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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 15
Location: Liverpool, UK
Hi there,
Firstly I’d like to congratulate you guys on a superb site. The reviews are excellent and I really like the comparison tests – especially the outdoor ones! 8)

Like a lot of people, I’m looking to buy my first DSLR and it’s between the Canon 400D or Nikon D80 for me as I prefer the look and feel over the Sony Alpha. I do want anti-shake however and I could really do with some guidance on my options for general purpose wide to short telephoto range lenses with IS. In particular, are there any cheaper, budget options available?

Any advice/guidance would be very much appreciated. I too apologise for the repeat in advance as I’ve posted this in both the Canon & Nikon forums.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:51 pm
Posts: 6
Location: West Yorkshire
Hi HikerGal, I've replied to your question in the Nikon forum - hope it helps your decision!

Ferg


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9784
Location: UK
Hi HikerGal,

I take the view that when you buy your first DLSR, as I have just done, you are buying into a lens system. Otherwise why not buy a bridge camera with 10+ times optical zoom and image stabilisation for half the price of a DLSR with a budget 4x zoom.

Like you, image stabilisation/vibration reduction is a must for me so I did have a close look at the new Sony A100 but in the end decided it had to be between Canon and Nikon.

In the end I went for the Canon EOS 400D with the EF-S 18-55mm lens kit, not because I think it is a better camera than the Nikon D80 but because the Canon lens system had a better fit to my current and projected needs.

Luckily, I also had the budget to opt for a second lens so I ended up stretching the budget just a little bit further, as you do, and getting the best image stabilised full frame EF zoom I could afford.

That way when a mere 10.1 MPixels is the subject of pity in a few years time I can upgrade easily on the basis that camera bodies are cheap compared to good glass.

Bob.

P.S. That all sounds terribly logical but, if I put rationalisation and pride aside, I guess I can also admit to seeing a piece of Canon glass I just absolutely had to have. Hope this helps :!:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 15
Location: Liverpool, UK
Hi Bob Andersson,

My apologies for not replying earlier :oops: but I’ve been away in Scotland for a few days.

Thank you so much for your post - you make an excellent point about buying into a lens system. I’ve been almost entirely focusing on which camera – Sony/ Nikon/ Cannon rather than which lens system best suits my needs. As you quite rightly point out, cameras are being upgraded all the time but hopefully a good lens will last many camera upgrades.

As I mentioned to FergUK, I’ve now decided to make do with a kit lens for general use for now and invest in a specialist lens for my hobby – whale watching – which if I’m honest, is the whole reason I’m buying a DSLR in the first place!

On my last whale watching trip (Baja, California which was amazing) I was lucky enough to try out a bridge camera and DSLR from other people on the tour and the DSLR won hands down in terms of responsiveness, continuous shooting, range and focusing.

Anyway, I’ve now posted a question seeking advice on a lens with very quick zoom and focus, a big range and image stabilisation costing no more than £500. I know what I want from the lens but haven’t got a clue which options I have. So… I’m going to find the lens first and the DSLR will follow.

Bob Andersson, I cannot thank you enough for your advice! :D


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 Post subject: Advice
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9784
Location: UK
HikerGal

Thank you for your kind words. I am reminded of a quote from from Tolkien: "advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise."

The whale watching trip sounds wonderful. I've passed up similar opportunities in Alaska, California and New England and your enthusiasm reminds me that if I ever get the opportunity again I must grab it.

Good luck with your camera search.

Bob.


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 Post subject: Same predicament
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:10 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Vermont, USA
Hi Hikergal,
It's somewhat comforting to find others are facing the same conundrum regarding what camera and which lens and at what relatively affordable price to accomodate these needs. I almost switched my decision to the Sony, but the affordability did not outweigh the lack of quality lenses available, nor did the many reviews that give the edge to the Canon and Nikon in many aspects. I am leaning heavily toward the Nikon D80 with the 18-200mm VR lens, which has vibration reduction built in and is apparently a very suitable, "all purpose" lens that I might not have to change much and thus somewhat eliminate the dust issue.

FYI, Hawaii in the winter is outrageous for whale watching, as the humpbacks are all breeding and birthing, and displaying incredible behaviors. Though they do not eat for their entire stay in Hawaii's waters, they are mesmerizing to watch. Then it's a hop and skip to photograph the volcano (Kilauea) in all its glory, but certainly a place where dust is more than abundant! But it's worth every sulphury-filled breath...
Just a suggestion, but not a great place to leave. Heartbreaking.

I will stay tuned to see which set-up you choose. I, too, am open to advice. It's great to hear other opinions to help guide me through this maze of possibilities.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 15
Location: Liverpool, UK
Hi Bob & Avesong,
Thanks so much for your posts. Great to meet people who enjoy travelling, the outdoors and wildlife as much as I do! You’ve mentioned 3 favourite destinations and my ultimate wish list trip of Alaska. The humpbacks in Hawaii sound awesome!

Perhaps we should ask for a travel photography section on this forum ....?

In the meantime, my hunt for the greater unspotted black crested lens continues. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9952
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Hikergal, I've replied to your question about whale watching lenses in the Nikon foum!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:42 pm
Posts: 3
Location: New Zealand
I also enjoy the outdoors and had a Canon S70 in a pouch around my waist when I slipped and fell down Ruapehu [ New Zealand ] after spending the night in a snow cave . For that kind of travle you need a compact . But my other camera is a Nikon D80 with the 18-200VR lens and I doubt there is any other company that can match that range and quality in a lens . My only advice for extreme dusty conditions is the put a plastic bag around the camera and tape it to the lens , dust enters a zoom lens since there is a lot of air movement when you zoom a lens in and out . I have had bad experiences with dust and scratched an image sensor while cleaning it a while back . If I was starting over I might consider an Olympus since nobody can beat their dust reduction system .


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