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New Camera Help


Trevor L.
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For Christmas, I asked for a new camera. The one I have currently is pretty old and doesn’t take great pictures, so I want to upgrade to a cheap but new camera. I’ll attach pictures of the same bird as examples, one being from my camera and one (the better one) being from a camera of smaller size. My mom doesn’t want to spend over $600, though a little over would be fine. Any suggestions?

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While I don't personally shoot with either, both of these cameras get great reviews for amateur bird photography and both are $599.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/compact-digital-cameras/coolpix-p900.html

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/point-and-shoot-digital-cameras/long-zoom-cameras/powershot-sx70-hs

Edited by DLecy
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3 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Do you need a lens as well. And remember, your pictures will probably look the same when you get the camera. It’s very important to learn how to use it. Your friend also almost certainly edited their photo, seems to saturated, and that is another skill to learn. 

I do not need a lens. If the camera comes with more than one, that’s fine. Now I’m gonna go fiddle with my old photos to see if I can make them look... better.

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I used a smaller coolpix for a while, which was surprisising good for its size, but it didn’t really zoom well. I now use a Panasonic FZ1000, which does much better with zoom. I am an ameteur photographer, so I definitely am not using it to its full potential. Panasonic FZ1000 is about $450, so definitely on the cheaper side. You can view my eBird profile to see some pics in varying conditions. Anything before 2020 was on a Nikon Coolpix A900. 

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12 minutes ago, Avery said:

I used a smaller coolpix for a while, which was surprisising good for its size, but it didn’t really zoom well. I now use a Panasonic FZ1000, which does much better with zoom. I am an ameteur photographer, so I definitely am not using it to its full potential. Panasonic FZ1000 is about $450, so definitely on the cheaper side. You can view my eBird profile to see some pics in varying conditions. Anything before 2020 was on a Nikon Coolpix A900. 

Rock on. I used a Panasonic fz2500 for my first birding camera. It was great, except for BIF.

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1 minute ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Interesting. I presumed it's a foggy day. If that's the case, getting a new camera would greatly help.

I wish it was a foggy day because that would excuse the bad photos, but it wasn’t. It was cloudy, but not to the extent that my pictures alone would have you believe.

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@Trevor L. EDIT - after posting the stuff below, I came across this.  This Panasonic FZ80 is on sale for $299 through at least Monday.  I've learned a lot with my FZ70, and knocked some pretty good shots.

https://www.amazon.com/PANASONIC-Megapixel-20-1200mm-Stabilization-DC-FZ80K/dp/B01MS16V42/ref=sr_1_22?dchild=1&fst=as%3Aoff&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1606649217&refinements=p_n_feature_three_browse-bin%3A10705320011|10705321011|10705322011%2Cp_72%3A1248880011%2Cp_6%3AATVPDKIKX0DER%2Cp_36%3A-60000&rnid=386442011&s=electronics&sr=1-22

Original post:

I just went down this road.  I'm getting myself a Nikon P950 for Christmas, but that's more than you've budgeted.  I'd definitely consider the P900.  The newer P950 adds a couple of features but if it hadn't been released, I'd be getting the P900.  But because it's an older model, you may have trouble finding a new one and have to get it used.  Nothing wrong with that; you can get a better camera for less money.  Just be sure the retailer offers at least a 90-day warranty (B&H, KEH), and be aware that the model you want may not be available.

For birding, I'm big on so-called 'Super Zoom' cameras that will let you get photos of birds a LONG way off, for hundreds or thousands of dollars less than you'll pay for similar capabilities in a DSLR.  They're also much lighter than a DSLR with a long lens, something that matters when you're birding all day.  Here's a list from B&H, a top retailer.  I've filtered it for 'Super Zoom' cameras under $600.  Many of the models that others have mentioned are included here, although not the P900.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/Point-Shoot-Digital-Cameras/ci/8612/N/4288586279?sort=PRICE_HIGH_TO_LOW&filters=fct_camera-type_4056%3Asuperzoom-bridge%2Cfct_price%3A..600

Here's a comparable list from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/s?i=photo&bbn=330405011&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A493964%2Cn%3A502394%2Cn%3A281052%2Cn%3A330405011%2Cp_n_feature_three_browse-bin%3A10705320011|10705321011|10705322011%2Cp_72%3A1248880011%2Cp_6%3AATVPDKIKX0DER%2Cp_36%3A-60000&s=price-desc-rank&dc&fst=as%3Aoff&qid=1606650046&rnid=10099201011&ref=sr_nr_p_n_feature_seventeen_browse-bin_2

One note: if you see a web site listing the camera you want for 20% less than other retailers,  it's usually an 'International' model with =NO= warranty.  

 

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Hi Trevor,  

I will tell you about a camera that I have.  It is a Nikon D3200 and I use a 70-300 mm lens on it.  The lens I have is a manual lens.  But for bird watching I would recommend an autofocus lens that will work on the D3200.  You can find quality used Nikon D3200's on eBay.  They will usually come with the standard 18-55mm lens.  I consider the Nikon D3200 or 3300 with the 70-300 auto focus lens to be an excellent starter set.  But my opinion is based on my personal experience.  There are others making recommendations also.  

Thank you, 

Lonnie

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1 hour ago, Lonnie said:

Hi Trevor,  

I will tell you about a camera that I have.  It is a Nikon D3200 and I use a 70-300 mm lens on it.  The lens I have is a manual lens.  But for bird watching I would recommend an autofocus lens that will work on the D3200.  You can find quality used Nikon D3200's on eBay.  They will usually come with the standard 18-55mm lens.  I consider the Nikon D3200 or 3300 with the 70-300 auto focus lens to be an excellent starter set.  But my opinion is based on my personal experience.  There are others making recommendations also.  

Thank you, 

Lonnie

@The Bird Nutsare big on Nikon's D3400, which I =assume= is a newer version of the D3200,

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I would recomend you go for the DLSR route for birding.

the super zooms are decent cameras but unless they have changed alot from the Sony DSC H9 i had, you will start to

not like the fact you cannot manualy focus it at all. Bird's in trees and the ability manualy focus were why i got my Canon T5 kit several years ago.

and later added beter lenses then those ones in the kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Johnd said:

I would recomend you go for the DLSR route for birding.

the super zooms are decent cameras but unless they have changed alot from the Sony DSC H9 i had, you will start to

not like the fact you cannot manualy focus it at all. Bird's in trees and the ability manualy focus were why i got my Canon T5 kit several years ago.

and later added beter lenses then those ones in the kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sony RX10 has manual focus.   What I don't like about it is that the zoom is predominantly digital/enhanced digital.  You can set it to strict optical zoom, but you will not get as far a reach.  I use it for quick bird shots from windows at home and when we are hiking b/c it is more portable.  My preferred birding camera is a Canon DSLR with a Tamron zoom (150-600mm).  If money grew on trees, I would get a 400mm f/4 lens for the Canon.

 

Edited by floraphile
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5 minutes ago, floraphile said:

My Sony RX10 has manual focus.   What I don't like about it is that the zoom is predominantly digital/enhanced digital.  You can set it to strict optical zoom, but you will not get as far a reach.  I use it for quick bird shots and when we are hiking b/c it is more portable.  My preferred birding camera is a Canon DSLR with a Tamron zoom (150-600mm).  If money grew on trees, I would get a 400mm f/4 lens for the Canon.

 

i didnt know they made the P&S with a manual zoom feature.

but yeah digital zoom is terrible, if you want decent photos.

 

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5 minutes ago, Johnd said:

i didnt know they made the P&S with a manual zoom feature.

but yeah digital zoom is terrible, if you want decent photos.

 

I'm sorry--the RX 10 is a bridge/superzoom.  I didn't realize we were talking about P&S.  And the RX10 is not so great with high ISO--which is required in many bird pics, in my experience.

Edited by floraphile
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2 minutes ago, floraphile said:

I'm sorry--the RX 10 is a bridge/superzoom.  I didn't realize we were talking about P&S.

Oh i see, it a sort of permanently mounted lens  with a focus ring. the Sony  H9 definitely didn't have any controls on it.

 

 

 

 

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@Trevor L.--I started out taking bird pics with a Canon EOS T1i (500D) that I had gotten for taking family pics.  It was a great camera.  You can find used ones of that, and later models at good prices.  Here is one from B&H:  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1485123-REG/canon_2727c021_kit_eos_rebel_t7_dslr.html

Edited by floraphile
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8 hours ago, Johnd said:

i didnt know they made the P&S with a manual zoom feature.

but yeah digital zoom is terrible, if you want decent photos.

Most superzooms have a manual focus option; it's a question of how easy it is to operate.  The P1000 has a ring on the barrel.

Digital zoom is useful if you want to use the camera's reach as a crude spotting scope, but I wouldn't take photos with it either except in the most dire situations.

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