Moving away from the bridge camera, please advice on first time DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by rickyd, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. rickyd

    rickyd
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    Hi it's Mrs Ricky, I've been confusing myself lately, gave my Panny PZ45 to oldest son for his birthday and been using younger son's TZ10 camping in Yorkshire!!
    TZ10 doesn't have huge zoom, FZ45 does, but the FZ45 didn't seem to focus too well in low light - specifically in an Ice Stadium trying to take pictures of darling daughter skating in competitions.
    Have been reading this forum for days and have a headache, but think I now understand that the sensor in a bridge camera isn't man enough to take action shots in low light at a distance.
    Seems to lead me onto the DSLR range, but I don't have experience of them and TBH don't have the time or dedication to study them.
    So was hoping for some clever person to have invented a camera that works for me :laugh:
    Normal family shots indoor and outdoor, pets beach etc, good video up to max 10 minutes bursts, ability to focus on skaters not close up and moving fast.
    Think I would need two lenses and that's my problem, don't understand.
    Looked at Nikon D3100 and 5100.
    Jessops have deals on the D3100 with two lenses, 18 - 55 and 55 - 200, does that cover all bases?
    Also confused on the auto focus lens thing?
    Sorry for the long post, just when I think I am there I read something else, and going on holiday on 10th August so have to sort this now.
    Thank you x
     
  2. Gordab

    Gordab
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    The sensor, although important isn't the whole story, the lens aperture ("f" number) plays a large part in taking low light pictures.

    I would do as much research as possible before you decide. You may find the size and relative lack of portability of a DSLR is an issue also.

    I was in a similar position as you and went for a micro 4/3 camera (Panasonic G3) in the end. This kept the system relatively portable (although more small bag or coat pockets than single trouser pocket) and also gives improved sensor and lens choices.
     
  3. rickyd

    rickyd
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    I have looked at the G3 too, due to having had lots of Panasonics. Don't mind a bag as I double it up as spare handbag, the FZ150 is definitely NOT pocket sized.
    The f thing is another mystery to me, and much as I read I just don't 'get it', and I don't want to get it either.
    Thank you x
     
  4. Faldrax

    Faldrax
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    If you've not used a DLSR before, then it's worth going to a local store and just trying a few different models to see how they 'feel', in terms of size, weight, etc. (But don't let the sales assistants rush you into making a purchase!)

    At the 'entry level' all the cameras from the different manufacturers produce equally good images, so do not feel you have to opt for Canon or Nikon. Sony models tend to have a lot of features for the price (though the SLT models use an electronic viewfinder, which is not to everyone's choice), the micro 4/3 systems are smaller and lighter (but have a smaller sensor, which might affect the low light performance compared to a standard DSLR).
     
  5. Gordab

    Gordab
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    If you don't want to know "how it works" and simply want better performing point and shoot then imo a DSLR is overkill.

    Grab one of the m4/3 cameras, preferably with a lens suited to low light (ask in the shop) and leave it in full auto, tinkering with settings when you need/want to. Any of them will do the job in this respect - the Sony NEX are slightly better low light performers but compromise this with expense and limited lens choices (at the moment).

    One of the reasons I got the G3 was that my partner could press the "iAuto" button, choose a photo "style" from a menu (Panasonic's point/shoot features are carried over tot his camera) and get a good picture with minimum fuss or digging around in touchscreen menus (and she prefers a veiwfinder to an lcd screen when shooting pictures) - she can explore the other features once she feels more confident and we have time to take photos together.

    As ever, the best thing is to go and try the cameras in a shop and see what feels best.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  6. _Sion

    _Sion
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    As a NEX 5N owner I would hesitate to recommend it to someone wanting to photograph fast moving subjects as the focusing is slow. You can get around this by manually pre-focusing the lens but it adds a layer of complexity.
     
  7. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    ...just wondering why you think a M4/3 camera is actually any easier/different from a DSLR - they all have Auto and Scene modes these days...
     
  8. rickyd

    rickyd
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    Still hanging my nose over the Nikon D3100, £362.50 from Amazon and Jessops with a 18 - 55vr lens kit (don't I sound knowledgeable!)
    Have held one in Jessops and not too heavy, no more than my Panny FZ45, and all the reviews say suitable for a beginner.
    Also £499 from Jessops with the above and a 55 - 200 non vr lens. Would that cover my need for long zoom when taking pictures of skaters plus low light focusing?
    Does non VR mean I have to focus myself - cos my eyesight ain't what it used to be!!
     
  9. Faldrax

    Faldrax
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    Looking at Camera Price Buster - UK Camera Price Comparison £362 is a fairly good price (it's always worth a quick check there for current prices).
    VR is the Nikon 'image stabilisation' system - this compensates (to some extent) for any 'wobble' in the camera and lens when you are holding it - and so allows you to get sharp pictures at lower shutter speeds (IE When the light is not bright enough).
    You mentioned that you wanted the zoom for shots of your daughter ice skating. Did the TZ10 get 'close enough' on such shots, or did you need the extra range from the FZ45?
    If the TZ10 did not have the reach you wanted, then the 55-200 (which has a similar reach) will also be insufficient.
    In that case, I would suggest something like the Sigma 70-300 - either the APO DG Macro or (if you have a bit more budget) the DG OS (OS is Sigma's image stabilisation).
    Getting a Sigma with Nikon fit is a cheaper option that the equivalent Nikon lens.
     
  10. rickyd

    rickyd
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    Thank you. The TZ10 had nowhere near enough zoom, the FZ45 had the zoom but not the quality when zoomed.
    She skated with Torvill and Dean at the Olympic Torch Gala, all her dreams come true!!
    When I look at my pictures and those of others, mine held up surprisingly well, but no chance of cropping the images afterwards, lots of fuzziness.
    However in better lit competition conditions the FZ45 was great on zoom if they stood still, which they don't....
    Great video too, but hunted for focus when trying for action shots.
    that made me think I need a faster focus, but can't lose out on zoom range.
    Am I looking for something that doesn't exist in my price range?
    The guy who takes competition photos and sells them online charges £10 for a 7 x 5, if mine were passable I would save a fortune.
    Don't anticipate enlarging to more than A4 either.
     
  11. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan
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    The TZ10 has a zoom range of 25mm-300mm
    The FZ45 has a zoom range of 28mm-600mm

    A combination of a 18-55mm and a 55-300mm will give you a zoom range of 27-450mm, if you like cropping get a camera with a higher MP like a Canon 500D-550D-600D, Nikon D3200-D5100 IMO
     
  12. rickyd

    rickyd
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    So Nikon D3200 or 5100 are better than the 3100?
    Why?
     
  13. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    Excluding the Sony SLT's and the Sony dual sensor liveview SLRs (not sure if they have any new ones?) I'd say a mirrorless camera can be easier because the EVF shows the scene as the camera sees it including exposure/shutter simulation and upping the EVF gain on a DoF preview which can make it easier to choose a mode or setting as it means you don't have to take a picture, then look at the rear screen and back to the viewfinder again and it can be clearer when the camera is displaying a warning (shutter too slow etc.). You can also switch to the rear screen and have exactly the same interface and functionality as through the EVF unlike DSLRs which are usually a bit different on the rear screen and have much slower AF.

    John
     
  14. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    The D5100 is the model up in the range from the D3100 and has a better sensor and articulated screen with higher resolution, the D3200 replaces the D3100 so also has a better sensor and some other improvements such as a higher resolution screen and optional wifi.

    John
     
  15. rickyd

    rickyd
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    It's not that I like cropping, it's just the only way I know to get what I want - daughter - in the middle and cut off half the ice rink!
    But the quality on high zoom means it's not an acceptable result, that's why I thought I would be better with one of those monster noses on my camera?
    The price of the D3200 means I could only afford the camera with supplied 18-55mm lens, presume that means no zoom at all?
     
  16. llama

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    18-55mm will not get you any reach at all. I don't think you would be happy with the results at all!
     
  17. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    The 18-55mm will give you around the same zoom as a 3x compact camera (this is a very rough comparison) so not nearly enough range for what you need. You definitely need a telephoto lens for your use so there is no point having the better body without the telephoto lens.

    John
     
  18. Bill Bruner

    Bill Bruner
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    Mrs. Ricky - a DSLR with the right lens is what you need - but these lenses tend to cost more than an entry-level DSLR :(

    If money is an issue, you might want to try one of the latest generation bridge cameras, which have improved their quality somewhat since the TZ10/FZ45.

    I recommend the Sony HX200V for your needs. 30X zoom and amazing quality in low light (see the concert pictures in the HX200V pool on Flickr: Flickr: The Sony DSC-HX200V Pool).

    And it will cost £327 at Amazon with no further expenditure required - less than the £362 you would have paid for the D3100 - whilst still requiring a significant additional investment in lenses.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Bill
     
  19. rickyd

    rickyd
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    Back to the Panasonic FZ150 then?????????????
     

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