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First DSLR (Wildlife, Landscape, Nature)
Hi all,.

I am looking at getting a DSLR. I am going back to South Africa early 2009 and want to get my DSLR soon so that I can be reasonably confident with it when I get to Kruger National Park..

I dont have a lot of money, but know the importance of getting a good lens over a good body..

Here is what I am thinking:.

Canon EOS 400D with EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM at RRP AU$3097 or eBay ~AU$2000 (includes 4GB memory cards (2), filters (3), USB card reader, Lowepro bag, hard case, tripod, cleaning kit)OR.

Canon EOS 40D with EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM at RRP AU$3898 or eBay ~AU$2500 (includes 8GB memory card, filters (3), USB card reader, Lowepro bag, hard case, tripod, cleaning kit)OR.

Canon EOS 40D with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and a EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM through eBay for ~AU$2900 (includes extra batteries (2), 4GB card and Hoya UV filter).

Im not sure what to buy. Given this is my first DSLR, will I benefit from the Canon 40D compared to the 400D? Am I a little more future proof buying the 40D given it has recently been released? Do I get the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens or step up to the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens? Are the lenses I have chosen okay for learning how to photograph wildlife, landscapes and nature?.

Also, what are the problems with buying off eBay? Obviously the AU$2900 option is an amazing deal. RRP that would set me back AU$5097. Are there big issues with warranty? Has anyone had experience with eBay? I'm in Australia so will a product from Hong Kong or USA cause problems if there is a Canon error with the product?.

Ideally I would want a better telephoto zoom, but to step up to something with IS because I will be doing mostly handheld shooting is too much of a jump right now in price for me. I will try and add either a better telephoto zoom before my trip (maybe save for the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) AU$2500 is my max budget, but I will stretch to the AU$2900 if the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is really worth it..

Anyway, if anyone has any advice or suggestions I would really appreciate it..

Cheers,Ashley..

Comments (7)

Im not sure what to buy. Given this is my first DSLR, will I benefitfrom the Canon 40D compared to the 400D?.

Nope..

Am I a little more futureproof buying the 40D given it has recently been released?.

Not really.

Do I getthe EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens or step up to the EF 24-105mmf/4L IS USM lens? Are the lenses I have chosen okay for learning howto photograph wildlife, landscapes and nature?.

The 24-105 is a great lens - my favorite. But you don't need it. The 17mm wide end of the 17-85 will serve you better than the L quality of the 24-105 - oh, there is a difference - but if money is tight and you're just starting out, it's not necessary..

Also, what are the problems with buying off eBay?.

The obvious risks..

Obviously theAU$2900 option is an amazing deal. RRP that would set me backAU$5097..

If the savings are that big, it's probably a scam..

Are there big issues with warranty? Has anyone hadexperience with eBay? I'm in Australia so will a product from HongKong or USA cause problems if there is a Canon error with the product?.

Are you willing to find out the hard way?.

Ideally I would want a better telephoto zoom,.

The 70-300 IS is a great starter zoom..

But to step up tosomething with IS because I will be doing mostly handheld shooting istoo much of a jump right now in price for me. I will try and addeither a better telephoto zoom before my trip (maybe save for the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM) AU$2500 is my max budget, but I willstretch to the AU$2900 if the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is really worth.

Anyway, if anyone has any advice or suggestions I would reallyappreciate it.it..

Snagging a great deal is usually more expensive than buying from a reputable dealer...

Comment #1

Ashley:.

Kruger has an advantage over many other areas of Africa in that you can get closer to wildlife and, because most roads are blacktopped, dust is not a problem. The longest lens I ever used there was 300mm on a 35mm film camera. If my math is right, that would be equivalent to 188mm on a 1.6 crop camera like a 400D or a 40D..

Under the circumstances, you might consider the 70-200mm f/4L as your long lens. It will be bright, so IS or f/2.8 will not be needed. You definitely will not need a tripod in Kruger, but a sandbag might prove handy..

If I were you, I probably would get the 400D to learn with and wait a couple years to move up to a better (and more expensive) body. That would enable you to get a better wide lens instead of the kit lens..

I have never had the nerve to buy on eBay. If I could not afford internet prices on new items, I probably would buy used from a reputable dealer. Having said that, there certainly are hundreds of persons on this forum who regularly use eBay and have had no problems..

Kruger is one of my favorite places. Thoroughly learn your camera, and enjoy your trip..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #2

Thanks for the advice Jerry..

I was in Kruger for a few nights in January and loved it. Only had an older Sony CyberShot with me but still managed some alright pictures. Will love having a DSLR to play with though..

I've never had an issue with buying of eBay before, but then my purchases have been limited to about AU$100 max... ..

Comment #3

I for one, disagree with the 40D is a waste comments. I like a solid camera. The 10D/20D/30D/40D line simply is built to an entirely different class than the plastic Rebels. I just can't live with the cheap feel of the entry lvl DSLRs, I like the weight and solidity of metal chasis. Maybe I've been spoiled by professional gear over the years, but there really is a big difference. Additionally the controls on the 40D with the wheel are sooo much nicer.



As far as lenses go, you need 17-18 on the wide end on a 1.6x crop camera. The 24-105 is really aimed at 5D. I personally would rather have the speed and sharpness of the Tamron 17-50 2.8 for the same price as the much slower Canon 17-85 IS 4-5.6 if you don't want to step up to Canon 17-55 2.8. I also think if I was going to be shooting wildlife, possibly at dusk I would go for a fast telephoto over one with IS which does nothing if your subject is moving around. On budget, somethign like a slightly used Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM for $600 or so with a monopod would be far superior to 70-300 4-5.6 IMHO. IS helps eliminate hand-held camera shake. Aperture give you shutter speed which elimiates camera shake, motion blur and allows you to isolate subject with shallow DOF...

Comment #4

17mm to 300mm covers you pretty well for landscapes, portraits, and zoo visits (where you can get up fairly close to the animals)..

Depending on what type of wildlife you will be photographing, you might want to rent a longer (and faster?) lens just for the trip..

It's safe to creep up on a housecat at home ... but that doesn't mean it's safe to make up for a too-short telephoto lens by creeping up on a pride of lions...

Comment #5

Anyone have any specific advice relating to buying cameras off eBay?..

Comment #6

Tom_N:.

In Kruger, you are not permitted to get out of your vehicle except in widely scattered "safe" areas. That means you are in your vehicle as you approach a pride of lions..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #7

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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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