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Which camera?

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Carole
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Which camera?

Unread postby Carole » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:01 pm

Hi there,

Okay I am up for a brand new camera. I especially want to be able to get close up shots of the birdlife in Kruger.

I am very happy with my Kodak Z1012IS but want to go in for a DSLR with a good telephoto lens.

I know everyone has their favourites, but taking a good look on Flickr at the Kruger pics - one is spoiled for choice.

What I am looking for is sharpness as a number one 'must have'. Also - a good depth of colour.

I had in mind the Canon 450D - but have seen some excellent shots with the Nikon D range as well.

Alot of the photos on Flickr have been edited, so it is hard to tell which is a great photograph coming from a great camera, or simply 'a great edit' coming out of an average camera.

Many thanks.

Carole

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby DuQues » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:28 pm

Carole, you're heading for a deep and lasting problem with your bankmanager! :lol:
Have a look at the "Entrylevel birding lens" or such topic here. (Can't link, I'm using my phone at the mo.) No matter which brand you decide to buy, it's going to cost you BIG money.
With birding you simply need looooong lenses, and they are 'not cheap'. However... I do have good news for you!
You'll be choosing Canon! Welcome to the club! :yaya:

Oh... The why? ...
Look at the difference in pricing for long lenses between Canon and Nikon. The quality is the same...
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Jo » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Hi Carole

I have also been struggling with the same question. Have a browse through the Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts thread.....some great suggestions by some very experienced photographers!
One thing that I have learned, that for clarity, a good lens is a must!! And they don't come cheap

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Scottm » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:15 am

Hi Carole and welcome to the initial problem, and that is into which brand to invest. I say invest, because it is (or soon will be) an investment of truck-loads of cash to get the best available. As far as technology in the DSLR market goes, you really only have two serious choices, Canon or Nikon. These two tend to leap-frog each other in DSLR technology, and there is not much to choose between them.

Find the one that suits you best, considering size and weight of actual camera, pixels required, price, features needed and all the rest of the stuff to consider when making such a decision, and then put your decision on hold for a few minutes. Take a look at the lenses you require (and may require in the future), and again put the decision on hold for another few minutes. Then ask someone knowledgable on both brands, and especially on the different methods of construction of the most important part of any camera system, namely the lens. And the penny (or pound) will eventually drop. The reason that Nikon lenses, especially the longer ones, are more expensive is because Nikon uses a method that creates a better quality of optics. Now there are better quality optics available from other companies - just find out who built the Hubble telescope - but no company produces both the range and quality that Nikon produces, that attaches to a high-quality DSLR camera.

So you can make the popular decision, join the other lemmings of the world, and go with one brand, or you can stand out from the crowd and have your pictures stand out from the rest if you so choose, but only if you go for the other brand.

One day, DuQues will see the light and change brands to what he should have chosen in the very beginning :doh: (Nikon, of course) :clap:

On a more serious note, you cannot go wrong with either the Canon or Nikon brands. DuQues is correct when he says that the long Nikon lenses are slightly more expensive, but there is a school of thought that believes that the Nikon lense optics are superior. Do not be led down a path that may not be the best for you...... Choose the lenses that best suit your primary applictions, and only then decide on the camera body to buy......and do not be swayed by others too far from what you want, need, and can afford....

Damn, there goes the kids education
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Carole
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Carole » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:13 am

Hi there,
I have looked at DuQues to see if he is on Flickr with his photos - not sure if I have found the same person? Please help as I would like to see some pics.

Scottm. Please don't stop there! I dearly would love to know which setup you are using. Don't keep me guessing LOL. Obviously Nikon - and then, which telephoto lens? I am well aware of the high cost.

The chap in Sandton (Cameraland) told me that he has only recently 'seen the light' regarding the colour between the Canon and Nikon photographs, and, because of this, he is gearing towards the Nikon. Our local camera shop and somebody I deal with often, told me something like the Canon 5D will be too overboard and unnecessary. Okay, maybe I agree with that.

I think the Nikon D90 (?) - R16,000 was mentioned. However, again, our local camera man said between that price and a Canon 450D (R9,000) there wasn't much 'in it' as far as the end result of photographs is concerned.

I have read that the Canon 70-300IS telephoto is better than a Sigma 70-300APO. I have compared photos, and this appears to be true.

The DOIS is even better, but that sits at around R15,000 for the lens.

Do you have a Flickr site or photographs that I could take a look at please. Do let me know which model you are using plus lens.

I know what I want - which is to have sharp photos. I guess that's all. Just nice and sharp.

Thankyou so much.

Carole

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Mgoddard » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:26 am

Carole

Not all photos on flickr are enhanced/changed etc...I for one do very little change, if any to my pics. Most of the members have links to their pages/photos. If you click on the www below the post it will take you to the websites.

I use both the Canon 40D and 450D with 3 different lenses, 100-400 (for birds, but still not enough reach), 70-200 for general and 24-105 for landscapes...

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Carole
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Carole » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:57 am

Thankyou for your reply.

I took a look at your photos - and commented on some. Very nice.

What I meant by Flickr was that there are quite a few people with the same name and I am unsure as to which one I am looking for? I need the actual photostream name. Hopefully, this will be forthcoming from the two above, if they have photostreams.

Thankyou again for letting me know about the lenses - more especially the mention that the one is still not within reach. These are the things I need to know. Looking through a telephoto lens from a camera shop at, for example, a supermarket store opposite, is simply not enough, even when the salesman tells me he thinks it is sufficient.

Again, thank you for your help.

Carole

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby bert » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:14 am

Hi Carole
I am a member of a photographig club.
See images taken with Canon and Nikon
Nikon has a perfect light metering
Nikon has its own photo editing program.
Both bodies are great.

But the Canon lenses are cheaper
If you have the money go for the IS or VHR

And dont get hooked on the colours etc in Flickr for eg.
Good photo editing does make a image prettier :wink:

As suggested.
Look around

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:34 am

I know what I want - which is to have sharp photos. I guess that's all. Just nice and sharp.

Well, in that case.... And birding...
You'll need a fixed lens, not a zoom, as the quality is better, and the lens is faster.
They need to be long, so you have either:
Canon EF 500 mm f 4.0 L IS USM Lens R 66,900.00
Canon EF 600 mm f 4.0 L IS USM Lens R 88,000.00
or
Nikon 500mm F4. VR R 98,266.00
Nikon 600mm f 4G ED AF-S VR R 110,550.00
(See the interesting bit of price difference between the brands?)

Do not look at colours at all, it's not interesting. I could edit a photo for you, say it came out of a Canon, then adjust saturation a little and say it came from a Nikon (or vice versa). Which photo would you choose?
With Adobe Lightroom you can adjust photos to the tiniest details, so no telling from which camera it came.
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Ranger Grant » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:21 am

Hi Carole

That is always the big question which camera ?
Your idea of the 450d is brilliant. Remember it is not about the body but your glass.rather spend more money on the glass then the body.

For your birding shots the 450d with a 100-400 canon image stabilised lens with a 2X converter will work wonders.
I use a 400d canon with a 50-500 sigma lens, I will recomend the canon slr lenses. But go and have a look at my bird galleries on www.photo-africa.com/grant
you can decide yourself.......good luck with the shopping and let me know what you buy :cam:
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Ranger Grant » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:28 am

If you want to go to outdoorphoto in Pta and hire a body and a lens to go and try it out in the field , It is much better then looking at the shopping centre across the road through the lens.

They will give you good advice

Grant :thumbs_up:
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:33 am

Ranger Grant wrote:For your birding shots the 450d with a 100-400 canon image stabilised lens with a 2X converter will work wonders.

Eh, slight correction here. It will not. The 100-400 works well with the 1.4 converter, but with the 2.0 converter I think you'll start to see the flaws of the lens.
And putting any converter on would mean no autofocus anymore on a 450D. Rather unhandy for birds...
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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Carole » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:09 pm

Well........... thank you all so much for your help.

I think I am sticking to the Canon 450D (for now at least until the point of parting with the money). Hubby has an old SLR with many lenses and we tried out the converters which took us up to 4x and then a 3x going down to 2x. I felt more comfortable with the 2x magnification and 3x magnification I have to admit. I think my mind is made up, but watch this space.

Having said all of the above, I have seen the most awesome outstanding shots of birds with a 15xzoom on a little Sony DSC-H7 camera. Admittedly not too good for objects far off - but extremely good photographs nonetheless. I do believe non-SLR's are doing a pretty good job these days.

I don't have wildlife as yet, until Kruger in November ....YAY.....but if anyone is interested they can take a peek at my pics, taken with a non-SLR Kodak.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24537820@N08/


Carole

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby Tony T » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:41 pm

Hi Carole,

I’m also looking at buying my first DSLR. It’s a challenge to pinpoint the right equipment but you’ve started in the right place, Sanparks forum. The advice I got here was a great help.
Secondly I went onto www.dpreview.com and studied tutorials and reviews for hours and hours. A good site for the beginner.
At the conclusion of each camera review they give a points rating on 6 issues. I will show you Image Quality rated out of 10;

Canon 1000d - 9.0
Canon 450d -9.0
Canon40d - 9.0
Nikon d60 - 8.5
Nikon d90 -8.5
Pentax KM - 7.0
Sony A200 - 8.0
Sony A350 - 8.0

Obviously there are variables ie some are stronger in RAW others better IQ shot in JPEG and a host of, but this gives one something to start with.
This was the “easy” part. Lenses are the most important piece of equipment. Choose your lens first, depending on what you shoot and of course finances, and the system will choose itself.
To understand lenses and the mechanics was tough and still is; and I could just not find a tutorial/glossary on lenses. I was confused by lens jargon too, “fast lens”, white pro, semi pro, L lenses, “glass”.
Once again I went back to Dpreview and read through their glossary, brushed up on optic issues like sensor size, focal length, depth of field etc. Then I went to their Lens Reviews and chose a lens 18 – 200 lens f2.8. popular and made by all the four top makers. What is nice here is that they compare all four makers’ product. I also went to Orms website to compare prices for each. A good exercise to know where you stand with cheap and expensive.
I too have chosen the 450D. It’s a notch above entry level, which gives me a few more options. (The 500D will be out in May and will compete with Nikon D90. The 450D could be got at a good price me thinks).
I have a short list of 3 lenses. One thing I understand from reading all the reviews is that affordable kit zooms are limiting factors in the performance of good cameras.
I am no expert believe me but hopefully research will help me choose wisely, on my budget. Too often you hear people complaining they bought the wrong lens or they should have bought into the “other” system.

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Re: Which camera?

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:47 pm

Carole wrote:I don't have wildlife as yet, until Kruger in November ....YAY.....but if anyone is interested they can take a peek at my pics, taken with a non-SLR Kodak.

Carole, you need a 100mm macro, not a telelens! :thumbs_up: :clap:
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