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Thread: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

  1. #1

    Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    Hello Dave,

    I am taking freedom of troubling you based on your very warm response to my old post.

    As per your reply to my post (dated 24 Jan ,Sub: Need help in camera selection ), I had finalized P7000. But I have received following suggestions from my friends when I told them about the same…

    Photographer friends (non-pro but serious, pro):
    If I am ready to spend so much then it is better to go for DSLR

    Friend of my friend who runs Camera shop:
    1] Same as above…DSLR suggested is Nikon D3100 and (if one wants) Tamron lens to get
    zoom upto 10x
    OR
    2] It is better to go for any of the super zoom P&S (Canon sx30, Fuji HS10, Nikon P500)
    P7000 does not have any thing more in features than above three. Image quality is
    same. On the contrary, I am losing advantage of zoom in P7000 .
    These 3 cameras will definitely give me superior results than my current basic ps –
    Nikon L12.

    My Husband:
    He has asked me not to worry about money factor. I can go for DSLR if I strongly feel so. But he has asked me to consider one point that I may find myself handicapped in certain situations. For e.g. we are adventure lovers…keep going for treks… I may find myself helpless while shooting Rock climbing activity from the distance, etc. and I think this is really important point for me.

    Myself:
    Recently I had gone to showroom and handled few cameras. I was handling DSLR for the first time & the feature which I found most interesting and exciting is control over DOF…That blurry effect of the background/foreground.

    But still I feel I should not jump. My current camera is very basic. It doesn’t have manual mode. So first I want to become well conversant in that. I am eager to do the trial & error and enjoy. Then after certain period (hoping for very short period), I can go to the next level, DSLR & lenses, and also I will have both the types of cameras with me to use as per situation.

    I have read that using the DSLR doesn’t mean that you will get excellent picture quality. One should be well conversant with the lens and in the bright Sunlight, P&S and DLSR have the same quality. Is this true?

    Lastly about one visual experience….
    Recently we had gone to trek of Sea Fort….photo shoot was done in mid-day (12-2 pm)…very strong & bright sun (Indian summer at doorsteps now)
    One trek member (serious photographer) had D90.

    I requested to mail his photos for my study purpose. I was expecting superb picture quality but got totally disappointed. I didn’t find much difference. I do admire some captures --- action-jumping boy, water splash in bullock photo but picture quality?? I am sorry…I am newbie…am I not able to see the difference?

    Can you please take out some time for me and see both of us photos and guide me?
    (This is purely for camera comparison and not for any other purpose)

    I don’t know Photoshop. I use picture manager. I have adjusted brightness and contrast to some extent and done cropping. My Zoom lens had some problem hence some photos I have enlarged by cropping.

    Due to attachment size limitation, I could upload only 2 photos each. My photos & Friends Photos

    I love to arrange photos in the informative book format. and wanted to send this micro book to you for your suggestions but again can't due to size limitations.

    Again what is your suggestion regarding camera selection? I have attached side-by-side comparison, like last time.

    Very Sorry for the trouble…

    Waiting for your guidance,
    Rachana
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2

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    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    It is always difficult to give specific answers to this sort of question, Rachana, but spending other people's money is always great fun!

    So instead of giving direct advice, I will tell a little story. And I apologise for 'rambling'.

    A couple of years ago, a friend who has an increasing interest in photography wanted to improve his capabilities by getting a 'decent' camera. My suggestion was a Canon 40D, which I have and was able to demonstrate for him.

    He eventually purchased a Nikon (still not a great problem) but he bought the model which was the direct competitor to the Canon 400D (I forget the Nikon model number) but after quite a lot of practice photography he decided that he wasn't totally happy with it.

    It was too 'fiddly' to operate and he was struggling to achieve good results; which was probably chiefly due to purchasing some of the cheapie lenses. Providing he obtained 'permission' he could have afforded to spend more.

    Part of his problem is slight colour blindness (which also affects some of the CinC members) so he decided to switch his Nikon for a Panasonic G1 which he thought would be easier to use. For a while he was happy, but never seemed to be able to 'compete' with the results that I was getting; and my photos weren't really that good.

    He also purchased a 'pocket camera' a Canon Ixus.

    While recovering from a slight medical problem he decided to spend a bit of time cataloging his photo files and recently sent me an e mail to say that he now thought he had been getting better results from the original Nikon; although under perfect conditions, the little Ixus wasn't far behind.

    My first thoughts were that he needs to return to my original Canon 40D suggestion (secondhand) or get one of the last 50D models before they disappear from the shops. Or the Nikon alternative. One advantage of going for a Canon would be that he could try my lenses before purchasing his own.

    When checking prices I was very surprised to see the high prices being asked for those remaining 50Ds. UK prices are almost £1000 for just the body which is considerably more than the newer 60D and only a fraction below the 7D.

    But whatever he finally decides, I feel sure that he won't be fully satisified until he spends a 'sensible' amount of money on good lenses. Plus a bit of extra time learning photo composition and editing.

    Did this rambling reply help in any way, Rachana?

    The only suggestion I will make is that you have already taken an important step in handling some equipment to see which feels best for you. Also consider ease of operation and ability to quickly switch between settings.

  3. #3

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    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    It is hard to decide! If I am reading what you wrote correctly, it sounds like you want to learn more about photography and might want a DSLR, but are concerned about the size while rock climbing, hiking, and other various outdoor adventures? Not to confuse you more, but there are some really good point and shoot cameras that come with manual mode so you have some control over DOF etc. while still keeping that small size which can go in a back-pack or whatever.

    If I had all the money I wantedI would have a really nice point and shoot for the times I just can't take my DSLR and a really great DSLR with really great lenses. But since I don't have all the money I need to spend on camera gearI have a pretty good Panasonic Lumix Point and Shoot that takes really nice pics and a pretty good DSLR Nikon D60 with 2 kit lenses (I wouldn't have gotten them if I had known what I know now, but such is life) and one good lens, my 50mm 1.4 AF-S. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have gotten the D60, not because it isn't a good body, but because now I feel more limited with lenses since they have to be AF-S.

    Have fun shopping and good luck!

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    Hi Rachana,

    Firstly, please accept my apologies for missing this thread having said 'post it'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    Friend of my friend who runs Camera shop:
    1] Same as above…DSLR suggested is Nikon D3100 and (if one wants) Tamron lens to get
    zoom upto 10x
    OR
    2] It is better to go for any of the super zoom P&S (Canon sx30, Fuji HS10, Nikon P500)
    P7000 does not have any thing more in features than above three. Image quality is
    same. On the contrary, I am losing advantage of zoom in P7000 .
    These 3 cameras will definitely give me superior results than my current basic ps –
    Nikon L12.
    As Geoff's friend and Mary have found, if "the bug" bites, going for an entry level DSLR probably is something you may regret within a year. A good quality bridge camera will be more satisfying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    My Husband:
    He has asked me not to worry about money factor. I can go for DSLR if I strongly feel so. But he has asked me to consider one point that I may find myself handicapped in certain situations. For e.g. we are adventure lovers…keep going for treks… I may find myself helpless while shooting Rock climbing activity from the distance, etc. and I think this is really important point for me.
    Sounds like something smaller, lighter, with a good zoom range and a fixed lens might actually be better for that use. If you get one that does RAW and manual control, you can learn and do a lot.
    I started with a bridge camera with a 10x zoom (28-300mm equivalent), it did me for 18 months and is now lent to my daughter Becky. Even if you do later get a DSLR, you'll still have the bridge cam for treks where, unless you have a lot of money, you won't be able to afford to replicate the extended focal length range of say the HS10.
    I avoided the kit lens(es) and went for an 18-200mm (28-300mm equivalent) just because I didn't want to find myself in the unhappy place of new expensive camera not being able to match old one for picture capture capabilities.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    Myself:
    Recently I had gone to showroom and handled few cameras. I was handling DSLR for the first time & the feature which I found most interesting and exciting is control over DOF
    That's probably the biggest reason I eventually took the plunge with a DSLR, to get better DoF control. But even though I avoided the kit lens, I still got one with similar aperture range (e.g. f/3.5 to f/5.6 (depending on focal length)) and that may also have been a mistake, because now having a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens is great on two counts; close focusing and wider apertures available. More recently I have added the 50mm f/1.4. However, primes like these are limiting - bear in mind that the oft' recommended; "zooming with your feet" changes perspective (zooming from one spot doesn't. Unfortunately, the equivalent zoom would be a) very heavy and b) very expensive - no win.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    But still I feel I should not jump. My current camera is very basic. It doesn’t have manual mode. So first I want to become well conversant in that. I am eager to do the trial & error and enjoy. Then after certain period (hoping for very short period), I can go to the next level, DSLR & lenses, and also I will have both the types of cameras with me to use as per situation.
    That could be wise, as mentioned above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    I have read that using the DSLR doesn’t mean that you will get excellent picture quality. One should be well conversant with the lens and in the bright Sunlight, P&S and DLSR have the same quality. Is this true?
    I would say yes, in good light, and with good PP, especially if all you intend to do with the images is post them online in a blog or website, you won't see a difference. Printing will reveal the differences more, and the larger the print, the bigger the problem. However, it isn't just about pixels, it is more to do with sensor dynamic range, noise in shadows, and of course, DoF. It will be getting acceptable to good results in less perfect light where better cameras and lenses make a bigger impact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    Lastly about one visual experience….
    Recently we had gone to trek of Sea Fort….photo shoot was done in mid-day (12-2 pm)…very strong & bright sun (Indian summer at doorsteps now)
    One trek member (serious photographer) had D90.

    I requested to mail his photos for my study purpose. I was expecting superb picture quality but got totally disappointed. I didn’t find much difference. I do admire some captures --- action-jumping boy, water splash in bullock photo but picture quality?? I am sorry…I am newbie…am I not able to see the difference?

    Can you please take out some time for me and see both of us photos and guide me?
    (This is purely for camera comparison and not for any other purpose)
    The friend's photo's are certainly different; more saturation (too much IMHO) yours are more natural and have a better tonal range.
    It just proves that skill, both behind the camera and in PP (post processing), is what makes the major difference to image quality!
    Given a choice of between an over-PP'd or unprocessed image, guess which I, and most people, will prefer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    I don’t know Photoshop. I use picture manager. I have adjusted brightness and contrast to some extent and done cropping. My Zoom lens had some problem hence some photos I have enlarged by cropping.
    A decent PP program is well worth having, but you do need to invest the time in learning how to use it.
    I have used picture manager (at work where I have no PP software), it is very basic. Personally I'd recommend PS Elements, it is cheap and VERY capable, the latest version (9), more so than previous ones. There are other alternatives, the free GIMP being the most capable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    Again what is your suggestion regarding camera selection? I have attached side-by-side comparison, like last time.
    Without doubt, for best quality final images (with PP), something that shoots RAW is essential - and that means either the Fuji HS10 or Nikon P7000.
    The P7000, with a slightly bigger sensor will give less DoF (what you want - despite how it sounds).
    But the lens focal length range on the Fuji would be much better for climbing shots (but it is bigger and twice as heavy), it also takes screw on filters, has a better frame rate, standard batteries; always available, but more fiddlier to change (4 instend of 1). The optical V/F of the Nikon is better than the electronic of the Fuji, V/F image lag maybe an issue if trying to time a shot for an event like crossing a winning line, but the better continuous shooting speed will help, although it won't be that fast with RAW.

    On balance, spending your money, of these, I think the Fuji HS10, but the P7000 is a close second and would win if not for the long distance shots useful when climbing. There are a couple of statistics where I think (hope) errors may have crept in.
    I have only compared the two models stated and haven't mentioned where the specification is identical, but there are, if you were to compare against yet another model, some important details in there.

    Both take an exteranl flash also, something I wish my Fuji did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachana View Post
    I love to arrange photos in the informative book format. and wanted to send this micro book to you for your suggestions but again can't due to size limitations.
    Try Sendthisfile.com


    If you do go the DSLR route, I have to agree with Mary that Nikon's lower end cameras (D40, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000) requiring AF-S lenses is a PITA - in all other respects I am pleased with my D5000, but lens compatibility is a limitation on having working Auto Focus with affordable lenses.

    Bear in mind these are my personal views and prejudices, I am not right and others are not wrong - nor are they right either!

    Hope that helps,

  5. #5

    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    Hello Geoff & Mary,

    Though I had definite mind, some of suggestions by my friends, had put me in the confused state. Your replies helped me to come out of it & stick with my decision – Not to make hurry to go for dslr, with zero knowledge of lenses and lens threads.

    Right Suggestion received on time is Invaluable.

    Thanks by heart,
    Regards,
    Rachana

  6. #6

    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    Hello Dave,

    I am finding short of words…I can say only this much…

    The next level path is in front of me….All the clouds of confusion have disappeared….sky has become clear…Now I can proceed with definite mind, having no space for lingering doubts…breeze of appreciation has increased the enthusiasm…I am very happy and energized….

    Coincidentally, a day after tomorrow (13th March) is my birthday. So, ‘HS10’ has turned out as my birthday gift, which I will be getting today.

    Web site Sendthisfile.com, suggested by you, is very interesting.
    Sending Link for my small book of sea port photos,
    https://www.sendthisfile.com/dIG3u4pJ09A3qfDK2PCjk66N


    Lots of love to you and your family from both of us,
    Rachana & Vaibhav

  7. #7

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    Re: Need your guidance once again - camera selection

    Coincidentally, a day after tomorrow (13th March) is my birthday. So, ‘HS10’ has turned out as my birthday gift, which I will be getting today.

    You are beating me by one day, Rachana. I share the 14th with Albert Einstein and Jasper Carrott; although not the same year!

    Was anybody else famous born on the 13th?

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