Which camera should
This is a question I am frequently asked
by people wanting to buy their first camera, the answer depends on many
factors such as what sort of photos you want to take and how much you
have to spend. This article will assume you want to photograph birds/wildlife
and that you don't want to spend more than a thousand pounds.
Assuming you want the best quality in
your images and you are at all serious about photography, then you should
be looking at a digital SLR camera. I don't have much experience with
the range of compact cameras on today's market. I am sure they are getting
better and better, but I doubt they can compete with the quality of
an image from a DSLR.
There are many manufactures out there
competing for your money and producing good quality cameras. Canon and
Nikon are as always at the top of the pile, and you are unlikely to
go wrong with a purchase of a new DSLR body from either manufacturer,
not least because of the range of lenses and accessories available to
you. My own preference is Canon.
Since wildlife subjects are rarely at
your feet, it makes sense for most people's purposes to choose a camera
for wildlife photography from the range with smaller sensors, and therefore
higher crop factors. Look for cameras with 1.6x crop factors. What this
means is that a 400mm lens will produce in the final image, the same
field of view as a 640mm lens (in 35mm terms). Most cameras in entry
500D etc) and semi pro range (40D,
50D etc) have a 1.6x crop sensor.
For wildlife photography, it's often advantageous
to have a camera that will shoot quickly to capture action, birds in
flight for example. So a camera that will capture as many frames per
second (fps) as possible is desirable, 3-6fps is acceptable but the
higher the better. Also look for the highest 'maximum burst' number,
which is the number of pictures the camera will allow you to take in
Pixel count is probably of less importance
than it's made out to be. It is nice to have enough pixels to play with
to enable creative cropping and maximum detail, but 8-10 million pixels
(Mega pixels or MP) will be plenty for most purposes.
If you are serious about photography,
I would recommend spending as much as you can afford, however new models
are coming out all the time, which means there is always a healthy second
hand market, and that the price 'new' of older models comes down very
quickly. One thing that's worth remembering is that many home insurance
policies have a limit to how much cover is provided for unspecified
electronic items. So you may have to call them and get them to list
your camera as a specific item worth X amount. It's often worth waiting
a few months before purchasing the latest model.
There are Nikon and Canon cameras available
today that fit the above criteria, some are a lot less than £1000.
Of course for most wildlife photography you will need a good telephoto
lens as well, which is just as important as the camera.
DSLR Which Lens
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