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  1. #1

    DSLR Camera advice


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    Don't know much about photography but want to start doing close up nature wildlife photography. Any advice on what to buy, prices, where to buy, new or used, and technicalities...e.g. do you need to buy an attachable lens? Any sensible advice appreciated.

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    • #2
      Habitual User Questions's Avatar
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      There is a photography thread if you check back a few pages with plenty of advice on DSLR's. I came back into photography with a Nikon D3300 for about £320.00 and it's a great camera.Added some lenses to that of course. If you want to do nature photography you will need to have a good read up on lenses from zoom to macro.
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    • #3

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      First question really is what is your budget? You can pay a huge amount of cash if you buy new, top of the range camera bodies and lenses.

      Next thing is to focus (!) on getting a camera body that has the features you want, and a wide range of lenses to fit. Most people still fall into the Canon or Nikon camps, although other brands are available. The reason why most buy Canon or Nikon is because of the wide range of good to top quality lenses available - talking of which....

      Lenses - what do you mean by close-up? If you want to take a close-up of a snail, for example, then the lens you choose will not be too expensive. If you want to take a close-up of a nesting eagle from far away, or a cheetah haring across the savannah, you will need an expensive lens (and quite possibly other expensive add-ons too).

      So, there is decent advice available here, judging by the quality of the photos shown on the photography thread - but your question is a little bit like 'I want to buy a new car, what should I buy?'.
      Narrow the choices down a little, in terms of your budget and what you plan to shoot, and I don't doubt you will get decent advice.

      Just watch out for the trap that pretty much all camera manufacturers set - once you buy their camera body, you will only be able to buy their lenses and attachments from that point onwards. There are adaptors and 3rd-party lenses that let you fit (for example), non-Canon parts to a Canon camera body, but largely you are stuck with one manufacturer's options once you buy the camera body.

      Oh, and finally, if you are going to get serious, remember that the camera body is really just a down-payment. You can easily pay many times the cost of the camera for decent lenses, as well as other attachments.
    • #4

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      I have been a Canon user for 40+ years, and they take some beating, but any of the major makes would be OK.

      If you buy a DSLR, they would not come with a lens, so you would need something to attach to it. if you want to do close up wildlife/nature stuff, you might need advice on macro vs micro - i.e. do you just want close-up or to magnify things that are really small.

      You can get a DSLR body reasonably cheaply, and it might be more worthwhile getting a basic body and a "better" lens with a macro capability.

      If I were you, it might be worth going to visit a decent dealer - Park Cameras? They would normally be knowledgeable and very able to advise and advise well if you tell them what you want to do, what your budget is and so on, and they would normally have both new and secondhand....

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    • #5
      I look nothing like him! Jack Straw's Avatar
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      If you look at this Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=Wildlife , not all but most photos if you click on them and scroll down, you'll see what make of camera, which lens, which shutter speed and which aperture. It may help to point you in the right direction?
    • #6
      Members desprateseagull's Avatar
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      My mate swears by his Canon setup..

      Perhaps if he got it fixed...

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    • #7
      Uckfield Seagull I remember the good times's Avatar
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      Shouldn't advertise but I went to Park Cameras in Burgess Hill. I did a little research first but found them very helpful. No need to buy straight away, just get advise.
    • #8
      Members dolphins's Avatar
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      I've been mainly a Nikon user for the last 30 odd years, but have also had a Fuji SLR as well as a Nikon SLR, then more recently, a Nikon DSLR, plus various smaller ones including my Canon bridge camera which is excellent for all sorts of things (e.g. concerts, where DSLRs aren't allowed) but would never give the same results as a (D)SLR.

      For a beginner, maybe have a look at bundles in your price range. Bear in mind that whilst convenient, zoom lenses don't tend to be as good as fixed focal length lenses (sometimes referred to as prime lenses).

      I'm actually looking to upgrade my Nikon, so any recommendations of Nikon bodies around the grand mark would be welcome - slightly out the loop on current models.
    • #9
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      It will depend entirely on what kind of nature photos you want to take.
      By close up do you mean macro (as on very close ups of insects etc) or a long lens to make the wildlife appear close up?
      In terms of wildlife photography I swear by my Canon 7D mkii and prime 400mm f5.6 lens but this is for subjects over 3.5 metres away. Anything closer and you are better off getting a 100mm macro lens. If out of your budget the original 7D has come down in price a lot since the launch of the mkii.

      I do a LOT of wildlife photography and have just launched my own website - www.glennwelchphotography.co.uk - take a look at the galleries - all pics have been taken with this set up. Any other questions please feel free to pm or ask on here.
    • #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by dolphins View Post
      This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
      I've been mainly a Nikon user for the last 30 odd years, but have also had a Fuji SLR as well as a Nikon SLR, then more recently, a Nikon DSLR, plus various smaller ones including my Canon bridge camera which is excellent for all sorts of things (e.g. concerts, where DSLRs aren't allowed) but would never give the same results as a (D)SLR.

      For a beginner, maybe have a look at bundles in your price range. Bear in mind that whilst convenient, zoom lenses don't tend to be as good as fixed focal length lenses (sometimes referred to as prime lenses).

      I'm actually looking to upgrade my Nikon, so any recommendations of Nikon bodies around the grand mark would be welcome - slightly out the loop on current models.
      Not an expert on Nikon cameras as I use Canon but I have heard very good things about the D800 (and the D810 but this is more expensive).

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