RFI: new camera birding tips!


My dad passed his Canon EOS rebel T5 on to me for Christmas this year! I know it’s not the ideal wildlife cam, but I want to make the most of it on a budget. After reading the discouraging reviews, I was glad at least to find someone sharing their bird photo with this model camera. The photos I’ve found widely range in quality, I’m sure dependent on a number of factors. For example, this isn’t the best quality photo of this oriole spp., but it gave me a little hope to still capture my cool sightings. It’s pretty portable to take on trips. After all, it will be much better than what I have with just an iPhone, and I’ve pushed that as far as I can for years now! I am re-energized about this process after joining some photography groups. I have already gotten some answers to my beginner questions. It gives me renewed hope about what I’ll be able to do.


The best lens it comes with is the 75-300mm (again, I know not highly recommended for birds) but being a beginner, I want to get started with something relatively simple. In general, this type of lens should be at least decent for wildlife photography, but forum comments are generally down on that make/model. Here is a photo taken with the same model camera and lens! Likewise, it was especially encouraging to find these series with the same kit I have:

Yet again, though, I was happy to find some examples from different lenses on Facebook:

Below are all nice photos with lenses that would be a few hundred bucks investment:

Anyway, I was disheartened by Google searching and basically finding almost everyone saying that one needs to spend a few hundred bucks (and that’s the absolute bare minimum I could find suggested, most were $650+) to make it worthwhile. I did find some more encouraging chatter on birding groups. I’m no stranger to expensive optics, and I am looking into a scope adapter, though for the record I was discouraged from that route too. However, that’s starting to look like my best gateway option before buying an expensive lens. Anyway, I’m in a bit of weird spot because I’m excited to take up a new hobby but feeling a cost and experience barrier to getting started and joining the conversation.

Note to self: bookmark this feeling for the next time I see discussion where a new birder is looking for binocular advice…

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