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 Post subject: Safari
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 2:09 pm 
Ooo, first post. Hi all, thanks again to Gordon for sorting out the account.

Right, in 15 weeks time I am off on Safari around Kenya for three weeks. I am sick of using my point and shoot digital and having it take a fair while to actually take the photo.

I take a lot of photos anyway, so I decided that it was time to invest in some proper kit. (My old Olympus film slr is a pain) My problem is I am on a very tight budget -£600 max.
I want to try and get the best setup for wildlife photos while I am away.

I think I have narrowed my choices to:
Sony alpha 18-70 + 75-300mm kit £579
Samsung Gx10 18-55mm and 50-200mm lens kit £589
Canon 400d with kit lens and one or two second hand lenses (I’m thinking a 50mm f1.8 and something in the range of 70-300) £400 for the body and kit lens +£200 for other lenses.

The sony seems to me to have the best lens range out of the box, and also has the advantage of IS (how important is this?) but I’m a bit worried as to how the system will progress and if it is a good investment.

The samsung also has anti shake, not such good lens rang, but I should be able to add pentax lenses quite cheaply.

Canon, no antishake and I doubt I can find a second hand IS lens, but it is the big system.. I’m trying to pick up a refurbished one direct from canon ebay. If not I can get It for £400 with the rebate.

Ok, open to the floor! System and lens suggestions please!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 3:44 pm 
Ok, I have just found the Olympus e400 for £349 for a high street store with twin lenses (not the se kit), so it looks like that is what i will be getting if they can get one in stock. If I hate it I can sell it for more than that on ebay!

Fingers crossed as they will need to transfer from another store.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 3:59 pm 
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Location: Sale, UK
As a Nikon user I'd like to add a further couple of options. You can get a Nikon D40 plus 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens for £330 then buy the 70-300mm VR lens for another £330. It's also still possible to get the Nikon D50 with the same kit lens for £390 then buy the 70-300mm VR lens for £330. Click on the lens name in my signature to see some photos I've taken using the 70-300mm lens on my D80.

I know both of these are above your budget but you are cutting it very tight for what is a once in a lifetime trip.

_________________
Nikon D80, Nikkor lenses: 35mm f1.8 G AF-S DX, 50mm f/1.8 AF D, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR, SB800 flash
My photos on SmugMug


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 5:01 pm 
Some really nice images there, I love the gull in flight.

I really wish I could push it to £660, but I will need a bag mem cards etc on top of the £600. The trip is costing me enough anyway, choke! +No one else sees the need for more than my point and shoot. Pah!

Edit: Well, it looks like the Olympus is out of the pic :( ahh well. Back to the original options.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 7:20 pm 
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What happened to the Oly? Did you drop it for the missing anti-shake?
Unfortunately the Sigma lenses with image-stab are not available for the Olympus :cry:

Did you consider a compact super-zoom like the Panasonic DMC-FZ50 (see http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/PanasonicFZ50/)?
It has a very good 12x zoom which reaches very far (good for a safari), has image stabilization, no dust can come into the system, and it's easy to carry around. And the price stays within your budget and you can easily solve the problem of shooting too many pics by buying some really fat 8GB SDHC cards...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:26 pm 
Unfortunately the store I was getting it from can not get hold of another one as they have discontinued it for the 410`s arrival. There is a chance a store in Brighton has one that is not yet sold so they are checking tomorrow, not holding my breath.

At the price, even without stabilization it would have been a good buy.
-How much difference does IS really make? People used to manage ok...

I did think about the superzooms, but they all seem compromised, compared to even the pentax K100 for £299 from Jessops. That has antishake. With £300 I could get some ok glass and then a new body when money allows..

My other option, i guess is to get say a 350d and spend more on lenses. Would this be a better way to go?

Or I could save for another ten week and lie about the cost... hmmmm! I`m so confused!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:35 pm 
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Regarding image stab see Gordons video of the FZ50. That shows it pretty clear. My personal experience: I wouldn't go shooting telephotos without it! I don't use a tripod outdoors, so that's the only way for me to come to stable shots at long focal lengths. For your purpose, you should be really considering anti-shake. B.t.w. lens-based anti-shake is said to be more effective than cam-based...

As with regard to your indecision: Don't panic!
You have enough time to sort it out and 600GBP is a decent amount to get a nice camera for!

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 9:42 pm 
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Posts: 9962
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Althalus!

I went to Kenya on Safari a couple of years back and had a great time! You'll love it!

The thing that really struck me was how some animals could be very close as well as far away. Some of the landscapes were also beautiful and required decent wide angle coverage.

So for me the most useful lens was one with a superzoom range. I can't believe Thomas hasn't already tried to twist your arm into it ( :D ) but a DSLR with something with the range of an 18-200mm is perfect.

I was using a Canon 350D on that trip and was able to borrow a 28-300mm which was more useful than, say, a 100-400. These are seriously expensive lenses, but the ranges were what surprised me. I assumed the 100-400 would be better in that environment, but the one with the wider range was definitely more useful as a single lens solution.

That said, a twin lens DSLR kit with an 18-55 and a 70-300 would still be great...

As Thomas says though, the dust can be an issue when changing lenses. So I'd personally be tempted by a DSLR with a single superzoom lens or a superzoom compact. The new Sony H9 has a long range, stabilisation and focuses very quickly, which can be great for wildlife - look out for a review of it here soon..

Gordon

PS - as for the E-400, remember the E-410 is coming real soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Yeah, I love my Nikon 18-200 with image stab :)
But: Seeing as this lens is still around 700EUR = 470 GBP alone, what on earth should Althalus buy as a cam for the remaining 130GBP :shock:

P.S.: And as the Sony H9 sensor is smaller than the Pana FZ50, I'll guess that there is not much room for low noise (literally)...

P.S.2: As far as I know, the new Oly 410 doesn't have anti-shake either?!

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D800+assorted lenses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:53 pm 
Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6L IS USM £1472.49

I wish! :shock: :lol:

I`m really looking forward to the rift lakes etc. also doing a 1/2 day balloon safari that should be impressive.

The only difference between the e400 and 410 as far as I can tell is is live view and a slightly bigger raw burst buffer. I was considering getting the 400 for the two lenses, see how I get on, and then potentially sell the body and upgrade to the 510 when it comes out, lol. +It is a smaller camera, so easier to carry.

A DSLR with super zoom would be good I can see the need for near and far subjects... I guess I could do something like (not sure if they do sony mounts)
Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DG MACRO about £170
or
Tamron 28-300mm XR Di LD Aspherical Macro IF f3.5-6.3 about £200
on a sony body for £379.99 to get stabilization.

I`m not really sure on the all-in-ones, It is a hobby I used to be really into and would like to start again so getting into a modular system would be good, i think. Thought the super zoom would give me more spending money and I could just buy a new one in a couple of years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 11:27 pm 
The Sony's 75-300 doesn't have the best rep. If you consider A100 then I would instead suggest an old Minolta lens from the 1985 era which is cheaper and is top quality. As far as I know both Sony and Samsung/Pentax should be safe investments when it comes to lenses, they will probably try hard to win market from Nikon and Canon with. Sony has some interesting Carl Zeiss lenses and is about to launch a couple of new cameras/lenses, and Samsung/Pentax will most likely follow to compete.

As for image stabilization I would prioritize that very high since you rarely get the blured pictures you sometimes get without it. When I compare to my friends cameras (350D and 20D), I can get a bit sharper images even in bright condition with camera based IS. And if you are on a budget then camera based IS is probably a good choice.

PS. both Sigma and Tamron do Sony a-mount lenses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 11:59 pm 
lol, the plot thickens! everyone has a slightly different view, just got told canon are the only way to go by a friend.

I have to say the sony H9 et al. are tempting at around £250.

The only thing I have to decide soon is if I can get the olym E400 for £349 do I go for it, or, do I spend a lot more on IS? Is the low(er) noise etc. on the e400 worth the trade off for IS on the H9.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:29 am 
Ok. I just phoned brighton jessops about the e400. They have reserved a twin lens kit E400 14-42 40-150 for me for £349 The cheapest I can find the same kit for is £499 online.

It seems like it is too good to miss. Is IS really worth £250? Need to decide before tomorrow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 9:17 am 
For me IS is as important as auto focus was back in the 80's. You can live without it but you do get those extra good pictures :) (that's my experience) If you really get into the photography thing again, you should be able to upgrade to a model with IS like a future version of E-510.

But it's a personal preference, you might want to hear some of the more experienced users opinions in this forum about IS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2007 1:02 pm 
Well I just got the E400 twin lenses kit, 2 hoya UV filters, a bag and a tripod for £359.99. Which means I can get a 28-300 (56-600 on the E400) sigma lense as well and can always sell the body and get a 510 only body to add anti shake if I choose to. Or I have more spending money. Will have to see how i get on!

Thanks for the advice guys, i look froward to showing off some pics when I get back.


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