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pasqualino Jan 12th, 2018 03:11 PM

Camera reccomendation
 
My good old point and shoot camera got sand in the lens while at the Sahara Dessert in Morocco and went kaput. I used my iPhone camera for the rest of the trip. Quite honestly, the iPhone pictures came out just as well, even for a two page spread in a 12x12 Shutterfly book. I'm going to India next month and thought perhaps it's time to get a DSLR. I'm totally overwhelmed and out of my league. Do you have any suggestions for a DSLR camera for a novice? I realize this is a broad question, but any suggestions about must have features, favorite brands, or just where to start would be greatly appreciated.

thursdaysd Jan 12th, 2018 04:08 PM

I use more basic digital, but I have found the reviews and articles here useful:

https://www.dpreview.com/

AJPeabody Jan 13th, 2018 10:44 AM

If you were happy with P&S and iPhone pix, a DSLR may be overkill in terms of weight and size and complexity. You may do better with the prosumer types: one zoom lens attached, better sensor than P&S, several useful program modes, and half way between DSLR and P&S for size and weight. dpreview is the go to site for info. You may like a G-series Canon, which can fit in a slightly large pocket.

pasqualino Jan 13th, 2018 05:33 PM

Thanks for recommending the DPR site. It's a great source. I'm trying to parse through all that information! It's like I need to learn a new language. That said, I agree a DSLR is overkill for me. Any particular G-series Canon? (One feature I would love to have is a viewfinder.) Thanks!

Gardyloo Jan 14th, 2018 08:18 AM

I have set my DSLR aside (Nikon, 12mp, my base lens is a Tamron 16-300mm zoom) because the combined bulk and weight were making my back hurt, and I went back to a Panasonic Lumix superzoom, the DMC-FZ-1000. This camera has been out for a couple of years, but it's perfect for my needs. It has all the bells and whistles my DSLR had, plus it takes incredible videos (4K equivalent.) But best of all, it weighs less than half of the DSLR rig, and cost about a third of the Nikon + lens. The Lumix has a huge zoom range, a razor-sharp Leica lens, and controls ranging from fully auto P&S to full manual. Obviously people have different tastes and standards, but this rig works for me. It's not the most compact of superzooms, but it sure is an improvement over the Nikon.

Sample pictures for what it's worth -

Seattle Fishermen's Terminal

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...135266c8b8.jpg

Gettysburg

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...6a06e3a1ae.jpg

dreamer320 Jan 16th, 2018 03:14 AM

I think my iphone takes a good photo, but I have trouble keeping my fingers out of the way or holding it steady. I bought a Lumix DC-ZS70, and it's been great, took some great photos in Nova Scotia last year. It's my second Lumix, and they've fit my needs as a non-photographer who nonetheless wants to take some good photos.

NewbE Jan 16th, 2018 02:07 PM

Gorgeous pics!
<Quite honestly, the iPhone pictures came out just as well,>
Put me in the iPhone-as-camera camp. I have a handful of clip-on lenses for mine and am perfectly satisfied with the outcome (but have never been a serious photographer, and wouldn't compare my efforts to those of one) . If the phone worked for you, are you sure you want to tote a second gadget around??

Andrew Jan 16th, 2018 06:09 PM

The important question is: what are you DOING with your pictures? Posting them on Facebook or online only? If so, any basic phone camera should work just fine. Only if you are printing them - and printing them larger than a 4x6 - should you otherwise care that much about the camera you use. Pictures used online are such low resolution that lots of poor quality in the images is hidden - but you'll see it immediately if printed larger than a 4x6.

Yes, some phones have really great cameras now. I still have no interest in using one for much. I have the same Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 bridge camera that Gardyloo mentioned above - great travel camera. I used mine instead of my DSLR when going overseas for the first time, and I doubt I'd ever go back to the DSLR for travel again. The Lumix may be far from perfect and suffers in some ways compared to the DSLR, but there are too many advantages of the Lumix not to use it again.

pasqualino Jan 17th, 2018 04:05 PM

Thanks for sharing your insights and photos! I don't post pictures online, but I do always make a12x12 Shutterfly book of my travels. On my last trip to Morocco, I did a few two-page spreads, (so 24x12 photo) from panoramic photos taken on my iPhone, and they came out great. One of the biggest problems I have with just using an iPhone is that I can't see what I'm shooting a lot of the time. I really want a camera with a viewfinder. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm making a short list and trying to narrow it down.

RM67 Jan 18th, 2018 07:54 AM

How about the Olympus OMD which is a mirrorless compact - smaller than a DSL but much better image quality than a point and shoot. (I would have recommended the PEN series but I don't think any of them come with a built-in viewfinder, wheras the OMD does).

theworldaheadofus Jan 18th, 2018 09:41 PM


Originally Posted by Andrew (Post 16652133)
The important question is: what are you DOING with your pictures? Posting them on Facebook or online only? If so, any basic phone camera should work just fine. Only if you are printing them - and printing them larger than a 4x6 - should you otherwise care that much about the camera you use. Pictures used online are such low resolution that lots of poor quality in the images is hidden - but you'll see it immediately if printed larger than a 4x6.

Yes, some phones have really great cameras now. I still have no interest in using one for much. I have the same Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 bridge camera that Gardyloo mentioned above - great travel camera. I used mine instead of my DSLR when going overseas for the first time, and I doubt I'd ever go back to the DSLR for travel again. The Lumix may be far from perfect and suffers in some ways compared to the DSLR, but there are too many advantages of the Lumix not to use it again.

Hallelujah, man! A lot of people buy a camera based on megapixels but they probably only need half of what they buy. I've written down some tips on travel photography on my blog.
https://www.theworldaheadofus.com/bl...-with-examples

Cheers,
Joris

mlgb Jan 19th, 2018 12:49 PM

The camera recommended by Gardyloo is a nice one, with a large sensor. But it doesn't have a huge zoom (16x only).

If you want a more compact camera and are just posting online, there are still a few pocket cameras with a viewfinder, although you may find the small viewfinder frustrating.

I also find the Panasonic interface complicated, but I've been using Olympus for a while.

In addition to dpreview, I use the B&H website for sorting and comparing different models.

dcd Jan 19th, 2018 12:51 PM

pasqualino, I recently "downgraded" from a DSLR to a point and shoot "bridge" camera, and couldn't be happier. Turns out not to have been a downgrade at all. Sony makes an excellent (and pricey) all in one camera that, thanks to a phenomenal Zeiss F4 lens, has great image quality (much, much better than my expensive Sony DSLR paired with an average 18-300 super zoom lens), and that image quality is amazingly/surprisingly consistent throughout its incredible zoom range of 28-600. It's the new Sony RX10 IV and it retails for $1700. If you can afford it, I highly recommend it, as do the reviewers:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/son...ot-dsc-rx10-iv
Sony RX10 IV Review
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Review | Trusted Reviews
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...-iv/841090001/

Here is the dp review forum for this type of camera where you can see images and read up on what users think of this (and other Sony P&S cameras):

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/1009

Good luck!!

ibobi Jan 19th, 2018 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by pasqualino (Post 16648498)
My good old point and shoot camera got sand in the lens while at the Sahara Dessert in Morocco and went kaput. I used my iPhone camera for the rest of the trip. Quite honestly, the iPhone pictures came out just as well, even for a two page spread in a 12x12 Shutterfly book. I'm going to India next month and thought perhaps it's time to get a DSLR. I'm totally overwhelmed and out of my league. Do you have any suggestions for a DSLR camera for a novice? I realize this is a broad question, but any suggestions about must have features, favorite brands, or just where to start would be greatly appreciated.

I feel for you; sand is almost as bad for a camera as water is. When in Morocco, we had a sandstorm, and one of our group did his best to swaddle his DSLR from the sandstorm that raged around us for 20 minutes, but when it was over, the lens would not zoom or focus at all. Totally locked up.

I'm an iphone guy too, though even a basic point & shoot can produce results good enough to enlarge to 18x24, whereas a phone camera really can't. Depends on what you want to potentially do with the pics. I recently bought a small mirrorless Nikon with a couple of lenses and it is a nice fit between the phone/point & shoot and a bulky full-featured camera. Pics are great. Nikon 1 J5.

mlgb Jan 19th, 2018 01:24 PM

RM67, I don't think I'd recommend the OMD over one of the bridge cameras for the casual user. I have am OMD-E M-1 and have been using the Olympus mirrorless format for a while. Unless they are interested in investing in multiple lenses, or going used, the quality from a bridge camera with a larger sensor such as Sony, Nikon or Panasonic is going to be more practical at a similar cost. Another issue with the Olympus is that it is a 2x crop so it's not the best option for wide angle landscape photos.

I keep my 75-300 lens (which is compact yet equal to 150-600 mm) on my OMD and use it only for bird photography.. I'm not the only person who uses their cellphones or a small point and shoot for landscape shots.

RM67 Jan 20th, 2018 11:54 AM

Migb - I probably would have recommended one of the PEN series but the op was keen for a viewfinder and and the PEN range for the most part only support the type that clip into the hotshoe. I thought a mirrorless was a good halfway house between a DSLR - which is what the OP is toying with - and a more basic point and shoot. I have the E-P5 and take that pretty much everywhere with just a 17mm fixed prime on.

pasqualino Feb 2nd, 2018 03:49 PM

Thanks you all for the great advice. I just purchased a Sony - Cyber-shot RX10 III "open box excellent condition " from Best Buy. The price was deeply discounted $850. DP Review listed it as their best camera for travel, PC Mag gave it an editor's choice, B&H gave it 4 1/2 stars, and dcd recommended it's newer (but more expensive) version the IV. I'm excited (and also worried that it will be too big and heavy and I will never learn to use it properly!)

AJPeabody Feb 2nd, 2018 07:10 PM

To get used to the new camera, take pictures of your house and possessions. Try the different settings to see the results. Learn how to transfer the pix to your computer. You'll learn the camera and also have documentation if you need to make an insurance claim in an unlucky future.

dcd Feb 4th, 2018 07:45 AM

I think that's a great choice!! From what i've read, no real difference between the III and IV unless you're into birding, which it doesn't sound like you are. And what a deal!!! Well done. Yes, it's a bit hefty compared to a pocket cam, but not when compared to a DSLR with a zoom lens affixed.

There are a ton of threads on the DP Review Sony cyber shot forum for the III (and IV) which will get you up to speed on many of the features and provide lots of great tips. That site has a useful search function, too. The forum members highly recommend White's or Friedman's book to get acquainted with the cam. I've gotten Friedman's e-book for a different cam some years ago and he's excellent.

Have a great time shooting away in India! Please come back and post some pics.

dcd Feb 5th, 2018 08:44 AM

PS I forgot to mention the importance of getting a backup battery (or 2). Battery life is not the greatest, especially if you shoot RAW and/or plan on taking a fair amount of videos.


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