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Old Mar 8, 2009, 6:04 PM   #1
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Hello all
Im just starting out with photography and cant wait to get started but theres just one little thing stopping me from getting started, I need a camera.
Ive heard lots about Nikon and Canon and that its good to get a camera that can have alot of lenses added to it as you get better.
I was just wondering if you guys can give me your views on the best DSLR for beginners please.
I want to photograph wildlife especially birds of prey and I want to take lots of landscape photos so I need one thats best for these.My budget is about £400.
Thanks very much in advance
Kind regards
Joe.
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Old Mar 8, 2009, 7:44 PM   #2
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Welcome! The people here are awesome and you will learn so much!

I have a Canon XTI and I love it, if you are in a hurry you can put it into Auto mode and it takes great pictures, when you have time to play and learn you can change it to Manual, Shutter or Aperture Priority. If you are like me, it will take a little while to get use to not having a display screen to look at when you take pictures, but you will still be able to review the pictures, check out the histogram and use the other menu options.

Also, take a look at http://www.flickr.com/cameras/
click on a camera, then click on a picture, then scroll down, on the right side of the page you will see, "More properties" (in blue) this is where you can learn what software the photographer used in post-processing and what his/her settings were to take the picture.

Also, http://digital-photography-school.com/ is a great website to learn new things. I love the tips & tutorials.

Good Luck

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Old Mar 8, 2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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I don't know what prices are in the UK, but it sounds like your budget will get you an entry level Canon SLR,such as the XS/1000D or XSO/450D. You can take nice landscapes with the kit lens. Wildlife photography is an expensive pasttime, you will need to budget as much or more than your camera budget for a long enough lens. Rest assured that your entry level camera will do what you want with the appropriate lens attached.
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Old Mar 9, 2009, 3:11 AM   #4
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For your budget there are only a few options.

I would be inclined to go with #2, #4, #6 below. The Sony A200 is superb value and gives you a good upgrade path and access to some excellent lenses.

The Pentax is a fabulous little camera with a decent upgrade path and access to a very interesting set of lenses too. Pentax are quirky company, and their systems are very photography-nut oriented. They clearly care very much about their products.

The Olympus is also nice.

At this price point you are at the bottom and nasty end of what's available from Canon and Nikon. Avoid if possible.

1. Sony Alpha 200 Digital SLR with 18-70mm Kit (£300)

2. Sony Alpha 200 Digital SLR with 18-70mm + 75-300mm Kit (£400).

3. Pentax K-m Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens (£360)

4. Nikon D40 Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens (£340)

5. Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55 DC (non IS) Kit(£390)

6. Olympus E-520 + 14-42mm Lens Kit (£360)


My personal choice, if you don't need access later on to the Canon or Nikon systems, would be to go with the Pentax.
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Old Mar 9, 2009, 6:22 AM   #5
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joeted wrote:
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I want to photograph wildlife especially birds of prey and I want to take lots of landscape photos so I need one thats best for these.My budget is about £400.
Thanks very much in advance...
For your budget I would also suggest #6 from Peripatetic's list:
http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthre...y510Review.php

Why? Wildlife need longer lens later and with a 2x crop factor (and built-in image Stabilization), the Oly will go easy on the cost of lenses and also the system will end up much smaller...
-> A popular 70-200 f/2.8 will have a FOV a 140-400 f/2.8 in 4/3 mount at an unheard of price and highly portable unlike a Canon or Nikon equivalent, while a Bigma will take you into super telephoto category at a fraction of the cost:
http://www.pbase.com/olyinaz/bigma
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Old Mar 9, 2009, 1:50 PM   #6
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Thank you all very much I really appreciate your help. Im taking all your advice in and checking out the cameras youve mentioned.Now this may sound dumb but can you explain the lenses to me a bit e.g what does a 18 - 70mm lens actually mean and what is it best used for etc ?
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Old Mar 9, 2009, 3:21 PM   #7
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joeted wrote:
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... can you explain the lenses to me a bit e.g what does a 18 - 70mm lens actually mean and what is it best used for etc ?
FYI: http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learnin..._schneider.asp

"Most people who buy a new DSLR get it with the standard "normal zoom" lens. Typically it's an 18-55mm or 18-45mm that's the respective equivalent of a 28-85mm or 28-70mm lens on a 35mm SLR. It's also of moderate speed, usually around f/3.5 at the wide-angle setting and f/5.6 at the telephoto end. No doubt these are useful general-purpose lenses for getting started, but they can't do everything. They don't provide the ultra-wide-angle settings you may need to record scenic vistas or get the whole family into a holiday shot in a small dining room. At their telephoto end, they don't provide ideal focal lengths for portraiture (which really begin at 100-105mm), nor do they let you zoom long enough to capture most sports action or wildlife subjects..."
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 7:24 AM   #8
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joeted wrote:
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... can you explain the lenses to me a bit e.g what does a 18 - 70mm lens actually mean and what is it best used for etc ?
Here are a couple of very nice sites I point my students to, answering what you are asking in a visual and easy-to-comprehend manner, as well as providing additional information.

http://www.usa.canon.com/app/html/EF...al_length.html provides an excellentflash demo program explaining the effects of various focal lengths.

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/t...t/index_a.html provides even more lens information in easy to understand visual presentations, and in so doingalso demonstrates why good lenses are so costly!
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 3:51 PM   #9
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Thanks again to everyone this is really helpful stuff. Im seriously thiniking about the Nikon D60,what are your thoughts on this ? Also is there a difference between a Nikon d60 and a EOS Nikon d60 ?
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 4:10 PM   #10
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EOS is a Canon trademark, isn't it? Where did you see an EOS Nikon D60? My guess is a typo.

There was a Canon EOS D60, but that was discontinued years ago.
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