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DSLR body & lense advice

Melbourne
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DSLR body & lense advice

For a while now I have been thinking about upgrading from a p&s to a DSLR so as I am going to antarctica in November I think this is the perfect time to do so.

There are obviously a lot of different options out there and at the moment I have been looking at Nikon & Canon. In terms of Nikon, the ones I have looked at are the D3300 & D5200. Just wondering what people know/thought about these 2 models and what they would recommend in Canon for the equivalent?

In terms of lenses, what are people's thoughts RE: getting 2 lenses(18-55mm & 55-300mm Nikkor that you can get in kit) vs getting 1 lense that covers say 18-270mm(tamron/sigma etc)?

The majority of photos I like to take are are of wildlife and scenery.

I'm open to any suggestions and advice

Thanks

Bunbury, Australia
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14 posts
89 reviews
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1. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Hi Melissa_lea

With the DSLR it is the lens that makes all the difference, I would look at getting a very good zoom lens for wildlife (canon 100-400) and keep the P&S for scenic shots unless you want to look at the 17-40 but it does become expensive. From experience kit lenses although good you will want to upgrade due to quality(my only experience is with cannon).

There are lots of different ways you can go but I think most photographers will suggest getting good lenses.

Regards

Peter

NYC
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1,299 posts
169 reviews
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2. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Whatever you decide, decide quickly. You will want to be fully familiar with your equipment so that it is like second nature to use it. You DO NOT want to be learning about the features during the trip when missing shots due to fiddling or getting bad results will take you out of the moment. Shoot like crazy all summer and fall with whatever you decide to use and review the results to figure out what you can do better. If you have a buddy who is better than you at photography, go on shooting outings together and learn. Some publications can be very helpful too such as Outdoor Photographer magazine or N Photo which is an ezine I enjoy reading that focuses on shooting with Nikon equipment.

See what feels best in your hands and go with it. For all practical purposes there is no difference between Nikon and Canon in terms of quality or results.

NYC
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1,299 posts
169 reviews
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3. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

You may also find somethings useful in this photography thread: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12337-k5963186…

Stanley, Falkland...
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32,928 posts
75 reviews
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4. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Take more than one camera. I saw someone's expensive gear get splashed on first landing and cease to work for rest of trip....

Michigan
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2,334 posts
55 reviews
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5. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Totally agree with Kyle's recommendation to practice, practice, practice. And if you're going the DSLR route, also learn up about filters and post-processing. Both can be very helpful.

Melbourne
12 posts
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6. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Thanks for advice everyone, it's all been helpful. I am now starting to learn towards getting the canon 700d and possibly either the tamron 16-300 lens or the tamron 18-270. I was also wondering regarding both polarizing and uv filters, are they necessary? And if anyone had experience with either of the lenses or the canon body too .

Thanks again

NYC
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1,299 posts
169 reviews
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7. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

As discussed on several prior threads, there is near universal consensus that UV filters are a necessity for the protection they offer in the very inhospitable conditions that shooting in Antarctica entails. All pretty much agree also that polarizing filters are too much hassle and not worth the distraction in the challenging shooting conditions of the region. The most recent thread on this is here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12337-k7647523…

Los Gatos...
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1 post
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8. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Hi Melissa_lea,

Most importantly, I would echo the previous comments that whatever you buy, you should become quite familiar with how the equipment works and how the settings effect the photo.

A couple years ago I bought my 1st DSLR prior to going to Africa. Previously I had a P&S that I never took off "auto" mode. I took 2 classes prior to the trip. Both were invaluable in different ways.

1) The first was a 1 evening "How to use your DSLR" class - basically how to operate the camera

2) The second was a 1 day photo workshop at a local zoo. I learned a few rules of thumb for photographing animals that I'm sure vastly improved my Africa photos.

As far as equipment goes (if you haven't already purchased), I bought a Nikon D5100 and LOVED it. They now have a D5300 that supersedes the D5200. I would recommend getting the newest body as they are constantly improving performance and features. I have both Nikon (55-300mm) and Sigma (18-250mm) lenses. I really like the single wide-range lens but for wildlife going from 250mm to 300mm on the long end does make a difference. So now I'm saving up for the Nikon 18-300mm.....

I'm going to Antarctica in Dec.!

Have fun!

London, United...
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559 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Hi Melissa - I have the 650d (nearly identical to the 700) and can't recommend it enough - although I've been using Canon SLRs since film days. When it comes to features, the entry level bodies are pretty similar between Canon and Nikon so pick the one that's feels best to you, especially since with those lens choices they come in both fittings. To give you an idea of what you can achieve with that class of camera and lens (although some were also taken with the 100-400mm) - some of my shots from last November are here - https:/…

Additionally, if it makes any difference at all, i had no UV filters, but did have lens hoods on everything.

Brisbane, Australia
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235 posts
52 reviews
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10. Re: DSLR body & lense advice

Hi Melissa,

I took the 550D so your 700D is a step up i.e. faster fps etc. The higher fps is great for trying to capture birds in flight shots. I mainly used the Canon EF 100-400 on my sub frame 550D and loved it. I know nothing about Tamron lenses or the specs of the two you mention, but if you are still deciding on a lens I would opt for the 16-300 for the extra reach for wildlife.

I did have UV filters on everything, and I second the lens hood recommendation - having the large lens hood on the 100-400 meant unless I angled the lens in the air after birds, I had a much better chance of taking photos in snow without getting any on the glass.

Just FYI - if you shoot using the viewfinder, the coverage isn't 100% (neither is it for my 550D) so when you review photos you wonder how that little bit of something on the edge of the shot came to be there when you'd framed the shot so carefully :)