Camera Enthusiasts?

I had a slr film in highschool and loved it but my interests quickly changed to just getting high.

I’m looking to start this hobby back up and heard this is a good time of year to find deals on older models. But, I don’t really know what I’m looking at.

I’m leaning towards a DSLR but wondering if Mirrorless might be the way to go. The bundle packages sure are enticing but it is better to just buy a body and one or two better quality lenses? Ideally something user friendly for beginners but with plenty of features to grow into. Googling is getting overwhelming.

Anyone have any tips, suggestions, resources, etc…

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I dont have any suggestions but I used to be the same way in high school. Always had a camera in my bag and I trudged around my dads gigantic camcorder to tape all our fun antics. But lost all creative desire once I graduated so theres a huge chunk of my life that was never documented. Probably for the best bc it was a dark time. Hope you find what you’re looking for! :film_projector::camera_flash:

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Digital Photography Review is one of the oldest, most thorough and reliable places to research your purchase.

More specifically to you, check out the buying guides section to quickly shortlist the best options in your budget and most suitable for the type of work you want to focus on.

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Hey @Jane.c, so I’ve got recommendations but it’s really hard to talk cameras without talking money too. Do you have a ballpark amount you want to spend on the body?

Some other guiding questions (just assuming you’re well versed in photo stuff so let me know if you don’t know):

  1. Do you care about Full-Frame vs. Crop Sensors
  2. Do you care about eco-system loyalty (Canon w/ Canon lenses, Fuji with Fuji lenses, etc)
  3. Do you care about shooting video? If so, for what purpose? More pro stuff or just for fun?
  4. Do you plan on editing photos heavily on a computer after shooting? (are you comfortable with digital camera RAW files?)

If this is all a bunch of tech-talk let me know – SLR photography has many shared attributes, but the digital and mirror less wave brought major changes too.

I hope I can help you find a great camera! The short answer to your question above is that mirrorless cameras have taken over the market, and DSLRs exist mostly because people shot on them for so long, and prefer their shutter feel. I’d recommend going mirrorless, but we need more info to get you all set up!

Edit: also your fundage is going to totally determine the lenses answer. Better quality lenses can be more expensive than the body, but they’re a great investment if you’re looking to build a solid collection. Also do be aware each company has their own lens mount type so you’ll want to largely pick one lens mount type to stick to.

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Wow, how thorough and over my head :joy:
Thank you though, I appreciate all of your input.

  1. Full-frame
  2. Nope, don’t care. Should I?
  3. Yes, but just for fun. I don’t think 4k video is a must.
  4. Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t have Adobe or any editing software. Not sure if that’s something I’ll get into in the future.

Our budget is $600-1000 for this. Can you not get more for your money with a DSLR over Mirrorless?
Thanks again! Is this just a hobby for you, do you do this professionally?

Count me in on this thread.

I have a Sony Alpha 6000 that someone gave me. It has a short lens on it for point and shoot. I don’t feel the photos look nearly as good as I want them to. Not sure if it is the camera or me?

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Hey @Jane.c, I work as a support tech for a university’s cinema department, and I’ve been shooting landscapes and portraits for around 5 years, so I’ve been steeped in this water a while, not as long as a pro-photographer by any means. Thus the overkill questions!

So here’s my (regrettably lengthy!) breakdown:

  1. Full-frame for less than $1000 is hard to find. Canon has their EOS-RP, Sony has their older A7 and A7ii, but that’s riding at the top of your budget without a lens. I’d seriously consider how big of a difference shooting APS-C will make for the photos you’re most interested in taking. I personally am looking to buy a Fujifilm XT-3 (may wait for an XT-4 now), which is APS-C, but a stunning camera from a usability perspective.
  2. The only time this matters is lens mounts and certain perks like stabilizers working better as a team of lens & body. I’d say if you’re looking for the biggest established lens mounts you’ve got Canon EF as #1, Nikon’s coming up next, with Sony, Fuji, Panasonic’s MFT following. Just be aware of what mount the camera has, and if there are good native options, and what your options to adapt-to are. Like an MFT-Canon EF adapter.
  3. Sony is leading video along with Panasonic, with Fuji pulling up recently. Nikon has always trailed, and Canon is trying to climb back up into relevancy for video shooters. That said, a common complaint about Sony’s smaller cameras are that their controls are fiddly and their menus are frustrating. Canon, in my experience, has a great in hand feel across much of their line, and they seem to get ergonomics. The bigger Fuji’s are great too, a little more of an old-school vibe which is fun. I’d always recommend trying to find a camera store locally to hold the cameras in hand and get a feel for them. It’s surprisingly important.
  4. I’d recommend that you may want to take a look at some RAW photo editing videos on YouTube. It’s a remarkable kind of image capture that blows files like JPEG out of the water for clean-up and clarity. But, if you’re more the type to shoot for it in camera, and see what you get, more power to ya! I’d recommend the Fuji XT-30 here, it’s a cheaper camera that can be gotten with a lens for ~850? Maybe? I think on B&H. Fuji did an awesome job carrying over some of their film stock looks into their camera’s color science. Cool stuff.

Basically any camera that was made in the past 2-3 years that feels good in your hand, and makes you want to take photos is a great camera for you! It’s suuuper common for those researching photography to get bogged down in specs that don’t matter unless you’re really flexing the field (large format printing, low light photography, high speed sports photography, etc.).

The rule of thumb is: the best camera in the world is the one you’ve got with you. So if you’re getting back into shooting photos for the fun and engagement of it, pick something with a bit of romance to it, that makes you excited to go out and snap photos with it! Feel free to shoot me any more questions you have! My recommendation for you is the Fujifilm XT-30 with a kit lens. Solid camera, and a great move for someone coming from film photography.

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Hey @GVLNative, the 6000 is a great camera. I had a lot of friends in college who had one of the 6000 range cameras, and the photos coming out were great.

I think there’s a huge value in really taking the time to pick apart why a photo bothers you, and to try to articulate it. I think this whole discussion of the technical elements of art (in the fine arts especially) is an effort to get everyone who wants to produce an art piece to speak a common language, that they can use to learn how to make to the best of their ability.

I really think everyone has an artistic gift in them, and learning the mechanics behind the tools of the art that appeals to them is the necessary step toward better mastering the art form.

Basically, all different artistic expressions from music to photography to filmmaking to finer arts are a collection of languages one can learn. Yes, if you’re born into a language, it feels more comfortable, but anyone can learn a language with enough repetition. It’s a conversation: you and the tools at first, and eventually, once you get the challenge of the tools out of the way, it’s a conversation between you and you. That’s where good art happens I think.

When people doubt their ability to make incredible art, I always hear it as “they haven’t spoken the language long enough”. It also works like learning a spoken language, in that immersing yourself in the field of other people speaking it only accelerates and deepens the learning of it.

Just my 3 cents haha

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I think the lens Is a bit limited since it is short and cannot zoom to capture nature and bird photos well. I don’t want to go crazy on several lenses, but need something to allow me to have good zooming capabilities. Not sure if you have any recommendations?

OK, do you have a budget in mind? It really is true that when it comes to photo gear, money does tend to equal quality in most places.

Also, do you need to take the photos in low light at all, or do you plan to do most of the photography during the day time/outdoors?

Also do you have a Sony to EF mount adapter?

@TheJK
I am a buy the best and buy it once kind of guy.
I normally do not shoot a ton of low light situations.
Sony to EF what?

Hey @GVLNative, sounds like you may want to look at Sony’s E-mount G-Master lineup on their website. I’m not a pro on the Sony lineup, and I mostly know cinema glass, but Canon’s L lineup is hard to miss with, and Sigma’s art series is another serious contender. One of the most recommended lenses out there is the Sigma 18-35 art, but that’s not enough of a range for you.

I’d recommend checking out all of the 24-105 f/4 options out there. They’re a solid “do it all” lens option, but 105 may still not be tight enough, even on an APS-C sensor. Sony’s got some great looking g masters that run out farther than 105 as well.

I’d not go above an f/4 minimum aperture as well.

The adapter I mention is a Sony E-mount (your camera’s style lens mount) , to Canon-EF mount adapter. Check out the Metabones Speedbooster and you’ll see what I’m saying. It’ll free you up to use different lenses with different mounts, so long as they’re Full-frame lenses, not just APS-C coverage.

I will say, if you ever plan to take landscape photos, the Sigma 18-35 is a beautiful lens. It’s next up on my personal purchase list, after the body mentioned above.

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@TheJK
Doing research now. I am going to order something soon, before Spring comes. Thanks for the suggestions. I am building a comparison sheet.

What do you think of the Sony Alpha a6100?

The 6100 is Sony’s side of the same market the Fuji XT-30 sits in. Similar to Canon & Nikon’s entry-level dslrs.

Like the XT-30, it’s a fantastic example of higher end specs and performance reaching an affordable price-point. My main personal gripe with the Sony A6000 series cameras is their body and feel. Something about them doesn’t sit well in my hands. The menus also tend to confuse and frustrate many of the owners I’ve spoken to. That said, it’s a super subjective thing, and it could be a great fit for you. If you have the chance, taking a look at any of these cameras in a store where you can hold them for a bit will give you loads of good feedback you can’t get online.

Sony’s video recording and autofocus are a couple stand out features on the 6000s. The mount is also very adaptable, so if you wanted to experiment with vintage lenses for instance, you’d be able to get a Sony-E to FD or such adapter.

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Thanks for the info. I’ve heard about the menu issue in a lot of negative reviews I’ve read for it. The price is down alot, 598 for the body or 698 with 16-50 mm so I was thinking about it as an option. I do plan on going to get a feel for them as soon as I have a better idea for what my top picks are.