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hi, i wanted to know if someone can advise, i am on limited budget, i have a sony Alpha A 230, entry level camera, i have been looking at Canon eos 550 D with simalar lenses to what i have or , Nikon D3200, to upgrade as i am struggling with some types of photographs, i have standard kit lens 18-55 sam lens and a tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 ld on the 300mm lens i am trying to take wildlife photos, ie birds etc, but i am finding i lose quality when cropping, would upgrading to a 24 megapixel camera improve the photos, i know it would it be best to get a longer lens, the problem is i am on limited money due to disability and i can get new camera from Very.co uk on the never never, but i cant get lenses for sony, and the reviews for the new Sony SLT-A65VK 24.3 Megapixel seem to be out doing the nikon and Canon in the same price bracket ? and cant get lenses from very.co.uk i am confused as to what to do, any advice
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Hi there. It seems to me that your lens is the limiting factor, and putting it on a more expensive camera won't solve your problem. I'd suggest something like this with your current camera would give you best "bang for buck". But don't expect miracles - you can pay more than £5,000 for a 300mm lens, and you can't expect to get the same performance from something costing a few hundred.
ok, thanks for the advice, ill take a proper look at one, all i thought if you go up to 24 megapixel from 10 the cropping factor would greatly improve, but there are other factors movement blurr from the mechanism, ive noticed even on a tripod i get blurr , i was worried it might be the shutter mechanism, but the lens is like and old diesel engine, and this lense i have and slow, and the one you have suggested seems to be much more smooth and quick, i thought i would have to spend over a £1000 to get something like this hence why i thought getting a better quality camera might compensate, shows my lack of knowledge, but thank you Bainsybike
Hi Chris, if you are experiencing blurred pics the problem should be one of or all of the following. "Camera shake", "incorrect shutter speed to match the FL" or "insufficient DoF" .
I don't know the correct formula but i always try to have a shutter speed faster than my lens, by that I mean a 300mm lens needs a shutter speed faster than 1/300sec. I would be looking for 1/450sec.
For DoF Depth of Field at full aperture you ahve very little in focus to try to look at f8 as a minimum, it then might affect your shutters peed so maybe raise your ISO.
For camera shake always try to use a tripod and press the shutter either with a remote or use the self timer.
I hope this helps.
thanks focus man, i was explaining i get a lot of movement from this lens, its a bit like an old diesel engine, if i up the shutter speed i then seem to get a lot of colour noise in the edit so i guess its not sensative enough, which is why i thought a more sensative 24 mega pixel would help with this, but i think its defo the speed and sensativity of the lens, even on tripod i still get slight movement which is exagerated in the crop, i cant afford the lenses i need to take the photos i want, but i try anyway, , its not a mega exspensive tripod but it was £130 velbon sherpa, so it should be ok, it works fine with other lenses, its frustrating though, but thanks for advice
The Tamron lens you've got isn't great but it should take decent photos at 300mm if it's stopped down a bit (try f8/11). If you're getting blur you need to work out if it's camera movement or poor focus. The DOF of a 300mm lens is pretty small and it shows up small inaccuracies in DSLR focus. If it's camera movement then maybe you need to work on your technique or maybe the in-camera IS isn't as good as it should be.
I've been using a Sony A700 for some time and have never been that happy with the focus - it's erratic. The thing is that, as you probably know, DSLRs can be prone to front focus or back focus because of the way they work. I recently bought an A77 and it's a lot better - from both the focus point of view and the IS point of view. The 24Mp is good for cropping of course, but remember that it's geometric - so if you crop a 300mm to the angle of view of a 600mm lens you're down to 6Mp. But the nice thing about the SLTs is that you can dial in the digital 2X zoom and see the cropped picture in your viewfinder.
If I were you I'd go for the A65 or the A57. These are both in a different league from the A230. I'd be inclined to go for the A57, depending on the price - check froogle/foundem or the like. Buying a good quality long lens is obviously a good idea but it doesn't do much good if your iS is feeble and your focus is iffy. I reckon you'd get more improvement from getting a new camera - I know this is not the standard thinking. When it comes to buying long lenses I almost always buy s/h - they're too expensive otherwise.
the first image was taken just at 45 feet away, but still get this blur, the other two are the original i took today, low light conditions, and then the crop, the second two were taken at a long distance, i guess what i am asking is would a 24 megapixel have cropped much better? i know the distance is well outside the capabilities of the lens, but thats nature for you,
this was the original post crop you can see the blur i had to clean it up a bit
I think the answer is no - the 24Mp wouldn't crop any better. On the first shot, of the pigeon, it looks like it's motion blur caused by the pigeon moving quickly, because the post looks sharp enough. What exposure did you use? With a 300mm lens you need to try to use 1/450 or faster ideally. With good IS and good technique you can get away with 1/100 if the subject isn't moving. The shot of the kite looks to me to be out of focus - also underexposed, you need to use spot focus on subjects like this when the background is sky, or bracket heavily. BTW, this is another advantage of the EVF on the SLT, you can dial in the exposure compensation until the subject looks right because the EVF shows you what the picture will look like. You can also dial in digital zoom (1.4X or 2X) so that you can see what the framing will look like and it also helps to keep the camera steady, I find.
One lens I use quite a lot is an old Minolta 500mm AF mirror. In addition to having much greater reach than your 300mm it is also much smaller and lighter - it's hardly bigger than Sony 16-80mm. If you look around you can pick up these lenses (or the Sony version which is identical) cheaply on ebay or dyxum. If you do a search on dpreview you'll see hundreds of pictures taken with this lens - it's a fantastic bargain. A Sony A57 and a 500mm mirror would make quite a useful wildlife combination. (NB, it must be the genuine Minolta or Sony AF 500 mirror - no other 500 mirror is AF and almost all of them are useless)
thanks steppenwolf, i did try an old 500mm i picked up from a charity shop, and had the same problem, but you stated it has to be a genuine minolta/sony so that explains that, as i had no success with it, i think im screwed lol, and am wondering why i only like hobbies that are out of my income bracket lol i may just have to stop trying to take these sort of shots and stick to my sill life and 18-55 , its so frustrating lol but thanks guys for your comments, maybe you could all write to the very catalouge and demand they stock sony lenses lol thanks again guys
The key to wildlife always has been and always will be fieldcraft - understanding the animals and pre-empting their behaviour.
Or accept a low hit rate, enjoy the activity and feel all the more pride when you get a shot you like (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)
im thinking of desiging a hide as we speak lol thanks mike
I wouldn't bother with the Very catalogue. I've got a massive collection of Minolta/Konica Minolta/Sony lenses and I've never paid anywhere near list price for any of them. Some I bought s/h at a fraction of the new price from dyxum.com or ebay. Some I bought new when a retailer was having a sale (usually when they were giving up stocking Sony lenses) - I got a 70-200G and an 11-18 for less than half price. Some I bought from B&H in New York - my Minolta 500mm cost £300 new.
I wouldn't give up on it. You can get great shots with cheap lenses. The main difference between an expensive lens and a cheap lens is that the expensive lens will deliver a great image at full aperture, whereas a cheap one won't, but if you stop the cheap lens down it will usually work fine. The problem with stopping a lens down is that you need to use a higher ISO, but something like an A57 will shoot ISO3200 with no bother (which the A230 can't manage) - it'll also probably focus accurately. You can get an A57 for about £500 now which is a steal. I think you'll be quite surprised how much difference a near pro-level camera (which the A57 is in many ways) can make.
Combine that with corrections now possible in post processing (chromatic aberration, distortion etc) and the gap between consumer lenses and specialist lenses is ever narrower.
Quote: Combine that with corrections now possible in post processing
Plus in-camera lens correction these days, on some models.
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