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Old Feb 7, 2006, 1:57 PM   #1
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I'm finally ready to go DSLR. After looking over forums, DSLR looks like the way to go, but can't find a currentforum that speaks specifically to my question.Have a Canon G6 and 400SD, and an old Olympus CZ3030 (love that camera, but developing bugs).

I travel quite a bit and want a good digital camera for wildlife, etc. Would like one that would be good for nature/wildlife shots in the jungle as well as on the water (low and lotsa light) and well as general usethat will last (recent release?), that has reasonable lens, accessories, etc. for around $1500 or so. What do you recommend, and what lens, etc?

Thought the G6 would do it, but disappointed with lag time andlight metering (I'm still in a learning curve, however). I bought the G6 for underwater, but am also very disappointed with the low light focus (not to digress!)


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Old Feb 7, 2006, 2:55 PM   #2
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I would think any of the new entry level DSLR's would work for what you want. The Canon's seem to focus the fastest, next the Nikon's and last the Pentax D series. I use a Pentax DS, because I have a lot of Pentax glass from film days and it works for me for wildlife, plus prime lenses are less expensive than the highest quality Canon and Nikon glass.

I guess if money were no object, I would go with Canon and their high end glass, but then maybe not since the Pentax lenses I have would be hard to beat no matter what the cost in C or N.

Shot with a Pentax FA* 300 and Pentax 1.4X-S teleconverter from about 35 yards.

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Old Feb 7, 2006, 6:12 PM   #3
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Can you be more specific about the types of wildlife you like to shoot? For instance, many birders require 400mm or more of reach (even taking into account the crop factor on DSLRs). While other, less demanding folks can get by with some of the cheaper 70-300 type lenses out there. In any event you may find the lens you ultimately need is more expensive than your body. You may also want to ask this question in the wildlife forum - there are some stellar wildlife photogs here who could give you specific advice on lenses with more feedback on the types of wildlife you want to shoot.

As to the camera body - I would be curious to hear from people who shoot in jungles etc if a sealed camera may be required for long term use in an environment like that.
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 7:26 PM   #4
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My choice is the KM 5D equipped with a 75-300mm Minolta lens that can be purchased at an absolute bargain price. Of course, the choice is yours, but I am a "happy camper." Great photo, ennamac.

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Old Feb 7, 2006, 7:41 PM   #5
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Any of the modern dSLRs will do the job you ask. The devil's in the details. Do you intend on getting very long lenses for capturing waaaay off birds, or do you want to get down and dirty with the bugs and moss? If the former, you'll want to stick with a brand that has long glass available for it; if the latter, maybe one with 90-degree v-finders, or perhaps even better, the newly announced Olympus E-330, which has live preview and tilting screen:

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Old Feb 8, 2006, 4:26 AM   #6
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My recommendation would be the

Canon XT + 17-85mm IS USM kit lens.
EF 70-300 IS USM lens (new model).

That lot will set you back around $1800.

Alternatively you could go for

Canon XT + 18-55 kit lens.
EF 70-300 IS USM lens (new model).

Which will come in at about $1440.

Reasons for selecting the XT over the others:
1. 8Mp v 6Mp - you will be cropping wildlife shots, the extra Mp are handy for that.
2. The quality/price ratio of the new EF 70-300 IS USM lens is excellent.
3. Canon AF has a slight edge over the competition.

IMO the extra cost for the 17-85 lens is worth it over the 18-55 lens, though the 18-55 is a respectable performer for the price.
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Old Feb 8, 2006, 9:00 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info.

I'm traveling frequently to Costa Rica and want to take pictures of birds, monkeys, and whatever else crosses my path, necessitating a telephoto. But my first love is taking the macros of plants. So - I need advice on both.

With that in mind: The Minolta, the Olympus E-330, or the Canon XT?

For a start, will stay with the 70-300mm. Still more than I've had to work with!

And: what do you recommend for a macro lens?


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