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Old Feb 10, 2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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I am confused about which camera I must buy to take fotografs of dolphins dorsal fins for a fotoid project at my university.

The place of the project is in the Amazon, where there are all kinds of weather and is terribly humid and hot all times.

Shooting river dolphins is a complicated task because we never know where they will surface so depending where you are looking at you might be lucky to have it in front of you and you need to take the foto very fast in order to get it on film.

Until now I have used my digital camera Olympus A230 with 30x digital zoom but the quality of images were realy bad so I am deciding to buy a SLR camera.

I ahve been studying some cameras and taking advice from other people but I am still confused and need some help on deciding which camera i should by.

Please i am a newby on digital SLR fotografy and know hardly few thing on this.

Knowiung this I found that there are three models which might be good to choose from:

- Nikon D80
- Canon 30D
- Pentax K200D

All these cameras are good to do the job i think but Kinkon and Canon will be the most costly because they I will need the image stabilizer lenses 300mm and they are very expensive.
The Pentax camera has already built in imager stabiolizer and lenses cost less that the others and it has bult in protective dress agains bad weathers etc.

Having said this I need strong advice on what to buy... I have US$600 to spend on the camera and lense. The lense i need is 300mm to get the dolphin realy close and a fast shooting camera with higher frames per second.

Hope you can help me.

thanks.

Boto
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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I have the Pentax K200D. I saw it on sale at Amazon wth kit lens for $499. It's sturdy, weather sealed, and has image stabilization built in. However, you are not going to get a telephoto zoom lens (70-300, 55-200, or 55-300mm) with the camera for $600. The 55-300 lens, which I have and like, can be bought for less than $300 online. Sigma and Tamron both have 70-300MM lenses for less than $200.

Do you need the big zoom? From what distance are you photographing these dolphins?

I don't think you will get any of the cameras you are considering with zoom telephoto lenses for a price within your budget FROM A REPUTABLE DEALER new. Used or refurbished? Maybe, but I would be surprised.

If you find someone offering some unbelievable price, check it out at:

http://www.resellerratings.com

Good luck!
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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I agree that the Pentax K200D would be the best choice. It has image stabilization in the camera body, and the body is weather-sealed. Adorama has the K200D bodyfor $475, and B&H has the Tamron 70-300 Di LD for $150. That's $625. There are cheaper lenses, but they aren't as good.
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 1:49 PM   #4
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I wouldn't give up on point and shoot cameras. The Olympus 1030SW is a waterproof, shockproof camera that's quick and that takes very good pictures. Here's a link to Steve's review:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2008_...tylus1030.html
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 7:14 PM   #5
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The Pentax W60 might be another point and shoot camera that you could consider.
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 9:07 AM   #6
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AndyfromVA wrote:
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I wouldn't give up on point and shoot cameras. ...
I agree. A waterproof camera would have benefits that a weatherproof camera would not. And a P&S would cost less and be simpler to operate than a dSLR. But a dSLR would produce better results, especially in low light / high ISO situations.

The Olympus 1030SW and Pentax W60 are certainly good choices for hostile environments (though I doubt 'Freezeproof' would be of much use in the Amazon), but neither provides the OP with the 300mm focal length he needs.
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 9:44 AM   #7
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What about the Sony A200??
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 12:51 PM   #8
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bototucuxi wrote:
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What about the Sony A200??
The A200 is a nice camera, and it has the stabilization in the body, but it's not weather-sealed, it costs $500, it's not available without the kit lens, the Sony 75-300 (that's part of the $600 kit)isn't very good, and the Tamron 70-300 Di LD is $150 (at B&H), which puts the total at $650 instead of $625 for the Pentax. (whew!)

The $625 Pentax/Tamron packageis better because the Pentax is watersealed and the Tamron 70-300 is optiallybetter than the Sony 75-300. The $600 Sony pacakge is better because it includes the 18-70 kit lens which you might find a use for.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 7:27 AM   #9
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Ok, I now have a new picture of which cameras are most suited for me and my work. I have narrowed my search to Sony A200 and Pentax K200D (or K10D).

I need a camera that shoots continually and have fast autofocus as I will be permanetly autofiocusing and shooting to get the dolphins in a fast pace. Also a camera that stand bad weather conditions and humidity, and light weight as I will using it all day round. I need stabilizer because i will on a small boat taking the pictures.

Havind read many web reviews i found the Sony A200 the best camera for me (apart from the weather sealing option). What do you think?

Having said this I need strong advice on what to buy... I have US$600-700 to spend on the camera and lenses. The lense i need is 300mm to get the dolphin realy close and a fast shooting camera with higher frames per second.

Hope you can help me.

thanks.

Boto
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 7:54 AM   #10
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Of the inexpensive 70- or 75-300mm zoom lenses, Tamron's Di LD and Sigma's APO are the best. The Tamron is slightly less expensive.Also,the Sigma has a history of failing on Sony dSLRs.

The Pentax K200D and the Sony A200 are as alike as two products from different manufacturers can be. The primary distinguishing characteristic is the Pentax' weathersealing.

I suggest that you go to a camera store that stocks both of them, and see which one feels better to you. If you can't comfortably hold a camera, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, then you will miss shoots, weather-sealing or not.
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