Camera suggestions

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by storie, May 22, 2021.

  1. Thank you you are the third person to mention the D200 or D300. Clearly a well loved camera. I definitely want to invest in a tripod as well. Yes I try to be mobile but I get myself into situations. For instance yesterday I attempted a rather easy trail but after pulling myself up a very steep muddy embankment I realized This was not the trail and I was blocked by rather excessively large boulders. I briefly considered climbing down the bolder but ended up deciding on the wiser course of very slowly making my way back down the extremely steep muddy embankment. I then a attempted to take the actual trail (up the little man made stairs lol don’t know how I missed seeing those) but this involved stepping on some stones across a little creek water and a nice gentleman with some small children stopped me from stepping on a copperhead. At that point I headed back the way I had come. I should probably stick to more easily accessible spots. But also I probably won’t. Lol. So I probably need some light portable gear and also a tripod for when I realize it is not wise to risk copperhead bite or falling off a cliff to get closer.
  2. Definitely look at a used mirrorless body.

    For your budget, you'll be able to get something perfectly capable and a couple of lenses.

    Olympus E-M5 - rugged, huge range of affordable lenses, the 40-150 'kit' lens will get you reach on the cheap and is a good performer, weighs nothing, size of a coke can. Loads of wide angles to choose from. Good in body stabilisation. I personally use an E-PM1, normally with the 17mm f2.8 pancake, fits in my coat pocket, not as capable as the E-M5, but tiny.

    Fuji - X-T1 or, maybe X-T2, lenses are slightly more expensive, worth keeping in mind that the Fuji system tends to favour prime lenses over zooms. I use an X-T2 with a trio of 23/35/50 (35/50/75 equivalent) as my main camera.

    Sony, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, lots of options.

    Most better mirrorless will give you a lovely big viewfinder.
  3. Yeah! My professional works are done with the phone (very lousy pictures any way but it's my job) and I never do any professional work with my DSLR.
  4. If mirrorless, i would not go down the micro 4/3 route.
    The sensor really is too small. The choice of lenses is not that great, and they are expensive. ("Loads of wide angles to choose from"? On the contrary! A "40-150 mm kit lens" is a short to medium long tele (!) zoom. Rather limiting as a kit lens. 25 mm is 'standard'. 12 mm is equivalent to a 24 mm wide on 35 mm format. Wider lenses exist, but only a few, and these are expensive!)
    So are the cameras: the money you will have to put down for above mentioned 16 mp Olympus will also buy a Nikon 24 mp Z6 with full frame sensor. I'd go with that Nikon any day.
    (FYI: i own and use a 22 mp M43 Olympus Pen F. Fun, but not my go-to camera.)
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  5. Wow I didn’t realize until I started research the level of controversy out there. Who knew? Well no one can say artists are not passionate! Lol. I looked a little on the depth of field difference. I mostly noticed a difference when you would want a short dof. But I shoot a lot of landscapes where I usually want a longer dof. I am not sure for me that will be as much of a factor as other things and I do keep coming back to the Olympus, even before I asked the question in the forum. However, I do need to look more into the lenses and the Nikon Zs that were mentioned. For me the quality of the IBIS will be a big factor as I tend to take handheld shots when I should be using a tripod. I appreciate all the advice as it is helping me narrow down what really is a concern for me and bringing up things I need to research that I didn’t even no might be a factor.
  6. Sorry, I shouldn't post while tired, my meaning was not clear.

    Of course the 40-150 is a mid to long tele (80-300), my point was that it gives good reach for a tiny outlay, weighs next to nothing and performs surprisingly well.

    I just put together a fantasy 'kit' (used) on, Oly E-M5 body, 12-40mm f2.8, 40-150mm f4-5.6, came to €850, leaving breathing room in the notional 1000 budget (in $, I think) to either upgrade the body to an E-M5ii or add another lens. Or, of course, you could choose a cheaper main lens than the f2.8 zoom.

    Please, please show me where I can buy a Nikon Z6 for the price of a used Oly E-M5, that would be a steal!
  7. I bought a used Sony A6000 while 'experimenting' with the world of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. It's a more than capable camera and quite honestly will deliver pictures that are just as good as the A7Riv that I eventually splashed out on.

    Of course, if I pixel peep or push the ISO to crazy levels, then the A7Riv delivers far more detail, but it requires an exceptional lens to do that, and the total cost increases almost exponentially.

    That little and 'outdated' a6000 will easily beat any modern phone camera or point'n'shoot for versatility and image quality. So you don't have to spend big to get a camera better than what you already have, but the lenses you attach to it are at least as important as the camera body, if not more so.

    So. "What lens(es) should you get?" is more the question you should be asking, and that's much more difficult to answer.
  8. So how much did you pay for the A6000?
  9. Lots of good, some excellent, suggestions here.

    In the end you, yourself, will need to decide if you want to go to a given class of cameras. They all work, and I would only recommend that if you go to the new mirrorless digitals, you wait to concern yourself with backward compatibility, and simply get a wide-to-modest telephoto lens made particularly for the camera you get. Don't complicate things with the minutiae of conversions, etc. Later on, if you still want to, you can exploit older lenses you take a fancy to.
    don_essedi likes this.
  10. In the US, I'd expect to pay somewhere between $400 and $500 for the body only (used, of course). Sometimes, some can be found for less.

    Herein lies the crux of the issue - good lenses tend to cost more than the OP's budget allows for. A A6000 with the 16-70/4 should come in just over $1k. Probably not a good choice for the OP though - the camera lacks IBIS. And if Olympus m4/3 cameras excel at one thing - then it is their IBIS capabilities (requires the correct body and lens though).
    If you indeed consider Nikon DSLR, don't go older than the D7x00 series. A D7200 would be ideal, but a D7100 would do (despite the small memory buffer that gets in the way when shooting bursts). A D7000 can be had at bargain prices nowadays - though whether 16MP are sufficient is up for the OP to decide. A 18-140 VR IMHO makes for a good starter lens (definitely the best of the various kit lenses) - it can be augmented later by the inexpensive AF-P 10-20 (make sure to pick a camera body that can deal with AF-P lenses and also has the means to turn their VR off) and AF-P 70-300 VR.

    Nikon currently has a sale on a refurbished Z50 with two lenses (16-50 and 50-250) - $999. New the same combo is also on sale - $1200. Might be the most forward-looking purchase option.
  11. $400 to $500 for the A6000 body used I think the camera is holding it value very well.
  12. I can't remember the exact amount, but around £200 with kit 16-50mm lens (not very good, BTW). Plus another £40 for a couple of lens adapters to Nikon and M42.

    I had some fun 'playing' with it and finding out if I could live with Sony's reputedly 'awful' menu interface. It turned out to be not so awful at all.

    The camera now almost permanently resides on my film-copying rig, and works extremely well there.

    However, I agree that a Nikon D7200 with 18-140mm lens probably represents better value for money. But if you can live with a smaller zoom range, Tamron's SP 17-50mm f/2.8 lens has much better image quality and a constant maximum aperture.
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  13. Very late to this thread but FWIW, I agree with most of the above. Although IHMO mirrorless cameras are the current and future trend, I doubt whether DSLRs are going away anytime soon. I do expect manufacturers to focus their current and future investments on mirrorless systems.

    As previously stated, you can pick up a better quality semi-professional DSLR - and even lenses - more cheaply than a mirrorless system. For the past 10 years or so, DSLR sensor sizes have been around 20 Mega-pixels and upwards. You don't usually need this size for printing but it gives you plenty of room for cropping.

    To me, 'landscapes' usually mean relatively wide-angle lenses while 'nature' could mean different things; close-ups of flowers, insects, etc. or wild birds, animals, etc.. Photos of wild birds and animals often require a 'long' telephoto lens.Think 400mm as a minimum, extended to 600mm or more, A useful intermediate zoom (close-ups of birds, animals, and people in closer proximity is 200mm).

    There are many 'prime lens purists' and - although I have a few prime lenses - my main lenses are zoom lenses: an almost wide-angle to mid-range (24mm -70mm) lens and a 'close-up' ( lens (70mm - 200mm). I also have a 400mm prime 'nature lens 'that I can extend to 600mm.

    I can take photos of 'flowers & insects' with any of these lenses though I'd probably use a special macro lens.

    .Bottom line: a set of lenses that enable you to take the kind of photos you aspire to may well cost you more than the camera 'body'. My advice is therefore to shop around for lenses that meet your needs and take this into consideration when buying a camera.

  14. "..the Nikon’s ISO 64 setting, which allows it to capture 2/3EV* more light than most of its peers, gives it an edge in terms of image quality. The additional light gives improved tonal quality in addition to its excellent dynamic range."

    So, if I add a 6 stop ND filter to my 'less worthy' Sony A7Riv, allowing it to, apparently, capture 6 stops more light; that automatically makes it a better camera??

    If that nonsense is an example of the reviewer's technical knowledge, then that camera selection isn't worth a pinch of salt!

    *And ISO 64 is only 1/3rd EV less sensitive than the usual 100 base ISO of most cameras.
  15. Joe, I believe it is 2/3 stops. 100-80-64-50 1/3 less would be ISO 80. ISO stops - Bing images

    Adding a ND filter reduces the amount of light the camera captures. Plus, I think the point about ISO64, is that circuits require less amplification the lower the ISO. This reduces distortion of the signals. Hence, their claim for better tonal capture. That's why photographers are recommended to use the lowest ISO available for the camera for the cleanest capture. So ISO 64 theoretically would do better than the standard ISO 100 in other cameras. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. I have no idea if this Nikon is as great as they say it is.

    DPR does a pretty good job reviewing cameras. I've been following them for years. Of course, nothing's perfect. Everyone has an opinion.
    q.g._de_bakker likes this.
  16. Storie,
    without reading all the comments, I can say my experience with the Olympus OMD EM! (1st gen) mirrorless has been fun. Although it's not a simple camera by any means, it Makes great images and with the Olympus mirrorless system, the lens choices are quite numerous- as you may use lenses from either Olympus or Panasonic/Lumix. SO there are many many lenses to choose and use. The top-end Olympus glass is superb, if not expensive, and Panasonic has more than a couple lenses that are really nice.

    A mirrorless (and any other camera too) may be gotten used at a decent price, which might gain you some $$ to put into a good lens to get you going. The Olympus Pro 12/40mm lens is fabulous, for example. A good less expensive prime is the Lumix 20mm f1.7 Aspherical II.

    Just some thoughts to add to the considerable pile of accumulated info here. Apologies if any of this is redundant.
    steve_gallimore|1 likes this.
  17. No one has mentioned my camera yet, and so much of an equipment choice depends on what you see around you, and want to photograph. Some people enjoy leaving the house with a bag of lenses and adapters, filters etc., but I'd rather learn one thing very well - Not yet, but fun trying.
    I went very simple and what some might consider limited, a Fuji X100T mirrorless. Fixed 23mm lens, lots of Jpg sims etc - I shoot only Raw though.
    Unless your photography requires various lenses, I'd give it a look.
  18. Have you considered something like the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000? Can definitely get 'professional' looking photos with it, and it offers extraordinary flexibility.
    tcyin likes this.
  19. Yes, correct. I had a 'brain fart' and was thinking of the usual ISO options below base, which usually only offer 64 and 50. With 80 ISO barely being discernably different from 100 in terms of practical use.

    However, the statement that 64 ISO 'allows it to capture more light' is just nonsense. As you say, a lower ISO or adding an ND filter actually captures less light. And when followed by vague references to an undefined improvement in 'tonal quality', it makes even less sense.

    Many cameras offer ISO options lower than the base ISO of the sensor, but these usually result in a slightly lower image quality, rather than greater.
    It's less about distortion and more about noise - all sensor signals are deliberately 'distorted' by the addition of a tone curve anyway.

    Whether the theoretical lower S/N ratio of a 64 base ISO sensor is visually detectable versus a sensor with a base ISO of 100 is totally debatable. Especially since the ISO organisation can't be bothered to exactly and tightly specify how a digital sensor's ISO should be measured!

Share This Page