Camera for Nature/Wildlife Photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Knickle25, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was going to say that as you mentioned working in the field that a good compact camera or phone would likely cover you for darted animals since you'd be working and, in my experience, a big camera just gets in the way or ends up sitting in the bag the whole time when you're focused on work (esp in something time sensitive like that where you've a limited window to perform all your tasks within). Though sometimes experience and a larger team can give you time to shoot, even if its just documenting the surveying method and the animal and any notable features worth keeping an eye on.



    Otherwise you've had solid advice already with working within your budget. Canon or Nikon would suit you well, though Nikon has the lions share in terms of backlog of second hand lenses to choose from at cheaper prices provided you don't mind manual focusing on some. Both have the same range of modern 3rd party lenses to pick from. That said at present Nikon is ahead in sensor technology (broadly speaking). So the current trend is toward them.


     
  2. RVT1K

    RVT1K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a D7000 and two D3's. I just bought a used D4 and was planning on selling both of the D3's to finance the latest purchase.

    I'm having second thoughts and very well may sell the D7000 instead. I hadn't used it in a while and when I used it in burst mode, I thought there was something wrong. It is sooo slow compared to the D3.

    As mentioned, buying used is not a bad way to go at all. You can get a nice used D3 and a 70-200 f/2.8, a combination that would take great shots, and be under budget.
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmmm long distance.

    I suggest you look at a Micro 4/3 camera; either Olympus or Panasonic.
    With the 2x crop factor a 75-300mm lens is a 3-12x lens, similar to a 150-600mm lens on a FF camera. Same magnification in a smaller/lighter package.

    Edit:
    Presumption is that the m4/3 and FF cameras have similar pixel count (MP).
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  4. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    so you want to photograph wild animals before you tranquilize and tag them.

    A long telephoto zoom lens, e.g. used Canon 100-400 or Sigma 150-600 and a DSLR or mirrorless should easily fit in a $3000 budget and leaves room for a couple more lenses
    www.flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless

    [​IMG]Untitled by c w, on Flickr
     
  5. freixas

    freixas TPF Noob!

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    There is a common fallacy about the full-frame lens "equivalence" calculated from the crop factor, which itself derives from the sensor size. The equivalence is correct when you want to match the same field of view. But what most wildlife photographers want is to maximize the number of pixels for a subject that doesn't come close to filling the frame.

    You can quadruple the number of pixels on a subject by doubling the focal length. Or you can quadruple the pixels by halving the pixel pitch. The sensor size (and crop factor) is irrelevant.

    The common wisdom is that if I have a full frame camera and a 2x crop camera, I would need a 200mm lens on the former to match a 100mm lens on the latter. However, if the pixel pitch of the two cameras is the same, I could use the same lens on both to capture a distant subject. As long as the subject fits entirely within the field of view of the smaller sensor, a crop of the subject from both cameras will be identical (for nitpickers: same lens, same focal length, same sensor electronics--same everything except for the sensor size). The 2x crop camera will not gain a magical 2x zoom benefit.

    I use the term "zoom factor" for the ratio of the pixel pitch of two cameras. Unlike crop factor, which is always a comparison to a full-frame sensor, there is no standard to compare against. You can only look at the "zoom factor" difference of two specific cameras. As an interesting aside, if (and only if) two cameras have the same number of pixels, then the "zoom factor" equals the crop factor.

    If you square the crop factor and multiply it times the total pixels on a sensor, you get the number of pixels needed to have a zoom factor of 1 when compared to a full-frame camera. So a 2x crop 24 MP camera and a 96 MP full-frame have the same pixel pitch. Since many crop cameras have a pixel count close to 24 MP and few full-frame cameras approach 96 MP, people tend to believe that the crop factor is the source of magnification.

    For bridge cameras, the manufacturers love to push this idea, so you'll hear (and I do) amateur bird photographers talk about how they have the equivalent of a 2000mm lens on their Nikon P900. Well, maybe yes, maybe no--it depends on what camera they are comparing against.

    As far as advice on what equipment to get, I think it's been covered pretty well. The Sigma Contemporary 150-600mm is supposed to be a pretty good lens. You can extend the range by getting their 1.4x extender. Crop cameras tend to be cheaper and have a smaller pixel pitch. I don't know about Nikons, but the Canon 80D is about $850 and a Sigma C runs around the same, so that fits well within your $3,000 budget, even if you add the extender.
     
  6. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Uh boy.

    OK.

    FF vs. crop uses the same mounting distance on both types. (Canon EF vs EFS). Same with Nikon DX, etc.
    The problem is not a "crop" or "equivalent" because it uses the same FoV and the mounting distance is the same so the "crop factor" is based on reproduction ratios which makes the idea as the previous poster said.. irrelevant.

    What you want to focus onto is glass.
    Lenses with large optics, fast speeds and LONG! Fixed telephotos are great and higher end and you will pay dearly for them, so most starting out shoot for long zoom lenses. (100-400 mm etc.)

    Both Nikon and Canon make very high quality optics in this range but again are extremely expensive new and marginally better used.

    First off, DONT CHASE MEGAPIXELS!!!

    Look to format size.

    Secondly, pace out what your abilities are first, then let the glass selection evolve with needs and budget. Unless you know HOW to use a telephoto or long zoom, the images will come out looking like poo poo.

    Understand how to hold the lens and invest in a first class tripod.
    But most importantly, and regardless make or model, is to remember that the real focus is to get the image as close and real as possible vs. some style.

    There are innumerable web sites that follow this, and the end result is yours alone.
    But play with different cameras first.
    You may wind up with a Pentax in the end or an old Yashicamat. its really up to you.
     
  7. Dwain Geead

    Dwain Geead TPF Noob!

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    Strange thing but I like using my Iphone .
     
  8. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Derrel is spot-on about his comments on optics. When I was in Africa I found that a 400mm zoom was just barely long enough. And if you're shooting eagles or other birds that are in-flight you can't get away with an aperture that will be f6.5 or something like that.
     

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