sorry cameras again

The centre for more serious off topic questions, light hearted banter and friendly chat.
User avatar
mak3m
Posts: 1420
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 13:58 pm

sorry cameras again

Postby mak3m » Sat Aug 18, 2012 00:22 am

TL:DR
Can anyone reccomend a good compact camera?


Ive looked through a couple of camera threads on here but I dont think they were strictly about what i was looking for, been on review sites, several retailer sites etc etc and im ******* dizzy. I was wondering if one of the keen photographers or someone who has recently bought a similar product point me in the right direction.

Im after general purpose camera, family picks, the odd nice bit o sceaneary on a ride, holidays that kind of thing.

I thought i was after a bridge camera, but in retro spect, they are hardly something you can sling round your neck, drop in a pocket or even reasonably drop in a small backpack, if you are out on a long ride. Plus im reasonably childish and would end up in a public place camera in lap going telescopic whenever a fit bird went past.

so i think im after a compact, im after something with a bit of optical zoom, face recognition, auto focus, image stabilisation as im a bit of a shaky git, and some nice features like multiple shots pick the best, hd video although thats not essential, and the like.

Budget is upto £200 but I wont shed a tear if you come in less than that :D

Im no photographer, dont know what iso speeds do, or even really aware which is the best brands, so if somebody could point me in the right general direction i would appreciate it.

Cheers

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Sun Aug 19, 2012 15:12 pm

Bridge cameras fit in rucksacks just fine.
This exact topic has come up a few times, so any advice to be given, has already been given.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:08 am

Do any of the recent compact camera's deal with low light levels better than they used to?

I remember a few years back using a mid range Cannon compact camera (can't remember exact model) trying to take pictures of mates on their bikes in the local woods but it didn't cope well with being in shade under the trees even though above the trees it was a very bright sunny day.

Do I need a fancy flash setup like the pros if I want to take fast moving photos in these conditions?

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Aug 21, 2012 14:19 pm

All cameras deal with low light better than they used to - the endless march of technology assures that.
If you want photos of fast moving things in wooded areas, you will need a big complicated flash setup, or incredibly high sensitivity (ISO).
Most cameras can go up to stupendous ISOs of around 6,400 these days, but results start to really get shoddy above 800 on most cameras.

Rucks
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 18:36 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby Rucks » Tue Aug 21, 2012 20:02 pm

Having had high spec cameras in the past Nikon D2 and a D3 (not that I'm an amazing photographer) I found myself using my phone more and more for everyday stuff as it was just easier than carting the kit round and always in my hand,
I looked and looked for a compact that I could stuff in my bag and not worry about, but I found low end digitals abit crap, so I looked into the more expensive compacts, but most of them had interchangeable lenses ( what I was trying to get away from), anyway I Narrowed it down to the Cannon G10 ( think there's a new 1 now?) Fuji X100 and Nikon P7100, all around the £500 mark.
I settled for the Nikon as it seemed and felt the better camera, I now only have and use this camera, it's fantastic in all conditions and has taken some cracking pics, just checked completed listings on the bay and you can get a decent used one for around 200squid, specs fantastic

User avatar
Giraffoto
Posts: 1771
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 07:05 am

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby Giraffoto » Wed Aug 22, 2012 07:02 am

Have a look at this thread where it's been covered fairly thoroughly.

mak3m wrote:I'm after general purpose camera, family pics, the odd nice bit of scenery on a ride, holidays, that kind of thing.

Nip down to your local branch of Jessops and try a few compacts out. Pick the one that feels best in your hands, because that's far more important than the fractional differences in specification. Buy the one that you like.

before that, mak3m wrote:I'm no photographer, dont know what iso speeds do, or even really aware which is the best brands, so if somebody could point me in the right general direction i would appreciate it.

With regards to ISO and other baffling numbers, read this and then go on a course or read a book if it doesn't do it for you. Manufacturers are Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung (all of these are good) and many more. Pick one you have heard of, it'll be a reasonable indicator of it not being an obscure company that won't offer any support.

then jairaj wrote:Do any of the recent compact cameras deal with low light levels better than they used to?

I remember a few years back using a mid range Canon compact camera (can't remember exact model) trying to take pictures of mates on their bikes in the local woods but it didn't cope well with being in shade under the trees even though above the trees it was a very bright sunny day.

Do I need a fancy flash setup like the pros if I want to take fast moving photos in these conditions?

Yes, they cope with low light levels much better than they used to. On the other hand, taking pictures in woodland on a bright sunny day can be about things like metering and dynamic range as well as light sensitivity: fortunately, those have improved massively too. If you have a scene where spots of bright sunlight are coming into an area that's largely shaded by trees, fill-in flash (look it up in your camera's manual) may be what you need, and the built-in flash is usually up to the job. You could also look up spot metering while you're there, if you don't want to use flash - most cameras have the ability to meter on only a tiny bit of the scene (a spot) rather than an average for the whole thing.

To paraphrase what I said in another thread. . .
What's important is to have what you need for taking pictures. So . . .

  • Buy a camera made by someone you've heard of. There aren't any rubbish ones about
  • Get a decent bag or pouch so that it's always close at hand. It's no use in a drawer
  • Take lots and lots of pictures of what you want to take pictures of
Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
On-One Scandal (fully rigid)

User avatar
bluechair84
Posts: 4046
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 15:03 pm
Contact:

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby bluechair84 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 16:53 pm

A while ago I had a Canon SX220 which took very nice pictures. It was before I started getting into DLSR work so I didn't really pay much attention to it's dynamic range and iso quality. But, it shoots HD video, has 14x optical zoom for ornithology of any kind, does have some degree of control should you want to faff, and is only £150 in jessops. I'd have one again.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Tue Sep 18, 2012 15:32 pm

dragging this thread up again. So after doing a bit of reading and popping into a camera shop.

I think I want to buy a compact system camera as they are essentially a DSLR but less bulky so I'm more likely to carry it around with me when out riding.

But the only thing I noticed was the majority of them don't come with a viewfinder and you have to use the screen to compose your shots.

Is there any disadvantages to this? I'm thinking the only thing might be the screen might be hard to use in bright sun light? is there anything else I'm missing out?

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Sep 18, 2012 15:38 pm

jairaj wrote:dragging this thread up again. So after doing a bit of reading and popping into a camera shop.

I think I want to buy a compact system camera as they are essentially a DSLR but less bulky so I'm more likely to carry it around with me when out riding.

They're also more expensive in almost every case.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Tue Sep 18, 2012 15:46 pm

yes I know, I was trying to avoid them but I think they might right for me. As I said I don't think I want the extra bulk of a DLSR body while out riding. So a more expensive camera that I use often is better than a cheaper camera I hardly use at all.

Any thoughts on the lack of viewfinder?

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Sep 18, 2012 15:50 pm

jairaj wrote:yes I know, I was trying to avoid them but I think they might right for me. As I said I don't think I want the extra bulk of a DLSR body while out riding. So a more expensive camera that I use often is better than a cheaper camera I hardly use at all.

Any thoughts on the lack of viewfinder?

I have a few choice thoughts on the whole bloody "compact sytem" shite in general...

Anyway, for fear of being told off again, I reckon you'd still be better off with a decent compact. If you absolutely want/need the control of an SLR, then get an SLR, if you don't, get a compact, if you're not sure, get a "bridge" camera.

Viewfinders are handy in bright ligth and certain conditions, but screens are ok, on the whole.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Tue Sep 18, 2012 16:10 pm

hmm OK thanks for the thoughts. Might try a different Camera store or a different sales assistant. The guy I spoke to knew all the specs etc but that was about it didn't really offer any practical advice I think he was just happy when I pointed to a more expensive camera.

User avatar
supersonic
Lives Here
Posts: 81828
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:50 am

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby supersonic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 16:14 pm

My bridge camera is compact, and fits nicely even ina small backpack. For those rides when I don't take it, I just use my phone camera. That is compact, and does a reasonable job 'on the spot'.

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Tue Sep 18, 2012 16:20 pm

jairaj wrote:hmm OK thanks for the thoughts. Might try a different Camera store or a different sales assistant.

Be aware that camera salespeople are among the cliquiest group of people on Earth. I've even had some of them outright lie to my face about the capabilities of various cameras, in a failed attempt at an upsell.
Basically, if they're a Nikon fan, they WILL WANT you on a Nikon, and same goes for Canon, Sony, Olympus (in particular, Olympus), Panasonic, et al.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Wed Sep 19, 2012 14:45 pm

Been surfing through the web a bit more and have come across the Sony NEX 5N. I've found it online for about £300 with a 18-55mm lens which seems a reasonable price to me.

Is it just the price hike that you don't like about compact system cameras or is there some disadvantage I'm not seeing?

Other than I think I'm eyeing up a Nikon D3200. Used and liked Nikon before and a mate has Nikon DX lenses so I might be able to borrow some of kit from time to time.

jairaj
Posts: 2892
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 17:26 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby jairaj » Wed Sep 19, 2012 14:46 pm

oh and Sonic, what camera are you using?

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Wed Sep 19, 2012 15:58 pm

jairaj wrote:Is it just the price hike that you don't like about compact system cameras or is there some disadvantage I'm not seeing?

NEX range is fine.
Compact system cameras have all the drawbacks of DSLRs (price, complexity, requirement for different lenses, dust ingress), with all the drawbacks of non DSLR cameras (crappy small viewfinders, small sensors, high noise, incompatibility with external flash systems, crappy ergonomics, poor choice of lens (if any).

User avatar
YeehaaMcgee
Posts: 5955
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 13:30 pm

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby YeehaaMcgee » Wed Sep 19, 2012 15:59 pm

jairaj wrote:oh and Sonic, what camera are you using?

He's got a Fuji Finepix superzoom - great little cameras. Used to have an older version myself.
One drawback is that the lenses don;t go very wide, so doing group shots indoors is a pain.

User avatar
supersonic
Lives Here
Posts: 81828
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:50 am

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby supersonic » Wed Sep 19, 2012 16:07 pm

I use a Fuji S2500HD and S1500 which can be picked up pretty cheap, and has one big advantage of the Sony - the extended optical zoom, which can be useful. The Sony has a larger sensor (which theoretically gives better imaging, especially in the dark), and the lenses can be changed (though not many at the minute) - though that larger sensor means larger lenses are needed, so your compact ain't going to be that compact afterall.

It does depend what you want to shoot. I like the 18x zoom on the camera. Low light isn't too good, and there can be a bit of barrel distortion, but nothing photoshop cannot fix.

Example pic:

Image

I was stood quite a distance away, (and it was a windy day)! This is where the long optical zoom excels. 3x just wouldn't cut it for me (on a compact)

User avatar
supersonic
Lives Here
Posts: 81828
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:50 am

Re: sorry cameras again

Postby supersonic » Wed Sep 19, 2012 16:08 pm

YeehaaMcgee wrote:
jairaj wrote:oh and Sonic, what camera are you using?

He's got a Fuji Finepix superzoom - great little cameras. Used to have an older version myself.
One drawback is that the lenses don;t go very wide, so doing group shots indoors is a pain.


Yeah, indoors is what lets it down, especially low light. Apart from that, superb for the money.


Return to “The Hub”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests