Author Topic: Cameras  (Read 1412 times)

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Offline Lain1911

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Cameras
« on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 09:49:27 »
I like to take pictures from time to time and I'm sure you do to! Problem is I have a 4+ year old Cannon camera (12.1mp) which does the job but I want something more semi-pro, about $300 or so. I'm thinking about picking up a camera during Black Friday or Christmas. Any thoughts from pro picture takers such as mega pixels vs optical zoom etc...?

Offline heedpantsnow

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 10:11:24 »
12.1 MP is fine for most people, so I wouldn't let that drive you too hard.  I used a 6.3 MP Canon 10D for a very very long time with great results.  Lens quality and sensor quality and the guy behind the camera are far more important considerations that megapixels. 

For around $300, I would go for a used Fuji or Sony RX100.  Both of them have stellar sensors if you don't need a lot of zoom.  The Canon G series have always been popular.  Panasonic just came out with a killer camera that might fit your needs but it's out of your price range.

I hope that helps.
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Offline Lain1911

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 10:17:52 »
Yep! Maybe my problem lies more on the amount of batteries I seem to be using. Compared to what I have the upgrade doesn't seem to be worth it right now. Perhaps I can just invest in some good rechargeable batteries. 

Offline heedpantsnow

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 10:34:32 »
Yep! Maybe my problem lies more on the amount of batteries I seem to be using. Compared to what I have the upgrade doesn't seem to be worth it right now. Perhaps I can just invest in some good rechargeable batteries. 

There are pretty decent 3rd party batteries available on Ebay for most cameras.  If it uses something like AA's then you can get lithium rechargables that are much better than the normal alkalines that you buy at the store.  Good luck!
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Offline paicrai

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 10:40:30 »
D3200
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 11:25:06 »
Get a real camera. There are amazing bargains to be had on old film camera and huge ranges of excellent lenses. It's quite possible to pick up some really great kit for next to nothing these days. Film can also be had for very cheap if you know where to buy it and don't mind shooting on whatever random film stock is available on discount at the time. Expired film especially can be had for very cheap often and it can produce interesting results.
I still shoot on film exclusively barring stuff I take to post on the internet here. There is no accounting for personality of different film stock, lens and so on you can get with oldschool and spending hours fooling around in post processing with digital is a poor substitute in my opinion.

Offline Lain1911

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 11:35:20 »
Get a real camera. There are amazing bargains to be had on old film camera and huge ranges of excellent lenses. It's quite possible to pick up some really great kit for next to nothing these days. Film can also be had for very cheap if you know where to buy it and don't mind shooting on whatever random film stock is available on discount at the time. Expired film especially can be had for very cheap often and it can produce interesting results.
I still shoot on film exclusively barring stuff I take to post on the internet here. There is no accounting for personality of different film stock, lens and so on you can get with oldschool and spending hours fooling around in post processing with digital is a poor substitute in my opinion.

Examples?

Offline tjcaustin

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 11:38:01 »
Look into used mirrorless or last year model type stuff.  The Sony NEX/alpha line is a good line with a growing collection of lenses.  You might be able to pick up an entry level dslr, too if bulk isn't an issue.


Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 12:28:09 »
I tend to buy old Soviet stuff like Zenit, Lomo, and some others. My Zenit ET is my personal favorite. They are made like tanks and have always been super reliable for me with great image quality as the lenses the Soviets made are mostly very good to excellent optics. I also have some DDR Zeiss Pentacon and Polish PZO stuff. Fed are also not bad, probably only decent rangefinder type which are essentially an excellent copy of earlier Leica model. If you go that route, I strongly suggest to get bodies with the M42/Pentax K mount for ease of lens interchangeability.
Of course there is more 'regular' stuff like Nikon, Canon, Pentax. I would just look for good deals on ebay and the like, then look it up on the model and confirm it's not a piece of ****.
You could also consider some medium format 120mm. Some of them are pretty good deals like Mamiya, Pentacon, Bronica, Kiev88... Medium format is very interesting, but the film is generally more expensive and it's getting tougher to find places that will develop it that don't require sending it away.
« Last Edit: Thu, 23 October 2014, 12:37:33 by IvanIvanovich »

Offline paicrai

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 13:15:44 »
I tend to buy old Soviet stuff like Zenit, Lomo, and some others. My Zenit ET is my personal favorite. They are made like tanks and have always been super reliable for me with great image quality as the lenses the Soviets made are mostly very good to excellent optics. I also have some DDR Zeiss Pentacon and Polish PZO stuff. Fed are also not bad, probably only decent rangefinder type which are essentially an excellent copy of earlier Leica model. If you go that route, I strongly suggest to get bodies with the M42/Pentax K mount for ease of lens interchangeability.
Of course there is more 'regular' stuff like Nikon, Canon, Pentax. I would just look for good deals on ebay and the like, then look it up on the model and confirm it's not a piece of ****.
You could also consider some medium format 120mm. Some of them are pretty good deals like Mamiya, Pentacon, Bronica, Kiev88... Medium format is very interesting, but the film is generally more expensive and it's getting tougher to find places that will develop it that don't require sending it away.
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👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good **** go౦ԁ ****👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌**** right👌👌th 👌 ere👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯  i say so 💯  thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good ****

Offline tbc

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 13:33:05 »
film cameras are only a good idea if you're already good and wanting to become great.

for amateurs, it's a horrible idea.

why?  your feedback loop is ENORMOUSLY longer than using a digital camera.  it only takes minutes after you get home from a day of shooting to get your photos online and start getting critiques with a digital cam.  that's imposdible with a film camera.  when your gear separates you from feedback, then you made the wrong choice in gear.

the modern purpose of shooting film is to force yourself to take a mental picture first and THEN take the real picture; this is the 'slowing down' everyone talks about.  but how does this help you if you don't even know what good composition looks like?  or if you're stuck in auto mode because you don't know how to set your own exposure because you've never had a live view digital camera to test with?
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 14:27:08 »
Auto mode? Film camera shouldn't even have that ****. I generally disagree. Film forces you to become good as one can be, even without the instant feedback. It forces you to take your time on a shot instead of spamming the shutter and taking 37 shots in hope one looks like something which I see far too many people do with digital. If someone doesn't have an eye for composition and framing it doesn't matter at all what type of camera they are using. Neither is going to help them in that case. Manual film camera is also great since it makes you learn about apertures, shutter speed/exposure time, proper focusing, lighting... and what effects those things have on the result.
My primary purpose to sticking with film is the film itself. I enjoy the results I get from film straight out such as xpro on slide film or the 'timeless' look of my favorite black and white foma... and interesting specialty film stock like redscale, b&w reversal, infrared, and more. Sure you can emulate a lot of that in post processing, but why spend the time when you could have that look from the start?

But then, I am biased as I learned on film. Back then digital was just beginning and using .3MP saving to floppies was pretty heinous. I've stayed away from digital since until recently they haven't even approached the image quality of film.
I have been tempted recently to finally buy a digital like the Leica M60 or there was another similar one made by one of the Japanese brands... or if the Holga D concept was ever made I would be on that.

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 14:57:49 »
I am also a proponent of learning on film cameras. If you have a very specific need (I want a good picture of this tomorrow), then sure it's not your best option. But in general, it forces you to learn about the mechanics of using a camera and you end up learning much quicker than with digital. A huge plus is doing the enlarging yourself, but that's obviously not possible for everyone.

As for digital cameras, I absolutely love my NEX F3. Look at the pictures in my sig for some examples. Note that they are likely not post processed or color corrected. I'm lazy sometimes. But I love the fact that I can use my old analog lenses with it and get some pretty decent shots. Plus, the flash can be tilted back for super easy bounce flash, which is a huuuuge plus. Only downside is lack of bulb shutter speed, but I make do.

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 15:05:14 »
My brother is a big film buff, has a stock of vintage Kodachrome in a freezer.  He uses film for his personal projects, but digital for work project documentation. 

I learned to shoot using a full-manual film camera (Exacta), but I find using a digital camera takes a lot of the stress out of framing and composition, plus it's a lot easier to see the finished product and verify if the settings were close to correct.  Macro photography, for example, is tough to guess where the focal plane is going to be, so digital helps me figure out where to focus for my desired depth of field.

But I still like shooting through vintage glass, to add that touch of imperfection or distortion for artistic effect.  I've got an Aero-Ektar that I'm planning to build a Nikon mount for, hopefully the radioactivity won't screw with the memory chips.

Offline tbc

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 15:17:07 »
Auto mode? Film camera shouldn't even have that ****. I generally disagree. Film forces you to become good as one can be, even without the instant feedback. It forces you to take your time on a shot instead of spamming the shutter and taking 37 shots in hope one looks like something which I see far too many people do with digital. If someone doesn't have an eye for composition and framing it doesn't matter at all what type of camera they are using. Neither is going to help them in that case. Manual film camera is also great since it makes you learn about apertures, shutter speed/exposure time, proper focusing, lighting... and what effects those things have on the result.
My primary purpose to sticking with film is the film itself. I enjoy the results I get from film straight out such as xpro on slide film or the 'timeless' look of my favorite black and white foma... and interesting specialty film stock like redscale, b&w reversal, infrared, and more. Sure you can emulate a lot of that in post processing, but why spend the time when you could have that look from the start?

But then, I am biased as I learned on film. Back then digital was just beginning and using .3MP saving to floppies was pretty heinous. I've stayed away from digital since until recently they haven't even approached the image quality of film.
I have been tempted recently to finally buy a digital like the Leica M60 or there was another similar one made by one of the Japanese brands... or if the Holga D concept was ever made I would be on that.

are you referring to burst mode?  most people with dslrs are just trying to capture memories rather than sophisticated photographs.

i really don't see a film camera can be BETTER than digital when learning exposure.  are you just supposed to remember your shutter speeds and aperature when you review?  or are you saying that the viewfinder is good enough?  if so, how does one compensate for the iso rating?  just memorizing the effect?

but yes, film offers quite a large of flexibility in developing your style which is why i think it's so useful once you know what you're doing.


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Offline Lain1911

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 23 October 2014, 17:02:00 »
I feel like all of this is quality info but I feel that some of it goes over my head as I am still an amateur. I'd like to say I want to be a pro but that's something I need to work towards. I just want something with my skill and the quality of the camera people would be impressed with. I'm not necessarily selling prints tomorrow.

Thanks for all the info though :)   

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: Cameras
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 10:14:45 »
Yes, well most people with cameras are taking snapshots and not photographs. If you give that same person a film camera they do generally seem to become more conscious of what they are doing since they are keenly aware they have only 24 frames instead of 100s tries until they fill up the memory card. It makes a huge difference. That was what I meant by spamming the shutter.
Burst mode camera can be interesting though in some situations. I have a film camera with it that takes 8 frames that was designed as a sports camera for the 1980 Olympics. I've taken some OK shots of skateboarders, BMXers and a roller dodgeball game with it.
If I care to know, I take a notepad and take down what settings I used on what frame number. That is a fine way to do it while learning. It's only a little more effort since yo don't get that info embedded like most digitals.

For macro stuff I actually use a lens from an enlarger. It works amazingly well and takes any of that guess work you were talking about away. If the thing is in focus in your viewfinder, you're all good. As far as using vintage lens on digitals, M42 is a very good choice as there are adapters for those on so many mount systems, perhaps more than any other.

Just like anything you have to start somewhere. If things don't make sense look it up or ask questions until it does. You don't have to be a pro, just enjoy it as a hobby.