Yet Another Newb Camera buying question

Discussion in 'Digital and Video Cameras' started by Connoisseur, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Yeah I'm just worried that knowing myself I won't necessarily want to carry an SLR on whatever I do. I like being fairly innocuous and like to explore a lot and don't always carry around baggage. I'd most likely never switch a lens for most if not all my shots. Also my SD880 IS is wearing down a bit (got some sand in it). Getting into photography is really tempting but I don't want to invest in something and then let it sit there and collect dust.
     
  2. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    If you won't switch a lens, you probably don't want a DSLR. Especially if you want to be innocuous and not being one of "those people" who point huge lenses at people. You don't need a DSLR to get a large sensor or large aperture glass. My RX100 for instance, is on par with some of the earlier DSLRs. Sensor tech has improve a lot over the years, and paired with fast glass, even compact and semi-compact non-interchangeable lens cameras can do well. Where DSLRs and interchangeable-lens cameras do have an advantage is tracking fast-moving subjects, as their AF systems tend to be more robust.
     
  3. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Ha I think you hit the nail on the head in that I don't want to be one of "those people". Having lived and worked in midtown manhattan for several years, I have a healthy aversion for people with big lenses who stop and point it at random objects. I mean, I'd totally carry an SLR around if I was doing nature photography but I prefer not to have one around in urban environments.

    I don't really think i'll be spending a ton of time with high speed imaging so there's that. If I had to boil it down to just the real requirements it'd have to be that I want a great camera that takes both great daytime and nighttime (non fast moving) shots. Im going to try an SLR in stores to see if they change my mind; I do have a couple of friends with SLRs and I know I won't have their level of dedication in bringing those big things along wherever I go.
     
  4. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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  5. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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    I'm also going to toss out the Nikon V1 as a suggestion, simply because I love mine so much and it is a bargain right now. $399 for the two lens kit, with a "normal" prime f/1.8 for an additional $187.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/823591-REG/Nikon_27569_Nikon_1_V1_Mirrorless.html

    Here are some low-light his ISO snapshots from the V1 by Steve Huff...

    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/12/03/some-low-light-high-iso-snaps-with-the-nikon-v1/

    "The V1 does better in low light than any M4/3 I have tried. It does NOT beat the Sony 5n in low light/high ISO but then again, it beats the 5n in usability, metering, focusing, speed, etc. To me, after shooting the V1 at night with these samples I am more than sold on the 1 system. If you are out shooting in this low of light it is for snapshots really. These did perfectly fine for snapshots and I do not go and look at 100% views of shots like this. If anything, personal shots would be printed small if at all. I wouldn’t go out in this light with ANY camera and NO lighting for any kind of serious or pro shooting. I will say it again, the low light capabilities of the V1 are really very good. Better than M4/3 which would have created blobs of noise in this same situation." - Steve Huff

    [​IMG]
     
  6. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    That quote is out of date. The older Micro Four Thirds camera sensors (all of the 12 megapixel ones) weren't that good and were basically tied with Nikon 1's sensor despite the sensor size difference.

    The newer Micro Four Thirds camera sensors are significantly better at high-ISO, with the newest ones clearly being better at high-ISO and dynamic range than the Nikon 1 sensor.
     
  7. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    I disagree with the Canon G1X recommendation by JR. It's big and clunky and the autofocus is mediocre at best. The viewfinder isn't that good either. It also costs as much as a DSLR. If it were under $400 I could recommend it for some users, but at $630? Eh... no thanks. (Here's a review of the Canon G1X from a pro photographer: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/canon_g1x_field_report.shtml if you are interested)

    If you don't need a lot of zoom and want a lot of bang for the buck, a Nikon V1 might be for you. Certainly it's a good value at $299. It does not come with a built-in flash, though, which could be a dealbreaker. It's also not quite pocketable. But it focuses fast and has a viewfinder, which you'll appreciate in some circumstances like sun glare coming off the rear LCD.

    If you want a lot of zoom, get a superzoom compact camera with a large sensor. But at that point you might also consider the Nikon V1 bundle with the 30-110mm lens. Neither will be pocketable anyway, and the V1 will autofocus a lot faster and have a better sensor and viewfinder to boot.

    The best pocketable camera is the RX100 but it costs as much as a DSLR. But it gives you pretty good image quality (a notch above Nikon 1, and on par with older DSLRs from several years ago) and adequately fast focusing, decent zoom range, and built-in flash. No viewfinder though.
     
  8. JohnnyRebel

    JohnnyRebel Senior member

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    Thanks. That makes sense. Looking back that was a year ago. He is now shooting the Olympus OM-D m4/3.

    JR
     
  9. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the analysis. Yeah I looked at the Nikon V1 and the canon as well. Neither looks as portable as the RX100 and the RX100 seems to have equivalent or better image quality. Of course, with that said I'll have to work on actually figuring out how to take good photos.

    I'm definitely a bit torn in terms of debating whether or not I want a full DSLR instead but, after having spoken to some friends who own them, they rarely take them anywhere since they're pretty cumbersome. I want something a lot more flexible which I can carry around everywhere and also use indoors in a pinch. I want to be able to learn some photo taking technique and then maybe in the future i'll invest in a full system (if I have the time).

    It also helps that my company has a discount with sony so I think I get around 10-15% off of the Camera if I buy it from the site. I'm not going to decide until I see it in person.
     
  10. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    Yup, trying things out in person is definitely a good way to get a feel for what you might want. And yeah I am one of those people who got sick of hefty DSLRs that were overkill for my needs. I almost downgraded to a Nikon V1 due to the amazing price, but ultimately I wanted something even more easily pocketable, so I got a RX100. I may or may not get an interchangeable-lens camera again... I'm keeping my Nikon lenses for now but may end up selling them all later if I don't get another DSLR.
     
  11. IronWing

    IronWing Lifer

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    Blastingcap mentioning the viewfinder reminded me: If you like a viewfinder, check out the LX5/7. I use the LX5 for hiking and the RX100 as a field camera at work so both get used mostly in an outdoor, back country environment. I prefer the viewfinder as it is easier to frame photos in bright light and provides a more stable camera position for steady shooting but the one hand operation of the RX100 (pull it out of belt case, turn on, aim, shoot, return to case, all with one hand) is nice when juggling notebook and GPS.

    Also, if you like to use a polarizer or other filters, then the LX5/7 or a DSLR would get the nod. I haven't look recently by I haven't seen a method of mounting filters on the RX100 while the LX series has a screw-on filter adapter and of course DSLR lenses accept filters.

    Edit: Looks like Lensmate offers a filter adapter for the RX100.
     
    #36 IronWing, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  12. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    I ordered but haven't yet received the Carryspeed filter adapter for the RX100. LX5/7 is good but it's slightly larger than I would like, and I don't like messing with lenscaps. I wish the RX100 had a proper hotshoe, lens-centered tripod mount, remote shutter release option, and viewfinder... so by no means am I saying the RX100 is the best solution for everyone, just that it's about the maximum size that can still be considered pocketable, imho. The LX5/7 have hotshoes, for instance.

    Edit: after some investigation, the LX7 apparently does allow auto-retracting lenscaps via third-party add-ons, and this review makes me second-guess my purchase of the RX100: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_LX7/ The LX7 may be a little bigger and heavier but that macro ability and hotshoe are features I'm going to miss.. ugh. I got the RX100 for landscapes and though it'd do better but the difference isn't that much, but the difference in price sure is! :)
     
    #37 blastingcap, Dec 26, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  13. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I went to the local Best Buy and tried out a variety of cameras including the NEX-5R, DMC-LX7, V1 and RX100. While I was wowed by the NEX's burst mode and in general loved it's image quality (at least what I saw in the screen), the RX100 image quality blew me away for such a small camera. I was even able to take a couple of really great depth of field (bokeh) shots at the store to really test it out.

    My reasoning is that if I was thinking of buying a NEX or a Nikon V1, I'd rather just buy a full-on DSLR (D3200) as I don't see any one of them as being truly "portable". I'd still have to carry them on a neck strap or in a bag.

    Regardless, I think I got a great deal on the RX100 in the Sony store. I got the EPP discount (10%) + $80 in free gift cards ($20 GC for every $100 GC purchase) + $25 Amex Sync deal. So overall i saved about $170 on the purchase price. $50 tax in NY kinda kills some of it though. I can't wait to get it and start shooting.
     
  14. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    That's a pretty good price for a pretty awesome camera. Welcome to the fold! Haha. I think you will really enjoy having a pocket DSLR, basically... I am not joking, either. The RX100 is on par with ~2004 era DSLRs when comparing prints (so for any given print size, which probably involves downsampling the 20MP RX100 files down to whatever DSLR you want to compare it to.. 10MP was pretty common back in 2004).

     
  15. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    Look at the Fuji X10. I like it more than the Sony because it has an optical viewfinder. Don't know how they compare image quality wise though.
     
  16. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    He thanks. I've been wanting to start a photo album with the GF since i'll be taking the leap (getting engaged) very soon. I didn't want to rely on a cell phone camera to capture the good moments. I think it'll be great for all of the shooting I want to do. Does anyone have a good recommendation on a resource that'll explain a lot of the shooting settings in layman's (dumbass) terms? Things like aperture and focal length and f number. I feel like I need a minor in optics just to understand some of the concepts. I'd rather just have a resource that explains the basic settings in practical terms.
     
  17. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Thanks but I already purchased the Sony. I looked at the Fuji and it's less portable than the sony as the lens sticks out more and it's clearly taller and thicker than the sony. It's good great reviews though. With all the discounts I believe I got the Sony for the same price as the Fuji.
     
  18. blastingcap

    blastingcap Diamond Member

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    There may be "better" guides out there, but this is my favorite for explaining things simply and clearly: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

    And looking at specs I actually meant the RX100 is on par with ~2006 era DSLRs with kit lenses, not ~2003 era. Yeah you can buy faster glass for a DSLR, but then the DSLR is even more expensive and still as big and bulky. RX100 is definitely tops in power-per-cubic-millimeter right now.
     
    #43 blastingcap, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  19. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the link! It looks like a great read. Can't wait to take actual good photos. Yeah that was another deciding factor. Sure the RX100 is damn expensive for a compact but given that it competes with some older DSLR's with Kit Lenses, the price is actually pretty reasonable. Throw in the portability and it's a steal. I have a feeling this camera will last me a long time as I try to pick up the ins and outs of photography.
     
  20. elitejp

    elitejp Senior member

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    glad you got something. Start enjoying the camera and have fun photographing