Need a new Camera, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TSE, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. TSE, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

    TSE macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a new camera. I loved my D3200, unfortunately it got stolen. So now that I have played with and owned a DSLR for awhile, I have a better idea on what I want. Suggestions appreciate.


    I am an industrial design major that will mostly use his camera to photograph products I design and create.

    -Studio photography. Products that need to be nicely photographed in a studio setting with good lighting, etc.

    -Outdoor shots. I travel frequently and would like the option of taking good quality shots of landscapes, etc. Low light performance is a consideration.

    My questions:

    -I want a camera that has a lens that can go to zooming into detail shots, but also a lens that excels at landscape?

    -Mirrorless vs. DSLR?

    -Criteria: Image quality > Zoom Lens + landscape lens > Price > Battery Life

    -Price: $1500 AT MOST (but preferably less unless it's worth it) for the camera with a good landscape lens, and a good zoom lens.

    Here's another thought: I am going to Japan for spring break. Do they have a better selection/cheaper prices over there or a certain model that's famous that doesn't exist here?

    Camera's I've been looking at: Nikon D3300, and Sony A6000.
  2. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    Either of your two selections will do what you want. Studio photography of products will vary a bit with products (cars? jewelry?). Landscape and zoom is a bit different.

    If you liked the 3200, Nikon's D3300 will feel very familiar. I like Nikon for still cameras. If there is something that calls to you on the Sony (or a Canon), those are also fine.

    While I believe (and can prove) the old adage about saving money on the body and spending on the glass applies less in the digital age than it did in film, there is still some truth to it. It sounds like it will really apply in your case.

    Get the 3300 or A6000 over a more expensive body, ($400)
    a 50mm F/1.8 ($200)
    a good zoom lens: I use a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-5.6 with vibration control ($400) (Nikon makes a great 18-200 VC lens, but less range and more money. Compare them for your needs. Nikon lenses will sell for more later if you go in a different direction)
    Possibly a macro capable lens depending on your product shot needs. (as budget allows)

    If you opt for the Sony, the lens arrangement could be similar.
  3. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    So if you want small detail (macro) and landscape (wide) shots with one lens, your going to struggle. That's why all decent cameras have interchangeable lenses. One size won't fit all.
    So I would say you are looking at a body and two lenses, although of course you could buy one now and one later.
    As for buying in Japan, they will have the same models and price will depend on your exchange rate to the yen.
    Also be aware you may get stung with import charges and run in to warranty issues if something goes wrong. Search grey import.
  5. skaeight macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    A6000 with the 35mm 1.8. Doug Kay on "all about the gear" said its a better camera (not just a better value) than the ~$1700 7D Mark II.

    I have the Nex-5t with the 35mm 1.8, which is its older little brother and I love it. If I would have had a little bit more budget I definitely would have gone A6000.

    If you want to spend more look at the a7ii. Sony is where it's at now.
  6. Indydenny macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2002
    Sony a6000

    I was debating between the Sony a6000 and the Nikon D5300. Ended up with the Sony, even though I've used Nikons for 20 years.

    There was a bit of a learning curve (still learning) but I'm loving the quality of the photos and the speed of the camera. Maybe the best part is the size of the camera -- it is so nice to carry (compared to my D7000).

    I have the kit lens, a prime 50mm, and a 50-200mm zoom. So far, I'm loving it.
  7. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    I've looked at the Sony mirrors line, and there are things I like. I even use a VG-20 for video, so an upside would be shared lenses.

    I do not like EVF nearly as much as TTL. At least until they come out with some kind of 'retina' version of the EVF where it doesn't LOOK like I am looking at a screen. I tolerate it in video without a choice. I do not care for it with stills.

    I like physical control dials over menus. I often keep the camera up and navigate the D7K by feel. That is hard to do with a touch screen. The A6000 has a control dial, but I find I like the Nikon setup better (but mine is a 7K, not a 3300).

    I don't really agree that it is all about Sony. The A6000 is a nice camera, but so are Nikons, Canons, Panasonics, and whatever the hell the plural of Olympus is (Olympii?).

    To be clear, I do not think either camera is a bad choice. You obviously need two different lenses. I would say that 'struggle' is a generous description for finding one lens to do it all (like it would be a 'struggle' to find an honest politician).

    Someone suggested a D7100. That is an outstanding camera, but it would not leave enough in the stated budget for lenses and you would probably by unhappy, at least until you invested more.
  8. MCAsan, Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

    MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Olympus E-M5 Mark II. It will be released in mid February.

    It will use the sensor-based sterilization system to micro move the sensor. This will allow it to use its 16MB sensor to create 40MB raw files. I imaging that only works for single shot mode with still images.

    Try doing that with a 35mm body where the stabilization is in the lens. ;)

    The other camera company do similarly....Hasselblad
  9. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Hey guys, after doing my research, I think I am going to go with the A6000. It seems to have the same (or better in some cases) image quality in a much smaller, more attractive frame than the D3300. The only advantage I have really discovered the D3300 has is the (almost double) battery life.

    My remaining questions are:

    -Are there any disadvantages to using a mount with third party lenses?

    -What lenses would you recommend for my uses for the A6000?

    Thank you so much MacRumors!
  10. skaeight macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009

    The disadvantage of using a 3rd party lense is you lose OSS (image stabilization). You definitely want this.

    I'm loving my 35 1.8. The 55 1.8 is supposed to be nice too, it's a little cheaper. This is a good guide of all of the options:
  11. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    Lose OIS and, unless its a really good mount, autofocus.

    SEL50F18 (50mm f/1.8) see how that keeps coming up :) You should be able to find one around the $200 point.

    Alternatively, could go the 35mm f1.8 (which is more like 50mm equivalent due to cropping), but those are more expensive.

    Also you could get a 50 f/1.4, but those are also more expensive (~$450)

    Those have OIS.

    the 16mm pancake is well loved, but not stabilized, and can be found for ~$125.

    Sony SEL30M35 30mm f/3.5 e-mount Macro Lens for macro work at just south of $300 if you need macro for your product shots. Otherwise, one of the first 3 lenses will do.

    If you want a long range on the zoom, the 18-200 f/3.5-6 OIS for the NEX camcorders is out there, but will cost as much as your camera if you buy the lens used. New they are around $900. It might be cheaper to find a used VG-10 with the lens still attached.

    For less money, there is the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS at ~$350.

    So, on a $1500 budget -
    It looks like you can get the A6000 with a 16-50 and the above 55-210 zooms for ~$900.

    That will cover a lot of your needs.
    If you need Macro for your product shots, SEL30M35 for another $300.

    If not, pick between the first 3. to 50mm f1.8 is cheaper, the other two are better but will put you right at the limit of your budget. F1.4 has lowlight and DOF in its favor, but only slightly over f1.8 so ask yourself how much you need that.
  12. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I am going to not buy the kit lens. I heard that the kit lens with the A6000 is cheap and not worth it.

    Could you tell me in layman's terms the difference between the 50mm and the 35mm macro lenses you just recommended were? I heard that the lens here: is recommended for general purpose using, and then to buying a macro lens for my product shots. So you recommend the SEL30M35 for product and detail shots?

    Thanks! Yeah, I've been reading that the 35 1.8 is awesome if you can afford it. Is it true that it is basically the vision at which your eyes see?

    Would you guys recommend buying used lenses at all?
  13. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    ok, the 50mm lenses and the 35mm lenses are NOT macro lens. They are just lenses of that focal length.

    The 35mm lens will most closely replicate the 'magnification' level of your own eyes. Sort of "what you see is what you get-ish"

    The SEL50F18 and the SEL35F18 both have a maximum aperture of F1.8. This is pretty good for lowlight. Prices will climb rapidly as that 1.8 number gets smaller. The smaller that number is, the better it works in low light (or the higher shutter speed you can use, hence the term 'fast glass'). Also, it reduces depth of field, so often used for portrait work to isolate subject from background.

    the 50mm lenses are slightly telephoto, a bit more zoomed in than what your eyes see. The 1.4 version just has that next aperture number available, and look at how the price goes up.

    The 30mm SEL30M35 is an actual Macro lens (designed to take close up images of really small things). If your product shots are jewelry or M&M's, this could be important to you. If you are selling furniture, it will be somewhat less so. It has a minimum focus distance of 1 inch (2.54cm if your metric). It will also tackle day to day shooting that you would use one of the other lenses above for (it can focus far away also). Because it is only 30mm, it is not going to be great for close-ups of insects, but you didn't state that as a need.

    The first three lenses are not Macros and will have a minimum focus distance of around 3 feet (1meter if metric) or so. There are little screw on lenses you can attach to them to overcome this, but that isn't as good.

    All of these are actual Sony lenses, so no 3rd party adaptor needed.

    Don't bash the kit lens to harshly, they have their place, and the Nex lenses tend to be hey hunks of metal. And if you can save some money with a bundle, it might be worth it to have that extra lens in your bag "just in case."
  14. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    perhaps a better answer to you question, sorry.

    Because the SEL30M35 has an aperture of 3.5 (note how sony is naming the lens - SEL XX (focal length) M(acro) yy (aperture), it is not as good in lowlight or for things like 'blurring the background.'

    The SEL35F18 is better for those things, but will be not be able to focus on close objects.

    I would go with the SEL35F18 and a screw on filter to make it a macro if I were forcedb to choose just one. There is no 'screw on' for lower aperture.

    If you are going to do a lot of well lit product shots and spend little time in low light and always have a flash, the SELM35 would be a better deal and cost a little less money.

    I do not own either one. I use a SEL50F18 on my camcorder quite a bit though, and like it.
  15. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    If you loved your D3200 and didn't feel limited by it then go for D3300.
  16. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    That's what I thought.
    There is nothing limiting about the D3300 and it's an insane bang for the buck for studio work.
    The DR and noise at base iso competes with the 5d markIII
  17. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Yup there is absolutely no need to spend more if you don't need to.
  18. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    From all the research I've read, it seems as though the A6000 and D3300 are essentially the same camera, the A6000 is just much smaller and, from what I've read, enjoyable to use due to this small size, which I'm interested in.

    I thought maybe the D3300 had better performance when I posted this thread, but from all reviews, they are so close it's a tossup.
  19. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    It is besides the size factor. Better battery life, faster focus, better build and optical viewfinder.

    I personally don't like the form factor of the a6000, nothing beats the grip of a SLR for me :D
  20. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Some of these are subjective. I prefer a good electronic viewfinder to (today's substandard) optical viewfinders. Likewise the grip on a DSLR may usually be bigger but it's offset by the general clunkiness of the thing. Different hands reach different conclusions.
  21. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    In general, the OP's specs are not very demanding. Virtually any interchangeable lens camera, DSLR or mirrorless, would do a good job.

    IMHO, the OP's concerns are more with the lens than the body. I would suggest concentrating of the lens options and then choose the body to go with the lens.

    As to bodies, with a need for studio work and landscape work I would lean toward a body with both an eyelevel VF and a fully articulated rear LCD panel. This would require either a mirrorless body (e.g. Panasonic G6 or GH4, ...) or one of the DSLRs that have such a provision.
  22. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    I find the electronic viewfinders of a lower standard than anything on an SLR camera - ANY SLR camera I have ever used.

    I mean the image you see is what the lens is seeing. At least I do not see individual pixels in real life (maybe you can?) and the jerky motion annoys the daylights out of me. I do like that it is better lit, but not enough to offset the other stuff.
  23. CharlieBrandt09 macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2012
    Southern NJ
  24. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Well, I disagree. Modern optical viewfinders are dim (as you rightly observe) and not nearly as flexible as their digital counterparts. The idea that you're seeing what the lens is seeing is patently false, and even if it wasn't - I'd rather see what the sensor is seeing.

    I'm not sure if you've used many of the pentamirror type DSLR finders that are on cheaper bodies, those are truly dire. Yes, on some digital finders you can see the dots, but I tend not to be looking at the image, not the dots and the lag really should be small to nonexistent on anything recent and decent. Peering through my D600's finder I see vignetting, low contrast, probably distortion from the optical system and it's impossible to judge focus with a fast lens.

    Maybe we just shoot different things. I don't do a lot of high-speed panning for example. I could imagine an optical viewfinder might be better for that. Every time I manual focus a lens on a DSLR and I want to be spot-on I feel like I'm trapped in the dark ages. Where's my zoom? Where's my peaking? The one negative I have found is that, at least on the Nikon V1 I use as my carry-around, the refresh rate seems to be affected by temperatures close to zero, or below.

    Give me a digital camera with the viewfinder of the OM-1 and perhaps we'd be in business.

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