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Camera purchasing advice -Where to start

Toy Machine

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GHelloo Ghumans van Carbonite,

Mesa has a bitten bug of wanting to get into an photography. Always like pictures on my phones & basically any concert I've been to has been seen through videos taken & a lens xD

Now don't go blazing major technical this & that what what please, it won't sink in. I'm busy coming to terms with AP, iso &shutter speed & how they work in conjunction together. Initial feelings I would like to target low light portrait/landscape images as the feeling of environment is always what captives me most, either isolated details or vast expanses (landscapes etc etc) & ideally would like to focus on such to begin with, more than likely isolated detail given city life.

The issue for me is the plethora of equipment & choice, stats on a product page are all good but sifting through use case & where some camera's shine more than others are vastly more time consuming than anything, so I ask if for some direction in this area. Camera release dates/age don't really bother me, a good product is a good product by design or user experience.

and with that, a poorly intended pun. Shoot(TIA) :)
 
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bythecantloads

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Heyo! I am so horrible at taking photos I need Huawei to paint a fake moon on an orb like object to make it seem like I have a good zoom camera.

But on the photo side I have a Canon M50 and yes it is a couple of years old and yes I mainly use it for doing vidjas, but I love the compact form factor of a mirrorless camera that has the interchangeability of a DSLR.

I don't think I can even lable myself as a beginner, because the world of photography goes much too deep for me small brain to comprehend. But what my dad taught me from a young age is that if you can frame your photo correctly that counts for a lot. Don't know if I should trust him though, he was a photographer for Beeld for a short while and then also a wedding photographer. The kicker? All the weddings he shot ended in divorce.

This post doesn't help you at all now that I think about it...

Ooh but maybe @Charissa can help? She has a camera in her profile pic. Looks profesh AF.
 

Computer Biz

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Evening @Toy Machine

The Fujifilm X-T20 & X-T30 are remarkable cameras for value.
(Also compact for on the fly)

Lens wise for your requirements:
Landscape: 10 - 35mm
Portrait: 50mm is a top-notch versatile lens/focus range.

Next up would be the mirrorless range of Canon cameras.
Enjoy the captures!
 

eyetac

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Ah, photography.. Another of my huge loves.
Here we have CUD.. in photography we have GAS (Gear acquisition syndrome)

Honestly, it's one of the most rewarding hobbies I've ever dabbled in and in turn, become a career.

The first thing I'll say to you is, glass is your biggest investment. Cameras and technology come and go, but good glass is for keeps.

@Computer Biz makes a great point about the fuji range of cameras. They are not crazy expensive for the mid-tier range for what you are getting, however, Fuji doesn't allow for third party lenses, so you are stuck using their amazing, albeit expensive lenses.

For landscape work, you definitely want a wide lens as mentioned before and for portraits, a 35mm up to about an 85mm with as low an aperture as you can afford for the creamy bokeh deliciousness +more light hitting the sensor.

If you can share the budget you have in mind, I'll try guide you into a solid direction with the best gear for your needs for the price.
 

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So just clarifying I'm an amateur newbie beginner hobbyist, I'm no expert on photography. And no sympathy for the technical aspects, its like asking for a gaming pc while skipping the technical stuff (unless you like buying those hobbled evetech "upgrade" bundles with 2666mhz ram).

So from a fellow starter that uses canon stuff. You either want a dslr or a mirror-less camera. dslr you want something like a canon 600d or similar (but probably newer like a 750d), it's an old model but should be more than enough to start off with (just be aware you want a second hand with the lowest amount of shutter count, this is similar to mileage on a car. Replacing parts in a dslr is apparently very expensive), or you can buy starter kits like a canon 2000d (for canon models numbered in the thousand range are entry level while single digits are pro, the price tag will reflect this) with a starter lens (they are starter grade, so not exactly top quality in terms of image production from its glass). For a mirror-less, something like a canon m50. You have other brands like nikon and sony, but i'm not familiar with them. Once you have the skills, buy a more recent model like a 250d or 850d (or a 90d) if getting serious. You also get different sensor sizes, aps-c, full frame, four thirds, whatever else, and this will affect your lens buying decision as the formats are "generally" not inter-compatible between camera body and camera lenses. You will probably start off with aps-c, it's the most common in the starter crowd.

In terms of lenses (within the canon ecosystem), the kit lens that comes bundled in new camera starter kits "should" be ok, you generally have an 18-55mm, 18-135mm, and 75-300mm lens for starters in starter kits, but it's apparently better in the long run to buy a camera body and then the specific lens you want separately (unless you ditch the hobby after a few weeks). To start off, get a 18-55mm (this is apparently the one to get for starter photography when learning, or maybe its because its like the de-facto lens everyone starts with from the bundled kits) or 18-135mm for the added zoom (skip the 75-300m as it apparently has really bad image quality when zooming beyond like 150mm unless they fixed it in a new version) lens in a lens kit. In terms of other lenses, wide angle and landscape look at a 10-18mm, portrait use a 50mm (the f1.8 "nifty fifty"/"pocket rocket" has great performance for its affordability), 24mm f2.8 "pancake" lens for travel and street photography. First party in-house lenses are generally expensive, there are compatible third party companies like tamron or tokina that offer lenses that are "generally" cheaper for similar performance, read reviews. Make sure your lens has image stability built in, you don't want shaky/blurry pictures.

Cue in the pros for the corrections.
 

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Same as the one above, I'm no expert on photography.
I can however say that starting a hobby like this doesn't have to be expensive.
You said you need to start learning the basics like shutter, exposure and ISO.

Get a cheaper camera that's still in good condition.
Pro photographers can still take much better snaps on a bad camera that an amateur on a good one.
 

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I bought a Canon Eos Rp with a 50mm 1.8. To start. And I just go hire any lens I want to try out for the weekend, so I can get a feel for what I what lens to purchase next. The glass is important. Camera equipment is expensive.

So figure out where you taking this. Because if you buy entry level now and figure you want at to take it further, you will grow out of your entry level camera with kit lens fast. I wanted a "better" start point. Enjoy the hobby first, without getting too technical.
 

Toy Machine

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Essentially I'm just looking for some baseline performance, but not bottom entry point, a touch above entry level. I'll definitely be going second hand with as minimal shutter count as possible I'll more than likely be going for crop frame as to begin this hobby there are a few spots around the area that I have always wanted to shoot. Specifically there is a triable intersection with a tree in it that the street light illuminates awesomely, used to have a white & orange light which become both orange eventually (the white & orange created a better mood for the scene) but yeah, point is to hits those first few spots, edit them and let the ball keep rolling from there as I'll begin to understand the technical through this better than reading it online. I simply aim to understand the fundamentals of them now so I know if an image take sin too much/little light I can adjust there instead of going back & forth online again.

@eyetac not sure on budget but 5k would probably be my limit, I'm patient in waiting for a good bundle to come around as I'd like to get a 55mm & 55-250mm lense if possible.

I may also be shooting myself in the foot here but which brand would one go with?
I know it's personal preference, so laying key points out that I want to focus on:

Low light capability/iso range
lense compatibility
Colour depth
Dynamic Range
sensor pixel area

non essential:
Weather sealing
battery life
in-body stabilization
 
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Toy Machine

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I ended up with a Canon 500D & 18-55mm lens because I got a nice deal on it.
So now the extras I want are a 55-250mm lens along with extra batteries & extra SD card. The extra batteries I got are swollen & don't fit the battery socket
 

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I ended up with a Canon 500D & 18-55mm lens because I got a nice deal on it.
So now the extras I want are a 55-250mm lens along with extra batteries & extra SD card. The extra batteries I got are swollen & don't fit the battery socket

Extra battery first if you intend on keeping the 500d for a while, skip the zoom lens for now (unless you get a good deal). As a starter photographer, your first zoom lens are your legs to walk and stand closer to the subject so you don't get the lazy habit of zooming in on everything. That aside, since you talked about landscape photography previously you should rather be looking at wide lens before zoom.
 
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Toy Machine

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Yeah I'll certainly prioritize battery first, the lens will come when it comes, I'm more focused on understanding iso/ss & focal range. You make a good point on the zoom habit, something I picked up on with my P20 pro given the camera on that thing doesn't like zoom, gets very muddy very quickly and so you have to find the right space between lens & subject to hit the correct focal range of that lens.
 

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You should get a zoom eventually, but not straight away unless you can't get close to you subject like with wild animals on safari, watching in a stadium/concert, your neighbours daughter/wife, photography at height, etc.
 

Toy Machine

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I specifically take liking to the words that have been typex'd out xD
nah jk, I understand your point and don't know of many far to reach spots that would be on my initial list of shots.
 

Charissa

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Yeah I'll certainly prioritize battery first, the lens will come when it comes, I'm more focused on understanding iso/ss & focal range. You make a good point on the zoom habit, something I picked up on with my P20 pro given the camera on that thing doesn't like zoom, gets very muddy very quickly and so you have to find the right space between lens & subject to hit the correct focal range of that lens.
If u in Pta, we can meet up for a quick show and a few tips if u want.
 

Toy Machine

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If u in Pta, we can meet up for a quick show and a few tips if u want.
I appreciate the offer, I ma in the West Rand and barely ever visit PTA, maybe we'll make a plan one day if I need ot go through :)
 

Charissa

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Also, def don,t get any 55-250 black canon lenses. You will fairly quikly notice the slow focus and soft images. Glass is like the gpu, better glass, better fps (ss), sharper images etc.
You safe by buying clever from the start.
 

Toy Machine

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Also, def don,t get any 55-250 black canon lenses. You will fairly quikly notice the slow focus and soft images. Glass is like the gpu, better glass, better fps (ss), sharper images etc.
You safe by buying clever from the start.
I will most certainly keep that in mind, what measurement in specsheets can one look out for when looking for the quality of the glass?
 

Charissa

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I appreciate the offer, I ma in the West Rand and barely ever visit PTA, maybe we'll make a plan one day if I need ot go through :)
U are welcome to mail me if you have any specific things u want to know. U can send me some images to edit and give tips on as well if u want.
Landscape, best lenses out there, Canon 16-35 f2.8 L mk2 or 3. But pricey.
Best cheapy, Canon 10-18 f4.5 Super sharp, and works well with cropped sensors.
Remember the filters for lanscapes as well....few things to consider. Dont have to b very expensive, fair camera body, good technique, arty eye and the best glass u can afford.
#charissadelange
Or google Charissa de Lange.
Few images around.
 

Charissa

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I will most certainly keep that in mind, what measurement in specsheets can one look out for when looking for the quality of the glass?
Canon good glass is the L series. Used to b white lenses, but get newer black versions.
The canon 70-200L f4 is a excellent lens, even a mark 1. You can get it for a good price. Fast glass. You get the f2,8 which is much more expensive, but even faster glass.
You need to know the spesific lens to know what their strong and bad points are. But first, what do u want to photograph, what interest u? Then we take it from there.
 

Toy Machine

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😭 😭 😭
no.....
If only I had seen this thread sooner I could have intervened

:p
I'm legit having very lucid dejavu with this right now xD like holy shit xD I've seen this exact comment, in the exact order you typed it from a dream very recently. And a very lucid & interactive dream at that in which I was viewing a screen xD

TRIPPING
 

Toy Machine

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Canon good glass is the L series. Used to b white lenses, but get newer black versions.
The canon 70-200L f4 is a excellent lens, even a mark 1. You can get it for a good price. Fast glass. You get the f2,8 which is much more expensive, but even faster glass.
You need to know the spesific lens to know what their strong and bad points are. But first, what do u want to photograph, what interest u? Then we take it from there.
I hear you, I really like moody environments with low light or often single/dual light sources[or similarly light sources that are hidden from view/outside the scope of the shot]. Not sure if you know "Elsa Belda" on Twitter, been following her for a while and I generally enjoy her style.

If I could use a movie to describe what I like it'd certainly be Blade Runner 2049
 

Charissa

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I hear you, I really like moody environments with low light or often single/dual light sources[or similarly light sources that are hidden from view/outside the scope of the shot]. Not sure if you know "Elsa Belda" on Twitter, been following her for a while and I generally enjoy her style.

If I could use a movie to describe what I like it'd certainly be Blade Runner 2049
Excellent shots. Low light, so fast lens, f1.2, f1.8, f2.8 or lastly, f4 lens. Camera iso as low as possible to keep detail, only bump ot up to for eg iso 200 if u need more light. You dont want to blow out the highlights in the street lights.
Bump up the f stop, drop the iso and visa versa. Play around with it. Keep a eye on your blacks and highlights. Shoot raw, edit after.
 

Toy Machine

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Excellent shots. Low light, so fast lens, f1.2, f1.8, f2.8 or lastly, f4 lens. Camera iso as low as possible to keep detail, only bump ot up to for eg iso 200 if u need more light. You dont want to blow out the highlights in the street lights.
Bump up the f stop, drop the iso and visa versa. Play around with it. Keep a eye on your blacks and highlights. Shoot raw, edit after.
Yeha the technical aspects of the equipment is what I need to let sink in & experience, I will only shoot raw & I am well aware of not blowing black/highlights & detail, it's like the 2 things I do know lol xD

I have a really nice triangle intersection near me that has a good set of orange street lights that will be a good first subject for an evening walk up the road.
 

Charissa

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Yeha the technical aspects of the equipment is what I need to let sink in & experience, I will only shoot raw & I am well aware of not blowing black/highlights & detail, it's like the 2 things I do know lol xD

I have a really nice triangle intersection near me that has a good set of orange street lights that will be a good first subject for an evening walk up the road.
Sorry, my photography hobby is as important as my pc, so i talk a lot, and being female, sometimes un necessary. 😅
Dobu have a tripod?
 

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