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Durbanite

DSLR for novice

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As mentioned above this is a huge subject. Generally I agree with all the comments a small compact camera is great for 'capturing the moment' and will be better than most phone cameras. However if you know you are going to be in a situation where you need something a bit special for long range etc then there is no substitute for a DSLR, IMHO.

But as mentioned, once you get into the market it is very easy to spend serious money. I would buy a body only as the standard lens will be adequate but no good for distance shots. Then buy the best quality lens you can, invest in quality software and you will surprise yourself how good the pics are.

One other related but slightly off topic comment. Aldi do a printing service, as do many other retailers but I only have experience of Aldi, and the range of products is fabulous. Our daughter got married in Las Vegas so we had loads of pics. we sorted them and sent them off to be put in a glossy book or album which looks great and is much easier for showing (boring) folk with. Also we have 2 photos blown up to A1 size or thereabouts and are hanging on the wall great quality.  

Anyway its a great hobby and exxtremely rewarding. Enjoy!

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Here are some pictures which started me thinking about a DSLR camera.   The last shot of the buck was taken at close range from the car.

Rhino and wildebeest.jpg

Bird.jpg

Buck.jpg

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Nice pictures. You can see the difference in quality if you zoom in on them. The problem with the pic of the bird is that there is too much in the image for the camera to focus on. A bigger lens will solve that.

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5 minutes ago, Omega54 said:

Nice pictures. You can see the difference in quality if you zoom in on them. The problem with the pic of the bird is that there is too much in the image for the camera to focus on. A bigger lens will solve that.

That is what we were thinking as OH also took a picture with a phone camera on full zoom and not much difference except it being a bit out of focus.   The bird was about 5m away from the vehicle.   Just wish we could have got a shot of the eagle but it was just that bit to far away.   Same with the hippos.   My son who is a game ranger has a really super dooper camera and has some really great and interesting shots.   There are also some videos on Youtube by searching "Mala Mala game reserve.

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It has always been the case that the better the camera, the better the photographs that it is capable of, particularly if the conditions are less than idea.

However, the person holding the camera is normally an even bigger factor and there are no pictures at all if the camera is not to hand!

A true expert with my kit would generally produce better pictures than I could with his kit!

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18 hours ago, flashgordon said:

Why not just go for a Sony cybershot 63X Optical Zoom DSC-H400 20. 1 Mega Pixel bridge camera an immaculate 2nd hand one with all the bits will cost you between £150-200 small light and easy to use, to get a dslr system with the lenses you want to reach wildlife you are going to have to go 10x  that price, I still have nightmares when I remember how much my 70-200 lens cost me and I'm an enthusiast!

 

 +1, Likewise for a Canon L series and that's just ONE lens.

 

We have considered going on a safari soon and as someone who enjoys photography and owns some decent kit I would love to immerse myself in photo taking if we do.    But. ...............  My longest lens is 200 mm.   That's simply nothing near enough reach for anything a reasonable distance away.   So the answer if buy another lens?  Maybe a 150 mm to 600 mm zoom?

Quite apart from the size and weight the expense for a single trip would be eye watering - and I would not carry such a beast around normally.  

As an SLR devotee I'm stuck with my kit and that's fine.

However. ......................!

If I was just starting and specifically wanted an all purpose camera and not a bag full of equipment I'd do as FG has said.   I would even now consider buying a bridge camera and taking that alone for a safari holiday.   600 mm lens right up to around 24 mm wide in some cases.  

I'm not going to advise on specifics, much depends on budget of course, but would advise NOT to buy a camera with a zoom range much more than 600 mm maximum.   The difficulty of using anything longer and getting half decent quality is high. Really it is, even is super light conditions.  

 

Enjoy your trip whatever you buy.  

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Handy hint for shooting out of vehicles, buy or make your self a small bean bag using polystyrene beads, and use it to brace your camera when shooting long zooms it will steady everything up nicely and get rid of the dreaded shutter click shake mind you Sony has seen fit to supply the hx400 with image stabilization on the 63x zoom which is roughly 24-1550mm in the 35 mm camera world just how much zoom do you need?

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Thanks people.   It seems best that we put the idea on hold and research it a lot more and read up on some photography books plus going on a short course.   I think that way we will have a better idea of what we really need.   In the meantime we can start saving for what seems to be the second of one of the most expensive hobbies next to caravanning!  :D

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2 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Thanks people.   It seems best that we put the idea on hold and research it a lot more and read up on some photography books plus going on a short course.   I think that way we will have a better idea of what we really need.   In the meantime we can start saving for what seems to be the second of one of the most expensive hobbies next to caravanning!  :D

Like caravanning, photography can be as expensive as you choose to make it! And spending more does not guarantee better results.

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13 hours ago, flashgordon said:

Handy hint for shooting out of vehicles, buy or make your self a small bean bag using polystyrene beads, and use it to brace your camera when shooting long zooms it will steady everything up nicely and get rid of the dreaded shutter click shake mind you Sony has seen fit to supply the hx400 with image stabilization on the 63x zoom which is roughly 24-1550mm in the 35 mm camera world just how much zoom do you need?

 

  Good for astronomy perhaps!  Lol 

Image stabilisation is a boon but really - with the zoom at 1550 mm.   

What will the depth of field be ?  Struth!  Nope 600 mm is enough for me.

I honestly believe that many people buying a "super zoom" are bound to fail.   Using a long lens is probably the most demanding aspect of photography, especially if hand held.   

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I do think you have to consider what use you would put the camera to when you are not on holiday in SA. A Bridge camera might be worth thinking about. A former colleague is current touring SA and he uses, like me, Canon equipment. He has an L series long lens and takes some wonderful photographs. Don't forget you do have to cart the camera and lens around with you and they can be pretty heavy.

 

David

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You can still buy new but not the latest new!

 

I have my old Canon 350d, a couple of lenses, both canon, one came with the camera the other is 70-300 and was £180. 00.

 

You can buy a new 350d for the princely sum of £109. 00.

All the parts are still available,  a pair of battery's I bought last week for a little over a tenner, the rubber eye piece that I lose now and again.  

 

OK it's 8mp which today is considered poor, but it still takes a mean photo and because it's relatively cheap,  I have it chucked in my rucksack along with the sandwiches.

 

Amazon.

Canon 350d with lense £109.

 

Body only £65 ish

 

Edited by Simple Life

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On ‎10‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 15:34, Durbanite said:

  

We are now thinking of a DSLR camera like the Canon EOS 200D with EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5. 6 IS STM lens for distant shots however my concern is battery life if the camera is left in the vehicle unused for a couple of months.   We have a cheapie Nikon which if left for a week or two required recharging and if this did not happen the battery would not recharge at all and needed to be replaced.  

Most modern cameras now use lithium batteries. One feature of these is that they have a very slow self discharge, so you should be able to leave them months without them discharging. It may be some cameras never switch off completely so will discharge the battery over time. In this case, removing the battery will prevent that.  

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12 hours ago, klyne said:

I do think you have to consider what use you would put the camera to when you are not on holiday in SA. A Bridge camera might be worth thinking about. A former colleague is current touring SA and he uses, like me, Canon equipment. He has an L series long lens and takes some wonderful photographs. Don't forget you do have to cart the camera and lens around with you and they can be pretty heavy.

 

David

Unfortunately it took us a long time to save up for the trip to SA so will not be happening again soon however when away in the caravan we have come across some interesting scenery where the phone camera is inadequate.

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25 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Unfortunately it took us a long time to save up for the trip to SA so will not be happening again soon however when away in the caravan we have come across some interesting scenery where the phone camera is inadequate.

 

I have a Panasonic DMC GH1 with 14-140 lens (equiv 28-280mm) which is in excellent condition EXCEPT that one of the two shoulder strap mount points has broken off (common fault with this model) which means you would need to use a wrist strap or a shoulder strap which connects to the base mount.

 

See here for review:  https://www. imaging-resource. com/PRODS/DMCGH1/DMCGH1A. HTM  - mine is the black version.

 

Yours for the princely sum of £100 which is less than what ebay items going for without lens!

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I think the days of wandering around with a hat and a loud shirt with the camera on a strap and propped on top of your belly are long gone.   :D

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Must admit the days of me carting around SLR's and associated lenses have now passed.

 

For the odd few times I used long focal lengths it became a drudge lugging them around.

 

My days go back as far as a Praktica L and LLC progressing through a Canon F1 and Nikon F3 to the digital SLR scene of up to 3 years back.

 

Looking at what had made up 90% of my photographs over the years, these being undoubtedly family, friends and general close range work, I disposed of my DSLR kit, went for more of a street camera and settled with a Fuji X100S.

 

Not much good for long range work but suits all of my present needs and will probably be the last non phone camera I will have.

 

20180413_102656.png

Edited by Griff
Pic added.

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I used to know a professional photographer and he carried a multitude of cameras and lenses when he was working but when just out and about he carried a compact. His motto was always 'get the shot'. The trouble with taking options is that by the time you are set the opportunity has gone. Except of course in a controlled environment.

DSLR always for quality and when you know what to expect. A compact camera for the rest of the time. Oh plus some good editing software.

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I was a professional sports photographer for over 25 years. One of those guys you see poncing round an F1 grid.
25 years of carting multiple bodies, and extreme telephoto lenses (300mm f2. 8, 500mm f4. 0, plus multipliers) around Europe.
All pre-digital, when every shot of your 36 exposure 35mm film had to count.

A very random collection of what I used to do, at the link below. Slide show view is best.
Test your 80's and 90's motor sport knowledge, who do you recognise.

 

https://www. flickr. com/gp/149075783@N08/5wt0CY

 

Despite still having the DSLR and lenses, unless I have a professional need, all I take out these days is the Lumix.
Even if I was on a safari holiday, all I would take would be the Lumix or possibly the Sony HX90 compact with it's excellent 30x zoom.

 

5ad084297b174_LumixTZ100.jpg.fc066e8f568f88fd15e1f8c4758fcc95.jpg

 

And the iPhone does a remarkable job

 

As mentioned a few times, it is the shot that counts, not the equipment.

 

Edited by kilham5
appalling grammar

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20 minutes ago, kilham5 said:

I was a professional sports photographer for over 25 years. One of those guys you see poncing round an F1 grid.
25 years of carting multiple bodies, and extreme telephoto lenses (300mm f2. 8, 500mm f4. 0, plus multipliers) around Europe.
All pre-digital, when every shot of your 36 exposure 35mm film had to count. A few odd samples at the link below.

 

https://www. flickr. com/gp/149075783@N08/5wt0CY

 

Despite still having the DSLR and lenses, unless I have a professional need, all I take out these days is the Lumix.
Even if I was on a safari holiday, all I would take would be Lumix or possibly the Sony HX90 compact with it's 30x zoom.

 

5ad084297b174_LumixTZ100.jpg.fc066e8f568f88fd15e1f8c4758fcc95.jpg

 

And the iPhone does a remarkable job

 

As mentioned a few times, it is the shot that counts, not the equipment.

 

 

100% agree. I bought a Sony RX100 when they first came out and it lives in my pocket when travelling.    No case, just the camera.   The  sharp edges are no longer black lacquer but  it has never missed a beat.   I use is for all my underwater photography (with housing of course) and get great results.   The latest Mk IV is the bees knees but for me, the cost of a new housing means I'll wait for this one to give up the ghost before seriously considering a replacement.

If I had no SLR kit I would buy another Sony, but the RX10.   Expensive but arguably the top camera of its type around today.   Wide angle to long zoom.   Size of a SLR.   Same sensor as the RX100 but more advanced stuff inside than mine.  

Two cameras for everything.

I wonder if I'm talking myself into selling the Canon gear - only thing is that for the ultimate in quality then a bridge camera or highly rated compact can't really compete.   However, do you really fancy spending around £8,500 - £11,000 for a Canon 600 mm lens with the same aperture as the Sony  at 600 mm but alone weighing around 4kg.   

If your biggest enlargement is not poster size and most of your pics are destined for an album or the web then a good compact and a good bridge camera will be all you need.   And you'll not be tempted to leave them  behind because of the weight.  

Hope I'm not sounding pedantic !  But just my genuinely held beliefs which clearly can be ignored.   Lol  And probably will be! 

 

 

Love the memories Kilham5.   

What a fantastic job you had.   

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11 minutes ago, John_b_45 said:

 

100% agree. I bought a Sony RX100 when they first came out and it lives in my pocket when travelling.    No case, just the camera.   The  sharp edges are no longer black lacquer but  it has never missed a beat.   I use is for all my underwater photography (with housing of course) and get great results.   The latest Mk IV is the bees knees but for me, the cost of a new housing means I'll wait for this one to give up the ghost before seriously considering a replacement.

If I had no SLR kit I would buy another Sony, but the RX10.   Expensive but arguably the top camera of its type around today.   Wide angle to long zoom.   Size of a SLR.   Same sensor as the RX100 but more advanced stuff inside than mine.  

Two cameras for everything.

I wonder if I'm talking myself into selling the Canon gear - only thing is that for the ultimate in quality then a bridge camera or highly rated compact can't really compete.   However, do you really fancy spending around £8,500 - £11,000 for a Canon 600 mm lens with the same aperture as the Sony  at 600 mm but alone weighing around 4kg.   

If your biggest enlargement is not poster size and most of your pics are destined for an album or the web then a good compact and a good bridge camera will be all you need.   And you'll not be tempted to leave them  behind because of the weight.  

Hope I'm not sounding pedantic !  But just my genuinely held beliefs which clearly can be ignored.   Lol  And probably will be! 

 

 

Love the memories Kilham5.   

What a fantastic job you had.   

 

I am also an RX 10 fan and it's my 'go to' and almost lives in the 'van.   All that said, there's something about carting about a Canon DSLR and a few lenses that I don't think I will give up on just yet.   I also enjoy printing (Epson K3 A3+) on different papers and canvas etc - whiles away the winter hours!

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4 minutes ago, John_b_45 said:

 

  

If your biggest enlargement is not poster size and most of your pics are destined for an album or the web then a good compact and a good bridge camera will be all you need.   And you'll not be tempted to leave them  behind because of the weight.  

Hope I'm not sounding pedantic !  But just my genuinely held beliefs which clearly can be ignored.   Lol  And probably will be! 

 

 

Totally agree. Us SLR users have got used to all the "toys", and probably feel that we can't do without them, (just in case!) I've got a 50mm prime lens for my Canon because it has an f1. 8 aperture, just in case we happen to visit a church or cathedral where the wide aperture will be of use for non-flash indoor shots. I've also got a "point and shoot" Canon Ixus which always lives in my pocket as its smaller than my mobile phone and it gives me good quality instant shots, (as Omega54 says, "always get the shot"). I'm constantly surprised by the quality of mobile phone cameras, (mines a ZTE Blade and my wife's is an iPhone4), both have produced excellent shots.

Unless Durbanite decides to go in for photography as an (expensive) hobby, I'm sure you're right. A good compact or bridge with a digital zoom will be absolutely fine without all the accompanying paraphernalia. (Wish I'd realised that before getting hooked on DSLRs!!)

Mike.

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I only bought the Lumix, because I thought I had killed the Sony HX90 when I dropped it down a gulley during a cruise.
It lay totally submerged for more than 30 seconds before I could get it back. It was turned on at the time and was completely scrambled.
I bought the Lumix for the rest of the holiday.

When I got the Sony home, I took it apart, let it dry out, and remarkably it lives on.

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7 hours ago, kilham5 said:

When I got the Sony home, I took it apart, let it dry out, and remarkably it lives on.

 

Some devices cope with a ducking surprisingly well.      On one occasion as I was hanging out my washing on site, I was aware of something falling at my feet.    I looked down to discover an uncapped memory stick had fallen from a shirt pocket.    After leaving the stick upended to allow the water to drain from it, I stuck it in the laptop.    After all the detergent, several rinses and a spin, I feared the worst.    Big surprise - everything was there.

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11 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Unfortunately it took us a long time to save up for the trip to SA so will not be happening again soon however when away in the caravan we have come across some interesting scenery where the phone camera is inadequate.

Even more reason to think about a smaller alternative. Although I still take my Canon DSLR with me when we go away most of the photos I use in my blogs are taken on a Canon G16 which can slip into my pocket.

 

David 

 

Heron.jpg

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