Can someone advise me? I'm looking for a good camera.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gazfocus, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #1
    Ok, so I'm an amateur when it comes to photography and cameras.

    I bought a Fujifilm S6500fd last year because 'it looked cool', but really have no idea how to get good quality photo's from it.

    I'm basically looking for a HIGH QUALITY camera (be it compact, or long zoom, not too fussed), although would prefer a compact camera.

    I want something that will take high quality shots both with and without the flash on (my camera tends to blur enverything when the flash is supressed). I'd also like to be able to take photo's of moving objects (such as people dancing, etc).

    I know it's a long shot, but really looking for some help here :)

    I don't REALLY have a budget I need to stick to (basically, if I can afford a suggested camera, I'd buy it), but don't want ridiculously expensive ones :)


    Thanks in advance
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    That is one of the best cameras below a DSLR for low light.

    Did you set the camera to 'auto ISO', or manually to ISO 800 when in low light?
     
  3. the Helix macrumors regular

    the Helix

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    #4
    Look no further...

    You need look no further than a Nikon D3 with the triple lens set of: 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm. Even at night with this set up, you will rarely, if ever, need a flash.

    However you do need to have about $10K handy.
     
  4. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #5
    Hi. As I said, I don't really know alot about camera's. As far as I know it's set to auto ISO. Should I set it manually to 800?

    Man, I feel out of my depth :(
    Although, by looking at that thread, it seems to get the kind of quality I want, I'm going to need a DSLR camera, but all the different lenses confuse the hell out of me. Anyone got any advice? :(
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Try putting it manually in ISO 800, mode S, and select 1/60 as the speed.

    If the aperture (eg: F2.8) appears in red in the indicator, you need to adjust the speed. I don't know if it easily indicates too bright or too dark somehow, otherwise this number would tell you (if it's the biggest aperture at that zoom point (smallest F number) the speed needs to be lower (in this case, 1/30, but you'll probably get hand shake). If it's the smallest aperture (biggest F number), it's too bright, so you need to reduce the exposure (eg: 1/125).

    Instead of lowering the speed, you can increase the ISO, and instead of increasing the speed you can lower the ISO.

    Maybe even the quality at ISO 1600 would be acceptable for you.
    Or, you could shoot RAW instead of JPEG and process the image with something like Noise Ninja.

    Lower ISO means better quality, but don't lower it so much that you have to shoot at a speed where you get hand shake or unwanted subject blur.

    I gave you 1/60 as a starting point for low light, but longer zoom and/or moving subjects might require faster speed.

    I suggested mode S as a way to fix the speed at the slowest acceptable, but you could alternatively use mode A, set the aperture at the largest (eg: F2.8), and increase the ISO if the speed shown in the viewfinder before taking the picture is too low.

    That's the basics to get a basic shot. If you want to adjust the look, you need to adjust 2 parameters, not cranking only one. (eg: in A mode select a smaller aperture for more things to be sharp, but then accept a lower speed and/or higher ISO).

    I hope it's not too confusing. These modes are easy, the camera balances all the parameters, but it let's YOU choose what's most important for your picture.
     
  6. techlover828 macrumors 68020

    techlover828

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #7
    my parents were just like that, they just wanted quality pics for a good price. We ended up with a nikon d50 from amazon. Great camera, couldn't be happier.
     
  7. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #8
    Yes, cheaper than a D3, the best low light performance would be with a D40 or D50 with a big aperture VR lens.

    But I would suggest that he first try taking control of his current camera to be able to assert that he's taking pictures with so low light that he needs a bigger sensor. And eventual expensive lens. And eventual image stabilization when the subject is relatively static or he is zooming a lot.
     
  8. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #9
    Wow, thanks for that. I think I'm gonna have to read over that a few times to take it all in, but really, thanks :)

    I'll have a look at that camera, and all the other suggestions floating around :)
    Thanks
     
  9. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #10
    Thanks again cube for all your advice. Just tried a few shots with the settings you advised (1600 ISO is too noisey), but other than that, the results seemed good in mid light.

    So now, I've gone from the poorer of these 2, to the better (at ISO 800), but it seems that's the best I can get.

    However, the images I'm trying to achieve are of live gigs at church where the lighting is particularly low (all pictures at present have had to be taken with the flash on, which makes them look like they've been taken mid-afternoon with the sun blazing :rolleyes:)

    Again, thanks for your help :)
     

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  10. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #12
    Don't tell me you also need a long zoom.

    In this case for the best of something relatively affordable you are looking at around $2100 (new): D40 or D50 + 70-200 f/2.8 VR

    Oops, UK. Worse.
     
  11. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    Jan 3, 2008
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    Liverpool, UK
    #13
    Hey. No, don't need a long zoom. That pic was taken from my balcony with hardly any zoom at all.
     
  12. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
  13. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    So, if you don't need the long zoom, locate a nice used D50 (_not_ D40) and get the 50mm f/1.4 plain AF prime (or f/1.8 if you want to save a little bit of money).

    Note that at such wide apertures the depth of field is very shallow (eg: with the subject oblique to the picture plane you can get one eye sharp and the other a bit blurred).
     
  14. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #16
    Not particularly, as I said, the purpose of that photo was just to show you a before and after shot when changing the settings.

    As I previously posted, I will be mainly taking photo's of gigs at my church (I am their web developer and looks like I'm taking on the role of anything marketing, so trying to get the right equipment.

    Examples of the setting would be as in the pictures below (you can see they are bad quality photos).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #17
    I can't see the EXIF data.

    What's the speed, aperture and ISO in the picture?
     
  16. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #18
    The first pic settings were:

    Shutter speed: 1/45sec
    Lens Aperture: F/3.1
    ISO Speed: ISO-800


    The second pic settings were:

    Shutter speed: 1/79sec
    Lens Aperture: F/6.4
    ISO Speed: ISO-200

    Both photo's were taken on auto with the flash supressed.
     
  17. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #19
    Yeah, the texture of the first pic looked like ISO 800, and the speed looked too slow by looking at the drummer. But looking at the aperture it doesn't seem like it can be improved much.

    If the lighting stays the same, I would try what you get in mode M at 1/60, F2.8, ISO 800. If it comes a bit underexposed, you can try an easy fix in iPhoto and see if it's acceptable.

    Focus properly, and hold the camera properly.

    http://www.expertvillage.com/video/7613_photo-techniques-hold-camera.htm

    I'm not saying you'll be able to freeze the drummer.

    In the second picture you should have used spot metering.
     
  18. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #20
    Just referring your post earlier, you advised against the D40 camera. Is there a specific reason? (please forgive my ignorance)
     
  19. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #21
    It was just about those "fast" (aperture-wise) prime lenses. They are not AF-S (motor in the lens). The D40, D40x, and D60 do not have a motor in the body, so they cannot autofocus with plain AF lenses (which don't have a motor themselves).
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #22
    BTW, I think in the first picture F3.1 was probably the widest the lens could go at that lens position, so interpret my M indication as widest aperture possible, let it underexpose even more and try fixing in iPhoto.
     
  21. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
  22. gazfocus thread starter macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #24
    Thanks, so I take it the D50 has the motor in the body, is that correct?

    Thanks for your suggestions. I'll have a play with a few more photo's. I did take a couple in RAW on the evening of those other 2 photos so will see what I can do with them.

    May end up looking for a D50 as you suggested though

    Edit: Someone's just suggested I look at a Canon G9. Does anyone have any experience with these?
     
  23. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #25
    gazfocus:

    Before switching to another camera, you may want to learn as much as you can about your camera. The owner's manual is not the best source of information, but some of the camera-specific digital photography guides sold locally, or online. So, if you have a Fujifilm S6500fd camera, buy a "S6500fd" digital photography guide. If you look at Amazon, B&H, etc., you will notice that there are reviews pertaining to the books that have been written for your camera.
     

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