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Old February 8th, 2013, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DSLR recommendations needed!

Hello everyone, got a question for all you photographers out there. I'm looking to upgrade from a Canon t3. Here's the info for what I want:

Type of photography: 1-Wildlife, 2-Astrophotography, 3-Landscapes

Budget: maxed out right now would be $1650 roundabout. I can always save more if necessary but try not to go above $2000.

My thoughts: Either a Sony a65 or a77. With the 10 or 12 fps burst respectively, they seem like good choices from my limited research. But feel free to offer other suggestions!

Lenses: This is where I start to get lost. Much help needed.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd keep the Canon and spend the 1650 on lenses
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Old February 8th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd keep the Canon and spend the 1650 on lenses
Definitely. One of those special tripods too, for astro work.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I bought a Nikon D600 w/ Nikon 24-85mm f/4.5G ED Nikkor lens for $2K on a special deal last Christmas. Right now i don't think you can find a better full frame DSLR camera at that price or maybe twice the price.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d600.htm
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Which lenses would you recommend?
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)

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I guess we should start with what it is about your T3 that isn't cutting it for you. It's certainly a capable camera. You may find that investing in good lenses and fast SD cards is money better spent.

A fast max burst rate may be helpful, but with some practice you can probably time your shots for better results. It's the same reason you don't need a machine gun to hunt deer.

Canon and Nikon keep gong back and forth to see who can edge out the other. Nikon seems to be holding a slight advantage, with Sony being the Hyundai of the camera market. Pretty good stuff that mimics the big boys in features and capability at a lower price, but it isn't quite there.

For wildlife photography, the DX crop factor might be helpful to get more reach with your zoom lens. For astronomy the crop factor might be a hindrance.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Canon and Nikon keep gong back and forth to see who can edge out the other. Nikon seems to be holding a slight advantage, with Sony being the Hyundai of the camera market. Pretty good stuff that mimics the big boys in features and capability at a lower price, but it isn't quite there.
.

You know Sony makes the sensors for the Nikon D600, right? You also know that Sony has been racking up a lot of awards and converts in the last couple years, right?

If you are already invested in canon or Nikon glass, then stick with those brands, it's a natural. I'm sticking with Sony and getting great results. Canikon snobs not withstanding.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would agree with going with some good lenses. I don't see why you would need to start over with another camera right now. YOU need to take some time to look at the lenses Canon puts out which best suit your needs then look up the reviews for same. Then look at other manufacturers to see if what they have to offer fits your budget better. Use that thing called the internet and read up on it.
A good place to start for gear reviews and forums:

http://www.dpreview.com/
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I use Nikon DSLRs, but that's really only because I had a half dozen Nikon autofocus lenses laying around from my film camera days.

So, my first question to you would be what Canon lenses do you currently have?

The T3 is a very capable 12.2MP camera, and do you really need faster than 3 fps? I don't. A good tripod and a 75-300mm and 18-55mm zooms and you'd have everything you need and still be well under your budget (by about 50% so you could buy a Baja as well! ).
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a canon D20 with a Tamron 28-300, it's an 8 Mp camera, a few years old, it does 5fps, as far as I can tell

Here is my Flickr account
http://www.flickr.com/photos/64182800@N02/
The pics with a 4000 number are those with that camera, the1000's are with point and shoot.
You can see on the dog race pix how the tracking does, I was very close and the dogs were coming straight at me, all the race pics were taken as bursts of several, the individual dogs as singles

Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
P.S.: my lens as no image stabilization as the new canon lenses do, whatever that does.
One thing to note a zoom lens like that is its really hard to focus in low light, like in my basement at night with the lights on.
I was recently looking into upgrading, the guys at the store told me I would not get much better than that in low light autofocusing. However if I use the lens that I got with the camera, an 18-55 , makes sense since it has a bigger aperture
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The main things I find lacking are the continuous burst (You cannot tell me that wouldn't be helpful for wildlife ;) ) and second, just the general picture quality. That may be the lenses.

I just have the two stock lenses that came in the kit. I'm not invested in lenses at all.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lenses, lenses, lenses! That is your bread & butter right there!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The main things I find lacking are the continuous burst (You cannot tell me that wouldn't be helpful for wildlife ;) ) and second, just the general picture quality. That may be the lenses.

I just have the two stock lenses that came in the kit. I'm not invested in lenses at all.
The lens I use to shoot the bird photos I have posted here, cost $2k, My Sony a65 body cost around $700. Having decent frame rate definitely helps. But I do find myself trying to limit my reliance on that feature. Birds in flight is a different matter.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The main things I find lacking are the continuous burst (You cannot tell me that wouldn't be helpful for wildlife ;) ) and second, just the general picture quality. That may be the lenses.

I just have the two stock lenses that came in the kit. I'm not invested in lenses at all.
But the T3 is capable of continuous shooting (jpeg format) at up to 3 fps. You don't think that's fast enough?

Not sure what your kit lenses are but the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS gets pretty good reviews.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But the T3 is capable of continuous shooting (jpeg format) at up to 3 fps. You don't think that's fast enough?

Not sure what your kit lenses are but the 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS gets pretty good reviews.
For wildlife, the more fps the better!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a canon 7d and it is awesome for photography with a lot of movement, sport, etc. I would strongly recommend it for wildlife.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For wildlife, the more fps the better!
Nah, not true really.

For wildlife, the more knowledge about the subject the better.

Patience doesn't hurt either.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #18 (permalink)

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Nah, not true really.

For wildlife, the more knowledge about the subject the better.

Patience doesn't hurt either.
What he said. A high FPS rating is really good at selling cameras, but not as effective at actually capturing the image you want to get. Like Kevin said, it's about subject knowledge and timing. It's not about blasting away 30 shots to hope you get the one you wanted.

Bones, you're right that Sony does make some Nikon sensors, but not all of them. Some appear to have been designed by Sony, others appear to have been manufactured to Nikon's design. I haven't seen anything that Sony's using the same sensors in their cameras as the ones they provide to Nikon.
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Old February 9th, 2013, 10:38 AM   #19 (permalink)

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I just saw your PS.

Image stabilization means that the camera has some motion sensors inside it to detect when you're wobbling around holding the camera, and moves one of the lens elements to compensate and keep the image steady.

It can help a lot at slower shutter speeds (or with bigger lenses), and most people find that it helps them steady the camera 1-2 stops slower than without it.

Canon has a good explanation here: http://web.canon.jp/imaging/lens/index.html

As for the focusing in low light... that's tough on all cameras and the store guys were right. The best thing you can do is to focus manually and reduce the aperture for better depth of field. Try it at about f/8.

Quote:
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P.S.: my lens as no image stabilization as the new canon lenses do, whatever that does.
One thing to note a zoom lens like that is its really hard to focus in low light, like in my basement at night with the lights on.
I was recently looking into upgrading, the guys at the store told me I would not get much better than that in low light autofocusing. However if I use the lens that I got with the camera, an 18-55 , makes sense since it has a bigger aperture
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