I have only used film cameras and digital point and click (Olympus C740-Ultra Zoom). I do have a Canon Rebel S Film camera with a 35-105mm zoom lens. My c740 is inadequate for bird photography given I really want to take much better bird photos and it's just too soft and noisy at full zoom. I am also going to Costa Rica in January and want to be able to take good photos of wildlife there. So, I'm thinking it's time to consider going to DSLR rather than upgrading my point and click camera.
Weight is a consideration since I shouldn't be lugging too much weight around. I like to go out for long walks. I realize it is a contradiction to want to get more serious about bird photography and yet have weight limitations, but I really do have to be careful about how much weight I take on. So it will be about compromises there.
Ability to capture bird behavior is important as well. We live on a river and get eagles, hawks, gulls, terns, pelicans, osprey, and also lots of smaller birds as well. I get frustrated when a gorgeous osprey perches on a post two docks away eating a fish, and I cannot get a decent shot with my c740. We also get hummingbirds in our backyard each year that I'd love to be able to capture with more detail.
So I'm considering the following cameras:
Do any of you on the Pentax forum have any advice regarding using a Pentax K20D for bird photograpy? I want to get into a system that I can grow with. I was a bit concerned about Pentax compared to Canon as a company. I have read about Pentax being acquired and also had a Ritz Camera sales person clearly trying to steer me away from Pentax, implying they might get sold off from Hoya (sp?). However, that could all be rubbish talk. The K20D looks like a great camera - It's weatherized so that it should handle being in the tropics. With Pentax, I believe I'll have plenty of good lens options, yes?
Any advice on factors to consider and on the equipment I'm considering would be appreciated since I'm a novice to the DSLR world.