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Reasonable Camera, Etc. For Birding, Wildlife...?


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My sister came to visit from the US a couple years ago. She's a birder and one fun thing we did was to hire a local guide to take us up Doi Inthanon, near Chiang Mai, for some birding one day. My sis brought some binoculars and a very basic camera. The guide had a really long lens, a tripod (or monopod?), and some other stuff. I just bought a truck and will be traveling around Thailand to some national parks, etc. and think it would be fun to snap photos of birds, wildlife, and so on, that I come across...and also just take travel photos. It seems like technology keeps making strides, so I wouldn't be surprised if there now exists some camera/kit that can achieve what only high end gear could do a few years ago (or am I wrong?). 

Anyhow, can anyone here recommend something that wouldn't break the bank, but that could take some pretty good shots of birds and things (that might be pretty far away). I'm also willing to get a tripod (or monopod?), to help stabilize the camera. Thx

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Panasonic FZ80/82 has a 60x optical zoom and isn't too expensive. However, you will need a tripod to steady it for anything other than short zoom ranges, otherwise the shots are unusable due to camera shake.

Search the camera on Youtube along with the eg 'bird' or 'wildlife' to see examples of what it's capable of.

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On 2/27/2021 at 4:20 PM, OliverKlozerof said:

so I wouldn't be surprised if there now exists some camera/kit that can achieve what only high end gear could do a few years ago (or am I wrong?). 

Yes, you are relatively wrong, this is different to for example smartphones.

Of course there are always advances, but they are not too drastic: Camera's able to capture a lot of light (big sensor), and objectives which let in a lot of light in are always expensive.

So if for example an objective costed 200k 5 years ago, you can't expect to get something comparable for 20k today. Maybe 150k if you are lucky.

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Not an expert.....but the "speed" of the lens is crucial (and expensive)....it is a measure of how much light incident on the lens actually makes it to the CCD. (I think).......the faster the lens the faster the shutter, the better the focus.

 

Cheapish camera......expensive lens is the key.

Edited by Surelynot
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Well, I've been watching some youtube videos and also asked my sister who is a birder, and a friend who's a pro photog (but not specializing in wildlife). My conclusion thus far is to put off any purchase until I've studied the subject quite a bit. Could change, but sorta think I may end up with a point and shoot "superzoom" "bridge camera." (A couple terms I just learned.) My sis has a Canon Powershot SX720 HS, which is 40x optical zoom. She likes it, but says it would be even better if it had 1) a viewfinder (can't see screen when shooting toward sun), 2) bigger buttons (it's pocket size, which is nice, but as a result, buttons are scrunched together, 3) a touch screen to set focal points. Her camera cost only about $350. Then they came out with the 730, and now 740. I think main improvement is the screen now tilts, but I guess there are a couple other things. But like her, I'm not out to win any photography awards, and don't want to get a pro DSLR and expensive lenses. I've done a bit of looking for a superzoom point and shoot that also answers her main complaints, but not sure there is such an animal. Anyhow, I think I'd be willing to got to around $600 to get one with a viewfinder, etc. But I'm in no rush and I think I'd better take some time to learn more about photography and how a modern 'bridge camera.'

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