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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-13-2018

Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

Hi all. I love nature and am tired of using only my iphone. I've had cameras in the past but it has been years. So long in fact, when I tried to hook my old Pentax DSLR up to my Macbook, it was incompatible, so no way to download my photos. So, now I am looking at Canon Rebels including the SL2, T7i and also the D77.

 

My goal, other than being able to take photos of my kids, is to shoot nature. I love to garden and we have many birds, bees and butterflies that come into the garden on a regular basis. I also have lots of flowers and want to capture them as well. My husband would like to use the camera for video capture of his Tankganyikan Cichlids (fish). 

 

My dilemma is I've watched so many Youtube videos and it seems I "need" at least the Canon T7i or D77 to be able to even get a mediocre shot (according to all of the "experts"), and I honestly can't afford the price point of either of these with all the lenses. I can afford the D77 body only, which obviously does me no good. The T7i is slightly better but only with the 18-55 lens. I can just afford the SL2 with the kit 18-55 and the 55-250. 

 

I'm at a loss. To hear most of the Youtubers anything less than at least one of these is a waste of money. No camera means no pictures but I am wondering if I should just hold off and save up for the better camera, the D77 or maybe even the D80. What are your thoughts and experiences?

 

Thank you!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 371
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

[ Edited ]

Greetings,

Your lens choices are going to be a bigger influence on the IQ of your pictures than those body's. 

 

Sure you get a little more by spending more, but the lens is what really counts in most cases. 

If you are deciding between the T7i and 77D...  tight budget, go with the T7i, unless you want the top body LCD.

 

If opting between the 77D and 80D, go 80D.  While both have 45 point AF, the 80 has Cross Type AF which the 77 doesn't.  This will come in handy for sports and wildlife, BIF, etc.  The 80D also offer faster FPS, faster shutter speed, in body video stabillization and 100% pentaprism viewfinder. 

 

I'd save a little and then consider bying on credit.  Other possibility is buying refurbished from Canon.  Don't be afraid to do this.  Two of my Canon Lenses were refurbs.  Both are excellent.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy a refurb'ed body from Canon either.   

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.3) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.0) ~Sigma 150-600 C (f/w 1.03)
~Speedlite 430 EX II ~DPP 4.8.20 ~Windows10 Pro nVidia GPU 1709 ~Nexus6P Oreo 8.1 ~Samsung s9+ Oreo 8.0
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-08-2018

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

Two things, first if your old pentax uses standard memory cards and the quality of the pictures were fine before then all you really need is a card reader for your mac. Just remove the memory card from the camera and place it in the card reader when you want to download the pictures.

 

Second, Don't give too much credit to the "experts" on youtube. Any mid-range DSLR camera from the past 5-8 years will work well (Of course the newer the better in most cases) with a good lense. Just be sure to get one fromone of the better manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon (Boo, hiss, hiss ... kidding), or Pentax etc..

 
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-13-2018

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

Wolfie0827, which of the midrange do you suggest for capturing birds, butterflies, fish, family Smiley Happy, etc.? 

 

Thanks!!

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-08-2018

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

I really can't give any other advice on cameras to use since I wasn't using any since like 2004 until just recently when I bought the Rebel T6i. It has worked very well for me so far (Just got it a little over a month ago.) My only complaint is the autofocus when shooting video, it is a little wonky, and tries to re-focus even when nothing has changed in the view area, and manual focusing  while shooting video is not as easy as for stills.

 

But that being said the camera works very well, and as others have said refrubished directly from Canon has a very good reputation. I would say find the one you know you can afford (remembering to include accessories in the price you can afford) and get it, Just don't be affraid to check Amazon and the like for slightly older models that may work feature and price wise for you.

 

One last thing if you go for the T6 that I have, go for the T6i or the T6s, the extra features on these two over the base T6 are definitly worth the extra price. Or they are for me.

 
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,290
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?


@kneale wrote:

Wolfie0827, which of the midrange do you suggest for capturing birds, butterflies, fish, family Smiley Happy, etc.? 

 

Thanks!!


You want the T71, 77D, or the 80D.  But, it is all about the lens you use.  Your images will never be better than the lenses that you use.  Any of the Canon EF-S “STM” lenses will give you great photos, and smooth video.

 

The 80D has the most bang or the buck, and is a really capable camera.  It has near professional grade automatic focusing for tracking subjects like birds and butterflies.  It also makes full use of the Dual Pixel AF sensor for smooth focusing when shooting video.

 

Check out Canon’s Online Refurbished Store.  If something is out of stock today, wait for it to come back.  Graduation season is just around the corner, so I suspect that many items may be back in stock, like the 80D and 18-66 STM lens.  I have bought two of them as gifts for less than $850, which is a price that appears only once ever six months or so.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,291
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?


@shadowsports wrote:

Greetings,

Your lens choices are going to be a bigger influence on the IQ of your pictures than those body's. 

 

Sure you get a little more by spending more, but the lens is what really counts in most cases. 

If you are deciding between the T7i and 77D...  tight budget, go with the T7i, unless you want the top body LCD.

 

If opting between the 77D and 80D, go 80D.  While both have 45 point AF, the 80 has Cross Type AF which the 77 doesn't.  This will come in handy for sports and wildlife, BIF, etc.  The 80D also offer faster FPS, faster shutter speed, in body video stabillization and 100% pentaprism viewfinder. 

 

I'd save a little and then consider bying on credit.  Other possibility is buying refurbished from Canon.  Don't be afraid to do this.  Two of my Canon Lenses were refurbs.  Both are excellent.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy a refurb'ed body from Canon either.   


Buying Canon refurbs is a good idea; buying on credit isn't, unless you're a professional. Buy what you can afford. Photography can be a deep money sink, and it's easy to get in over your head.

 

A lot of what you hear about birding is based on the presumption that you're in the wild looking for birds that are trying to stay out of your way. That doesn't necessarily apply to the birds that hang out in your garden, which means that you can probably get by with lesser equipment (particularly shorter lenses), at least for now.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Valued Contributor
Posts: 371
Registered: ‎11-19-2017

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

My feeling.  There is nothing wrong with buying on credit.  This can put a product in your hands that some people cannot afford all at once.  Amazon for example offers 6 months free financing for purchases over a certain amount.  So you get the equipment you want, with a little bit down.  Then 3-4 monthly payments and you have the gear you wanted at a manageable price point and no interest.  I'm all for Canon's refurbs, but for some, coming up with all of the money up front is not possible.   

Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2 (f/w 1.0.3) ~16-35mm f2.8L II, 50 f1.8 STM, 85 prime, 70-200 f2.8L IS II ~Sigma 24-70 f2.8 Art (f/w 2.0) ~Sigma 150-600 C (f/w 1.03)
~Speedlite 430 EX II ~DPP 4.8.20 ~Windows10 Pro nVidia GPU 1709 ~Nexus6P Oreo 8.1 ~Samsung s9+ Oreo 8.0
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-13-2018

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

[ Edited ]

Thank you Bob and Rick. I think I'm narrowed down to the T7i or 80D. My reasons for the 77D were to get me used to the extra dials the 77D is said to have (I believe there are two the rebels don't have). My understanding is the D77 feels like some of the more professional models but others say it is just a rebel in disguise. Since I don't have anything at this point, a rebel in disguise would be a great thing. LOL. Also, at least two of the reviewers on Youtube mentioned the body can handle the larger lenses better thant the T7i. I've always enjoyed taking pictures and know I will turn this into a hobby so I'd like to be able to invest periodically in better lenses to advance my abilities. But, the T7i is almost the same camera and at a cheaper price point, so if I go that route I will get the T7i. I have yet to get up to NFM, which is where I will be buying, to try some of them in hand. That will make the difference I am sure.

 

I'm definitely not going to be buying a lot on credit. Right now I just want to purchase a basic kit and not going nuts on lenses at this point. But I do want the initial purchase to make sense for the future. For additional lenses, I will have to wait. I know I will most likely get at least one lens down the road that will handle birds in flight and at a distance. That is probably a year from now. Got to get used to using the basic camera and kit lenses first. 

 

Karen

 

VIP
Posts: 9,053
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Birding On a tight budget - should I buy less now or wait to buy right?

Karen,

Now for the fatcs! Smiley Happy   The truth of the matter is, there is a certain price point to enter this type of photography.  If you truly want 'decent' results. You really can't do it without being at that certain level.  Don't be tempted to buy any camera on Amazon.  They are bad deals.  Instead get it form a real deal camera retailer like B&H, Adorama, Roberts, etc or perhaps a local store.  Maybe Best Buy.  Just don't buy any of the Amazon like kits.  They are junk.

 

 The Rebel T7i will be fine.  It is a very capable camera. Keep in mind it is the lens that makes the photo.  Also avoid any of the all-in-one zoom lenses.   The longer the zoom ratio the worse it is.  The best choice for birding is one of the 150-600mm super zooms from Sigma or Tamron.  It is a 'your choice' situation as they are nearly identical IQ wise.   A new T7i is about $750 and one of the 150-600 zooms about a grand.  So you are looking at $1700 to $1800 to start.  However, you will need a shorter focal length lens for all the general stuff and the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is only $50 bucks more.

Now if you can find these in a refurb or a used condition you can cut that cost a bit.  With what I have outlined you can produce some breath taking shots.  Certainly not high end gear but very capable.

 

I would also add to this, get a good post editor and learn how to use it.  They are mandatory not an option for the best results. This will start you on a life long hobby that is truly rewarding.  Especially knowing you did the shots yourself.

A lot less stuff for 2018 but still a lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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