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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has recently taken an interest in Wildlife Photography and I would like to get her a starter camera for Christmas. She currently has a 10 mega pixel digital camera with a digital zoom. I would like to upgrade her camera to a camera better suited for wildlife photography with a good zoom. I apologize that I know little about cameras so I am looking for recommendations of camera set ups I could get her for Christmas. I am looking in the $300.00 range.

I would appreciate any advice from the 2cool community, and I hope to be posting her pictures on the forum soon.

Thanks,

Fishtexas
:texasflag
 

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but $300 won't get her started unless she will be satisfied with some shots that do not have any close up definition ,more like a $1000 for a used body and half way decent lens,,,then be prepared to upgrade within 6 months if the bug bites her like it does most.


dick
 

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The Canon 100 - 400L zoom is about $1400 new. That's just for the lens. You might also consider the Canon 400 f/5.6 for wildlife or the Sigma 150-500.

Camera bodies aren't cheap either. In fact, none of the DSLR's are less than $300. Like Dick said, sorry to break the bad news. Digital SLR's are a different breed from the point and shoot cameras.

I don't recall what the latest model of the Rebel series is Ti1 or something like that. That would be a good camera for her - small and light.

And let me say that if you are shopping on line be careful of who you deal with. Check out www.resellerratings.com to see what they say about the company you are thinking about buying from. There a lot of scam outfits based out of New York that are the bait and switch variety. If you think the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. :(

B&H Photo and Adorama are brick and mortar stores that are dependable. Beach Camera is dependable also. I have bought items from Amazon and all of the places mentioned with no problems.

Good luck
Hope this helps.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the info. It appears that this photography hobby may be a little more expensive than I originally anticipated. Thanks again for all of the advice.
 

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Dick - 1972 Formula 223
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fishtexas06,

If your budget demands you remain in the $300 range, you might want to take a look at the Canon PowerShot SX20. It's 12 megapixel with a 20X optical zoom, has HD video, and B&H has them for $369.95 until 1/16/10 with free shipping.

A step up from that would be a Canon PowerShot SX1. 10 megapixel, 20X optical zoom, HD video, RAW file capture. They go for $517.

I think these cameras are the best non-DSLR cameras available these days. Even if you decide to upgrade to a DSLR later, you'll still find this camera darn useful.

Dick
 

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There is another option, though I'm not sure its one you'd like to entertain. The market is flooded with used digital slr cameras. For an entry level person these are perfectly fine cameras and because the intial investment was $1,500 generally they were taken very good care of. Nikon and Canon are industry leaders. More people shoot with them and more will be available. The Nikon D50 is excellent.

I spent $1,500 on this camera a five years ago and now <$300 with a lens. http://cgi.ebay.com/Konica-Minolta-...wItemQQptZDigital_Cameras?hash=item4a9cc637bd

So as you can see they depreciate pretty quickly. Learning good technique is way more important than the equipment people use. Photographers love to brag about how much their stuff costs...for me show me your pictures. BTW Minolta is no longer in the business but all of Sony's stuff is compatible.

This lens won't handle your need for wildlife, but perhaps its a good start. Feel free to pm me anytime.
 

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There is another option, though I'm not sure its one you'd like to entertain. The market is flooded with used digital slr cameras. For an entry level person these are perfectly fine cameras and because the intial investment was $1,500 generally they were taken very good care of. Nikon and Canon are industry leaders. More people shoot with them and more will be available. The Nikon D50 is excellent.
I agree with Rusty about the Nikon D50 being an excellent camera. I carried a Nikon N50 film camera for years, then switched to the D50.

The D50 was a kit that included 2 lens (28-70mm and 70-210mm). I sold the camera and lenses on 2Cool for $400 a few months ago. It still looked and worked like new.

I bought a Nikon D90 (about $800 for body only), a 24-120 lens and an 80-400 lens.

For 95% of my photos, the more expensive equipment didn't improve my results at all.

But, I've gained higher resolution, more control, longer reach, better low light shooting, and a few "bells and whistles" that most people would never use.

I still shoot at lower resolution most of the time. Especially with photos for work that are intended for e-mail or viewing on computer only.

The D50 has many more features than most will ever use. You can put it in Automatic mode and it literally works like a point and shoot camera. It's difficult to take a photo that is not in focus or exposed properly.

It requires a lot of expense to get good wildlife photos. You can easily spend $6000 on a good 600mm lens and it will weigh about 15 pounds.

I don't have the patience for wildlife photography. (deer hunting either)

Good luck.
 

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I'd have to throw in a vote for the Olympus sp-590UZ (Ultra zoom). It's a small light camera with a pretty amazing lens (lens is better than the camera). It's a very capable camera but you have to use it properly.

It has an optical zoom equivalent from 26-676mm. These cameras get a lot of bad press because of "soft" pictures but most of that is technique. People zoom them out to 26x, shoot a picture of the kids at the ball park and complain because the picture is blurry. Sorry, but the same conditions with a $15,000 D3 and 600mm vr would probably have about the result. Use a tripod when zoomed all the way out and pictures are quite inpressive for a $330 camera.

It's still a point and shoot camera but it's a very versatile one. I want to take it out to Brazos Bend one of these days just to play with it a little and see what I can get out of it with some careful shooting. I think some folks may be surprised.. (-:}

Maybe I can post up a few pictures from it friday evening..
 

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I'll second Arlons ultra-zoom comments. I have the camera that came before the sp590uz - Mine is the SP570uz - 20x zoom, starting at a nice wide 26mm, and finishing around 520mm. The lens is decently sharp and not too slow, but the focus on Oly digicams is pretty slow in general. I have not used the sp590, but I hear it does a pretty good job, but you need practice with the super long zoom.

I you want to go SLR, look at Olympus. the Oly 4/3 cameras don't get much love on the forums, because their sensor is a bit smaller than the APS-c size used by C&N&S. HOWEVER, for budget nature photos, the 2x crop will help get you longer lenses for cheaper. The oly E520 is being discontinued, (replaced by the newer E620) and you can find a kit with 2 lenses (a "normal" zoom and a short Tele) can be had for around $500. The 2 lenses will cover 28-300mm (eq)and are some of the sharpest "kit" lenses around. Also, the e520 has in-body image stablization, which will help with long zooms. Last, if 300mm (equivlent) is not long enough, Oly has a rebate on their nice 70-300mm telephoto, so you can get it for about $250 right now. (with the 2x crop, that 70-300mm is "equivlent" to a 140-600mm zoom, in terms of field of view, or zoom). If you need to save more, shop around and you may find a new-in-box E510 (a 2 year old model) - you should be able to get one for around $300 (with one lens), if you can find one. My SLR is the 510's little brother, the un-stablized E410. I got it this spring for under $200, new in box, one lens kit.

Whatever you get, enjoy it, ask question, and post some pics!

Jerry
 
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