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Unread 03-08-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
xXFailPhotosXx
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I will be buying my first camera...

Hello all!

I am currently saving up to buy a really nice camera. I have gotten good at posing cosplayers to get the shots I want with my shaky iPhone camera (Curious as to how they came out?), so I figure it's about time I step it up. I need a camera that stays steady, is easy to handle, not too delicate, travels well, and is relatively inexpensive (though I am willing to sacrifice a cheap price for the other criteria). I have heard great things about the Canon Powershot, but I want to see what you all say.

Let the suggestions commence!
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Unread 03-08-2014, 09:46 PM   #2
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Whats your actual numbers for the budget and what do you mean "travels well"?

After you give us the rundown on those things we can begin to get you something that fits your needs.
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Unread 03-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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Hmm, I would say 2-500 US dollars? And sorry, "travels well" means it can be taken along trips easily. It should be compact; something I could take in my car without the equipment taking up all the space. I take a lot of stuff to conventions to begin with (cosplays, food, merchandise, etc), so the camera would need to fit in there. None of the big tripod stuff.

That help any?
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Unread 03-09-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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If you're serious about it, I'd probably look into a refurbished older DSLR, or one of the mirrorless micro 4/3 cameras. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5, or Olympus PEN E-PL5, are both in your price range and are good choices. That way you can buy more lenses later on as you progress. The mirrorless cameras have the advantage of smaller size compared to DSLR's, but still have much better sensors than point and shoot cameras, plus the big advantage of interchangeable lenses.
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Unread 03-09-2014, 04:46 PM   #5
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How old of a DSLR are we talking? I like the idea of idea of buying additional lenses as I continue experimenting with photography. I never heard of the mirrorless cameras though. Are they easy to use?
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Unread 03-09-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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You can get a refurbished Canon T3i in your price range.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc... kw=RBCEDRT3IK

Mirrorless cameras are the future in my opinion, but they just don't quite match the DSLR's yet. But they are good cameras, and are superior to the point and shoot cameras. They were designed from the beginning for digital, unlike DSLR's which are still the same basic design as film cameras, just with a sensor where the film would go. Most of them have sensors that are smaller than DSLR's, although some now have APS size sensors, and I think Sony now makes a full frame one too (both of those types will be outside of your budget though). In general, the larger the sensor, the better the picture. Megapixels in large part are a marketing gimmick. My first digital camera I got 15 years ago was only 3mp, and it still blows away any camera phone with 8+ mp. They have automatic, semi automatic, and manual settings. Most of them require you to use the menu system for many of the manual settings, as opposed to having dedicated buttons and dials like DSLR's. This is how they can do the smaller format, which is one of their advantages to many.

Because the sensors are smaller, the lens can be smaller as well, and therefore much cheaper. That's another advantage for the 4/3 cameras.

Here's a comparison of sensor sizes to put it in perspective.
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Unread 03-09-2014, 09:51 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for all the information! I did a quick Google search and found that nearly all of the mirrorless 4/3 cameras were at least 1000 dollars. O.O Am I perhaps looking up the wrong thing?
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Unread 03-09-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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Olympus PEN E-PL5 $599
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=REG&A=details

Olympus PEN E-PL5 (used) $450
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ro_Four.h tml

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 $485
http://www.adorama.com/IPCDMCGF6KK.h...FYuXOgod-nMAdw

You may find better prices elsewhere, this was just what I found quickly from known reputable retailers.

The Panasonic Lumix series can be a little confusing. The GF series is their compact version (fewer buttons, so more on screen menu use), it's also the cheapest. The G series has more buttons, more like a DSLR, and more expensive. The GH series is built like a DSLR, and has the buttons and dials of one, but is the most expensive.

Last edited by Dark Photog : 03-09-2014 at 10:20 PM.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 06:05 AM   #9
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My 1st dslr was the olympus e-410 and it came with 2 lenses which was amazing outdoors...you can pick it up used with both lenses for $230.
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Digita...=olympus+e-410

Also, you could nab a nikon d90 used for 300 and then pick from a huge selection of lenses with your other 200 dollars, like the 35 1.8 dx nikon. Reason for a d90 is its got an internal motor so the older nikon lenses that are now cheap will work and autofocus just fine.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 03:27 PM   #10
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I bought a used panasonic lx3 for about $50, but if you want something better than consider the Canon G15 or Panasonic lx7 or Nikon 7700. Lower end models like the P7000, P7100, G11, G12 also handle well in low light. However, if you want value, then go with the LX3. I don't think you can get it used for $50 like I did, but $75-$80 is within reason.
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Unread 03-10-2014, 09:52 PM   #11
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@Dark Photog

I think I'll shy away from the Panasonic Lumix for now then. I'm used to the point and shoot camera with hardly any buttons, haha. Thanks for the links and suggestions!

@jonashley

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Originally Posted by jonashley View Post
Also, you could nab a nikon d90 used for 300 and then pick from a huge selection of lenses with your other 200 dollars, like the 35 1.8 dx nikon. Reason for a d90 is its got an internal motor so the older nikon lenses that are now cheap will work and autofocus just fine.
That sounds like a nice idea. Thanks for the input! :3

@KVN

Wow, that is really cheap. =O Even $75-$80 is perfectly fine. I may go with that option if I find the other cameras too complex for my liking. Thanks for stopping by and giving me some more ideas! x3
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Unread 03-11-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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even though used on amazon is fine...youll nab the best deals by being patient and last second (last 40 seconds for best success) bidding on ebay. D90's and most entry to mid range dslr's are rated for at least 100k shutter clicks, so when reading up make sure the shutter count is 25k or under and youll have a ton of life left. Same for lenses too. Also...an incredible and flexible flash to buy on a budget is Yongnuo YN-565...she's strong and can be used as a slave where it fires on its one when it detects a flash...but for cons you'd want a remote trigger...and Yongnuo sells those for 30 dollars as well....so many options for you....baby steps are fine.

Youll learn the most by getting a prime lens like the 35 1.8 nikon, it doesnt zoom and teaches you to move to get the shot you want.. its a gorgeous little guy of a lens...you could also start with the kit lens as well (18-55, it has Vibration reduction and is moderately sharp but eventually as you learn, youll end up ditching it for something like a 17-50 sigma 2.8.

Anyway....baby steps....dont worry about the buttons for now...use the portrait modes to start and learn to shoot manual when you start realizing later when you get mad at the camera for what its doing to make you mad and you need to over-ride it.
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Unread 03-11-2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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The Yongnuo speedlights are definitely a great deal for the price, but I'd go with the YN-568 for the HSS (for those outdoor shots when you want narrow dof).

I'd also suggest looking into the Godox Ving v860 (currently only available in the Canon version, but Nikon version should be coming soon). It has ETTL, and HSS, plus uses a rechargeable lithium battery back. Recycle time at full power is only 1.2 seconds, and you get 600 full power shots on a charge. Price is in the same range as the YN-568.
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Unread 03-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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Whatever you choose to go with, I strongly suggest you get something with separate lenses. In the long run, you'll be happy you did. DSLR's (and the mirrorless 4/3 cameras) can be intimidating at first with all their settings, but you can always use the automatic modes until you become more comfortable with them. Personally, I'd recommend starting with Aperture Priority Mode. This mode allows you to set your aperture for the depth of field you'd like (there are free DoF Calculator apps for Android, and I'd assume iOS as well), and the camera will handle the other settings to give you a proper exposure. This will allow you to blur out the background, which is very useful when you have a boring, or distracting, background. This will be especially useful when shooting at cons for obvious reasons.

Here's an example of using narrow depth of field to blur out a boring distracting background.
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Unread 03-11-2014, 07:06 PM   #15
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@jonashley

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Originally Posted by jonashley View Post
Anyway....baby steps....dont worry about the buttons for now...use the portrait modes to start and learn to shoot manual when you start realizing later when you get mad at the camera for what its doing to make you mad and you need to over-ride it.
I totally agree with that! Haha. I just need something that is a step above point and shoot cameras. I have written down all these suggestions and considerations so when I actually go do the shopping I can find the best price for what I want. Thanks so much for all the help~

@Dark Photog

I will add both the YN-568 and the Godox Ving v860 as possibilities. I have to do a lot of thinking in terms of what will suit me best. Until then I will save my money, haha. Thanks for the help!~
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