Camera purchase advice

Recently, my wife and I have been thinking about whether we should upgrade to a dedicated camera from just using our smartphones (iPhone SE and Galaxy). At a couple of my daughter's events, my wife's friends have sent us some very nice photos they took on their fancy looking cameras that look way better than what we took.

Anyway, we'd love to take those kinds of pics but we're both novice photographers so we're worried about whether we'd get value from a nice camera. I know that a dedicated camera has true optical zoom but I'm unsure about the other differences. We'd also like to take videos with it. We're wondering what would be a nice camera to get that would be an appreciable upgrade over our phones even though we're novices.

Thanks!

TBH, I'd take the money you want to spend on a camera and use it to upgrade one of your phones. The latest iPhone and Galaxy have vastly better cameras than the iPhone SE, and you'll always have it with you. It'll make all your photos better, not just the ones you remember to take your better camera for.

You might get some more feedback and see other fairly recent answers to similar questions in this thread: https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

Sweet, thanks! My search-fu failed to find that one.

I had considered the smart phone upgrade path, but outside of the camera there isn't much I want and stuff I'm not a fan of like face id, large size, and no headphone jack. Of course it seems inevitable that one day I'll have to put up with all that stuff but until then...

Cross-posting from the photography thread:

Tanglebones wrote:
Mr GT Chris wrote:

Cross posting from a thread I created. Will read through more.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

Recently, my wife and I have been thinking about whether we should upgrade to a dedicated camera from just using our smartphones (iPhone SE and Galaxy). At a couple of my daughter's events, my wife's friends have sent us some very nice photos they took on their fancy looking cameras that look way better than what we took.

Anyway, we'd love to take those kinds of pics but we're both novice photographers so we're worried about whether we'd get value from a nice camera. I know that a dedicated camera has true optical zoom but I'm unsure about the other differences. We'd also like to take videos with it. We're wondering what would be a nice camera to get that would be an appreciable upgrade over our phones even though we're novices.

Thanks!

So, it's a bit of a complicated question, but first off, what kind of photography are you planning on doing with the new camera? Portraits of family/pets/friends? Landscapes? Tourist stuff or nature?

If you want the flexibility to do all of those, you'll probably want to get a baseline Canon or Nikon with a starter lens (kit lens), usually with an 18-55mm range (basically going from somewhat wider than the normal human field of vision to somewhat more narrow). Those camera bodies will allow you to branch out into different lenses if you want to experiment more - telephoto lenses for shooting animals, or ultra-wide lenses for shooting real estate, etc., etc., etc..

The most important thing to study up on when you get a new camera is the exposure triangle - the interaction of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture that controls how much light gets into your camera:

Edit to add: if you're looking for a great camera that has a more fixed field of view, Fuji makes a great series of cameras that start with X100 which equate to a 35mm field of view (roughly the same as what you see with the human eye). I think all of the other manufacturers have similar ones.

One-up them and get a Lenovo 180 degree camera and capture everything in stereoscopic VR compatible glory!

I have a relatively small mirrorless DSLR. First gen Sony NEX. Super quality point and shoot operation with speedy response and excellent low light performance. I used it until I got my Pixel. Free cloud storage of anything I record with the device, automatic uploading, easy sharing... And a good enough image sensor to pull of great shots with minimal to no effort.

For a while I was the guy standing off to the side with the large room lens trying to spot a good shot. Now I just pop the phone out of my pocket, snap a few pics, and get back to chasing after the kid.

Get what you will use and can carry without losing the ability to enjoy what you're there to record. 2 cents.

Yeah I have any number of fancy cameras from big to small and while they take some fantastic pictures nothing beats a high quality smartphone camera. It’s fast and immediate and allows you to be always ready to catch a moment.

I'd echo the rec for the Pixel, but if you're in the mood for a compact, the Canon G7 X Mk2 is pretty good. Or you may prefer a video cam, in which case you might want to consider the GoPro Hero 7.

As of the Pixel 2, I'm finally happy with smartphone photo tech. That said, I still need a DSLR with a lens set to f/1.8 or so in aperture priority mode to get great pictures of people.

It all really comes down to use cases. If you just want to do stuff in the 23 mm focal range, smartphones are fine. If you want flexibility, or to specifically shoot something more complicated, you'll probably want a DSLR or mirrorless

Thanks for the feedback all, I posted back in the other thread:
https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

Hi, all

On a recent holiday, it emerged that my partner has developed an interest in - and some aptitude for - photography. She's currently making to do with the camera on her phone (!!), and I'd like to buy her a dedicated digital camera to help her take the next step.

I'd welcome advice on:

1 - The type of camera (e.g. compact, digital SLR0
2 - Budget (bearing in mind that this interest might wither on the vine, I'd like to spend enough to get a decent piece of equipment without spending so much that I'd sulk if the camera went unused)
3 - Brands & models

Thanks.

What subjects is she interested in shooting, and what budget are you able/willing to begin with, initially? Keep in mind, the amount of budget you can keep adding is nearly infinite

Hi, Tanblebones

At the moment, it appears to be landscapes. We were on a cruise in Norway last week, so she photographed a a few seascapes, lots of fjords and a few mountains.

In terms of budget, does £400 - £500 feel reasonable? I guess I'm looking for a camera that will allow her to go from point-and-shoot on to beginning to learn about the effects of changing settings (ISO, shutter speed, aperture).

I don't want something intimidating to play with (e.g. fat manual, loads of menus and sub-menus).

detroit20 wrote:

Hi, Tanblebones

At the moment, it appears to be landscapes. We were on a cruise in Norway last week, so she photographed a a few seascapes, lots of fjords and a few mountains.

In terms of budget, does £400 - £500 feel reasonable? I guess I'm looking for a camera that will allow her to go from point-and-shoot on to beginning to learn about the effects of changing settings (ISO, shutter speed, aperture).

I don't want something intimidating to play with (e.g. fat manual, loads of menus and sub-menus).

Ok, so everything is going to have a fat manual and loads of menus regardless, but you can get a very nice starting DSLR or mirrorless camera+lens in that budget range - if you look at my post much earlier in the thread, Nikon and Canon both have very solid kits that will allow her to start off by putting the camera on more automated settings, and then learning how to use the additional settings if she wants to.

An 18-55mm lens or 24-70 for full frame cameras is usually the range you get with the kit lens (the one that comes with the camera in a starter bundle). At 18mm, you can do justice to most landscapes - it's not as wide as a dedicated landscape photographer might prefer, but it's plenty good for effectively about $200 on top of the camera body's cost. On the other side of the range, 55mm is plenty good for portrait and street photography, so she'll be covered if she wants to expand her interests without investing in a new lens right away.

Thanks, Tanglebones. I'll start shopping...

Any of the starter DSLR + kit lens (or two) setups would probably be fine for you.

Amazon - Nikon D5600 DSLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED

That's the camera body, an 18-55 (wide angle) and 70-300 (telephoto) lenses. ~$600.

That's more than enough to get started. You can even find a decent 35/50mm prime lens that would fit for under $200 at some point.

And Tony & Chelsea do great videos detailing cameras, going through settings, etc. Basically a video manual +

Also their book owns and is invaluable:
Stunning Digital Photography
(also available on Amazon, etc)