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Non-SLR Camera Suggestions etc. (dSLR, Micro 43 etc.)

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by TweedyProf, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. BrianVarick

    BrianVarick Senior member

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    I just bought a Sony A6000 as an open box for $400. It is a pretty cool little camera and definitely has the quality that you would want from a full size dslr. The only real drawback I see is the kit lens, but if you want to invest in some glass down the road there are definitely options. It's small enough to be convenient which was a big plus for me when I travel. There is also the A5000 which is more in your price range and also very capable.
     


  2. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Fred, You can tell that about the Panasonic from its specs?

    Will I have more depth of field control on the NX20? I did a little bit of amateur photograph (classes/darkroom...yes darkroom!) so I think that's a technical feature that most slightly serious photographers would want to have control over. But I don't know how to glean that info from the technical specs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NX20-...8&qid=1421867003&sr=1-1&keywords=samsung+nx20

    Wow, I just noticed that the price has jumped up significantly (it was well below what it is at now).
     


  3. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    The kit lens with that Samsung opens up to f/3.5 so you gain approx. 1 stop of depth of field moving from 4/3 to APS-C. Samsung makes a bunch of lenses that are faster:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...N=4288584250+4291237751+4099560914+4099560878
    They aren't as cheap and there aren't as many options as Canon or Nikon though.

    I don't know how serious she'll be with it, but if you go with a DSLR I would consider that you are buying into a system, not just a single camera and lens. Canon and Nikon both have much better options as a system of lenses. That Samsung looks to be a nice camera, but you'll be somewhat limited if you decide to upgrade or expand in the future. With Canon or Nikon you have a zillion different lenses and camera bodies available to you.
     


  4. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Good point about expansion. I am pretty confident that she will never be an avid photographer where having multiple lenses will be something on her "wish list" but who knows? I'll ask this evening.

    Thanks again!
     


  5. otc

    otc Senior member

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    On the other hand, there are people who love shooting micro four thirds because you can get *more* depth of field for a given speed.

    Sure, it is a little harder to get super narrow depth of field, but, for a given aperture, you get *more* stuff in focus....for most shots, you want stuff to be in focus. So when it gets dark out, you can shoot with the lens open wider without losing focus. It is only for things like complete portrait shots (where the subject is everything and you have no interest in the background, so you want to blur it out into something pretty) that you want to shoot a super narrow depth of field...and beyond people toying with their first "real" camera and being able to show off something that you literally can't do with a phone camera, it isn't really something you need all of the time.

    Not something you really care about on wide lenses...and you can still buy things like the 45mm f1.8 if you want to get some blurring in portraits.

    The samsung won't have more or less control than other cameras (provided they all allow aperture priority or manual modes). The limiting factor will really be the lens. The lens that comes with it is not that fast. f5.6 on the long end, which isn't going to get you very narrow depth of field.

    If that background blurring is what you want...you gotta buy a faster lens (although the longer the lens, the more you can get away with...a 75mm at f1.8 is going to have a lot more noticable blurring than a 45mm at 1.8). Fast zooms get expensive. Every system out there has a few fixed f2.8 zooms but they are probably close to $1000+ each. For a lot less money, you can get even faster primes. the 50mm 1.8 from canon/nikon, 20mm f1.7 from panasonic, 25mm f1.8 from olympus, 45mm f1.8 from olympus (or the very expensive 75mm)....even the 14mm f2.5 panasonic pancake lens is faster than the $1000 zooms (although at 14mm on m4/3, you aren't getting much background blur no matter how fast the camera is).
     


  6. otc

    otc Senior member

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    And if she really doesn't need interchangeable lenses...why not something like a canon G-series?

    I am sure you can get a G15 or G16 for less than that Samsung. Decent sized camera, very fast zoom lens (f1.8 on the short end, f2.8 on the long end), looks "pro" without being huge or needing to buy multiple lenses.

    edit: and the previous G models still take great photos and would be even cheaper (but you might have to look to ebay or something as I don't think amazon carries them).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015


  7. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Where were you guys last week![​IMG]

    Will look at those options. I don't think she will care much about depth of field control. But let me look into those canons.
     


  8. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm forgetting the issues here on f-stops. It's been a while since I thought about these things.

    Digging from memory: with higher stops, bigger depth of field, yes, though given smaller aperture, lighting becomes more of a problem. Will the slower lenses be problematic in most natural sunlight conditions? Indoors might be more of an issue, without flash?
     


  9. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Honestly, these days, if you are looking to upgrade someone from a phone camera, lens speed is one of the big considerations (and is why the cheap point & shoot market is struggling...because those always had crap lenses).

    The iphone takes great photos in good light. It struggles a bit more when things get dark. Whether it is your dinner in a dim restaurant or your friends at an evening event...those are the photos that don't come out looking great...and then you end up using a flash that makes the whole thing look even worse.

    Better cameras do better in low light these days--better high-ISO settings that don't leave much noise, better image stabilization, etc--but being able to shoot at 2.8 instead of 4.5 or smaller helps a lot.

    Also, keep in mind that most lenses shoot their best photos when stopped down a bit. So shooting at 4.5 on a camera that can't go any wider is generally worse than shooting at 4.5 on a camera that can open up to 2.8 (or 2.5 or 1.8 or more). So if you can get a decent handheld shot at 1/60s exposure and ISO 400 with 4.5...the camera that goes to 1.8 gives you more options: Want to get a photo that is tack sharp? Shoot at 4.5. Moving subject and you want to freeze the motion? Open up the lens a bit and speed up the exposure. Blowing up the photo and worried about noise? Cut the ISO a bit and open up the lens.
     


  10. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    My wife uses a G11 and it's a great little camera! Google the "Canon Loyalty Program" too. You can trade in any old Canon, even a broken one you find for $5 at a flea market, for 10-20% off any Canon refurbished camera. I've used it twice now. You could get this G16 for a pretty good price that way:
    http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/cameras/powershot-g-s-series-digital-cameras/powershot-g16
     


  11. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    here's the 300$ Olympus 45mm/1.8 lens used at

    F1.8
    [​IMG]

    F2.0
    [​IMG]

    F2.8
    [​IMG]


    portraits on micro4/3 is a jiffy



    right now, m4/3 has the best mix of usability, picture quality, size, and weight. aps-c, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015


  12. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Since this might be a useful thread for others, I've changed the title (hope it's not inaccurate).
     


  13. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    These are all great.
     


  14. 7_rocket

    7_rocket Senior member

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    My S95 broke, well physically broken but still takes pics. What would be an upgrade? Just looking to take better quality pics but no bulky slr. I hear about the Sony Rx-100 model. Someone also mentioned the Sony NEX-F3. Basically I use the camera for vacation and in low light situations. My budget would be $400 max

    Am I asking for too much?
     


  15. otc

    otc Senior member

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    The RX-100 (mk 3) that my dad bought himself when I was home for the holidays was a pretty solid camera.
    He was still trying to dial in the settings a bit--I believe he liked the photos it took of stuff, but not as much the photos it took of people (but that's from a pro, you would probably think they were fine photos)--but it was a pretty solid feeling camera. The mk3 is probably out of your price range, but check around for a mk2 or something.

    Otherwise, you can just get another S--- camera. They are small and take good pictures. Not sure where the sweet spot is--people seem to have preferences for different models, so occasionally there are times where the newest model isn't really better than the previous one.
     


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