Time for a SLR. But which one?

Started Apr 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
Wellington100 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,958
Re: Time for a SLR. But which one?

jungleexplorer wrote:

Robert Cohen wrote:

What is the difference between makes of cameras? You might as well ask what is the difference between makes of cars. Most manufacturers have a range of products and what may be true of one end of the line isn't necessarily going to be true of the other end.

Every brand of DSLR on the market takes great pictures in the hands of someone who knows how to use the equipment. Unless you're talking about availability of exotic lenses or other accessories, the differences between brands is more in the nature of ergonomics, style of controls and menus than it is in the quality of photo each will take.

I don't think you're going to find what you say you're looking for in terms of ruggedness, zoom range, etc., for $600. Shooting wildlife, which apparently is a major interest of yours, isn't easy and can require a major investment in equipment.

Go to a book store or library and take a look at "Captured" by Moose Peterson. He's a pro and makes his living shooting wildlife, so what he uses may not be a buying guide for an amateur, but it'll give you an idea of the kind of equipment he uses to achieve the remarkable results he gets. Then consider that his tripod alone costs more than the $600 you're budgeting.

Yes, I know it cost unbelievable amounts of money to take the kind of photos you see in National Geographic. I almost had a heart attack when I ran across a Canon 700mm zoom lens for the low price of $20,000.00 on amazon.com. That is how much I paid for the house I raised my kids in. What is that lens made of, solid gold?

Anyway, you answered my question. I think that I will go with the K-x two lens kit. I have found it for around $650. I have read hundreds of reviews on it and have not seen anything less then 4 stars. That is unusual. You almost always find at least one person that got a lemon and left a negative review. The fact that I could not find one indicates to me that Pentax has pretty consistent quality control. I know it is a budget entry level slr, but with experience I bet I will be able to turn out better pictures then common point and shoots. I think I will also buy the G12 down the road when I can afford it for my everyday camera. I am convinced from everything I have that megazooms just can't cut it. Maybe some day they will.

There may be another solution which is to go the used camera route. There have been good megazooms in the past most notably the Fuji S100 and S200. These are inexpensive used buys these days.

You could buy one of these as back up with a used Fuji F70 compact, I have one of these and they are wonderful little things. In fact you could buy these and a used DSLR system such as a Pentax or say a Nikon D40 system. Its all light gear so you just need a bigger bag for the extra volume and you will have all sorts of options and redundancy for not too hefty a price tag. In fact whatever you decide to do perhaps you should consider a cheap F70 as a backup camera as well.

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