Art and Photography

Student exchange in Switzerland for a year, looking for recommendation on equipment

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  • May 19th, 2018 4:26 pm
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2017
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Chelsea

Student exchange in Switzerland for a year, looking for recommendation on equipment

Good afternoon fellow RFDers.

As the title mentions, I am doing a student exchange at Lausanne, Switzerland from Sept 18 to Sept 19, studying at HEC Lausanne. Great experience, but also crazy effin expensive. Since I'll be there for a long time, one of the goals I had was to slowly learn photography by myself (from the actual 'taking a proper picture' to the basic software editing afterwards). I'll have the opportunity to travel Europe/Middle-East (as some of my fellow student are doing exchanges there) so there will be plenty of chances/different environment for photos.

Now, don't bash me right away, but I currently use my iPhone X with the Halide app for picture taking in RAW (yeah that's a new term for me, and newer is always better?) plus Darkroom on iOS for editing. I know, I know, basic right ..

I have +/- a 2.5K$ budget for photo taking gear, but I really REALLY wanted to get the Mavic Air, so that leaves around 1-1.5K$ for the camera itself.

In term of feature, I'm looking for something that is portable, rugged (weatherproofed, I think), fairly common (I believe bigger brands are easier to get services/parts replaced if something were to happen), relatively beginner friendly but that will also evolve with me (some high end features, I guess).

Anyway, any output would be appreciated.

Cheers :)
10 replies
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SimonL556 wrote:
May 16th, 2018 1:50 pm
Good afternoon fellow RFDers.

As the title mentions, I am doing a student exchange at Lausanne, Switzerland from Sept 18 to Sept 19, studying at HEC Lausanne. Great experience, but also crazy effin expensive. Since I'll be there for a long time, one of the goals I had was to slowly learn photography by myself (from the actual 'taking a proper picture' to the basic software editing afterwards). I'll have the opportunity to travel Europe/Middle-East (as some of my fellow student are doing exchanges there) so there will be plenty of chances/different environment for photos.

Now, don't bash me right away, but I currently use my iPhone X with the Halide app for picture taking in RAW (yeah that's a new term for me, and newer is always better?) plus Darkroom on iOS for editing. I know, I know, basic right ..

I have +/- a 2.5K$ budget for photo taking gear, but I really REALLY wanted to get the Mavic Air, so that leaves around 1-1.5K$ for the camera itself.

In term of feature, I'm looking for something that is portable, rugged (weatherproofed, I think), fairly common (I believe bigger brands are easier to get services/parts replaced if something were to happen), relatively beginner friendly but that will also evolve with me (some high end features, I guess).

Anyway, any output would be appreciated.

Cheers :)
Did you check to see if you can even fly the Mavic Air where you will be?

A drone is waste if there are strict regulations like Canada.

If budget is 2.5K, without a drone, get the Fujifilm XT2. Out of cameras for Fuji are pretty good if you don't want to get bogged down with editing too much.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Apr 21, 2017
130 posts
42 upvotes
Chelsea
Yeah I checked regulations for Switzerland, its allowed without permit (I feel theyre pretty soft on that in Canada too) which I why I reality wanted to get it (Alps and all).

One of my good friend bought a XT2 without really knowing how to use it. I’m sure its a great camera, but I can’t help but consider that if it ever gets stolen, I’m more comfortable with it being 1-1.5k vs 2.5-3k.

How about older Sony a series ?
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SimonL556 wrote:
May 16th, 2018 2:54 pm
Yeah I checked regulations for Switzerland, its allowed without permit (I feel theyre pretty soft on that in Canada too) which I why I reality wanted to get it (Alps and all).

One of my good friend bought a XT2 without really knowing how to use it. I’m sure its a great camera, but I can’t help but consider that if it ever gets stolen, I’m more comfortable with it being 1-1.5k vs 2.5-3k.

How about older Sony a series ?
Older Sony's are riddled with battery issues plus slower to boot up.

I mean a Sony A7III is leaps and bounds better than the A7II/A7R2.
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Are you looking for brand new or open to getting used gear? Since you're just learning, maybe consider the used market... I know someone mentioned Fuji XT2 but you can honestly go a step below to an older model and still score something that performs really well.

Case in point, I'm on the verge of selling my Fuji XT1 for $550... it's is a weather sealed 16MP camera with Wi-Fi that outputs great JPG but also workable RAW files. TBH I would still be shooting this camera if I hadn't found a good deal on a newer Fuji.

Then use the remainder of your funds to buy a couple lenses. You'll probably also be less apt to baby the camera on your trips since you didn't drop 2 grand in it. And once you're ready to move on to a better body, you'll at least have a couple lenses already.

My first Fuji was the entry level X-A1 and it took great photos, and since I got it fairly cheap I brought it everywhere, dangled it outside buses to take photos, etc.
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I agree with M1GOmigs. You can check out the X-T1 if you are more into photo than video. If you want both, the X-T20 is pretty good at around 1k.

One thing I learnt when I started photography is to get a camera that is intuitive to use to learn faster. I started with a Sony mirrorless and just changing the ISO, I have to fiddle in the menus... but that was years ago.
Quick summary, to get a well exposed photo, there are 3 things that affect that: aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
On the Fuji X-T1/X-T2, it has an dial for each of these 3 controls (one on the lens) and it is super easy to use, so much easier to learn.

Another camera I love and hate, the Sony A6000. The manual controls are fine after you set it up to your liking, it has 2 dials so better than some entry level DSLR. I love that it's inexpensive, light and produce amazing quality photo. I hate that it is ugly, plasticky, the EVF is bad and the aspect ratio of the LCD is in like 16:9 when your pictures are in 4:3. If I'm travelling, I'll probably pick my A6000 since no thief will want it and it's light and good enough that the pros out weight the cons.
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used mirrorless...GH4? I assume they're more rugged than Sony
mavic pro refurbed

as someone who's traveled a fair bit with the Mavic, you will probably be using your camera a lot more than the flying toy...so I would try to budget more in favour of the camera.

off topic, is iPX RAW photos worth it? is there still compression and does it give you a lot more latitude?
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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Maybe the drone is a better fit.
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unless our pal also happens to be an advanced aerial hyperlapse shooter who spends enough time at each location to cover seasonal changes and willing to fly recklessly above clouds in a foreign country...no I doubt it
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

[OP]
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Apr 21, 2017
130 posts
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Chelsea
twitchyzero wrote:
May 19th, 2018 3:56 am
unless our pal also happens to be an advanced aerial hyperlapse shooter who spends enough time at each location to cover seasonal changes and willing to fly recklessly above clouds in a foreign country...no I doubt it
Hahaha love it.

Seriously guys, thanks for the input. I’ll def look into the XT1/XT20. I’m not planning on doing videos, but at the same time, early months are probably going to be more relaxed meaning I’ll have plenty of time to fiddle around learning stuff, so we never know how that might end.

I’m guessing mirrorless is the way to go for sure though, correct ?
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SimonL556 wrote:
May 19th, 2018 10:36 am
Hahaha love it.

Seriously guys, thanks for the input. I’ll def look into the XT1/XT20. I’m not planning on doing videos, but at the same time, early months are probably going to be more relaxed meaning I’ll have plenty of time to fiddle around learning stuff, so we never know how that might end.

I’m guessing mirrorless is the way to go for sure though, correct ?
For lighter setup? Yup.

Plus Fuji colors are really good for JPEGs if you don't want to spend too much in post with RAW.

If you go to technical into a hobby, you might get turned off by it and not really want to spend time honing your craft.

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