Thinking Seriously About a Real Camera

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Cuberant, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Cuberant

    Cuberant Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Morgan, UT
    I’ve been taking pictures and videos with both a Samsung Galaxy S6 and an iPhone 6S. I’ve had pretty good results but have become acutely aware of their limitations. I’m now thinking seriously about moving up to a point and shoot or DSLR.

    Many years ago (Man! This is going to date me) I dabbled with a Minolta XG6 so I have some experience with that technology. I’ve been reading all the great posts here discussing gear and software. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the wealth of choices out there. Where do I start?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. Cuberant

    Cuberant Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Morgan, UT
    Don’t know if this is a good starting point but I am intrigued with the Sony RX10 III that @gnwatts recently bought and posted about.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    You know, I've had a number of different cameras, including medium format, and I actually think the Canon SL2 would be a great start for you. It's not expensive, it has a lot of really fine attributes, comes with a nice kit lens, and takes any Canon glass you want to put on it. I'm of the school that it's better to put money into lenses than the camera, as long as you have the basics. As well-known photographer Mike Drew says, any camera you can buy today will do a fine job for you.

    I love the Camera Store reviews (they have that great understated Kanuck sense of humor) and they have a nice review of the SL2:



    They may also have a review of the Sony RX10 III.

    But I've seen some really top-notch work done on the iPhone. Udink has some photos that actually blew me away. And remember the old saying that it's not the camera, but the photographer. Pro Photographer has a series of YouTubes that are actually pretty fun where they take professional photographers and give them cheap cameras, a lot of them are basically toys, and see what they come up with. It's pretty impressive.

     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
    Kishenehn and Cuberant like this.
  4. gnwatts

    gnwatts Member

    Messages:
    1,264
    I am pleased overall with the Sony. The fixed Zeiss 24-600mm is sharp and smooth. I do not miss carrying lenses around in the back country.
    I am biased, as I have sold my Canon bodies and gone over to Sony. Their partnership with Zeiss is the biggest reason. They are expensive, but worth it, at least for me.
     
    Cuberant likes this.
  5. Wyatt Carson

    Wyatt Carson Desert Vagabond

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    The Desert Wastelands
    I've been using Canon DSLRs for 16 years now. So I have some good glass that is carried over to a new model. I like good quality but not going to pay thousands of dollars. It really depends on what you are going to use the photography for. If you are using it for web work (all have way more pixels necessary for that) or wanting to print huge wall hangers. Of course some of the current crop of big sized sensor P&S cameras have gotten pretty good too and would carry easier when afoot with a pack.

    But what I do is buy used DSLRs and save many hundreds of dollars. I don't care if they are years old if they are in good condition. Since I really bang mine around in rocky, sandy terrain and have never had a failure, buying used makes a lot of monetary sense you get a very proficient tool. For me the most important things have been good dynamic range to capture all of the zones you have in outdoor work, good composition, interesting lighting and good post processing from RAW. You may have different expectations but I've always been kind of picky with the fine details of tones through the image.

    It is a camera zoo out there, many good ones too but you can drop of bunch of bills on something you can do for a less expensive if you fine one from someone who got tired of theirs, tons of them like that in my experience. .
     
    Rockskipper and Cuberant like this.
  6. AbinadiWitness

    AbinadiWitness Member

    Messages:
    26
    I hike with a Nikon D810 and the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 lens and the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 for wide angle and zoom options, respectively. This is not a light set-up at all, but I take pictures with the intent to produce high quality large landscape prints for sale - as well as just having nice shots for my own enjoyment. For especially hairy terrain/very intense scrambles I have a little Sony RX100 point and shoot that's 2-3 years old now, but it lets me shoot in RAW at about 20 megapixels, so I have a lot of flexibility there for what I like to do along with a very small package. The RX100 series is pretty cool if you're looking for a small but very capable unit. It's not weather sealed, but mine has taken plenty of abuse in the deep desert, in high alpine terrain, and in extremes of hot and cold without ever giving me a problem. Not a lot of zoom range on the Sony RX100 but it takes good pictures for such a small package.

    I upgraded to a DSLR set up with multiple lenses once people were asking for prints of things I was taking with the RX100 and I knew I couldn't really push that camera any harder than I was at the time. The D810 is a serious machine with the price tag to accompany it - and for most folks anything like that wouldn't really be necessary. As far as I see it, unless you're planning on producing large high quality prints of your work you don't need anything too fancy and I'd probably give more preference to saving weight and packing room with something capable but smaller. I originally tried one of the interchangeable lens Sony mirrorless units (a6300) but had issues when dealing with temperature extremes that made the camera fail to function...My D810 and my little Sony RX100 turn on every time I want them to and do what I set them to do as long as the battery's still good in either one, and the D810 is weather-sealed (as long as I'm using the 16-35mm lens, anyway), so that gives me a bit more flexibility in shooting conditions as well. I've really enjoyed the upgrade, even with the substantial cost, and the increase in function makes the price and the ongoing weight worth it for me. Hope you find something that fits your need(s) well. :)
     
    Cuberant likes this.
  7. regehr

    regehr Member

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I've also had a great time with an RX-100. Mine is a model II (model V is the latest). It is a pricey little gadget but it gets probably 95% of the shots that I'd have gotten with the big Nikon D90 that I used to carry around. I keep the RX-100 in a ziplock bag when it's in my pocket to keep the sand and sweat out of it -- there are nice cases you can buy but they're all much bulkier than a ziplock.

    If you want to go DSLR it looks like the Nikon D7300 is extremely capable and not a ton more expensive than the latest RX-100.
     
    Cuberant likes this.
  8. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

    Messages:
    3,219
    Location:
    better off outside
    My only input is a reaction to your post title. Why not ? It is a heck of a lot of fun and when you begin learning what else you can do it becomes even more so.
     
    Cuberant and gnwatts like this.
  9. andyjaggy

    andyjaggy Member

    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    American Fork
    I shoot with a Sony a6000 and a few random lenses for that system. I have been really happy with the results over the years. It's small and light and had good IQ. I would shoot with something bigger and better but am mainly motivated by financial reasons for sticking with it, but it works. I've just recently begun uploading some photos to the internet, so you can see some of what I've taken with that setup on here.

    https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/andrew-davidson.html
     
    Ugly, Cuberant, gnwatts and 1 other person like this.
  10. ramblinman

    ramblinman Member

    Messages:
    32
    Rockskipper likes this.
  11. Kishenehn

    Kishenehn Member

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    For some reason, threads about camera systems remind me of threads about religion. :)

    Anyhow, I shot with Nikon SLRs and DSLRs for many years, and remain a real fan of Nikon glass ... I think it's absolutely the best. A few years ago, though, I realized that I was using my DSLR less and less, especially when hiking/backpacking -- my iPhone was taking better and better shots, and that made the Nikon gear feel heavier and more awkward than ever. So I sold most of my Nikon stuff and decided to go mirrorless, settling on the Olympus OM-D system. I've been extremely happy with that, and would recommend it (or something similar) to almost any backpacker. Image quality is excellent, there's a good variety of quality glass available, and the gear is both lightweight and weather/dust resistant.

    There's still a place for DSLR gear in the backcountry, primarily for folks whose primary focus is taking National Geographic-style wildlife shots ... but for the vast majority of backcountry travelers, I think a quality, interchangeable-lens mirrorless system is easily the best bet.
     
  12. Kishenehn

    Kishenehn Member

    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    Especially in the digital era, this is really important advice. Image sensors and processing firmware evolve rapidly nowadays, so it's often only a year or two before a new camera body can start to feel dated in the broader marketplace. But a quality lens is a quality lens, and it will serve you well through many generations of camera bodies.
     
    Rockskipper and Cuberant like this.
  13. Cuberant

    Cuberant Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Morgan, UT
    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the great info so far. Keep it coming!

    Lots to digest, lots of things to learn just to be able to talk the talk.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    W. Colorado
    Good advice to go used. Canon.com has lots of refurbished lenses and cameras. I bought a 7D Mark II from them at a great discount, it is absolutely perfect. Also came with a one year guarantee and 30 day return period. And if you do decide to go mirrorless, I really like my M5. One reason I stick with Canon is they have fantastic customer service, and their cameras last forever. I've read lots of good things about Sony, except they apparently have really poor customer service. I think part of that is because they're growing so fast. And I do have a Sony Go Pro type camera, which is better than any actual Go Pro.
     
    Artemus and Wyatt Carson like this.
  15. Cuberant

    Cuberant Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Morgan, UT
    I was wondering about buying used without the risks of dropping hundreds of dollars on an Ebay purchase. I’ll have to check it out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Rockskipper

    Rockskipper Member

    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    W. Colorado
  17. Wyatt Carson

    Wyatt Carson Desert Vagabond

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    The Desert Wastelands
    That is a good link, never have looked at that one before. I got a Rebel series camera for "lightweight" hiking...compared to the more upper level Canons that are heavier, off of Amazon for 150 bucks and it is in stellar condition, real good Canon battery with it too. That has been my main camera for a couple of years now. It was used by someone who shot sort of family and office functions with it. I know because I recovered all the deleted images off the flash card that came with it. LOL I just had to look. Some folks think Deleted means gone but they are not gone until written over.

    Your advice on good glass is spot on. I got a couple of lenses when they first came out many years ago and dropped a thousand dollars on them and still sue them to this day. I don't need any other lenses. There are lenses costing several thousand dollars but I get the "look" I'm after and serious good quality with the ones I use. They cover super wide to mild telephoto. That part is subjective for sure depending. DXO software takes out distortion if the lens has any and aberrations too. You just never do see them with that software. Its very good with noise too, preserving fine detail, better than other software I've tried.
     
    Rockskipper and Cuberant like this.
  18. Cuberant

    Cuberant Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Morgan, UT
    Beautiful pics BTW!
     
  19. andyjaggy

    andyjaggy Member

    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    American Fork
    Yes, but also no. It's like anything, they convince us that because something is now a few years old it is worthless and we MUST get the newest greatest. If your camera takes excellent photos today it will still take excellent photos in 5 years, just because there is something that might take better photos doesn't mean it doesn't still take excellent photos. Of course this is coming from a guy who still doesn't have a smart phone and who's wife used the same phone for 7 years before replacing it. My Sony a6000 is like 5 years old now but it still work wonderfully, and I can still print pretty respectable 30X45 prints with it. Could they be better, sure, but there comes a point of diminishing returns with camera gear.

    I think others have said it pretty well, pick out a decent body and then get 1-2 good pieces of glass and you will be set. I would also suggest dropping a few hundred dollars on a good quality and light tripod. That is another piece of gear that will last you forever if you buy quality from the start.
     
    Cuberant and Rockskipper like this.
  20. SteveR

    SteveR Member

    Messages:
    53
    Have you ever looked at some of the "discussions" over at DP Review? Yikes!
    And speaking of DPR:
    Great advice above!
     
Loading...