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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted -  08/09/2011  :  18:15
... more like dreaming if I'm being truthful but say I had £800 - £1000 to spend on a new camera, what would I buy?

I've narrowed it down to the Canon EOS 600D or Sony A55 but there may be other models out there which are better.

I would want just one zoom lens to cover a wide range, because I can't be doing with faffing about changing lenses and probably dropping them, although I'm aware such a lens will adversely affect the picture quality to a small degree. But I'm not going to be turning professional photographer so it doesn't matter too much.

I would also need to include a good bag/case, plenty of memory and battery power in that price, perhaps even with a tripod thrown in. 

And would I dare buy it on tinterweb or should I play safe by going to a local shop? 


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Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 19:07
Bought mine on t'internet, H. No probs at all. The Sony is a good camera and it's compatible with the old Minolta Dynax. There's a good market for used lenses...


Big Kev

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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 19:21
As the ex-proprietor of a camera shop (I had my own for 10 years ) , I would advise you to forget buying a new camera and lens.......You will get much more for your money if you buy second-hand......

I would stick to the major manufactures Nikon , Canon etc (Sony bought Minolta , but were behind the game at the time)......
Try to find the best spec  Semi-pro body you can .....Lots of Amateurs with too much money or inflated ideas have traditionally bought Pro equipment , cossetted it and then needed to sell , for one reason or another ....... 
When you consider  that professional equipment is designed for HARD use  , it's easy to realise that some of this stuff is hardly "Run-in" by the time it comes onto the market for a second time.

Even "well used" professional equipment often has lots of life left in it....
"PM "me or better ,....Phone if I can help.....Happy to advise !  


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 22:40
Thanks BK and Bradders!

Just a bit nervous of buying anywhere other than local in case anything goes wrong, although I know you've been happy with your purchase, Kev.

Bradders, for an experienced person I think secondhand would be great - but you've got to be able to spot defects and I don't think I have the knowledge to be able to do that.

What you're saying makes perfect sense, though. So if you happen upon any such equipment, then please let me know! Smile

These days DSLR cameras have at least 18mp and lots of bells and whistles but quite honestly sometimes I think my modest little 4mp Olympus compact produces images just as good quality as some of them. It has a brilliant zoom lens, although limited at 35 - 70mm. I recently had an image output at  24" x 18" from a JPG and the person in the shop was amazed at how sharp it was.

What do you guys think of 18mp? Is it a con, in certain cases? One review explained how a particular camera with 14mp was better than another one with 18mp because ... and then it lost me technically, I'm afraid.

Point is, it ain't the size, it's the quality - as I'm sure you'll all agree...

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Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 22:49


quote:
Callunna wrote:
Thanks BK and Bradders!

What do you guys think of 18mp? Is it a con, in certain cases? One review explained how a particular camera with 14mp was better than another one with 18mp because ... and then it lost me technically, I'm afraid.

Point is, it ain't the size, it's the quality - as I'm sure you'll all agree...

 

At the end of the day it's down to lens quality. A pic taken with an 18mp camera and a poor lens against a 4mp with a very good lens, I'd go for the good lens combination every time... 


Big Kev

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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 22:58
There has always been a lot of  "mine is bigger than yours" in  amateur photographic circles , and that is what sells cameras in volume .......
Manufacturers could never have survived on proffessional sales alone, and that is still the case.......

Don't be fooled by big numbers ....I use an oldish Nikon D100 and I have forgotten how many megawhatsits it has (not many) ....but I do know that I never use it at full chat , as the files are too big!

Maybe the successor model  would suit you (D200).......nearly all the Nikon  SLR lenses ever made will fit  ,  as the bayonet has never changed...
Call me ...if you like !(PM for number )



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 07:38
I still fancy a Nikon digital that will take my old lens. I know there is one but get confused with the specifications. Any advice gratefully accepted. No pockets in a shroud, why shouldn't I have a new toy? Come on Bradders and Kev, put me on the track!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 10:49
I'm afraid I can't PM anybody - the website doesn't like Mac users, methinks. 


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 12:38
quote:
Callunna wrote:
I've narrowed it down to the Canon EOS 600D or Sony A55 but there may be other models out there which are better.
How wierd is this? After saving up my pennies and much reading of forums and reviews, on Wednesday I placed my order with Amazon for a Canon EOS 600D and it's due to arrive today! You must be telepathic Heather! I've gone for the 18-135mm lens because I've been so used to having plenty of zoom with my previous digital cameras and because I've seen ciriticism of the 18-55mm and praise for the 18-135. I've got no worries about buying from Amazon, we've had cameras from them in the past and other electronic kit. If it goes wrong they'll replace it quickly. We once had a TV hard disk recorder fail to be delivered on the appropriate day. I phoned Amazon and they sent another immediately. When I buy from Amazon I always try to buy direct from Amazon itself, not from their `Associates', so that if there is a problem I get a better response. I also look for the item on `Super Saver' free delivery. Go to Amazon.co.uk, put canon eos 600d in the Search box and click. When the page of cameras comes up go to the left side and look under `Delivery option' for `FREE Super Saver Delivery' and tick this. Then lower down, under `Seller' tick Amazon.co.uk. The page will refresh and show only the cameras with these conditions. Beware - if you bookmark one of the camera pages and go back to it later you will probably see changes and it may no longer show Super Saver and be with an Associate. Make sure that when you place an order you do it from a web page showing exactly what you want. (This explains why I haven't placed a link to the Amazon 600D page here - always do it from the Search box.) I haven't gone for secondhand, partly for the same reason as Heather but also because of availability - the ones I want don't seem to turn up in shops and I wouldn't buy one through Ebay.

Why did I choose this camera? I chose Canon largely because I've had a number of Canon cameras and never had any problem with them. They've all given (and still give!) excellent service. Of course, by now I'm very familiar with the layout of their cameras and that helps too. Like Heather, I'm not really keen on interchangeable lenses which is why I've never previously had a digital SLR. My present camera is a Canon G11, at the top of the compact range and that has been brilliant. I now want the extra dynamic range, depth of field and low light abilities of an SLR. I was going to buy the EOS 550D but the 600D has the advantage of a hinged, rotatable screen - I have that on the G11 and it's very useful. Another reason I go for Canon is that they put plenty of the functions on buttons on the camera body rather than hidden in menus. If you don't mind using menus instead (but it slows you up) then you can get a Nikon with this setup at a much lower price.  The Canon 600D with the 18-135mm lens is, at the time of writing, £780 if you buy it from Amazon (not from their `Associates') and on Super Saver free delivery.

Here are two links to reviews of the 600D:
http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/slrs/canon_eos600d
http://www.trustedreviews.com/canon-eos-600d_Digital-Camera_review


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 12:44
Wow Tiz - how spooky is that?

Maybe I'll wait a wee while (I have to save up, in any case. I'm down on the Town Square this Saturday trying to sell my body - for medical research, that is...) and see how you get on with the Canon.

I've read loads of reviews for loads of cameras so it will be refreshing to hear from an actual user with real experience.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 15:39
Probably a good idea if you're not in a hurry, the price will only come down further anyway. I'll let you know in this thread if I have any problems or concerns about the camera. My needs are for still pictures rather than video, and I need zoom and I want good image quality. Of course, as a builder friend once said to me when discussing a quote, you can have whatever you want...but it will cost you!

You might find it useful to download the PDF version (328 pages, 16MB zip file) of the 600D manual from the Canon support page from this link (LINK). Click the `Manuals' radio button, select English from the dropdown list, click Search and it will come up with one `camera user guide'. Click to download the zip file then extract the PDF (which is only 1MB bigger than the zip file).

It would be worth keeping an eye on the Amazon price for whichever camera you are interested in as they are forever changing. With the 600D the same page offers you a dropdown menu to toggle between camera body only, camera plus 18-55 lens, and camera plus 18-135 lens (you can find another deal, camera plus 18-55 and 55-200 lenses but this was actually more expensive when I looked than buying the 2nd lens separately!). Buying with one lens is a lot cheaper than camera body and lens separately, unless you want a special lens. Remember what I said about being careful with Amazon bookmarks because you can get bounced to a different page? The same applies to this dropdown list, as you toggle to a different combination you can find yourself buying from an Amazon Associate rather than Amazon and losing the free delivery (and also being charged a different price).


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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 16:57
Like Tizer I have always had excellent service through Amazon. A tip - make sure you sign up with an account and browse a number of cameras.  Go back on a couple of days later and browse again. I'll lay you a bet that within 24 hours you have an email with special offers that were not there previously. Their computers must be programmed to follow up "intensive" browsing with tempting offers. Nolic 


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 18:23
Stanley , my D100 Nikon will take almost all Nikon lenses , with the exception of the earliest "F"  type .....The reason it will not take "F" lenses is simply that the aperture control ring interferes mechanically with the body....later "F" ,"A I", and "AIS "  types have a shallower rear projection and fit perfectly......

One thing to consider , of course , is that the focal length of any given " old" lens has to be regarded as "longer " , by a factor of approx.  X 1.5..... as the sensor in most Nikons is smaller than the 35mm frame .    
Hence 50mm becomes a short Portrait lens  ( "Standard" would be covered by a 28mm or 35 mm).......
I'm happy with my D100  (but the D200 does offer some advantages)......I often use it with a 55mm Micro-Nikkor  f3.5  on completely manual setting ....
Once "exposed " I can look at the picture on the rear screen , and then  make alterations to shutter speed , aperture , or "ASA" rating to correct before making the final picture .....I love it ... It's kept me upto speed with my photography at little or no expense .....and no need for hours in the darkroom ,either !

(Lee Friedlander told me that he felt  the most important aspect of making pictures was to "Work" and not "Loose the craft "........)

Edited by - Bradders on 09/09/2011 11:57:52 PM


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Sunray10
Regular Member


557 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2011 : 23:21
My trusty little pocket Olympus FE 340 8mp digi camera is pretty good and very easy to use. I will use this until it conks out on me and then buy a similar one - but with probably 14mp.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/09/2011 : 06:08
I feel like having a punt Bradders.....  No pockets in a shroud! I did investigate before and found that most of my lens will fit and the ones that don't could be adapted but I don't think I'd bother as they are the longer lens and I don't use them much anyway. I wonder how my 13mm wide angle would have performed! Wonderful lens, sold it for £700 a long time ago.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 10/09/2011 : 12:06
I thought Amazon might break their record of fast Super Saver deliveries to me yesterday, but then at 6.10 in the evening the doorbell rang and a courier stood there with his electronic gizmo and asked me to sign while he dug out the parcel from the van. I said I would sign when he presented me with the parcel so I could check it. Result, one grumpy, grumbling (City Link) courier. At least he was more polite after I signed!

This morning is devoted to getting the camera up and going. The battery is charged and fitted and I've shot a couple of snaps, so at least I know it works. I can't get the best out of it yet because I've only got older SD cards and I'm waiting for a `Category 10' Transcend SD card. Amazon itself doesn't sell them, they have to be through an Associate and there's a £2 deleivery charge (but the card only cost £5). It comes separately and the Associate (Stamford Components) doesn't seem to have the same ideas about fast delivery as Amazon do. I've told Amazon that it's daft to send out an expensive camera on free delivery in 2 days and not make sure the SD card arrives the same day.

Calluna asked about 18 megapixels (MP) and Kev replied that it's image quailty that counts. I agree and I'm sure most photographers would agree too. Unfortunately the camera manufacturers have used MP as an easy way to con customers into repeatedly changing their camera - it's easy to quote an MP number but not easy to define image quality. Most people would be well suited with 6MP even today. For instance, 4MP printed at 100% will give you around A4, 6MP > A3, 10MP > A2. Many people will be like me and never print a photo, only view them on screen. I normally use my Canon G11 at 6MP and only go higher for special reasons, such as when I expect to do major cropping of the photo.

Calluna might have different needs from her camera such as printing very high quality pictures and having them published. Some publishers will set a minimum MP size for submitted photos - the RSPB is an example, for their magazine they want high quality and will only look at very high MP photos. A few years ago the manufacturers ran into trouble because they were squeezing more and more MP from the same sensor and image quality suffered. You got a poorer picture with the higher MP camera. I bought my G11 because Canon had made this mistake with the G10 and then rectified it by launching the G11 with a lower MP than the G10 but higher image quality (this is why it's useful to read reviews and camera forums). Launching things before they have completed development is very common nowadays - it's bad enough with cameras, I just hope the engineers building nuclear reactors, wind turbines,HE dams etc don't go down the same route!


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