At crossroads

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by InfiniteLoopy, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. InfiniteLoopy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    My cameras are a Canon 400D/Rebel XTI with a 50mm 1.4, a kit zoom and an iPhone 4S.

    For some reason, I seldom shoot; I'll take family photos with the SLR but I'm not exploring the art of creating pictures anymore, despite being passionate about photography. I think I need a new camera. The lack of control on the iPhone and the extremely limited ISO capabilities of the Canon make me want to try something new; try to be emotionally connected to my own photography once more. I know that there's a saying that goes along the lines of "you don't need new gear" but I think I do...

    I'm looking for something smaller than a DSLR, but with an optical viewfinder as I don't think that any EVF is lag-free yet and I am unsure if I could tolerate the lag.

    I'm interested in photojournalism/street and (natural) low light indoors. I'd also favour some sort of stabiliser as I'm not the firmest camera holder. Fast AF is essential too.

    I'm tempted by the X100S, but there's no stabiliser and some reviews indicate that its AF is not great in low light. I'm also unsure if I'd get used to the rangefinder style OVF and am left-eyed with a DSLR, so am unsure about the right-eyed viewfinder.

    Maybe an Olympus OMD but I don't know if 4/3 is too small for a sensor? It also doesn't have an OVF.

    Maybe I'm too used to a DSLR and should get a 6D and 35mm IS? It may be bigger but it's potentially the most flexible and I already have some Canon accessories.

    I'd appreciate advice and thoughts as I don't know what I want. :eek:

    Thanks
     
  2. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    This is confusing to me. :confused:

    If you seldom shoot other than family photos, how does a new camera and lens lead to photojournalism? It sounds to me like you may be trying to skip a couple steps along the way and in the learning process.

    I would be inclined to think carefully about need before getting caught-up in all the technical specs and stuff that will inevitably arise.

    ~ Peter
     
  3. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #3
    I'm no professional and I'm constantly learning so don't take this as a lecture - it's not meant to be, just offering the benefit of my own experiences :) .

    Shooting takes discipline. Most any camera you get will have limitations of some sort that you'll have to live with and find a way around. That's part of the fun and the art. If you're passionate about photography, get out and shoot :)

    Hopefully, it won't take a new piece of electronics to reignite that passion. If so, you'll be back to where you are now as soon as the new wears off. Go learn more about post processing and learn about dealing with the current limitations you feel your cameras impose. For example, learn about dealing with noise, both during exposure and post processing, as an example. This can help when dealing with high ISO scenes. Learn about dealing with slower autofocus systems or learn about using manual focus when you need it in low light situations.

    And this can help should you decide on a new camera too - it will have limitations as well and you'll be armed with more techniques to deal with them.

    On the question of cameras, all of the ones you mention will produce great images. All of them will have limitations of some sort. The good thing is that you're not heavily invested in expensive Canon glass and can move to a new system if you want without a ton of cash penalties. I'd recommend seeing if you can actually handle one or more of them in a local camera store.
     
  4. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #4
    Exactly my thoughts.

    Every camera has it's drawbacks and sometimes you just have to force yourself to shoot even to the point where it doesn't stay 'fun' as that's where you will start to learn and improve yourself.

    I found I wasn't taking many shots so then I started lumbering my Hasselblad 500CM to most places I went knowing full well that even if there was something great I would only be able to take 12 pictures.

    The first few times I ended up just carrying it and never taking a picture. Then I started to take some because I saw something I liked and had it with me.

    Now I am happy to grab the bag hoping that there is something that will take my fancy.

    A new camera isn't really going to make you want to take more pictures or even take better pictures (to a point). I could understand if you only had a DSLR but you have your iPhone on you as well so size isn't the issue.

    My advice would be to really max out the limitations of the cameras you already have. Find one of those posts online that suggests ways to improve the style of photography you are interested. Maybe it's going on a photo walk, maybe it's studying other peoples work.

    Don't let the tool hold you back and just remember that front covers have been shot with the iPhone and with cameras worse than the 400D. I agree that the high iso noise isn't great on the 400D but many film photographers used to have to work with 400 speed film all the time.

    You are right though. Maybe new equipment is the right choice for you but I just hope you have really thought about it and tried your best before dropping quite a lot of money on a new 6D and then if you do, know that it's a brilliant camera (I have one myself)!
     
  5. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #5
    Ok thanks for your replies.

    I should have been clearer. I usually don't do much more than shoot family events, but when I do, I enjoy photojournalism/street. That was my thinking behind getting a new camera. Either a smaller one like the X100S (with all the caveats in my previous post) which I could carry daily, thus have more photo opportunities or maybe climbing the Canon ladder as it would be very flexible (but not small).

    Cameras are all quite different and while tech specs aren't everything, they are still important. For me anyway, as I don't upgrade that often.


    Thanks. I agree with everything you say. I'm not seeking just a new "toy" but I am feeling the limitations of my current gear more than anything else. That's why I was considering alternatives. I realise that no camera is perfect but if I get a new one, I'd rather get one that suits my needs more.

    Maybe new equipment is the right choice, maybe not. I realise that better photos have been taken with lesser cameras and iPhones take comparatively great photos.

    I'm just trying to figure out what's best. A new camera. Which format? A new lens? So many questions. :eek:
     
  6. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    Not to fixate on the photojournalism thing but wasn't it the Chicago Sun Times that dumped their photographers for journalist with iPhones?

    In case I misunderstood…an interest in photojournalism style of photography is significantly different than a career in photojournalism. One can be a hobby that is suited to just about any camera (including the 6D), the other is a career path that would require an investment in education instead of gear.

    ~ Peter
     
  7. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #7
    The X100S does not have a sterilizer because it does not need it. It's got a 23mm f/2 lens, nothing to stabilize :) The AF is not as fast as a DSLR, but it's much improved compared to X100. It's a very nice camera for street/travel/people photography.

    That said, if you don't know what you want, I doubt anyone can help you.

    If you just don't have your creative juices flowing, perhaps you need to start a change from within. Can a new purchase spark the right mood in you? Maybe. But maybe you will need something a bit more esoteric and personal to you, a lifestyle change of sorts.
     
  8. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2010
    #8
    I think it was, and the quality of their photographs suffered because of it.

    Yes, I meant as a hobby. I wouldn't mind some pro work but my focus would be as a hobby.


    Thanks. I know about the stabilisation in the X100S not being necessary, but even on an iPhone, which is also a (more or less) 35mm equivalent, I take some photos that are shaky. I don't know if the X100S would be better due to the bigger body and better physical control.
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    Sounds like you need to go to a camera shop after doing a bit of research and handle some cameras.

    There are many excellent small cameras out there that are impressive. The Fuji X100s being one of them.

    Go to DPReview and see some reviews. You never mentioned what your budget is and if you would consider something like the G series point and shoot by Canon or need something more upscale. Also, go on youtube and look at the Fuji X100s and how it is being used. You may not buy one but it might help you figure out what you want and the level of quality.

    FYI - years ago I did both "pro" work and some fine art. I have used everything from 4x5/5x7, medium format, 35mm etc. I have owned previously 2 digital cameras and had to stop for a long while. Now I am enjoying photography again and what I use -
    Fuji X-E1 and Fuji X-E2. 18-55, 55-200, 35 1.4.

    It takes a bit of time to wrap one's head around these newer cameras. Olympus has a good little system as well that has very fast focus. If you like retro both of the above are excellent. Retro as in more dials/external controls that allow for decisions when you are not setting everything to auto.
     
  10. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #10
    If you don't loan your camera out to somebody with a cold you shouldn't need a sterilizer. ;)
     
  11. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #11
    I shoot solely with an X100 regularly around 1/30 sec and don't have any issues with it not being stabilised. I've shot lower than that with good results too. As long as you've got a good grip and take your time OIS isn't a must have.

    The low light AF does hunt a bit on mine but not to the point of aggravation and I believe it's a lot better on the X100S.

    I'm also a left eye shooter and have no problem with the viewfinder being on the left. If anything it helps stabilise the camera a bit more because it's smushed up against my face.

    I love mine and take it everywhere with me. I wouldn't do that with a DSLR.

    Here's a shot at 1/15sec ISO 1600 to show why I don't find the lack of OIS an issue:

    [​IMG]

    One at 1/30 sec ISO 1250 on a moving train:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #12
    LOL, even when autocorrect fails, at least it brings a smile to someone's face. :)
     
  13. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #13
    Thanks. I've already done research on the usual sites but am still struggling to make my mind up. I'm looking for something prosumer/low-end pro; essentially DSLR-like, but that can be carried everywhere. That's why the X100S and Olympus interest me.


    Thanks for the photos. Would colour photos with these settings have any visible noise? What do you miss on the X100 that are on DSLRs?
    Any other indoor low natural light shots are welcome. :p
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    I think the Fuji and Olympus are excellent choices. Each maker brings advantages to the table so its a matter of finding what works best for you and your budget.
     
  15. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #15
    Maybe you and your camera need therapy to discuss "performance issues"? Lol JUST KIDDING! I've felt the same way and right now I don't hate photography but its more of a job than a passion right now, thats probably because I prefer video/motion film work over pictures and right now I'm getting hounded with all still work but I find that when I see a good photo my spirit gets re-kindled. Maybe look at new glass first, I want a Canon 6D very badly but its not in the budget right now and honestly my next camera should be a compact....

    MacRy's X100S has been getting to me, those photos make me want to go take photos RIGHT NOW (and I feel like crap right now!), of course the X100S has a unique look and I am SOOO tempted to sell some stuff and jump on that band wagon but that would be insane at this moment where I need other equipment for video. MacRy would you mind sharing your post edit settings or in camera settings for those two monochrome photos? I absolutely LOVE that look and while my camera only has a mere mortal bayer sensor (Lol...) I'd love to try and get that look for my monochrome work...the one on the train is awesome, very contrasty...
     
  16. MrGIS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #16
    I'm not convinced a new camera will cure your emotional issues, but the GX7 is a great option. No, micro 4/3 sensors are not "too small"....


    http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/gx7/
     
  17. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #17
    Really? You do know that Hasselblads are reloadable, right? (I kid, of course; I often go out with my 8-shot Fuji with 3 or 4 extra rolls in my pocket but end up not even finishing what's in the camera.)
     
  18. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #18
    I think you've hit a very important point here: a person needs inspiration, and sometimes you have to go and get it somewhere. The trick though is not to look at some awesome photos and say, hey, I need to get me that same camera, no! You look, you look some more, then you grab your gear and shoot something.

    There is a fine line there of course, because after you look at some of the really high caliber stuff, you may find yourself feeling kind of deficient for a couple of days, but looking at beautiful things is a good way to get yourself inspired. Go to a beautiful location, visit an art gallery, or just view some artwork (photographic or otherwise) online, there are so many sites that feature great thematic collections.
     
  19. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #19
    At crossroads

    Noise does creep in at higher ISO settings, as you would expect, but it's nice film-like grainy noise usually.

    This was shot at ISO 1600, f2, 1/17sec so fairly comparable and it has noise but I can still live with the image quality.

    [​IMG]

    This at ISO 1240, f2, 1/30sec in a very dimly lit pub at night.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, this isn't a very good photo as I was quite drunk, it was freezing and I just wanted to test out the low light capabilities myself .

    ISO 3200, f2, 1/15sec.

    [​IMG]

    The thing that I do miss sometimes is the ability to have a telephoto lens. I can live with that though if it means I actually take my camera out with me rather than leaving it at home. Sometimes faster autofocus would be nice too ;)
     
  20. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #20
    I may be overly materialistic and nostalgic because the new Nikon Df (black on silver) would inspire me. I was in a camera shop the other day and got to play with one for a bit. Tech specs and performance aside, it's definitely a thing of beauty and a work artful craftsmanship.

    ~ Peter
     
  21. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #21
    Mine's actually the X100 and not the S so I don't have a fancy X-Trans sensor in mine, just the boring old mortal bayer filter array like yours ;)

    My train pic was a combination of in camera settings of black and white with a green filter, coupled with some hard highlight, sharpness and shadow tone settings. Then I upped the clarity in Lightroom quite a bit along with a bit of contrast.
     
  22. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    Sunnyvale
    #22
    I think I can relate to that, but I try to find less costly ways of inspiration, because once the effect of one thing wears off, I'm gonna need another, and it better not leave me broke after a few cycles ;).
     
  23. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

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    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    I'd just like to add to MacRy's post. Another Fuji user here. I have the X100 too and the Fuji X-E1 with electronic viewfinder and interchangeable lenses. My reason for changing from a DSLR was because it was just too big and heavy for me and I found it was staying home and I wasn't doing photography any more. This may or may not be how you feel but now I have a camera with me constantly and I've never had so much fun in my life! :)

    There is an X-Pro1 with a hybrid viewfinder and interchangeable lenses that's a bit bigger, though lighter than a DSLR, and is a lot cheaper than it was with a number of good quality second-hand ones around.

    It would be interesting to know what you decide in the end.
     
  24. MacRy macrumors 68040

    MacRy

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    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #24
    I can totally relate to that Peter (hence me having an X100). At what point did it become unimportant for a camera to look pretty as well as being a useful tool? Part of the turn off for me with DSLRs is the fact that they are generally big old hunks of utilitarian plastic rather than something which looks like it's had some thought put into it's design from an aesthetic standpoint. I think the new Olympus EM1 is a case in point. The EM5 was a pretty little camera but had some shortcomings which they "fixed" with the EM1. The main point being the grip.....which now looks like it has been hurriedly glued on as an afterthought.

    Don't mean to offend any EM1 owners. They look like a brilliant camera.....just with a face that only a mother could love ;)
     
  25. acearchie, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #25
    Just for comparison here are some shots from my 6D in low light.

    ISO 4000

    [​IMG]
    Paris by acearchie, on Flickr

    ISO 12800

    [​IMG]
    Home At Night by acearchie, on Flickr

    ISO 6400

    [​IMG]
    Alex by acearchie, on Flickr
     

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