Wildlife/Landscape Photography

JudiJ

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My family and I are going to be going to Yellowstone, Teton and Glacier National Parks on vacation and we would like a new camera to take along. We went a year ago with a 35 MM point and shoot and were very frustrated with the zoom. We'd like to upgrade to a SLR camera body, but don't know if we want to do digital or film. We are beginners, but want good quality equipment that we can use for a variety of photo types, as I have 10 and 14 year old kids active in sports, as well. Any suggestions on cameras, lenses and accessories (we already know we'll need a tripod)?
 

Soocom1

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First thing, welcome to the forum.

In all honesty I would recommend a digital, mostly because you can delete any bad photos, and not pay for them.

As for cameras, my personal would be the following: I don't want to scare you here either.)

Point and shoot: Fuji Fine pix, Sony cool pix, or any of the Olympus.
SLR: This is where things can get expensive, so caution is in order here for any one new to this. Nikon D-70, D50 or a Canon D-10 (used for around $550.) Lenses, go with a good 'bundle set' from the OEM, or from companies like Sigma, Tamaron, Tokina, etc. Recently several outlets have been selling the Nikon D-50 with a variate of lenses for around $600. The 28-80, and 70-300 is common, and for what you want to do, I would also recommend several books on the subject. I would get extra batteries, and at least 1 GB card. In the long run you will be much happier, and spend much less than if you went with film. Plus, during the hot summer months, you wont burn the digital, whereas with film, it is susceptible to heat in cars. (Great way to kill good shots.)

With the tripod, see if you can also get a remote cable with the camera. They can be expensive, but if you look on e-bay you may find one for around $30.00. One more thing. Get a GOOD water resistant bag! Lo-pro is a good one, or even an M-rock. This will save you many an hour of frustration.
 

Ringo

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Soocom1 is right. I recommend you go digital; 35mm film can already be outdone by most digital cameras in terms of clarity, speed, and flexibility. I recommend the Nikon D50 kit, as it's nearly identical to the D70s. The only real difference is in some small features that you would most likely never use, as this camera would be for recreational purposes, not professional, right? I'd opt for a camera w/lens(es) bundle. Say the D50 with 18-55 and 55-200 bundle. This kit can be had for about $700 - $800. That range should be more than plenty for your purposes. And of course, as Soocom1 said, get a sturdy bag (I personally use Lowe-Pro, but I'm biased, as I knew Alex Lowe).
 
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JudiJ

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Thanks for the suggestions. Even though we have a while until our vacation, we really wanted to go ahead and get the equipment so we'll be comfortable with it. I think you're right- digital is probably the way to go. I hadn't thought about the film and hot weather issue. We tried taking pictures of a grizzly last year that was on the other side of a ravine- all we got was a blurry red dot on some logs- that's why we didn't want to use the point and shoot cameras again. We'll start looking for some good books on basic photography- any suggestions here?
 

Jeff Canes

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The Canon D-Rebel XT (8mp) with the kit lens go for around $775 (B&H Photo), also Canon has a rebate program going on now. You would also need to get a memory card. B&H has Scandisk 2gb CF cards for 65, 86 and 110 dollars the different is the speed. Most like the slow at $65 would be find.
 

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