Camera shopping

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by 05fatboy, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. 05fatboy

    05fatboy

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    My wife has taken up photography as a hobby. She uses her cell phone camera since that is only camera we own. I want to buy her a "real" camera. Can anyone give me advice on what to buy or look for since I know very little about them?
     
  2. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Is she willing to lug around a backpack with extra lenses & flash, or just wants a all in one handheld?

    Sent from my Jack boot using Copatalk
     
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  3. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    First question: Budget?
    (Okay, I'm slow. So it's the second question. But it should be the first)
     
  4. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    My guess is most any hundred dollar point and shoot digital camera would be noticeable improvement over almost all phone cameras. And my next guess is that most any hundred dollar point and shoot would have about 98% of the capability of the professional level SLRs with a thirty five pounds of prime lenses from a couple decades back.


    And I would also suggest that nothing says "I love you dear" camera wise, more than a current new Leica M model with an appropriate assortment of lenses for it
     
  5. 05fatboy

    05fatboy

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    All in one handheld.
     
  6. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    For the $250 range, you can get a very good Canon PowerShot. There's a entire range of PowerShots, but $250 seems to be the price point for best bang for your buck....excellent macro, steady shot, telephoto and high def video.
     
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  7. Santa CruZin

    Santa CruZin Searching

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  8. wingryder

    wingryder

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    Except control of depth of field and excellent color contrast that can only be had from good glass. I took a point and shoot with me to Europe. I regretted every photo when I returned. They all look like family photos. I should have taken my DSLR.

    To the OP. If your wife wants to learn to use a DSLR then they are definitely worth it. But if she just wants to take pretty pictures in AUTO mode, a point and shoot is probably the way to go. There are some "creative auto" modes on DSLR's but most still require you to have a fairly good knowledge of your shooting conditions. No way around it, there is a learning curve and an art to SLR photography and it takes practice and a bit of research to get the most out of a DSLR. But you can buy an outstanding DSLR for well under $1000.
     
  9. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    I would have thought one way to control depth of field was to choose the focal length, focal point and f stop of the lens but I might be wrong. I do admit I have not seen any tests comparing resolution at the center and edge of a current point and shoot lens versus a thirty year old prime SLR lens. I am guessing that even now a prime lens resolves better than does a zoom lens and a limited range zoom lens for a SLR most likely resolves better than does a 40x zoom for a point and shoot.
     
  10. wingryder

    wingryder

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    I guess I should have clarified by saying shallow depth of field.

    ETA: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-get-blurry-backgrounds-with-a-point-and-shoot/
     
  11. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    No. Bought a $100 P&S Nikon for my wife and she used it about 3 times. Daylight images were not any better than our iPhones (at normal sizes) and it was so slow to zoom, focus and take a picture that it's just easier to use our phones.

    Her $200 Canon that she lost was at least an improvement over the phone.
     
  12. PhotoFeller

    PhotoFeller A swamp dude

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    I can't offer guidance beyond my own experience, but I've been experimenting with and learning about cameras for many, many years. My first 'serious' camera was a .35mm Bell & Howell SLR purchased in about 1975.

    If the photography 'bug' sticks with your wife, her growth in knowledge and experience will create a need for more sophisticated, more expensive cameras over time. To start out, however, be satisfied with a decent basic camera that allows for learning about photo fundamentals.

    A key initial decision point is: Does she want a camera that fits into her purse or jacket pocket? Or, is a full size camera desirable?

    Take her to a good camera store where she can interact with an 'expert' to start learning about camera features and options and get a feel for camera prices. There are some great on-line learning resources, too. The right camera isn't the most expensive one you can afford. My most expensive camera is the one I use least. My most used camera is the one that has fewer bells and whistles.

    If a full-size camera is desired, the SLR platform offers so many possibilities. Personally, I've learned to invest more in lenses than expensive camera bodies. So, choosing a basic Nikon or Canon SLR with 1 or 2 'kit' lenses is a great place to start with only a modest investment.

    I compare choosing a first serious camera to buying a first handgun. There is a learning curve, and there are lots of resources available for helping us figure out what the options are and what makes the most sense. Just take the time and do the work necessary to get started in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
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  13. czsmithGT

    czsmithGT

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    Yes this is the biggest creative hurdle to overcome with a small sensor versus a full frame or even APS-C sized sensor plus a fast lens. Of course action photography, wildlife photography also present challenges for a smaller sensor and slower shutter or lens. Whether these things matter or not is totally dependent on the kind of pictures you take.
     
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  14. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    Sounds suspiciously like a Canon FTb or maybe TLb but with Bell and Howell instead of Canon on the top plate.

    They were good solid cameras. Again my guess is that about 100 dollars in a point and shoot digital today would come close. I understand blurring background by using a (even a moderate) telephoto lens might be an issue. And while the point and shoot digital might not open up to F1.4 in low light situations I might look closely at what is the equivalent ASA on the digital camera as back then I am pretty sure we were not regularly shooting 3200 speed color film. The FTb or similar along with a 24mm and a 200mm lens with the original normal lens gave us some decent shooting options. But I still have to guess that a huge amount of what I did with that I could come close to replicating with something from a not too expensive point and shoot digital. Now it may not be as fun.
     
  15. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Here's a couple options. Nikon has roughly similar offerings, but I've been on the Canon train for many years, so it's what I know best.

    This is a very mainstream point/shoot camera. It's what I'd buy my aunt if she'd asked for a camera for her birthday. Does everything a Point/Shoot camera is supposed to do, and does it well. It's simultaneously pretty mediocre by the standards of photo pros, and knocks the socks off anything but a very nice camera from five or more years ago. Compact, functional, generally reliable to do a decent job with an amateur behind the camera. Comes with all the usual P/S hassles - slow autofocus, just-OK performance in low light, no real viewfinder, serious tendency to miss the picture you really wanted while trying to autofocus after you push the shutter button.
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Camera-Black/dp/B00HLDFNKQ/

    DSLR with a very basic zoom lens. You'll probably end up spending a couple hundred more on a longer zoom lens. It's a heck of a camera/lens combination for the price. All the benefits of a DSLR (fast autofocus, proper viewfinder, larger sensor, better lens, tremendous long-term flexibility) in a reasonably-sized, reasonably-priced package.
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Rebel-Digital-18-55mm-Lens/dp/B00BW6LWO4/

    Superzoom is a hybrid approach - smaller than a DSLR, more-capable than a P/S. I gave one of these to my cousin when they had their first kid a couple years ago, and every time I see them I hear about how amazing the camera is, and how much they love it, and how everyone they know asks them to take photos because they have a great camera.

    I bought a similar model for my daughter, and find it a somewhat painful mix of powerful benefits and hideous compromises. The 40x optical zoom is pretty amazing, and the optical image stabilization built in allows someone with even a modest bit of skill to take full advantage of the zoom. Takes surprisingly good video also. But has all the P/S problems listed above, without the benefit of being ultra-compact. My final judgement is that it's a really good camera for anything but sports/action photography or low-light, for which only a DSLR will do. http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-SX60-Digital-Camera/dp/B00NEWZ8EY or the more-compact/slightly less-capable/much-cheaper http://www.amazon.com/Canon-9779B001-PowerShot-SX530-HS/dp/B00RKNND2W/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

    Last but not least is the 'high end' P/S model - The same price as a Superzoom, about 2/3 the cost of a full-on DSLR, roughly the same notional specs as the standard P/S at the top, but filled with a larger sensor and prosumer level DSLR electronics. I own this one as my backup camera, and I'm constantly blown away by how good it is for a point/shoot camera. In particular, it's shockingly good in low light.

    In about 80% of situations it takes pics just as good as my DSLR with consumer-quality lenses. The other 20% truly require a DSLR - sports/action, specifically But... the S120 still manages to do an pretty darn good job in those situations, despite being fundamentally over-matched. A rock-solid choice if you're not going the DSLR route.
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Optical-Full-HD/dp/B00EFILNV8

    Any one of these will do the job - it's just about budget and how you imagine she's going to use it. If she's serious, you'll eventually end up buying a DSLR, but even though I own a very nice Canon 60D DSLR, the S120 ends up being my camera of choice more than half the time, since it does 70% of the job in about 15% of the weight/bulk.
     
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  16. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    You can take great pictures with a $100 point & shoot. It will be slow to focus, slow to zoom, and none of the cheap ones have manual control for aperture or shutter speed, but I think most will let you set ISO sensitivity. I think for someone trying to get into the art of photography, it would be a poor choice. For someone looking to take general pictures of what they see or selfies with friends and family, it's fine.
     
  17. Dragline

    Dragline

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    Too bad you didn't ask this yesterday. Canon had refurb Powershot SX 50 cameras on sale for $150 all weekend. This camera has a 50X zoom which is a 1200mm equivalent, plus a ton of other features.
    Canon refurbs come like new with all original accessories and a one year warranty and FS.
    It's $387 now.
     
  18. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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