Camera for a newbie

WjColdWater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
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IL
Looking for recommendations on a easy, quality, and moderately priced camera. Uses would be for scenery, and all around use. Currently using a I-phone. Thanks in advance for your comments.
Wayne
 
It's hard to know exactly what will fit your needs until you start trying out different combinations of cameras and lens. That's how people end up with 4-5 lens or more and are constantly looking for their ideal system. It took me many years and $1,000s of dollars to figure what kind of photographer I was. I've used just about everything from medium format, 35mm, rangefinders, and pocket camera's in both film and digital. For the past 2 years I've used my Iphone 8 almost exclusively. I'll be upgrading to the IPhone 11 Pro which will have 3 lens including super wide angle. Image quality is very satisfactory and the video is fantastic. Future generations of the Iphone will probably have more aperture/shutter speed control as well as improved image quality. This probably won't help you get started in your search if you're determined to buy an outfit. Hopefully someone can point you in the right direction. Good luck!!
 
I believe your best option, assuming there is a quality camera store near you, is to go in and talk to the sales person. Tell them your budget, what you want to do, talk about the conditions you’ll encounter, and ask which cameras and lenses that meet those needs. You may be able to do that via chat with a big seller like B&H, but there is nothing better than face to face with a good sales person.
 
It's a big photo world out there, with phones stepping up, and mirrorless cameras competing with the DSLR market.
There I go using lingo.

It really depends on what you want to do. If it's for web use and documenting your travels, there's many good point & shoot models that fit in your pocket. Better cameras cost and weigh more. How much do you want to spend and carry?

I used dpreview.com to learn about the basic choices and check reviews when I got serious (again) fifteen years ago. WS suggested BHPhoto and I have had excellent relations with them, as well. I use them to benchmark pricing, specs quickly.

Also, should be mentioned, how do you want to organize your photos? If you do start shooting, it's mighty handy to have a photo editor / file manager. I use LightRoom. Others use their operating system folders to organize their images. YMMV
 
I 2nd Lighthawk :)

It would help to know what you think moderately priced is. $400, $1000.....? I have over $10,000 in gear and some I know would put me in the moderately priced range....lol

Micro 4/3 is a nice carry size with interchangeable lenses and I have seen some of the older models go very reasonably priced. B&H is also my goto and have been using them for years. Even bought a laptop from them.

If you are just doing an online presence a smaller sensor should be fine. If you want to print big things like one of your fantastic landscapes you will undoubtedly get then 4/3 or larger would be my choice of sensor.

Mirrorless is in my opinion the way to go for a travel camera. Lighter and if using a 4/3 or crop (DX) sensor the lenses will be a bit smaller. They also do video well :)

Dpreview, The Camera Store and Jared (Fro knows Photo) are 3 of my favorite review places. Nice to see them in use and get opinions on them. Camera store is your friend if you can find one.......

Good Luck!
 
WjColdWater said:
Looking for recommendations on a easy, quality, and moderately priced camera. Uses would be for scenery, and all around use. Currently using a I-phone. Thanks in advance for your comments.
Wayne

Wayne there are some great advice given above. I'll approach at a different angle. Knowing you are using a I-phone and can obtain good images. Understand that the I-Phone is doing all the image processing for you. At what level of experience and willing to take on the role of processing images are you comfortable doing yourself? I got asked the other day that this person bought a digital camera and is disappointed with the results. I explained that the camera collects the image but then the camera is the processor and poops out a JPEG. There are settings in the camera that the user needs to set up for saturation, contrast, sharpness etc that the camera uses to make the output. Those cameras are more controlled by the user...you.

You must pay attention to how you want the image to be on the output jpeg and make the necessary camera adjustments.

The other part of the camera are the settings for shutter speed and how much depth of field (aperture) and exposure compensation you want. Do you understand this relationship or willing to learn? Do you really want a camera that is all automatic and just want to press the button and get a pretty picture? We can get into capturing "RAW" images and you are the photo dark room to do all the editing adjustments.

These are some of the questions only you can answer and know your capabilities and willingness to learn new things.

I would suggest visiting a local camera store with trained people that know cameras and can spend some time understanding what each camera system requires and is this right for you.

Visit a local camera club and ask questions with experienced users.

Search the web for answers also.

It all comes down to you and what is best for you. We can't answer that question, only guide you and answer your further questions.
 
A couple of years ago I decided to get a real camera. The last camera I owned was a film camera and I lost it about 30 years ago. I decided to get a Sony RX100-II. A pocket camera that shots RAW. No interchangable lenses. Simple right? Wrong. I was totally unprepared for the steep learning curve on how to use the camera and how to process the RAW files. I'm still learning. Plan on having time to learn the new digital world.

Although it was frustrating at first, I'm enjoying the camera and having fun trying to take the perfect picture.
 
Any thoughts on upgrading to the iPhone 11? I love the ease of using my current iPhone 7. Not sure I what to spend a lot of time learning the camera tech stuff. Comments appreciated.
 
I’m still using an iPhone 6+ for a lot of my snap shots, and it gives good results, so I would expect even better from the new phone. My biggest complaint about the iPhone and other cameras that are live view only is live view itself. I truly prefer having a viewfinder, as I find them easier to use than holding a shaking camera/phone at arms length while trying to frame the shot. I don’t think it matters if the VF is optical or electronic. Holding the camera to my eye is far more steady.

You never know, you might enjoy the tech stuff.
 
I'm rough on my gear and my Nikon D3000 was not enjoying trips in the Jeep. I'll still use it and of course the phone camera but for carrying in the Jeep and hiking I picked up a used Nikon 1. Waterproof to 15m and shockproof to 2m its rugged enough for my abuse and still offer some more flexibility than a phone camera. Now it is discontinued due some manufacturing difficulties so you take some risk on whether or not you get a good one. Lack of a viewfinder is annoying though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_1_series

If I were starting over I'd certainly consider a mirrorless camera.
 
Weight while hiking is a big factor for me. I love my Olympus Omd-EM1, and usually have the big 12-42 (24-84) pro zoom attached to it. Even though it’s a 4/3 camera, That’s still a heavy lump.

Last month we were in Utah and I had the joy of rupturing my appendix. After emergency surgery, I started hiking again and only carried my iPhone8. Not great as far as cameras go, but it made me wonder, if i am carrying it already, do I really need/want another camera on my back?
 
Vic Harder said:
Weight while hiking is a big factor for me. I love my Olympus Omd-EM1, and usually have the big 12-42 (24-84) pro zoom attached to it. Even though it’s a 4/3 camera, That’s still a heavy lump.

Last month we were in Utah and I had the joy of rupturing my appendix. After emergency surgery, I started hiking again and only carried my iPhone8. Not great as far as cameras go, but it made me wonder, if i am carrying it already, do I really need/want another camera on my back?
Sorry to hear about your recent heath episode and hope you're back to your old self or better! As with all camera's there's a learning curve. Once you figure out what your IPhone can and can't do and just shoot within it's capabilities I think you'll be quite pleased with the results. I'm more than happy to ditch the 3 1/2 lbs plus camera bag and related accessories.
Pic of my better half in New Zealand taken with Iphone8.
 

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Thanks Ronin, doing well health wise. The iPhone is amazing, especially the panorama feature. I like controls, manual is better than auto for me, regardless of what we are talking about. So I like my Oly camera. I am exploring lighter/smaller prime lenses to cut down the weight even more.
 
I have been using PhotoShop since the mid-1990's, LightRoom for a decade and some other more sophisticated software the last couple of years. I always shoot RAW, have a couple of dozen or so lenses and a dozen camera bodies. In spite of that I suggest you stick with the I-phone or a rugged compact camera that has some pretty good auto modes for shooting people, scenery, beach, snow, indoor, sports and even underwater.

Almost no one has the time, money and and sheer foolishness to do as I and a small percentage of other photographers have done. We have given up thousands, or tens of thousands of hours doing this photography thing -- most people have better things to do with their time.

But if you really want to dive into the dslr and RAW shooting world, PM me. I will be happy to talk about it.
My photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/awg_pics/
 
AWG_Pics said:
I have been using PhotoShop since the mid-1990's, LightRoom for a decade and some other more sophisticated software the last couple of years. I always shoot RAW, have a couple of dozen or so lenses and a dozen camera bodies. In spite of that I suggest you stick with the I-phone or a rugged compact camera that has some pretty good auto modes for shooting people, scenery, beach, snow, indoor, sports and even underwater.

Almost no one has the time, money and and sheer foolishness to do as I and a small percentage of other photographers have done. We have given up thousands, or tens of thousands of hours doing this photography thing -- most people have better things to do with their time.

But if you really want to dive into the dslr and RAW shooting world, PM me. I will be happy to talk about it.
My photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/awg_pics/
Welcome to WTW. You’ve got some nice images out there. Ever shoot at Ridgefield?
 
Thanks Wandering Sagebrush. I do shoot at Ridgefield. Some of my best raptor photos are from there. It is maybe 25 minutes north for me. It is getting on to be a great time to capture the fall migrants. The last couple of years I go to Sauvie Island to shoot the sandhill cranes. Amazing birds. Now that I am retired, I am hoping for much more birding and geologizing time.

You guys have a great site here at WTW. When I get my Hawk in January I will have to go through the mods thread again. Just packed with great information!
 
Up until about 3 years ago, I was a regular at Ridgefield, and one of the Admins for the Ridgefield Group. I lost my mind and started upland hunting again with bird dogs, and have drastically slowed down my photography. Having the refuge closed during the week doesn’t help either. Here’s a link to my Flickr stream:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_parsons/

Go back a couple of pages, or look at my most popular images in the “About” area to get into the area that reflects my more active photography. We also have a photography forum here on WTW. Let’s have a cup of coffee one of these days and swap lies.

Steve

At Ridgefield (and apologies to the original poster for the hijack)
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Wandering Sagebrush said:
Up until about 3 years ago, I was a regular at Ridgefield, and one of the Admins for the Ridgefield Group. I lost my mind and started upland hunting again with bird dogs, and have drastically slowed down my photography. Having the refuge closed during the week doesn’t help either. Here’s a link to my Flickr stream:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_parsons/

Go back a couple of pages, or look at my most popular images in the “About” area to get into the area that reflects my more active photography. We also have a photography forum here on WTW. Let’s have a cup of coffee one of these days and swap lies.

Steve

At Ridgefield (and apologies to the original poster for the hijack)
6702376321_789275e044_b.jpg
Amazing pics! Thanks for sharing! Wildlife pics are a real treat!
 
You have a great flickr stream Stephen! And I notice you shoot some great nikon bodies. My current favorite 3 are the D4S, D500 and D810. You shoot at least two of those. I do love the D4S. It is almost magical how it grabs great shots from almost any subject.

Years ago I used to bird hunt when I lived in Montana. Still have a couple of family heirloom shotguns, a 12 and a 20, and I guess a 410 too. Just now thinking about it and doing the math, that was, gulp, 30 years ago. Wow, how time flies!

I would like to meet up for a cuppa joe sometime. I live in NE Portland, there are a number of fine coffee places in that area, like most of Portland, that are not part of some big corporate chain.

You are right about ridgefield being less accessible with the bridge build going on. It looks sunny this coming weekend, so I likely will try to get there on Saturday at about the time they open the gate.

I love that coyote shot.

Tony
 

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