Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Camera recommendations/advice  (Read 3577 times)
Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« on: Thursday, July 9, 2020, 19:33:50 »

Evening all. I'm on the lookout for a decent camera. I'm a complete novice but want something that will take decent shots, mainly of wildlife and landscapes when I'm out and about. I was viewing pods of porpoises yesterday from a clifftop but it was a waste of time with my phone trying to get photos. I'd like something easy to use and compact if possible. Any advice/recommendations from anyone with knowledge of what to do I'd welcome. Thanks.
Logged
bamboonoshop

Offline Offline

Posts: 5900


Fufflin' Reathers




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: Thursday, July 9, 2020, 21:14:22 »

Evening all. I'm on the lookout for a decent camera. I'm a complete novice but want something that will take decent shots, mainly of wildlife and landscapes when I'm out and about. I was viewing pods of porpoises yesterday from a clifftop but it was a waste of time with my phone trying to get photos. I'd like something easy to use and compact if possible. Any advice/recommendations from anyone with knowledge of what to do I'd welcome. Thanks.

Can point you in the direction of a few decent cameras but if you're not looking beyond P&S (Point & Shoot) then don't go spending much at all. There are also several decent phones on the market that take good P&S as well as some good manual options if you know what you're doing.

Couple of things to consider, don't let those selling to you try and impress you with the size of their megapixels. What you want to look for (especially in a DSLR or similar) is the size of the image sensor. Keep in mind that an image sensor bases itself on the old sizing of 35mm film. So the closer in size to 35mm your digital sensor is, the better. Even if your camera was only 12mp.

Eg.
60mp DSLR with 18mm sensor
v
20mp DSLR with 24mm sensor.

Choose the 20mp DSLR. Especially if everything else spec wise is pretty similar.

The same is similar with regard to phones except sensors do tend to be smaller (it's a space issue), often this is boosted with some impressive digital zooms and AI tech as well as some HDR stuff too. Results vary from phone to phone with even the top end being sketchy. Most people are likely to be disappointed unless they know how to set their phone camera up manually.

Back to modern cameras, don't worry about purchasing any other lenses yet, other than the kit lens (the one that comes with the camera, usually) as you can get some fantastic results. Master your kit first and then move on to other lens. Nearly all of my photography has been done using a kit lens and my trusty go to older Sony that is only 10mp. In fact, I seem to come back to it every time. But then I do try to push it to it's extremities, part of the challenge for myself, especially when travelling and limited on kit to take.

Another suggestion is for DSLRs buy second hand, most photographers have one or two knocking around that they just no longer use. If I could let go of my one mentioned above, you could buy it off me.

Often there is nothing wrong with a SH camera, but one thing to ask or check is shutter count. There are some ways to do this, you can ask the seller, who if they know their stuff, should be able to tell you with no problem. You can ask them to send you a couple of sample images they've taken and then check yourself or you can tell them how to check (and this will give you a little heads up too, possibly even gain some trust from the seller too).

So how do I check, you're wondering? Simply you can check via the web. Basically, once you have an image taken by them (that isn't edited, can be JPG or RAW) you can pop it through an image checking site and it will give you the digital record of the image, including the shot number. Of course, the lower the better but if it is really low (like below 500) and the camera is say 5years old, it may have gone over the "shot limit" and back to zero. Treat it as you would the mileage on a car. If it seems too low for it's age, then step back. If its a couple of years old and it has 8 to 10k shutter count then it will be worth looking at further. There will be plenty of years of shutter time left but it also shows that the person has used it fairly regularly.

Sometimes you get lucky. I bought a SH one several years ago for about 100 and when I checked the shutter count it was at about 3k. The camera was about 3yrs old. I can only figure that someone brought it around christmas time, the novelty wore off and then stopped using it, handy for me as it came with a load of extras like lens papers etc. I was only looking for a cheap 2nd camera but all the bits and bobs would've cost me around 100 so yeah, keep em peeled!

Plus, buying SH also gives you an idea if you want to go a bit further than novice or enjoy it much more but if you don't, you haven't wasted over a grand on camera that will gather dust and not bother with.

When it comes to wildlife etc. Again, for starters you can get buy on plenty of decent shots with the kit lens. For stuff like porpoises, birds and anything from distance then a telephoto is going to be your friend in the long run. Especially for more moving objects at distance.  But again, you don't want the added cost of buying an additional lens and telephoto ones aren't the cheapest. Plus, you really want to get familiar with your camera and kit first. On top of that, if using a telephoto you will have an additional cost, a tripod. Now I'd suggest a tripod for nearly all shots but a using a telephoto is definitely a must for those types of shots. The reason being and I'm sure you will have done this, think of how "shaky" looking at objects through a telescope or binoculars is when just using your hands as support. This concept is the same with a telephoto.

To be honest Arriba, I would suggest for yourself, an entry level or bridge camera would be the most sensible investment. It has all the benefits of a compact (to some degree) but has the added capability of having a variance of wide and narrow shots available. They usually are pretty easy to navigate too. Do also go for one with less bells and whistles. You don't want to start of with a menu wheel that has more options than Lionel Messi. The 5 or 6 basic functions on a DSLR are absolutely fine and the aim is, to only need to use one or two of them anyway (M or A/P) so sometimes the less function available will make you concentrate on being a better photographer in the long run.

Having said that one decent camera that I think would suit yourself would be the Pentax K20D. It's about 10yrs old now but perfect for dipping your feet and you should be able to pick one up from around 200 - 250. Don't be put off by the name and it not being, Sony, Canon, Nikon or Leica et al. Some of Pentax DSLRs were the most solid builds around and their Pentaprism retains the quality of shooting in film. I think it has a 24mm sensor which is great. It's only downside (suffered by a lot of cameras) will be noise in low light but the largish sensor for an older camera should balance out. Don't let the cool kids or camera snobs think you're buying anything poor though; Pentax are great cameras. I'd buy a K20D tomorrow if I had the spare cash.

In true Bamboo fashion, this is quite verbose but it should give you some idea of the type of camera you should get and any tips to look at regarding specs. If you do need to discuss any further then feel free to DM.

Cheers
Logged
Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« Reply #2 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 08:26:41 »

Thanks Bamboo. Lots for me to take in there  Eek
Logged
Bob's Orange

Online Online

Posts: 20602





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 08:47:39 »

Think this is the salient takeaway point Arriba -

Having said that one decent camera that I think would suit yourself would be the Pentax K20D. It's about 10yrs old now but perfect for dipping your feet and you should be able to pick one up from around 200 - 250

Smiley
Logged

we've been to Aberdeen, we hate the Hibs, they make us spew up, so make some noise,
the gorgie boys, for Hearts in Europe.
Batch
Not a Batch

Online Online

Posts: 42947





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 09:20:34 »

"the best camera for a photo is the one you have on you"

I love my DSLR, though I'm a noob, and I don't mind lugging it around if I'm going somewhere I may see something interesting.

but that's me, are you the same?

there is a bit of a learning curve to get the camera out off 'auto' mode (the iso, apature, shutter speed triangle. as a starter). And no matter how much you spend you'll always want a better lense Smiley
Logged
Peter Venkman
Tesco Value John Motson

Offline Offline

Posts: 37012


Enjoy yourself its later than you think.



« Reply #5 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 09:49:10 »

It entirely depends upone what you want it to do for you, the type of camera and your budget mate.

I have used them all, a good mate of mine is a professional photographer and I aid him for some gigs such as weddings and landscapes etc.

Do you want a small superzoom that can do everything?

Do you want a medium bridge camera that can do everything but is a little bigger and less point and shoot with many options (most of which you will never use).

Or do you want to go the more pro style of DSLR? loads of options, but you have to buy interchangable lenses for each style unless you go for the basic lens. Cost is high but results are clearly better.

Budget, size, application....you say what you want and I am sure the adivce from all will be better suited to your needs.

I have all 3 of the styles and the one I use most is my pocket Sony WX350w, it is a 20mp has a superzoom of 20x optical magnification, enough settings for all styles and is not much bigger than a fag packet and the battery is rechargeable. That cost me 160ish.

I use it most because its totally portable and fits easily in the pocket, it gives decent results but if you want to go further then go for bridge, I think DSL is a step too far for a novice cost wise and size, the camera bag alone to house it all in is often the size of a shoe box.

Horses for courses mate.
Logged

Because I chose to play the fool in a six-piece band
First-night nerves every one-night stand
I should be glad to be so inclined
What a waste! What a waste!
Rock n Roll don't mind.
Chubbs

Offline Offline

Posts: 10387





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 11:05:50 »

Thanks Bamboo. Lots for me to take in there  Eek

Don't lie, you didn't read it, did you :-)
Logged

Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« Reply #7 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 12:36:41 »

Think this is the salient takeaway point Arriba -

Having said that one decent camera that I think would suit yourself would be the Pentax K20D. It's about 10yrs old now but perfect for dipping your feet and you should be able to pick one up from around 200 - 250

Smiley

Yep  Cheesy
"the best camera for a photo is the one you have on you"

I love my DSLR, though I'm a noob, and I don't mind lugging it around if I'm going somewhere I may see something interesting.

but that's me, are you the same?

there is a bit of a learning curve to get the camera out off 'auto' mode (the iso, apature, shutter speed triangle. as a starter). And no matter how much you spend you'll always want a better lense Smiley

Smaller and simpler the better for me.
It entirely depends upone what you want it to do for you, the type of camera and your budget mate.

I have used them all, a good mate of mine is a professional photographer and I aid him for some gigs such as weddings and landscapes etc.

Do you want a small superzoom that can do everything?

Do you want a medium bridge camera that can do everything but is a little bigger and less point and shoot with many options (most of which you will never use).

Or do you want to go the more pro style of DSLR? loads of options, but you have to buy interchangable lenses for each style unless you go for the basic lens. Cost is high but results are clearly better.

Budget, size, application....you say what you want and I am sure the adivce from all will be better suited to your needs.

I have all 3 of the styles and the one I use most is my pocket Sony WX350w, it is a 20mp has a superzoom of 20x optical magnification, enough settings for all styles and is not much bigger than a fag packet and the battery is rechargeable. That cost me 160ish.

I use it most because its totally portable and fits easily in the pocket, it gives decent results but if you want to go further then go for bridge, I think DSL is a step too far for a novice cost wise and size, the camera bag alone to house it all in is often the size of a shoe box.

Horses for courses mate.

A small superzoom does appeal most I think though I'm open to other options too. The easier to carry/use it is the better. Cost wise I'd probably go up to 300/400 quid but obviously cheaper the better
Don't lie, you didn't read it, did you :-)
I did twice and think I'll need to do it again to take it all in Smiley

Thanks for your input all of you. I'll look at all your suggestions and advice is noted.
« Last Edit: Friday, July 10, 2020, 12:38:39 by Arriba » Logged
Peter Venkman
Tesco Value John Motson

Offline Offline

Posts: 37012


Enjoy yourself its later than you think.



« Reply #8 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 13:29:34 »

Pound for pound at the top end of your budget the Canon SX70 HS is a fantastic bit of kit for the top end of your budget.

https://www.photospecialist.co.uk/canon-powershot-sx70-hs-black

Thats a good quality not too big bridge camera, I have used them and they give great results.

If it was a compact superzoom then I would very much recommend the Lumix TZ95 at 300ish.

https://www.tecobuy.co.uk/en_UK/panasonic-lumix-dmc-tz95-digital-cameras-black-1.html

HTH. The prices and web sites are not places I have bought from just as a price guide.
Logged

Because I chose to play the fool in a six-piece band
First-night nerves every one-night stand
I should be glad to be so inclined
What a waste! What a waste!
Rock n Roll don't mind.
Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« Reply #9 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:38:11 »

Pound for pound at the top end of your budget the Canon SX70 HS is a fantastic bit of kit for the top end of your budget.

https://www.photospecialist.co.uk/canon-powershot-sx70-hs-black

Thats a good quality not too big bridge camera, I have used them and they give great results.

If it was a compact superzoom then I would very much recommend the Lumix TZ95 at 300ish.

https://www.tecobuy.co.uk/en_UK/panasonic-lumix-dmc-tz95-digital-cameras-black-1.html

HTH. The prices and web sites are not places I have bought from just as a price guide.

Cheers mate. Appreciated
Logged
bamboonoshop

Offline Offline

Posts: 5900


Fufflin' Reathers




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:42:42 »

Indeed BO it would be the takeaway point  Wink

But there is genuinely some good advice in there. Kind of things I wish I'd been told when I was first looking. Have always been fortunate to work with and receive good advice from several pro photographers but that always more along the lines of actual shooting and not buying kit. Possibly my fault, concentrated so much on asking them things whilst in the field but never asked about kit. Not in detail anyway.

So the takeaway there is, definitely worth a read and extracting.

Agree with Batch to some degree, in regards to best camera is the one you have. Although, knowing good composition and having a good eye for a shot or knowing when to be in the right moment. Not all of that is doable but the right moment can be a decisive one too. If you have those things by automation then the quality of the camera is mostly secondary. It is having the idea/location/scenario almost pre thought in the mind to then go out and find that idea. Knowing how and when to use even just the natural light and knowing when to use your flash for the correct moments. A lot of those are learned skills but some people do have an ability and/or patience to be able to get the best shots. Indeed, they aren't always taken with the so called best spec camera. In fact, some of the best photographers images have been taken with an entry DSLR and kit lens.

I would agree, try and try and try to get the most optimum out of your kit. It becomes a love affair (may seem extreme but it's the same way people fall in love with a car). To know you can achieve a certain shot from that particular camera, a certain loyalty and trust that you can get that shot. Yes you could go and spend 3k on something that would do it all for you and likely collect your shopping. Each to their own but the true skills of photography are all about putting in that effort and learning different techniques. The slightest tweak of your focus ring (no pun) to get a totally different shot. Small things, big differences. Learn those small things and it all pulls together.

Yes in time you will want kit that "does more" I've done so too. Nearly every time i step outside I will have my camera around my neck but your phone shouldn't be disregarded too. Another style of photography but done right you can get some great results.


JJ makes some great comments too although you can get some more compact bridge cameras now. They really are great if you want to explore the ideas of a DSLR
but without the huge cost. As I said previously though, do look at second hand as it isn't just full of broken pieces of plastic or knackered censors etc. Some good stuff to be had. Would also echo Venks, in that the Lumix/Panasonic jobby would be more than ideal. The only trouble with superzooms is that they are ok but if you're really wanting a great shot from anything further than 10x, you really need to be going for a bridge or DSLR with telephoto addition.

Haha Chubbs, I won't lie, I would've skipped it myself.

Ultimately it is down to your own preferences like JJ said. The main thing is that whatever you decide to buy, that you have a lot of fun with it and get as familiar with it as possible. Master some of the basics, play around with the parameters the sit around the basics and then go on from there. Even within the basics there is plenty to learn and explore. You can always learn more. I'm continually going back to film and exploring different development techniques. I want a proper darkroom but i also won't just become a "film camera snob", all medium is worth exploring.

Have yet to amend on old 70s Instamatic so I can use it without exposing the film. That's the kind of fun that comes later and takes up a whole weekend just to practice getting the film in, in the dark!

Concise as ever, but this is a subject I'm highly passionate about; much more so than my affiliation with the Fathers of proposed Town transfer targets Wink
Logged
Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 15:36:42 »

Thanks Bamboo. Your advice is appreciated.
I'm definitely going to research further and get something that will work for both me and the Mrs. We'll both want to use it at different times
Logged
bamboonoshop

Offline Offline

Posts: 5900


Fufflin' Reathers




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: Friday, July 10, 2020, 16:17:16 »

No problem. Yep, take your time and as stated regarding Leggett posted. Another option would be to hire the model you want (if buying brand new) for a week or two and give it a good go. If you like it, you get the practical element "try before you buy" without the big price tag etc.

Good luck and let us know what you end up going for Smiley
Logged
Arriba

Offline Offline

Posts: 20855





Ignore
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 11:32:50 »

Will be buying a superzoom compact camera. Mrs wants to use it and says this is the kind of one she'd like. I was steering that way anyway so now I have a couple of weeks to choose 1. Thanks to all who contributed to my questions on this.
Logged
Peter Venkman
Tesco Value John Motson

Offline Offline

Posts: 37012


Enjoy yourself its later than you think.



« Reply #14 on: Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 11:40:11 »

Will be buying a superzoom compact camera. Mrs wants to use it and says this is the kind of one she'd like. I was steering that way anyway so now I have a couple of weeks to choose 1. Thanks to all who contributed to my questions on this.
You are welcome, definately the best all round option, don't be swayed by massive megapixel resolution go for the biggest best sensor size you can as it will give far better results having a better sensor at 20mp vs smaller sensor and 30mp resolution.

Ignore digital zoom rating and get the best optical zoom you can get with the widest apperture, make sure it has image stabilzing as at the top end of the superzoom even a gust of wind moving your hand can make the results poor.

Have a little check here and do a lot of research before you buy.

https://www.apotelyt.com/photo-camera/best-superzoom

Logged

Because I chose to play the fool in a six-piece band
First-night nerves every one-night stand
I should be glad to be so inclined
What a waste! What a waste!
Rock n Roll don't mind.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
Print
Jump to: