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Bang my head against a wall......!


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Initial post: 23 Feb 2012 10:20:28 GMT
M. Bexon says:
In the market for my first good camera.....I have around 600 to spend and maybe could allow some extra for a zoom lense...so what's my problem?...

Well.... I was kinda moving towards Nikon 5100 but also liked the canon 600d, my mate swears by the Olympus pen which I also like and he gets some really good results and also wins competitions with...
The thing is this... I work hard for my cash and this MAJOR purchase is going to have to last me a long time and I want to get it right....my last camera was a fuji bridge camera which I owned since 2004....time to upgrade

I've done the jessops thing...held cameras n played with them , now I'm even more confused.
I've heard that lenses on the Nikon might not work future nikons and the same the canons....Olympus/Panasonic don't have that problem. Canon just don't have the build quality and have suffered from lock ups and then there is the customer care attitude which never used to happen years ago when I owned my first slr canon eos 650.
The Olympus pens remind of the cheap compacts you see in curries at discount prices.....
I want a camera to do most things....I want to try it all...sports wildlife portraits but enjoy landscapes mostly....
What started me off wanting a dslr? I did a photography course while on holiday....we did wildlife while on this course and I really enjoyed it...cameras where provided by the course organisers. They ran a competition at the end. I won it.... I was blown away. The quality of all my piccies was really good.
Anyway....what do you guys think.....any advice?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 10:55:54 GMT
Hi MB
What cameras did you use on your course? Did you like them?
I freely admit I wanted a dSLR having had 35mm slrs for 40ish years. I don't like live view (especially at the time I bought a dSLR) and I don't like video. Do you start with any preferences or, as in my case, prejudices? As a bridge owner, is bulk an issue?
I'm sure any of those cameras you mention could produce great results. I note you have handled them - did either stand out? Did you look at the Sony SLTs, NEX or the Olympus dSLRs or have you already excluded them? There's no point risking even more confusion. You mention the Pen as being akin to a cheap compact - were you unimpressed with the build quality? Did you compare it with Panasonics and other Pen models? Is the focus speed of the Pen all its cracked up to be for sports? What does your talented mate with the Pen say? There are fewer lens options for the 43rds cameras but there again just how many lenses do you need?
Sorry about all the questions - I was hoping you could crystallise your thoughts a bit. After all, in the end you are paying and therefore need to be comfortable with the camera you eventually choose.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 14:43:38 GMT
X says:
MB: You might not even need a DSLR, nor any other camera with interchangeable lenses. What lenses does your Pen friend use? The point about starting low and simple is that you will learn more about photography with less equipment, then, when you do think it's the right time to improve your kit you will know pretty much exactly what is right for you, and you will already have your ever-present stand-by camera, hopefully in your pocket. As Doc seems to imply the camera you used on your course may still have some useful purpose for you.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 15:47:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Feb 2012 15:57:35 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
I can only add my own personal opinion, which is:

If it has to last you a long time (As mine have to) then you need something that will work well "straight from the crate" yet will allow you to expand your kit collection if you need to in the future.
To that end, I wouldn't (speaking PURELY for myself!) bother with any of these halfway-house systems like the Olympus PEN and its ilk. They have their fans, I agree. Plus they're compact in size and can produce great results against static objects. But if you want to try out all forms of photography then there is really only one design that can handle every situation with equal aplomb, and that is the DSLR.
There is a very good reason why professionals still use DSLRs, even though there are so many smaller, neater and more tempting packages out there.

I'm not going to get into a "Brand war" because as I only use Nikon I don't feel qualified to compare them against the competition. What I can say though is that the D5100 with the 18-55VR kit lens is a great camera and would be a fine choice if (like me) you don't have money to throw away on new digital cameras every couple of years.

In short, every Nikon lens made in at least the last 25 years will work on the '5100. You may need to manually focus some of them, but they will work nonetheless. The NIkon F mount has been around forever and as all their SLR / DSLR bodies use this I can't see it going away anytime soon. The tale you heard about obsolesence sounds to me like a salesman's scaremongering.

The Canon system was completely revised in 1986, when autofocus came out. Canon went down the route of introducing a brand new system (Canon EOS) which was incompatible with their old lenses. This move instantly rendered everyone's collection of Canon FD lenses obsolete.
As you can imagine, such a move caused major unrest amongst previously loyal Canon customers. Having seen the public reception to Canon's move, I can't imagine that Nikon would make the same mistakes.

Micro 4/3rds, PEN and similar seem to crop up every now and then. Some have a greater product range life expectancy than others, but over the years while things like APS, Disc Cameras, Pronea S and the like have come and gone, the old, reliable SLR with an F Mount has soldiered on largely unchanged. For this reason alone I'm an SLR / DSLR user and will remain so.
I have the Nikon D90 and I wouldn't consider changing it. Maybe the new ones are slightly better, but the limiting factor in my photography is me, not my kit.
Pretty much all modern camera kit can produce results which are better than people's ability to get the best out of it.

In short, for landscapes and anything that stays still, then you can take your pic of advanced compacts, Micro 4/3rds, PEN or whatever takes your fancy. Wildlife and sports? Only the DSLR will handle that really well, plus there's a massive range of lenses available, some of the older more obscure ones can also be had for an extremely good price too, assuming you have a camera capable of mounting and using them. Like the Nikon.

Hope some of that helped!

Graham.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:59:57 GMT
X says:
FourThirds used to be a good idea for a true DSLR of a smaller format, but it's being shoved aside by MicroFourThirds. I've not checked out what is left of Panasonic's FourThirds range, but Olympus have trimmed theirs to such an extent that it's clear they think less than manic amateurs ought to consider MFT as the ersatz entry-level range leading to FourThirds. Why is it clear? Well, me ol'hearty, it's Olympus, whose most effective marketing campaigns still contain little spots of eccentricity, so it's gotta be something simple and dumb. And I am still an Olympus-nut...

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 17:20:38 GMT
Someone has written a very good review of the Olympus EPM1 on Amazon. Maybe worth a read?

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 16:47:33 GMT
Mastertoot says:
Only my opinion but you can get a Sony a65 from SLR hut.com for around that price. Its 24mp (the first thing new buyers seem to look at) and seems to far exceed the quality of most other cameras at the same price. I've got one, love it.

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 17:07:48 GMT
X says:
Hi Graham A! If you are referring to the E-M5, it is one heck of a product. (If that's not the case I shall spout nonetheless...) All in all it doesn't have a truly direct competitor. Now that doesn't make it a success, but, for example, all that electronic finesse but still a reasonable pixel count, and so on. Results count, and no tester so far has expressed the slightest caveat or disappointment on that count.

I certainly would not make a direct camera versus camera comparison with the A65.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 19:46:55 GMT
Hi Ed,
Is there any difference between the 4/3 and micto 4/3 sensor?

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 20:52:33 GMT
An Eclectic says:
M.Bexon
"canon don't have the build quality"? Not sure what that means. Some of the lenses are plasticy especially the 50mm 1.8 and the 18-55 kit lens but, they aren;t bad for the price. If you are price capped at 600, I would be looking at a powershot or similar as otherwiase you are going to be buying a goodish body with a not so good kit lens. It all depends what you want to use the camera for. I have Canon kit and can't really comment on Nikon except to say that the DSLRs look pretty good to me and I would be happy to have one. Just that I have my L lenses now.
I would be shocked if Nikon/Canon changed their lens mounts any time soon as that would pee off their customers and maybe break the brand loyalty the camera makers rely on
I have used a pentax and fuji finepix and both were good for what they were. I didn't like the Pen. I made a real hash of pics I can take easily with my canon especially birds in flight but that could have been me being an idiot but I didn't get much in focus

have you thought about a 450D and a better lens - You can get good 2nd user bodies.

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 21:42:07 GMT
X says:
Graham The Doctor: Thanks to good old dp review, this is where I get to seem learned and wise, (not exactly type-casting...). Both FT and MFT use 18x13.5mm sensors. The Olympus E-5 has an MOS at 12.3 megapixels, the E-M5 gets a 16.1 megapixel CMOS. Ordinary Olympus MFTs like the EP-3 get the same sensor as the E-series.

There's a lot about the top MFT, that new E-M5, that challenges the top FT unit, the E-5. Olympus are halfway to scattering a decent choice of cameras across two competing ranges. Olympus Marketing Rules!!! Quite what it rules is another matter.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 21:43:48 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

There is no difference between the sensors as regards dimensions, they are the same. The significant difference is in the cameras that use them. As you will no doubt be aware, micro 4/3rds cameras dispense with the reflex mirror box, and this reduces the lens/flange/sensor register by about 20mm. So lenses designed specifically for micro 4/3rds bodies have a significantly shorter back focal length and can not be used on a (full) 4/3rds body, whereas with an adaptor, a 4/3rds lens can be used on a micro 4/3rds body.

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 22:02:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 27 Feb 2012 22:04:24 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Maybe Canon lenses are a bit plasticky... But then so are my recent Nikon ones. If you want Pro build quality you'll need to pay Pro prices. Ultimately, if you use the gear you buy within the parameters of its design you'll still get outstanding quality.

Most modern lens's sharpness and contrast is limited not by the kit, but by people's ability to use it to the full. I'm honest enough to admit that that's certainly the case with me.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2012 23:40:45 GMT
Hi TJ,
If the sensors are otherwise identical (except for the new E-M5) I should have thought that the smaller distance from the lens to the sensor would reduce the quality since the light will hit the edges at a greater angle. Similarly for the NEX compared with a dSLR.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Feb 2012 12:02:31 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A.
An interesting observation, but I've never seen any review, of micro 4/3 or APS-C mirrorless compacts, commenting on this. Indeed, with micro 4/3, the performance has come on leaps and bounds and at lowish ISO's only, the best cameras are beginning to compete with APS-C. Unfortunately, there is now only one top quality 4/3 camera, the Olympus E-5, for which comparisons could be made. But it uses different optics, so this is another variable.

So for all intents and purposes advances in sensor design and optics has evened up the playing field and probably negated any possible technical shortcomings of the need to use shorter focal length lenses to cover the same imaging field.

Posted on 4 Mar 2012 22:08:43 GMT
M. Bexon says:
Hiya again everyone.....thanks for the replies....read everyone of them, although some were a bit over my head....
Size of the camera isn't a problem with me...my son brought an awesome camera bag for Xmas so lugging it around won't be a problem....
The camera I used on my course was a fuji slr with a rather large zoom lense attached....I found no problems with picture quality, the instructor virtually set the camera up for us at the different locations, although I asked tons of questions to the point I was sick of hearing my own voice...lol
I have never seen a fuji slr for sale, although I am told that they are expensive.

I have been in jessops again and the salesman showed me a pen ep3 (think) was an awesome camera and I thought the quality was better than my mates, it didn't feel cheap, but I noticed that the display was flickering under the lights in the shop...bad design I'm afraid, this due to the display being set up at the wrong frequency, our mains runs at (think) 50 hertz were as american mains runs at 60 hertz...might have that the wrong way round...anyway, this means that we can see the flicker. I may be wrong though, but that's how I see it. I never saw this on the canon or Nikon slr's. At. Almost 700 hundred quid too...crikey. Also had a go with a Panasonic with the electronic view finder....also flickering and I found the light emitted from view finder was too bright for me...
I still like the Nikon 5100 and played around with the canon 600 and the canon 60d I really liked the 60d but it's a bit pricey for me....
I noticed a lot of comments came in from last Monday so I assume that quite a lot of you guys might be dealers...
The thing that puts me off canon is the customer care side of their business and the fact that they seem to have problems like lock ups/freezing which means a return to the dealer or back to canon. Which brings me onto the poor guy in jessops (while I was there) trying to explain that his customers camera was still at canon for repair and it was over a month and neither customer or salesman had heard nothing....is this normal for canon? Do they care?
Anyway....keep the replies coming and thanks for your time....
Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2012 22:27:07 GMT
Dealers! You having a laugh?

Posted on 4 Mar 2012 23:46:48 GMT
X says:
MB: To which of the many models of Fuji DSLR were you referring? I wonder how that Jessops employe got hold of one of the exceedingly rare Olympus cameras with AC electrical supply to the display. Any idea?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2012 10:19:36 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
MB, your powers of deduction may work in works of detective fiction, but all the posts on the same day in this case is pure coincidence, I can assure you. We are not dealers, but keen hobbyist photographers.

You raise a number of interesting points. Firstly, UK mains runs at 50Hz, that in the USA, 60Hz. If you were handling a camera at Jessops this will undoubtedly be an official UK model at 50Hz, but this is mainly of interest in that the camera will output its video in the UK and European TV PAL standard. 60Hz models output the American Standard of NTSC. The cameras are otherwise identical. The two systems are mutually incompatible and so your TV needs to be of the correct type, unless it is of dual standard.

I am not surprised that you noticed the flickering on both the Olympus and Panasonic models. Viewing on these models is a direct feed from the sensor, so whether you view via the lcd screen or the optional EVF, you are always looking at an electronic image. So, in the presence of neon tube lighting, which incidentally, refreshes at 100Hz in the UK, you may well see the flickering on these cameras.

However, you also handled slr cameras which you generally view using a purely optical signal path, avoiding any electronics in the signal. So it is no wonder you didn't see any flickering. I am not familiar with the slr's you handled, and so to see if they flicker, you would have had to view in live view mode, that is, if they are live view capable.

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 11:30:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Mar 2012 11:36:02 GMT
Dave says:
Hi M.Bexon,
l have the nikon D80 and the wife got the nikon D3100 last year, the D80 has a couple of extras over the D3100 but then it has live view whereas mine doesnt. We were on a photography course with a 40 years experience photographer who has done everything from weddings, films, documentaries and industrial/journalism and what he told us was the bridge cameras are actually more difficult than the dslr's and not as good by long shot (great if you want a small camera for holidays thats a jump up from compacts but not as a substitute for dslr camera). Also when asked should l upgrade to new Nikon D800 he told me that there isnt a photo that he has done that he couldnt have done with either the D80 or D3100 and would be better to spend the money on some more lenses, Btw he uses D90 for his classes. (Look up www.neilatkinson.com) l love the Nikon brand and there is an mass of lenses be it Nikon or sigma/tamron that fit. As for the Brand there is a reason why professionals mainly are Nikon/Canon through and through. Hope this helps.
Ps l use jessops but the shops l use are very dslr focused.

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 11:53:28 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Dave, it sounds like you had a very honest instructor.

People put far too much faith in the camera body, and to be honest it's the lenses that make or break the finished image. I have a Nikon D90 too, and while it's a great camera it must be said that the final image is pretty much the same as my friend gets from his Nikon D3100.
All you really gain by going "up a few steps" in the bodies is more durable construction, better weather sealing, faster shooting in "continuous" mode and generally a few more dedicated buttons and dials for functions instead of having to go delving into menus to access them.
I've had some great results and large prints from my old Nikon D40, and that was "only" 6 megapixel. The only reason I went up from that to the D90 is that the D90 allows me to crop and enlarge small sections of the image with less loss of quality than the old D40 did. But it was a massive jump in price and really that's about the only practical difference as far as the results are concerned, which is what ultimately matters.
If it were me, I'd have the Nikon D3100 kit, get some practice in and then add extras later if/when you find that you need them. I'd say 80% of my shots could be done equally well with the D3100 and 18-55 kit lens. My D90 and lenses allow me to get shots in conditions where the D3100 kit may struggle a little, but within the "comfort zone" of both cameras there's very, very little difference.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2012 16:15:11 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
GEH,

I couldn't agree more with your comments about the quality of the optics being the main factor in digital cameras. The sensors, both in APS-C and 4/3, are so good now that they are able to show up differences in and the shortcomings in lenses.

Interestingly, I have a parallel story on using a low pixel count sensor, and that was the 4meg sensor of my very first digital camera, the Canon G2 back in 2002. At 1/1.8 it wasn't the smallest sensor around but the pixels were larger and hence had a higher dynamic range. With only 4 meg to play with, cropping was limited. But full A4 prints at 50 ISO were really good, thanks to a super Canon f2-f3 lens. Even now, when looking at these images, there is something about them that is very appealing. They just look "clean".

Posted on 5 Mar 2012 17:49:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Mar 2012 17:52:13 GMT
M. Bexon says:
Lol X ..... It was just an idea of why the screen flickers...have you seen the options you get on web cam software, mine says... Select box.. 50htz. 60htz. To clear any flickering of the display.
My mate wants one of those Olympus omd slr's....about 1000 pounds worth, not released yet apparently. Way out of my budget.

Posted on 11 Mar 2012 23:55:53 GMT
I bugeted at 600 UKp too, settled for a canon 550 (Rebel T2i in USA speak). with kit lens, plus Ef-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS and uv filter (its easier to change a damaged uv filter than the lens! :-) )
560 UKp, including 96 UKp duty. From SLR Hut. OK- I had to wait 10 days for it to arrive, but I rekon I saved 500+ UKp.
Yes, it's made of plastic! But if you want something you can play baseball with, you will need to add 1000 UKp to your budget!
Any monkey can take a good photo, but only a photographer can take a great one!
Shoot first, ask questions later!

Posted on 24 Mar 2012 04:47:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Mar 2012 04:52:41 GMT
Of the micro four thirds pen cameras the EP3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 are all basically the same camera with more or less features as you move up the range. Picture quality will be almost identical on all 3.

So if the EP3 is beyond your budget then the E-PL3 and E-PM1 are good options and Olympus are doing 50 cashback on both models until the end of April 2012. Good micro four thirds lenses include the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and 14mm f2.5 and the Olympus 45mm 1.8 and Olympus offer cashback (70) on the 45mm f1.8 lens too when bought at the same time as an E-PL3 or E-PM1 with 14-42 kit zoom. The Olympus 40 -150mm is fairly low priced too when bought as part of a kit and is a decent zoom lens.

An E-PM1 + 14-42mm will cost 306 after cashback and you can pick up an Olympus 45mm f1.8 at the same time which will be under 200 after the 75 cashback - so total cost around 500. Olympus E-PM1 Compact System Camera - Black (includes M.ZUIKO Digital 14 -42mm II R Lens) Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 Lens

P.S: "found the light emitted from view finder was too bright for me..." - viewfinder brightness (I assume you mean the lcd screen) is easily adjustable via the camera menu.
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Initial post:  23 Feb 2012
Latest post:  27 Mar 2012

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