Newbie needs advice

Thread starter #1

deedly

Senior Member
Need some advice... I want to purchase a digital camera to carry with me in the woods to photograph wildlife, problem is I have no idea what to look for. I am not camera literate so I would need the easy operate type. I have a small point and shoot digital now, but it is not enough camera. I would need something to zoom out to 150 yards or so to photo deer. Have not decided on a budget but it just really depends on the camera I need. I see some of the photos ya'll take and they are very nice. I know all you camera pro's will be able to guide a newbie. Thanks for any info. Please don't send manufactors links because I really cannot understand much of what they say. Really just looking from opinions from the pro's here.
 

Smokey

Senior Member
I'm right there with ya. These guys are awesome and they'll go out of there way to help..........by the way do YOU need any help hunting deer like the ones in your avatar????
 

rip18

Senior Member
One quick question, deedly. Do you think you want a point & shoot with ultrazoom or a DSLR with changeable lenses?
 
Thread starter #4

deedly

Senior Member
Probably point and shoot with zoom. Seems easier, and more economical for a beginner. I really don't know though, if the DSLR takes better pics at distances that might be what I need. Whats your opinion on where a person should start. Thanks
 
Thread starter #5

deedly

Senior Member
Smokey, I don't think I need help with the deer right now, but I will keep you in mind.
 

rip18

Senior Member
Hopefully, some of the owners will speak up, but it looks like the Olympus & Sony ultrazooms (10 to 12x magnification) have been doing pretty good lately. There are several good choices.
 

Hoss

Moderator
Rip's pointed you in the right direction on the ultrazooms. Olympus has one that I believe goes to 15X (or was that 18). Leo help me out here. This little cameras do a good job.

Hoss
 

Razorback

Senior Member
deedly,

I might get edited by the mods but here it goes...

Rip all ready asked about a Point & Shoot w/ a long lens or DSLR w/ interchangeable lenses...so the short answer(for me was Canon) is the Canon S5 IS or SX100...the S5 +'s are 12x optical zoom, 8mp sensor, hot shoe for external flash, AA's, SD card...the -'s are lack of decent wide angle lens & bulk-not shirt pocket size...other wise a good camera.

Check out dpreview.com under there buyers guide button. You can search for the perfect camera by the features that are important to you. Pick the 3 or 5 features you have to have & the computer sorts out ALL the available cameras w/ those features & list them for a side by side comparison.

I chose the S5 because of the lens (equal to a 9x on a rifle scope as a comparison),IS-Image Stabilization feature...this electronicly stabilizes the camera to minimize blurry pix, AA batteries (easy to get) & an SD card (SD cards use less battery power plus spend the extra money on a Sandisk Ultra II Plus card, it folds over & plugs into a USB port-no card reader needed).

If you want to make a road trip to Lilburn shoot me a PM & I can put some Canons in your hands to try out.

Razor
 

ronfritz

Senior Member
Deedly -

I just posted a series of shots taken at different zoom settings to (hopefully) give you some ideas of how 'close' you could expect to zoom in on something. I used a truck at 184 yards because it was the closest I could come to 150 yards, but it shouldn't be too hard to imagine a deer in its place. The only disclaimer I'll make is I'm not sure how to translate my zoom settings (e.g. 120mm, 840mm, etc) to the 10x or whatever on the point and shoot cameras. However, Rip or Razorback or somebody else should be able to add that piece.
 

WOODIE13

GONetwork Member
If you go with the Canon S5 (or some of the other PS cameras), you can get at teleconverter, wide angle, marco lenses for them. I am just waiting on my adapter for my 1.7x Sony TC for the Canon S3, supposed to be @ 640 mm at 12x, there are also a couple 2.2x TC, but I have no experience with them.
 

Razorback

Senior Member
:offtopic:

ron,

Here is some help on converting your lens "mm" into some numbers that may make some sense...

Here is a little math to try to make sense of the DSLR & relate it to rifle scopes or binoculars...

Rebel XT has a 1.6 (Nikon is 1.5x) magnification effect compared to 35mm film cameras...so a 18mm~55mm zoom lens on a DSLR is equivalent to 28.8mm~88mm on a 35mm film camera(1.6*18=28.8~1.6*55=88)...so a 70mm~300mm on a DSLR= 112mm~480mm on a 35mm film camera.


Now consider a 50mm lens on a 35mm film camera...50mm equals 1x magnification on a 35mm film camera...so a 500mm lens equals 10x magnification, again on a 35mm film camera...this brings in distant objects 10 times closer...so what is 100 yards away "looks" only 10 yards away.


Now take your DSLR (Canon 1.6x) and your brand new Canon 70~300mm IS*...at 300mm it will equal a 9.6x magnification...so your 10x42 binos or 3~9x50 scope will be very close to what your DSLR w/ 70~300 will be.


Also don't confuse your Powershot S3 IS's 10x lens as a lens that brings you 10 times closer but just a zoom range of 10 times it's self...it could very well be close to a 10x magnification but that's another rant.

*Canon calls it IS, Image Stabilization & Nikon calls it VR, Vibration Reduction...and now Tamron calls it VC, Vibration Control. Whether its IS, VR or VC its worth having...just think how steady YOUR NOT with a 9x or 10x scope or binos...BUT if you use a tripod or monopod the IS, VC or VR will compete with itself & potentialy soften your image...so turn the IS,VR &VC off when supported.

Whew! If I'm off or WAY OFF BASE please correct or enlighten me...but its the way I see it.

Razor
from;
http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?p=1571484#post1571484


Razor
 

ronfritz

Senior Member
Deedly - Honestly, this was all just about helping to give you a sense for how 'big' the deer would be in your viewfinder. If this seems like too much, feel free to skip to the bottom.

Razorback -

Thanks. I share your concern for staying on topic but I'm gonna submit we're not so far off topic, if at all. Deedly's basic requirement is "I want to shoot a decent picture of a deer at 150 yards" and my other post is trying give him some visual sense for how big the deer will be in the frame at 12x and other focal lengths by using the trusty ole D200. I wasn't sure if the Point and Shoot 'zoom ratings' were stated in terms of their 35mm equivalent or not.

http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=149197

Take the shot in that post at 600mm...that works out to a 35mm equivalent of 900mm and therefore a Point and Shoot equivalent of 18x. Right?

...so the bottom line for Mr. Deedly, is that picture #4 (400mm) in my other post represents roughly what he'd see in his viewfinder at 180 yards if he was using a digital camera with a 12x optical zoom.
 

Razorback

Senior Member
Take the shot in that post at 600mm...that works out to a 35mm equivalent of 900mm and therefore a Point and Shoot equivalent of 18x. Right?

Yes you correct...this is how you got there...

divide the film normal into the film equivalent to get you magnification effect.

600mm (35mm film lens) on a D200(600mmx1.5factor) =900mm on a 35mm film body<---film equivalent

normal lens (1x) on a 35mm film body=50mm<---film normal

so 900 divided by 50 = 18

18 times closer to your subject




...so the bottom line for Mr. Deedly, is that picture #4 (400mm) in my other post represents roughly what he'd see in his viewfinder at 180 yards if he was using a digital camera with a 12x optical zoom.


The Canon S5 IS point & shoot has a 12x optical zoom RANGE lens...6mm~72mm digital focal length...36mm~432mm in 35mm film format...72 divided by 6 = 12... thus a 12x optical zoom RANGE...so take that 432mm 35mm equivalent and it converts to 8.64x...8.64 times closer to your subject...plus the digital zoom of 4x:banginghe...so the 432mm times 4 = 1728mm...1728 divided by 50 = 34.56x magnification!!!

Now my brain hurts!:hair:

Razor
 

jason308

Senior Member
My two cents worth....

I had an Olympus c-770 UZ 10x point and shoot for several years....Loved that camera and got some great shots with it too!!!! Never had a Canon, but imagine they would do fine too......Olympus now makes a SP model that offers either 10x or 12x optical zoom......

STAY AWAY FROM THE DIGITAL ZOOM!!!!!!

And another thing to think about......Especially with a point and shoot.....You need a decent tripod (with a head that is easy to adjust on the fly-support shouldn't be an issue with a point and shoot)......One other thing....you need a decent tripod.....And maybe a tree arm to mount the camera on if you hunt out of a treestand much......

That is another reason I have come to love tower stands (there was a time when I hated em).....I can go in one and take my tripod, DSLR, and zoom lens and set up and be comfortable....And go undetected......Good luck!!!
 

rip18

Senior Member
Deedly -

Sounds like you are getting some good advice. To summarize to this point, it looks like:

Olympus or Canon 10-18x optical zoom (ignore digital zoom)
Image Stabilization
Uses SD or CF cards
Has hot shoe for external flash
Uses AA batteries (rechargeable okay) which makes it easy when you forget to charge the battery (and that happens!!!)
You get a decent tripod with a ball head (not the 3-way pan, tilt, etc. head).
 
Thread starter #16

deedly

Senior Member
Thanks for all the information posted. It has given me a better understanding of what I might need. Thank to ronfritz for taking time to shoot with different settings so I could get a feel for it. Razor, Thanks for the invite, but I don't know when I might be around Lilburn. I think I will research Cannon cameras and will ask for more assistance when I need it. You all keep up the good photograpy. It is inspirational. Thanks again
 
we just bought a kodak z812is easyshare and i've been really impressed with it. bestbuy has pretty good prices on it and at the time we bought, we got the camera, 2 gig card, and a case for just under $300.

it's a dang 8.2 mp with a 12x optical soom and is pretty fast on the low end. also has image stabilization. i'm no pro and b/c of the versatility sometimes i'll carry it instead of my nikon d70s, depending on what i'm after.

my wife has really enjoyed it too and she wanted a camera that was really easy to use. but you can also shoot in aperture priority, shutter priority, and i think it will even go full manual, if you want more control.

even better, we discovered that you can haggle price a bit at bestbuy if you catch em right as they're entering price. that's how we got the 2 gig card and case added and still came out under $300. also, they'll honor lower prices found on the bestbuy website.

my lengthy 2 cents.....
 

Razorback

Senior Member
deedly,
Right now all the stores(Best Buys, Circuit City, Target etc...) are coming out w/ the holiday deals. So check the Sunday paper for the ad inserts. Some are giving a free card, others a printer and some battery deals too.

One other thing to be aware of is the shutter response time. Some cameras have a noticeable delay from when you press the shutter release to when the shutter fires. The newest long lens cameras are much better then the previous generation.

Good luck & remember to post some pix when you get your camera.

Razor
 
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