Art and Photography

Looking for first camera, too many options

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 9th, 2017 12:44 pm
[OP]
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Jul 10, 2014
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Ottawa, ON

Looking for first camera, too many options

I know this thread probably pops up all the time but I went back a few pages and couldn't really find anything. I'm going to be using the camera for everything from portraits to landscapes, fashion & food, long exposures, etc.

I'm looking for a camera with solid sensor, good ISO range, quick/smooth autofocus, mic input/decent video quality (4k would be great), and easy radio/WiFi/NFC options. Body size and display size not very important for me nor high resolution on the screen.

Most of the shots will just be for Instagram or other social media but some may get blown up sightly. I also prefer to shoot raw and don't like touching up photos too much after, if this makes a difference. I've been trying to narrow down the selection but it seems there are so many options. I'm fine with Canon or Nikon but open to other suggestions. Within that, I have no idea. Many models seem quite similar to others. What's RFDs darling in terms of DSLR? Is there a good value pick? I may buy used as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Like you said, there are too many options and is hard to suggest anything without know more and especially, what your budget is and if it includes lens or you want a fixed lens.

I suggest reading up on a buying guide (attached below) and narrow your selection to one class of camera. There are countless of similar posts for each type here as well, just use the search function and entry key words, "Mirrorless", "DSLR", etc...

https://www.dpreview.com/buying-guides
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hdom wrote:
Oct 28th, 2017 4:34 pm
Like you said, there are too many options and is hard to suggest anything without know more and especially, what your budget is and if it includes lens or you want a fixed lens.

I suggest reading up on a buying guide (attached below) and narrow your selection to one class of camera. There are countless of similar posts for each type here as well, just use the search function and entry key words, "Mirrorless", "DSLR", etc...

https://www.dpreview.com/buying-guides
+1

Also, don't forget the un-specification part of the discussion like

1. How does it feel in the hand?
2. How many, if any, friends that you can borrow lenses off of? Or how many would borrow off you? :)
3. Just how heavy are you willing to go? ie Full frame type weight?
4. Your use case seems to be wide and varied. Is that a primary concern so much so that you need a large lens and accessory availability?
5. You mentioned quality. Do you want some of the best quality?
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djdestroyer wrote:
Oct 28th, 2017 11:28 am
I also prefer to shoot raw and don't like touching up photos too much after, if this makes a difference.
RAW files are meant to be edited. If you don't like doing that, you should stick to Fine Jpeg or whatever the term is on your future camera for highest quality Jpeg. It'll be plenty enough and it'll save you storage and time.
I shoot Jpeg + RAW so when I mess up an exposure, I can kind of fix it with RAW, else, I just do some little edit on the jpeg itself when posting on social medias.

Anyway, back to topic, I'm like in the opposite place to you. There's little choice for me. I have set a budget, what I need it for, how it handles and look like, what kind of lenses I'm looking to use and if said lenses exist and or affordable (can't spend $2k on a single lens for my use). It leaves me with 0 choice haha.

With what you listed, without giving a budget, I'll say go for the Fuji X-T2 which is an amazing camera with lot of good lenses and the film simulations and jpeg are good enough that you won't have to edit them if you don't want to.

So let us know what budget you have and if that said budget must also include a lens or any accessories, or not.
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The range of capabilities you listed narrows down your list considerably to higher end DSLRs or mirrorless. D500/D7500, A6500, XT2. You are looking at strong allrounders esp if you want 4K with mic input, larger sensor for high ISO, ability to shoot everything means you probably need to stick with interchangeable lenses unless you go to an advanced bridge camera as an all in one
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OP, keep in mind the race car vid is not handheld. You can achieve stability with a tripod, slider, gimbal and/or software which will crop the frame.

Count the number of different shots and angles spliced together, the cinematic movements are purposeful, it's not your typical stand there and shoot.

It is also colour graded with an old-school look, and the music is balanced with the live audio.

You're best to view videos straight out of camera in different lighting conditions by testers, not so much professionally made productions.
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djdestroyer wrote:
Oct 28th, 2017 11:28 am
I know this thread probably pops up all the time but I went back a few pages and couldn't really find anything. I'm going to be using the camera for everything from portraits to landscapes, fashion & food, long exposures, etc.

I'm looking for a camera with solid sensor, good ISO range, quick/smooth autofocus, mic input/decent video quality (4k would be great), and easy radio/WiFi/NFC options. Body size and display size not very important for me nor high resolution on the screen.

Most of the shots will just be for Instagram or other social media but some may get blown up sightly. I also prefer to shoot raw and don't like touching up photos too much after, if this makes a difference. I've been trying to narrow down the selection but it seems there are so many options. I'm fine with Canon or Nikon but open to other suggestions. Within that, I have no idea. Many models seem quite similar to others. What's RFDs darling in terms of DSLR? Is there a good value pick? I may buy used as well.

Thanks in advance.
You mention a lot of different genres, and within each is also a wide continuum.
In general:

Portraits - use big aperture prime lenses mid to long (>50mm full frame equivalent) shot at low f stops to blur the background, avoid wide angle lenses for closeups = distortion http://www.shaunperry.info/uploads/6/4/ ... 40.png?250

Landscapes - use wide angle lenses and composition https://shellielewis.files.wordpress.co ... mps-01.jpg

Fashion and Food - it's all about lighting
https://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C5CHF ... 6LhWOYtJRY
https://www.google.ca/search?q=fashion+ ... 7&bih=1205

Long Exposures - use a tripod, remote trigger
Longer shutter speeds in the day, you will need an ND filter https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c8/6c/94/c86c ... school.jpg
Night https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d5/67/85/d567 ... -ideas.jpg

If you're starting to see a pattern up there, it's more technique than gear. Be sure to spend some time learning.

Secondly, straight out of camera RAW images are dull but contain lots of data to stretch variables to your liking (eg; RAW out of my Canon = 35MB, jpg < 10MB).
The RAW here is purposely shot underexposed to retain the shadow and detail in the highlights, the final edits are below. If shot in jpg, the camera will "blow out" the bright areas white and background/sky detail won't be recoverable. That said, if you're not into editing, let the camera process the image for you and shoot in jpg.

Image

From what I understand, you need an app to upload to IG from a computer like Flume for Mac. It's a lot easier to use a phone, edit in Snapseed and upload if it's mainly mobile use. A side note, I was with friends last night and comparing iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 lowlight shots, there's a huge improvement. The 4K at 60fps was amazing. People are starting to upload youtube comparisons.

And for a dedicated camera, I would choose a decent small mirrorless, DSLR's are too clunky to carry around (I only use them when I'm paid and when I want to make something for our walls)
[OP]
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hdom wrote:
Oct 28th, 2017 4:34 pm
Like you said, there are too many options and is hard to suggest anything without know more and especially, what your budget is and if it includes lens or you want a fixed lens.

I suggest reading up on a buying guide (attached below) and narrow your selection to one class of camera. There are countless of similar posts for each type here as well, just use the search function and entry key words, "Mirrorless", "DSLR", etc...

https://www.dpreview.com/buying-guides
Budget is less of a concern. I'm looking for a good deal on something that fits my criteria:

"I'm going to be using the camera for everything from portraits to landscapes, fashion & food, long exposures, etc.

I'm looking for a camera with solid sensor, good ISO range, quick/smooth autofocus, mic input/decent video quality (4k would be great), and easy radio/WiFi/NFC options. Body size and display size not very important for me nor high resolution on the screen. "

Do I need full-frame? I wouldn't think so but I'm not opposed to it if it means I don't need to upgrade in the near future. Size is not an issue so I would think DSLR makes most sense as I want maximum control. Mirrorless seem to be very popular recently but mostly for form factor?
[OP]
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craftsman wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 12:08 am
+1

Also, don't forget the un-specification part of the discussion like

1. How does it feel in the hand?
2. How many, if any, friends that you can borrow lenses off of? Or how many would borrow off you? :)
3. Just how heavy are you willing to go? ie Full frame type weight?
4. Your use case seems to be wide and varied. Is that a primary concern so much so that you need a large lens and accessory availability?
5. You mentioned quality. Do you want some of the best quality?
1. I can get over hand feel easily. I've held a few different cameras (big and small) and don't mind either. I'll also be using tri-pod when possible.
2. I have a few friends I could borrow from but other than that, not many photog connections.
3. Weight/size is not an issue.
4. I guess I'm looking for a versatile camera that can do a bunch of things with the switch of a lens. I'll be going on day trips with specific photos in mind so it's not like I'll need everything with me at once but I'll need it all at some point.
5. Yes, but I don't want to pay for crazy specs if I don't them. I've read a lot that there isn't much difference between a 20mp and 40mp sensor, but I'm guessing it becomes more apparent if you're blowing pictures up? I'll be indeed blowing up some prints so how good of a sensor do I need to blow up to 6'x4'?
[OP]
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Ottawa, ON
Gin Martini wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 11:01 am
RAW files are meant to be edited. If you don't like doing that, you should stick to Fine Jpeg or whatever the term is on your future camera for highest quality Jpeg. It'll be plenty enough and it'll save you storage and time.
I shoot Jpeg + RAW so when I mess up an exposure, I can kind of fix it with RAW, else, I just do some little edit on the jpeg itself when posting on social medias.

Anyway, back to topic, I'm like in the opposite place to you. There's little choice for me. I have set a budget, what I need it for, how it handles and look like, what kind of lenses I'm looking to use and if said lenses exist and or affordable (can't spend $2k on a single lens for my use). It leaves me with 0 choice haha.

With what you listed, without giving a budget, I'll say go for the Fuji X-T2 which is an amazing camera with lot of good lenses and the film simulations and jpeg are good enough that you won't have to edit them if you don't want to.

So let us know what budget you have and if that said budget must also include a lens or any accessories, or not.
I have some photo editing experience and don't mind doing it, I just prefer capturing exactly what I see while using the natural light, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, etc. but I still do some touch ups or blending when needed.

Budget is open-ended, I'm trying to get a feel for what kind of camera I even need. I would say I wouldn't spend over $5k as I'm just starting out and it's only a hobby and that would include some lenses and accessories to get me started.
[OP]
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Ottawa, ON
warpdrive wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 11:16 am
The range of capabilities you listed narrows down your list considerably to higher end DSLRs or mirrorless. D500/D7500, A6500, XT2. You are looking at strong allrounders esp if you want 4K with mic input, larger sensor for high ISO, ability to shoot everything means you probably need to stick with interchangeable lenses unless you go to an advanced bridge camera as an all in one
Yes, I think you're on the right track but the problem is narrowing it down. For example, Nikon makes it kind of confusing by offering a D750 and then the D7500. Also the D7200 and the D500, etc.

What do you think the advantages of a mirrorless camera are?
[OP]
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Jul 10, 2014
1968 posts
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Ottawa, ON
AncasterRFD wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 1:35 pm
If you're starting to see a pattern up there, it's more technique than gear. Be sure to spend some time learning.

Secondly, straight out of camera RAW images are dull but contain lots of data to stretch variables to your liking (eg; RAW out of my Canon = 35MB, jpg < 10MB).
The RAW here is purposely shot underexposed to retain the shadow and detail in the highlights, the final edits are below. If shot in jpg, the camera will "blow out" the bright areas white and background/sky detail won't be recoverable. That said, if you're not into editing, let the camera process the image for you and shoot in jpg.
Thanks for the links. I've covered mostly all of those techniques but it's always nice to see them neatly grouped together. I'm also always checking out youtube videos and other educational sources but trying not to get bogged down with too many rules and tips. Sometimes I think it's better to let the scene come to you. I also don't mind editing whatsoever. I just find so many pictures I see online are over-edited and it ruins the pic IMO so I try to keep it very raw.
AncasterRFD wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 1:35 pm
From what I understand, you need an app to upload to IG from a computer like Flume for Mac. It's a lot easier to use a phone, edit in Snapseed and upload if it's mainly mobile use. A side note, I was with friends last night and comparing iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7 lowlight shots, there's a huge improvement. The 4K at 60fps was amazing. People are starting to upload youtube comparisons.
I don't need an app, no. I also don't like iPhones nor shooting with any phone. Quality is low, settings are bare, tripods suck, etc. but if you're honestly suggesting buying an iPhone to use as a camera, I'll look into it but I wouldn't be using it for phone purposes, just camera, which might defeat the purpose.

AncasterRFD wrote:
Oct 29th, 2017 1:35 pm
And for a dedicated camera, I would choose a decent small mirrorless, DSLR's are too clunky to carry around (I only use them when I'm paid and when I want to make something for our walls)
Size, weight, form factor, etc. are not an issue whatsoever. In fact, if I could save money by getting something more clunky or oversized, I would absolutely be into that.
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djdestroyer wrote:
Oct 30th, 2017 3:31 pm
Yes, I think you're on the right track but the problem is narrowing it down. For example, Nikon makes it kind of confusing by offering a D750 and then the D7500. Also the D7200 and the D500, etc.

What do you think the advantages of a mirrorless camera are?
The D750 is a FX (full frame sensor), whereas the D7XXX are DX (APS-C) sensors. The D7200 is just the previous generation of D7500. The D500 is basically their top (pro) grade DX sensor camera.

Most people should stick with APS-C sensor cameras for general photography as it's the sweet spot for performance/dollar. FX gives you largest sensor size but at a heavy cost of a lot more bulk and cost.

Mirrorless: https://www.dpreview.com/articles/38712 ... ess-camera

The main two reasons I see are: size and tend to be more catered for video. And some mirrorless cameras like the A6500 also offer in-body stabilization which means you can use manual lenses and still get the benefit of stabilized video/pictures
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