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Equipment What camera?

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by The_Crapman, 18 Dec 2020.

  1. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman World's worst stuntman. Lover of bit-tech

    5 Dec 2011
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    I've been looking at getting a camera for a while and I really can't seem to pin down what kind of camera to get. I've been looking mostly at mirror-less cameras for the compact form factor and seems to be the way to go at the minute, in particular Sony, but that's just brand appeal/allegiance and not a must at all.

    Main purpose of the camera is stills shooting PC's. Will need to be good in low light for some moody shots but not get glared out by the lights on the PC (RGB fans, mobo lights etc), zoom might be useful for getting closeups, you know the kind of thing. Secondary use will be for filming PC stuff, (see example) again a fair bit of low background light with the twinkling lights.

    I was thinking around £500-£600, new or second hand. Possibilities I'm considering are:

    Sony A6000 at the cheaper end of the scale, A6300 at the top end.
    "proper" camera, a6300 in particular is meant to be fantastic, also meant to offer decent video capabilities, but lacks any kind of stabilisation. This could affect panning and tracking shots which is my main concern over getting something like this. Would this be negated if I was using a sliding track mount?

    Sony RX10 ii/ RX10 iii
    20MP sensor should be plenty, would I really notice the different, or be able to take advantage of a "better" camera like the A6300? Mighty benefit from the A6300 in lower light scenarios (?), but the ace up the sleeve of the RX series is the video capabilities. In body and digital stabilisation, capable of super slo-mo 960-FPS shots for short bursts and constant 120FPS.

    RX100 VA (5A)
    Smaller more compact version of the RX10. I'd maybe go with the RX10 over the RX100 for better battery life, better connectivity, environmental sealing and zoom, but the RX100 VA does have a few more recent firmware updates from the VI, so might be in it's advantage.

    Thoughts and/or advice please?

    EDIT: There's also currently an offer on an Olympus E-M10 MkIII Pancake Kit with free M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 lens and 64gb memory card for £450 (£250 off camera price, although you can get an M10 IIIs for £400 at argos). I had been considering this as one of the cheaper mirror less that had in body stabilisation, but wouldn't be as good in camera mode as the a6300 or as good as the RX for video?
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2020
  2. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

    21 Jan 2011
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    One of the Sony Alpha 6x00 family is a great choice as the cameras have a good APS-C sized sensor for cleaner low light performance than the RX cameras, which have quite small sensors.

    Oly / Pana MFT would be good to. The advantage of those and the bigger Sonys will be interchangeable lenses for more flexibility over time.

    Also take a look at the Fuji X-T family too, probably not so hot on video ability as Sony, but great cameras and lenses.

    I bought a used Fuji X-T1 and 18-50(?) zoom for less than £500 a while ago, and they'll be even cheaper now with newer models coming through since.

    The RX10 I know nothing about, but the RX100 is a gem for travel, esp the later ones with the pop up eye level finder - they are small, so could be fiddly.

    I would say that fixed lenses will be a potential frustration if you want to do stuff outside the 'normal' remit.

    TBH, good lighting and a decent tripod in the mix will improve almost any camera performance in a 'studio' situation.

    Don't get too hung up on the gear, as long as it does what you want, and produces good images, that's it.

    I was in pro photo retail for 17 years and saw a lot of stuff and also a lot of images that came from kit you wouldn't expect it to, what's behind the camera is what makes the most difference!

    Even a good phone camera has impressive potential if used carefully and in the right way.

    A lot of newer kit, I've seen in Currys (wouldn't buy there...) so at least you can see how big/small/ergonomic or not one camera is. If you can get into a branch and brave a mooch, the physical attributes may help make up your mind.

    Please ask more questions, and we can find a good solution to your requirements.

    ElThomsono and The_Crapman like this.
  3. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman World's worst stuntman. Lover of bit-tech

    5 Dec 2011
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    Thanks for the reply. I keep thinking I've decided and then I un-decide again after more searching, probing, thinking. This afternoon I was looking at accessories which was entertaining.

    I think I'm swinging more towards the RX, the picture quality I would get out of any of them is likely to be more than adequate, so the advanced video features of the RX are appealing.

    The RX10s are basically the same as the RX100s in terms of sensors and processors, but in bigger bodies with much larger zoom lenses.
    In the 2 that I'm looking at,
    -the RX10 iii has a "Bright ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm12 F2.4-4 lens",
    -the RX100 VA "Pristine ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar® T* 24-70mm12 F1.8-2.8 lens"

    Now while the lense on the RX100 has a lower aperture rating, because the actual lens on the RX100 is smaller, the RX10 and it's bigger lens would actually be better in low light as far as my limited understanding goes. (?) The A6300 would probably be better than either because of the bigger sensor.

    The other train of thought is that the A6300 would be a far better camera and with interchangeable lenses, more versatile should it be needed. The video footage would still be a big step up from my pixel 4, especially in 4k, lots of effects can be done in production, I've used my phone for some slowmo stuff and it was fine. if I needed more advanced video features down the line, could always get a dedicated video device then. Moving shots with the non stabilised A6300 could be improved with better tripod and attachments and a little gimbal for free hand stuff.

    See, I started off writing this as pro RX and ended pro A Series :hehe: :duh:
  4. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

    15 Aug 2007
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    Are you likely to get more specialised lenses in the future? Interchangeable cameras may get you to buy more lenses, it never ends, just like PC parts upgrades. As said, don't get hung up on the gear, especially for stationary objects.

    Also second Fujifilm X series. Fantastic lenses and excellent cameras for stills.

    The F number is most important. Bigger lens doesn't automatically mean better in low light. The lens on RX100 with f1.8 will gather more light than RX10 f2.4.
    Similarly, bigger sensor also doesn't automatically mean better in low light. My previous 5D mark2 was not as good as my current Fujifilm XE2 in high ISO despite having bigger sensor.
    Also, macro need specialised lens, zooming in may not actually give you a bigger subject. The object magnification is what you need to look for, which is a function of minimal focal distance at certain focal length.

    In your situation, I would go with RX100. Easiest to get started, has everything you need, won't give you the urge to buy more lenses.

    But do learn about lighting. Good use of lighting is WAAAY more important than camera gear.
    Nowadays, I mostly use my iphone and camera gear sit in the cupboard. But when I do use camera gear at home, the flashgun always gets used.
    The_Crapman and Arboreal like this.
  5. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

    16 May 2008
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    I'd agree with WXY087.

    It's so easy to get hung up on the gear aspect of photography, which camera, what lens etc. etc. but it's the photographer that is the most important part of the equation. Learning how to compose images, how to use light and the other skills you develop are much more important and you can learn these skills even with the cheapest of cameras. It's all about the personal experience.

    I've argued this with a family member who claimed that you should always buy the best camera equipment you can afford, I disagreed and said you should spend what you are comfortable spending when starting out. I've seen so many budding photographers go mad on the kit they buy and then become frustrated because they lack the experience and knowledge to be able to get the best out of the kit or even to fully understand how to use it. Some even to the point where they end up giving up.

    Regards specific cameras, The Fuji X series are brilliant as far as I'm concerned. I have the X-T3 and coming to that from my full frame D800E and D800, I was sold as soon as I picked the X-T3 up!

    Bridge cameras are great too, I had my Panasonic for years and it served me well.
    wyx087 likes this.

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