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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:55 pm 
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I have been reading and reading and now I am not sure what DSLR camera I should try. I have built many point and shoot cams and wanna try a DSLR. Give me some options and a short reason why. I don’t wanna sell the farm so to speak but I want good quality. I have to start somewhere and research is ongoing .. but would like to start searching for a camera.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:35 pm 
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Check out some of the early Canon Rebel series cameras. The XSi was the first that utilized a SD card as opposed to the CF card. They have a great sleep mode and are easy to interface with Nikon manual flashes. I did a quick check of eBay and there are many going for quite a bit less than $100. There is a wide range of lenses available from Canon and the aftermarket. Interfacing the camera with a controller is simple as the XSi uses a 2.5mm stereo plug. The first of the Rebel series did not have a remote jack.

The early entry level DSLR from Nikon would be the D3100. It also makes a good camera trap camera. The first of this series, the D3000 did not have a remote jack and the latest model, the D3400 and D3500 also do not have remote jacks.

Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:46 pm 
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I second the d3100 or d5100 Nikons, great little cameras. For more weather proofing the d7000 was something used for astrophotos before upgraded to d7100.

D3000 series with sub 50k shutter come up a lot as do d5000 series but as Jeff points out newer 3400 & 3500 are no good for cable shutter release.

D7000 series have better weather sealing but if you trust enclosure no worries. 7000 series can also use older lenses as autofocus, but this may be moot point.

One thing I have found is that Canons can often get accessories and cameras a little cheaper, but personal preference is for Nikon. Either brand should give good results though.

An example from UK
D3100 £70
Af-s 18-55mm f3.5 - 4.5g dx lens £50
Nikon sb-80dx flash £50

Then just the pir, if you want wireless and enclosure build cost. Am sure with a bigger marketplace you could chip those costs down a bit.

Just remember with dslr the lens is as important if not more so than the body it is on. Great sensor + cheap glass = pia.
Good glass + cheap sensor gives better result.

Good luck and be careful of the dslr bug - now have a few builds on the go


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:20 pm 
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I’m Interested in this topic as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:21 pm 
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I am partial to the nikon d3200 and d3200 models. The have been solid performers for me. More expensive is the sony a7iii. It has produced some fine images but is very expensive.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:50 am 
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I’d have to agree the Nikon D3300 is about the best of the bunch s/h on the cost / performance scale. Importantly it has a (still) near state of the art 24MP sensor (as was used Nikon’s higher end DX bodies) in a small compact body plus all the necessary controls / connections for trapping. If you can find a late model it came with a 18-55mm AF-P lens which punches well above any similar kit lens. Only downside is that the shutter is a bit noisy compared with larger DSLR bodies and takes a bit of work to muffle in a box for skittish subjects.

As others have noted, the later model bodies had the remote control sockets removed so are useless for trapping.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:31 am 
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The D3300 is one of my favorites for entry level camera trapping. Image quality is very good and there are many good choices for lenses. The 18-55mm AF-P lens is very good. Tip....if you purchase a early model D3300 the AF-P lens will not work without a simple firmware update from the Nikon web site.

I like to use lenses that do not vary in length when adjusting the focal length. Nikon makes a couple along with some aftermarket companies.

To help reduce the shutter noise you can use the "pick-n-pluck" foam to ensure no part of the camera body or lens makes contact with the housing. It won't completely eliminate the shutter click but it will be muffled and not amplified as when the camera is attached to the housing.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:08 pm 
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Does anyone use the battery grips with any of these cameras that have been suggested in this post to allow for longer duration in the field ?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:00 pm 
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How much longer do you need? Unless you're working with external battery packs for your sensor and flashes, I don't think the camera battery will be the limiting factor. A battery grip seems overkill if you're planning on leaving the camera in the field for ±8 weeks at the time. But maybe you're have some long term plans?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:28 pm 
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Mattie wrote:
How much longer do you need? Unless you're working with external battery packs for your sensor and flashes, I don't think the camera battery will be the limiting factor. A battery grip seems overkill if you're planning on leaving the camera in the field for ±8 weeks at the time. But maybe you're have some long term plans?


I have never made a DSLR build yet so am not sure if the limiting factor will be the flashes and or the camera. So if the flashes only last a month then I would not bother as most say the camera will last that long or longer as it is. I don’t know how long the SB-28 flashes will last neither so I asked about the camera and battery grip. I wont buy a grip if people say it’s not needed. I just don’t know and was hoping to get some feedback ...

But the forums have slowed down not only for point and shoot builds but also for DSLR.

Thanks for your reply Mattie .. I really appreciate it.


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