Need help picking digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kreasonos, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. kreasonos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #1
    Can someone help me pick a digital camera that takes better low light photos than my iPhone 6? So many choices! I'm looking at the fujifilm x100t or the canon eos 7d mark ii. I prefer something more compact than a dslr and i don't need to change lenses. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    The Fuji is an extraordinary little camera that is great if the focal length of the fixed lens meets your needs. On the other hand, you could get Fuji's XT1 and add their pancake 27mm lens. If later you change your mind and want other lenses, the option is there. Similar can be said of other makes from various makers such as Olympus, Sony, Panasonic etc.

    Just be aware, while I personally would get the Fuji x100t, if you shoot RAW you will want a superior post processing software rather than iPhoto, Lightroom or Aperture. If the latter two are of interest, then consider Photo Ninja as a "quasi plug in." Photo Ninja does extremely well with Fuji RAW (RAF) files. I'll just finish by saying that the jpegs from the Fuji cameras are some of the very best and many people simply shoot jpegs or jpeg+RAW because they are that good. (I'll avoid superlatives here though tempting.)
     
  3. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502

    kingalexthe1st

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    Apr 13, 2013
    #3
    Well the Canon 7D MkII is a DSLR that can change lenses, so I guess that puts that one to bed.

    The x100t doesn't have a zoom lens either, just to be clear. It's a fixed focal length. I own the x100s and I sold all my Canon gear after getting it; it's a stellar camera. It handles well in low light (better than my iPhone 6+) but that's to be expected.

    Another one to consider is the Olympus OM-D EM-10. It's a micro 4/3 camera, and has interchangable lenses (but comes with a good zoom kit lens). The cool thing about it is that it has Optical Image Stabilisation built in to the body, greatly increasing your low-light ability. I've seen perfectly good images taken with it that have had a hand-held 1s shutter speed.

    Sorry if I've made the decision harder for you now, not easier :)

    Good luck in your hunt!
    Alex

    ----------

    This is a really good point, and it's what I do. With my canon, I found I would have to spend as much time in front of the computer processing the pics as I did taking them. With the fuji, the pics are great right out of camera which means more time being trigger-happy :)

    Alex
     
  4. kreasonos thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #4
    Thank you both for the responses. I read about the Olympus and it seems great. Out of the x100t, xt1, and om-d em1, which would do the best at video? I would like to be able to put the camera on a tripod and video my son's soccer games too. Thank you for your help and suggestions!
     
  5. Ish macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Hi kreasons and welcome! It's always exciting moving into the world of photography. I think just about any camera will take better photos than even the best phone cameras so you've a wide field from which to choose. I don't have experience of a wide range but I'm sure people will chip in and suggest ones they like.

    The Fujifilm X100T is just coming out now and is a good upgrade from the X100 and X100S. I shall get one myself soon but they're not available here yet. How seriously do you want to take your photography? This is a camera that isn't pitched at beginners; however, if you're interested in learning then you can turn the aperture and speed dials to auto and go on from there. Just be aware that there'll be a bit of a learning curve. There are whole forums on the web for this range you might want to look at if you want to know more. The X100S is cheaper and the quality of the photos from all these cameras is very good.

    You say you prefer something smaller than a DSLR, but the 7D mark II is a DSLR and quite a big one. One of the entry level, or near entry level models from Canon and Nikon will be much more compact.

    Those are two pretty expensive cameras you've mentioned. Maybe you can say a little more about what you like to shoot and what type of budget you're looking at? You say you won't need to change lenses. If you're sure you won't need that flexibility there's no point lugging a DSLR about.


    The Fuji is primarily a quality stills camera. It will take video but not as well as some others. It's more for people that just want odd snatches of this and that. I don't shoot video so can't suggest anything myself but I'm sure others will.
     
  6. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502

    kingalexthe1st

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    Apr 13, 2013
    #6
    Well, they all take video (somebody correct me if I'm wrong), but the x100t's fixed 35mm field-of-view will be too wide for a soccer game, I think. The xt1 is a very tempting camera but, while smaller than a DSLR, is still a little hefty for some once a lens is attached. I would recommend the EM-10 in this instance as it's small, the lenses are small, it comes with OIS for your low-light pics you mentioned, and the picture quality is great.

    If I can offer just one piece of advice - all these suggestions can't describe how the camera feels to you. I know that sounds soppy, but I bought the EM-10 without trying it first and it just felt like it was missing something. A lot of people love it, but it wasn't for me. I went with the x100s not just because of all that has been said but because it makes me feel like a kid at xmas every time I use it. So I'd say go to shop and try them out.

    Alex
     
  7. kreasonos thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #7
    It sounds like there will be a compromise. None seem to do video well. Hmm, can you guys recommend a different camera that does video well too? Budget, hmm, don't want to spend more than $3000
     
  8. admwright macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    When you include video the cameras that seems to get the best reviews are the Panasonic GH range. This is a m4/3 system and should be within your budget.
     
  9. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #9
    OK....better low light than an iphone and your budget is $3k...It would probably be helpful to continue narrowing down the type of camera and features you really want. The options are endless especially with that budget. If you don't want something as large as a DSLR and you don't want to bother changing lenses then it's gonna be hard to spend $3k;)

    If video is a high priority here are two that I'd take a look at. (Sony Alpha A6000 and Panasonic GH3)

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Alpha-Interchangeable-Camera-16-50mm/dp/B00I8BICB2/ref=sr_1_1?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1416486075&sr=1-1&keywords=sony+a6000

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/892456-REG/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_GH3_Mirrorless_Digital.html

    I think you'd find that videoing soccer games to be a little difficult with most dedicated still cameras especially if you want to zoom in and out and follow the action. Some do better than others though. With that budget you might consider a top of the line compact still camera like the Fuji, Sony, or Olympus, and a nice dedicated compact HD camcorder like a Canon Vixia G10 or G20. Carrying both in a single camera bag would be about like a full size DSLR.
     
  10. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

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    Mar 8, 2010
    #10
    I keep looking at that list and thinking sony rx100 (mkI, 2 & 3) all well within that budget..would a top end PAS Suffice for you needs..

    I have owned the x100s and its an excellent camera its low light capabilities are fantastic..but it is a fixed focal length and more of an enthusiast camera..

    ...if you shoot mainly in auto modes then the Sony might be worth a look?
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    With your budget the sony A7s seems to be the obvious choice.
    • It's the best camera made so far for lowlight.
    • It's specifically made with video in mind.
    • It's compact.
    • As a bonus: you can change the lenses.

    Don't know why anyone is even suggesting something different.
    Fuji is not ideal for video and the 7d ii is a very specialized sports dslr that has subpar lowlight performance.
     
  12. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #12
    Given the OPs budget of $3k, you're probably spot on with the suggestion. That would be one helluva upgrade from the iphone 6 if that's the OPs only experience with digital cameras. Looks like you could pick one up with a 28-70 lens for just under $3k. All I'd say is that it depends on if the OPs budget is what it is because the OP wants the top of the line or that's just what's capable of being spent. I'd wager that you could cut that budget in half and still be blown away in comparison to the iPhone 6 outputs.

    One question to the OP that might help narrow it down is....When you are shooting soccer videos how important is the ability to zoom and do you want to zoom by rotating the zoom ring on a lens or by actuating a T/W button on the camera. Do you want your camera to be high quality and simple/automated or high quality and feature/option/setting rich? Ok, that was two questions.
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    In most cases, trying to get great compactness, excellent low light stills and decent ability to do video is going to equal - a lot of compromises. Someone suggest possibly getting one still camera and one video camera. There is pretty sound logic to this approach.

    1) you don't have to share the memory cards going between the two.
    2) you don't get riddled with still camera compromises whens shooting video.
    3) many video cameras are fairly small and light and provide better features.
    4) many video cameras do better with focus while zooming.
    5) almost always video cameras are a better fit than still cameras doing video for sports.

    The list goes on. Trying to get a one camera to do everything and remain on the small side has just too many drawbacks (for someone like me).
     
  14. FieldingMellish Suspended

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  15. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502

    kingalexthe1st

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    Apr 13, 2013
    #15
    Well Sony has literally just announced the A7 mk ii, with 5-axis image stabilisation (a la Olympus) and faster autofocus than the previous A7. So there's your low-light, focus-tracking video camera right there. Currently only announced in Japan for $1600, but it'll come to the US soon enough.

    Alex
     
  16. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Folding space
    #16
    I shoot nothing but DSLR with a 7D and don't do video. That said I believe that unless you go to a very high end camera like a 5D III you are going to have compromises trying to combine video and stills in the same box. You will be best off with a descent video camera and easy to handle small digital camera like one of the m4/3 systems that are out there.

    Good low light cameras have powerful sensors and fast lenses. They are all DSLR and very $$$$ish.

    Dale
     
  17. kreasonos thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #17
    Ok, if I went with a quality still camera and a separate video camera. What would you guys recommend for a video camera? Mostly using it for soccer games during the day and some low light because some games are closer to evening.
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    $3K. You can do VERY well for that. You are looking a an SLR.

    The laws of physics basically say that for low light you want the largest sensor you can find. Not the one with the most pixels but the one that is physically larger. The full size SLR sensor 24mm x 36mm. Compared to that everything else in your price range is tiny.

    The other thing you need to look at is the lens. The lens matters a lot. For low light you need BOTH a fast "fast" maximum aperture of at least f/2.8 but better f/1.4 and also optical image stabilization.

    If you want a camera that issued at video of an outdoor soccer game and also low light photography you are really looking at an interchangeable lens SLR and you CAN pick up such a system for under $3K. In fact you could find one for much less.
     
  19. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    What you say makes good sense and is logical. I'll simply belong to the other camp and go for a still camera and a video camera because there is less compromise. I will say that a high end still camers (DSLR) can do very good video but that is not within a 3000 budget with the fast lenses one would ideally get.
     
  20. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #21
    I like the Canon Vixia series and if I was upgrading I'd look at the HF G30, HF G20, or the HF R52. The HF R52 is probably the best value and the Canons do pretty well in low light. I've also stuck with Canon for video becuase I've never had any issue with working with the files in iMovie straight from the camera.

    Full disclosure...I do a lot of video/photography of my kids sports and I currently use a Nikon DSLR and a Canon camcorder so I'm used to having both. I am open to the possibility that when I upgrade to my next DSLR (soon) that if the video capability of the camera is good enough I might ditch the camcorder. I haven't so far because I do not like shooting video with my D90 and the quality is sub-par.
     
  21. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #22
    JDDavis - I by chance decided to click your folio link and just had to say - thanks for sharing and nice to see some excellent images. As jaded as I am, seeing good craft inspires me.
     
  22. Meister, Nov 21, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #23
    L.

    I thought the OP wanted one compact solution. with 3k$ his choices are plentyfull and of course a ff dslr and a camcorder are an even better solution if compactness doesnt matter.
     
  23. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #24
    Phrehdd - Thanks for the compliment. Much appreciated.

    ----------

    The $3k budget kind of makes it more difficult to offer a single solution. I gathered from early on the OP wanted to keep it compact. With that budget a high end compact mirrorless or 4/3 and a high end compact HD camcorder would be possible. As has been suggested a high end compact that shoots good video is possible too like the Sony or Panasonic offerings.

    Not a bad problem to have I guess. I know what I'd do with my $3K. Hello D750 and 70-200 f2.8 (well I'd have to kick in a little more for the Nikon version).
     
  24. kreasonos thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #25
    Hey everyone, just wanted to give you guys an update. I picked up a Fujifilm x100t. I thought hard about what I actually wanted to do with the camera. I didn't want to have to change lenses and I found that the images I wanted to capture were mainly things I was seeing with my own eyes. Glancing over at my son and catching him in a cute moment. I just wanted to be able to photograph those types of moments (with less noise in low light than my iPhone 6 which I think is still pretty terrible for a camera even though all the reviews say it's awesome) and order prints from iPhoto so I feel like this camera should do me well. As for video, I'll be looking into a 4k video camera sometime soon. I hear sony makes a nice one. Feel free to continue the discussion!
     

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