Help needed - which camera?

Discussion in 'Cameras' started by cliffandger, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    Hello all,

    Could you point me to the most helpful thread on here to find a new camera. I am a complete novice. I have A Panasonic Lumix but have no real idea of what it does. A hopeless case I know. Do I stick with the Lumix and find out how to use it? (This could possibly be by virtual lessons on here.....), or go for something else.

    I'm asking because we are off to Rajasthan in January (whoopee!) and I don't think the Lumix will do the photos justice (that could also read I don't think I could do the photos justice.....)!

    I would like something that gives me a wide lens with the ability of getting closer than 100 yds away to get it all in and getting a rubbish picture in the process.

    If there are beginners lessons on this thread, please point me in that direction and if there aren't - shouldn't there be? ;)

    Thanks in anticipation,

    Geraldine :)
     
  2. Big bus man

    Big bus man

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    Hi Geraldine,
    There is a photography thread on the main page.
    As for cameras you want small and simple, most cameras over say £80 will give good results but expect to pay around £400 for a quality point and shoot camera, what you need to look at is the processor, there are two basic types; CMOS and the CCD sensor, CMOS is what is used on the quality cameras so this is what you are looking for, don't go for the largest number of pixels, you only need about 10MP. Next is do you want video, this uses large amounts storage and battery power, also regarding batteries consider if it has a rechargeable cell or uses standard batteries.
    To summarise - I would be looking to pay between £300-400; a Nikon or Canon; with a CMOS sensor; at least 10 megapixels; with a rechargeable battery plus 2 spare batteries; with a good power zoom lens; and a 64GB memory card.
    Hope this helps.
    Graham.
     
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  3. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

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    Stick with the Lumix - it's a great camera of those of us who just dabble.
    I've had one for a couple of years and only really use a fraction of the features but it's easy to use and produces great pics.
     
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  4. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Depends what model Lumix you have but they are generally very good cameras.
    If you fancy a change, have a look at the link below, its a round up of 10 of the best advanced zoom compact cameras from DPReview.com. I have the X30 and love it, I bought it from the Fuji refurbished shop, much cheaper than anywhere else.
    Linky HERE
     
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  5. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Agree with GW.

    Stick with the Lumix and learn how to use it properly. When you feel you've outgrown it then look at upgrading it.

    Which model Lumix is it? Some of them are pretty full featured and make perfectly decent starter cameras.

    There's absolutely no point in spending hundreds of pounds on an all singing all dancing camera you also won't know how to use properly. If you get one and have to keep it in Auto mode because you don't know how to use is you won't get any benefit from it at all.

    I see people fairly regularly with amazing full frame cameras and a couple of grands worth of lens stuck taking snapshots in Auto or one of the semi auto modes because they haven't got a clue what they're doing.
     
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  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Having dabbled at both ends of the spectrum I am now very happy with a
    " Bridge Camera" For the novice thats a halfway house between a point and shoot and a fully blown Digital SLR
    all the tools and lenses you will ever need built in, they generaly look like this
    Purfick for MoHo use and no bags of bits to lumber about
    if its this one stick with it it exactly what im on about
    G
     

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  7. Big bus man

    Big bus man

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    I do also agree with GW the Lumix is a good camera with an excellent quality lens, the biggest problem with Panasonic and Olympus cameras is reliability but when they are working they are amongst the best, Canon and Nikon are very reliable and stronger in my opinion.
     
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  8. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    While my natural inclination is to agree with you it's really just brand snobbery (I'm a Canon man so naturally everything else, especially Nikon, is Mickey Mouse crap :D)

    For a novice it really makes no difference.
     
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  9. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    We have bought an Olympus OMD EM10 http://www.trustedreviews.com/olympus-om-d-e-m10-review this year, also a couple of lenses (a fish eye and a zoom). Wanted a camera that was adaptable (change lenses), easy to use (AUTO), light to carry not an SLR. We had a compact Sony Cyber-Shot HX60 for many years, which is great but has limitations. And mainly after going round top of Scotland and for the second year wishing we had a camera with a bigger zoom or a wider angle lens, we bit the bullet.

    The Olympus was a bit pricey (especially the zoom lens) as we are not keen photographers, just wanted to have the ability to better capture some of the vistas and sights. The Olympus has been a great buy, some of the features we rarely/never use but we are confident that there is nothing we cannot capture if we want to, surprisingly it is easy to use although practice and youtube and a camera shop do help so night sky photos and close ups are now much better.

    I would recommend going to a local (independent) camera shop and asking for help, having a play with the various makes and types, then going away and doing some price research. We did speak to a friend (keen photographer) beforehand so had an idea of his costs (frightening) and after a bit of online research thought we knew what would be good and the makes we liked (Canon or Panasonic) but when we tried them and actually held the cameras changed our minds went for an option that is so far working out really well. Bit like buying a van really.
     
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  10. Big bus man

    Big bus man

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    To some extent you may be right Nick, my big camera is a Canon EOS but I also have an Olympus CSC camera (Compact System Camera), This has a 40-150mm and a 17mm pancake lens with a detachable flash, only 3 years old and costing around £1500 I wanted to sell it recently and was prepared to accept £250, I went to a big Sussex camera shop and they were not interested because it was not a Canon or a Nikon. Last Christmas we went to Venice so I took the Olympus and it gave me a few problems, I think is was the cold weather, it works fine now but I would not trust it. This year we are off to the arctic and I am sure my Canon will do me proud.
     
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  11. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Some people manage to take brilliant photos on their phones, others take rubbish ones even with the best equipment.

    So concentrate on learning about composition - I would actually argue to keep it on auto mode for most shots, let the electronics take care of the fiddly bits. Any 'clever arty' bits can usually be added post processing if you want. If the Lumix has decent resolution then far away shots can be cropped which can be better than some digital zooming lenses.

    Much better to get the shot, rather than miss the moment because you're still fiddling with the settings.

    First piece of advice is don't forget to look & take in what you've gone to see. Absorb the sights as your eyes see them, the sounds, the smells <!>. Better than the best camera. Your memories should be of what you've actually experienced, not the pictures.
    Your 'snaps' are but momentos.

    Secondly keep the camera steady, prop it up, rest against something -don't jab the shutter release button. A lot of photos aren't sharp, not because of the equipment but because the camera has moved at the moment of exposure.

    I use the tiny "Tiltpod" for my pocket Lumix FT25 camera

    Of course that won't work if you have a larger Lumix Bridge or DSLR camera - I also have a Lumix FZ150 - but it's the small camera & the phone which takes most pictures because they are the ones I have with me the most.
    "The best camera is the one you have with you"
     
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  12. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Which EOS body do you use?

    The CSC is their four thirds range isn't it? Not used any 4/3 kit so don't know anything about it. I believe @Jim swears by it though. Not sure whether there's much of a second hand market yet which may explain why they didn't want it.
     
  13. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    Spot on!

    Expensive kit doesn't guarantee good pictures.
     
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  14. Big bus man

    Big bus man

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    Nick, I have an EOS 50D and an EF 100-400 USM lens, very heavy but great results. The CSC kit is as you said, the camera (Olympus MP-3) has plenty of gimmicks and the lenses are great quality. The thing about the CSC cameras being the equivalent 35mm value of the lens, so the 40-150mm lens is actually 80-300mm in 35mm format and with stunning quality yet with the advantage of being half the weight of a 35mm format camera with equal quality results.
    Regarding your comment "expensive kit does not guarantee good pictures", true but if someone else takes exactly the same shot as you yet their picture has better colours or a sharper image you feel like your camera is not as good, the answer is to be the one with the better camera.
     
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  15. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I've got the EF100-400 too (y) Awesome lens isn't it?

    If you have two people taking the same shot at the same time the person who gets the best result is likely to be the one who has their camera set up better. I use EOS 5D Mk iii bodies, usually 2 of them unless it's a studio shoot, and I don't think I would always necessarily get better shots than someone using a camera from lower down the range just because my camera is "better." Apart from full frame vs APS-C which doesn't make any difference to image quality the only real difference between my camera and yours is the sensor resolution and you shouldn't see any noticeable difference if we're shooting in decent light and the image is printed at a sensible size. If you wanted huge enlargements it might be different but not other than that.
    The choice of lens is more important, in fact if we took the same shot where you had a really good L series lens fitted and I had a cheaper consumer equivalent I think you would probably get the better results.
     
  16. Big bus man

    Big bus man

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    You do realise Nick that we will be told off soon for using this thread instead of the photography thread :whistle:(y)
     
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  17. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    Hi Geraldine

    I have a Canon EOS 550D for sale complete with Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens, Canon EF 75-300mm lens, 4GB memory card, two batteries plus charger and comes complete with instructions. Both lenses have UV filters for protection. Everything is in excellent condition and is only for sale as Ive upgraded to a Canon EOS 6D.

    New in March 2010 it cost £748 without the 75-300mm lens and spare battery. Looking for £200.

    Regards Lynda
     
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  18. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Just like your MH, it's what you do with it that counts.

    Lumix good !
     
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  19. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I have a Lumix DMC FX-150 compact which I picked up for a tenner at auction, and I use it as a spare if my DSLR isn't handy.

    It is a good camera with a well-made quality lens, and it will take quite high resolution images (14 Mpixels) , but my main objection is I can't abide using rear-mounted LCD screens to compose my shots, especially on sunny days when you can't see what's on the bloody things. I could never use it as my main camera.

    Also, my Lumix camera and a similar model owned by somebody I know appear to have small specks of something or other loose between the lens elements, which makes me wonder if there's a possible design defect.

    Personally I'd opt for a camera with a proper viewfinder rather than a rear LCD screen, but as this is a camera thread you will get different advice from everyone who posts to it, as it's a highly partisan subject.
     
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  20. cliffandger

    cliffandger Funster Life Member

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    I have the compact Lumix, which I can't find..... and I also have the Lumix DMC-FZ5 as well - acquired second hand which needs a new battery. On the basis that I've now lost my compact one (until it turns up anyway!) would you say the DMC-FZ5 is worth sticking with? If I thought it was I would replace the battery, but I really need instructions on how to use it. I have all the books but it's like reading a foreign language - my method of learning is definitely to be taught and not to read!

    It has a lens hood - when would I use that?
    It has a view finder, which I think is good?
    Do I leave it on auto, or do I use it on manual, in which case what exposure/aperture etc etc do I use?

    Is there any particular you tube tutorial that's good?

    If you think it's worth going with I will invest in a new battery!

    Geraldine :)
     
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