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OT - Need Camera for the Great Outdoors

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by OCMan, Sep 26, 2007.

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  1. OCMan

    OCMan TS Member

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    I was just lucky enough to spend the better part of a week in Yellowstone and South Dakota.... Unfortunately, I brought a camera that doesn't allow me to change lenses so the pictures of Elk I was able to take look like dots in the distance. Could I get some recommendations as to the correct digital camera and lense set ups I should invest in. Most of the pictures I took of the Elk were approximately 100 yards away.....

    Any and all recommendations I can receive would be greatly appreciated. Also if possible a ball park cost of the setups ( camera and lense )

    Thanks
     
  2. BMC

    BMC Member

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    What you are referring to is a DSLR, basically a digital SLR version of the once popular 35mm body/lens cameras. You'll need over $1,000 for starter kits that include a 200+mm lens which is what would be required to zoom in good on a large object like an Elk at 100 yards. Most of the consumer and prosumer level DSLRs have around a 1.5 crop factor so a 200mm focal length lens becomes a 300mm focal length lens. This is actually one of the nice things about intrepolating sensors. One of my 300mm lens on one of my DSLR bodies with a 1.5 crop factor gives me a 400mm lens. This past July I used it to photograph fireworks that filled half the frame, which were being shot off about three miles away.
    You can get into DSLR photography fairly cheap if you shop around and buy used. You can get some great deals on used gear if you shop hard. Many places such as Adorama or B&H Photo for example, sell packages or kits which would be your body, lens, recharageables, sometimes an external flash, and some other odds and ends. For a new guy getting in, this is usually a pretty good deal, except for the lens will usually be a lower end model. Not a deal killer for an entry level position. As you develop a greater understanding of photography and how important equipment can be in that understanding, you'll upgrade to better lenses and probably bodies too.

    Here are few other things to consider. If you purchase a longer tele zoom lens, fork over the cash now for a better quality one. Unless in ideal lighting conditions, you will usually need at least a monopod to get good, crisp images when shooting with a long tele or zoom lens. Do research on the manufacturer you are choosing and the lens qualities. I can't suggest a name brand, they have their good and bad points. I prefer Pentax and that is all I use and have ever used. I would suggest checking out some of the gear you can afford to step into, then go to DPReview.com and read up on the gear there, as well as the forums about that particular brand. Nothing gets by those guys and the people in those forums.
     
  3. KiloMike

    KiloMike TS Member

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    If you already have a film SLR, don't forget to take those lenses into consideration. I had a Canon Rebel SLR, so when I decided it was time to go digital, it was easy for me to decide on the Canon Digital Rebel because the lenses from my fil camera would work with it. A friend of mine was a Minolta guy. When he went digital, he chose the Sony because he had several thousand dollars worth of lenses that would fit that mount.


    As a bare minimum, I would suggest getting a kit that comes with your first lens, because it is usually a good general purpose lens for most pictures you would take around the house, on vactions, etc. where you will have people close that you are taking pictures of. The Canon usually comes with an 18-55mm. Then purchase a longer range lens for the ones like the elk picture you described. Something in a 75-300 telephoto is great. BMC is right about lens quality. Especially on the longer focal lengths. You need a lens that lets in a lot of light. Canon has a line of Image Stabilization lenses that are expensive, but worth it. The Sony has image stabilization built into the body, and my friend says it does a great job for him.


    Another good site for reviews is http://www.steves-digicams.com/


    Kevin
     
  4. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    I have to second what Kevin said. I was using a Minolta, mid price, auto focus film camera. When I went looking for a digital, I bought a Sony A100 body only as it accepts all of my Minolta lenses. At 10.2 Megapixel, I can get a decent photo with minimum investment. If I would have had to buy all new lenses, I would probably still be shooting film.

    As Kevin said you also have those options with Canon, Nikon, Leica and others. You can pick up many film camera lenses for a reasonable price on the used market.

    Be aware of some very disreputable dealers on the internet. The cheapest price I found was $200.00 less than I eventually paid. Some companies offer a low, low price on the camera only and then try to sell you the accessories that come with the camera for extra money. A lot of extra money. If you do not buy the accessories, they give you a confirmation number but never ship the goods. It seems most of these outfits are located in Brooklyn, NY.

    Good luck.

    Bob
     
  5. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    I have to second what Kevin said. I was using a Minolta, mid price, auto focus film camera. When I went looking for a digital, I bought a Sony A100 body only as it accepts all of my Minolta lenses. At 10.2 Megapixel, I can get a decent photo with minimum investment. If I would have had to buy all new lenses, I would probably still be shooting film.

    As Kevin said you also have those options with Canon, Nikon, Leica and others. You can pick up many film camera lenses for a reasonable price on the used market.

    Be aware of some very disreputable dealers on the internet. The cheapest price I found was $200.00 less than I eventually paid. Some companies offer a low, low price on the camera only and then try to sell you the accessories that come with the camera for extra money. A lot of extra money. If you do not buy the accessories, they give you a confirmation number but never ship the goods. It seems most of these outfits are located in Brooklyn, NY.

    Good luck.

    Bob
     
  6. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    OCMan the link that I have posted above is a pretty good tool for choosing what type of Camera you might want give it a look and see. The banner on the right give you a lot of Cameras to choose from it also give complete reports and side by side comparison. Good Luck.

    Bob Lawless
     
  7. Phil E

    Phil E TS Member

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    When looking for a pocket digital, I started at DigitalCamera (above.) I got quite a lot of good info. It might help. Phil E
     
  8. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    OC, in addition to some excellent advice above, you might want to take a few basic digital classes. I have been shooting pics for 40 years and every time I take a class, I learn. With some careful shopping (eBay, craigslist, local newspaper ads, etc.) you can find excellent deals on SLR film cameras and use the lense on a digital body. Or check out closeout pricing on new digi cameras...the mfg.'s update new models every 6 months it seems. I'm positive you can get a really fine camera with all the goodies for well under a thousand.
     
  9. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    The Nikon D40 although a beautiful Camera is not the best choice for the original question asked. The D 40 can be equipped to take long distance pictures such as Elk a 100 yards. But certainly not for $550 it would seem that the standard lens in this price range is 18-55mm lens. Not exactly a telephoto lens.

    Bob Lawless
     
  10. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    Sony bought out Konica-Minolta and thier line of Alpha SLR digitals, I believe will accept all Minolta Maxxum lenses. I'm gonna buy one for myself.
     
  11. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Jim Burk you said "the best way is to buy the camera body only than add the lenes that you need." I never said it wasn't. I did however say that it is not going to be done for $ 550.

    Just to make my point on Abes of Maine's website a Lens that would make a descent telephoto lens NIKON 70-300MM F/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR NIKKOR is $ 454.95. Your $ 550 Camera just went to over a $1000 with one lens. That is all I said Jim.

    Bob Lawless
     
  12. antique

    antique TS Member

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    Bob i said it wrong.Sorry Jim Burk
     
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