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request advice upgrading from bridge camera to DSLR

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Old Tuesday 27th August 2019, 21:10   #26
Earnest lad
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(quote) The d7100 and d3400 would use the same lenses. The step up is that the d7xxxx series puts more controls on physical dials, has a better auto-focus system, and shoots more frames per second. The d7200 vs the d7100 has a newer AF system and can shoot at 7fps in a 1.3x crop (total 2x crop as it starts at 1.5x, so the same as MFT crop).

Thank you. It sounds like with the d7100 you get more camera for your money yet on ebay second hand they seem to go for approximately the same amount.

Keeping costs down but wanting to get bird that is as far away as one I get at 46x optical zoom (but a little bit better quality at least) would I be OK to go for a 500mm lens?
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Old Tuesday 27th August 2019, 22:21   #27
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Originally Posted by Earnest lad View Post
Thank you. It sounds like with the d7100 you get more camera for your money yet on ebay second hand they seem to go for approximately the same amount.

Keeping costs down but wanting to get bird that is as far away as one I get at 46x optical zoom (but a little bit better quality at least) would I be OK to go for a 500mm lens?
The d7100 would be a great camera. I believe your old camera was up to 1100mm? A 24MP DX crop should shoot fine at 1100m equivalent on a 500mm lens: 500mm *1.5 (DX) = 750 * 1.4 (2x crop) = 1050mm at 12MP. 12MP crops are perfectly good for most any personal use, even for many commercial uses. You'll need to keep the ISO down if possible, and I find cropping RAW is better than cropping JPG (at least for extreme 3x - 5x crops). If you shoot JPG, make sure you have sharpening bumped up and add in a bit extra vivid. (one big advantage of the d7xxxx is you get the U1/U2 modes so you can have one set for birds and one set for people with different JPG mods, shutter speeds, etc.).

You were looking at the Sigma 150-500 zoom?

My understanding is the Sigma 150-500 is an older lens and it is not as sharp at 500 as the Tammy 150-600 or Sigma 150-600 is at 600. You could take a look at this review: https://photographylife.com/bird-pho...a-150-500mm-os

That all said, the 150-500 is probably a very good value for the price. If you buy it used, you can likely sell it for about the same price in a few months if it does not work out for you.

You could also look at the Nikon 200-500 f/5.6. It is a bit bulky, but takes very nice photos. Used, it is maybe US$850.

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Old Wednesday 28th August 2019, 02:58   #28
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Originally Posted by Earnest lad View Post
Thank you again.
I have also been advised the Nikon D7100 would be decent step up from bridge if one could find a decent second hand one at a good price. The guy said it is better than a D3400 but I see it is a large beast. I dont know what lens I could go for with that model
Earnest Lad,

The Nikon D7100 is a great step up point. It will give you 7fps in 1.3 in-camera crop mode (which when multiplied with the Nikon DX sensor crop gives ~2 the focal length at 14.2MP). The D7200 is very slightly better again - the biggest gain is it's larger buffer so you can blaze away at that top speed of 7fps for ~2.5seconds instead of just the ~1second of the D7100. After those times the fps of both cameras drops to ~4fps if you are using the fastest memory card for that format (95MB/s) until you start another burst, or shoot in a more compressed 12-bit RAW or even Jpeg mode which have larger buffers.

They are both the same body and so grip nicely and balance well with a 150-600mm lens. You could get away with one of the smaller and less expensive D3xx, or D5xx bodies if budget constrained, but don't skimp on the lens - get the Sigma 150-600 C for reach as a great value option, or the slightly better Tamron G2 150-600, or the Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Note that there is a lot of unit to unit variability with these 3 lenses so a great copy of one may outdo a poor copy of another. All would be better than the earlier Sigma 150-500 though. These balance better on a D7xx body. If you are really constrained into the D3xx or D5xx bodies then a Sigma or Tamron 100-400 balances better, give really good IQ, though won't save you any more dollars.

* VERY IMPORTANT *
Canon is today set to announce it's 32.5MP 10fps 90D for $1199.

This is a real bump up in resolution which now equals the best MFT offerings. It is equivalent to an 83MP full frame camera. If a Nikon APS-C camera (all the D3xx, D5xx, D7xx we are talking about) had the same resolution it would be a 37MP sensor. If you cropped the new 90D's photos down in post to the same resolution (Nikon's 14.2MP at 2x total crop factor using the in-camera 1.3x mode) you are going to get about 20% more 'reach'. Conversely if you cropped down to the Nikon's 'reach' (2 focal length, so 1200mm equivalent on a 600mm lens) then you are going to get about 45% more Megapixels in the frame (20.8MP vs 14.2MP). It is yet to be seen if the 'quality' (DR - Dynamic Range, Noise) of those pixels matches the Nikon. I would say wait until we know ~ about a month. You can use the same third party zoom 600mm glass made in the Canon mount. There is also the better quality (but more expensive Canon glass to choose from too).

So the BIG question is NIKON or CANON ???




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Old Wednesday 28th August 2019, 08:03   #29
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Canon 90D

It's all official now .... announcement made
https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/canon...ow-it-compares




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Old Wednesday 28th August 2019, 17:40   #30
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Dear marcsantacurz
Thank you for those helpful pieces of information. I find my superzoom bridge camera does take a while t autofocus when you are holding the button half way down after which it doesnt always seem to focus on the bird.
I am veering now away from D3400 perhaps to D7100

Please do you know if a lens similar to one of these would be any use for birding with the D7100? Is it manual focus only?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/500mm-f-8...IAAOSw86Nb2CEh
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Old Thursday 29th August 2019, 23:04   #31
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Thank you for the kind reply and helpful info.

If I did get a D7100, would a telephoto lens be ok ? I saw one about 90 on ebay similar to this one

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/500mm-f-8...IAAOSw86Nb2CEh
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Old Friday 30th August 2019, 02:45   #32
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Originally Posted by Earnest lad View Post
Dear marcsantacurz
Thank you for those helpful pieces of information. I find my superzoom bridge camera does take a while t autofocus when you are holding the button half way down after which it doesnt always seem to focus on the bird.
I am veering now away from D3400 perhaps to D7100

Please do you know if a lens similar to one of these would be any use for birding with the D7100? Is it manual focus only?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/500mm-f-8...IAAOSw86Nb2CEh
Run away from that lens. Don't do it. It is manual focus, it is f/8 (very slow), and who knows what the image quality is. Stay away from the f/8's, they are generally "reflex" lenses, meaning they work like a reflector telescope.

The Sigma 50-500 or 150-500 (preferred) would likely be your best value lens. They will be around $500. The next step up is the Nikon 200-500 or Tammy 150-600 g2 or Sigma 150-600 contemporary.

The Sigma 150-600C is now only $900 new, and $600-$700 used.

The lens is more important than the camera. If you have to choose, get a good lens and a d5300 ($300-$350 used) or d5200.

Marc
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Old Saturday 31st August 2019, 11:44   #33
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Earnest Lad,

Ditto what Marc said, that manual focus lens you linked is a novelty at best, kind of like drilling your own holes with hand tools, or making your own wooden nails. Steer clear of it.

The Sigma 150-500, or 50-500 can get you into it, but really you'd be better off finding the small amount of extra folding to get the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary. This is the minimum level I would recommend going to for the lens. This will get you to 900mm equivalent. As Marc said you are better off putting your money into better glass than a better body. The Tamron 150-600 G2 is your next step up after that, though expect that to be a few hundred dollars more. After that you are into the realms of exotica.

The Nikon D7100 is a great value body point too. Only the 7 series bodies from this one on will give you the 1.3x in-camera crop feature (not available on any of the 3 and 5 series). This will get you to 2x, or 1200mm with a 600mm lens. With the D7100 it helps a lot since it reduces file sizes and gives you an extra fps speed to take it up to 7 fps. The D7200 body is very slightly better again because of it's bigger buffer. Both of these models are discontinued. Only the D7500 is current which shouldn't be too much more and gives you a much improved resolution metering sensor which helps AF tracking, and 8fps which is great fun.

If you must save on the body then you will pretty much be using Centre point focus only, so I don't think it matters too much which series you get - 3 or 5 - choose the one you can afford and that balances well with the Sigma C (though I think best balance will be achieved with one of the 7 series cameras [D7100, D7200, or D7500]). The sensor resolution and IQ of the 3, 5, and 7 series is all pretty similar.

*IMPORTANT* If buying the body second hand (especially if superceded and discontinued), check the compatibility with the lens on Nikon's website and the lens manufacturers website.

I think the advice you have had is about as good as anyone can give. It's up to you to find the moolah now :) .The Sony route (native lenses) is likely to be outside your budget. The new Canon 90D body ($1199 available mid September) certainly has high resolution (32.5MP @10fps), but early sample shots indicate that it will need expensive glass to perform well with sharp shots - I'm not even sure the 3rd party superzoom telephotos will prove up to it that well. The Siggy/Tammy 100-400's will likely do a little bit better, and the Canon 100-400 f5.6L IS II most certainly will, but then you are giving up reach (only 640mm equivalent, though it is likely to crop readily to at least 800mm eq). The shorter Siggy /Tammy are likely to be in the ballpark of the cost of the 150-600's anyway, though the Canon L lens will be nearly double that, so I think that puts it out of the budget range too .....

Good luck !




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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 02:09   #34
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Yep, d7100 or original Canon 7d (not the mark ii) are both about US$350 used. I know a guy who shoots the 7d with the Tammy 150-600G2 and is happy with it. I agree w/ Chosun, Sigma 150-600C or Tammy 150-600G2 plus the best body you can afford after that.

I'd also recommend MFT, like the Olympus E-M1m2 + Panasonic 100-400, but that's going to be about $1800 even with used gear.
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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 07:48   #35
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Earnest Lad,

It looks like used prices for all of the options being discussed are around half of new prices which is great for you.

Just to make sure you are really clear simply on what you've got now and what is being recommended let me put it this way.

Your current Fuji S8500 has an equivalent telephoto of 1100mm. This is really only 22x your normal vision (50mm reference). The 46x written on your camera is only that the maximum focal length - 1100mm is 46x the minimum (24mm). It is like being ~ 22x closer with your unaided eyes. Note that the 24mm is a wide angle view - which is about twice as wide as your normal eye's vision, so an image only about half as big..

The gear being suggested has exactly the same maximum focal length as you do now. So the size of the bird you will see will be the same but the Image Quality should be much better. You will also be able to shoot instantly, and zoom instantly too. The camera will also lock on to fast moving subjects. All in all it should be a heap more fun. I can vouch that when you are carrying such an outfit you actually feel like a real photographer !

The used price of the 3 Nikon bodies suggested is actually pretty close (maybe 100 between them) so it will pay to get the most recent and expensive one you can afford. In ascending order of ability they are: D7100, D7200, D7500.
Preferably get one of the last two (D7200 or D7500). - they have bigger buffers so will shoot faster for longer. Make sure to get all the bits and pieces with it - charger, batteries, etc.

The lenses are likewise even more similarly priced. Therefore I would recommend the Tamron G2 150-600 over the Sigma 150-600. The Tamron is actually about $400US more expensive when new. Make sure the Tamron is the G2 version, which will have a serial code of "A022".

Other makes will be over you budget. When you put the Tamron 150-600 on the Nikon D7200 for instance and shoot it in 1.3x crop mode you will get 1200mm equivalent telephoto length which is just a bit longer than what you have now.

That rig would weigh 2.775kg (just a bit over 6lbs). You might be able to pick this up 2nd hand for around 1000 in total or a bit less. Carry it on a Black Rapid Sports sling.


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Old Sunday 1st September 2019, 17:15   #36
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BTW, there is someone in the UK selling the Sigma 150-600 C for Canon for GBP$550. You could do that plus a Canon 7d or 7dmII within your budget. I've found buying from people on BirdForum or related sites like Astromart a very good experience, though I do not know this particular seller. The older 7d is maybe GBP$300-350.

Personally, I like Nikon better, but you'll get great shots from the 7d at 18MP. The 7d is a 1.6x crop, so 600mm = 960mm. You will not notice much difference between 960mm and 1100mm, and that slight 1.14x crop would not be much in editing software (you'd be down to about 14MP, which is still fine for personal use). It is a 10 year old camera and the 7dII or Nikon d7100-d7500 are better, but if it's a budget thing the 7d is fine. The d7100 is 4 years newer than the 7d. Personally, I'd save up the extra cash and get the 7dII or a d7100 or later Nikon.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=379241

You could also post in the "Wanted" forum (https://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=650) for a body, you never know someone might have a very nice 7d or 7dII for you.

Marc
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Old Tuesday 24th September 2019, 18:29   #37
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My 2c after reading the replies.
Even with the most expensive cameras and lenses if you have a big distance been you and the bird and zoom right in on the image you won't get good details, it will always look soft as you are looking at a fraction of the available pixels. For Id work a higher optical zoom with a higher pixel count than you have now would be of benefit but it still won't give you a clear image if you zoom right in. My suggestion would be a lightweight bridge camera for this type of work, dlsr type cameras and bigger lenses would be heavier, more expensive and quality when at shooting big distances would only be marginally better.
If you wanted to improve your bird photography, dslr yes, but I find trying to get good photos while out birding seldom produces results, you need to go out specifically to take photos. Unless you are prepared to do this then dslr and lenses is a waste of money IMO.

Good luck on whatever you choice.
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Old Tuesday 24th September 2019, 22:33   #38
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My 2c after reading the replies.

If you wanted to improve your bird photography, dslr yes, but I find trying to get good photos while out birding seldom produces results, you need to go out specifically to take photos. Unless you are prepared to do this then dslr and lenses is a waste of money IMO.

Good luck on whatever you choice.
Spot on!
The birder looks for the bird, the photographer looks for the shot.
Very different goals, requiring very different techniques.
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