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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Edmonton, alberta, Canada

    outdoor photography camera

    Hi all;

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post.

    I'm looking to upgrade from a point and shoot to an entry level DSLR/four-thirds style of camera. I have been looking at the cannon T2i, but I'm a little concerned about portability. I do a lot of traveling, hiking, and field work (in the bush), ideally would be looking for a camera that offers exceptional photo quality, and doesn't weigh too much. I'd be taking photos of landscapes, wildlife, and want to get into doing some macro photography later. I'm not overly interested in shooting in low-light, but want to be able to take a decent photo of a sun-set/rise, and also not have to worry about cloud cover.

    Things I'm looking for (in order)
    1. exceptional photo quality
    2. must have a view finder. I've had nothing but trouble with a PNS camera, and shooting in direct sunlight.
    3. should be light weight, relatively small
    4. Reasonable amounts of lenses available
    5. Video capable (not overly important)

    I'd like to be able to take good photos of the stuff I see in the field, in my travels, etc. My price range is the typical under $1000 CAD
    I've also looked at the Panasonic DMC GF-1, a four-thirds that looks promising, however, I'm not so sure that is the camera I need, even though it comes with an optional view finder. I'm also hesitant to go for a four-thirds style camera, because I don't want to sacrifice image quality.
    Last edited by JordenL; 01-14-2011 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Entry Level Digital SLR Guide

    Welcome to the site, buddy! I think we can help

    First of all, I encourage you to take a look at the Top Five Beginner DSLRs guide we published just before the Holidays. It offers some good camera options as well as some more insight into features, image quality, performance, etc.

    Top Five Beginner DSLRs Guide >>

    I included one Micro Four Thirds camera (it's Micro Four Thirds not Four Thirds. The Micro Four Thirds cameras use a Four Thirds sensor but are different from the Four Thirds DSLR cameras) in that guide, the Olympus E-PL1. The Panasonic GF1 would be just as good but I haven't actually used it so I listed the E-PL1. I think the Micro Four Thirds cameras are a very realisitic option. The EVF viewfinder works well and they are considerably smaller and lighter than an actual digital SLR. Read my full Olympus E-PL1 pro review for more size and performance comparisons:

    Olympus E-PL1 Pro Review >>

    There is some image quality compormise between a Micro Four Thirds camera and a digital SLR. The question is, does it really matter? Take a look at the photos in the review and see what you think. No matter what, if you're moving up from a compact camera with a tiny sensor, both a digital SLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera are going to deliver much better image quality.

    I hope that helps. I'm sure it won't make up your mind for you so feel free to ask more questions. I'll check this thread again to make sure you get all your questions answered.

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Edmonton, alberta, Canada

    Re: outdoor photography camera


    thanks for the reply and the warm welcome. I'll look at your reviews etc. and let you know where I end up. I need a bit of time to digest this as well as to keep on my research.

    thanks again


  4. #4
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: outdoor photography camera

    Jorden - image quality, especially on a high iso image grain perspective, is outstanding on all current DSLR bodies. I am confident that you could pick any one you want and have the image quality that you need. Now, other specific features can differ between camera models. You mention wanting a small, lightweight body. In which case the micro four thirds, sony NEX, and Sony SLT model's would be the best choice in achieving excellent IQ in a small, lightweight body. Of those, the Sony SLT uses A-Mount lenses, which are the most plentiful in variety, it also will have the fastest AF and the best video mode available. It is, though, the larger of the three, but still smaller than other DSLR's. The Rebel would be the next model larger worth looking at. Beyond that all other DSLR's will be much larger and heavier.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Edmonton, alberta, Canada

    Re: outdoor photography camera


    So, after looking at the cameras in the shop, doing more research, etc. I've picked out the Pentax K-R. It's a smaller DSLR, and still fits my hands well. I also like the ability to use AA batteries if i'm in a pinch. It's also quicker than other cameras, which will be useful for wildlife shooting. Runner up was the Nikon d5000, I liked the articulating LCD, but it was heavier, and it's parameters seemed to be more difficult to adjust on the fly, as they are buried deeper in menus. The K-R allows you to flick to a specific parameter on the wheel, then spin another wheel to adjust.

    I also have a few question about lens choice.
    i want to shoot the following:
    Wildlife (mammals, and the chance bird)
    Macro photos (frogs, plants etc)

    I got the 18-55 with the kit. what other types of lenses do you guys recommend? What's the benefit of something like a dedicated wide angle lens i.e. 10-24mm? How much difference do the 8 mm make? Would the kit lens be fine for taking most landscapes?

    I've heard that about 300mm is about right for wildlife, is this correct?

    What sort of macro lens should I keep an eye out for? are macros typically prime? what do the ''mm's'' mean in this case, i.e. a 105mm f 2.8? I know the f part is the f-stop, but how do you tell how close you can get to the subject and still be focused?

    Finally, what will serve me the best?

    Help here would be great. my lens selection is a ways away, but i'd like to know what direction I should head.

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