Help a noob pick a camera?

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Hello everyone, I currently have a pretty cheap point and shoot camera now and I'd like to upgrade to something that will shoot both high quality photos and videos, photos are more important.

Now, I know next to nothing about cameras but I have found a few that seem to be pretty good from both real life advice as well as internet reviews. I'd like to stay under $500 if at all possible.

This is what I'm looking at now...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CAXVJP0/?tag=gtplanet-20

All that for less than $400 (I'm a Prime member, it is $498 without Prime) seems like a pretty good deal. I know Nikon and Canon seem to be more popular brands but I haven't found any bundles like that and all the extras really appeal to me as a beginner.

So, any advice? Thank you in advance.
 

35mm

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NOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!

Seriously, unless you need the 1200mm (equiv.) focal distance, for that price, I'd strongly recommend you looking for a dSLR instead.

Spend a bit of time googling "dSLR vs compact" and, since camera size doesn't seem to concern you, you should quickly get to that conclusion as well*.

Also, this has nothing to do with brands. Go for a Sony dSLR if you prefer them.

*tip: it's all in the sensor size.
 

Lion-Face

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DM is right, big zoom sounds impressive but it doesn't take decent photos. Sure for its category it's pretty decent, and compared to a smart phone it's amazing, but your better off putting your money into something better. I found a much better camera with the same bundle seeing as that appeals to you. Will get you started and is a good camera that will grow with you as you get better with photography.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ESIWG6G/?tag=gtplanet-20
 
2,415
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James_Page
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DM is right, big zoom sounds impressive but it doesn't take decent photos. Sure for its category it's pretty decent, and compared to a smart phone it's amazing, but your better off putting your money into something better. I found a much better camera with the same bundle seeing as that appeals to you. Will get you started and is a good camera that will grow with you as you get better with photography.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-NEX-5TL-Interchangeable-Camcorder-Accessory/dp/B00ESIWG6G/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1406119170&sr=1-3&keywords=sony nex 5t

Smartphone? I'm still using a flip phone so there is no doubt that just about anything I get will have a better camera than that. :lol:

Out of curiosity, why is the one you linked better? Is it because it is a DSLR? I assumed the more megapixels the better, but I suppose I was wrong about that. Again, complete camera noob here so sorry if these questions are relatively stupid.
 
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He picked out a pretty good choice for a beginner. What that is, is a Mirrorless SLR. Still technically a DSLR, just slimmed down with no viewfinder, just live view. But they still produce good quality as far as I know.

But Megapixels just determine the final size of the picture, and are good for blowing up pictures into prints. With a 16 megapixel, you could still get a 20x30 print and have it be good quality, and would give about a final size of 5000x3200 I believe.
 
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Thanks for the help so far guys, I appreciate it. As I said earlier, I'm open to just about any brand, it doesn't have to be a Sony.
 

F1GTR

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He picked out a pretty good choice for a beginner. What that is, is a Mirrorless SLR. Still technically a DSLR, just slimmed down with no viewfinder, just live view. But they still produce good quality as far as I know.

That isn't an SLR since it doesn't have a mirror (the 'R' in 'SLR'). I'd still recommend it though. OP, have a look at this too:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008NENG1A/?tag=gtplanet-20
@Azuremen is a big fan of his. Use the $200 left over for memory cards and batteries, maybe a mini tripod if you want (I'm a fan of the Manfrotto Pixi).
 

35mm

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@peobryant: I suggested a dSLR because I assumed - based on that Sony - that you wanted a big, sturdy camera.

I agree with the rest that a mirrorless camera is an even better choice (just as long as you don't get a mirrorless Nikon...).
 

Mike Rotch

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I'm no expert (:D) but in my searching, I would think there is a lot more capable and cheaper alternatives, especially for you being in the US where kit is cheaper than Aus for example.

F1GTR's suggestion is what I would have also put up, along with the Olympus PM2 (which may be slightly above budget though) or the Nikon J1.

I'd still suggest you get a second hand DSLR and lenses though; they appear to be cheap as chips in your part of the world....
 
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phillgt2002

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I'd still suggest you get a second hand DSLR and lenses though; they appear to be cheap as chips in your part of the world....

They pretty much are.

$_12.JPG


$100 used on Ebay You can even find some Prime lenses for even cheaper, like $50-$80 range.
 

Lion-Face

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Out of curiosity, why is the one you linked better? Is it because it is a DSLR? I assumed the more megapixels the better, but I suppose I was wrong about that. Again, complete camera noob here so sorry if these questions are relatively stupid.

It is better because it's sensor is approx 4 times larger than the one in the camera you picked. The bigger the sensor, the more light it can capture, the better the end result. The Sony NEX series (Mirrorless) has the same size sensor as the Nikon/Canon enthusiast DSLR camera's (APS-C) and is a very good starting point. It will allow you to capture high quality images on auto modes, and if you want to get more into photography (very easy when you get a camera like that) then it will grow with you as your skills get better.

F1GTR mentioned the Canon Eos M Mirrorless. By comparison it's a dog compared to the majority of Mirrorless cameras out there. Very poor autofocus speeds leave you wanting.

Mike Rotch mentioned the Olympus PM2 which brings up the M4/3rds mirrorless cameras. Olympus make great cameras but I don't believe the M4/3rd Sensor format is doing them any favours. As I said, the bigger the sensor, the better the end result (in a general sense). M4/3rd is a smaller sensor than the Sony (APS-C) so suffers when it comes to low light performance by comparison.
 

F1GTR

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F1GTR mentioned the Canon Eos M Mirrorless. By comparison it's a dog compared to the majority of Mirrorless cameras out there. Very poor autofocus speeds leave you wanting.

Mike Rotch mentioned the Olympus PM2 which brings up the M4/3rds mirrorless cameras. Olympus make great cameras but I don't believe the M4/3rd Sensor format is doing them any favours. As I said, the bigger the sensor, the better the end result (in a general sense). M4/3rd is a smaller sensor than the Sony (APS-C) so suffers when it comes to low light performance by comparison.

Here's my reasoning for the Canon:
- Canon have updated the firmware so that AF has been greatly improved
- The 22mm/2 lens that come with it is very nice and it 35mm eq. is the perfect general use focal length
- Having learned on a Canon point and shoot before, I know they've got their UI down. Their video modes are probably one of the best
- Speaking of video, it seems that Magic Lantern works on the EOS M too
- The M+22m is a pretty compact combo so you're more likely to take it along with you and take photos
- Should @peobryant want to move up to a DSLR at some point, he can buy the EF adapter in a bundle with it and just buy EF lenses from then on. He can also buy Canon flashes too. He buys a DSLR after really getting into photography. He now has a system that can use lenses interchangeably and he has a backup body for alternate lenses or for redundancy.
 

Lion-Face

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Here's my reasoning for the Canon:
1- Canon have updated the firmware so that AF has been greatly improved
2- The 22mm/2 lens that come with it is very nice and it 35mm eq. is the perfect general use focal length
3- Having learned on a Canon point and shoot before, I know they've got their UI down. Their video modes are probably one of the best
4- Speaking of video, it seems that Magic Lantern works on the EOS M too
5- The M+22m is a pretty compact combo so you're more likely to take it along with you and take photos
6- Should @peobryant want to move up to a DSLR at some point, he can buy the EF adapter in a bundle with it and just buy EF lenses from then on. He can also buy Canon flashes too. He buys a DSLR after really getting into photography. He now has a system that can use lenses interchangeably and he has a backup body for alternate lenses or for redundancy.

1- I took into account the updated firmware. Good light autofocus it is passable but still slow compared with majority of Mirrorless cameras, and only gets worse as the light goes.

2- 22mm is nice on crop sensor, I love prime lenses. Maybe a little limiting for beginner, not that 18-55 is a huge range but gives a little more versatility.

3- UI is fine, but I believe people will learn to use what they own, so is a little moot. The Sony UI has plenty of customization for shortcuts and making buttons do what you want. I'm not going to argue UI because it's a personal preference. I find the Sony UI easier to understand for beginners, but the Canon isn't difficult either, but it wouldn't surprise me to find the next person I walk past to have the opposite, or a different opinion on camera UI.

4- I don't take video into account when looking for still photography as the more important goal. Personally I don't video much so I'm not in a position to argue that point.

5- Based on the initial camera peobryant linked, he wasn't looking for compact. Both the sony and canon mirrorlesss are more compact than the camera in the first post, but neither are pocket-able. One of my first camera's was a high end compact and took great photo's (for a high end compact) and it was entirely pocket-able, but after 6 months I stopped carrying it around because I was disappointed in the results. Since owning a mirrorless camera, I have to carry a larger bag, but I take it everywhere. Why? Because it takes phenomenal pictures and I don't want to miss a moment. It's worth the hassle of carrying another bag.

6- Why should someone want to move 'up' to a DSLR? Mirrorless gives DSLR quality photo's. It's not moving up, it's moving sideways if anything. The weakest point of Mirrorless is autofocus tracking and autofocus in low light, but the latest generation of camera's are fixing that and are performing on par with most DSLR's in both tracking and low light autofocusing. I don't see DSLR camera's being around for the long term.

As far as growth, Sony has a full range of DSLR's available if someone wants to go down the 'buy an adaptor, buy lenses with the goal of getting a DSLR in the future' mentality. But Sony also are backing Mirrorless in a much bigger way than Canon, with full frame mirrorless available, one could buy full frame lenses with the goal to move up to the larger format later on. Or just update their APS-C body down the track, with lenses/flashes/viewfinders/whatever available for whichever direction one may wish to take.
 

F1GTR

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1- I took into account the updated firmware. Good light autofocus it is passable but still slow compared with majority of Mirrorless cameras, and only gets worse as the light goes.

2- 22mm is nice on crop sensor, I love prime lenses. Maybe a little limiting for beginner, not that 18-55 is a huge range but gives a little more versatility.

3- UI is fine, but I believe people will learn to use what they own, so is a little moot. The Sony UI has plenty of customization for shortcuts and making buttons do what you want. I'm not going to argue UI because it's a personal preference. I find the Sony UI easier to understand for beginners, but the Canon isn't difficult either, but it wouldn't surprise me to find the next person I walk past to have the opposite, or a different opinion on camera UI.

4- I don't take video into account when looking for still photography as the more important goal. Personally I don't video much so I'm not in a position to argue that point.

5- Based on the initial camera peobryant linked, he wasn't looking for compact. Both the sony and canon mirrorlesss are more compact than the camera in the first post, but neither are pocket-able. One of my first camera's was a high end compact and took great photo's (for a high end compact) and it was entirely pocket-able, but after 6 months I stopped carrying it around because I was disappointed in the results. Since owning a mirrorless camera, I have to carry a larger bag, but I take it everywhere. Why? Because it takes phenomenal pictures and I don't want to miss a moment. It's worth the hassle of carrying another bag.

6- Why should someone want to move 'up' to a DSLR? Mirrorless gives DSLR quality photo's. It's not moving up, it's moving sideways if anything. The weakest point of Mirrorless is autofocus tracking and autofocus in low light, but the latest generation of camera's are fixing that and are performing on par with most DSLR's in both tracking and low light autofocusing. I don't see DSLR camera's being around for the long term.

As far as growth, Sony has a full range of DSLR's available if someone wants to go down the 'buy an adaptor, buy lenses with the goal of getting a DSLR in the future' mentality. But Sony also are backing Mirrorless in a much bigger way than Canon, with full frame mirrorless available, one could buy full frame lenses with the goal to move up to the larger format later on. Or just update their APS-C body down the track, with lenses/flashes/viewfinders/whatever available for whichever direction one may wish to take.

1 - Low light AF on most mirrorless cameras is rubbish anyway. However, learn the limitations and it's still reliable. I use a Fuji X-Pro 1 - not exactly a speed demon in low light - but I still get by. With mirrorless cameras today you focus on contrasty areas and most of the time it'll lock quickly and be perfectly accurate.

2 - Sony's lenses are generally pretty crap though, Zeiss primes aside. Lenses are a huge weak point for Sony, they keep churning out bodies in the same market segment but neglect to address issues in their lens line up. Fuji and m4/3 have the right idea in that regard.

3 - True, but Sony's UI is terrible. It flies in the face of traditional, logical UI design. Have a look at this recent Reddit post on their top of the line a7:

My #1 gripe: No option to disable the LCD or manually toggle between the EVF and LCD while shooting. Has anyone at Sony ever used a camera? The battery life is horrendous enough, and this doesn't help.

Ideally, EVF and LCD are always off. When you put your eye to the EVF, it turns on. Take your eye away, it turns off. When you press the menu button, the LCD turns on so you can navigate menus. When you press the image review button, the LCD turns on so you can view images without your eye to the EVF. What I just described is the system of Panasonic, Fuji, Olympus, Canon, Nikon, and every other manufacturer. Yet it is impossible on the A7s for no apparent reason. If you're using the EVF, you have to review your images and dig through menus with your eye up to the EVF like an idiot. If you're on the eye sensor switch, the battery drains like nobody's business. This is fixable through firmware, PLEASE DO THIS, SONY.

To add insult to injury, you can map "disable LCD monitor" to a custom button. Great, right? Except it doesn't do what it says. Instead of turning off the LCD, it simply displays black... yes it's still on, which means it's still draining the battery, which means it's about as useful as an asshole on your elbow. I can't dream up of an applicable situation of wanting a blank black (yet lit) screen.

Second biggest gripe: Video recording. The video on this camera is supposed to be a main feature. So why is it so terribly implemented? The record video button location... They win the competition for worst button placement. It's incredibly stupid. There's no way to start video without completely compromising your hand position and balance.

That shouldn't be a big deal right? Just custom map a more ergonomically placed button to start video recording right?Not with Sony. you're not allowed to map ANY of the custom buttons to shoot video. That's right, you're stuck to using that tiny red dot on the side that your hand covers.

Even the shutter button doesn't work, not even in video mode. When pressed, it just displays on the screen: "Sorry, you can't use this button to shoot video." WHY, SONY, WHY?! You literally mapped a button just to tell me that I can't do something, instead of mapping that button for actually doing it? What the flying 🤬? Someone was drunk or high or both up in the company headquarters.

Speaking of the shutter button, it feels gummy and unresponsive as well. With no clear "half-press" distance, or even a clear "full-press" distance, there's no tactile feedback from how the camera is shooting. This just might be personal preference, but I've never seen even a semi-pro camera like that.

Custom White Balance Setting is not available in video mode. That means while in video mode, you can't set a custom white balance. On a camera where white balance is more important for the video than photo (photos you have raw), why the hell would Sony not let you do this? Ain't that some ****.
Abysmal Menu System

Image Review Menu: This is driving me insane. I don't need three differently shaped dials and buttons to do the exact same thing. Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus have this figured out. One dial scrolls through images, one dial zooms, directional pad pans around a picture. That's all you need, Sony, it's not hard. No, I don't want three ways to scroll through images, and have to press different buttons to change the mode, and still the three dials all do the same thing of something else (eg. zoom).

Every other menu: Due to the stupid counter-intuitive menu scrolling system, navigating through menus takes about 50 times longer than it should with a better layout and button control.

We want one dial to scroll through menus, one dial to scroll through submenus underneath the menu. Not all three doing the same thing!

It doesn't help that many of the most often used and important menu functions are embedded deep in sub-menus, so you have to hunt for them every time you want to change them. Most are not mappable to the custom buttons.

Overall, I'm slowly finding that the sensor itself is the only good thing about the camera. It's simply incredible in lowlight. Past that, nearly everything that surrounds the sensor is ridiculously poor design. However, most of the issues I have can be fixed through firmware, so I hope this happens. But given that the A7/r have been out for a while, maybe the chances are slim...

Now if this was the first camera Sony designed, I'd give them some leeway. But no, it's their 11th NEX camera and they still didn't get it right, nor have they released a firmware update to address it.

4 - It's nice to have the option when you need it. Even better when that option is actually good. I hear that Sony's mirrorless cameras have a good video mode too. Some stories are better told through motion, others through stills.

5 - I use a high end point and shoot too (Ricoh GRDIII), and I'm pretty happy with the results. Maybe you just gave up too early? Good on you for carrying a camera all the time anyway. Alex Majoli used two point and shoots back in 2003 and he's a Magnum photographer that regularly gets published: http://www.robgalbraith.com/multi_page8c1c.html?cid=7-6468-7844

6 - DSLRs are still a step up though. I'm not talking about moving from an EOS M to a Rebel, I'm talking about moving to a 7D mkII or a 5D mkIII. Only Fuji, Olympus, and to a certain extent Panasonic are building professional mirrorless systems you can grow into. But DSLRs still offer the whole package aside from size (which works both ways). And that's coming from someone who uses a high end mirrorless system.

Anyway, it's all academic for most people anyway (maybe even peobryant), just airing my thoughts. Try both systems in hand, pick which one suits your needs the best.
 

Azuremen

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1- I took into account the updated firmware. Good light autofocus it is passable but still slow compared with majority of Mirrorless cameras, and only gets worse as the light goes.

Amusingly, the AF in low light tends to be more consistent than my 5Dmkii.

That said, the AF is a bit slow even when compared to other mirrorless cameras, but certainly not any worse than a dSLR with a kit lens in most cases. Manual focus is pretty damn easy as well, and the big appeal to mirrorless (for me at least) is using vintage lenses with cheap adapters because the flange distance is so short no optical element is required.

2- 22mm is nice on crop sensor, I love prime lenses. Maybe a little limiting for beginner, not that 18-55 is a huge range but gives a little more versatility.

If someone is going to learn photography, I tend to recommend getting a prime lens. Sure, it isn't as versatile but is certainly more rewarding with the fast apertures found on primes. The 22mm is a great lens and the 35mm equivalent focal length is fairly ideal as a walk around.

3- UI is fine, but I believe people will learn to use what they own, so is a little moot. The Sony UI has plenty of customization for shortcuts and making buttons do what you want. I'm not going to argue UI because it's a personal preference. I find the Sony UI easier to understand for beginners, but the Canon isn't difficult either, but it wouldn't surprise me to find the next person I walk past to have the opposite, or a different opinion on camera UI.

Every time I've dealt with Sony's UI, I've been baffed at how poorly it is done. Of course, Sony has never been good at UI's in anything (the PS3 was arguably rubbish, etc) and their cameras are no exception. Changing from video to stills, along with tweaking any settings on the fly is extremely straight forward on the EOS M, and is fairly consistent with all the other cameras in Canon's lineup.

5- Based on the initial camera peobryant linked, he wasn't looking for compact. Both the sony and canon mirrorlesss are more compact than the camera in the first post, but neither are pocket-able. One of my first camera's was a high end compact and took great photo's (for a high end compact) and it was entirely pocket-able, but after 6 months I stopped carrying it around because I was disappointed in the results. Since owning a mirrorless camera, I have to carry a larger bag, but I take it everywhere. Why? Because it takes phenomenal pictures and I don't want to miss a moment. It's worth the hassle of carrying another bag.

I've put my EOS M with 22mm in the back pocket of my jeans, and it certainly fit in a jacket pocket with no issue. Put a zoom on there, and it would be problematic but I don't care for zoom lenses much anyhow. If I need more range, I can toss my Takumar 55mm F/2 with adapter in the other jacket pocket. Typically, the M, Takumar, and an extra battery take up a small space in my messenger bag that my sketchbooks and laptop reside in.

I often recommend mirrorless cameras to beginners because they can more easily have the camera with them, along with using it more discretely.

6- Why should someone want to move 'up' to a DSLR? Mirrorless gives DSLR quality photo's. It's not moving up, it's moving sideways if anything. The weakest point of Mirrorless is autofocus tracking and autofocus in low light, but the latest generation of camera's are fixing that and are performing on par with most DSLR's in both tracking and low light autofocusing. I don't see DSLR camera's being around for the long term.

Battery life is a weak point on mirrorless as well, simply a by product of using a screen so much more. As for the AF speeds, I'm not sure what systems you've worked with but I haven't seen a single mirrorless system than can keep with up the speed of a modern dSLR and a pro-grade lens.

dSLR's will be around for some time, as professional needs are still better met by them than with mirrorless. While the quality of mirrorless is great, and I love mine, they just can't offer the same level of handling, speed, or endurance.

As far as growth, Sony has a full range of DSLR's available if someone wants to go down the 'buy an adaptor, buy lenses with the goal of getting a DSLR in the future' mentality. But Sony also are backing Mirrorless in a much bigger way than Canon, with full frame mirrorless available, one could buy full frame lenses with the goal to move up to the larger format later on. Or just update their APS-C body down the track, with lenses/flashes/viewfinders/whatever available for whichever direction one may wish to take.

Sony is indeed backing the mirrorless system more so than Canon, partly because Sony never experienced much success with the dSLR market when compared to Canon or Nikon. The EOS M certainly flopped in North America (likely the initial price) but the fact the EF adapter exists (3rd party is around $45) makes staying with Canon quite friendly, such as upgrading to a second hand 5DmkII or going with a newer body.

Perhaps more important to this discussion is that @peobryant has a budget that is pretty much what the NEX-5T with lens costs, while the EOS M with 22mm is only $300 on Amazon, leaving quite a bit of room for the 18-55mm EF-M ($100 or less on ebay) and an M42 adapter with an old Takumar 50/55mm prime.[/QUOTE]
 
Well, it depends on what type of photography or experiment or whatever you want to do.
As a photographer myself, I'd highly recommend a Sony camera. The HX300 is spectacular if you want to spend some money in something that has it almost all you may need and you can still learn in the process. Not for nothing these type of cameras are called bridge.
I'm not going to enter in the discussion for what kind of system is better, a SLR or SLT.
I've realized, at least from some friends that also do photography like me, that in many occasions the continued dislike it was because they didn't know the camera, or more precisely, the SLT system and they were used to the idea that, still, some people has about photography, you need a traditional SLR from Canon or Nikon to do photos.
Kind of odd and childish, as well as the idea that graphic design or retouching is only possible in Macs...
I thought that was an old myth, but there are still people like that, nowadays...anyway, that's another topic.

The thing about the quality of the lenses is pretty debatable but again, I'm not going to enter this field.
If you want to ask me anything, I'd happily answer you.
Cheers man.
 

Azuremen

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As a photographer myself, I'd highly recommend a Sony camera. The HX300 is spectacular if you want to spend some money in something that has it almost all you may need and you can still learn in the process. Not for nothing these type of cameras are called bridge.

First, did you read any of the posts above, at all? Moving on...

It also has a joke tiny sensor compared to other offerings on the market at a similar price. He can spend less money and get more camera, matter-of-fact.

I've realized, at least from some friends that also do photography like me, that in many occasions the continued dislike it was because they didn't know the camera, or more precisely, the SLT system and they were used to the idea that, still, some people has about photography, you need a traditional SLR from Canon or Nikon to do photos.

This has been the point of discussion for a while, along with mirrorless in general outside of the Sony range. But the camera you suggested isn't SLT, it is just a very fancy all-in-one that won't offer much merit over a nice point and shoot.

Kind of odd and childish, as well as the idea that graphic design or retouching is only possible in Macs...
I thought that was an old myth, but there are still people like that, nowadays...anyway, that's another topic.

No one who knows anything has made this argument in nearly a decade.

The thing about the quality of the lenses is pretty debatable but again, I'm not going to enter this field.

What do you mean by debatable? As in, you think it is debatable that there is a clear difference in the quality of lenses? Or that lenses, generally, have more impact on image quality than the megapixels of the sensor? Because there really isn't much to debate on either.
 
As you said, yes, it's a fact that you can spend less money, I didn't say he had to buy it, it was just a comment.
The thing about the sensor it's also true, as you said, but that's what you usually get in those kind of cameras unless you go with an entry SLR with a APS-C sensor or with something bigger such as Full Frame or even higher.
I said what I said about that camera because I think it's pretty straightforward in almost every regard, even more when we take into account that he wants to learn more about photography and improve the quality of the images as he practice with it. The bundle he's looking it's actually pretty good for what he'd get. Besides, he wouldn't have to think about changing lenses and stuff, that was pretty much the main reason for my argument, nothing more.
As for the thing about the comments, trust me, I've heard a lot of people saying those kind of things, even today, which is utterly surprising and shocking.
And finally, the lenses thing, it was because, for example, one of the most exquisite lenses I've tried is a Sony 50mm F1.8 which costs just a few bucks and the quality is freaking amazing and some people doesn't even have the will to try a lens like that because is a Sony.
Anyway, just that.
Cheers.
 

Solo

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Amusingly, the AF in low light tends to be more consistent than my 5Dmkii.
I'd say the same is true for my Panasonic Lumix G2 (m4/3 sensor) vs my Canon 60D. But that might just be saying something about the less than fantastic 60D AF system. The G2 may not be as fast, but it's sure as hell as if not more reliable.
 

F1GTR

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I'd say the same is true for my Panasonic Lumix G2 (m4/3 sensor) vs my Canon 60D. But that might just be saying something about the less than fantastic 60D AF system. The G2 may not be as fast, but it's sure as hell as if not more reliable.

It's just the difference between contrast detect AF (CDAF) (your Panasonic/most mirrorless cams) and phase detect AF (PDAF). I can't quite remember the exact difference but CDAF is based on the imaging sensor itself so any misalignment on the lens/mount/body is compensated for (the image has to reach a certain threshold of contrast for a proper AF lock), while phase detect relies on a separate sensor (just under the mirror below the sensor) so if the mirror/lens/mount is slightly off then that throws off the entire focusing chain.
 

Azuremen

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Azuremen
SC2: gtAzire.359
The thing about the sensor it's also true, as you said, but that's what you usually get in those kind of cameras unless you go with an entry SLR with a APS-C sensor or with something bigger such as Full Frame or even higher.

The EOS M that was linked is $300 with a pancake lens and uses an 18mp APS-C sensor. It is also much smaller than the HX300 and dominates it in terms of image quality.

I said what I said about that camera because I think it's pretty straightforward in almost every regard, even more when we take into account that he wants to learn more about photography and improve the quality of the images as he practice with it. The bundle he's looking it's actually pretty good for what he'd get. Besides, he wouldn't have to think about changing lenses and stuff, that was pretty much the main reason for my argument, nothing more.

In my experience, people tend to appreciate photography more when they are on prime lenses. They also tend to learn more about how the camera works, composition, depth of field, and so on. Having a zoom that does everything just makes people lazy, and the neat "dSLR tricks" like bokeh and such will be meh on the HX300. Getting new lenses, especially finding old vintage lenses at thrift stores, helps keep a person involved as well... provided they don't become a gear fiend.

And finally, the lenses thing, it was because, for example, one of the most exquisite lenses I've tried is a Sony 50mm F1.8 which costs just a few bucks and the quality is freaking amazing and some people doesn't even have the will to try a lens like that because is a Sony.
Anyway, just that.
Cheers.

I'm curious if you've ever used any professional grade lenses? I use to feel the Canon 50mm F/1.8 was quite sharp till I used the 35mm F/1.4L and then realized what sharp was. I'm not saying the Sony 50mm F/1.8 is bad, and it certainly will make any integrated all-in-one zoom system look bad, but it is hardly anything exceptional. One of my favorite lenses to work with is an old M42 mount Takumar 55mm f/2, but it certainly has its flaws. My most favorite lens to work with is the Canon 135mm F/2L, which is so sharp wide open, even to the corners, that I have to adjust my expectations when using other lenses now. It also cost me 20 times as much as the Takumar.
 

Omnis

Not Even A Real Mod
Staff Emeritus
38,032
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Application hell
MP-Omnis
Get a used Fuji X100.

More megapixels is not better. More sensitivity in the smallest form factor possible is what you want. And a good lens, too. The good thing about high-end non-interchangeable lens cameras is that the glass they permanently stick on there is (as you might expect) perfectly tuned and optimized for its application.
 
Sorry about the EOS M, I don't know how I didn't see the link before.

As for the "not worrying argument", I'm not saying it's better to have everything, I'm saying it's a great starting point for someone who've never utilized something more advanced in terms of cameras.
As you said, one of the best things to appreciate photography (and learn I'd say) is precisely with a prime lens.
Some people tend to argue about it, but the only way to improve your photography is by moving your body, your actual position and explore new possibilities. Of course that composition is important, but sometimes you don't have to always stick to certain rules and you can, as always, explore. Some of the pictures I like the most are absolutely instantaneous.

I would have to agree to disagree about the zoom tough, because when used properly, you can obtain a certain feel to the image that it's almost impossible with a prime, but that also has to do with your perception and your tastes regarding the style you like in your photographs and the composition itself.

About the bokeh and stuff, they are pretty well achieved in the HX300, but it's not THAT great obviously.
As for the lenses, I'd have to say that my personal favourite is probably the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss T if you ask me about sharpness, but that's also extremely expensive and not a prime.
I don't know if this is helping peobryant by the way jajaja.

Cheers.
 

Azuremen

Wizard of Sky Diamonds
Premium
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Azuremen
SC2: gtAzire.359
Get a used Fuji X100.

I've seen the Fuji X-M1 with kit lens down at $400 as well, which seems like a good deal at that price.

Of course that composition is important, but sometimes you don't have to always stick to certain rules and you can, as always, explore. Some of the pictures I like the most are absolutely instantaneous.

And by actively practicing you develop an understanding so you don't really think about how you are arranging a shot - you just see it.

I would have to agree to disagree about the zoom tough, because when used properly, you can obtain a certain feel to the image that it's almost impossible with a prime, but that also has to do with your perception and your tastes regarding the style you like in your photographs and the composition itself.

Beyond pulling the zoom ring while taking a shot, I'm unsure what unique feel a zoom will offer over a prime shot at the same focal length. An example would be nice.

About the bokeh and stuff, they are pretty well achieved in the HX300, but it's not THAT great obviously.

Look up a comparison of bokeh and depth of field regarding sensor size, it is a rather staggering difference.

As for the lenses, I'd have to say that my personal favourite is probably the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss T if you ask me about sharpness, but that's also extremely expensive and not a prime.

And that Zeiss was outperformed by a Tamron that cost a third as much. Along with receiving many mixed reviews. Carl Zeiss primes are staggering pieces of quality and craftsmanship, but no one really discusses their zooms. I understand you like Sony, a lot, but you're kind of making their offerings out to be much more than they really are.

Anyhow, the EOS M is now down to $250 with the 22mm, not sure how long this will be the case.

EDIT: The above deal is done, but I'm sure it will pop back up at that price again in the future.
 
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Swagger897

On A Sekrit Mishun
Premium
6,395
United States
KCCO
I just bought a Nikon D3200... And so far it's pretty good as a starter. However, if I had the money, I'd get the D5300.

Watch DigitalRev TV on youtube for some short reviews and test images... I think I've watched every video now and I am pretty sure there's not a faster way to learn photography, and in a more hilarious way than they do it..



But really.. It depends how long you want to keep the camera, before upgrading to a full frame (unless you want to go and dump money on that)
 
1,046
United Kingdom
Nottingham
I have an Olympus E-620. You can pick one up cheap from ebay. Very, very good camera. Olympus cameras have been part of my family for longer than me. Good selection of lenses. Test shot I've been using(nicking it off me mam) it since I was 10.
 
5,812
shmogt
Any entry level DSLR from a main company like Cannon, Sony, Nikon, etc will be perfect for you. I have a Cannon Rebel which didn't cost that much and is great to take some good shots.