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TheCodfather 10-09-2006 11:01 AM

Tell me about cameras!
I've suddenly gotten into wildlife and landscape photography. I've got a fairly good eye for a nice shot and i seem to get lucky by being in the right place at the right time! The thing is, i get these lovely shots, but they just look blurry and cack on my little 3.2 mpix cam. i have to be within 3 feet to get a nice clear image and it's just not possible with wildlife.
I've been on a few sites and a lot of members seem to use canon EOS cams or Nikon D200 models. Around 8-12 mpix. They seem to say SLR cameras are a must. I don't even know what this means! lol :? :( And then there's the lenses!! I Guess you can zoom more with a 400mm lens than you can with a 200mm?? yes? Can anyone help me out and explain some stuff? pleeeeeeeeez!

crazie.eddie 10-09-2006 12:00 PM

SLR=Single Lens Reflex

The nice thing about SLR's are almost instantaneous shots when you press on the shutter button. Unlike the digital cameras where you have a slight delay the moment you press the shutter button and when the camera finally takes the shot. This makes it difficult for those action shots, taking pictures of children/babies, or animals/fish.

If you have the money, go with Digital SLRs. Basically an SLR mechanics, but instead of taking the photo on a film, all that has been replaced by electronics. The regular digital cameras now are opposite, they have the electronics and then fitted into a camera.

As with regular digital cameras, DSLRs allow you to delete any pictures you don't want or you can later download them to view them. With regular SLRs, you still have to process the film, which can take awhile and can be rather expensive. If you've taken action shots, you realize you can take thousands of shots, just to get that one perfect shot.

DSLRs/SLRs have interchangeable lenses, so you can take wide angle or panoramic shots (wide angle lens), zoom in on subjects (zoom or telephoto lens), or take real close up of insects, fish, etc. (macro lens).

Most cameras also allow you to connect an external flash. External flashes are helpful. It's best to have the flash further away from the camera to eliminate red eye. You can also use accessories, such as a cable or even several flashes so that you don't have the shadow effect when taking pictures of a subject.

You can get a good consumer end DSLR with includes a camera body and lense for under $1000 (USD). Pro rated DSLR well over $3000 (USD)

TheCodfather 10-09-2006 12:42 PM

That's just the info i was after thanx mate. :D But what do the lens size (in mm) mean? eg. 400mm lens?

crazie.eddie 10-09-2006 01:00 PM

The focal length is always quoted in millimeters. The 400mm is the focal length when the zoom is fully extended.


The focal length of a lens is defined as the distance in mm from the optical center of the lens to the focal point, which is located on the sensor or film if the subject (at infinity) is "in focus". The camera lens projects part of the scene onto the film or sensor.

Basically, the bigger the number, a far away subject can appear closer :D

Andrew 10-28-2006 06:40 PM

ok compact cameras state magnification in their specs, say 3x zoom with 4xdigital zoom.
Well 200mm = 4xzoom.
What you have to remember is a compact camera has a tiny lens i mean what 5mm, SLRs start with 52mm and go up beyond 77mm, quite a difference, this increased diameter means more light, which means a greater accuracy when capturing the subject.

I have a canon eos20d- its a digital slr, and i would dearly love a 400mm lens but i cant afford it, as it has a highstreet proce of £800!!
Unlike compacts the slr camera is only half the equation, the other half is the lens that sits on it.
Digital SLR's have come down in price considerably of late. Though i would advise to stick to the dominant brands, Canon and Nikon, it may be tempting to go for Olympus or Sony but they are far smaller brands and cannot offer the wide range of lenses and 3rd party lens/accessory support of canon and nikon.
I chose canon as it is arguably the better of the two at the moment, they have developed cameras that record less noise, although many nikon owners will argue withme- depends on personal preference.

bettababy 10-31-2006 12:12 AM

Something to watch for when you select a camera... manual focus and flash that is able to be shut off. There are some great cameras out there, but when it comes to taking wildlife and fish pictures, those are 2 things you'll want total control over. My ex made that mistake when he bought me the sony MVC250. It's an awesome camera, takes incredible pictures... lots of functions, but no way to shut off the flash and no manual focus. I have wasted hours trying to get a clear shot, only to give up because the camera can't handle it. Rather than wasting money to add on to this one, I'm saving for something better.

Andrew 10-31-2006 03:15 PM

other points to consider when choosing a compact is a macro feature- close focusing is a good thing to have when taking pictures of aquariums.

saint 04-03-2007 08:20 AM


Originally Posted by Andrew
Though i would advise to stick to the dominant brands, Canon and Nikon, it may be tempting to go for Olympus or Sony but they are far smaller brands and cannot offer the wide range of lenses and 3rd party lens/accessory support of canon and nikon.

well actually sony have bought out konica minoltas camera division, so they have bought all of thier research and design aswell, sony are still using minoltas bayonet fitting so alot of the old minolta lenses will therefore fit the new sony a100 alpha body.
so in personal opinion from playing with digitial cameras all the time and getting to check out the latest and greatest if your looking for a non pro slr the canon eos400d or sony alpha a100 are the go, the a100 even has an antishake ccd something canon can only put into thier lenses and at 1100 aussie dollars for the canon 75-300 mm image stabilized lense it then becomes an expensive purchase.

but if you want pro canon all the way the 30d is a nice piece of gear if your dollar conscious but if your not look at the mach1

rocky00 04-18-2007 03:16 AM

if you want to get into serious into photography but don't want to spend all that money, try looking into the pro-sumer camera. The pro-sumer camera has enough lens range, from macro to telephoto. and they are on the $500-$700 range. These cameras offer what DSLRs can do, but the only disadvantage is that you cannot change the lens.


Powershot G7 (has a external flash hook up)
Powershot S3 IS (this one has an image stabilizer, so you can hand hold your camera as low as 1/8 second shutter speed)

As for nikon, they have stopped producing a pro-sumer camera. There are other brands that is good but i have no knowledge of. I think the Panasonic pro-sumers are highly rated as well.

the next step up is the SLR game. there are affordable DSLRs such as the D40 or the Rebel 400XT, if you want to get into photography but do not want to spend all that money.

photography is much like having a fish tank, there is always the next step up.


They seem to say SLR cameras are a must.
SLR is, single lens reflex which means:

when you look at the camera, you are actually looking through a bunch of mirrors that reflects the image from your lens. and when you press that shutter button, the image lifts up and exposes it to a film. which we call digital sensor nowadays (what makes a camera DIGITAL)


It's not about the camera, it's about the photographer. Just like fishes, It's the fishkeeper, not the aquarium nor the fishes, nor the plants.

amateur photographers today are brainwashed by camera manufacturers to think that it's all about the camera. I am confident to say that i can out-shoot any monkeys who dare to say that SLR is a must, with my 3.2MP point and shoot camera.

Focal Length.

hopefully this visual explanation would clear up your questions on focal lengths.

the farther the distance between that last element of the lens, the higher the number goes. if the focal length is 50mm, that means the distance between the last element of the lens and the sensor/film is 50mm. the higher the number, the closer you get to the subject. a 400mm lens means the distance between the two is 400mm.

go to that link, that should give u a focal lenght comparison.[/quote]

rocky00 04-18-2007 03:22 AM


I chose canon as it is arguably the better of the two at the moment, they have developed cameras that record less noise, although many nikon owners will argue withme- depends on personal preference.
i am a nikon owner, and i agree with you. Canon does record lower noise because they use a CMOS sensor instead of CCD.

and that will be another long explanation.

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