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SMNYCruise

Advice for first "real" camera.

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1 hour ago, SMNYCruise said:

Wow...you are all so helpful and have given me a lot to think about. I recently went to Best Buy just to hold and handle a few different kinds of cameras. I know I am all over the place, but after thinking about how I travel and my ability to navigate electronics, I have decided that a bridge camera makes sense for me. The good news is that my DH said "get whatever you want".  So...thoughts on which bridge camera I should get?

 

The RX10 IV is probably the best of breed. It does incredible 1080p or 4K video and the stills are about as close as you can get to an interchangeable lens camera as far as quality. Fast autofocus and overall ease of use (unless you want to use the advanced features) make it an incredibly capable all-in-one solution. But it's not small. It's not cheap. It's the old three part question (varies by situation): Good. Lots of features. Cheap. - Pick any two. 🙂

 

Beyond the RX series, the Sony HX400, Canon SX60, Panasonic FZ80 are all great contenders. Another possibility (as if you needed another option) is the new Sony HX99 compact. Pop-up viewfinder, great but not ridiculous zoom range, fast autofocus and other great features like Sony Eye-AF that finds the subject's eye and tracks on it to ensure faces are in perfect focus when shooting people. It is also very small compared to the bridge cameras, being not much larger than the old pocket compacts that phones have mostly replaced.

 

As someone mentioned above, you may not get the "perfect" camera the first time out but the odds of you getting a good camera are 100%. Ok, Good and Better used to be the choices but in the last few years tech has evolved the choices to Great, Better and I-Want-It-But-Don't-Need-It-And-Can't-Afford-It. Whatever you get, it will be a great first camera but it's unlikely it will be your last camera.

 

Dave

Edited by pierces

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49 minutes ago, pierces said:

 

The RX10 IV is probably the best of breed. It does incredible 1080p or 4K video and the stills are about as close as you can get to an interchangeable lens camera as far as quality. Fast autofocus and overall ease of use (unless you want to use the advanced features) make it an incredibly capable all-in-one solution. But it's not small. It's not cheap. It's the old three part question (varies by situation): Good. Lots of features. Cheap. - Pick any two. 🙂

 

 

 

 

The RX10 IV is nice but might give the OP sticker shock!  I think that camera is something like 3X's what they are looking to spend, lol

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Some very basic points:

 

- Every camera on the market today is capable of good photographs under the right circumstances. 

 

- In terms of pure image quality, the newest phones are as good, or better, than just about every camera below ILC/dSLR/Mirrorless cameras.  Phones like the Google Pixel and IPhone Xs are basically $700-$1000 cameras.  They aren't phones with a cheap camera added on anymore. They are actually super advanced cameras with a phone added on. They have capabilities in features, image quality and easy of use that blow away point and shoot/bridge cameras.  For people that are just clicking the button without learning photography, the phone pics will often look far better than the pics from a $3,000 dSLR.

 

-The one thing that smart phones lack, is significant telephoto reach. And yes, for a safari, you want telephoto reach if you want to photograph the animals.

 

-Yes, a bridge camera will give you significant telephoto reach. In fact, many bridge cameras have more reach than you can get with a dSLR.  Such a camera can be a very sensible compromise between the phone and a dSLR/mirrorless. If the *only* think you are looking for is telephoto reach.  A smart phone will potentially have better IQ and much better features, as well as easier use.  A dSLR/mirrorless will have better potential image quality, and better ability to shoot action.

 

-Beware the problem with most bridge cameras -- they are slow to operate. You have a lion sitting in a field and posing for you, no problem for a bridge camera.  You have a falcon soaring overhead, between the slowness of zooming, the poor tracking ability of the focus system, the limits to the shutter speed... you just aren't going to capture it with a bridge camera.  Yes, the zoom is long enough to capture it. But the camera just isn't "fast" enough to capture it. 

 

Dave mentioned the RX10iv....   I agree that's the best choice.  It's probably the only bridge camera with some half-decent speed to it.   

 

 

Edited by havoc315

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I went from a Sony HX9V to a HX200V to a HX50V to the 6000 to the 6300.  The only one I didn't like at all was the HX200V.  I took it to Alaska twice and it did ok, but I always looked at the photos and wanted something sharper. The only thing I don't like about the HX50V is that it doesn't have a viewfinder.

 

So, you might consider renting a camera from one of the online sites.  If you get one and really love it most rental sites will let you buy it and put the rental fee toward it.  That way for a relatively small fee maybe you can skip one or two of the many steps I went through. :classic_cool:

 

Vic

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3 hours ago, SMNYCruise said:

Wow...you are all so helpful and have given me a lot to think about. I recently went to Best Buy just to hold and handle a few different kinds of cameras. I know I am all over the place, but after thinking about how I travel and my ability to navigate electronics, I have decided that a bridge camera makes sense for me. The good news is that my DH said "get whatever you want".  So...thoughts on which bridge camera I should get?

 

As was stated in a couple of other replies - the Sony RX10 series is the 'top of the line' for bridge cameras - the current model IV is quite pricy.

 

I would look at the larger sensor Panasonic bridge cameras the FZ1000 and FZ2500 [the 2500 adds some video specific features]. I would say they offer 90% of the top RX10 capability for less than half the price.

 

[Once of these days I'll replace my ancient FZ-50 with a FZ1000, but that will be after getting some more lenses for my Olympus M10.2]

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I bought a Nikon B500 last week, wanting to upgrade from a point and shoot. I'm sick of grainy pictures. At the store, very little info was displayed about any of the cameras, and I was led to believe it was an entry level DSLR.
Loads of crap. It's a glorified point and shoot with grainy pictures just like, if not worst than, my 10 years old PNS. I took it back and left with a Canon T7 today. So far it is much better, It's the first time I take clear pictures! I got clear images of my tetras from across the room when all I could get before even with the most care was a big blur.

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14 hours ago, FMuscle said:

I bought a Nikon B500 last week, wanting to upgrade from a point and shoot. I'm sick of grainy pictures. At the store, very little info was displayed about any of the cameras, and I was led to believe it was an entry level DSLR.
Loads of crap. It's a glorified point and shoot with grainy pictures just like, if not worst than, my 10 years old PNS. I took it back and left with a Canon T7 today. So far it is much better, It's the first time I take clear pictures! I got clear images of my tetras from across the room when all I could get before even with the most care was a big blur.

You're not the first to make that mistake. Just because it looks kinda like a dSLR does not make it a dSLR, and does not make it anywhere near the quality of a dSLR. 

The T7 is a capable basic entry level camera, good luck with it. 

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On 11/12/2018 at 9:23 PM, SMNYCruise said:

Decision made:  Panasonic FZ1000.

Thanks again for all the advice.

 

 Late to the party,( just got back from East Africa Safari) but in case you haven’t purchased the FZ1000 yet, then i would suggest taking a 2nd look at the Panasonic FZ300, simply because it has a longer length and Weather Sealed and reasonably priced too..

Intially i was eyeing the Sony RXV and/or Panny FZ2500, i deviated my budget towards another Camera body ( MFT) with a fast lens... Not saying that the constant 2.8 aperture of FZ300 is slow, it is fast.. But due to it’s small sensor, it ain’t fast enough( for me, at least) and that’s where my MFT came into play... Prime lens, Sunset while relaxing at the porch of my tented camp,  bonfire dance by the Masai Warriors...( i made sure i have a dedicated cam for those situations)

Check if the FZ1000 is weather sealed, there could be times that you may to shoot thru dusts or if plan to take a boat safari, then you may have to deal with some splashes.

Edited by stickyshocker

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Stickyshocker:  I would love to see some of your East Africa Safari pictures! I have purchased the FZ1000. Aside from the more difficult than expected learning curve, I am thrilled. Its not weather sealed, but that wasn't a deal breaker, and I have purchased a $7 rain/dust guard which will help with dust and splashes. 

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Bless threads like this........great info, but unfortunately now I have a million more things to think through before making our camera purchase in 2 weeks. We have trips to Alberta, Hawaii, and Alaska in the next nine months. We are upgrading to either a mirrorless or DSLR from a waterproof point and shoot. And replacing said waterproof point and shoot with another one. Budget (ideally...) for both is around $1,000. 

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On 10/25/2018 at 3:26 AM, GottaKnowWhen said:

I had skipped by the fact that this is for a safari in Africa.

It is important to note that different cameras have different size sensors. This makes a difference because smaller sensors result in a compression effect. What this means is that, a fixed or zoom lens at 300mm on a full frame sensor will give you a view similar to what you would have had with a 35mm camera back in the day. If you put that same lens on a camera with APS-C sensor, it will give you a field of view similar to what you would have with a 450mm lens on the full frame. With smaller sensors, the compression is even more extreme.

This is good news and bad news. The good news is that you will more easily get shots of those far-away animals. The bad news comes in three batches. First, smaller sensors tend to yield lower picture quality. One implication is that you are not going to be able to do as much cropping and editing after the fact - what you take is what you get. Second, that 450mm-equivelant lens, as with a 450mm lens on a full frame, will be extremely difficult to hold steadily for any period of time. The old rule of thumb is that the shutter speed needs to be at least 1/focal length. I.e., with a 300mm on full frame, 1/300 is the slowest you would want to go, 1/500 is safer. With that lens on an APS-C, 1/500 would be the slowest, 1/750 would be safer. This all means that you need to be shooting in very good light or you need to have the aperture wide open (not recommended due to image quality issues) or you need to use a tripod or bean bag or other device to help you hold the camera steadily. Third, with an APS-C or smaller sensor, you will not be able to find an inexpensive lens that will allow wide angle views. So a typical 18-55mm zoom on an APS-C camera will act like a 28-80mm on a full frame sensor. 28mm is wide, but it is not wide.

 

The above is TMI, but my recommendation for how to process all of this is as follows: spend some time looking on the web or in book stores or libraries. Look at others' images from African safaris. Try to pre-visualize what you would like to shoot when you get there. Is it those extreme close-ups? Is it those broad views of the savanna? If you can't photograph everything you would like to, what would you most regret having missed? Then look for equipment that will give you a good chance to shoot those images you now are seeing in your mind's eye.

 

Stan

20160902-K3M_0903.thumb.jpg.b7fc05355b5f119937a5cad43bb91e93.jpg

 

 

Actually a 300mm on a full frame sensor cropped to the size of an crop sensor will give the same result

 

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On 11/21/2018 at 8:04 PM, stickyshocker said:

 Late to the party,( just got back from East Africa Safari) but in case you haven’t purchased the FZ1000 yet, then i would suggest taking a 2nd look at the Panasonic FZ300, simply because it has a longer length and Weather Sealed and reasonably priced too..

I

Check if the FZ1000 is weather sealed, there could be times that you may to shoot thru dusts or if plan to take a boat safari, then you may have to deal with some splashes.

 

Glad I found this thread.  I am going to move to a bridge camera from an SLR for my next Med cruise.  I am sick of lugging a heavy camera and lenses everywhere.  I want a zoom with really good quality photos and is light to carry.  I was settled on the Lumix Fz1000,  but the price of the FZ300 is so much more appealing (and it is weather sealed).  Anyone have any opinions on these two.  The reviews of the FZ300 are quite complementary, so is the 1000 worth it?

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5 hours ago, marysb said:

 

Glad I found this thread.  I am going to move to a bridge camera from an SLR for my next Med cruise.  I am sick of lugging a heavy camera and lenses everywhere.  I want a zoom with really good quality photos and is light to carry.  I was settled on the Lumix Fz1000,  but the price of the FZ300 is so much more appealing (and it is weather sealed).  Anyone have any opinions on these two.  The reviews of the FZ300 are quite complementary, so is the 1000 worth it?

I think there are quite a few shared features - the cameras are of similar vintage, and use the same generation Venus processing engine.

  • The FZ1K uses a much larger sensor and lens, and features an in lens 'leaf' shutter that allows for some trick balancing flash with daylight that focal plane shutter cameras [Mirrorless, SLR] cannot match.
  • The FZ300 has a small sensor - and that lets the entire package to be much smaller, and a longer range on the zoom [crop with the lens in camera, instead of cropping the image on a computer]

 

I would go with the FZ1000 - its a fairly natural upgrade from my ancient [and quite bulky] FZ-50. Either one would make a good complement to my Olympus mirrorless camera kit.

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I would take a listen to UglyHedgehog.com, 

 

Blog of camera nuts, much like this site,

 

Flyertalk.com has a photo site also, but it is more for air travel, 

Edited by Mel man

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On 11/25/2018 at 7:30 AM, SMNYCruise said:

Stickyshocker:  I would love to see some of your East Africa Safari pictures! I have purchased the FZ1000. Aside from the more difficult than expected learning curve, I am thrilled. Its not weather sealed, but that wasn't a deal breaker, and I have purchased a $7 rain/dust guard which will help with dust and splashes. 

Hey, pardon it took me a while to respond.. (been busy researching for next trip)I’m not sure if its right to post a link to my IG account here, but i’ll try my best to post at least 2... ( How to anyway?)

 

I also forgot to mention that i also brought a compact mirrorless( w/ 2 Primes) on our trip.., nevertheless its the Fz300 that saw all the action. My advice, just dedicate 1 day or 2 in photography, and the rest ... Just enjoy the moment.

 

 

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Thanks for all your responses. I have returned from Africa with 1000 wonderful photos  thanks to the Panasonic FZ1000. It has a steeper learning curve than expected, but I was happy with the videos and photos. 

P1000500 (2).JPG

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, SMNYCruise said:

Thanks for all your responses. I have returned from Africa with 1000 wonderful photos  thanks to the Panasonic FZ1000. It has a steeper learning curve than expected, but I was happy with the videos and photos. 

P1000500 (2).JPG

 

So the trip is done, it’s one of a kind isn’t?

So yeah, i managed to figure out how to post pics here( finally).

 

This is for the other poster who’s inquiring about the FZ300, shots were from the said camera with no edit, shutter priority and manual white balance.. The IQ is decent, nothing to write home about.. but i'm happy. I don't think I would be able to grab these if I were switching lenses...

3A0444D6-1B08-4042-A295-090264E0360F.jpeg

EE41052A-F249-44D4-A789-9236446747AB.jpeg

Edited by stickyshocker

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