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What camera should I buy?

Discussion in 'Animal Photography' started by Rayane, 11 Oct 2019.

  1. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I've been listing my sights in zoo for a few years now, and I would like to strat photographing the animals I get to see. I am a beginner BUT I've been shooting from times to times for the marketing department where I work, with a Canon EOS 550D.
    I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever in photography and that's why I am asking you buys, expert photographs, what should I start with ?

    Thank you
     
  2. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on your budget
     
  3. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    Between 1 and 2000 I guess ?
     
  4. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Just saying "what camera should I buy" is too general of a question. It would be like walking up to a group of strangers and asking what car should I buy? You would get a different answer from everyone. Since I am a published, semi-professional photographer I will give you an answer that I hope will help in your search. (But I cannot name one model and say you should buy this camera).

    First you have to honestly ask yourself how much equipment you will carry around on your zoo visits. If a full size camera with changeable lenses (like the 550D you have been using) will get left home a lot because you don't feel like carrying it, then you should get something smaller like a camera with a built-in lens. Or get a new "mirrorless" system that is smaller than a regular SLR but still takes changeable lenses (Sony and Fuji are the leaders). If you do not mind carrying a larger camera then the two leading brands are Canon and Nikon. They both have a lot of lens options, but for general zoo shooting you probably want something like a 70-300 or 80-400 lens. Any model from these makers will give you outstanding results. Since modern cameras are so good, it is best to buy a cheaper camera body and spend more money on a better lens. With camera lenses the old saying is true that you get what you pay for. If there is a good camera store in the city where you live then my best advice is to visit them and explain the kind of pictures you want to take and they will help you.
     
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  5. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    All good advise!
     
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  6. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Different question but thought I would post it on this thread to avoid creating another one: I have a Nikon D5600 and a 18-300 mm lens - should I get a 200-500mm lens or a full frame body from here?
     
  7. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    BTW the person who posted this thread (Rayane) started another conversation with me and we went back and forth until she finally bought a camera about a week ago. As for your question, I am a strong proponent of full frame cameras (which is all I have ever used). However, I would have to look but I think your 18-300 lens is DX format which means it only fits crop sensor cameras. If my suspicion is correct, then a full frame camera (FX format) would not take your lens so you would need a new lens as well. The Nikon 200-500 is a pretty good lens (my brother has one) but it is huge. I recently got the (very hard to get) Nikon 500 PF lens, which is smaller and a dream, but it is very expensive (almost four thousand US dollars). What you need to ask yourself about your current setup is do you often find 300mm is not long enough?
     
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  8. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    I have the 18-300 and it is indeed a DX lens.
    As I understand it, If you were to get a full frame camera and the 200-500 lens, you wouldn't be gaining much focal length, although the image quality would be better.
     
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  9. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is the case. I think a 200-500 mm lens has the equivalent focal length of a 700mm lens in DX format, so it is considerably improved. Thanks for all your advice! :)
     
  10. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    First of all, apologies to Rayane for mistakenly referring to a he as a she.

    Second, @amur leopard if you do get the 200-500 (to use with your current DX camera) then you would probably still need a second shorter lens. You could use the current 18-300 or get a lens with a smaller zoom range (like 18-80 or whatever they make). Just ask yourself if you would be willing to carry two lenses, one of which (200-500) is huge. The answer may be yes (for me it is) but it is a question you need to answer honestly. 300mm (especially on DX which makes it more telephoto) should be long enough for zoo photography. However as little red panda says, the image quality on the 18-300 will not be as good as on the 200-500.
     
  11. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I have an 18-80 I think along with the 18-300 but I virtually never use it because it is basically superfluous. I don't mind carrying the two larger lenses at all - that is absolutely no problem. I do think the 200-500 is worth it though, because we are going whale watching on several occasions next year and I am doing a bit of wildlife watching around here in the UK soon, so it will be useful, especially with the enhanced quality. :) Thanks.
     
  12. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Although my whale watching experience is limited to an hour off Tenerife with a 70-300, i'd say that was long enough for a lens. Anything bigger would be very challenging with the movement of the boat, i'd have thought.

    I've been carrying my 18-300 in a pocket most trips out, while the 200-500 is on the camera and swap when needed, but have the neck strap attached to the big lens rather than the camera body, so it can hang by my side when not used.
    However, I recently bought a D7500 when the price dropped a bit as my D7000 is playing up more and more, but I do not want to become a 2 camera carrier. Having 2 lenses mounted on cameras would overcome many problems in certain cases, but it's not something I intend doing.
     
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  13. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Nikon and Sigma (and Canon for those users) all make either an 80-400 or 100-400 that is compact and very sharp (probably sharper than any of the 150-500 or 200-500 equivalents). That is something to consider as well. If you (meaning anyone reading this) have the budget (and the months to wait on a waiting list), the Nikon 500 f/5.6 PF lens that I got is unrivaled. But it is a very expensive lens and I realize it is impractical for most users of this forum.
     
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