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Don Fischer's picture
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Camera recommendations

Well I'm a Nikon shooter but were I to start today, I think I'd chose Cannon. It seem's that Cannon sets the standard in digital SLR's. I have Nikon because I always have.

I would encourage you to concider only Nikon or Cannon and stay mid range price wise. The Rebel and the Nikon D50 are entry level DSLR's but work very well. Problem is that for a couple hundred bucks more you get a lot more camera. I shoot a D70 and fooled with a Cannon D20 a little. Both are great cameras and the biggest difference will be which one you like to use. I'd avoid the Olympis. They have been around for years and just recently made an entrance to digital SLR's. They are expensive, lenses are expensive and after market lenses may be limited.

Pentax D-ist is supposed to be a good camera but not many pros using it. Don't know why for sure, Pentax has always made good cameras. I have a Pentax 645NII filn camera. You'd have to kill me to get it.

Little edit here. You really should have a photo quality printer also. HP, Cannon and Epson are all excellent. But HP print's will spot and/or run if hit by water. My Epson , Epson 300, and the Cannon's won't do that. I also have an Epson 66 that works well and was cheap! Also an Epson Picturemate for 4x6's, very nice. I had the HP 4x6 printer but got rid of it when I found the ink ran if wet! Both the Epson Picturemate and the HP 375 (4x6 printer) will work on optional batteys. Speaking of batterys, get an extra for the camera and an extra card.

Let me say, look at the Cannons and Nikons that you can afford and chose the one that is easiest for you to use and feels good handling. Don't be overcome by those special programs, most, the vast majority you'll never use. One program I like on my D70 is the "commander" mode. with the right flash, I can set it off with my camera, wirelessly and remote.

For lenses, you should probally have a wide angle that comes with the camera and two telephoto's. I gave my 28-200 to my neice and wish I still had it. It was a Sigma but Tameron and Tokina also make excellent lenses in that range. I also have a 150-500 Sigma that I couldn't do with out. It comes out to about 240 -700 on a digital. It's optimised for 35mm as most are. They may make it in digital optimised now. Digitat optimized lenses will be note with a "D". By the way, if you stop at a 200mm lense, you'll come away wanting for longer shots at animals in the wild.

The longer lense, 150-500 or Tamrons 200-400 or Tokinas 80-400 all really should be shot off a tripod. If your feeling rich, Cannon and Nikon both make lenses with "vibration reduction" built in, very expensive tho, well over $1000.

I'd stick with Sigma, Tameron and Tokina lenses over the Cannon and Nikon lenses unless you a pro, maybe even then. You'll likely not be able to tell the difference in the finished photo's.

One thing not to be taken in by is the mega pixel race. Anything over 6 MP and the difference is just not that obvious to the average guy. I've blown up many photo's to 8 1/2 x 11 and they look fine. Photo's bigger than that, I shoot on film, med format film. Until you get up around 10 or 12 MP, you won't gain much. Then at 10 or 12 MP, the cost of the camera goes up, way up!

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Camera recommendations

For the record, Olympus SLR's are the only SLRs that completely digital designed SLRs. Canon, Nikon & Pentax took existing film cameras and converted them to digital media. Olympus designed a digital SLR system from the ground up including the complete line of digital lenses.

No, the Olympus is not a pro camera like the Nikon D2x or a Canon D30, it also costs much less. If you are comparing apples to apples the Olympus E-Volt 500 would be in the same price range as a Nikon D50, Canon Rebel and a Pentax ist DL and the Olympus would be the most advanced camera in that group.
Please see:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1192
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategor...
http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2&productNr=25216
http://www.pentaximaging.com/products/product_details/digital_camera--*i...

The best way to decide is with the facts. Check the above websites, read about the cameras, compare technologies and features and see which one is best for you.

redrider's picture
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Camera recommendations

You guys are really giving me some great information. Thank You Thumbs up Lots of choices to make, but thats what I was looking for. Hopefully I will come away with something I can enjoy for years to come.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
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Camera recommendations

This camera deal is kinda like rifles and cartridges. To many choices and none really wrong. A good pro will take a disposable, shoot a scene and leave you wondering how he did it with junk!

You might go to gr8fuldoug's web site. His family ownes a camera store in the "City".

redrider's picture
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Camera recommendations

Hey Don, Is it possible to see some of your pictures and say what distance they were and which lense you used. I'm having a hard time figureing a workable distance with which lense. Like how close does a deer need to be to get a good quality shot with a 200mm. Thanks for the help. I'm really liking this idea of hunting with the camera before season and after I've tagged out. Have seen some incredible animals that I only wish I had a picture of!

Don Fischer's picture
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Absolutely. But it'll have to wait untill I get back on my own computer, this is my grandson's.

When I really got going , pre-digital, my longest lense was a 70-210 Nikon. It severally limited me to get some close up's I thought I wanted. When I did get them, it involved a lot of work, A LOT!!! I then went to a 70-300 and it helped some. But mostly I think my attitude about what made a good photo changed. Unless there is something really remarkable about an animal, a frame filling shot with little or no forground and background becomes just another photo of that animal, just like thousands of other's. But other times the full frame shot does work, albit rarely.

About the max distence you'll get a good deer photo with a 200mm lense would be somewhere around 50 to 75 yds. Yet if you were to put a 1.4 or 2x multiplier on it, you could streach to over 100 yds. Then too you'd pick up a bit more with the regular lense in place of the digital lense. I have some African animals I shot on a presurve at around 150 to 175 yds that made good photo's

What ever camera you get, befor you chunk down for any 200mm lense, look at some 80-400mm lenses. They will be light years ahead for wildlife.

Soon as I can I'll get you off some photo's and what lenses they were taken with and the distances as best I can remember.

Don

Well the grandson did some voodoo stuff to my computer and now it works on their phone line.

Don Fischer's picture
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Camera recommendations

Well deleted three so can get three more here. These were all shot with a 70-300 Sigma. Not an endorsement for Sigma tho as I believe that the Camera manufactures lenses or other after market lenses would have given at lesat the same results.

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Camera recommendations

After a lot of research, I bought my wife the olympus evolt E-500 with the two lens kit last Christmas. She has friends in the photography industry that have much more expensive cameras that don't have some of the features on the e-500. She is producing some truly amazing stuff with that camera and couldn't be happier. Like Don said... too many viable choices.

redrider's picture
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Yes, lots of choices for sure.

Don thanks abunch those pictures and knowing the distance really helps. I am convinced I need to get at least a 300mm lense. Thank you very much for the help. Hopefully I will have something pick out in the near future.

redrider's picture
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Camera recommendations

What do you guys think about these two kits?

http://www.bestpricecameras.com/prodetails.asp?prodid=557871&up=215535

http://www.bestpricecameras.com/prodetails.asp?prodid=557804&up=215535

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