Talk to me about cameras

BuffcoBuffco Senior MemberPosts: 10,209 Senior Member
And please, ELI5 please. (Explain like I'm 5)

I just want something a little better than my camera phone. I realize I take a lot of pictures and they're ****. I'd like to get something a little better than a pocket camera or whatever you call the cheap little square things.

But I'm not wanting to drop more than $300 on one. What do I need to look for?
«13

Replies

  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    That's sorta like asking what's the best phone.. For under$300, you probably should look at a point and shoot.. If you can, go and handle a few, just to see what feels comfortable and easy to use. I'm partial to Nikon because of their reputation and I have good luck with mine. The Nikon Coolpix line will keep you under your limit.. Lots of other good choices out there just don't get tricked by the megapixel hype, that's only one facet of a good camera..

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,692 Senior Member
    What do you want or need in terms of size, capabilities, zoom range etc?

    $300 is a tough price point. Not much is available that is all that much better than the $100-$200 pocket cameras. Add another $50-100 and you get one or more features such as a slightly larger sensor, more controls and - essential for me - a viewfinder. The Panasonic LF100 is one such model, although I bought a Sony RX100 III instead as a treat for myself.

    If you do not need a viewfinder the Canon S110 is a particularly good buy right now at $179.

    In the same price range with a little searching you can find older model, entry-level interchangeable lens cameras from Sony (A-5000) and Panasonic (GF6) among others selling new at close-out prices on Amazon.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    I don't have a clue. Haven't looked at a sub-$3000 camera for a few years.

    but I would echo the above comments, and add this: don't discount ergonomics. At that price point, you are going to be comparing similar features and quality, so if you can test each camera you are considering and see whether it fits your hands, is intuitive to you in operation, seems likely to fold up for the way you're likely to store and carry it, etc.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    I like my 12x optical zoom camera. It takes really nice pics, has a pop-up flash, an electronic viewfinder, in addition to the LCD viewfinder and a nice manual mode that I never got into, but what the hell. Also, macro settings were handy for taking pics of bumblebees and flowers.
    So, as George said, try to find something with an electronic viewfinder. By this, he means the old-fashioned-put-your-eyeball-against-it type. It is so far superior to the large LCD screen that may also be included. For an example, think of all the rubes staring at their EVF with their cameras held out at arms length. How good of an image are you going to get when you have to squint to see the viewfinder screen? Not to mention image stability. Don't be that guy. He is a ****.
    Also, don't be conned into thinking you have are looking at a good camera because it has 20x (or whatever) digital zoom. Digital zoom is useless. It's bull. When you buy your camera, turn it off. Your camera will have it, but it blows.
    What you want is some measure of optical zoom, as that is a true zoom lens that doesn't pixelate the image.
    Happy hunting!


    Sent from my ObamaPhone using Tapatalk
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    Should we start at the beginning?

    Camera: a device for recording visual images in the form of photographs, film, or video signals
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    Cameras steal the souls of the people they capture.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    Thanks guys. As I laid my pretty head down to sleep last night, anticipating the replies, I realized I asked the equivalent of which gun do I need to buy to make me a better shot.

    I'm willing to learn and read. But my sister took this photo at Christmas:

    308904900a9f710c9158d26faf5a9d87.jpg

    With a refurbished Canon that she paid $270 for. Bought from the Canon website. It's a 2011 model. She knows a bit about cameras but this is her first foray into it, and she's turning out some good work, not Lodge standards but better than us lazy schlubs using our smart phones. Of course she's playing around with processing and editing after the shot as well.
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    I'm willing to learn and read.

    This is adorable.

    Look, guys, Buffco wants to learn to read!
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    seppala wrote: »
    Look, guys, Buffco wants to learn to read!

    What a poindexter! Reading is for jerkfaces and photophiles.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 4,521 Senior Member
    First, you need to realize that if you're using anything digital, you're only capturing images. It's only a photograph if you use film.

    I'll second the Nikon Coolpix. We use an underwater Coolpix at work, an AW120, and it captures good images. Good enough for us to use for agency publications and presentations. Nikon's offering $100 back on the AW120, so a $350 camera is $250. I don't know if you need the UW feature, but there that...

    Edited to add: we have a Canon Powershot for the wife and I, and it does a pretty bang-up job itself. Smaller than the Nikon, and therefore easier to carry with you wherever. And who hasn't wanted to shoot their wife and kids with a cannon?
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,941 Senior Member
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    seppala wrote: »
    Cameras steal the souls of the people they capture.
    You one of of those Bunga Bunga people?
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    First, you need to realize that if you're using anything digital, you're only capturing images. It's only a photograph if you use film.

    Oh. I'd forgotten about this bit of snobbery.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    Explain interchangeable lenses.

    I see all these reviews for cameras and they talk about their zoom. I'm assuming these are digital zooms? Are these what interchangeable lenses are for, to get optical zooming like Shawn was talking about?
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    Digital cameras have both optical and digital zoom. Optical zoom is the only one that matters.

    As for interchangeable lenses, that's only if you want to get technical. You just want decent pictures, you don't need different lenses.
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    A camera (DSLR) with interchangeable lenses is going to be way above your price point. As Seppala said it is not really necessary to take most pictures..

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    seppala wrote: »
    Digital cameras have both optical and digital zoom. Optical zoom is the only one that matters.

    As for interchangeable lenses, that's only if you want to get technical. You just want decent pictures, you don't need different lenses.

    Here's what I want to shoot. My kids, and my hobbies. Woodworking, guns, livestock, nature (close up shots of bugs and ****). Deer and birds. **** like that. THe occasional doody shot to send to friends.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    ricinus wrote: »
    A camera (DSLR) with interchangeable lenses is going to be way above your price point. As Seppala said it is not really necessary to take most pictures..

    Mike

    My sister bought an older model Canon EOS Rebel T3 for less than $300. She says pay less for the body, and more for the lens later.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,692 Senior Member
    First, you need to realize that if you're using anything digital, you're only capturing images. It's only a photograph if you use film.

    As I pointed out to Gandalf a long time ago, using film isn't real photography. Real photography is when you use glass plates with an emulsion that you have prepared and applied yourself, which you then develop and print yourself.

    But I am not one of those snobby elitists one hears about. I think it perfectly acceptable to use store-boughten cameras and lenses, as long as the cameras are made of wood and brass, with genuine Corinthian leather bellows.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,692 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Here's what I want to shoot. My kids, and my hobbies. Woodworking, guns, livestock, nature (close up shots of bugs and ****). Deer and birds. **** like that. THe occasional doody shot to send to friends.

    Here's your camera. It won't fit in your pocket, and you won't want to make prints larger than about 11x14", but this does it all with well thought-out compromises. I own one as a back-up do-it-all camera and recommend it highly.

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-FZ200-Digital-Camera-Optical/dp/B008MB6ZX0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420043131&sr=8-1&keywords=lumix+dmc+fz200

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B008MB6ZX0/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

    You can get a used one from Amazon or KEH for close to $300. These are two vendors, along with B&H, that I trust enough to by used camera gear from. Around Black Friday/Cyber Monday new ones were selling for about the same price. Reconditioned gear direct from the manufacturer/importer is another safe option.

    No small sensor camera will give the results that your sister's Rebel T3 (APS-C size sensor) will. If you want interchangeable lenses (for greater range, wide to telephoto) get a brand with a good supply of used and third party lenses such as a Canon or Nikon APS-C sensor or Panasonic/Olympus Micro 4/3 system(M43). Mirrorless M43 has the advantage in terms of size and weight, but Canon and Nikon DSLRs have viewfinders at all price points.

    I switched to M43 for the size and weight advantage, keep the Panasonic FZ 200 as back-up and have an Olympus waterproof with an ultra-wide zoom for fishing. Most of it stays stored away since I bought a Sony RX100 III with a 1" sensor, but that is an $800 camera.

    Bodies are meant to be upgraded every few years, but a collection of lenses will stay current for a very long time. That's what your sister meant.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,174 Senior Member
    Go to Costco and see what they have. For $300 you should be able to get something better than the Coolpix. I think mine was about $150 or so.

    I don't know much about cameras but here is one they have for under $300
    http://www.costco.com/Panasonic-LUMIX-FZ70-Digital-Camera-Bundle.product.100085953.html

    You can get an upgraded lens in the future if desired.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    You should just paint a picture. It'll be quicker than this circle jerk!
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,692 Senior Member
    Hextall wrote: »
    You should just paint a picture. It'll be quicker than this circle jerk!

    HIJACK! HIJACK! Guys, what's the best 5 wt?
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    Bodies are meant to be upgraded every few years, but a collection of lenses will stay current for a very long time. That's what your sister meant.

    Thanks. I need to understand sensor sizes a little better.

    Take a look at this. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-D3100-Digital-Camera-Body/dp/B005PREXF6/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1420042461&sr=1-2&keywords=nikon+d3100

    WHat about that body, with a nice lens rather than the kit lenses that come with it?

    George, walk me through a comparison of this camera versus the one you linked.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    I'm sorry for what I did here. Buffco, I wish you good luck on your image capturing device jihad.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    Hextall wrote: »
    I'm sorry for what I did here. Buffco, I wish you good luck on your image capturing device jihad.

    I need to talk to you next. I'm looking at a piece of property (95 acres) and it's pretty thick. I'd like a drone flyover with a gopro camera. Like this:
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Of course she's playing around with processing and editing after the shot as well.

    ding ding ding.

    a photo is not finished til the post processing is done. If you want to produce good photos, understanding what can be done in camera, and what can be done after, is critical.

    this is not a digital thing. This was true at least as far back as Ansel Adams, and probably before.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    I need to talk to you next. I'm looking at a piece of property (95 acres) and it's pretty thick. I'd like a drone flyover with a gopro camera.

    I can't lie to you.... I set in motion 2 weeks ago my plan to purchase a gopro carrying drone. It might not happen soon, but it will happen in 2015.

    Or I'll give up carbs and diet coke. I can't decide just yet on my final resolutions.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,209 Senior Member
    Who knows you, baby? No way you're giving up carbs, tub o' lard.

    So how soon can you come down and flyover this property for me? The owner is motivated to sell.
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    What's a ballpark price on 95 acres down by you? Around here you're talking 500 grand. It is ri-****-dicilous.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.