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Hi all, ive been on this site for a few years and not really done any photography. Im now going to buy a camera and would like your opinion on buying second hand or new. I will have about a thousand pound to play with and i will most probably be concentrating on wildlife and still life, i know its a bit vague but these are the things i enjoy. i was looking at a few cameras (nikon d2x, d300, d700). As far as lenses are concerned i know i have to get some but i want to concentrate on the camera first. Please feel free to share your opinions, rob.
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If you are tempted to buy secondhand look at Gray's of Westminster for used Nikon, it will give you a guide as to whats available at your budget, and if you buy from them you get their warranty.
The camera body is not the most important item, most DSLR's are very similar, but the piece of glass at the front! For wildlife you need to be able to get in close so quite a long lens needed - probably at least a 300mm. You will obviously get more for your money second hand and as long as it comes with a good warranty, way to go, bearing in mind that most new cameras only have a year!
My basic set up is a Canon 7D with a 300mm f4 prime and a 15-85mm for general pix. Nearly every wildlife shot on my website was taken with the 300mm.
Quote: As far as lenses are concerned i know i have to get some but i want to concentrate on the camera first.
I would concentrate on getting both, even if it's only something to get you started. You can always resell at a later date and possibly recoup most of your outlay. The reason I say that is, a camera without a lens is as good as useless, obviously, and there would be nothing more frustrating than dying to get started with a new (or secondhand) camera and not being able to because you don't have a lens to go with it.
I forgot to say that i have a couple of lenses already, that i can use for the time being.even though they are not mine i can borrow them for a few months until i get my own.
If you are interested in photographing wildlife, the focal length is very important for any bird, or small creature photography. Many members on here do very well with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, etc., using a lens in the 70-300mm range with stabilisation. A camera with a sensor that gives a 1.6X crop with Canon, or 1.5X with most of the rest would give you a max reach of a little less than 500mm on one of these crop sensor cameras. However, that's still short for bird photography, and most people compensate with excellent skills at tracking and getting closer than most people can to the subject. If you go to a lens like Canon's 100-400mm IS, you will spend about $1500.00 for the lens alone, and likewise for Nikon's 80-400mm VR, or the Sigma equivalent, which may be a bit cheaper.
If you want to start with a good wildlife kit, look at Panasonic's mirrorless SLRs paired with their excellent 100-300mm lens in micro 4/3 format. This will give you 200-600mm with image stabilisation built into the lens. I have the lens paired with an Olympus OM-D E-M5, and it out performs any of the other combinations I have ever used. The M5 body would take your entire budget alone, but you can get a Panasonic for half that, and the lens is $500.00, and as a bonus, Panasonic SLRs are famous for their excellent HD video capability. For about $100.00 more when you buy the camera, you can get the kit lens, 14-42mm, or 14-45mm, another excellent lens. You can also use Olympus lenses on a Panasonic body, or vice versa, except you won't have IS because Olympus don't install it in the lenses, it's in the cameras.
I spent 9 years searching, and trying most of the other brands, and without spending a small fortune on lenses, I couldn't come up with a satisfactory kit for wildlife photography. Then I tried the E-M5, and the Panny lens, and I can heartily recommend it, or a Panny camera and the same lens, which has a 4.9 foot minimum close focusing distance and is great for larger insect photography.
Good luck with whatever you go with.
Do you still use the d80?....if so you will find the three nikons you listed quite different although the d300 may be the easier of the three. Straight out of the camera jpegs from a good consumer camera body are usually acceptable without too much work whereas the raw(nef) files of the d700 and its type will need a level of knowledge. If you are looking to upgrade the sensor quality and handling of a dslr there are some good prices to be found in the nikon dx range. By all means go to the fx range if you are skilled enough not to be dissappointed with your efforts at first. I came via a d70 then a d90 and finally a d700 but only because I had high end nikon wide angles from my nikon f5 and f90 days which were useless with the dx 1.5 crop. You really need to get a feel for the camera body before you finally choose.
I take it you are mainly considering Nikon because you are familiar with it.
I would suggest something like a secondhand D300 (got for around £500 S/H) and an 18-70 lens (under £100 if you look around) rather than the 18-55. That gives you a walk-round kit which will cover still-life quite well and leaves £400 to get a good quality longer lens with stabilisation, memory cards and maybe a spare battery.
For longer, the Nikon 70-300 VR can be got for around £300 secondhand, and if you get a D300s instead (slightly more money) you get video capability as well.
Personally, I prefer staying with marque lenses, but many on here will advocate third-party ones (Tamron, Sigma etc) and much is down to your own choice. Wish I had £1000 to spend on camera stuff!
Have a look on the member classifieds....several items of interest on there at the mo..
In my opinion I never bother with it . I always think you are buying trouble. From cars to cameras.
Quote: In my opinion I never bother with it . I always think you are buying trouble. From cars to cameras.
buying 2nd hand is a gamble and if the difference between new and used isn't great, I'd agree - buy new. But 2nd hand does have its place and its not always trouble.
I've had two cameras (canon 20d and 40d) and a Canon L lens all 2nd hand and no problems with any of them. All of these were from ebay (from sellers with top ratings).
But the greater the value of the equipment you are buying the more care you need to take and for my next upgrade (if I can ever afford it) if I buy 2nd hand it will probably be from a long standing member of a photography forum rather than ebay. Doesn't completely guarantee anything, but it would give me a bit of comfort.
And if you are on a budget, good quality secondhand will allow you to buy more for your money. If buying new, £1000 won't go very far if you want a complete kit new. Better to buy secondhand from a reputable dealer than eBay unless you really know what you are doing, but at half to 2/3 new price (plus some guarantee) will allow you to afford better quality.
We'd all like to buy new, but sometimes it isn't possible.
Hi all, thanks for all your comments, some very goods points to look out for.I will spend a few weeks investigating a few cameras out and see what seems right for me.
Many thanks Rob
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