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Archive 2012 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?
  
 
rlattimer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Hey everyone. I'm an amateur photographer, and I'm looking to get in to it a little bit more seriously. I've got a budget of $3000 and I'm stuck between 2 options:
1. Nikon D600 and some sort of all around lens 28-300mm?
2. Nikon D7000 and then get some really nice glass, like the 24-70 2.8?

I need the camera for a Safari trip I will be going on, but I could always rent a lens. I would say I mostly photograph landscapes and portraits.

Thanks for any advice!



Nov 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM
FredAz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


see the Costco package on the D600....
Two lenses, plus the wifi module.
All slightly less than $3k.



Nov 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


+1 good call, Fred


Nov 18, 2012 at 02:45 PM
highcontrast
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Yes that CostCo deal is sweet!


Nov 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
leighton w
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


If it were me, and I considered myself an amateur, and I was going on safari, I'd get the D7000 with a 70-200 f2.8. This would let you get out there and touch some of those wild critters! But that's just me.

I'd add a 35mm f1.8 G for good measure.



Nov 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
workerdrone
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Not a bad deal. I'd add a prime on top of that if you could possibly swing it, like the 85 1.8G, for portraits and low light use. Even the $200 50 1.8G. Seems a crime not to have a fast prime in the bag.

I was doing a bunch of shooting yesterday at iso6400 in a dim bar full of friends and what these new bodies will do at high iso is amazing - no flash, no focus assist light, live view focus and shoot - totally stealth = fantastic ambient portraits



Nov 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
leighton w
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Forget what I said above...I just looked at the Costco deal. I would definitely go for this!

http://www.costco.com/Nikon-D600-Full-Frame-DSLR-Camera-2-Lens-Bundle.product.100012382.html



Nov 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
roman.johnston
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Plus 10000000.

The Costco deal should be amazing for anybody but a seasoned pro with better (the best) glass needs.

I have been learning quite a bit about the oil on sensor issue with D600 and while easy to handle, might be a point in a camera your going to introduce to a VERY dusty area.

I read in another forum where a gentleman who has a D600, bought a sensor cleaning kit in advance. He took his camera experiencing the oil on the sensor problem and set the settings so he could get maximum burst speed. He pointed the camera down and ran it at max shooting speed 3-4 times filling up the buffer in the camera till it started to slow down. Then repeating.

After that, he cleaned the sensor and has experienced little if no issue than normal from then on.

I would do that before you went somewhere as dusty as safari. I would also learn to changes lenses very fast...do not leave your camera open to dust. I usually poke the button and give the lens the SLIGHTEST twist...and have the other lens ready in the other hand while it hangs off my strap in normal position on my chest. Then As I am removing the one lens...the other lens immediately takes its place. Less than a second open to the air. Might want to get comfortable with this before going.

Roman



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Elan II
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


I'm guessing you're spending $6,000-8,000 for this safari trip. Most of your time will be spent in remote areas, with no way to repair or resupply gear and with an unstable power supply. What if the one camera body you take breaks down? Another question is how will you balance the dual track of capturing landscapes or near object with capturing wildlife? The answer to both is having two bodies, plenty of batteries and even lens redundancy if possible.

While it's probably tempting to use the trip as an excuse to buy the latest gear, you'll be much better served with a pair of inexpensive low-use used bodies, like maybe a D300 plus a D80. Buying those should leave you around $2,200 for lenses, which is a whole other discussion, but is enough for a versatile set with some redundancy. Here's one example. All used gear.

300/4 + 1.4x or 80-400/VR ($1,200-1,400)
70-300/VR ($400)
17-50/2.8 Tamron ($300)
18-70/3.5-4.5 ($150)
50/1.8G (new) or Sigma 50/2.8 macro ($200)

Thom Hogan has several good writeups about safari trips; capturing the photos you want, camera and gear to take, dealing with dust and other conditions, backup regiments, power issues, etc. Read his site. It will change your outlook.






Edited on Nov 18, 2012 at 04:25 PM · View previous versions



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Safari = Long and faster lens.
I'm a glass first guy... I'd buy a D7000 or older D300S (for durability into the future) and 300 f4 AFS.
Find yourself a good wide-angle (16-35 f4 AFS) and an 85mm or 105 macro (old school) and you're in budget. If you really want full frame, find a nice D700 (for it's build, AF, CF cards, & overall quality) and a 1.4x (or 1.7x) converter. This might put you slightly over-budget, but you will not wishing you had a more rugged durable kit that will last into the future.

Both the D700 and D300s are still viable machines (as is the D3 / D3s)... they are far from obsolete and will last for many more years.

Finally, I've been on African safari's twice and travel throughout Costa Rica every other year and shoot the US deserts... you want gear that will be able to handle extreme temperatures, dust, and bumps along the way.
bruce



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:24 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



OwlsEyes
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Elan II... you beat me to it... we definitely agree on this!


Nov 18, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Elan II
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


OwlsEyes wrote:
Elan II... you beat me to it... we definitely agree on this!



I actually like your body choices better, but the budget is too restrictive to fit it all in. I would buy these anyway, then sell the excess after returning. Going on a safari is such an opportunity. It would be a shame to go and then discover your setup is inadequate.







Nov 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM
rlattimer
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Thank you to everyone for the advice! Certainly a lot to think about. Here is a little more on my situation.
The trip I am going on is first a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, and then a 4 day safari through the Serengeti. I am a High School Math teacher, and won the trip as a professional development activity. I have budgeted for a camera, but I will have to show the receipts for the purchase of the camera, so purchasing used is out of the question. I am also receiving funds for the camera in order to video myself doing lessons on location, so video is a must have. This is a trip of a lifetime, and I don't believe that in the near future I will be returning for a Safari.
Thank you!
Roger



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
DTOB
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


rlattimer wrote:
Thank you to everyone for the advice! Certainly a lot to think about. Here is a little more on my situation.
The trip I am going on is first a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, and then a 4 day safari through the Serengeti. I am a High School Math teacher, and won the trip as a professional development activity. I have budgeted for a camera, but I will have to show the receipts for the purchase of the camera, so purchasing used is out of the question. I am also receiving funds for the camera in order to video myself
...Show more

Costco package.

Have you got any gear currently?



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


rlattimer,
Congratulations, it sounds like you hit the educational jackpot! I'm a high school biology teacher and use my extensive ecological travels to enhance what I do in the classroom.

I'm a pretty active photo-blogger where I write about photography, biology and eco-travel. You might find some of my photo-tips useful (I'm on a year long project where I'm posting 101 tips for the nature/travel photographer... tip 99 will be posted soon!). Anyway, my last two posts are from Africa and there are many stories about travels through Africa, Costa Rica and elsewhere on my blog: http://bruceleventhal.blogspot.com

Should you have specific questions about shooting in Africa or elsewhere, send me a pm.
bruce



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
mshi
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


You DO have to pay sales tax at Costco. Instead, buy from Amazon and Amazon gives you $150 off if you buy D600 which is priced at $1997 and 28-300VR.


Nov 18, 2012 at 05:01 PM
rlattimer
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


I currently have a nikon d70s with a 50mm 1.8. It was all I could fit in my budget, especially knowing that I might have a chance at winning the award.

Bruce, That is awesome! I will definitely be checking out your blog!

Thanks!
Roger



Nov 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


On changing lenses: Remember to turn the camera off too while changing. Supposedly the sensor when charged will attract more dust. (Assuming you won't miss the shot of course.)


On a backup body: I bought a Nikon D3200 kit with 18-55 new here for $500. Or you can buy a Nikon D5100 refurb kit with lens for $424. At Adorama, link at techbargains.com

Either of those would be fine as a backup. Sell when you get back.


You could also pick up a Nikon D800 used here at $2,400 or less. That will allow you to crop in like the D7000. Then add the 70-300 for $600.

Or buy a lens like the 70-200 II for the trip, then sell when you get home.

Have fun!

Michael



Nov 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM
bbvaj
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


Sorry for mentioning this on the dark side... T3i/7D with 17-55 IS and 100-400L IS will be absolutely great for your need. Add 50/1.4 or 40/2.8 for video if you can. As long as you are not in too restrictive light, this combo will be fine.


Nov 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · If your budget was $3000 what would you do?


bbvaj wrote:
Sorry for mentioning this on the dark side... T3i/7D with 17-55 IS and 100-400L IS will be absolutely great for your need. Add 50/1.4 or 40/2.8 for video if you can. As long as you are not in too restrictive light, this combo will be fine.


I shoot Canon, but restricted my comments to Nikon given the board. I am a former Nikon shooter and like the direction that Nikon is heading. In fact, if I were starting to build a system today, I'd choose Nikon over Canon for the direction they've headed with their new sensor technology.

However, I must concur that Canon has better Safari lenses on the "cheap" than Nikon, as Canon's old 100-400L IS and 300 f4L IS are both great lenses... I use the 100-400L to back-up my 300 f2.8IS when on the road. However, the Nikon 300 f4 AFS is an amazing optic for the price and, when paired with a D7000 or D300s, would meet nearly everyone's safari needs... not something I'd say about the 80-400VR, as the slower AF and non-MF over-ride in AF mode is problematic in some shooting situations.

cheers,
bruce



Nov 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM
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