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Old 12-08-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
Tsaar
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Default Just had a baby...now I need a camera...

I have never been into photography other than snapping ~1000 crappy "memory" photos each year on vacation with a Canon ELPH P&S. I had my first child 8 weeks ago and I have been looking at DSLRs and Camcorders. I know that similar questions have been asked, but I am looking for an "all-around" device.

In my Amazon cart, currently, I have the Rebel T4i with the 18-135mm STM kit lens (I read this lens is optically better than the previous 18-135mm lens, even though the cynical side of be believes its the same lens with a DC stepper motor). I also added the 40mm STM prime lens as it has gotten decent reviews for the price. Also, on Amazon the 55-250mm is under $100 with the purchase of the T4i, and I read this is an OK telephoto for the price.

I will be using this camera for vacations, pictures of my son/family, and video of my son as he is growing up. I will NOT be using this camera in any professional environment, or have the need to blow my pictures up to the size of a room.

What I do want:

-To be able to print out high quality 8x10 photos of my son. I am hoping I can "go amateur" and with the 40mm prime and take his quarterly professional pictures at home for free.

-To make videos of my son growing up and playing. I have read that the T4i has decent AF (like I said...these are casual family videos). I am trying to save the $300-500 and not buy a camcorder with this purchase. I guess my big concern here is the AF and also the built in stereo microphone (which I would be using). None of my videos will be long, always just short bursts to capture memories.

I can get this entire package with 2 extra batteries, 16g memory card, and the Amazon DSLR backpack for under $1200. Does this sound like a good purchase? I am not too worried about the stills (other than the prime lense still quality for 8X10s hanging in my house), but I am worried about how happy I will be with the video quality.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsaar View Post
I have never been into photography other than snapping ~1000 crappy "memory" photos each year on vacation with a Canon ELPH P&S. I had my first child 8 weeks ago and I have been looking at DSLRs and Camcorders. I know that similar questions have been asked, but I am looking for an "all-around" device.

In my Amazon cart, currently, I have the Rebel T4i with the 18-135mm STM kit lens (I read this lens is optically better than the previous 18-135mm lens, even though the cynical side of be believes its the same lens with a DC stepper motor). I also added the 40mm STM prime lens as it has gotten decent reviews for the price. Also, on Amazon the 55-250mm is under $100 with the purchase of the T4i, and I read this is an OK telephoto for the price.

I will be using this camera for vacations, pictures of my son/family, and video of my son as he is growing up. I will NOT be using this camera in any professional environment, or have the need to blow my pictures up to the size of a room.

What I do want:

-To be able to print out high quality 8x10 photos of my son. I am hoping I can "go amateur" and with the 40mm prime and take his quarterly professional pictures at home for free.

-To make videos of my son growing up and playing. I have read that the T4i has decent AF (like I said...these are casual family videos). I am trying to save the $300-500 and not buy a camcorder with this purchase. I guess my big concern here is the AF and also the built in stereo microphone (which I would be using). None of my videos will be long, always just short bursts to capture memories.

I can get this entire package with 2 extra batteries, 16g memory card, and the Amazon DSLR backpack for under $1200. Does this sound like a good purchase? I am not too worried about the stills (other than the prime lense still quality for 8X10s hanging in my house), but I am worried about how happy I will be with the video quality.
I think there are two roads you can go down:

1. Get a GH2 and call it a day. Arguably the best camcorder/camera hybrid is the GH series (currently up to GH3, but if I were you I'd get the GH2 and save tons of money because you won't likely need the GH3's advanced features) by Panasonic, which is on par with the Canon T3i in stills quality and yet has excellent controls for both stills and video. It's a camera designed from the ground up to be a hybrid, unlike other cameras where video seems shoehorned in. You can autofocus while filming, among other things. With the GH2, you get access to lots of different lenses, including some with large apertures (the PanaLeica 25mm f/1.4 comes to mind). The GH2 can easily reach 16x20 print size (four times the surface area of your 8x10 spec), even with the kit lens that comes with it. And the GH series video quality is second to none in its price class--you can do better, but only by spending a small fortune.

2. Get a Nikon V1 on sale at B&H ($299 for the most basic bundle, $799 for deluxe) and call it a day. The sensor is somewhat smaller so your image quality will degrade faster as you go up in ISO, but the autofocus is very responsive, you can get a bounce-flash accessory for it for $100 or so used (or in a bundle for a discount), and with appropriate lens and focal length combos you can even get some subject isolation (albeit nowhere near what you can get from a larger-sensored camera). You can go up to about 13x19 prints at base ISO and still get good prints. Video mode is very cool in that you can film video and while filming, take photographs at *full resolution* (not some smaller resolution, like with other cameras). So you aren't forced to choose between video or photographs. The Nikon V1 also has an EVF unlike other compact cameras, which means easier use in bright light and easier stabilization for longer focal lengths. Lastly, the Nikon also has electronic (silent) shutter, which is still pretty rare. Being able to take silent photos means more stealth candids and such.

I know some people will sneer at the Nikon 1 series for having a much smaller sensor than that in DSLRs, but the speed and responsiveness mean you are less likely to "miss the moment." Really all you are giving up is the ability to print massively large and the ability to control depth of field as much (though Nikon is coming out with some f/1.2 glass that should help with portraits... personally I think using a telephoto zoom is also okay if you use maximum aperture).

Not that for photographing moving objects (like kids running around), image stabilization doesn't work; you need a fast enough shutter speed to freeze motion. You can get this in various ways such as higher ISO (but this introduces noise... the smaller the sensor, the worse the noise), larger aperture lens, or flash (preferably bounced off the ceiling or something, not blasted into someone's face).

Therefore, I would recommend getting a bounce-able flash no matter what camera/camcorder you choose.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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How about a SmartPhone with a decent camera?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I do want better than a cell phone camera :p

I do think I want a DSLR and not a mirrorless. The reason for this is due to my potential growing interest in photography and having a full range of lenses available. As my son gets older I will like having some quality stills of him during sports, etc.

I really am interested in the T4i. Just haven't brought myself to pull the trigger.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Add the following items to your cart:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...irrorless.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...mory_Card.html

Total is $313.95.

You should be good to go. You don't need $1200 worth of kit to take great photos, you need a good eye and lots of practice.

If you're just starting out in photography, your needs and equipment will evolve over time. You have no idea what you need or will need, so it's better to get your feet wet with a good inexpensive interchangeable lens camera and re-evaluate a year from now.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by corkyg View Post
How about a SmartPhone with a decent camera?
that will only help so much, until theyre mobile..
iphone 5 isn't cutting it anymore
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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How about a SmartPhone with a decent camera?
that will only help so much, until theyre mobile..
iphone 5 + GS3 isn't cutting it anymore
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tsaar View Post
Thanks for the replies. I do want better than a cell phone camera :p

I do think I want a DSLR and not a mirrorless. The reason for this is due to my potential growing interest in photography and having a full range of lenses available. As my son gets older I will like having some quality stills of him during sports, etc.

I really am interested in the T4i. Just haven't brought myself to pull the trigger.
I suggest you do more research if you think mirrorless cameras lack for lens selection. Micro Four Thirds is reasonably complete and over the years the lens lineups should fill out for the other mirrorless systems. A Nikon V1 is practically made for people like you, who want DSLR-like speed, a viewfinder, AND some nifty tricks like taking photos while filming, coupled with "good enough" image quality for 8x10's, and interchangeable lenses. A GH2 is a little overkill for your purposes, but it has a great rep for proper hybridization of camera+camcorder.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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I suggest that in 9 or 10 or 12 years when your son is in sports, you won't be using your current camera. The kit lens you're likely to buy today is going to be trashed or broken...

You SHOULD NOT be considering what you are going to use in 8 or 10 or 12 years for today's purchase. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's irrational dreaming of the future. While, as a new father, you are totally entitled to do a ton of that now, spending money on cameras with that in mind isn't what I would advise.

My personal suggestion would be to go for a less expensive camera like a mirrorless setup and learn how to use ISO and shutter speed and aperture, etc.

However, if you are set on a DSLR and have already decided on that, I do suggest getting a low-end body. The lenses make FAR MORE difference than the body.

I know several pros who make stunning images with a 5 year old DSLR, or older, because they have skill, and good lenses.

I advocate getting a good high end ultra zoom (like a 18-200 zoom) and a couple of fast primes (a 35mm f/1.8 and a 85mm f/1.8 for example).

You will find, if you want *Great* shots, you will use the primes and give up the huge zoom. If you aren't so concerned about the quality, or you need super wide or super long, you'll use the zoom.

Be aware that a 18-200 zoom is about $800 and the 85mm f/1.8 is about $400.

To start getting really respectable "action sports" shots, you will need to end up with at least a 200mm f/4. This is going to cost you another $1000.

Just want to make sure you know what you're getting into with your dreaming...

I regularly shoot with an 200mm f/2.8 and even sometimes a 300mm f/2.8 lens ($2,700) on a $500 camera body.

Of course, older cameras will stink at video... so... be aware. :-D But with that said, even top-end 5dMkIII or D800 cameras still stink at video compared to a dedicated HD camcorder. It's still really not quite even close. The autofocus on the DSLRs for video is 3 or 4 generations behind real camcorders. We're talking like.... Your dad's camcorder from 1978 bad... In most of them, you can audibly hear the autofocus motors in the body, unless you buy a third-party off-camera shotgun microphone or something... Otherwise, you're stuck with manual focus.

Be careful what you're getting into. :-D

Last edited by SecurityTheatre; 12-08-2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SecurityTheatre View Post
I suggest that in 9 or 10 or 12 years when your son is in sports, you won't be using your current camera. The kit lens you're likely to buy today is going to be trashed or broken...

You SHOULD NOT be considering what you are going to use in 8 or 10 or 12 years for today's purchase. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's irrational dreaming of the future. While, as a new father, you are totally entitled to do a ton of that now, spending money on cameras with that in mind isn't what I would advise.

My personal suggestion would be to go for a less expensive camera like a mirrorless setup and learn how to use ISO and shutter speed and aperture, etc.

However, if you are set on a DSLR and have already decided on that, I do suggest getting a low-end body. The lenses make FAR MORE difference than the body.

I know several pros who make stunning images with a 5 year old DSLR, or older, because they have skill, and good lenses.

I advocate getting a good high end ultra zoom (like a 18-200 zoom) and a couple of fast primes (a 35mm f/1.8 and a 85mm f/1.8 for example).

You will find, if you want *Great* shots, you will use the primes and give up the huge zoom. If you aren't so concerned about the quality, or you need super wide or super long, you'll use the zoom.

Be aware that a 18-200 zoom is about $800 and the 85mm f/1.8 is about $400.

To start getting really respectable "action sports" shots, you will need to end up with at least a 200mm f/4. This is going to cost you another $1000.

Just want to make sure you know what you're getting into with your dreaming...

I regularly shoot with an 200mm f/2.8 and even sometimes a 300mm f/2.8 lens ($2,700) on a $500 camera body.

Of course, older cameras will stink at video... so... be aware. :-D But with that said, even top-end 5dMkIII or D800 cameras still stink at video compared to a dedicated HD camcorder. It's still really not quite even close. The autofocus on the DSLRs for video is 3 or 4 generations behind real camcorders. We're talking like.... Your dad's camcorder from 1978 bad... In most of them, you can audibly hear the autofocus motors in the body, unless you buy a third-party off-camera shotgun microphone or something... Otherwise, you're stuck with manual focus.

Be careful what you're getting into. :-D
Old joke with a grain of truth to it:

Amateurs worry about equipment.
Professionals worry about money.
Masters worry about light.

I agree that lenses depreciate a lot slower than camera bodies and that anything out today will be obsolete 10 years from now, if only because connectivity standards will change, and maybe even flash memory card compatibility.

However, let's not get carried away, here. The body still matters. Fast-action sports is one of the very few categories of photography that demands a strong AF system such as those found in higher-end DSLRs and the Nikon 1 series, and maybe the NEX-5r/6 if those PDAF systems are any good. A fast and long burst mode is also highly recommended. You might not find the T4i to be sufficient for fast-action sports due to the shoddier AF system and fewer AF points, especially with any lens that doesn't go down to f/2.8 (unless Canon changed things, I believe that if the lens is unable to hit f/2.8 then it can't use cross-type AF sensors; this doesn't mean shooting at f/2.8, but rather that the lens's max aperture is at least f/2.8, which is larger than the f/4 you mentioned). Even my Nikon D5100 wasn't enough, with just 9 AF points (and only the center one being cross-type).

The expensive way to get lots of AF points and fast and long burst mode is to get a high-end DSLR, but the cheap way is to get a Nikon 1 system camera. The existing 30-110mm lens is pretty good according to many reviewers, and it should be sufficient in good light (e.g., daytime soccer games). Nikon may come out with larger-aperture telephotos in the future.

That said, OP doesn't seem like he needs to be able to capture fast action sports in modest light or anything, so that's why I think the Nikon 1 is a good fit for him, else the GH* series for their stellar video and strong lens selection in M43's system.

Sony's NEX system is OK for video, though some of the bodies overheat quickly so they prevent you from taking long spans of video at a time, and NEX's lens lineup is still incomplete and small.

If OP insists on a DSLR, then any of the newer DSLRs will take decent video, even if they suck at live view focusing.

One thing I think everyone can agree on is that you get diminishing returns very quickly. The first $500 can be a great upgrade from a phone cam, but the next $500 after that does less, and the next $500 does even less.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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I find the lenses available for the Nikon mirrorless system to be less than impressive. The 4/3 lenses, as previously mentioned, are good and there are a lot of them.

Plus, the video, especially of the GH series (GH2 for $700 with kit lens, new GH3 for $1300) is off the charts awesome. And I've seen many raves for the OMD from Olympus, even if it, too, is pricey.

Personally, I recommend getting the G3 right now as it's $299 w/kit lens. I find the addition of a grip invaluable for my photo needs and the price is hard to beat.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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I find the lenses available for the Nikon mirrorless system to be less than impressive. The 4/3 lenses, as previously mentioned, are good and there are a lot of them.
Nikon 1 has been out for a little over one year. The selection of lenses is smaller, but respectable for such a new system. Nikon does offer an F-mount adapter which will let you use any Nikon F-mount lens on your Nikon 1, including AF/AE capabilities with newer lenses.

On the other hand, m4/3 has been out for over 4 years, and the lens selection is limited and overpriced.

When I suggest an ILC to someone, especially on a budget, I suggest they keep 2-3 lenses:

Included kit zoom
Telephoto kit zoom if needed
Small, inexpensive fast prime lens (f/1.8)

IMO, I would never (ever) spend $1200 on a fast f/2.8 zoom for m4/3. If my needs evolved to a point where I needed such a lens, it would be time to step up to a native EF or F mount camera.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #13
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I wish I had gone DSLR earlier.
I have thousands of photos of my three children as they're growing up, the majority of them from P&S (film, then digital.)

I went DSLR a little over 2 years ago and it was truly a "holy shit" moment.

Make that 40mm prime your bitch.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:00 PM   #14
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Nikon 1 has been out for a little over one year. The selection of lenses is smaller, but respectable for such a new system. Nikon does offer an F-mount adapter which will let you use any Nikon F-mount lens on your Nikon 1, including AF/AE capabilities with newer lenses.

On the other hand, m4/3 has been out for over 4 years, and the lens selection is limited and overpriced.

When I suggest an ILC to someone, especially on a budget, I suggest they keep 2-3 lenses:

Included kit zoom
Telephoto kit zoom if needed
Small, inexpensive fast prime lens (f/1.8)

IMO, I would never (ever) spend $1200 on a fast f/2.8 zoom for m4/3. If my needs evolved to a point where I needed such a lens, it would be time to step up to a native EF or F mount camera.
I agree to a large extent, but if M43 ever gets PDAF-like AF-C mode, I could make a case for a 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom lens at $1200, considering how much it'd cost you for the equivalent in FX or DX. The current Pany 35-100mm? No thanks, I can't take the risk that it will be incompatible with on-sensor PDAF if Pany ever goes that direction.

As for your recommended lens selection, I agree on that as well. The question is, what focal length prime? I think 50mm in FX terms is the sweet spot; this means ~35mm in DX/APS-C, or ~25mm in M43, or ~18mm for Nikon 1. You can always crop stuff or zoom in with your feet, but sometimes (e.g., indoors) you can't zoom out with your feet. So I always recommend something like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX instead of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (which is more like 75mm on a DX body).

As for a second prime, I don't think it's necessary. I know that some people insist that you need a portrait prime lens (about 85-105mm FX equivalent, f/1.8 or faster), but in my experience a decent telephoto zoom lens does fine as a portrait lens AND it can do other things too like capture fast-action sports. E.g., a Nikon 55-200mm zoomed all the way to 200mm at max aperture can do as a portrait lens in a pinch, and it can be used for other purposes as well.

As for macro lenses: I know some people insist that you need a macro lens if you're interested, but if you are not 100% certain that you want to get into macro photography, a far cheaper alternative is to get a Raynox DCR-150 or 250 and snap it onto your kit lens. It's cheap, good quality, and lighter than lugging around a dedicated macro lens. If you decide to get ultra serious about macro you can get a true macro lens, and if you decided that you don't like macro, Raynoxes have good resale value and don't cost that much in the first place, so you won't lose much money.

But going beyond lenses, I think a good, bounce-able flash is underrated. People seem to want to jack up ISO to unheard of levels and use expensive fast lenses to cope with low ambient light, but if it's possible, I'd rather flash the scene instead.

Some photographers will also want something more than the few stops of image stabilization a lens gives (e.g., landscapes with auto-bracketing for HDR); for them a tripod with good ballhead could be very useful.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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After much deliberation, stress, and some heartache...I pressed the "checkout" button on the T4i. The only thing I did not purchase was a tripod, and I am still debating which one to get.

I appreciate all of the responses. I realize I have a lot to learn, but hopefully as an electrical engineer I can figure out photography.

I watched many demo videos of the autofocus (this is with the new STM lens that launched with the T4i), and it seems that it will be good enough for "capturing memories".
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:04 AM   #16
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If you are interested in video you could have gotten a clearance GH2 with similar or better lenses for less money and they'd all be optimized for CDAF (good for video) in the first place, plus you'd get better video output from the GH2. But you said yourself that you already had your eyes set on the T4i before posting this thread, then said that you wouldn't even consider mirrorless because they allegedly have limited lens selection, which is false for M43. I always wondered how a company like Canon kept getting business when they are too cheap to include lens hoods on their consumer lenses and haven't appreciably improved their sensor tech in 5 years or even offered a compelling mirrorless option in lieu of big and heavy DSLRs; now I know....

Tripod.

You could get a cheapo tripod + ballhead that you'd have to upgrade because it sucks, or do it right the first time and spend several hundred dollars (could spend somewhat less if you had gotten a lighter camera--another reason to ditch heavy DSLRs), but you'd probably be better off with a flash instead. Any cheap bounceable TTL one will do, or for futureproofing in case you need it one day, one that can go wirelessly off-camera. If you are okay with manual flashing (no TTL), you can get wireless manual triggers and receivers for like $25.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsaar View Post
After much deliberation, stress, and some heartache...I pressed the "checkout" button on the T4i. The only thing I did not purchase was a tripod, and I am still debating which one to get.

I appreciate all of the responses. I realize I have a lot to learn, but hopefully as an electrical engineer I can figure out photography.

I watched many demo videos of the autofocus (this is with the new STM lens that launched with the T4i), and it seems that it will be good enough for "capturing memories".
You are going to enjoy that camera, no reason to stress. If you have used P&S, you will be blown away with the quality of pics. If you bought all the lenses you listed, the only 'meh' I'd have is that the two zoom lenses have too much of overlap. But good can come out of that too - in a few months, you'll want to do more with your camera, and that'd be the time for you to sell the kit lens and replace with the Canon 17-55 F2.8 (or the Sigma equivalent).

For now, enjoy the camera. What you bought is great, no questions. Since you have a baby son, I'd recommend you take a lot of pics, and a lot of video. Believe me, 10 years later you'll not regret taking too many; you'll only think you should have taken more !

I think the mistakes I did 10 years ago were (a) did not buy a DSLR (b) did not take the P&S camera out for days on end, and when I did, snapped too many pics or video on the same day. Better to take a couple of pics a time, but more frequently.

Another thing - don't think you gotta figure the camera out technically. There's nothing to it. What you gotta do, is to learn to photograph, aesthetically. Like somebody said, when you read a great book, you don't ask what typewriter the author used, but how did s/he get the idea? The T4i is just a fantastic tool. Use it a lot.

I recently bought a $50 tripod at Walmart, and find it works great for me. Don't spend too much on it for now - just get something you can use.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #18
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Great purchase. Just don't be one of these guys: http://youtu.be/gW9alBidf3w

Eventually you will pick up the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. I started off with the 18-135mm (non-STM). It's a great starter lens, with great focal range (and now plays nice with the t4i's "video auto-focus").

Learn to shoot. Learn to post-process (lightroom will become you new best friend/nemsis). And get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot!
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jpeyton View Post
On the other hand, m4/3 has been out for over 4 years, and the lens selection is limited and overpriced.
There are 28 lenses from Panasonic and Olympus and at least 5 from secondary manufacturers in the "limited" m4/3 inventory. There are five for the "respectable" Nikon. And just like the Nikon, you can get an adapter for all sorts of old lenses. The Nikon ranges from 28mm-280mm (eq.) while m4/3 from 14mm-600mm(eq.).

m4/3 prime lenses of aperture 2.5 or lower - 8. Nikon - 1. And two of the m4/3 are less than 1.0.

The Nikon system has no macro lenses. No Wide-angle lenses. And no long-range telephoto lenses. And exactly one lens with an aperture faster than 2.0.

m4/3 does have expensive lenses because many of them are outstanding lenses. But they also have moderately priced lenses that are good performers.

The lenses that are comparable between Nikon and m4/3 cost the following (Nikon lenses listed first):

10mm/2.8-$247 14mm/2.5 $299
18.5mm/1.8-$187 20mm/1.7-$355 (it is, however a pancake lens of outstanding quality)
11-28mm kit lens-$187 14-42mm kit lens $149
30-110mm zoom-$247 45-150mm zoom-$199
10-110mm zoom-$747 14-140mm zoom-$620

Total cost for Nikon-$1615. For m4/3-$1622. Is $7 difference overpriced?

FF or APS-C users switch to a mirrorless system because of size and "good enough" IQ. The FF Nikon 24-70mm/2.8 lens weighs about 900g and costs $1900. The m4/3 12-35mm/2.8 weighs 305g and costs $1200.

The F-mount equivalent (or closest as there is no zoom that reaches 600mm) to the m4/3 stuff I own (4 lenses - 3 zooms and a prime) weighs 3027g and costs $4203. The m4/3 gear is 1379g and $2365.

However, fast action is definitely in the FF camera's column. And video is in the column of pretty much any mirrorless with the GH series from Panasonic being particularly noteworthy.

I just can't see getting a mirrorless system (like Nikon's) with such weak lenses. I'd sooner get any of the the fantastic premium compacts out there.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
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10mm/2.8-$247 14mm/2.5 $299
18.5mm/1.8-$187 20mm/1.7-$355 (it is, however a pancake lens of outstanding quality)
11-28mm kit lens-$187 14-42mm kit lens $149
30-110mm zoom-$247 45-150mm zoom-$199
10-110mm zoom-$747 14-140mm zoom-$620

Total cost for Nikon-$1615. For m4/3-$1622. Is $7 difference overpriced?
Both the 10/2.8 and the 30-110mm are $146.95 each when you're buying a Nikon V1. Subtract $200 there.

The 11-28mm is a retractable zoom lens. The Panasonic equivalent is the 14-42mm Vario PZ (Power Zoom), which is $324, not $149. So the price difference is now $375.

And finally, the price difference between a Nikon V1 and the Panasonic GF5 is another $150. I think $525 is a significant difference in price between two equivalent kits, no?

Although I think anyone dropping $1500+ on budget mirrorless cameras and kit lenses, regardless of brand, is a bit nutty. The purpose of a mirrorless camera is to bridge the gap between point-and-shoot and SLR. So while it's nice, in theory, that there are all these $1000+ m4/3 lenses available, I don't know a single person who has actually bought one.

Last edited by jpeyton; 12-09-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:09 AM   #21
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FF or APS-C users switch to a mirrorless system because of size and "good enough" IQ. The FF Nikon 24-70mm/2.8 lens weighs about 900g and costs $1900. The m4/3 12-35mm/2.8 weighs 305g and costs $1200.
Given that the full-frame sensor gives you about 2-stops better ISO performance, and you get two-stops more depth-of-field because of the small sensor, you need to start comparing M4/3 lenses at f/2.8 with the f/5.6 versions on a FF camera to be equitable in terms of image quality and shutter speed. (f/2.8 ---> f/5.6 = 2 stops). Make it 1 stop for a APS-C camera, so you then need to compare the f/4 lens to the f/2.8 in m4/3 format.

You'll realize that m4/3 is seldom really substantially cheaper (sometimes more expensive) and usually not much lighter when seeking a comparable quality image, comparable capability and comparable DoF control.

They are, however, great for someone who wants to hit a budget and size point and where "good enough" is ok.

What you say about the N1 is reasonable, except that it is SO much smaller than any of the M4/3 options, that I would consider it just for that, understanding that if I want lots of good fast lenses, I'm just going to go FF anyway.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:20 AM   #22
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What's the biggest difference between the V1 and J1?
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:37 AM   #23
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What's the biggest difference between the V1 and J1?
Electronic viewfinder and accessory hotshoe, I believe. Other than that, the internals and functionality is the same from what I can tell.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:35 AM   #24
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So I got my camera today. I ordered on Saturday with Prime 2 day shipping with an estimated delivery of Wednesday. I get a shipping email yesterday. Everything arrived on UPS Ground today. I checked the origin scan...ATLANTA! As an Amazon saint for years I have never seen anything originate in Atlanta...hope this trend continues.

Anyway, been playing around with my camera and trying to get the feel for it (started straight on manual mode).

All my shots have been indoors.

I usually shoot around 1/50 second, auto ISO (limited to 6400), and play with the aperture. This exposure triangle is just fine expect for one thing. For most of my shots I do NOT want a shallow DOF, so a smaller aperture is desired, but then I never have enough light. Sigh.

Just gonna have to play around with it until I get the hang of it.

If Sourceforge wasn't down right now I would play around with Digikam and GIMP.

Edit: One of my last vacations was a trip to Vegas where I took a ton of night photos (and inside casinos...which might as well be night photos). I would feel too limited by a prime lens in this situation where I would like to have some reach. Most of my pictures are very fast candid shots with no setup.

I am actually kind of worried I cannot land this type of shot anymore unless I want to shell out $1000s on a lens. Any advice...or am I worrying about this too much? I guess for most of these shots a high ISO with some grain would still be much better than my P&S (I haven't played around much with noise reduction yet...maybe there is some magic there).

Last edited by Tsaar; 12-11-2012 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #25
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Come on, quit playing around - show us some pictures!

Don't worry about those indoor pics - they'll be far better just in the auto mode with the kit lens. I know because that type of pics were the ones I had to shoot first when I got my DSLR. I don't have any lens close to that $1000 but am pretty happy with my output, even if I say so myself.

The thing that has surprised me even after these many years is that I like to use the flash very less; DSLRs have better inbuilt flash, and allow external flashes (and I have two of them), but the 'available light' pictures are really pleasing, particularly when there's a mish-mash of lighting as inside a casino or a rodeo fair or something. In all these, a prime lens is incomparable; I know - reach is needed, but you should borrow a prime lens and try out the freedom it provides you in low light.

Just noticed : 1/50 is a bit low for hand-held, unless you have especially rock-steady hands; don't you see any blur or softened focus? For hand-held I prefer to stay above 1/80 with lower ISO. OTOH, you could use a tripod very effectively at lower speeds.
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