras @ 185USD
or both :)

I'd appreciate any recommendations or alterations to these options :) My budget is ranging from 12k - 15K

I'm planning to use the camera for portrait, landscape and wildlife. However a 400mm lens for wildlife is very pricey :cry:

I could do with some advice regarding a decent tripod that is good quality with stable movement :)

As you can see my experience is limited regarding the above :redface:

Thanks again for the help
Von


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 224
Location: West Sussex, England
Von
I would go for the Nikon D7000 package.
I would also look at the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

In my day job I have purchased almost 50 photographic camera kits including the above two items for use in a very robust and challenging environment.
Outstanding camera works very well in low light.
I currently use a D200 and a D3, both excellent camera bodies. If and when one of these falls over I will replace it with the D7000 or its replacement.
Regards
JDW

_________________
2014
Sep/Oct - South Africa - Mokala, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo, Knysna, Bontibok, Hermanus, West Coast and Cape Town
2015
Jun/Jul - Canada - Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Tofino, Inside Passage to Alaska and the Rockies.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
JDW wrote:
Von
I would go for the Nikon D7000 package.
I would also look at the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

In my day job I have purchased almost 50 photographic camera kits including the above two items for use in a very robust and challenging environment.
Outstanding camera works very well in low light.
I currently use a D200 and a D3, both excellent camera bodies. If and when one of these falls over I will replace it with the D7000 or its replacement.
Regards
JDW


Thanks JDW, much appreciated.
Then you recommendation it is :)

Have you got any recommendation for binoculars? 16x50? 20x80? What about the brand? And what finer detail things do i need to check for?

Thanks again :)

Regards
Von


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
JDW wrote:
Von
I would go for the Nikon D7000 package.
I would also look at the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

In my day job I have purchased almost 50 photographic camera kits including the above two items for use in a very robust and challenging environment.
Outstanding camera works very well in low light.
I currently use a D200 and a D3, both excellent camera bodies. If and when one of these falls over I will replace it with the D7000 or its replacement.
Regards
JDW


What about the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM SLD Ultra Telephoto Zoom Lens instead of the Sigma 150-500mm lens? 600USD price difference but isn't it worth it?


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:47 pm
Posts: 224
Location: West Sussex, England
Von
Before making your mind up go to a good camera shop or shops and try the goods out. You are not obliged to buy from there if it is cheaper elsewhere. Always take your time before deciding. There will be other experienced people reply to your email in the next few days. This forum has some remarkably knowledgeable people from all over the world. The Duke of Wellington (a very famous British general) said "Time spent on Reconnaissance is seldom wasted".

The Sigma 150-500mm lens is far better and with the D7000 lens you already have a lens covering upo to 105mm. As you progress you can buy other lens as you need to.

Tripods - I always use Manfrotto which are extremely good. The new carbon tripods are very light and strong. There are a variety of models. Also consider buying a monopod - quick and easy to use.

Binoculars - I use a pair purchased in the old East Germany in 1987. They were manufactured by Karl Zeiss - Jena and are 10x50. They do what I need them to do. The optimum for dusk and dawn are 7x50 however you can spend a fortune without any benefit. Again go into a shop and try out the goods. If they are not a status symbol cheap is not always bad. Most people eyesight is not really good enough to justify spending a fortune. Also consider second hand and charity shops - many a good bargain is to be had.
Regards
JDW

_________________
2014
Sep/Oct - South Africa - Mokala, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo, Knysna, Bontibok, Hermanus, West Coast and Cape Town
2015
Jun/Jul - Canada - Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Tofino, Inside Passage to Alaska and the Rockies.


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
JDW wrote:
Von
Before making your mind up go to a good camera shop or shops and try the goods out. You are not obliged to buy from there if it is cheaper elsewhere. Always take your time before deciding. There will be other experienced people reply to your email in the next few days. This forum has some remarkably knowledgeable people from all over the world. The Duke of Wellington (a very famous British general) said "Time spent on Reconnaissance is seldom wasted".

The Sigma 150-500mm lens is far better and with the D7000 lens you already have a lens covering upo to 105mm. As you progress you can buy other lens as you need to.

Tripods - I always use Manfrotto which are extremely good. The new carbon tripods are very light and strong. There are a variety of models. Also consider buying a monopod - quick and easy to use.

Binoculars - I use a pair purchased in the old East Germany in 1987. They were manufactured by Karl Zeiss - Jena and are 10x50. They do what I need them to do. The optimum for dusk and dawn are 7x50 however you can spend a fortune without any benefit. Again go into a shop and try out the goods. If they are not a status symbol cheap is not always bad. Most people eyesight is not really good enough to justify spending a fortune. Also consider second hand and charity shops - many a good bargain is to be had.
Regards
JDW


Thanks JDW, I greatly appreciate your response.

I won't waste anytime, I'll approach the shops tomorrow :)

Thanks again
Von


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:19 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Having recently "converted" from Canon to Nikon I can vouch for the D7000.

IMHO the D7000 is in a higher league than the T2i, simply because Nikon has placed it in a strange niche in that it actually replaces the D90 and even the D300s in many departments.

I just took delivery of mine on Friday to complement my D3s and so far I've been very impressed. I have yet to take it to the bush but will do so this coming weekend when we leave for Kruger.

Another piece of advice - buy the best glass possible. I started out with an entry-level camera and an entry-level "third party" (Sigma) lens...and pretty soon found that I needed to upgrade to a Canon lens (being a Canon shooter at the time). It took much longer for me to replace the camera as most of them are quite good these days.

:whistle: :D

With the choices you listed I would opt for the Nikkor 55-300mm VR lens over the Sigma lens...a friend has the same lens and I was quite impressed by the results achieved. Of course if you dare fork out a little more you can go for one of the following (assuming you might also want more reach when in the bush, and you are on a tight budget):

1. Nikkor 70-300mm VR
2. Nikkor 300mm f4 VR (a bit more expensive, can take a teleconverter)
3. Sigma 120-400mm OS
4. Sigma 150-500mm (find a good 2nd-hand one)
5. Nikkor 80-400mm VR (a bit more expensive)

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Planning the next trip already...


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
Morkel777 wrote:
@morkel 777


Thanks Morkel.

You have a nice website there... Well done :) Awesome pictures

Regards
Vaughn


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:53 am 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Tripod: 190XPROB
I have that one myself, and love it. Quick to set up, light (1.8 kilo) and fairly small when not in use, so easy to sling into your luggage.

Binoculars... I am assuming you want to also bird with them, not too expensive, definitely not too heavy?
The I will certainly suggest these: Bushnell 8x42 NatureView Binoculars.
We recently bought these and they are indeed fantastic.

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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
Hi Von;

I'm surpirsed that this thread hasn't developed into yet another Nikon v. Canon debate...

Most responders will always err on the side of the kit that they use. I openly declare that I, for example, am a Canon fan; so my natural inclination is to look seriously at the Canon options...

However, trying to maintain an air of impartiality; here's a few comments that I hope you'll find useful...

1. In looking at the Nikon D7000 and the Canon Rebel T2i, you're not 'fairly' comparing 'like-with-like'. Not only is the T2i (aka 550D) an older model, but the T2i and D7000 are really geared at two different market-arenas. A much better 'match' for the D7000 is Canon's 60D. Take a look at this comparative I set up for you;

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compar ... on_eos600d

2. You should give MUCH greater emphasis to getting good glass (lenses) over bodies. Bodies come & go; good glass will last you a lifetime; and budget lenses will rarely give you good quality images outside of perfect light conditions, whereas a 'budget' body with good glass will give you a FAR better overall return on your money...

3. Think long & hard about whichever option (Nikon or Canon) you commit to. Changing away from the chosen path some way down the road will be an expensive operation! The two are not compatible, and even third-party lens providers lenses are main-manufacturer specific...

4. Almost any lens (apart from wide-angle) will work for general day-to-day portrait or landscape work; but for wildlife, nothing much short of 300mm is going to do the job for you unless you're lucky enough to get super-close. A tough call... That said, think about my point 2. above. DON'T be tempted to buy a long-zoom budget lens; it just won't give you the image quality and you'll just lose heart...

5. I agree whole heartedly that you should get to a decent outlet, hold, feel & play with the options - with both the short kit lenses, and longer lenses if you can, so you can sense yourself how they will 'feel' in your hands. That's another factor of course; the 550D and 60D for example are very different in size & weight. You may not feel comfortable lugging a D7000 or 60D around!

6. I can't speak for Nikon, because I don't have a lot of experience with their lenses, but certainly the Canon 'kit' lenses; the new 18-55 and the 55-250 get excellent reviews and will serve you very well for (what I'm guessing) is your first-foray into DSLR photograpy...

7. Think about hiring a lens if you want to do any wildlife workouts; that's a much better option in the short-term than committing to a compromise lens.

8. Tripods again come in all varieties, and you will be better served in the long-haul by NOT buying a cheap option. It needs to be stable and the head MUST be rated to bear the weight of your heaviest (possible) kit. I also can vouch for Manfrotto. I have the 190CXPRO3 with a 488RC2 ball-head.

9. Binoculars; a decent affordable option is Opticron... You will want at least 8x and preferably 10x magnification. The more 'compact' bins have typically 42mm lenses which give good enough light throughput to be useful in poor light. Check-out something like the 'Explorer BGA'.

I think that's more than enough for now... Happy buying...


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
Von wrote:

You have a nice website there... Well done :) Awesome pictures

n


Thanks for squeezing over and taking a look :)

Any progress on your decision given the various pieces of wisdom you've unlocked? :lol:

_________________
Planning the next trip already...


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:45 am
Posts: 25
Hi Von,

I have the nikon D90 matched with a Nikon 55-300mm lense and it is very good value for money. Obviously not the best in the west but I am happy with the results thusfar in terms of the price.

Regarding Bino's, I recently purchased a set of Steiner's. They are not the cheapest on the market but they are great value for money and in my opinion they really compete with some of the best bino's out there. I stood in the shop for hours and compared them with the likes of Leica, Swarovski's etc and I can't justify spending that kind of money on something that will give me very little extra for my money. The guy in the shop even dropped the Steiner's twice (sure it is part of his selling routine) and no problems afterwards.

They work for me!


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:35 am
Posts: 11
Morkel777 wrote:
Von wrote:

You have a nice website there... Well done :) Awesome pictures

n


Thanks for squeezing over and taking a look :)

Any progress on your decision given the various pieces of wisdom you've unlocked? :lol:


Not a problem :)

Based on all the responses, I figured I must get some hands on experience first. I'm gonna barrow my brother's D90 and practice about around here. Then I'll go out and buy what works for me :) not easy but i suppose its the best decision.

@ everyone else. Thanks for all your responses :)


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie - Camera Package
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Posts: 187
Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
I looked at both the 55-200, 55-300 and the 70-300 VR lensesfor Nikon and finally chose the 70-300. While a little more expensive than the other two (and a little heavier), it has a far superior focusing speed and as such, suits me well in the park and for everyday use.

On a D7000 (still learning to exploit this monster 8) ), you are able to crank up the ISO to obscene levels to compensate for the slow lens in low light without degredation, and as an overall package, I highly recommend the D7000 coupled to the 70-300mm VR lens for wildlife. Note that on this DX camera, your reach is to 450mm.

Sure, you can go for a faster lens (and empty your pocket faster), or a longer lense, faster lens and remove all available funds and more (70-200 f2.8, or 400mm f2.8... yes please :D ) but the question will remain whether you will actually be able to justify the significant increase in price for a benefit that will only be noticed at the extreme edge of most people's photographic ability.

The 70-300 VR replaced a Sigma 70-300 (non-VR) in my bag, and where I used to discard 9/10 shots with the Sigma, I now only have to discard 1/10.... :thumbs_up:

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Learn to use your equipment
and spend your time taking,
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