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Photos Please help me choose a camera!

Discussion in 'General' started by Pete J, 25 Jul 2017.

  1. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Hi all,

    I'm going on holiday to South Africa in two weeks and I need to get a camera as I don't think my phone will cut it. I was hoping to borrow my brother's, but he's backed out (the little git).

    All I know is that I need a lens that goes up to 300mm for long range shots. I don't care about the format of the camera (DSLR or compact), just that I can get good long distance shots without having to do much as I'm no expert photographer! Also, I'm keen to try to keep things as cheap as possible. I've had a quick look at the Nikon D3300 and it looks as though I would have to spend ~£400, but if there was any way to keep this to ~£200, that would be good!

    Please help me!
     
  2. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you're willing to spend your £400 top-end budget and £50 on top, the Nikon Coolpix P900 would be my recommendation simply because you're looking for long-range stuff. It has an 83x telephoto lens on it, equivalent to 24-2000mm in 35mm terms. Scroll down to 'Focal Range' and you'll see how ridiculous that is.

    I've been thinking about picking one up myself for events, instead of packing my usual 75-300mm telephoto for my D3200 - but I'm not sure I could squeeze the D3200 and the P900 into my current bag...
     
  3. veato

    veato I should be working

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    How do you feel about used equipment? CW have an Olympus E-PM1 for £200 with both the 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses. As this is a Micro 4/3rds sensor the focal length is effectively doubled so in 35mm terms the lenses are 28-84mm and 80-300mm. The Micro 4/3rds sensor is bigger than anything you'll get in a compact 'superzoom' for £200-£400 and the body is very compact and light.

    And it has a 6 months warranty.

    https://www.cameraworld.co.uk/used-...us-e-pm1-twin-lens-kit-14-422mm-40-150mm.html
     
  4. veato

    veato I should be working

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  5. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    I agree with Gareth regarding a Nikon Bridge, the P900 is probably all the camera you need, I know 2 people with one, and getting some wonderful photo's. Whilst i would always get a DSLR myself, the cost of a body plus a 300/400mm lens with a decent f/stop and IS will set you over budget.

    You can get some decent shots with a non IS 300mm lens (Sigma/Tamron for under £200) on a Canon body, but you generally have to set the shot up more, hold breath to be as steady as possible.

    Sam
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    S'crazy, innit? The P900 is sub-£500 all-in, while an equivalent lens for one of Nikon's DSLR bodies would be ALL THE THOUSANDS. Just for the lens!
     
  7. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    Yeah, It sure is. And i use a M4/3 Panasonic, but that, along with my 14/140mm lens (28/280mm 35 equivalent (M4/3 has a 2x Crop)) is still close to £800.

    None full frame cameras crop by:
    Canon by 1.6x
    Sony & Nikon by 1.5x
    Panasonic/Olympus by 2x

    Sam
     
  8. veato

    veato I should be working

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    Pentax 1.5x
     
  9. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Thanks for all the help guys.

    While looking at the P900, I stumbled across the Coolpix B700 and found it online for ~£270. The zoom seems fine, not quite 300mm but close enough (60x zoom), and it has a 20MP sensor. Reviews seem favourable too. I've ordered it from eGlobal - I thought it was a uk company but it turns out it's based in Hong Kong! I hope they deliver in time...

    P.S. the 83x zoom of the P900 is MENTAL.
     
  10. veato

    veato I should be working

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    Due to the 5.64x crop factor (in 35mm terms) the B700 'zoom' is 24mm to 1400mm so your 300mm requirement is well and truly covered. Personally I'm not a fan of the small sensor but it does mean you get unparalleled zoom capabilities.
     
  11. Kronos

    Kronos Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how you get on with this camera (B700) as it sounds as though it might suite me. Cheers.
     
  12. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    So I cancelled the Chinese order and went with a refurb. Took it out this morning and found using the B700 quite straightforward. HDR images...fun!

    Just looking over the images now. I used to do photography as a wee pup over 20 years ago. Digital photography certainly makes things a lot easier - specifically, the fact that with a 16GB card I can take ~1,500 high res images! It's a bit sad as it takes away some skill if you can just take a shedload of images while tweaking settings, but hey ho.

    By the way, I'm just after a simple bit of software that allows me to zoom in a bit on standard aspect ratio images (4:3), then let me crop to a 16:9 image.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  13. veato

    veato I should be working

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    The Photos app on Windows 10 allows you to do simple aspect ratio cropping.
     
  14. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Cat Lies Down on Broadway

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  15. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Add one to the P900 suggestions. I bought my wife one a few years back - amazing thing.
    The only thing it's NOT great at is High speed things (because you can't hand-focus, and because the view finder is digital), and low light performance (limited by the sensor size there).

    Other than that, this thing is the "catch all" camera I use a LOT.

    Edit: yes, I realise you already bought something else. I am simply adding my voice for "future generations"
     
  16. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Well, back from South Africa!

    The B700 performed excellently. At the start I was mainly using the auto modes, but by the end my old photography memories (I used to do photography at school 20 years ago back when film was a thing) kicked in and I was using mainly the manual and aperture priority modes. The incredible zoom meant that I could get some shots that the more serious DSLR users couldn't get, though images taken at the extreme end of the zoom quite often had a bit of blurriness and/or corner shadowing (EDIT: vignetting) - however, every now and then an image would come through exceptionally well. The camera is also quite durable - as it is, I think I'll be using it as a backup camera. The only significant downside I found is that you couldn't spam photos as it took a wile to save images (I was saving RAW files and may have had a slowish microsd card), though it meant more when I got that one great photo. I'll post an image or two when I get the chance.

    I got to play around with a P900 at Dubai airport- very cool! The 83x zoom is an extraordinary thing to behold and the image stabilisation means that it is not completely unusable when not on a tripod. The B700 is significantly smaller and lighter though, and combined with the higher resolution sensor and the ability to save RAW image files and the price (~2/3 of the P900 IIRC) makes it a better choice IMHO.

    A lovely older couple had a D3400 they had recently bought (along with a Sigma 18-250mm lens) and I was extremely impressed. The camera could spam shots and the automatic mode worked very well. The higher resolution sensor meant that you could crop images and still get high fidelity.

    Anyway, I've been bitten by the bug and am eyeing up a D810 - its combination of high resolution, easy manual shot control and weatherproofing means that it may suit my new found enjoyment of combined fell running and photography. Pick me up some 8-16mm fisheye and 50-500mm Sigma lenses, as well as a more high end microsd and I think I'll have some fun. Need to save up though!

    On another note, do not underestimate the lowly camera phone! My Xperia Z3 was actually my go to choice for landscape shots, which it excels at. In fact, it was producing more pleasing images than quite a few of the more serious cameras people had.
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2017
  17. Kronos

    Kronos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Pete appreciate you taking the time. Might keep my eye out for a second hand one.
     
  18. veato

    veato I should be working

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    Is a D810 the best camera when fell running? I only ask as it's quite sizable and almost 1kg without a lens!

    Here's a comparison to your B700 http://camerasize.com/compare/#674,557

    Also whilst I believe the 50-500 is useable on both APS-C and Full Frame (the D810 'FX' being full frame of course) the 8-16 is designed for APS-C so would suffer heavy vignetting. It's also rectilinear and not a fisheye. For an equivalent field of view on FX as the 8-16 on APS-C you'd need the Sigma 12-24mm.

    Nikon actually do a full frame 8-15mm fisheye but the price is a little eye-watering.
     
  19. Pete J

    Pete J Working from home?

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    Quite happy to lug around heavy kit if it gets good pictures! I've just discovered that the D850 has been released - that's going to require a LOT of saving up. Starting to regret wasting money on PC tech over the years...
    Ah, cool - thanks for the info. I think in the future I'm going to be bugging you with photography questions!

    Yeah, saw that one. Again, when my Z3 can get damn good scenery shots, I think this lens is for someone who is near the top of their field. Maybe one day, when I'm relatively flush again.
     
  20. veato

    veato I should be working

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    If you're looking at full frame cameras there are some more smaller and lighter options.

    Canon 6D MKII (765g)
    Nikon D610 (850g)
    Nikon D750 (840g)
    Sony A99 II (849g)
    Pentax K1 (smaller but just as heavy)

    Or for really small and light the Sony mirrorless full frame cameras can't be beaten - A7, A7S, A7R, A7 MKII, A7R MKII, A7S MKII, A9
     

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