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TOPIC: New to Bird Photography

New to Bird Photography 2 weeks 3 hours ago #1745

  • Steve Edwards
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Hello All
I have recently joined Birdlife and Photography. I understand everyone will have their favourite brands and lenses. After many years I am upgrading from a Nikon F-301 to digital. Any advice will be appreciated. Three options so far I am considering with my limited budget: Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark 2 + 75-300mm, Canon 80D + 100-400mm f4.5 - 5.6L IS II USM and the Nikon 7200 + 80-400mm AF-VR f4.5 - 5.6D ED. I realise the Nikon lens is the 'old' model. I don't expect to win any competitions. The camera + lens will assist me greatly with bird ID. Regards

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New to Bird Photography 1 week 6 days ago #1746

  • Glenn Pure
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I can't comment on the Olympus or Nikon. I do use the 80D/100-400 MkII combination and have found it is excellent. In particular, the optics of the lens are extremely good and the stabiliser in the lens is also first class. The 80D has a relatively new generation low noise sensor. You can also try looking up the combinations on the DXO website (dxomark.com) but it's not the easiest to understand or use although it does have some of the most objective comparative data of lenses and cameras.
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New to Bird Photography 1 week 6 days ago #1747

  • Ian Wilson
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Hi Steve,
Welcome to BLP. I hope you enjoy your membership. There is lots going on here and I encourage you to engage as much as possible. Glad to see you have found the Forum and have some feedback from Glenn whose work has demonstrated that the 80D + 100-400 mm II is a great combination. There is a Canon promotion on at Ted's and Camera House, ending today, with 10% discount on all L-series lenses (this includes the 100-400 mm II). I look forward to seeing some of your work and perhaps meeting you at one of the BLP get-togethers.
Cheers,
Ian
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New to Bird Photography 1 week 6 days ago #1749

  • Simon Pelling
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Welcome to BLP from me too. Like Glenn I also use the Canon 80D and the 100-400 L lens and I am pleased with it. When I purchased it about 18 months ago I considered a range of combinations of body and lens and it came down to the Canon and Nikon combinations you are looking at. I looked at a lot of stuff on line and concluded that the Nikon had a marginally better sensor but the Canon lens was slightly better. I could have lived with either but at the time the Canon combination was a lot cheaper and I took advantage of the savings on offer. I also found the Canon to 'fit' me better in terms of size and shape when I tried them in the shop. I would not be put off by the Nikon being an older model; from what I have read you lose little compared to the D7500.

I have never used/held the Olympus but I understand there is a very good 300 mm prime (but it may be outside your price bracket) and there is also a well regarded 100-400 Panasonic which shares the same mount as the Olympus (is probably also expensive, and is relatively slow - f6.3 - at the long end). For that matter there are a couple of higher end Panasonic bodies which review quite well.

There are some earlier threads looking at equipment on this forum site which you could search for. There are also some resources in the BLP newsletters eg Ian Wilson wrote an article a year or two ago explaining in some detail what the DxO numbers mean in terms of sensor and lens performance. However my recollection is that the DxO scores for the Canon and Nikon bodies you are looking at are very close. There are both Canon and Nikon users amongst our members so I am sure there will be help available if you have specific questions about either brand.

Simon
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New to Bird Photography 1 week 12 hours ago #1754

  • Steve Edwards
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Thank you to all for your comments. I am just about there but each time I go back to the camera shop they suggest a slightly different combination of camera and lens. The Canon 80D & 100-400mm felt good to handle not having handled such a big lens before. The Nikon 7200 and 80-400mm is so close as well. But I liked the 'feel' of Canon. I also not that some people have used a 1.4x with the 100-400mm lens which performs well providing the light is good. It's very intimidating seeing the wonderful shots on the gallery and wonder of I'll ever get near that skill. I look forward to seeing work. Give me a few months before you start looking for mine. regards

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New to Bird Photography 1 week 10 hours ago #1755

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Good luck with your decision making Steve. I don't think you can go wrong there.

As for feeling 'intimidated' about posting, we all started somewhere and it's normal to have photos with a range of qualities on our site. It is very good that you are looking at other photos though and thinking about what makes a good shot. That is a big part of the process of learning. Don't feel that you shouldn't post your photos though. Also, don't forget that there is the Critique Gallery and the Forum where members are willing to assist in the learning process.

In terms of information to read, there is a huge amount in our past newsletters. We are currently trying to sort through this and assemble the instructional material in a sensible way for easy access via our website. I'm not sure when that process will be completed though.
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