So I don't know much about cameras..?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by farmerku, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. farmerku macrumors regular

    farmerku

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    #1
    I have a Sony Cybershot 6.2 mp. I am needing to take some nice pictures as I am a Kitchen and Bath designer and want to take nice quality photos of the jobs that we do. The pictures I take with my Sony barely look any better than a scanned photo and I need some better performance. Does anyone have any recommendations for things I can do to enhance our photographs or what type of camera I should look into buying. My price range is about $400.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #2
    I was about to recommend the Canon G10:

    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Powershot-G10-Digital-Stabilized/dp/B001G5ZTPY

    That is in our price range BUT I am thinking a lot of the photos you are taking are going to require a wide angle (zoomed all the way out), would that be a correct assumption? If so then the G10 may not work for you as the widest angle is 28mm.

    For a wider angle you could go with the D40 kit (you lose out on the zoom though but for your needs I don't think that would matter as much):

    http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Digital...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1234235920&sr=1-1

    There would also be a similar Canon Digital SLR available as well but the Canon naming scheme confuses me so I can't find the relevant model, can any Canon folks chime in please?

    The D40 does have a few disadvantages as there are some restrictions on what lenses it can use to utilize auto focus and the kit lens does not have Vibration Reduction so if the comparable Canon kit includes a lens with Image Stabilization I would say go with that choice.
     
  3. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    #3
    The comparable Canon model would probably be the Rebel XS, which does come with an image-stabilized kit lens. You will be able to use both EF and EF-S lenses without any autofocus restrictions.

    The EF 50mm f/1.8 is great for low-light, especially for the price and is very sharp when stopped up to around f/2.8. The EF-S 55-250 IS lens also has a great price-to-performance ratio and gives you some extra reach with image stabilization. Those 2 lenses and the kit lens are probably the most cost-effective setup if you're planning to invest in a DSLR system.

    I would personally choose the XS over a G10 if given the choice, as the ability to use 18mm with the kit lens and use ISO 1600 without totally crippling the image is worth $70 to me. If you're not planning to invest heavily in a brand and you're just planning to buy one camera for better photos for your jobs, either the D40 or the XS with their respective kit lenses will do the job great. There is no real "wrong" answer.
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    The D40 kit won't be any wider. The G10's 28mm is the full-frame equivalent. The D40's kit lens has the same focal length equivalent at its wide end.

    I would second the recommendation of the XS, but not the longer lenses you mentioned. The OP wants to shoot interiors, so wide angle lenses are going to work best. The XS kit lens will work very well with its stabilization and might be just wide enough (18mm, which equates to about 29mm in full-frame terms), although it won't be any wider than the G10.
     
  5. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    #5
    Original poster be forewarned that the majority here who post have Canons and will lead you in that direction. The Canon fanboyism is prevalent here.
     
  6. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #6
    Oops, I stand corrected! In that case then if the original poster has no interest in photography as an actual hobby then I would recommend the G10 or even if they want to take better photos in general I'd recommend the G10. However if there is a chance they want to further their interest in photography then go with the Canon XS.
     
  7. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #7
    That may be true but I don't fall in that category (well except maybe for Canon Point and Shoots), I'm a proud Nikon owner after using a Canon film SLR and Olympus Digital SLR, I own the D90 and have also bought my girlfriend the D80. If a Nikon suited the original poster better than I would happily recommend a Nikon.

    The Nikon P90 is an option I didn't mention however from what little I have read the G10 wins out between the two and I think the G10 is more readily available at the moment.
     
  8. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #8
    Ugh. That kind of comment is so unhelpful.

    OP, here are some other DSLR models to consider:

    Nikon D60 (it comes with a stabilized kit lens)
    Pentax K200D (it has in-body stabilization)
    Olympus e-420 (it has in-body stabilization)
    Sony A300 (it has in-body stabilization)

    And here is the reason I recommend a DSLR over a point-and-shoot camera:

    [​IMG]

    (Click to enlarge)

    The bottom row in that image shows the sensors in most point-and-shoot cameras. The middle two rows are what you'll find in DSLRs.

    Larger sensors produce images with a greater dynamic range (more tones from light to dark) and with less noise (that multi-colored grain you so often see in photos shot in low light).
     
  9. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    No it does not. The E-520 does.

    Why have we all ranted off on getting a new camera without asking what is actually wrong, which model the OP has at the moment, seen some samples etc?

    For all we know a tripod and setting the existing camera manually to a low ISO would make the world of difference. You can still take dreadful photographs with a DSLR.

    The main issue is going to be light; better light makes a better photo, mostly. I suppose you may also have issues getting everything in the frame if you are in a tight room.
     
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #10
    Very good point.

    Without seeing samples of photos with which you're displeased (or for contrast pleased, for that matter) it's impossible to help you with technique or identify specific equipment-related weaknesses.
     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    Oops. You're right: I keep forgetting that stabilization isn't standard with the entire Olympus line. I also forgot that the lack of stabilization was one of the reasons I ruled the e-420 out for my own needs.

    The note about the tripod is a good one. I assumed the OP would be shooting these interiors handheld, but I see no reason why s/he should have to do that if they are in spaces over which s/he has control. If using a tripod is an option, then there is no need for stabilization in the body or lens. A tripod would help a lot.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    But why would someone shooting interiors need such long lenses?


    I'd recommend the Panasonic Lumix LX3.

    1. For a point and shoot, the image quality appears to be the best. The Canon G10 is also good, but not at high ISO. The LX3 is good in this regard.

    2. It's pocket-sized.

    3. You can shoot wide-angle equivalent to 24 mm (which is wide ;) ). It's like buying one of the DSLRs recommended above and shooting with a 15 or 16 mm lens attached, and those lenses cost a lot.

    4. At 24 mm, the lens has an aperture (i.e. lens "hole") of f/2!!!! :eek: :eek: You CAN'T get that at such a wide angle from any of the lenses recommended above, no matter how much you pay. This lens would allow you to shoot under much lower light conditions handheld (if you need to).


    5. At wide angles, many wide angle lenses shoot straight lines that look like THIS, which is called "barrel distortion". That's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Straight lines at the top, bottom, left, and right edges will look really bad. This is HORRIBLE for what you want to do, since there are so many straight lines in a room. At its widest angle, the lens of the LX3 has less barrel distortion than what you get from the large majority of the wide-angle DSLR lenses. ;)

    6. The small sensor means the lenses can be VERY short, which results in a very large depth of field (DOF). In English, what this means is that issues like THIS won't happen, regardless of the lens aperture you use. Everything in your photograph will look sharp.

    7. It costs $429 at B&H. This is near your $400 budget.


    Buy a Panasonic LX3 and a Manfrotto Modo tripod, and you'll have a very lightweight, portable kit and take photos as good, and with less distortion than using most of these DSLRs + expensive lens. The alternative is to buy a DSLR and a $400-600 (US dollar) lens, and correct for barrel distortion using Photoshop. They're both over your budget.
     
  13. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    #13
    They were suggestions for the OP if he/she wants to get into photography... no one said the camera could be used on jobs only :)
     
  14. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    The LX3 is a very nice camera. I have been trying to convince myself I need one, somehow...

    I didn't mean to be short there, I was just pointing out an error. - Just to be clear! I didn't want to show a lack of respect.

    Ha. Nice of you to mention that they were suggestions based on a scenario completely different to that outlined by the op! *chuckle*
     
  15. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I just ordered one from Adorama ... on backorder :mad:
     
  16. apearlman macrumors regular

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    #16
    What don't you like about your current photos?

    To the OP:

    What exactly don't you like about the photos you're getting with your current camera? Is there something you're trying to do that the camera can't?

    If you have samples available, it might help to show a few of your shots that you want to improve, and also perhaps some links to (someone else's) photos that you DO like.

    It's hard to know whether you need better gear, better technique, or perhaps a more experienced person to take the photos.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    I want one as well, but I bought the Fuji F31fd immediately after Fuji announced a successor, and.....well.....I don't think I'm going to ditch that thing until it breaks. ;) It's phenomenal at ISO 800 and below.

    However, once this thing breaks, I'll get myself an LX3, hopefully before Panasonic "upgrades" it with more pixels and screw it up like Fuji did with their F-series cameras. It's bound to happen. These companies don't seem to care.

    Ok. ;)

    I always answer questions with only the facts provided. I guess it would be wise to buy a DSLR as a business expense so that he can use it for a new hobby as well.
     
  18. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #18
    Wow, that is one strong argument in favor of a point-and-shoot camera. If pocketability is a big issue with the OP, then that Panasonic might be a good solution. However, I think you might be overstating the issue of barrel distortion at the wide end of a DSLR kit lens. In a lot of cases, it's not really noticeable enough to require correction. And is that Lumix lens really that much flatter? Don't smaller lenses usually have more distortion on average?

    Maybe pocketability is not an issue, and it would be fine with the OP to tote along a somewhat larger camera and a tripod once a project is ready to be photographed. In that case, there is no need for f/2 and no worries about having a depth of field that's too shallow. Also, 28mm might just be wide enough. I've photographed many small spaces at that focal length.

    Of course to do it completely professionally, these sorts of shoots require off-camera lighting--and lots of it. Someone more knowledgeable than I could probably suggest a basic lighting kit that would work for small interiors.
     
  19. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I said "Those 2 lenses and the kit lens are probably the most cost-effective setup if you're planning to invest in a DSLR system." No reason to get sarcastic about it... I just thought the OP might want to get into photography if a DSLR is purchased, and those lenses are a good starting point to do so...
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    When I was writing that other post, I thought to myself, "If compuwar, ChrisA or a number of regulars here saw my post, lighting would be 1 of the things they'd discuss to poo-poo on my post." :p The image quality from a bad Sony p&s is REALLY bad, and while the LX3 will provide far better images than what he's getting, he'll have to get 1 or 2 flashes, umbrellas, etc, to get superb, professional results. Is he after "Architectural Digest" type photos? I don't get that impression, but I guess that's an assumption I made.

    I guess the 2nd counter-argument is regarding the barrel distortion. If he had a larger budget than $400 and could afford a Nikon + Tokina 12-24 mm f/4, he wouldn't get any distortion at 16 mm anyway. An LX3 and a Tokina 12-24 mm set to 16 mm would capture the same angle. However, on a Tokina, all the barrel distortion will likely be near 12-14 mm, and pincushion at 24 mm. As long as the lens is set between 14 to 20 mm, the lens performance would be the same as the LX3, except a DSLR is better overall.

    But anyway, if you wanted a single small camera for $400, the LX3 gives you little distortion of around 0.7% (according to DPReview), probably less than a kit lens at 18 mm, and at a wider angle. However, I doubt 18 mm is wide enough for what he wants. 16 mm is much wider than 18 mm.
     

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