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Old Jan 2, 2013, 7:53 AM   #1
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Default Help choosing a camera for the wife specific needs :)

HIya guys!

First post, so a warm hello and happy new year to you all

I am trying my hardest to find my wife a "DECENT" camera, she currently has the Sony NEX5, and whilst it seems like a lovely camera, it just isnt doing what she wants it to do, so if I can sort her with a replacement, I can use the NEX5 myself as I only really do noobie photography as I would call it lol

The wife loves wildlfe, loves Cornwall here in the UK, loves going to places like Cornwall which have fantastic scenery and wildlife, but birds nesting in the cliffs are a little hard to photograph from a distance!

Also we have a lovely bird house and feeding station in the Garden, but even from 30ft away, close ups are impossible, she really would like a camera that gets up close and personal if you know what I mean

Auto Focus and anti shaking would be preferable, and I am assuming (im not really into photography as a hobby so don't really know) that I would need a lens capable of zooming in close enough to get the shot, without the image becoming grainy and horrible

One thing that would be nice, decent shots in low light, she has tried once again to take photos of places we've been to on holiday at sunset, and they dont really come out very well shes tried lots of settings, so a camera that performs well in low light conditions would be a bonus

Budget.... dont really have one to be honest, I am not sure as to how much to spend, the saying "you get what you pay for" springs to mind, but I don't want to spend way over the top, so its hard to gauge as to how much is enough

Any thoughts or help on this would be gratefully received, her birthdays in the first week of March, so I have a little time

Thanks guys!!

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Old Jan 2, 2013, 2:39 PM   #2
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Maybe a "bridge" camera might suffice...?
Something like Panasonic's FZ-200- with it's fast f2.8, 25-600mm lens giving plenty of versatility, from wide angle (landscapes) to a good zoom(wildlife etc..). The auto-focus is pretty swift and the image stabilizer's competent also.
If you want to get crazy close maybe consider the monster zoom of the Canon SX50hs- with a massive 24-1200mm zoom- and in good light would be one heck of a birder..!!
Neither would match up to a DSLR in low-light- although much of that is dependent to what lens is attached to the DSLR.
Both,however,are capable of acceptable results in lower light conditions- in my humble opinion.
Another option might be a DSLR with an "all in one" lens attached...?
Something like a Tamron 18-270mm VR lens attached to a DSLR of your choice (Canon for me... ) giving you a good wide angle to zoom range. Not quite the range of one of the "Bridges" mentioned- but with potentially better IQ.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 3:04 PM   #3
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I agree the FZ200 might be the best option. Wildlife photography generally requires long lenses. I'm guessing whatever camera/lens is used you'r still likely to get poor results of birds in a cliff. Let me help set expectations though. When I used to shoot birds at a bird house I did so with a 520mm equivalent lens from about 12 feet away. If you have a house/feeder and your wife doesn't want to spend the time to get closer than 30 feet from it she's going to have a difficult time at the hobby. Which is why I think the FZ200 is probably the best approach. Buying an interchangeable lens camera doesn't make much sense - too expensive to get long focal length - especially when you can't get close. 600mm is a definite plus - but it's amazing how close you have to be to get consistently quality shots.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 3:55 AM   #4
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Hiya guys, and thanks for the replies

So, as I am a total noob in this field

Am I right in assuming then that the FZ200 woulkd have better capabilities thasn say a Nikor lens thats goes up to say 400???

Its not that the wife doesnt want to get close, its that she gets close and the fly off lol

Im just wondering about the lens and the zoom as obviously I see for instance a body camera, and the lenses, and see this camera in the UK available for around the 500 mark, but the Nikor lens alone for a zoom of about 400 is the same price, for the lens alone, so I am a little confused as I say im new to all this

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Old Jan 3, 2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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Firstly the Nikon lens- if it goes up to 400mm- will not have wide angle capability in the same lens(which the FZ200 does),so you'll need another lens for landscape shots,street work,group photo's etc...
Also it won't have a fast aperture of f/2.8 throughout it's range (like the FZ200 does),unless you're ready to pay BIG money- several thousands of pounds in fact..!
The Nikon 400mm lens on an APS-C body (D3000/3100/3200/500/5100 etc...) would give you the equivalent of 600mm range- the same as the FZ200.

For all round use- from wide angle to telephoto work- the FZ200 is by far the most cost effective way of doing it.
Yes, a DSLR equipped with the equivalent lenses needed to cover the range of the Panasonic would potentially yield better image quality- though not so much in good light.
Your camera bag would also be somewhat larger,a great deal heavier- and your wallet would be a great deal lighter...!!

Here's a couple of images taken with my FZ-150, the model before the FZ-200.
From about 40 feet- with a crop to give you an idea of the IQ...
Attached Images

Last edited by SIMON40; Jan 3, 2013 at 10:33 AM.
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