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Short answer: You need a DSLR and a telephoto lens.

Longer answer: Get the best gear you can afford. Nikon and Canon both make good consumer DSLRs. The crop sensor cameras are great for horses because they extend the reach of your lenses. Cameras like the Nikon D300 and Canon 50D are great horse cameras. They have excellent focus and metering systems and no troublesome shutter lag. The Nikon D90 and Canon Rebel are also good cameras and will get the job done for a little less money.

Invest in your lenses first. Your lenses are more important than your camera body. Get the best lenses you can afford. As a matter of fact, get the best lenses you can't quite afford. The pro glass is definitely worth the money.

The 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom is the workhorse lens of equine photographers. You can also use a 70-200mm f/4 lens or a 70-300mm lens. Nikon makes an 18-200 and Canon has a 28-200 that will work too. If you are serious about horse photography you will wind up with a 70-200mm f/2.8 eventually so if you can swing it just buy it now and save yourself the time and money.

Canon's Image Stabilization (IS) and Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR) will allow you to handhold your camera at slower shutter speeds. Yes, the IS/VR is well worth the extra money.



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