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gangurru

Need help with buying a camera

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Posted (edited)

Hello all,

 

I want to buy a new camera for my proposed safari in June/July. I already have a Nikon L120, but as I have a $1300 credit at a camera shop I thought that I'd use it to get something suitable.

 

Firstly, I am a real amateur, and about all I know, so far, is that I want digital.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks

 

gangurru

Edited by gangurru

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Hi Gangurru

 

One of the ST members has just bought a Canon SX40 and taken for a trip- I had briefly seen it couple of months back and was duly impressed. It will come at roughly a third or fourth of your credit. Will know by mid March how it fared on the trip! We did a comparison with quite a few other makes and figured this one had the most relevant features for wildlife photography in a hybrid.

 

Not much experience with other makes but others will chip in!

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I expect you will receive a wealth of advice here from all levels of photography so tread cautiously!

 

Learn from all but buy at the level that is right for you.

 

If your not already into photography as a hobby then it is possible that you will not catch the bug!.... That's a lot of money sat in the cupboard doing nothing when you get home!

 

If you buy budget say under AU$600 you've less money sat around going to waste plus also you'll still use the camera for happy snapping.

 

You can learn a lot from a modern "Bridge camera" & get some excellent results, then by the time your ready to upgrade to a more professional camera you will have a better choice, this year's models will be cheaper as they're old models & next years upgraded models are on the market.

 

Bonus! You'll still have your original camera for the glove box for those unexpected moments.

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Thanks for your replies. I look forward to hearing how the Canon SX40 camera goes on the trip Tanya. You're right of course Nappa, it's pointless spending a large amount of money on a camera that is not going to be of much use to me. But as I mentioned I do have this credit which I must use, perhaps I'll look at buying a less expensive camera and see what else they have available.

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Posted (edited)

You should buy something that will have a good resale value; i.e. something just out and very good. Then in a few months you can sell it for 70+% of what you paid for it if it doesn't work out for you. Or sell your remaining credit to a photographer for $xxx and both smile!

 

Edit: Oops.... too late!

 

Edit @: No it's not... I misread the other thread. :rolleyes:

Edited by pault

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Thanks for your replies. I look forward to hearing how the Canon SX40 camera goes on the trip Tanya. You're right of course Nappa, it's pointless spending a large amount of money on a camera that is not going to be of much use to me. But as I mentioned I do have this credit which I must use, perhaps I'll look at buying a less expensive camera and see what else they have available.

gangarru,

 

I would suggest that you reserve part of your credit (say +/- 50%) for a decent pair of binoculars.

 

For example, you could get the Canon SX40 for $519 at DCW:

SX40 at DCW

 

and have $781 left over for camera bag, SD memory cards and binoculars such as the Nikon Monarch 8x42:

Binos

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put a heavy camera strap on the binos if necessary atached with a cable tie

 

get ultra speed sd cards as the images transfer to the card at a faster speed

 

get more lower capacity sd cards rather than a few big ones, you can label them and it is not such a massivde disaster if stolen.

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I think Zaminoz make an excellent suggestion.

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Thanks everyone for the input, you've given me quite a lot to think about.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but is it really necessary to spend $500 on binocs?

 

I can get a really good deal on the Nikon D5100 plus 18-55 and 55-300 lenses....is anyone familiar with this camera?

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Forgive my ignorance, but is it really necessary to spend $500 on binocs?

 

 

 

I'd say yes, but then I use my binoculars most days.

As with cameras you get what you pay for.

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Thanks everyone for the input, you've given me quite a lot to think about.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but is it really necessary to spend $500 on binocs?

 

I can get a really good deal on the Nikon D5100 plus 18-55 and 55-300 lenses....is anyone familiar with this camera?

I got the D5100 for our first trip to Africa in July. Mainly I got this one because I thought it was the same camera that my daughter has and we could have the same batteries and chargers...as it turned out she has the D5000 and the batteries and chargers aren't the same.

 

I like this camera but I have put a fair amount of time on learning to use it off the auto mode that I've always used with my other digital cameras. It's well worth investing that time even if you just use the Aperture or Shutter priority modes.

 

Initially I got the 18-55 and the 70-300 f4-5.6 G VR lenses. Now I'm already upgrading to the 24-120 f/4 VR and the 70-200 f/2.8 VR. I'm also getting the TC 1.4.

 

I got most of my advise from the very informative and patient people on Outdoorphotographer.co.za forums. They've given me a great of help and advise.

 

Best of luck to you on your purchase and your trip. Where are you heading? Patsy

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Just my 2p's worth...like yourself, I'm new to digital. I purchased a Canon 450D for $375 and its turned out to be a good camera (so far). For the beginner its a good camera to learn digital but the only drawback is that its not full frame. That said, its the lens that will cost you a bomb.

 

ZaminOz is spot on about the Nikon Monarch 8x42 binos. I picked up a pair off of ebay for $150 and they are excellent. The detail you see at a qtr mile is impressive.

 

Good luck!

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I can get a really good deal on the Nikon D5100 plus 18-55 and 55-300 lenses....is anyone familiar with this camera?

That 18-55 lens isnt very good, tbo. My Canon came with one that has IS (image stabiliser), and I doubt very seriously that I will ever use it, but thats because I replaced it with a 24-105 L IS.

 

As far as a zoom lens, the 300 that you refer to would have to be a minimum size. 400 would be better.

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I can get a really good deal on the Nikon D5100 plus 18-55 and 55-300 lenses....is anyone familiar with this camera?

That 18-55 lens isnt very good, tbo. My Canon came with one that has IS (image stabiliser), and I doubt very seriously that I will ever use it, but thats because I replaced it with a 24-105 L IS.

 

As far as a zoom lens, the 300 that you refer to would have to be a minimum size. 400 would be better.

...hum, I'm assuming you're referring to the 400 F/2.8 Nikon since he's asking about the D5100 and if so then you're aware of the size and $10,000 USD price of that lens... for a beginner. And the 18-55 is a fine lens for a new photographer.

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Hi,

 

I am very pleased with my new Lumix FZ150. Its not a digital SLR, but has a 24X optical zoom and its seems to handle low light conditions better than the FZ5 and FZ18 that I have owned.

 

The camera cost $650 AUD and sadly does not take the same batteries as its predecessor. I purchased an ultra (Class 10) sanDisk to maximise image transfer and will purchase a couple of spare batteries.

 

I also agree with ZaminOz - save some credit for good binocs. I paid $280 for a pair of Bushnell (Birding series) 8x42 and have been very pleased with them on 2 safaris.

 

Here are a couple of photos from my first outing with the new camera. It was a very dark, overcast afternoon on the Hobart Domain when I took these and they have been editted in Picasa.

 

P1000031.JPG?gl=AU

 

 

P1000041.JPG?gl=AU

 

 

I was also interested in this discussion over at Birdforum which confirmed my choice of the the FZ150, http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=210341&highlight=FZ150 and here are some other threads discussing the Canon SX40, http://www.birdforum.net/search.php?searchid=12308022

 

I think purchasing cameras is one of the most overwhelming experiences one can face!

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

 

Pol

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Hi Treepol, yes we looked at the Lumix FZ150 too which is the right comparison for Canon SX40. Agree its a great camera for the 12 fps it gives as Canon's is only 8 to 10 ( they say 10 but I think it comes to around 8). But ended up picking the SX40 on account of higher zoom (840mm versus 600), and slightly better on vid quality plus a faster min shutter speed.

 

Also the FZ was around USD150-200 more expensive or so. Both have a flip out screen which I thought would be really useful for awkward angles. FZ150 also has the ability take in RAW if you want to do a lot of editing afterwards- this was not important to us- Its a lighter smaller camera compared to SX40 so one can look at both and see which feels better.

 

Ganguru- snapsort.com and lots of other webistes including dpreview etc will do a kind of feature by feature comparison between 2 cameras and then you can shortlist the ones that are more important to you- its a very close comparison between these 2.

 

 

What would also help is to check these kind of bridge super-zoom cameras and the DSLR and test for yourself if you want to invest more into a proper DSLR kit- the investment is not just money but the lugging around, changing lens, cleaning, maintenance etc- its not a big deal if you would end up using it a lot and like the idea of playing around with pics etc but if convenience is important, then the super-zooms might suit better.

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I have a Lumix FZ50, quite big, which suits my thick clumsy hands. Zoom & focus are rings on the lens barrel I would never get along with the little buttons most "Bridge Cameras" have!

It takes what for me are excellent pictures & I think as good as some entry level DSLR.

Both "Point & Shoot" & "Bridge Cameras" all have their place & are excellent for Safari they but will never match the photo quality of a decent DSLR body & lens in the right hands.

 

You get's what you pay for!

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...hum, I'm assuming you're referring to the 400 F/2.8 Nikon since he's asking about the D5100 and if so then you're aware of the size and $10,000 USD price of that lens... for a beginner. And the 18-55 is a fine lens for a new photographer.

Goodness graceous, no. I was referring to a 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS Canon lens and I should have made that clear - my mistake.

 

Swings and roundabouts on the 18-55 lens...from your point of view, you are correct, but for me its rather limited. I believe I read on here that Tony Park said it was only good for throwing at Vervet monkees...a bit harsh on the monkees, I thought :)

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Thanks to everyone for all the input......Had a quick look for binocs on Ebay and they had some at quite good prices

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Check This link on Binoculars

 

Some worthwhile advice there.

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I am unsure how reliable ebay would be for quality as regards binos

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I am unsure how reliable ebay would be for quality as regards binos

 

My family live in Australia & eBay is a little bit different in it's usage than here in the UK.

Here in the UK there are some great bargains to be found but always do a web search first as often a new item can be found cheaper from an online retailer.

 

Example: My wife's binoculars, Nikon Travelites, were around £80 on eBay + postage, new from eBay retailers! I think recommended retail was shown as about £130.

 

An internet search & I found them for £50 at Warehouse Express on special offer including delivery.

 

Her old pair of Travelites had gone out of phase.

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I really appreciate all of the advice I received from everyone, thanks a million, but I actually decided to stick with the Nikon D5100....only I upgraded to better lenses...so what I have is the Nikon AF-S 16-85mm VR f3.5-5.6 G ED Zoom and the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR f4.5-5.6 G IF ED Lens, which I have been trying out for a few days now and I am very happy with it.

 

As far as the binocs go, my son is giving them to me for my birthday...lucky me...I liked the Nikon Monarch 10x56, they are larger but I felt comfortable with that.....has anyone used them?

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Thanks everyone for the input, you've given me quite a lot to think about.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but is it really necessary to spend $500 on binocs?

 

I can get a really good deal on the Nikon D5100 plus 18-55 and 55-300 lenses....is anyone familiar with this camera?

I got the D5100 for our first trip to Africa in July. Mainly I got this one because I thought it was the same camera that my daughter has and we could have the same batteries and chargers...as it turned out she has the D5000 and the batteries and chargers aren't the same.

 

I like this camera but I have put a fair amount of time on learning to use it off the auto mode that I've always used with my other digital cameras. It's well worth investing that time even if you just use the Aperture or Shutter priority modes.

 

Initially I got the 18-55 and the 70-300 f4-5.6 G VR lenses. Now I'm already upgrading to the 24-120 f/4 VR and the 70-200 f/2.8 VR. I'm also getting the TC 1.4.

 

I got most of my advise from the very informative and patient people on Outdoorphotographer.co.za forums. They've given me a great of help and advise.

 

Best of luck to you on your purchase and your trip. Where are you heading? Patsy

 

Thanks Patsy, I decided to stick with the D5100, but purchased better lenses....I'm off to Samburu, the Mara, Lakes Nakuru, Bogoria etc, and Tsavo and I haven't confirmed it yet but probably Taragire, L Mayara, and Nogorongoro.

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