Another camera advice thread

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  • ILoveThrashMetal 14 Apr 2013 16:21:41 654 posts
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    Getting married in June and I'm looking for a new camera for our honeymoon in Cornwall.
    I've owned your bog standard digi cams before and have always been less than impressed with the quality of the pictures.
    So was thinking about dslr.
    I've got a budget of about 300
    I've been looking at the canon eos 1100d so far but if anyone has any other suggestions I would be grateful.

    Arsechickens

  • superdelphinus 14 Apr 2013 16:28:27 8,016 posts
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    550d - anything since then has been incremental, superficial updates (i have the 600d). I don't know how much they are though, and don't know anything about Nikon really
  • skuzzbag 14 Apr 2013 16:28:29 5,636 posts
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    Should do you ok . I have seen some very impressive photos using the canon 18-55 mkii lens. Just bear in mind though that you need to get into digital processing to really see the best from the camera. Using the green square auto mode and jpgs won't result in shots much better than a decent compact.

    DSLRs are all about options and you get a better chance at good images if you pair it with a decent lens.
  • ILoveThrashMetal 14 Apr 2013 16:32:42 654 posts
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    Cool, thank you chaps, I shall see where I can get one for a good price.

    Arsechickens

  • Lukus 14 Apr 2013 16:34:30 18,996 posts
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    I think for 300 you're probably better off sticking with a compact. In which case I'd go for either a Fuji X20 or a Canon Powershot G15. With the former you'd have to up your budget a bit. Both will be a big increase on bog standard.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • ILoveThrashMetal 14 Apr 2013 16:42:02 654 posts
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    What are sony like?
    Mate just sent me this link http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=190822495397&index=7&nav=SEARCH&nid=17311170915

    Arsechickens

  • mal 15 Apr 2013 00:50:51 22,332 posts
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    Until recently, Sonys were largely rebranded Minoltas, and that camera's a case in point. Thanfully, Minolta made pretty damn good cameras. Only real downside with the A390 I can see is the old CCD sensor, which'll mean rubbish high ISO shots, but as long as you're happy lugging that flash around that shouldn't be a problem. Feature-wise it was a bit dated when it came out with no video, but it's still a solid stills camera.

    No idea about the quality of those lenses, but you've got your bases covered with those ranges.

    Edited by mal at 00:51:08 15-04-2013

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • boo 29 May 2013 13:29:09 11,703 posts
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    Currently using a Canon EOS 450D. I was at a work event the other day, and got chatting to the pro photographer who does a lot of our in house work. I asked him how he was taking informal portraits of people as they stood up to speak, in what was fairly low light, without a flash.

    Basically he said, use a very low f stop, and asked what kit I was using. I told him, and in the politest possible terms, he said that it was a bit old (I bought it about 4 years ago), and modern stuff would give better results.

    So on the off-chance that I'm able to upgrade, anybody got any recommendations?

    It would need to be a Canon, probably body only, and a step up from what I've got now, but nothing mental like a 5D. I don't have either the cash or the talent to warrant that!

    I guess I'm looking at the 60D / 700D sort of market.

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • crisotunity 30 May 2013 17:08:44 149 posts
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    @boo I shoot Canon and I think there are some nice and inexpensive options if you are willing to look for 2nd hand. If you are based in London, there are some good dealers offering decent service and warranties (Aperture, Fixation and Camera World). Also, have a look at www.mpbphotographic.co.uk - I have bought a couple of things from them and they are reliable.

    I surmise you want to shoot events, but you need to be clearer how you're going to use the camera (eg will you be shooting outdoors and value body robustness, etc). The 5D classic (ie the one without video) is good and affordable; the 550D is also very good. But, most importantly, get some decent lenses. No need to bankrupt yourself (the 40mm 2.8 is lovely); alongside a 70-200 f4 (no need for IS - it's almost twice the price), you can have a very capable system for not a lot of money.
  • TheRealBadabing 15 Aug 2013 11:26:29 1,279 posts
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    A while ago I had to sell all my photography kit to pay for some house repairs. Been making do with my Olympus TG820 but am now in a position where I can get my foot back in the door of proper cameras.

    I have one big choice to make: either an Olympus XZ-2 or an entry-level DSLR (D3200/A58/K-r). I have to consider that it will be some time before I can afford any extra lenses so it will be a basic 18-55. Have to make the right decision because we can't afford to chop and change.

    My indecision stems from the quality of optics on the XZ-2. The lens stays crazy-bright right out to maximum zoom, whereas the SLR kits stop down much more. Looking at samples, even with the smaller sensor the Olympus gives great images up to ISO 400. I believe the bigger cameras would have to use ISO 1600 to achieve the same shutter speed. To my eye the quality is comparable, especially considering the most I would ever do is print at A4.

    Autofocus accuracy/tracking is another issue, along with burst modes etc. Even though the XZ-2 is quick, I expect much more confident focusing with an SLR. Viewfinders are incredibly cool too.

    Size isn't really a problem. If we are going out I will either take the camera or not, remembering is a bigger issue than carrying.

    TL;DR - Can someone give me a compelling reason to choose an entry-level DSLR over a good high-end compact?
  • kalel 15 Aug 2013 11:31:32 86,261 posts
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    Even a kit lens on an entry level DSLR will give you superior quality and control over the best compact, and you'll create a base for future expansion and flexibility.

    I think you know this though.
  • UncleLou Moderator 15 Aug 2013 11:41:45 35,421 posts
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    I wouldn't call the Olympus XZ-2 a high-end compact, but if that's your definition, then I agree with kalel.

    But I'd get a "serious compact"* like the Ricoh GR, Fuji X100, etc. over an entry-level DLSR (if in the budget).


    *as defined by the website of the same name

    Edited by UncleLou at 11:43:13 15-08-2013
  • kalel 15 Aug 2013 12:00:30 86,261 posts
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    I don't know about the Ricoh GR, but the X100 is just something else again. It's really no replacement for a compact, particularly as he's fretting about lenses.
  • TheRealBadabing 15 Aug 2013 12:15:33 1,279 posts
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    Fretting is probably a bit strong but as I will be stuck with a kit lens it is certainly a factor. Would go for a X100 in a heartbeat if I could afford it.

    The introduction of the X100 really mucked up the categories for compacts, didn't it :)

    I do think the XZ-2 would give me "good enough" images but it would always be at the back of my mind that I could have had even better (and a viewfinder). Veering towards a DSLR at the moment, would be nice to let my daughter use a "proper" camera too.
  • monkman76 15 Aug 2013 12:15:36 3,923 posts
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    "Autofocus accuracy/tracking is another issue" - probably rules out the X100, firmware improvements notwithstanding.

    Given that size isn't an issue, I can't imagine why you wouldn't go for a decent budget DLSR.
  • AaronTurner 15 Aug 2013 12:28:56 7,591 posts
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    Sony NEX 3 is about your budget and has fantastic image quality.
  • AaronTurner 15 Aug 2013 12:30:51 7,591 posts
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    I just read the first post but I guess the opinion still stands...
  • kalel 15 Aug 2013 12:31:36 86,261 posts
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    Kit lenses are still good lenses. I'm yet to come across a compact that has a better lens than even the most basic DSLR lens (not including things like the X100).
  • ram 15 Aug 2013 13:06:08 3,471 posts
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    Try the canon EOS M compact camera. It's got a 18-55mm IS lens.

    Ken Rockwell loves it...

    "This Canon EF-M 18-55 IS STM is the best 18-55mm lens I've tested for Canon. This makes perfect sense because the EF-M format allows the lens designers the freedom to place the rear elements much closer to the sensor than the EF-S lenses which have to be designed around avoiding the flipping mirror of DSLRs"
  • monkman76 15 Aug 2013 13:08:52 3,923 posts
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    I think his issue with kit lenses is that they are fairly dark at the long end (f5.6 usually) while the XZ-2 is f2.5 even at 112mm equivalent (thanks google).

    Of course this would be counteracted by the larger sensor in a DSLR both in terms of image quality (higher usable ISOs) and depth of field control.
  • wobbly_Bob 15 Aug 2013 13:35:06 1,617 posts
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    My very general camera advice to anybody would be the same as my pc buying advice or guitar buying advice or car buying advice. Buy only based on your need. Fir example don't buy a 1000+ pc if all you want to do is facebook/web/email. It's the same with a camera.

    SLRs are big and bulky and really you need to post process and be prepared to lug lenses around and also change them to suit your needs. If all you want to do is take snapshots then buy a compact point and shoot.

    Also, advice I never see given is forget the equipment. It's the photographer not the camera. Poorly composed, badly focused, poor exposed shots are down to you and tech won't help. Find a basic website or book and learn how to take photos it will help you get great shots way more than any expensive camera or lens.
  • monkman76 15 Aug 2013 13:45:51 3,923 posts
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    All valid points Bob, but in fairness to TheRealBadabing I think he knows what he's doing. He used to own a load of decent kit and is a regular in the photography threads. I personally think a compact might not be enough camera in this case.
  • kalel 15 Aug 2013 14:02:43 86,261 posts
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    It's bollocks that you need to post process with an SLR. You can switch it to JPEG mode and then it's identical to a compact, except it probably does a better job of self-processing and compressing.
  • wobbly_Bob 15 Aug 2013 20:33:24 1,617 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    All valid points Bob, but in fairness to TheRealBadabing I think he knows what he's doing. He used to own a load of decent kit and is a regular in the photography threads. I personally think a compact might not be enough camera in this case.
    - yeah :) it wasn't aimed at him, or anybody, just general advice for anybody reading and thinking of getting a camera.
  • wobbly_Bob 15 Aug 2013 20:45:42 1,617 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    It's bollocks that you need to post process with an SLR. You can switch it to JPEG mode and then it's identical to a compact, except it probably does a better job of self-processing and compressing.
    You can shoot n JPEG but what would be the point in owning a huge expensive camera? When you shoot in JPEG the chip on the camera is taking the unprocessed image and processing it for you. When you shoot in Raw with an SLR the image is unprocessed so you have the freedom and skill to bring out the best in an image. A small chip is no match for your brain. Also an SLR generally is does a worse job of processing an image because they are set up with a more advanced user in mind.

    Sure you could shoot in auto or semi auto in JPEG but you just got a really expensive huge bulky camera with interchangeable lenses which also need lugging around, what's the point? It's like buying a high power sports car to pootle to the shops in, a 1000 going rib to Facebook with. Sure you can but it's a waste of money.
  • TheRealBadabing 15 Aug 2013 21:44:19 1,279 posts
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    Funnily enough, one of the reasons I was/am considering the XZ-2 is just that wobby_Bob - when I owned various Olympus cameras (PENs and the XZ-1)I could never get the RAW files to look as good as the out-of-camera jpegs. Olympus have some sort of magic pixie dust in their kit that produces colours I love.

    Nikons, Canons and especially Sonys seemed to require at least some batch processing in Lightroom to bring out the same effect, so for a while I shot RAW+JPG and archived the RAW files. Turned out a bit of a waste of time for my uses so I ended up just shooting jpegs and doing what little extras to the shots I really wanted to print or generally show off. The chipsets might not be as good as an expert but they were much more capable than my efforts.

    So while it was very kind of monkman76 to say I know what I am doing I am in no way as knowledgeable as many on this forum. I tend to find what works 90% of the time and stick with that workflow. I think lazy is the word :)
  • Nth 16 Aug 2013 16:39:52 3,118 posts
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    Original Sony RX100 is now about 400. Much bigger sensor than normal compacts.
  • kalel 16 Aug 2013 17:10:54 86,261 posts
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    wobbly_Bob wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    It's bollocks that you need to post process with an SLR. You can switch it to JPEG mode and then it's identical to a compact, except it probably does a better job of self-processing and compressing.
    You can shoot n JPEG but what would be the point in owning a huge expensive camera? When you shoot in JPEG the chip on the camera is taking the unprocessed image and processing it for you. When you shoot in Raw with an SLR the image is unprocessed so you have the freedom and skill to bring out the best in an image. A small chip is no match for your brain. Also an SLR generally is does a worse job of processing an image because they are set up with a more advanced user in mind.

    Sure you could shoot in auto or semi auto in JPEG but you just got a really expensive huge bulky camera with interchangeable lenses which also need lugging around, what's the point? It's like buying a high power sports car to pootle to the shops in, a 1000 going rib to Facebook with. Sure you can but it's a waste of money.
    You said with a DSLR you have to post process so he should get a compact. Again, that's bollocks.

    And it's not a waste of money because the whole point is you give yourself the option, as well as many other more options. SLRs are about flexibility and choice. Again, an SLR will end up with better quality Jpegs than a compact, that's not to say its as good as processing raw but again you have e choice. You can even set it to take raw and Jpegs.

    The analogy about using a sports car to go to the shops is just nonsense.
  • Chopsen 16 Aug 2013 18:25:52 15,702 posts
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    But sometimes a compact *is* the best solution. I went to uni with someone who apparently insisted on taking her SLR to every night out she went to. It made her look like an idiot. And they are a complete faff to carry around.
  • Deleted user 16 August 2013 18:28:51
    A compact is better for some situations, like when you're in the middle of a crowd but mobile phones aren't that much worse than them for that.

    You're better off just saving for the better DSLR and lenses and use your phone in the meantime.
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