Art and Photography

Debating on getting a used DSLR for vacations

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  • Oct 29th, 2017 8:36 pm
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Sep 17, 2017
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Only reason to buy action cam is ruggedness otherwise it's dead market being squeezed by phones. It's hard to make them better otherwise you end up with something like Zenmuse X5 size and price which people won't buy. OSMO pro (X5+gimbal) is like $2000 or something.

Smartphone videos look tempting but it quickly falls apart during best hours (sunrise/sunset/night). Shoot in daytime only and quickly change shots then not many people will know just like people digging instagram photos.

For best value get MFT for vids and Sony for stills. Not their expensive ones but the cheaper/older ones.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 2:10 pm
Only reason to buy action cam is ruggedness otherwise it's dead market being squeezed by phones.
I like using action cams when I want a wide field of view. Everything is in focus all the time. I don't even need to look at the screen sometimes, just aim in the general direction. May crop to taste during editing. They are stealthier so people don't react as much as when they see you filming. I can still see myself using it a lot to capture vacation footage even if I get a gimbal that can mount a phone or P&S
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Sep 17, 2017
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What kind of footage can you get strapping it? People get gimbal to compensate shake and at that point you might as well just use a smartphone on a gimbal.

Brand name action cams are like 400-500 with accessories; that's starting price for real cameras. If we are talking money is unlimited then OK get every recording device in every format. OSMO Pro is as stealthy as action cam on a gimbal. If we are talking non stabilized footage, that's entirely different class of amateur videos. That might be fun to see it once in a 10 second clip; that's about it.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 6:00 pm
What kind of footage can you get strapping it? People get gimbal to compensate shake and at that point you might as well just use a smartphone on a gimbal.
I like all kinds of POV footage on vacations: tracking shots on foot, on a roller coaster, wide angle scenic shots inside or out. Right using the X3000 (mostly handheld or strapped on) with its optical stabilization. Was looking to add a gimbal to it as a possibility to handle more intense action. Also have a RX100 for more regular lens perspective and reach. Debating on whether to add a phone gimbal as I am shopping for a phone in the next year (will likely be iPhone X)

Shooting video is not a primary activity in a vacation, so whatever rig I use, I want to be able to pull it out on a moment's notice and start filming. That's why I like the X3000, it's small and I just point and shoot...most of the time I don't even bother with looking at an auxiliary screen (it pairs with a phone or wrist screen that I also have). A gimbal would definitely complicate things and possibly become too distracting.
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Sep 17, 2017
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warpdrive wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 7:29 pm
I like all kinds of POV footage on vacations: tracking shots on foot, on a roller coaster, wide angle scenic shots inside or out. Right using the X3000 (mostly handheld or strapped on) with its optical stabilization. Was looking to add a gimbal to it as a possibility to handle more intense action. Also have a RX100 for more regular lens perspective and reach. Debating on whether to add a phone gimbal as I am shopping for a phone in the next year (will likely be iPhone X)

Shooting video is not a primary activity in a vacation, so whatever rig I use, I want to be able to pull it out on a moment's notice and start filming. That's why I like the X3000, it's small and I just point and shoot...most of the time I don't even bother with looking at an auxiliary screen (it pairs with a phone or wrist screen that I also have). A gimbal would definitely complicate things and possibly become too distracting.
You don't want hassle of gimbal... then I don't understand how this is better than just using smartphone? Everyone has smartphone already so why spend $500 more on something of same quality? If anything I'd want to spend $500 on a real camera so I have choice of getting better quality if I choose to carry it.

Since action cams give horrible photos, now you have to bring 3rd device on vacation for photos. I don't understand this decision process to carry 3 devices.

Possibly few people have usage scenario to justify bringing 3 devices on a vacation but this is so far from advice to general public I'd give when they want something better than Smartphone quality.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 2:10 pm
...Smartphone videos look tempting but it quickly falls apart during best hours (sunrise/sunset/night). Shoot in daytime only and quickly change shots then not many people will know just like people digging instagram photos.

For best value get MFT for vids and Sony for stills. Not their expensive ones but the cheaper/older ones.
Have you tried a phone gimbal? I ask because you were wondering what the Smooth Q does beyond stabilization in that deal thread. The majority of our memorable moments happen in good light, and it's fleeting each time. My family will not wait for me, I don't expect them to, we are ALL having fun. I'm quick-draw lol, it takes seconds to mount my phone, connect the app and start recording using the gimbal button. It's not like I'm going leave a MFT mounted on a bigger gimbal and carry it all day like that, always ON, ready to go. The battery would die fast, action cams are worse.

If you do leave it mounted, you lose precious time getting a camera ready because it's not instantaneously ON like a phone. And once your settings are in, tapping the MFT screen or pressing the shutter knocks the gimbal off balance. By the time you're actually ready on a dedicated cam, you've lost the beginning or missed the action. And on a phone, as the action is happening, I can also press the button to start/stop while I'm already into a different cinematic movement. It's not a wedding video where you direct subjects with 4 video guys from different angles and movements. It's me, ONE guy and the action is unfolding, I can't ask my family to repeatedly do something because I missed it or want a different perspective, they won't, and their emotions won't be the same. Any dedicated camera, you need to fiddle with it before you move, think of that stuttering frustration multiple times a day. You simply cannot plan everything and much of it is candid.

Don't get me wrong, right tool, right job. It depends on the vacation, if I'm on a safari, I'll bring a telephoto and camera. If I'm shooting landscape or European architecture, then wide angle, remote shutter, and tripod. Those "best hours" you are talking about, on our 12 night cruise we were always at sea, only one of those days was on land during golden hour, there was NOTHING to shoot, I only need so many on-the-ship shots. The indoor video of my kids on the trapeze, bumper cars etc is more than good enough. I have to think, what is my target audience or purpose? Family/friends on mobile, social network, primarily for my family to relive their vacation? If a picture is a thousand words, a video is a million. Not to mention it's in 4K and looks great on our high res monitors. Or am I making stock photo or something with dynamic range I want to large print for our walls? Well of course I'm not using my smartphone for that job. Day vs night, same spot, FF DSLR on our camping trip:

Image

And that's not getting into editing. Phone is a fusion of camera + computer. I can easily trim, LUT, edit phone videos in my down time anywhere and start compiling a video while waiting in line somewhere, lying in bed at night, etc. You can't pull out a laptop, upload cards on a tour bus. Or doing all of that once I get home would be a monumental job.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 8:07 pm
You don't want hassle of gimbal... then I don't understand how this is better than just using smartphone? Everyone has smartphone already so why spend $500 more on something of same quality? If anything I'd want to spend $500 on a real camera so I have choice of getting better quality if I choose to carry it.

Since action cams give horrible photos, now you have to bring 3rd device on vacation for photos. I don't understand this decision process to carry 3 devices.

Possibly few people have usage scenario to justify bringing 3 devices on a vacation but this is so far from advice to general public I'd give when they want something better than Smartphone quality.
So I'm not trying to give advice for the general public at this point....I'm trying to optimize the gear *I* want to bring with me. I already own the action cam, RX100, MFT bodies and lenses, and APSC DSLR which I l already deploy depending on what I think I will be filming or shooting. So what do *I* bring when I go on vacation?

As for the action cam. Most smartphones capture a 24-35 mm range but the action cam gives a 17mm angle. It's completely rugged and it's instantly available and has already captured important fleeting moments in past vacations. There is very little penalty to have it around except for its $500 cost. The Sony FDR-X3000 is a keeper for me....I've captured about half my recent vacation video with it and we've enjoyed much of its footage with its very effective BOSS stabilization. Because it is rugged, it's easier to have place it where you probably don't want a smartphone (I have several adapters and mounts). It has complementary to any other video device I usually have with me (smartphone included).

My RX100 which captures my other half of vacation footage. Since it's not waterproof or rugged and has small more fiddly controls, it's used for longer footage which is more staged. I might record events or capture a performer with it, or use it to capture video which is more predictable. This was my only still camera on my last vacation and it's definitely useful for better low light and has a sharp fast lens.

So now I'm pondering whether I want to have a gimbal + phone setup. If I had such a setup, it would probably replace one or both the other devices in the bag at any particular time for video and maybe my sole still camera. I definitely wouldn't carry three devices at the same time on a vacation.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 11:56 pm
So you are saying this setup is irrelevant to the majority of people. Ok that makes sense. People don't already own any gear so that is irrelevant as well.
I'm just trying relay what works for me, and if people read it and think "that sounds good", when maybe they can follow my example and choose some of the same equipment. It's doesn't have to be binary.....it works or it doesn't, it's irrelevant or not irrelevant.

You say you bought tons of equipment, and you found what what's works for you in the end. I can say the same, this is a setup that gives me the results I enjoy but I'm still fine tuning it and experimenting. It's not about making one size fits all statements because everybody has different needs and wants, even people who are coming from nothing but a smartphone.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 8:07 pm
...I don't understand this decision process to carry 3 devices.

Possibly few people have usage scenario to justify bringing 3 devices on a vacation...
When our kids can do rugged activities with us, I will bring an action cam, that's 3 devices. Can't attach a phone or large sensor camera to a helmet.

Vacation is such a broad term that if it doesn't help the OP, it might help someone else visiting the thread with relatable experiences.

Slightly off topic, I'd love to do one of those McKay photography tours, that's where I would NOT be using my phone except to maybe vlog some of the experience.
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Feb 27, 2015
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Hey All,

Going to Hawaii and looking for a camera.

Was thinking DSLR, but I won't truly use it for its purpose.

What about this point and shoot for S100, Sony Cyber-shot DSCW800B?

Would it be better than a Samsung S5 phone?

Or could you recommend a good point and shoot?

Thanks,
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JRGUINNESS wrote:
Oct 13th, 2017 12:35 pm
Hey All,

Going to Hawaii and looking for a camera.

Was thinking DSLR, but I won't truly use it for its purpose.

What about this point and shoot for S100, Sony Cyber-shot DSCW800B?

Would it be better than a Samsung S5 phone?

Or could you recommend a good point and shoot?

Thanks,
I'm in the exact same situation (going towards the end of november) and I decided to go with a Canon 77d. Stills and video will be covered most of the time (image stabilization on both lens and body). I am still thinking what to use for the rugged/adventure stuff. Most likely I will go with a GoPro or something similar.
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reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 8:07 pm
You don't want hassle of gimbal... then I don't understand how this is better than just using smartphone? Everyone has smartphone already so why spend $500 more on something of same quality? If anything I'd want to spend $500 on a real camera so I have choice of getting better quality if I choose to carry it.

Since action cams give horrible photos, now you have to bring 3rd device on vacation for photos. I don't understand this decision process to carry 3 devices.

Possibly few people have usage scenario to justify bringing 3 devices on a vacation but this is so far from advice to general public I'd give when they want something better than Smartphone quality.
valid points, but BOSS does a half decent job mounted. I'm parting ways with its gimbal because a bit of shaking in first-person perspective seems a bit more natural

In certain parts of the world I'd feel more comfortable using a $300-500 pocket cam than a $1000 phone
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Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
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You should see footage of the Git2 action camera, you don't need a gimbal, it has it built-in and works wonderfully well in a small unassuming body
reader09 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 8:07 pm
You don't want hassle of gimbal... then I don't understand how this is better than just using smartphone? Everyone has smartphone already so why spend $500 more on something of same quality? If anything I'd want to spend $500 on a real camera so I have choice of getting better quality if I choose to carry it.

Since action cams give horrible photos, now you have to bring 3rd device on vacation for photos. I don't understand this decision process to carry 3 devices.

Possibly few people have usage scenario to justify bringing 3 devices on a vacation but this is so far from advice to general public I'd give when they want something better than Smartphone quality.
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Dec 28, 2005
1475 posts
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JRGUINNESS wrote:
Oct 13th, 2017 12:35 pm
Hey All,

Going to Hawaii and looking for a camera.

Was thinking DSLR, but I won't truly use it for its purpose.

What about this point and shoot for S100, Sony Cyber-shot DSCW800B?

Would it be better than a Samsung S5 phone?

Or could you recommend a good point and shoot?

Thanks,
Last time I visited Hawai'i I packed very light. You're going to be in shorts or a swim suit majority of the time and unless you want to carry a heavy bag, that doesn't leave much room.

I brought my phone as my primary camera and then my GF2 and a fast prime for when we did a moonlight hike and visited my friend at Keck Observatory. You might want an action cam if you do some aquatic adventures, but they usually have dedicated photographers for that.

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