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Craving A New Camera

June 14th, 2022

Over the past 3-4 years I’ve rarely picked up my DSLR camera. I kinda lost my passion for photography and defaulted to using my iPhone to take photos. It actually does a great job for closeups and wide angle shots, but where if falls short is wildlife photography. You need an actual camera with a long telephoto lens for that.

With my growing interest in birding this year, I’m feeling unfulfilled with my camera equipment. My DSRL is 14 years old and my newest/largest telephoto lens is 7 years old and not the best piece of glass. I think it’s time to upgrade to something more robust. Cameras have come a long way and I’ve been drooling over the idea of having more than 9 auto-focus points. The newer Canons have an animal tracking feature that would really be helpful as well.

Here’s the problem – I don’t even know whether I should stick to DSLR or go for the newer mirrorless cameras which are quieter, but go through batteries far quicker. The shutter on my current camera scares the hummingbirds so a mirrorless camera is tempting, but I’d need to buy an adapter if I want to still make use of my current lenses. That’s assuming I stick with Canon and don’t move to an entirely different system. It also doesn’t solve the issue that I want a better telephoto lens anyway.

On top of that, there are too many choices! Canon’s site alone lists too many camera bodies and even when comparing them I’m having a hard time figuring out the differences that would matter to me. I’ve been perusing DP Review but it’s not been helping much. Information overload!

Another problem is I don’t want to spend a lot of money. The older I get, the harder it is to spend money. Which is ironic, because thanks to saving & investing, we have more money now than we did back when I was buying $1000+ cameras every few years. To get the kind of shots I crave, I’d probably have to spend $4000 between a camera body, high quality telephoto lens (the ones I’m interested in are in the $2000 range), and a better tripod. I could save money buying used, but even then I’d still be looking at $1000 or more depending on the lens.

Another drawback besides money is the big lenses are heavy! Like 4 lbs before you even add the camera. It can get annoying real quick.

I feel like I’m at an impasse here. I’d like to visit a camera shop to take a look at inventory in person, and speak to an expert who might be able to steer me in the right direction, but the local ones have very limited hours. I wish they were open on the weekends since Joe is at work during the week. One shop in particular even lets you rent cameras and lenses, and while it’s not cheap, it could potentially save me money if I were to find out I didn’t like something before investing in it.

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