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Thread: Which Camera ?

  1. #1
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    Default Which Camera ?

    Hi I am looking for a new camera and telephoto lense. I have approx $2000. A friend suggested a Canon 60d with a sigma 150-500 telephoto lense. Can someone offer some advise please and where are the best shops to buy from.

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    Hi Debbie,

    I would suggest getting the best glass you can you can always upgrade bodies later on. The sigma will do a reasonable job but tends to be a bit soft and the AF slow on the long end. To see the quality difference between the sigma at 400mm and a Canon 400mm f5.6 lens have a look at this link: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=0&APIComp=0

    Mouse over the image to see the image from Canon lens. The corner image won't be relevant due to the smaller sensor in the cameras like the 550D and 60D, as the tests were done on a full frame sensor. The mid frame and centre images shows how the images compare. These are 100% crops from the test image and are quite a severe test, but they do show how the sharpness varies between lenses. As you can see the 400 Canon lens is very sharp even wide open.

    From digi direct the 400mm f5.6 is $1701, instead of the 60D you could get the 550D for $699 for a total of $2400. This gets you items with a full Australian warranty, if you were happy to go with grey import items you could get those items for about $2200 from Cameras direct. The 550D is the same sensor as the 60D, but has lower frames/sec among other things to get the price lower. The alternative is to buy off Ebay, you can get a 400mm Canon lens for about $1000-$1100 in as new condition. Digi direct, digital camera warehouse are both good to deal with, you can order online or pick up from their stores at the same price.
    Chris Ross
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    Agree with Chris, if you are serious about getting into bird photography then make the lens quality the priority....cameras will come and go The 400mm f5.6 is a fantastic beginners lens and will take great shots on pretty much all of the Canon DSLRs

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    I agree with Paul and Chris, the lens is very much the priority in photography - much better to start off with a cheapish camera body and get yourself the best lens you can afford. Lens are a long-term investment, whereas camera bodies come and go and can be upgraded when required. The 400 f/5.6 is a great lens - it does not have image stabilisation, but you don't really miss it once you have a good hand-holding technique.
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    Thank you all for this great advise, I am on the search. Will take up your options and start looking on Monday

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    Having said all of the above, the newish Sigma 150-500 OS takes some decent pictures as well.

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    Adam, the link I included above compares the new OS lens at 400mm, f8 to the Canon 400mm wide open (f5.6). The better lens is fairly clear.
    Chris Ross
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    Yes, but the flexibility provided by the Sigma zoom should not be discounted. It all depends on how serious a bird photographer the OP wishes to be and what other subjects they may wish to photograph.

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    For flexibility, I would recommend the 100-400 over the 150-500. Not to say that Sigma make bad lenses, but they can't compete with the comparable Canon and Nikon lenses. Regardless, I still see some good photos with the Sigmas, it all comes down to the person behind the lens - just have to live with the lack of sharpness and sloppy AF
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    Agreed, but the 100-400 doesnt leave much change from $2000 for a camera

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    You may get flexibility but the tests show that the 150-500 is pretty poor down to about 250mm the pictures may look "OK" particularly at web size but will be lacking fine detail.

    Debbie perhaps you could reply if you were interested in applications other than birds. If so I would suggest that a smaller zoom or other lens may better fill the role, purchasing that down the track, rather than sacrificing image quality at longer focal lengths now.
    Chris Ross
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    Hi Chris, I would be only using camera for birds, I am awaiting the return to my swift parrots to Muckleford.

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    Well definitely you want the 400mm Debbie, you get a touch of extra reach with the Sigma but as you can see from the test link I provided even stopped down it's quite soft, the 400 will also focus much much faster.
    Chris Ross
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    Please do yourself a huge favour and buy the very, very best (preferably) Canon lens you can afford. Third party lenses are not quite there IMHO as far as image quality unless you are spending BIG dollars (eg Sigma 300-800 or 300/2.8).
    While the Canon EF 400/5.6L has no image stabilization, it is a super sharp lens and perfect for beginner bird photographers. Just use some good hand holding skills and you should get amazing results.

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    If it's just birds, the 400mm f5.6 prime is your best bet based on your budget for sure.

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