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DrPhill

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LOML wants a camera as a step up from a phone camera. Mostly for wildlife photos, so ability to do close-up and zoom would be good. She is technically savvy (iOS and Android). Bluetooth or wifi connectivity to iPad would be good.

The market seems crowded at slightly-better-than-beginner level, and I have no idea what I am looking at. Any things to look out for, to avoid?I am willing to spend a few hundred if the camera is worth it. I have plenty of time until her birthday to do some research.

Thanks for any suggestions/help.

Phill
 

Pete Maddex

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Second hand Nikon full frame like a D600 or crop body D300/D700 add a cheap 70-300mm lens.
Wildlife photography can get very expensive.
Pete
 

Sideways

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Honestly, i'm not sure spending " a few hundred" is worth it.
Phone cameras are pretty amazing for what they are. They digitally process the images like crazy and it's impressive what they achieve. They pretty much killed a section of the camera industry.
For a stand alone camera, read this. I'm way out of date with current models but this guy seems to have done the work for us.
https://bryanpfeiffer.com/photography/p ... -wildlife/

If you don't mind carrying something bigger, a DSLR type interchangeable lens camera is the next step up.
I'd avoid " full frame" as these cameras and lenses are physically bigger and more expensive than smaller formats. They are better in bad light but that comes at a price. Especially long lenses for wildlife work.

Second hand (not from a dealer) could save a lot of money but has a few risks.
I think you will need to spend several hundred to really make a worthwhile difference. £200 or £300 won't be worth it.

Last thought. I'd put the money into the glass before than the camera. Even on my first entry level nikon DSLR, the lens was more expensive than the camera. Good camera - cheap lens doesn't make sense to me. Good lenses have a life of about 10 years before manufacturers make them obsolete. Cameras are superceded every 2-3 years.
Interesting thought for buying used. A £2,000+ pro grade DSLR is good for over 100,000 shutter actuations. A lot of amateurs won't shoot more than 5,000 a year, so they'll get bored long before they wear one out.
 

sunnybob

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I've had canon digital almost since they arrived. Canon are a very good and slightly cheaper alternative to nikon.
I've been able to play with nikons and I found only one situation where nikon was better than my canon, and that was indoors, party type pictures. Quick snapshots in weird lighting conditions was where nikon won. Apart from that Canon is the equal.
Lenses are where the money is spent. I went on a safari with a 200 mm zoom and lost many fine shots because the animal was just a dot in the middle. I moved up to 300 mm zoom, and thats good enough for 80% of animal shots while still being small enough to be hand held.
Above that youre into image stabilised professional lenses that are going to cost a grand as a starting price.
I tried using a doubler on a 300 mm zoom but that was too much for the body to process.
Canon lenses are always cheaper than nikon lenses purely because of the name.
Sigma is an alternative cheaper make of lenses, but you can tell the difference when using them.
I'm not sure about nikon, but canon allows using older lenses without adaptors. I have one lens that has to be 30 years old now and still works perfectly.
 

That would work

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Look at London camera exchange for a used one. The ones they sell are like new and come with a guarantee.
A Nikon D3300 is excellent for example, either with a so called kit lens or 55-200mm.
 

Chris152

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MikeG.":1qpdwa7j said:
Pete Maddex":1qpdwa7j said:
.........full frame.......
These are the key words.
But for a few hundred pounds, even used? Plus achieving reach with telephoto lenses is going to be more tricky at reasonable cost.
 

fezman

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Phill,

There could be a hundred or so different opinions here as (like sharpening ;-) ) everyone will have their preference.
I've been dabbling with photography for the last 40 or so years and I think it boils down to three types of camera - all very good for what they are aimed at.

Travel Zooms - like the Lumix TZ range are great - they fit in your pocket, have a huge zoom (think 17-400mm focal length in DSLR terms), can shoot videos etc. They can be point and shoot or you can be more creative with the modes they have. I have this one - its never dissapointed me https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC- ... 6M8M2?th=1 - you could go cheaper for the tz90 or even the 80 (i have an 80 as well and its still more than capable).

Bridge Cameras - again I went with a panasonic lumix. I wanted something that shot 4k video, had a long zoom (400mm) and was easy to carry. So i bought the Lumix FZ82 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-Lumi ... B01NARXQ2E .

DSLR - these are the ones with interchangeable lenses. So as said above, you buy a body and then buy lenses to suit. The main point here is that if you go down this route, pick a brand and stick with it - changing a bunch of lenses is expensive. I currently have canon kit and there are 3 (i think ) flavours of this. the newer mirror free style, the EFS smaller sensor format and the EF range - full sensor. The EFS and EF are pretty much interchangeable, but putting an EF lens on an EFS camera effectively increases the focal length (depeding on sensor will depend on the size of the effect).

To put the above in context of price - the TZ's are usually £300-400 when new and around £200-300 as they become superseded. The bridge camera was about £200 but they can rise to £6-700 depending on spec. The canon kit - well its a different ballpark. The body I use was £1500, i have about £4000 worth of lenses.

There are a ton of reviews on Youtube, but also forums are worth a look - DPReview.Com is a good source of forums, reviews and sample images. Also Talk Photography is a good forum too.

HTH
F
 

MikeG.

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Chris152":jqzpmaig said:
MikeG.":jqzpmaig said:
Pete Maddex":jqzpmaig said:
.........full frame.......
These are the key words.
But for a few hundred pounds, even used? Plus achieving reach with telephoto lenses is going to be more tricky at reasonable cost.
Your "reach" is just the same with full frame or not-full-frame (I'm sure there's a word for this!). It's just that the not-full-frame camera digitally crops and enlarges your image, which makes it look like it has zoomed further than the full-frame camera. It hasn't.
 

Chris152

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True, but lenses that function properly with a full frame sensor tend to cost £££.
Plus, crop sensors are producing excellent quality images now - not as good as full frame for sure, but again we're talking within a budget.
 

novocaine

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sony a5100 mirrorless with a 55-210 lens.

I have a mid range DSLR (60d) that the sony would show up on a regular basis.
they got the drop on canon and nikon when they released their mirrorless range and it's been a battle in the photography world ever since with sony regularly winning out over the big 2. whilst consumer SLR isn't dead yet, it's only being held up by old gits (I'm not that old really) like me who like to claim they are better in some way.

cropped sensor does not digitally enlarge your image. it simply doesn't have the same field of view is all, so it appears to be "zoomed" more. so a 50mm lens on a full frame will be 50mm, it will be more like 80mm (around 1.5x on a nikon, 1.6x on a canon). that means your 200mm lens on a crop sensor is going to be 300mm equivilant on a full frame. at that distance, a tripod is must (anything over 80mm needs to be supported really). now, unless she plans to print out her images on the side of building, she does not need a full frame sensor, it's just the last vestige of the pro photography and everyone wants to think they are good enough to do that. don't waste your money.

none of this matters. buy the Sony, you will not be disappointed.
time for a tale based on no facts at all, as is the way of the forum.

I very good friend who I've been helping out as assistant when he shot weddings for years (less so now as I have family and house to deal with on weekends), has sold all but 1 of his DSLRs (he kept the D5 mark 3) and 90% of his lenses (because people who pay for wedding photos expect an SLR even if they don't know what one is) and has invested in sony mirrorless gear. now when he does weddings he takes all the big shots (group shots, bride and groom etc.) with both then uses the sony for the incissing. dental shots. most of the time the sony shots are the ones that get kept. the SLR is purely for the look of it.
 

heronviewer

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You should think about how the camera is going to be used. I had several DSLRs and an assortment of lenses up to a 300mm one but as I carried them, they got heavier and heavier. I eventually gave them up and went for a lighter one, a Canon SX10, with a good zoom which I can carry. I'm now using a Canon SX60 which suits me and has a good lens.
 

John15

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For mammals and birds I think you need at least a 300mm lens. My wife has Canon kit, a 7D body and 75-300 and 100-400mm zoom lenses with which she takes stunning wildlife photos. For smaller stuff like butterflies and bees she uses her 75-300 lens. It's all a bit on the expensive side but if you can afford it it's well worth it.

John
 

Steve Maskery

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Good point about the weight. It's not a problem if you are using it in a studio (or workshop) setting, on a tripod, but if you are out and about, with a heavy DSLR and a few lenses, accessory bag and tripod, it can be a different story.
I have 2 Lumix cameras, a now-ancient G1 and a later, though far from cutting-edge G7. I'm not a serious photographer, but for the sort of stuff I do, I have no regrets. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. You can buy an entire kit on eBay for under a ton.
I wish you hadn't started this thread, I'm now drooling over a Lumix G90, which has AV out, lacking on my G7. Bummer...
 

That would work

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Forget full frame sensors. Absolutely not needed unless you want to print a billboard and then look at it at very close quarters.
 

novocaine

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in the UK, 200mm is more than enough, you aren't shooting lions on the Serengeti, so use field craft instead. we had a talk about it at the photography club a few years back. people think that because a pro uses a 600mm odd lens they must do it to, but they forget that a pro doesn't want to sit and wait for the shot, they want to shoot and get to the next one, each shot is money. as an amatuer, you can take your time, you can sit for hours or slowly creep up on an animal.

107mm
Squirrel without a cause by David Rees, on Flickr

think this was 180mm
flight time by David Rees, on Flickr

theres more if you follow the flickr link.
 

MikeG.

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novocaine":33d3nz5r said:
.....cropped sensor does not digitally enlarge your image. it simply doesn't have the same field of view is all, so it appears to be "zoomed" more.........
It's more a figure of speech, but if you produce an identical cropped image and a non cropped image (which obviously shows more), and you then increase the size of the cropped image until it is the same size as the non-cropped one, (or decrease the non-cropped one to the size of the cropped), then it's a useful shorthand to say that the "zoomed" image is in fact just cropped and enlarged.
 

MikeG.

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That would work":1mh0u335 said:
Forget full frame sensors. Absolutely not needed unless you want to print a billboard and then look at it at very close quarters.
He's doing wildlife photography, so this advice is wrong.
 
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