$1,000 USD budget for new camera: nature, travel, sports photography

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,277
Re: $1,000 USD budget for new camera: nature, travel, sports photography

ScottSeg wrote:

Hello kind and helpful photographers!

I'll do my best to keep this succinct and on-point. I have a $1,000 USD budget to upgrade from my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 that was sadly stolen from my car. The FZ1000 helped uncover my love of nature and sports photography as a hobby and I would like to upgrade to a mirrorless or DSLR as I really learn the craft.

The camera will primarily be used for nature photography; and in particular, owls. My wife and I do work in the environmental sector so we do hike and packpack; my Lumix did okay in Death Valley and Zion, for example.

The camera will also see significant secondary use for travel. We travel internationally about every 3 years and around the US in the interim years. We are heading to Greece in June 2020 to spend a few days on a small boat which is prompting making this purchase now.

The camera will see a small amount of sports photography. I'm a baseball fan and like to travel to spring training to snap amateur action photos. No interest in a major lens and capturing high-speed action crystal clear; just looking for an upgrade from maxing out my Lumix's zoom and shutter speed for acceptable amateur photos.

My budget is for camera body and lens in total, and I'm happy to spend up to the $1,000 max. It is possible for me to save up for an additional lens or upgrade in the future, but this is a hobby so I could never see spending $1,500 on a lens down the road, if that helps shape your advice.

Thank you very much for any recommendations! I am very much feeling overwhelmed and undereducated!

The FZ1000 has a 1" sensor and 25-400mm (equiv) f/4-5.6 lens. If I understand you correctly, you're happy with the size but would like to upgrade to a camera with a little longer lens for around US$1000.

The next step up moves into the 500-600mm (equiv) range. There are not very many lenses that go beyond 600mm (equiv) for 1" and larger sensor cameras that will fit in your budget.

For 1" sensor cameras you may find something in this DPR Buying Guide:
2019 Buying Guide: Best enthusiast long zoom cameras

I know very little about the m4/3 cameras. I see Panasonic makes a 100-300mm lens for pretty low cost (this works out to be a 200-600mm equiv lens). Olympus has a 75-300mm (150-600mm equiv) too. Perhaps one of the m4/3 users could suggest something else or a body that will keep you within budget.

For APS-C and FF cameras, I can't think of a 500-600mm (equiv) lens available for under US$1000 unless you consider used or maybe a poor-IQ manual focus mirror lens. Many first-timers will consider the Tamron/Sigma 150-600mm, Nikon 200-500mm, Canon 100-400mm lenses. These will all blow the budget out of the water.

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Lance H

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