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Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Efstopdummy, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    Hey all. Complete Newbe to photgraphy in general and to this forum.

    As my login suggests, I am a dummy with anything resembling a camera in my hands.

    Don't own one yet unless you count my cell phone camera.

    Have used my brother Pentax Optio with some mixed results. So here I am, all willing to learn new junk.
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    Feel free to ask questions, and read the posts you find interesting. Have a look at the appraisal gallery, and maybe post some of your pictures.

    Most of us don't bite very hard! :)
  3. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    ROFL. I just love a keen SOH. Seems like I might fit in here.

    AM, you'd have to have (very) long teeth to bite me. I'm a long way away from you all the way down south in Africa. :cool:

    Lets see if this one works. (One of the pictures I have taken that gives me the most pleasure.

  4. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Welcome :)

    That shot is quite good.

    There is the Help Team if you want advice or support on say a new/secondhand cameras.
  5. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    Takes a bow to a fan club of one.

    Thanks for the comment. I took some fairly decent shots that trip and some not so good ones.

    The problem with photographing wildlife in somewhere like the Kruger National Park is that it's a big place. So sometimes animals are far away and Im looking for some advice on what sort of lens I would need.

    The camera that I shot that with was a 7.2 mp Pentax Optio.

    I want to change to a DSLR type camera and thinking that a 500 mm lens would be ideal in most cases.

    Camrea brands are pretty much a subjective thing. Some like Pentax (although they are history) and other like Nikons or Canon. (I don't want to start a bun fight here, but would like to hear why you suggest a specfic brand and lens combination.)

    I need something fairly easy to operate (idiot proof) so I can take some decent shots.

    Seriously thinking of second hand until I can get the hang of it and then perhaps go for some better equipment.

    So like what is the general opinion on that line of appraoch?
  6. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Ah, things have move on some much since the 7.2MP Pentax.

    You need to tell us your budget.

    One option which I have been looking at is the new D3200 with a travel zoom of 18-270mm. Because it has 24MP you can crop to get that bit closed. The lens converts to 405mm when compared to 35mm film but with cropping say to 7.2MP it would give a similar view to shooting at 740mm.

    It works out to quite light solution of about 1KG. But not cheap.

    Another option might be a bridge camera like a Fujifilm HS30EXR or maybe a Lumix FZ150 or FZ200.
  7. lisadb

    lisadb Well-Known Member

    Sure I saw some of those in a Staffordshire river a few weeks ago ;). If only !!

    Second had might be a good idea till you decide what you want to buy. Important to buy the brand you like best/gives best results - when you start buying expensive long lenses you can get trapped into a brand due to the money you've already spent.

    Welcome to the forum - have fun. :D
  8. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    Budget?? BUDGET WTF is that?? Oh that's the part where you shell out heaps of cash for a gizmo that is probably going to end up disappointing at some stage down the line.:rolleyes:

    This aspect is rather different since I live south of the equator on the Dark Continent.

    Had a look at an offer by one of our larger chain stores last night and its fr a Canon 1100d camera with a standard lens and an additional something to 300mm zoom thrown in. A bit above what I would idealy like to pay, but lets say I can squeeze it.

    What thoughts on this? I don't really want to get trapped into a camera body that can only take lenses manufactured by the camera maker. (I think this is one of the limitations with Pentax but I may be wrong. I know very little about all this stuff.)

    A friend shoots with a Pentax 5 Mp camera and a 500 mm lens and he has some gret shots. His GF has a Canon with 300m lens and hers are pretty good too.

    So my opinion is simply this: It's probably an expensive and advanced rig for a startup but at least I won't have to change it in the next five minutes and being new, I'll get all the warrantees and junk like that. I know the stuff will work and maybe get a two times converter to get up to 600mm zoom. Should work out cheaper than having a zillion lenses too.
  9. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    These are a few ofthe other shots I took on the same trip to Kruger National Park.

    Some of the good and maybe I'll post some of the not so good.





  10. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    You've got some nice shots for a self-confessed noob! :) Maybe you could explore some post production editing options to improve contrast in some of them, and watch out for cutting off bits of the animals - feet of the monkey, tail of the lizard (gecko?).

    The 1100D probably isn't a bad choice for a starting DSLR, though be prepared for a bit of a learning curve to get the best from it, as with any but the most basic of cameras. The 300mm tele zoom will be useful for wildlife, though it probably won't have a very wide aperture at the long end, so you'll need plenty of light for best results. Stabilisation (IS) will help if your subjects aren't moving too fast.

    There are 3rd party manufacturers who make lenses to fit most makes of DSLRs - Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are the best known - so you won't be restricted to just the camera maker's lenses. Teleconverters aren't necessarily worthwhile, you lose out on maximum aperture (1 stop for a 1.4x, 2 stops for a 2x) and apart from a few (usually expensive!) combinations of lens and converter, can significantly reduce quality. With a high pixel count camera like the 1100D, you might be better off just cropping the picture. You can crop to the equivalent of 1.4x and still have 6Mpxl, enough for a poster sized print.

    Probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a DSLR is how well if suits you. Try to get to a shop where you can hold the cameras in your hands, get a feel of how easily you can reach the controls, and how comfortable the grip is. Look through the viewfinder and see how clear things look, and play with the menus to see how logical it seems to you. All these are very personal things, and what suits me won't necessarily suit you.
  11. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member


    I second for the Canon 1100D. You might want to look out for a dual kit with the EF-S 18-55 Is II and the EF-S 55-250 IS II lenses. Both of these are good lenses and great value if you get them as a kit with the body.
  12. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    In my previous post, there were a few pictures.

    They are Buffalo, Red Winged Starling (Female) Vervet Monkey, Scops Owl and a Flap Necked Chameleon.

    This is one I took of a female Kudu.


    One of those I count as being a bit more on the side of fair to reasonable.

    An Elephant taking a bath


    Some vultures bathing


    And one of the few I have of a Lilac Breasted Roller.


    This one was a bit of an experiment. A herd of Zebra were passing behind a fallen tree and I tried to use the tree as a frame for the picture. I think the result would have been far better if I had not taken the shot through my dusty windcreen. I am happy with the result though.


    I do have a slightly better picture of the monley where I got him all into the shot without cropping his feet off.

    And all this with an aim and shoot Pentax Optio.

    So I think I have an "eye" for what may make a reasonable photo, I just need to hone the skills a bit by practicing.

    Think I may just go with the Canon deal when I have the budget for it.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Oh, and the best shots (with the exception of the elephat crossing the river) have been kept out of public viewing places like Photobucket for my own reasons.

    I used PB as a storage facility for posting the pictures on a trip report I did for a wildlife forum. So I only posted those that were moderately good.
  13. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    These are the most recent shots I took with the 5Mp Pentax my friend owns. It had a 125mm zoom lenns on it.





    In some cases the animals were a bit closer so it made life a lot easier.
  14. Toast

    Toast Well-Known Member

    Good call...:)
  15. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    Thanks for all the feedback. The bundle I am interested in come with a standard lens and a 75 to 300mm lens so I think it will be a good entry level package for me.

    I read a write up on the EOS 550d Canon and they said the view finder was small and the camera was also quite small so I think I might just hop off to the local department store and go have a look at it.
  16. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    So now I really need some help. The offer I was interested in had a short shelf life and ended before I could get the camera.

    I have done a bit more homework and all is not lost yet. I can get a similar deal with a Canon 500D.

    The essential differences are that the 500D has more Mpix (15) than the 100D at only 12 Mpix. The 550D has 18 Mpix.

    Given that they all have the same lenses, I am assuming that the 550 would be the better camera of the 3. Only it's a bit out of my budget.

    Is the 500D a better camera than the 1100D?


    What is the effect of having more Mega Pixels?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  17. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Yes the 550D is the best of the three it has more pixels but more importantly the 18Mpix sensor that is used in the 550D is very good. The same lenses will fit all 3 so possibly the lenses are the same on all three but then again they might not be. There are few version of the 18-55 lens.
    I would still consider the 55-250 IS over the 75-300. First it has IS that really helps another thing is that the 55-250 is much better optically than the 75-300mm
  18. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    Thanks for the reply. As mentioned, the 550D is a bit above the budget I have for the camera. If I had to be brutal with myself, so is the 500D pacckage but if I really stretch it, the 500D seems to be a better bet than the 1100D for now, having more pixels.

    So it makes a bit of logical sense to me to go for a better body. THe lenses will have to wait some cosiderable time before I can think of upgrading.
  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Hmmmm. I think the image quality of the 1100D is better than the 500D - it's not so much the number of pixels, but the quality of them that counts, and the 12MP sensor is a lot better than the 15MP one IMHO. For the record, the 18MP one is better than either.
  20. Efstopdummy

    Efstopdummy Member

    :confused: :confused: :confused:

    This last response confuses me.


    Just looked at this website as a comparison and it shows the 500D as the clear winner.


    Sorry mods if this is a rule infringement. It is not intended to be.

    I'm just looking for clarity. I think I'll take that comparison as reasonable.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

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