Some notes on digital still cameras for bird photography: Part 1

To: "Robert Inglis" <>, <>
Subject: Some notes on digital still cameras for bird photography: Part 1
From: "Trevor Quested" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 07:39:13 +1000
Robert has touched on a subject I am very interested in at the moment.
There is a very good web site called Nature Photographers online at where one can click on the
avian section and see the finest digital photography form the most expensive
cameras resting on the most stable tripods with the largest flash guns blah
blah blah.

The question one has to ask oneself is how much dough are you going to
spend?  If you buy from the internet with our Aussie dollar sneaking up a
bit lately, quite a lot of money can be saved.  In my opinion one needs a
longer lens than a 400mm (which I have) and one has to be either a
birdwatcher or a bird photographer.  I refuse to stop birding and spend the

Small digital cameras are amazing for plant macro photography but quite
ordinary for bird photography as they are about 80mm equivalent with their
lens length.  All of the big manufacturers have quite large lenses on their
latest digital cameras.  Nikon is up to 280mm on the latest 5700.  It may be
great for boat trips and for full frame large birds but for small passerines
forget it.  You may get one or two friendly species but mostly they will be
too far away.

Digital is great for putting your pictures on a computer.  I have a Nikon
Coolscan 2000 to scan my slides or negatives but they never come up to the
standard of the original slide.  I think the day when all birds are
photographed with a SLR digital camera is not to far off though and I thank
Robert for raising the discussion.

Trevor Quested

Sydney, Australia

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