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Old Apr 24, 2008, 9:02 AM   #1
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Sarah Joyce is to blame for this, as was all set on a superzoom, then she comes along, shows some lovely dslr pictures and it is obvious; that is the level of quality I am after. And although i am currently using a point and shoot canons45, i am not a complete beginner as for years i did use film slrs, though never more than with its standard lens and a zoom for distance.



Anyway, this is what i need

a not too difficult slr camera, which i can use for my african safari, but which afterwards can replace the function of my point and shoot camera (though i'll still keep it).

Though money isn't the big issue, i do not want to over equip myself and will be looking at starter models with a standard small zoom and an additional up to 300 mm lens (understand that will give me about 10x magnification (??))

attibutes which would be appreciated

reasonable compact size, that also counts for the "up to 300 mmlens"

ease of use

6 mp upwards (well, that's all of them, i suppose i am double checking that 6mp is good enough, or whether i should get into 8-10mp)

aa batteries as an option would be handy (not many sockets for chargers in the Kalahari desert)

weather "resistant"

I am planning to "go into town" soon and look at Canon 400D, Pentax K100s, Nikon D40 (x) Olympus 410, sony a200.



Is that a reasonable list? Any outstanding candidates considering my requirements? Any i can cross off straight away. Any worthwhile upgrades from basic models indicated? Any views on make of lens to go for? Are Tamrons and Sigma's ok?

Sorry for the many questions, (remember, its SJ to blame :-))




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Old Apr 24, 2008, 9:34 AM   #2
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If you get a 300mm lense you may or may not get the 10x zoom you are after. That would depend on what camera you are comparing it. Some point and shoto cameras with 10x zooms are 38mm - 380mm and some are 28mm - 300mm, However a 300mm lense is what your gonna need for those wildlife photos you will want in Africa. A friend of mine that does nature photography uses a 28mm - 105mm and a 100mm- 300mm as her lenses. She did not give me the brands. However she uses a Cannon 5D. She also told me if she was going to Africa on a safari whe'd get a 1.5x telephoto add-on for her big lense so she could get really nice closeups of the faraway animals.

As for quality it all depends on how large you will want to print your images when you get back. The larger you want to print the better mega-pixel quality you will want (i.e. higher number). I use a non D-slr Fuji S9100 and from my 9mp images I can print 16 x 20s that are very very nice from a professional place like perfectposters.com

Most D-slrs use battery packs......

Since I am not a d-slr user I will let one of the other experts try to give you specific camera recommendations.

Hope this helps. Also don't blame SJ she is one of the great experts we have here (we have so many) and she was just trying to give you both sides of the story so you'd have all the info available and make the right choice the first time without wasting money.

dave
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 9:41 AM   #3
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comment re SJ was "tonque in cheek", I appreciate her helpfulness a lot
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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My suggestion would be the Nikon D-40 with the kit lens (the Nikkor 18-55mm) and a Nikkor 55-200mm lens as the minimum. The photos that I posted were taken with the Nikon D-40 and a Nikkor 70-300mm lens.

Here are the 35mm equivalent focal lengths

18-55mm=28 to 82mm

55-200 = 82 to 300mm

70-300 = 105 to 450mm

The Nikon D-40 is comsidered to be one of the easiest consumer level DSLR cameras to transitionfrom a digicam to a DSLR. As with all cameras, be they a digicam or a DSLR camera, there will be a learning and getting familiar period. So purchasing your kit in advance is advisable.

No battery pack will be needed, and because safari light levels are usually quite high, obtanining the needed higher shutter speedsis generally never a problem. IMHO an African Safari is a once in a lifetime experience, and it needs to be recorded well.

Sarah Joyce




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Old Apr 24, 2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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thanks, it will be high on the list



(just out of interest; are the lenses much bulkier because they have to contain the AF motor??)
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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quick look around; tamron and sigma 70-300 lenses are much cheaper than nikon version. Would they be ok?
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 12:16 PM   #7
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white tulip-

No, the lenses are not much bigger at all. I will get a photo posted of the Nikon D-40 with the Nikkon 70-300mm lens attached in an hour or so. Right now I have to get breakfast for my well loved husband.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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oh well, i am off for dinner next......
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