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Old Aug 20, 2016, 3:50 PM   #1
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Hi,

I'm looking to get a DSLR. I consider myself a hobbyist looking to improve my photos and my skills. My photos are primarily nature focused including flowers, waterfalls, wildlife (often from a distance), and landscapes. I'm looking to get a solid body that I can use for a while and invest in lenses over time. I'd like to keep body price within $1,500.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Aug 20, 2016, 5:42 PM   #2
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The dSLRs from the major vendors that will meet your requirements and are in your price range are the Canon EOS 80D ($1,199) the Nikon D7200 ($1,047) and the Sony A77 II ($1,198). They all are about equal in features and capabilities, and have about the same level of image noise. The Nikon shines, however, as it has the best dynamic range, according to DxOMark.

The big thing, however, is the lenses. One typical lens for what you say you want to do is a 70-300. In order by image quality are Canon's EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM ($1,399), Canon's EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD ($1,1349), Sony's 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM II ($1,148), and Nikon's 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR ($497).

While the Nikon is the best camera, Nikon's 70-300 holds it back.

As for wide angle zoom lenses, some of the best are from third parties, who make them for any camera, so that shouldn't be a deciding factor when choosing a camera.
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Old Aug 20, 2016, 6:01 PM   #3
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Scaling back a little bit, there's the Canon EOS Rebel T6s ($849), the Nikon D5500 ($747), and the Sony Alpha a68 ($598).

According to DxOMark, as far as image noise is concerned, they are, from best to worst, Nikon, Canon and Sony, though the difference is slight. As for dynamic range, though, the Nikon bests the other two.
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Old Aug 20, 2016, 7:05 PM   #4
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G'day SG

And there is another possibility .... maybe look around for a 2nd-hand kit of some sort where the current owner is upgrading to a 'better' system and here is a good opportunity for a newbie to get onto a good camera plus a couple of lenses for maybe, under $1000

Phil
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Old Aug 21, 2016, 6:00 PM   #5
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Do you realize how many different lenses you'll need to do everything that you normally do with just a compact P&S camera?

You'll want a fast prime or macro lens for flower close-ups, an ultra-wide zoom for landscape and a "long" telephoto zoom lens for wildlife. There is no one size fits all.

That's not just expensive, it's "heavy". Add in the tripod and you might be carrying 10 or 12 pounds of gear. Even physically fit men are getting tired of lugging the bulk and weight and are downsizing to much smaller micro 4/3 systems or P&S models like the Panasonic FZ1000.

When you carry the gear 7 miles out into the mountains, you have to carry it back, maybe in the rain or snow.
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Old Aug 22, 2016, 4:17 AM   #6
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It's your call of course, but smaller, lighter systems have correspondingly lower image quality. Whether they'd be sufficient for your needs is only something you can judge.
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