Wildlife set up for under under $2500?

Jesse Jaymes

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
817
Location
Boundary Co. Idaho
I have read thru pages. And searched a bit. And I'll fully apologize in advance, as this is about as close to "Is the 30-06 a good gun" type of question. And I get pissy reading those non stop. But this is an arena where my head almost literally spins in attempting to learn starting from Jump.

I am out in some cool places often. I see some amazing things. I enjoy my pics. I've had a camera with me for the last decade. But these would be "disposable" bridge cameras or point and shoot. After 4-6 years they are pretty beat up and generally not functional.

I've purchased many items from CameraLand and Doug/Joel. I would guess they'll read and chime in. You guys pimp the Olympus line so hard, and I was nearly set to pull the trigger. But almost too hard. I am aware that "Best Wildlife Cameras for 2021" is probably funded and paid by someone. But NOT ONE search will reveal any Olympus on a list. Not one.

It seems like any decent body is going to be $1000. And any lens with a length long enough to get me much use is going to be $1300 minimum. This about right?

Part of what intimidates me from the get go is all the Gook where I can't even get started. Mirrorless, Full Frame, APS-C crop???

My goal is maybe 8X10 for myself. Social Media. And images to share with friends of my back country travels and adventures. Think I've reached out to Wapiti in PM, who takes some amazing photos- and he tried to educate me a bit. Price tags always make me cringe, as this is not (maybe it will eventually get there tho) my main "hobby". Is it just the reality of the game that about $2500 is the opening price tag to take pics at distance?

Furthermore....I have the general concept of Fast Lenses and I am guessing it takes a ton more technology to make a fast one, cuz they're sure expensive. But I've read many times for wildlife.....it's a sound idea to build around a lens, rather than the other way.

I see deer, elk, owls, waterfowl, coyotes, eagles, etc daily around my home and my drive to and from work. I could have some great ops if I had a camera on my truck seat.

I have a ton more questions, but don't want to flood this with newb inquires.

But I'll take any guidance anyone will hand out. Is there a clear direction to go foremost? APS-C......Mirrorless....Full Frame?

Is a 300mm a minimum lens length to do much with? In reality......I am never closer than 50 yards from a subject. It's hard for me to NOT think in a rifle optic relation.....as 9X is pretty weak by today's standards. Is swinging for the fastest 400mm or equivalent the only real place to start?
 

Camera Land

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,092
Happy to help out. There are a lot of great options in your price range. Getting the maximum zoom and staying within your price range really means you should go with a crop sensor. The way the camera companies are developing product you should also go with a mirrorless camera. That being said a 600mm for a full frame camera for mirrorless without an adapter starts at $2000 for a Sony 200-600mm lens, before we apply the Rokslide discount. If you go crop sensor that drops to as little as $399.99 through this month for an Olympus 75-300 that acts like a 150-600mm lens. You can also go with the Tamron 150-600 that will work on the Canon R series with an adapter, as well as the Nikon Z series with an adapter or on a crop sensor Canon it will act like a 225-900mm. That lens is on rebate this month to $$1199.99. All these prices are before the Rokslide discount.

Yes, we promote Olympus. There is no better all weather system, best image stabilization, fastest focusing system on the market. Micro 4/3 since January has #1 market share in Japan. Their trends usually follow to the USA. Long Island has a huge birding community and they love the Olympus since the focus keeps up with the birds in flig-t, fastest moving animal in that case. Most crop sensor systems do not hve wqeatherproof lenses, standard- (mm in FF) lens is as are all the Olympus bodies from e-M5 Mk3 and up and stays well within your price range. You can go with the Canon M6 Mark2 kit and then add the 150-600 Tamron and the adapter and also be within your price range. Only thing weatherproof is the Tamron lens. You have to go to the Canon EOS R to get weatherproof and that with a lens and the 150-600 would be above the price range.

Feel free to call me with any questions

Joel
516-217-1000
 
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Jesse Jaymes

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
817
Location
Boundary Co. Idaho
When I purchase it will for sure be through CL....I just want to know the other options OTHER than Oly. Although I still keep coming back around that way when I put pen to paper and add things up.
 

Camera Land

Senior Member
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Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,092
If you answer these questions I can narrow things down for you

1. How important is weatherproof? This is huge as if it's a yes then crop sensor, other then Olympus is off the table and you can go full frame with a lot of choices.
2. Besides wildlife what type of photography will you be doing?
3. Since you said you may do 8x10 then crop sensor is more then enough as you can make 20x30 prints that look amazing
 

kpk

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
339
Location
MN
Replying on behalf of my coworker whom is quite an accomplished photographer....

He would like to know how much you plan to shoot at dawn/dusk (since you're talking wildlife I'm assuming quite a bit)

Is this going to be a truck camera, or a pack around the wilderness camera?

Budget?
 
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Jesse Jaymes

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
817
Location
Boundary Co. Idaho
Appreciate your time:

1. I live in a pretty shitty environment. Camera will ride in a back pack or on a truck seat. Possibly get stepped on by wet and stinky duck dogs. Will go to the marshes for Waterfowling often. So....Great?

2. 95% critters. No birthdays. No vlog.

3. I think most Dudes always wanna start off with "Give me the best". Who says they need LESS anymore? I've made 3 large (16X24) canvas prints in my life. That was with 12 mpxl in 2014. I'd guess any modern camera enough

That $2500 was me thinking $1000 Oly 5 Mk 3 with a $1500 100-400mm. I can't afford that. Or you'd really have to throw me the sales pitch and tell me anything less is garbage. $1500 is more pull the trigger today range. $1800 is a maybe. I simply don't have it today.

Watch a TON of Oly YT comparisons. Was going to contact you and see if any OM-1 Mark 2 were still rolling around, and your thoughts on that paired with something vs a 5 Mark 3.

But wanted to know all my similar options, or that there are none.

Canon such a HUGE name and they're everywhere. Didn't know if there is anything or combos in that line that would fill the bill? I simply cannot keep up or get educated fast enough to know every designator for every line between Nikon, Canon, Pana, Oly etc. When it's your Daily....I am sure you know which bodies are mirrorless, APS-C etc. To me....that's an entire evenings' research to get nowhere.
 
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Jesse Jaymes

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
817
Location
Boundary Co. Idaho
Yes, most of the cool stuff I encounter is at sun up or set. Other than waterfowl...nothing is good light, middle of the day.

But, I am guessing this is the challenge of Photography. And the reason 2.8 lenses are important and so fuggin expensive.
 

kpk

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
339
Location
MN
My coworker may not be of much help to you.

His first suggestion was a Nikon D500 with 500mm PF lens. That set-up is around $5k. His other suggestions went up in price from there.
 

Camera Land

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Jan 13, 2017
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1,092
Why don't you give me a call to discuss. I am on zoom meetings today until 4:45. I am here until 5:45. Tomorrow I am here from 9-5:30

Joel
516-217-1000
 
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Jesse Jaymes

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Messages
817
Location
Boundary Co. Idaho
Oly OM-D M1 Mk II with a 14-150 for now. And I'll swing for the fence and scoop a 100-400m if I do OK on Income Tax. Never even smelled a Stimulus check....

Joel and I Pro and Con'd the M5 III vs the M1 II for a bit and he was able to find a remaining M1 Mk II body for me.
 

dduarte85

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
38
In 2021 it’s very hard to find a bad camera... seriously, it’s a great time to be working. I’d say pay attention to KEH.com and go used. They’re one of the best second hand retailers and offer a good 14 day no questions asked return policy and a 6month warranty. They also are very conservative in their condition rating.

I’d say go cropped if your largest desired print is 8x10. You can then utilize the 1.5/1.6x crop to get more reach on lenses.

if you want we can chat sometime, I teach photo full time.

BBA9303C-2FD4-44DC-A8E1-B40F0FA535D6.jpeg
 

dduarte85

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
38
Oly OM-D M1 Mk II with a 14-150 for now. And I'll swing for the fence and scoop a 100-400m if I do OK on Income Tax. Never even smelled a Stimulus check....

Joel and I Pro and Con'd the M5 III vs the M1 II for a bit and he was able to find a remaining M1 Mk II body for me.
Whoops, missed this.
 
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