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General Digital Advice Needed

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Nungu
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Nikon D80 deal

Unread post by Nungu » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:09 am

Hi guys,

I have the opportunity to get a second hand D80 with 35-80mm lense for just under R4 000. Do you guys think this is a good deal or not? I know I can get a D90 or D7000 - but those aren't available at such a price for now - so I'm considering buying this D80.

I know the D80 is a bit old - but a good camera never gets old... and as far as I know the D80 is pretty good.

Another question is about the lense. It doesn't seem to be a standard lense on this camera (standard - as far as my limited camera knowledge goes - is a 18-50mm). Is this a problem? What will I NOT be able to do with the 35-80 that I would have been able to do with the 18-50??

I will be looking to get another lense for my wildlife photography... Which would you suggest? Again here I'm looking at something in the range of 80-200 or 70-300?

PS: I forgot to say that I don't only intend to use the camera for wildlife photography - it's basically an everyday camera - sports events for the kids, family gatherings but then ALSO Kruger.

To sum up my rambling :redface:
1. Is it a good deal to buy a D80 with a 35-80mm lense for about R4 000?
2. Would I need to buy a 18-50 lense for everyday use?
3. What lense range would be best suited for wildlife photography?

Thanks guys
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DuQues
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Re: Nikon D80 deal

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:21 am

If I look at the secondhand pricing (in SA) for the D80 I see prices that are around R3500, so with that lens it is not a bad deal.

The difference between the 35-80 and an 18-50 is angle.
The 18-50 will give you way more wide-angle, which you use for landscapes, parties, buildings and the likes.
The 35-80 will obviously give you more zoom, and is a good lens for portraits.

Neither will serve for wildlife. Then you really need at the very least 300 mm. Preferably up to 500 even. That is going to set you back at least R10.000 if you buy secondhand.

Have a look at pricing here.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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

coracias
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Re: Please help.

Unread post by coracias » Fri May 11, 2012 3:15 pm

Please...if any passing mite would be kind enough to help.

Thinking of moving from superzoom to DSLR.
A question concerning image size, not quality :
imagine three cameras
Superzoom (small sensor, say focal 5,6-112mm) : equivalent full frame 28-560
DSLR with 1,6 crop sensor+lens 70-300 : equivalent full frame 112-480
DSLR full frame+lens 100-400 : full frame 100-400.

Imagine next a small bird
Take the maximum equivalent full frame (EFF) focal length common to all three set-ups : 400
If a picture is now taken with all three cameras set at this EFF 400, and ignoring quality, then I believe that the size of the bird will be identical in all pictures, and all that will change is the area covered by the remainder of the picture, increasing considerably from superzoom, through 1,6 crop to full frame. Is that right ?

Suppose that EFF 400 is insufficient to identify the small bird.
With the superzoom, I can use digital zoom say up to 4 times.
Zooming up digitally, using a stabilizer (monopod), and spot-metering, then whatever the conditions, I can usually get enough to identify the bird, see its colours, and take a photo which won't win any prizes...
So far as I understand, I cannot do that in the field with DSLRs, that is they don't have digital zoom.
Therefore how difficult will it be to spot-meter on a small bird without any digital zoom ?
And even if that is achieved, is it "frustrating" in the field to take such a small picture, even if knowing that later on, eg in Lightroom, the image can be cropped and blown up ? (I realise quite subjective).

On equipment : had intended to go with EOS 7D+100-400, until held in a shop. Seemed just too heavy. A problem which I think would be compounded in Kruger, sitting at the wheel of a vehicle, both windows down and pivoting the body clockwise or anti depending on where the interest lies.
Then tried the 100-400 on a less weighty body : EOS 600D (ex Rebel). An improvement (surprisingly to me because the weight reduction was merely 250g ie from 2180g to 1930g excluding batteries I think). Still on the heavy side, maybe tolerably heavy, though I'm a bit skeptical.
Is the canon 70-300 (non-L version : well-reviewed, so far as I could read) a reasonable alternative ? Put on a 600D body, overall weight would reduce down to 1200g.
Pleasant predicament to be in, but if I could benefit from experience, would be most appreciative.
Sorry for lengthy post.

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Scottm
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Re: Please help.

Unread post by Scottm » Fri May 11, 2012 4:17 pm

coracias wrote:Please...if any passing mite would be kind enough to help.

Thinking of moving from superzoom to DSLR.
A question concerning image size, not quality :
imagine three cameras
Superzoom (small sensor, say focal 5,6-112mm) : equivalent full frame 28-560
DSLR with 1,6 crop sensor+lens 70-300 : equivalent full frame 112-480
DSLR full frame+lens 100-400 : full frame 100-400.

Imagine next a small bird
Take the maximum equivalent full frame (EFF) focal length common to all three set-ups : 400
If a picture is now taken with all three cameras set at this EFF 400, and ignoring quality, then I believe that the size of the bird will be identical in all pictures, and all that will change is the area covered by the remainder of the picture, increasing considerably from superzoom, through 1,6 crop to full frame. Is that right ?

Your assumption is correct, but only if you PRINT the image at the same size. Given that cameras have different densities of pixels, a print at the maximum size for each sensor will probably result in a different physical print size, and thus a different ability to identify the bird in question. Thus, whether you wish to or not, QUALITY of the captured image WILL play a critical role in your pursuit of bird identification

coracias wrote: Suppose that EFF 400 is insufficient to identify the small bird.
With the superzoom, I can use digital zoom say up to 4 times.
Zooming up digitally, using a stabilizer (monopod), and spot-metering, then whatever the conditions, I can usually get enough to identify the bird, see its colours, and take a photo which won't win any prizes...
So far as I understand, I cannot do that in the field with DSLRs, that is they don't have digital zoom.
Therefore how difficult will it be to spot-meter on a small bird without any digital zoom ?
And even if that is achieved, is it "frustrating" in the field to take such a small picture, even if knowing that later on, eg in Lightroom, the image can be cropped and blown up ? (I realise quite subjective).

Using the digital zoom facilities on a point-n-shoot camera will not give you ANY additional ability to identify a small bird - on the contrary, usage of the digital zoom facility is likely to make this task MORE difficult. As a matter of interest, you can zoom into your captured images, to pixel level if needed, on most DSLR's in the field

coracias wrote:On equipment : had intended to go with EOS 7D+100-400, until held in a shop. Seemed just too heavy. A problem which I think would be compounded in Kruger, sitting at the wheel of a vehicle, both windows down and pivoting the body clockwise or anti depending on where the interest lies.
Then tried the 100-400 on a less weighty body : EOS 600D (ex Rebel). An improvement (surprisingly to me because the weight reduction was merely 250g ie from 2180g to 1930g excluding batteries I think). Still on the heavy side, maybe tolerably heavy, though I'm a bit skeptical.
Is the canon 70-300 (non-L version : well-reviewed, so far as I could read) a reasonable alternative ? Put on a 600D body, overall weight would reduce down to 1200g.
Pleasant predicament to be in, but if I could benefit from experience, would be most appreciative.
Sorry for lengthy post.

I cannot comment on the canon range of equipment, but given my understanding of your requirements, especially when it comes to the WEIGHT of the equipment, and without any focus on the quality of the image, I would suggest that you consider looking at the lighter lenses from Nikon and the (recently announced, bottom of the range) D3200 DSLR body. This DSLR is approximately 24MP which will give you incredible cropping ability from a DX-sized sensor. Couple this to the 55-300VR lens (which is a very light, competent lens, but certainly not the fastest or most robust around), it will give you an equivalent zoom ability of approximately 450mm. I suspect that this camera will be better than many people anticipate and will certainly produce better images than (most) point-n-shoot cameras.

You should note the misconception that a crop-sensor will give you better zoom capabilities with an equivalent lens than on a full-frame camera - IT DOES NOT - it simply captures a central portion of the image available - it does NOT BRING THE IMAGE CLOSER, as a more powerful zoom would do.


You may be better off with more pertinent advice by clearly articulating you needs and wants, to a point of listing preferences of each. That way a better understanding becomes available to those that could provide some advice and guidance based on their own experiences.....
"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Photographs help to crystallize memories, but cannot be seen to be a replacement of them!

coracias
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:40 pm

Re: Please help.

Unread post by coracias » Fri May 11, 2012 6:04 pm

Scottm
Very many thanks for taking the time to reply. Very useful to me.
By the way, in case I gave the wrong impression, I am indeed interested in quality.
But before quality, there was the quantity issue of size of image in the frame, which you have cleared up by confirming what I thought I had understood.
On the use of digital zoom with spot metering : with this combination, in a back-lit setting and a (distant) bird, I found that I was able to bring up the colours and size sufficient for identification and obtain a picture "in the field". Without the digital zoom, spot-metering would probably have been hit and miss, without which the colours wouldn't have shown up (but I may be wrong here).

To sum up
motivation :
- desire to move up to DSLR
- expectation of better quality photos particularly of birds (though not exclusively)
- to take those photos in Kruger/Kgalagadi/Etosha/De Hoop and possibly nowhere else
- a certain perhaps irrational idea that I like to have a recognisable picture in the field, rather than to crop and enlarge later
- working with those photos in Lightroom.
principal hesitation :
- whether a DSLR+zoom lens could ever paradoxically leave me worse off...eg those little birds that I can't zoom in on sufficiently...


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