Camera help

Inland paddling
Post Reply
husky
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:22 pm
Location: Warrington
Contact:

Camera help

Post by husky » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:11 am

Looking for a DSLR have 300>400 £ not that clued up
1 is it worth looking at a second hand ?
2 is it all about the Mega pixels ?
I am not bothered which make I get
The Camera's main use would be action,Kayak,MTB,surfing and some general outdoor work.
Also could you recommend 2 lenses 1 al-rounder and a Telly
Thanks keep the replies nuts & bolts as I am thick
Steve


A very nice guy ;-) recommended Canon EOS 1000D I like the look of NIKON D5000 but what do I know
LET IT BE

User avatar
ol
Posts: 2264
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:13 pm
Location: In the middle

Re: Camera help

Post by ol » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:09 am

Its not about the megapixels, its about the lense mainly.
I have a Nikon D40 which only has around 6MP but produces fantastic shots with the 18-55mm kit lense.
If you don't plan to blow up your pics above a4-ish then don't worry about it.
Don't think you can get the D40 anymore but you would certainly be able to pick it up 2nd hand, its great as a starter.

My girlfriend has the D5000 and really gets on well with it. The flippy about LCD screen is very handy for some shots (such as shooting your neighbours barbeque over their fence, should you wish to) or shooting from very low on the ground upwards...
The movie mode is kind of handy but its not ideal. Great camera though.

The beauty of my D40 by the way is it is a little smaller than some of the other models so fits quite well in a Peli-1200 in the back of my boat.

As for lenses, I just got a 'prime' lens, a Nikon 35mm f1.8, which is relatively cheap and is fairly 'fast' which is what you probably want for lower light situations such as MTB and Paddling. If you want zoom, there are plenty of other recommendations about.

Do a search for this topic as there have been plenty of chats about it fairly recently.
Enjoy...

Rdscott
Posts: 1209
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:53 pm
Location: Huddersfield

Re: Camera help

Post by Rdscott » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:34 pm

Nikons equivalant the the d40/d50/ old d70 is the d3000 It seems very good value for money.

as ol had said it isnt all about the mega pixles but more the lens, a key thing is learning what the things do and how to use the manual settings not so much on the lense and body but more for appature exposure and focal length thing as learning what they do and how to adjust them can make big differances in the picture out come.

I'm having so difficulties with my D50 its 3 years old and only take 12000 picturs, but the motor on the flash isnt working and it keeps seizing, i think however this could be partly my own fault if not all my own fault. second hand is deffinatly an option But i would advice doing it from somewhere that offers a warrently, as you knever know if someone has spilt there Irn Bru or beer on one or any other substance.

husky
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:22 pm
Location: Warrington
Contact:

Re: Camera help

Post by husky » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:02 am

Thanks for the help
Steve
LET IT BE

BigMike
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Camera help

Post by BigMike » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:46 am

canon eos 30D. fast frames per sec rate (it's effectively a sports camera)- good for boating. get one from ebay, should be 250-300 quid. the kit lens is fine.

as someone above said, megapixels is pretty much just used by the manufacturers to sell cameras on the basis that more = better, but its just not the case. the more MP they squeeze onto the same chip, the more issues it can create. anything over 5mp will be fine for what you want.

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Camera help

Post by SwamP » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:47 am

Steve, is that you who chucked me a message in Facebook…sorry I’ve not replied, not really been on facebook other than via my mobile.

From what I gather in this price range I think you get more from your money with Nikon…you must do as many I know have chosen this manufacturer over my preference of Canon.

I genuinely wouldn’t look at a different manufacturer than these two.

My old man just got a 500D at Christmas and as much as it’s littered with technology the feel is nothing compared to the double digit D series (20, 30, 40, 50 D)…but as I said to another mate at the weekend, if you get used to the feel then a smaller camera might actually be better for this sport in terms of peli cases…it certainly wont restrict you in terms of the quality of photograph you take.

Photography is a bit like kayaking in that we’re restricted by our ability not by the technology.

If you do listen to Big Mike and consider a larger bodied camera then let me know, I have a 30D sitting doing absolutely nothing…I just never use it any more but a lot of the photographs on my website were taken with it.

Not sure how much I’d sell it for (the going 2nd hand rate) but rest assured if a manufacturer fault occurred in the first 6 months I’d just give you the money back. It’s in mint condition so I’d be very surprised if that ever happened.

Sorry I haven’t just come up with a one word answer to “What camera” but the reality is a 20D will take an award winning, mind blowing photo…and this camera is about 4-5 years old with ‘better’ models being released every 6-12 months….which is very frustrating for a semi-gear freak like me…

Ryan
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

Digimeister
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Camera help

Post by Digimeister » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:13 pm

I'd buy an SLR based on the lenses available for it.
So bascially Canon or Nikon, as they have many many more lenses available.
I bought a Canon 450D as it seems like the top-end lens technology works its way down to the mid-range prices more than for Nikon.

If you just get a kit lens you might be disappointed... they're not amazing optically, and not very fast (high f number). Therefore in low light conditions when you want to a fast shutter speed (i.e. for boating) you'll loose quality. You might even get better results with a fixed lens camera that has a good manual mode, as the smaller sensor (dimensions not megapixels) means you need a lot less light.
"If only I knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am."
Me - ICCC

BigMike
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Camera help

Post by BigMike » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Digimeister wrote: You might even get better results with a fixed lens camera that has a good manual mode, as the smaller sensor (dimensions not megapixels) means you need a lot less light.
How does that work?

Digimeister
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Camera help

Post by Digimeister » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:45 pm

A non-SLR camera might have a sensor of 6mm by 4mm.
Most DSLRs are around 22mm by 15mm.
Full-frame (top end) DSLRs are 28mm by 19mm (same as old-skool 35mm, as its the diagonal that's measured).

Since the brightness of the image is the amount of light hitting the sensor per unit area, big sensors need to get more light down the lens to get the same brightness. This means the lenses must be much bigger and more expensive to get the same results.

That's why the non-SLR in the first link can do (a 35mm-equivalent of) 31mm to 465mm zoom with a pretty small lens, and still achieve f2.7 to f4.5. (The f-number is a ratio of the amount of light getting to the sensor vs the amount of light at the 'front'.)

On the downside, smaller sensor with same megapixels = smaller pixels, which impacts on quality.

So a DSLR with the right lens will always take the better shot, however you might have to spend a fortune to achieve this. With the wrong lens, you might have to increase the ISO (essentially amplifying the light off the sensor, which adds lots of noise) so much that the quality ends up worse.
"If only I knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am."
Me - ICCC

BigMike
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Camera help

Post by BigMike » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:06 pm

Digimeister wrote: Since the brightness of the image is the amount of light hitting the sensor per unit area, big sensors need to get more light down the lens to get the same brightness. This means the lenses must be much bigger and more expensive to get the same results.
A smaller chip technically needs more light than a larger one, not less. A larger sensor has by definition, a larger area on which to "collect" light. Your smaller one has less, and the light which does get to it is effectively amplified in-camera. The larger pixels on the bigger sensor collect more light per pixel than the smaller ones on the smaller chip. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference (light wise) though in a side by side test (assuming you compensate for focal length on the larger chipped camera and assuming same ISO setting and f stop. You would see a difference in the noise level though, the smaller sensor giving more noise in the image. The "signal" to noise ratio on the large chip is much greater than the smaller chip, hence the difference. Further, the larger pixels on the bigger sensor offer a higher dynamic range than the smaller chip, and hence show more detail (not to mention smoother light gradation).

Your second point about lenses - "bigger and more expensive", well, no, for the reasons mentioned above. You could remove the lens from a DSLR, tape a piece of paper over the housing and make it light-tight, put a pin hole in the middle of it, set the camera to f22 (say) and expose for 10 seconds at dusk on an evenly lit scene and technically get a great image. You might have to play about with the exposure time though.

Digimeister
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Camera help

Post by Digimeister » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:32 pm

Cheers Mike, that makes a lot of sense. My light-per-area reasoning clearly failed. However the big-and-expensive-lens argument still holds, as a bigger sensor obviously needs a lens that casts a bigger image, hence the compact getting better f numbers for smaller lenses. The 10 second exposure you mention is kind of a limiting factor with the no-lens option - I'd love to see someone take a paddling shot with a pinhole setup!

Here's the article I was half remembering that explains why a point-and-shoot can be better that a DSLR-with-kit-lens: "The final problem with a cheap zoom lens is image quality. There is no free lunch in this world and when an optical engineer cuts cost and weight the sharpness and contrast are reduced. In fact, you might get a better quality photo with a point-and-shoot digicam than with a heavy expensive digital SLR with a cheap light zoom lens attached.".
"If only I knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am."
Me - ICCC

BigMike
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Camera help

Post by BigMike » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:21 pm

Yeah I see your reasoning behind the lens argument, but I'd counter that by saying that the shutter lag on any PaS is pretty limiting in terms of capturing a decent action shot. Also, the lens isnt casting an image per se, it's allow light to reach the chip via the shutter movement. A bigger, more expensive lens does not let more light in than a cheap one unless at apertures larger than f2.8 for example (but thats a slightly different argument). When the shutter goes through its motion, the same amount of light flows through the lens no matter what lens is used, depending on aperture of course, and focal length plays apart but lets not get all techy

Cheaper zooms are most definitely not as good as their more expensive brothers, but ultimately a great image can still be captured with one. Things like minor barrel distortion aren't really a big deal for an amateur photographer, and these days because clients are less savvy about capture than they used to be, its becoming less of an issue for pro's as well. The biggest issue with cheaper zooms (ignoring speed and far more so than sharpness) is flare. The elements are such that they tend to suffer horrifically from flare if the light source is even a degree less than 90 from the lens. Even with a good lens hood that's the biggest issue. I do some work for Sigma and they work hard on this, to the point that the majority of their lenses are far better at dealing with it than the cheaper canons and nikons. Again, this is probably something a pro would notice far more than an amateur, but a good amateur who knows his stuff will be aware of it too, and it can ruin many a decent image. In fact when people look to buy lenses, they *tend* to get hooked up on speed and focal length rather than ability to deal with flare, when realistically, for the majority of users, flare is the more important (but far less understood) issue.

User avatar
SwamP
Posts: 3101
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Camera help

Post by SwamP » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:07 pm

You know what must be frustrating...the 450D is only a couple of Starbucks off of a 50D....they seem to be very cunning in always teasing you to spend just that little bit more....yip very frustrating indeed...
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”