Camera buying help

Musicacbx

Standard Member
I am getting a camera soon to start taking more professional looking pictures but not sure what to pay out for I have a budget of only £200 I'm not looking for anything amazing but just something to play with and have fun with I am techy so a firmware hack to unlock more potential is greet if possible.

I like vista pictures water pictures night time pictures light trails and industrial like fancy bridges or high tech boats and planes.

Even just features I should look for I would appreciate. Don't mind getting second hand or anything.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Looking at your list the things i would be looking out for -

  • largest sensor you can afford - look for 1/1.8 if you can - reduces image noise in low light conditions
  • largest aperture on the lens you can find f2.8 or less ideally - ditto
  • Given your list of subects then wide angle lens looks more important than supper/hyper zoom so 4x is probably OK
  • Looks like you will need a 30s or B shuttermode for those long exposures
  • Image stabilisation for water hand held (fairly standard these days)
  • There are other gadgets to consider like GPS for tagging where photos were taken, HDR for balancing different lighting conditions across the frame and auto panoramas (self explanitory).
£200 budget pretty much rules out all but the oldest DSLRs (have a look at SH Canon 1100D + 18-55 IS as a start, if you can find a 500D then all the better).

As for compacts I've not go much experience of them but based on spec have a look at - Panasonic TZ30 (good reviews but small sensor), Nikon P7000/7100 (looks good spec and larger sensor), Olympus XZ1 (slightly bigger senosr but less zoom). P7100 comes out best on snapsort.com.

Don't know much about 4/3 cameras but I am sure someone will chip in on that score but again budget will only stretch to SH I think. Have a look through the classifieds on here.

Reviews of cameras can be found on dpreview.com and ephotozine.com.

Also budget for a remote release if available and a half decent tripoid given the subjects you are looking to photo and spend some time understanding where the sweet spot is in your lens aperture range and whether this fits what you want to photo, I'm guessing that you will mainly be using the f8-f16 to get depth of field on the architectural stuff.

As for firmware hacks, the only one I know of is Magiclantern for Canon DSLRs, this was originally aimed at vidographers using D|SLRs but also has a few photo features. This is not a hack as such as it leaves the firmware in tact but loads a new firmware build from the SD card on top of the Canon stuff, so will revert back to OEM when you put a standard SD card in.

But best thing is to draw up a short list and then get down to a camera shop and have a play/hold to see which you like making sure you are comfortable with the menus/buttons and feel as well.

These are only my opinion and so please use them as a guide and then make your own mind up based on your requirements and what feels best in the hand after a demo. Hope this helps.
 

Musicacbx

Standard Member
I have gotten a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS it seemed to meet all the criteria and I am really new to cameras so didn't want to commit to much.

Got it second hand for £97.

Looking at a budget tripod now as I want to do some long exposure pictures and to set up for really nice landscapes.

Any recommendations I think £60 is as much as I would consider as the camera wasn't that expensive hard to spend that much on a tripod as well.
 

shotokan101

Banned
I have gotten a Canon PowerShot SX1 IS it seemed to meet all the criteria and I am really new to cameras so didn't want to commit to much.

Got it second hand for £97.

Looking at a budget tripod now as I want to do some long exposure pictures and to set up for really nice landscapes.

Any recommendations I think £60 is as much as I would consider as the camera wasn't that expensive hard to spend that much on a tripod as well.

If shooting long exposure you don't want to be skimping too much on your tripod - it does need to be pretty stable - have a look at this

Red Snapper RST-283 & RSH-24 3-way Head

Redsnapper are pretty well recommended - prices do seem to have been creeping up a fair bit lately though - you used to get a discount if you were a Talkphotography forum memebr so ask them :)

Alternatively post a wanted advert on the Classifieds here ;)

Jim
 

FlyingShrapnel

Well-known Member
Also a solid good quality tripod will probably out last your camera(s) which might be worth considering ;)
 

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