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1st DSLR for wildlife, outdoor pictures
I am an outdoor person who would like to photograph both wildlife and outdoor scenery. I am brand new to the photography arena, and would like some advice on where to start. I have been reading the beginners forum for a month or so, and have no photo experience. I am buying a camera strictly for personal enjoyment, no thoughts of ever selling pictures. I will probably not even print most photos, and if I do it will be small prints. I would be shooting mostly outdoor scenes, waterfalls, mountains, etc.

I would like a camera and lens setup that would allow me to get good landscape shots, as well as being able to get "close-up" shots of wildlife at longer distances. I realize that this will probably require two or more lenses, as well as some other acessories. At this point I do not have any of the required equipment. My budget is not really set at this point, but I was thinking in the $1500.00 range to start with. Any suggestions on kits that would suit my needs? Also, where to start in finding these kits..

Comments (23)

To keep it short, sweet, cheap with all options for a future:.

D40+2kit lenses 18-50 55-200 and a tripod. There are more possibilities. You could also take the 18-135 and add a long zoom later on. Pity you cannot get the body alone..

Probably the cheapest and best around. You can add later on what you feel you need. To start with, this is more then enough..

Steep learning-curve though..

For landscapes use tripod, lens: +/- 18 and camera "A" (aperture) mode and set F8 to F14 should give good results experiment and enjoy.For photography there are 4 things important:1st: light2nd: light3rd: light4th: to catch it..

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...315-REG/Nikon_9420_D40_SLR_Digital_Camera.htmlThat is 650 $ at B&H reputable warranty-wise..

For wildlife, you will need something like 70-300 or longer with or without VR but this kind of lens is a lot more pricey. Just try the kit lenses first, maybe you don't want /need more..

Greetings...

Comment #1

Well, for wildlife you definitely want something better than a kit lens and almost certainly something longer than 200mm..

How's about Canon XTi with 18-55mm ($590 for the kit) with the Canon 70-300mm image stabilised lens ($550)..

That leaves you with some spare for memory cards, spare battery and a tripod..

After using that kit for some time you'll have a better idea as to where you might want to expand/upgrade..

Frank HollisMass Spectroscopist in the UKCan0n 2oD and 4oD..

Comment #2

Olympus E510 with twin kit-lens. Better quality kit lenses. Image-stabilization, compact size..

Wapiti350 wrote:.

I am an outdoor person who would like to photograph both wildlife andoutdoor scenery. I am brand new to the photography arena, and wouldlike some advice on where to start. I have been reading thebeginners forum for a month or so, and have no photo experience. Iam buying a camera strictly for personal enjoyment, no thoughts ofever selling pictures. I will probably not even print most photos,and if I do it will be small prints. I would be shooting mostlyoutdoor scenes, waterfalls, mountains, etc.

I would like acamera and lens setup that would allow me to get good landscapeshots, as well as being able to get "close-up" shots of wildlife atlonger distances. I realize that this will probably require two ormore lenses, as well as some other acessories. At this point I donot have any of the required equipment. My budget is not really setat this point, but I was thinking in the $1500.00 range to startwith. Any suggestions on kits that would suit my needs? Also, whereto start in finding these kits.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #3

Almost forgot, there is Sony and Pentax and Fuji too.LOL..

Comment #4

Wapiti350 wrote:as well as wildlife at.

Distances from a few yards to a few hundred yards. I would like acamera and lens setup that would allow me to get good landscapeshots, as well as being able to get "close-up" shots of wildlife atlonger distances..

Unless you plan on shooting Godzilla, there's no wildlife that can be shot as a 'close-up' from a distance of a 'few hundred yards'. Even with a long lens, atmospheric distortion becomes a real problem. This was shot at 190mm and he was only about 50 ft away from me. With a 600mm lens I could capture a similar shot from about 50 yds away.http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/90754347.

This guy was shot at 300mm at a distance of maybe 70-80 feet.http://www.pbase.com/indyboosler/image/89488495.

Both images were taken with a 1.6 crop camera. Bottom line, there's no substitute for getting close to your subject, it REALLY helps with image quality - plus the farther the subject the harder it is to isolate it from the background. Subject size of course affects how close you need to be - for small birds 10-15 feet is ideal at 300mm, wheras a buffalo pushes that distance out to 75-100 feet...

Comment #5

Use your head when shooting wildlife. The buffalo was shot from behind a fence - buffalo can be tempermental. I would not recommend getting that close to one in the wild. The pronghorn, while not as much as a threat, was shot from my car. Likely I could not have gotten as close on foot (and she bolted seconds after that shot when another car came up the road)..

Here's a good reason not to get too close to buffalo (again shot from behind a fence, by my wife - according to her she could feel the ground shaking when she shot it):.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #6

Ok I'll throw in my 2 cents. If you are shooting wildlife outdoors then there are 2 things that you definately need to start with..

1. Long Lens.2. Image Stabilization..

All the DSLRs will produce good images. I happen to like and have oly's and you will find many that suggest nikon, canons, pentax, sony, etc but the fact is, particularly in outdoor daylight they will all take quality pictures that you can be proud of..

For what you are looking at shooting the Oly has an advantage in that it's multiplier is 2x rather then 1.6 x as in Nikon and Canon (e.g. a 100mm lens on the oly is the equiv of a 200mm lens on a 35mm).

Also the E510 has more features then comperable camers in it's price range (Dust removal, Live View, in body IS). I would look at the E510 2 lens kit because the kit lenses are good quality and you will eventually want to do things other then just long shots outdoors. You can get the Oly E510 with the 2 lens kit for around 650 from reputable dealers (beware of low cost stuff on the web e.g. Broadway Photo etc. If it's too good to believe...). Then look at also geting the Oly 50-300mm or Sigma 135-400mm lens for your long shots.



Total investment is 1050-$1200 bucks and you have a system with live view, and image stabilization in camera. With a lens range (35mm equiv) of 28mm through 800mm. Throw in a reasonable tripod and/or monopod, backpack, and CF card and your still below your $1500 budget with a really high quality system..

One thing to keep in mind is weather if you are shooting outdoors. If you are going to have to shoot in bad (e.g. wet, dusty, damp...) weather you may want to shoot a little higher with your budget and get a weather sealed camera. If you don't want to spend big extra $$ then go with the Pentax K10D. It will be more expensive but you will still be close to your budget..

MaddogOlympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #7

Consider the Sigma SD14. The Foveon sensor will produce excellent landscape photos. Here's a small sample of images http://www.pbase.com/lmatson/just_landscapesMy humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Your SLR body will be a trivial concern - especially when it comes to wildlife.http://jcharding.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #9

Somewhat heretical here but if you're just starting out, there is an argument to be made that you may be better off with something like a Pany TZ/FZ superzoom series....

Granted, it's not a dSLR but it's small sensor 4+ crop factor, optical stabilization and superb Leica glass that will give you wide to long with a single lens would be what I'd recommend to start with. The learning curve is slightly less and once you've increased your experience and technique about digital/photography, you'll be better off for progressing to a dSLR with a lot more knowledge of what your style requires. A lot of us dSLR types into wild life started out that way and still have our Pany digis... My FZ30 gives me stabilized to 420mm EQ that equals/exceed my D50 + kittie Tamron 70-300 lens capabilities in a lot of circumstances for less $$..

Others, of course, are entitled to their own valid opinions..

Telecorder (Dave)FZee30+RD-S+OlyTC1.7XDee50+Nikon 35mm F2.0D-AF+Nikkor18-70DX+Tam70-300-macro-LD+BIGMA 50-500 EX HSM(Coming soon - Nikon 70-300 VR!)My Image Galleries.

Http://www.nikonians-images.com/...hp?cat=500&ppuser=121399&password=.

Http://Telecorder.smugmug.com/.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #10

Thanks for the pics, those are great. I may have mis-spoke saying I wanted "closeup" shots of wildlife. What I really want is for big game animals, deer, elk, moose, bears, etc, to to look like more thana furry blur at those longer distances. I am a bowhunter, so I will have so shots as close as a couple of yards, but also the longer ones. Is that possible with a beginners set-up?..

Comment #11

I will check out this kit. Is the IS in the camera or the lenses? Would I be better serves to get the IS in the body or the lenses? I am thinking the lenses, as it sounds like those can last for years, and work on upgraded camera bodies...

Comment #12

The XTI is one kit I have been looking at. One question though, if I get an IS lense, will that work ok with a body that has the IS built in?..

Comment #13

There are arguements both ways. IMO it is better to have it in the body rather then the lens. Putting it in the body means that ALL your lenses are stabilized and you don't have to pay the extra $$ for IS in the lens. The 510's IS is in the body..

Olympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #14

I will research this kit as well. Is there a setup that has less of a learning curve? Or am I going to have that steep curve with any camera due to the pictures I want to get?..

Comment #15

I agree with maddogmd11. Look at Olympus. They got great wide angle lenses, and due to the nature of 4/3s you can get a much larger zoom lens that costs less and weighs less then other brands. The whole system in general is lighter weight and has IS. That's what I'm planning on buying...

Comment #16

Learning will be the same with any camera Go to a store and handle them all, it's very important you like the "feel" of it...

Comment #17

There are, at this time, no brands who have both systems. Image Stabilization == Vibration Reduction. One brand has it in -body, other in-lens, so you cannot mix them up. Both claim to be the best   Both work well...

Comment #18

Well, sneaking up at this kind of game is a hell of a job, even with a standard lens..

A zoom-lens would make it even more difficult, not to mention tripod. Try running away from danger with all that strapped around your neck!!! Maybe a specialized P&S would be more handy..

Seems to me you have to make a choice somewhere: One day go hunting, other day go pic-hunting. Both at the same time might prove cumbersome.About the lens itself, I think a 300 would be a "bear" minimum LOL...

Comment #19

How's about Canon XTi with 18-55mm ($590 for the kit) with the Canon 70-300mm image stabilised lens ($550)..

My wife and I got to play with the different cameras today, and we both very much liked this Canon. Where are you quoting these prices from? Thank you...

Comment #20

Sorry, forgot to put that in the first time..

Comment #21

Debruyne wrote:.

There are, at this time, no brands who have both systems. ImageStabilization == Vibration Reduction. One brand has it in -body,other in-lens, so you cannot mix them up. Both claim to be the best Both work well..

Oly E510 is stabilised in body and there is a Panasonic 4/3 lens that is in lens stabilised and can be used on the E510 (and E3???).

You are right about both working well..

Neil..

Comment #22

Wapiti350 wrote:.

How's about Canon XTi with 18-55mm ($590 for the kit) with the Canon70-300mm image stabilised lens ($550)..

My wife and I got to play with the different cameras today, and weboth very much liked this Canon. Where are you quoting these pricesfrom? Thank you..

Being from the UK I'm not really knowledgeable about where to buy in the US - so I looked the prices up on http://www.bhphotovideo.com/.

Frank HollisMass Spectroscopist in the UKCan0n 2oD and 4oD..

Comment #23

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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