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Thread: A question for the photographers...

  1. #1
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    Default A question for the photographers...

    On Saturday I went in to the local photography shop with the intent to by a DSLR, but the extremely knowledgeable chap I spoke to pretty much refused to sell it to me.

    He suggested instead a superzoom / bridge camera, call it what you will. The only trouble is the one he recommended came out about $1400 more than the DSLR and second lens that I intended to buy, and his second choice recommendation I didn't like the specs of.

    So, the question is, what should I buy, a superzoom, an entry-level DSLR, a second-hand DSL of higher spec, or anything else you would recommend?

    Background:
    Back in my youth, I used to tote around a Practika LTL3 35mm SLR that my dad handed down to me when he upgraded his kit. It came with some nice lenses, 53mm, 50mm and 135mm Carl Zeiss items. I added a 2x converter to that kit and used it for years. I mainly took photos of mountain landscapes and occasional mountain sport shots, mainly rock climbing, and I tried to do a bit of wildlife stuff, but the 2x converter on the back of the 135mm didn't get me very far. I stopped using this setup when the camera body received one-too-many knocks in my rucksack and started leaking light. I was a poverty stricken in my first job and repaying my student debt at the time, so I never got around to replacing it.

    Roll on nearly 30 years and I'm now an empty-nester and I'm spending more and more time in the outdoors again, either on my cycling adventures or walking in the mountains. There's also an increasing amount of native birdlife around home that I'd love to be able to photograph, and so I'm feeling the limits of my cell-phone camera and the waterproof compact I bought to take snorkeling. I'm looking for something capable of giving me a bit of creative control over the landscape and possible action shots, and the ability to add a lens that will give me a decent chance of capturing some birdlife, and that is reasonably easy to carry around. It's likely that I'll continue to use the waterproof compact when I'm taking pictures afloat.

    The camera I was trying to buy was the Nikon D3500 with AF-P 18-55 VR zoom and AF-P 70-300 VR zoom lenses, and the guy in the shop recommended the Sony RX10M4, or the Nikon P950 as a cheaper alternative. What says the bilge hive-mind?

    Edit to add: I'm trying to spend less than $1500 NZ, so just over the $1000 US mark, absolute limit is $2000 NZ.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Roll on nearly 30 years and I'm now an empty-nester and I'm spending more and more time in the outdoors again, either on my cycling adventures or walking in the mountains. There's also an increasing amount of native birdlife around home that I'd love to be able to photograph, and so I'm feeling the limits of my cell-phone camera and the waterproof compact I bought to take snorkeling. I'm looking for something capable of giving me a bit of creative control over the landscape and possible action shots, and the ability to add a lens that will give me a decent chance of capturing some birdlife, and that is reasonably easy to carry around. It's likely that I'll continue to use the waterproof compact when I'm taking pictures afloat.
    the guy in the shop is a douche, the nikon sounds like a perfect starting place for what you want to do
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Roll on nearly 30 years and I'm now an empty-nester and I'm spending more and more time in the outdoors again, either on my cycling adventures or walking in the mountains. There's also an increasing amount of native birdlife around home that I'd love to be able to photograph, and so I'm feeling the limits of my cell-phone camera and the waterproof compact I bought to take snorkeling. I'm looking for something capable of giving me a bit of creative control over the landscape and possible action shots, and the ability to add a lens that will give me a decent chance of capturing some birdlife, and that is reasonably easy to carry around. It's likely that I'll continue to use the waterproof compact when I'm taking pictures afloat.
    the guy in the shop is a douche, the nikon sounds like a perfect starting place for what you want to do


    my complaints about that nikon in particular is that it is very small for a dslr, often the lenses will outsize and outweigh the body and grip
    if it fits your hands all to the well and good


    it being the entry level nikon dslr much of the controls for things are buried in menus versus their being dedicated buttons or command wheels


    that said the bridge cameras offer even worse ergonomics and are even more complicated with regards to navigating multilayered menus


    sign me been shootings dslrs for about twelve years and just bought a new one today as a matter of fact
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Watcha get?

    I guess another question then, since you seem to be confirming my initial findings that I'll hit creative limits with a bridge camera sooner than even on a basic DSLR, is which DSLR?

    I was looking a Canon too, but the bottom tier models don't save RAW, and I think I want that.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Now that I have acquired and used the Panasonic FZ 300 I will never haul all of that heavy, expensive fragile stuff around again.

    I'm a long way from being a pro photographer so maybe I'm missing out on something, but the Panasonic super zoom does everything I wanted to do with that monstrous collection of parts and paraphenalia and does it twice as well and twice as fast for only $600 at the time. I bet the more recent ones are even better.

    You like birds? I know that this is no great shot, but just for example I saw movement overhead and just grabbed the camera, pointed it in the general direction and pressed the button. The camera was still in motion but it managed to auto everything in mere micro seconds and this is what I got.

    Panasonic FZ300 camping 2018 060.jpg

    Here's one where I took the trouble to hold the camera still;

    Panasonic FZ300 camping 2018 160.jpg

    You like landscapes?

    Panasonic FZ300 camping 2018 006.jpg

    Panasonic FZ300 camping 2018 520.jpg

    You could hand me the worlds most sophisticated camera and after a couple of years of trying to figure out how to use it I don't see how I could do any better at all.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    i dont like how slow bridge cameras are to turn on, to deploy, to zoom, to focus and their shutter lag is intolerable

    i dont get the whole raw v jpeg thing, i shoot in jpeg and edit in jpeg (adobe creative cloud)

    as far as image quality goes, at the consumer and advanced consumer level their aint no difference between nikon, canon, or sony - maybe ted hoppe could eeke out some advantage from one over the other, but im not so sure

    i bought a d7200 used with 200 shutter actuations to replace my d7000

    the 3500, 5000, and 7000 series all use the same sensor and image processor so again theoretical image quality will be the same amongst them. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    buy good glass, especially from nikon and leica, it never goes bad and for leica any old lens will mount to any modern camera and vice versa; for nikon any f mount lens from 1977 to present will mount, pre 1977 fmount lenses have to be modified slightly (you can this yourself) there is some phenomenal stuff available for very cheap from nikon
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Ooh, ooh! Just found the D5600 with the same lens kit as the D3500 kit I was looking at, for almost the same price, $1243 NZ.

    That would take away the shop bloke's main concerns with the 3500's average autofocus and metering requirements.

    Gib - those are very nice photos, but the things that Paul mentions, slow startup, lag between shutter button and the photo actually being taken, they're what'll bug me no end, especially with that distant memory of having full and complete control of my dear old Practika.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    The D3500 is a nice light camera. I have had a D3300 for about 3.5 years and fine it to be very good. I have the 18-55 kit lens as well as a 55-200 and a 35mm f.18 that I like very much. If I was doing it again I might consider a mirrorless camera if the price was a bit lower. Their main limitation is the lack of as many options for lenses.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I second Paul's opinion of the camera shop clerk. Looking to pad his commission. I shoot Nikon and Cannon, and both have excellent glass. The quality of the glass is a lot more important than some folks realize. My Cannon doesn't shoot RAW, so I mainly use the Nikon -- I like to edit in a program that let's me do nice things in RAW that I can't in a JPEG editor.
    "The future is already here it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    buy good glass, especially from nikon and leica, it never goes bad and for leica any old lens will mount to any modern camera and vice versa; for nikon any f mount lens from 1977 to present will mount, pre 1977 fmount lenses have to be modified slightly (you can this yourself) there is some phenomenal stuff available for very cheap from nikon
    In storage I have a couple apple boxes full of Nikkor non-AI. Including a perspective-control lens.
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I have a Canon EOS 700D with the 18-55 kit lens.
    I am very happy with that and hoping Santa will bring me a Telephoto lens for it this Christmas.
    We have lots of birds around our home I would love to take photos of.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    AK -

    I agree that DSLR is the way to go. The all-in-ones and compacts have gotten better over the years with regards to image quality, start-up time and shutter lag, but you can't beat the instant response and long-term versatility of a DSLR.

    I agree with Paul, that RAW is overrated. If you have a good sense about exposure (back lighting, dark subjects, and the like), modern DSLRs provide amazingly good JPGs. I used to shoot a lot of photos in RAW+JPG and, yeah, it gives the potential for more image manipulation and can save some shots that weren't properly exposed, but I found that the increased bandwidth and processing time wasn't worth the vanishingly small payoff.


    If I were starting from scratch with DSLRs with a $1000 budget, there are a couple things I would seriously consider:

    Pentax claims to have more rugged and weather-resistant construction than their competitors. The down side would be limited lens availability.

    All-in-one zoom lenses - 18-270, 18-300, and the like. In most situations, the convenience of having a 15x+ zoom range already on your camera, rather than having to carry and switch lenses, would outweigh the minimal cost in image quality.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I'll be interested to hear what you do. My daughter is the photographer , years ago she sold her penniless soul for the 3200 and two lenses that she left with me while working developing film in London. I leave the 55-200 on.
    We just got her back and she hasn't mentioned taking it off me yet..might have something to do with the slrs and big format units she's brought home with her, and the collection being freighted.
    I thought I'd just buy whatever the latest version of the 3200 is, probably what youre looking at...something a bit longer lense wise for the wildlife .300?
    If she decides to sell it to me I'll just get a lens.
    But I'm an opportunistic snapper, ain't planning on learning anything, certainly not editing past a crop. Fun though.
    DSC_0469 (2).jpg
    Last edited by John B; 09-24-2020 at 12:24 AM.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    The plan is to disentangle myself from the home office tomorrow lunchtime and head over to Photo Warehouse on Great North Road. They have the D5600 kit for $100 more than I was going to pay for the D3500. They also stock Canon and Pentax, so I'll go in with an open mind and see what they recommend, including lens options. They have the body and 18-55 lens in stock, but the 70-300 is on back order. I can wait for it or look at other options, including second-hand.

    I was trying to buy local, but they've blown their chance now.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    If you're visiting a decent camera shop, take a long hard look at the mirrorless interchangeable lens stuff such as the Fuji X series.

    Stunning image quality without the bulk and weight and dodgy viewfinders of modern DSLR cameras.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i dont get the whole raw v jpeg thing, i shoot in jpeg and edit in jpeg (adobe creative cloud)
    I agree - I've a Nikon D3400 as my main camera, and in practical terms don't see much evidence of compression unless I really magnify the image. For editing work I use an ancient (wholly owned, not 'rented') version of Photoshop, which does precisely what I need. The D3500 is lighter, slightly smaller, and has a longer battery life. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    first three pics from new dslr, straight out of the camera body

    DSC_0681.jpg

    DSC_0683.jpg

    DSC_0687.jpg
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    And these are with your new Nikon 3500?
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    d7200
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Wasted effort, I see.

    Trying* to give you an opening to expand on your choices, talk a lil' 'photo-trash'.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I have used SLRs followed by DSLRs for years. One important observation I have heard about the Sony type of cameras is that there is far less support for them than Nikon and Canon. Their expected lifetime apparently is much shorter, and when problems occur, it's simply time to get a new one.

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    If you're visiting a decent camera shop, take a long hard look at the mirrorless interchangeable lens stuff such as the Fuji X series.

    Stunning image quality without the bulk and weight and dodgy viewfinders of modern DSLR cameras.
    i love my fuji and fuji's in general but they are not an inexpensive system - they command close to full frame gold ring pro level nikon prices
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Sony owns or owned Photobucket, right?
    Or was it Imagestation?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I think Imagestation is/was Sony.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Mirrorless /should/ be faster than a mirror. It takes more time to move a mirror than electrons. Weight ... the weight of the mirror vs the weight of the camera display, and the increase power use to light that display.

    Nikon - Canon is a battle that will run for at least another century, unless one of them makes a huge mistake. How do they feel in your hands? Canons always feel clumsy to me, but then I started in 35mm with a Nikon F.

    At that price, with a good shop, you can pick a good camera by how it feels and how the lens system will fit your desires.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    I think Imagestation is/was Sony.
    Good enough for me. Sony excluded from my house.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    I too have a D5300. I got it for cheap as a rebuilt body as my older nikon had died and all it's lenses fit perfectly
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  32. #32
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    Nice job.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: A question for the photographers...

    So, the 70-300mm lens isn't available, I got just the base kit with the 18-55mm lens. They're getting a second-hand lens up from the Christchurch shop for me to look at next week. It's the same zoom and aperture range, but has the VR image stabilisation. I think also it's the AF version (for the full-size sensor cameras, not the cropped sensor DX ones, like the D3500/5600/7200). I'm not sure if I'll go for that, because it seems to be as much as the new DX version with VR, and I don't know what benefit it will give me, apart from being available.

    Much to learn, and quickly so I don't get fleeced.
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

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