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#1 +Nik L

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:36

Hi

 

I've always appreciated stylish photography, and taken some very lucky pictures (luck, NOT skill).  I'm at a point where I think I need a new hobby and so am looking at cameras.  Bear in mind I know jack about apertures, ISOs and lenses - but am happy to learn.

 

I looked recently at a few cameras, starting at a bridge - but have been advised that I would VERY quickly get frustrated at what a bridge lacked against a DSLR.

 

I then saw the Samsung Galaxy camera, which intrigued the panoramic, time-lapse, instant-upload, app side of me - but it's really just a point-n-click with Android (still considering one as a day-to-day camera).

 

Then Samsung debuted the Galaxy NX - a compact camera with all the above from the Galaxy, but interchangeable lenses and more manual control.  Unfortunately the price tag of £1299 coupled with it still not being a true DSLR has put me off.

 

I should probably say what I like:

  • Night shots of cityscapes
  • Long exposure shots
  • Tilt-shift and focus-effect shots
  • 360 panoramas
  • Time lapse movies
  • Interestingly lit shots (eg sun from behind clouds - a scene I found amazing in person in Florida, but my point'n'click just couldn't capture)

Now, I'm under no impression that I'm going to be any good within a month - but I do believe I will enjoy learning.  I just have no idea where to start.  I probably need a DSLR, would prefer (having lost some very important shots before) something that can upload over wi-fi, maybe integrate with phone for remote shutter and so on.  Bit lost really - my budget isn't huge (nor should it be for someone who is tentatively looking into this?).

 

Help?

 




#2 Skiver

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 14:29

I will begin that I own an Nikon and to prevent any arguments, I do not suggest in anyway Nikon is in anyway better than canon, so will relate only to my choice through experience!

 

If you're budget isn't huge then IMO you want to start with entry level DSLR's like Nikon  3200 or 5200, I'm still learning my camera (5100, last generation) and even with the stock lens (if you get a kit) you can probably still achieve most of what you want with a bit of reading and practice.



#3 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 14:44

what is your budget?  Canon has two cameras the 6d and the 70d with built in Wifi.

 

However, the most important thing in photography is how you handle and feel the camera so if you can go into a store and try any brand out before you buy.

 

Don't worry on buying crazy amounts of glass if you're new to phography, like skiver I was stuck on kit lens for like 3-4 years until I understood what I needed better.

 

For your likes

 

I should probably say what I like:

  • Night shots of cityscapes  -- Doable with kit lens
  • Long exposure shots --- Same as above
  • Tilt-shift and focus-effect shots --- need to buy lens for this and/or build your own, software effects are frowned upon because it takes a lot to get them right.
  • 360 panoramas  --- stiching in photoshop or panoramio or your software of preference.
  • Time lapse movies -- doable in nikons ( wouldn't know about canons)
  • Interestingly lit shots (eg sun from behind clouds - a scene I found amazing in person in Florida, but my point'n'click just couldn't capture) --  prime lens perhaps

It seems you would need a hi-iso performing camera (which most model of the Canikon duopoly or other brands have anyway...) always focus on what you need to take the shot.

 

Off the top of my head, BUDGET withstanding I would go in this order for brand new dSLR.

 

1.Canon-Nikon  ( They've been around, will be around, has good amount of old glass that works in nikon, not as much as canon IIRC)

 

2.Pentax-Sony   Almost every pentax lens made to date, fits any modern dSLR.  The same goes with sony since they bought Minolta, every minolta lens fits. (With exceptions obviously), just carefull with Sony as they used Electric viewfinder, which i've tried and tested and is pretty good IMO, but it's not everyones cupa.

 

3.Olympus/panasonic uses 4/3 sensor, images will simply be noisier period. However, olympus has been known to have the best jpeg engine (eg. no need to fiddle around with raw).

 

4.Samsung is based around sony lens with pentax build IIRC, Don't know much about them, so really can't comment.

 

 

 

Budget or not, I would get whatever body + kit lens and a nifty fifty 50mm 1.8 prime, Canon, Nikon, Sony and pentax have one for $150 or less in some cases. For best low light photos you basically need a fast lens (lower aperture number) (At least that's the easy way without having to add flashes/strobes)

 

 

Notice i've left out mirrorless micro 4/3,  as I know little about them, because personally I think the cost-performance isn't enough to replace my dSLR... (Eg to expensive for the performance you get in my opinion).



#4 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 14:49

example build:

 

 

http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B00BI9X7UC   Body only

http://www.amazon.co...words=d7100 kit      Kit

 

 

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B004Y1AYAC older cheaper version of this lens works just as good:

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/B00005LEN4

 

And yes, in my opinion, buying a bridge camera is throwing money away.



#5 Skiver

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 15:09

Also if you want to search around a bit for prices once you have an idea on what kit you want, I always found this site quite useful (mostly for dreaming of what I could buy)

http://www.camerapricebuster.com/



#6 OP +Nik L

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 15:44

Thanks.  As for budget... Hmmm.  I would probably buy on credit, so around the £600 mark?  I know it's not a lot (as far as photography goes) but like I say, this is tentative first steps.

 

If I may address:

 

  • Night shots of cityscapes  -- Doable with kit lens
    Great, assumed as such - this is more about adjustments and a stable tripod?
  • Long exposure shots --- Same as above
    As above.  I'd really like to do the sort of things I've seen where the shutter can be held open for quite a while
  • Tilt-shift and focus-effect shots --- need to buy lens for this and/or build your own, software effects are frowned upon because it takes a lot to get them right.
    Yeah, this is where it could become expensive I guess
  • 360 panoramas  --- stiching in photoshop or panoramio or your software of preference.
    True, and often better than automated tools
  • Time lapse movies -- doable in nikons ( wouldn't know about canons)
    Exactly what I mean is: Take a photo every x seconds for x hours
  • Interestingly lit shots (eg sun from behind clouds - a scene I found amazing in person in Florida, but my point'n'click just couldn't capture) --  prime lens perhaps
    Will look into a prime lens. I meant how poorly I captured this: http://www.flickr.co...uch/5637780796/


#7 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 16:00

http://www.amazon.co...&keywords=d5200

 

For tripod, just get the cheapest most sturdy that you can and then move upwards, tripod IMO is way to overrated.

 

http://www.amazon.co...keywords=tripod

 

Can't view flickr at work..

 

 

Simple question, do you plan to upgrade lens in the foreseeable future? (6 months or less)  Because Nikon lower and mid entry (D3XXX and D5XXX) will not autofocus on older lens. But that's overrated as well, there are plenty of new good n cheap lens.



#8 OP +Nik L

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 22:07

Do I plan to upgrade the lens?  I have no idea.  Should I?

 

I already have a tripod I use with my camcorder :)



#9 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:01

nope, don't upgrade until you out shoot your kit lens. The D5200 would be a good bet, brand new sensor, very good ISO performance.

 

Canon equivalent http://www.amazon.co...ords=canon dslr

 

I won't compare both for you, you can compare sensor performance  side by side over at DXO mark.  here: http://www.dxomark.c...0/(brand)/Nikon

 

Even cheaper and probably as good as the 5200 for a beginner: the 3200 (the red version just because :p )

 

http://www.amazon.co...&keywords=d3200



#10 OP +Nik L

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:15

I think I'm kinda sold on the d5200 :)



#11 Skiver

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:59

Good choice, I have to admit when I looked at it yesterday It made me want!

 

As for the shot, I think what you are probably wanting is maybe a little HDR so that you can capture the brilliant light but not under expose the crowd? To be fair a lot of point and shoots can do this sort of thing. I know my phone (Nexus 4) has an HDR mode built in.



#12 OP +Nik L

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:36

Skiver: Yes, HDR would/could have done it.  My P&S didn't have such an option at the time.  Cheers :)

 

My understanding of HDR is that it takes 2(+) photos at the same time, one with settings for the lighter areas, one with settings for the darker areas (+) and then combines these to increase the overall range of what it is capable of?



#13 Skiver

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:06

To be honest I haven't ever looked at it that much but I believe you take 3 or more photo's, at different exposure levels (f-stop) typically going up and down 1 stop from the original and then combining them all.

HDR seems to be a bit of a marmite area with a lot of photographers, they either love it or hate it.



#14 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 19:54

+1 HDR has to be done perfect in order to look "real" in my opinion, else you get those overcooked photos that look like renders. But like skiver says, it's a hit and miss with people.

 

Also with raw, you can technically HDR with one photograph, process for one underexposed, mid and high exposure, then blend in photoshop, not the best solution but a lot of people go that way. IMO the more photos are taken within the same time frame, the better dynamic range for the HDR... 



#15 Steve B.

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 17:50

If you haven't purchased already, find a store that has both the Nikon and Canon equivalent models and give them a try, it's the best way and you'll know which one you want almost immediately after holding both!