I'm struggling to decide on a camera, sensor size, mirrorless or SLR...Think you can help? ;)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TimmyD11, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. TimmyD11

    TimmyD11 TPF Noob!

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    I'm struggling to decide on a camera, sensor size, mirrorless or SLR...Think you can help? ;)

    I was a serious amateur photographer in the eighties and nineties and then I moved away from it as I took on other interests and priorities.

    I've always appreciated a good photograph though.

    I'd like to get pretty serious with it again.

    I am passionate about the great outdoors, wilderness, nature, mountain scenery and wildlife.

    Providing I can find one other person to do it with I love hiking, backpacking, canoe camping and pretty much anything in wilderness and mountains.

    And this is what I love to photograph.

    I also might want to dabble in astrophotography at some point. I think this would be very compatible with wilderness camping.

    But I don't get to do these things nearly as often as I like, and for the most part any camera I got would probably be sitting on a shelf somewhere until I was able to go on one of these trips.

    I am concerned with not "getting enough camera" and perhaps "buying too much camera" or more camera than I need...for my skill level...and how often it gets used.

    So I want to strike that balance.

    As mentioned in previous threads I have 3 Canon EF lenses from back in the nineties which will probably work, but even though these were good back in the day (but not the great "L" lenses) I understand lens technology has come a long way and I could get much better lenses for reasonable money now?

    So I'm not sure if I want to stick with Canon. Or go over to Nikon? Or Sony? Or Panasonic? Or Fujifilm? I don't know if APSC is sufficient or if I should splurge for full frame. I don't know if I should go DSLR or ditch the mirror. If I stick with APSC is the T7i sufficient or should I go with the 77D? Or does the 80D have a feature or features that the 77D doesn't? And the same question can be asked of any $700, $1000, or $1400 camera by any other manufacturer.

    Sigh!

    PS - Yes, I would like to print any good photographs I have taken. Maybe not huge sized prints but I'd like to be able to do pretty big prints without loss of detail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  2. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can definitely feel how overwhelmed you are!

    For astrophotography, I definitely wouldn't go with a smaller sensor than APS-C. So while M43s and 1" sensors are great for hiking, it might not be the best choice if you decide to do astrophotography.

    As for narrowing the rest down, I think you need to go into a camera store. Since you have experience with cameras, you'll likely be able to tell right away which ones feel good and which don't work for you. For instance, with the mirrorless from Sony and Fuji, you'll either love the new capabilities for manual focusing (like focus peaking) or you'll despise the EVF. That will make it really easy to cross off some major categories. After that, then you can compare specs and reviews of the cameras that you liked to see which would fit best for your needs.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, so many undecided-upon things. Do you want to cling to some 1990's lenses? DO you want the best astrophotography camera you can buy? What is your actual budget? Do you currently have a digital camera, and are your currently set up with software to process raw images? Do you want to carry ONE, single battery, for two whole day's worth of shooting (NIkon d-slr), or buy a mirrorless and cart three or four or five batteries around for longer shooting excursions?

    There are some obvious choices in d-slrs if you want the best in three categories, and want to save money. Nikon D810 or D800e, used. Nikon D750 used. Nikon D600 used. OR, any of those, refurbished.

    Or, buy a Canon. A $700, $1000, or $1400 model, new.

    Or buy a Sony mirrorless. Or a Fuji.

    I used to sell cameras at retail, and my read is that you're a careful, cautious buyer, and that you really need some assistance in making the choices, but, without a REAL, finite budget, you can not buy anything, because, well, it takes actual money, $xxx or $X,xxx amount, to get a camera.

    The real issue is, " Do you want to let the three 1990's lenses you own direct your current and future photography path?" As I recall, you have **one** VERY good lens, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, which is a great lens, I owned it for years, and I really liked it, it's a SOLID performer. The 28-135...that's an old, 35mm film-era kit zoom, and will be a white elephant on APS-C Canon. On FF Canon, the 28-135 might be pretty decent: the 5D does NOT "stress" optics all that much.

    In your shoes, I say what I said 10 days ago to you: get a USED camera. Canon 5D classic for $375, or used Canon 6D. You do not seem fully committed to a system, so buy a used, already-depreciated camera.
     
  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was gonna toss out a lot of this and a lot of that and some stuff about the other thing. But modern digital cameras are so good that it is hard to go wrong with most any brand or model.

    That being said, just get a Fuji and don't worry be happy. (Whatever you get you will adapt to.)

    For what I shoot and how I shoot, the image I capture plays a much bigger role in the success of my photo than sensor size.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Go to a large photo store, if possible. Look at some cameras and lenses, at a good, real, brick and mortar store...there's NOTHING quite like shopping for gear in-person. And when you find something you like, and the time comes to buy, do the right thing, and buy it from the store that demo'd the gear for you, and not from some NYC dealer's website.
     
  6. TimmyD11

    TimmyD11 TPF Noob!

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    The last store I was physically in, with a HUGE selection of cameras in store, was Adorama in NYC. I live just north of the city so if I want to see lots of cameras in person I have the luxury and convenience of going to B&H or Adorama.

    I'm reluctant to buy used. I'd just like to get the best camera I can get new. May not be a rational choice but that's my instinct.
     
  7. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    PS- There is absolutely nothing wrong with used or refurbished gear.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Unless one loathes used gear...

    Well, set a budget. Head to one of the two largest photo dealers in the world. They can set you up. Good luck!
     
  9. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you can physically go to B&H or Adorama, then you can likely buy a used version of whatever camera you like from two of the most reputable used dealers in the country. I've bought a few used items from B&H, and I swear that they took $60 off my tripod because the originally packaging was in bad shape. Just the packaging. The tripod was pristine.

    Just saying that considering how fast the bodies depreciate, it's worth asking them if they have a used version of whatever you decide on.
     
  10. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd definitely look for a used 'pro', low shutter count body, then you've got all the bells and whistles for less cash, you'll also get a camera which can take a knock which if you're hiking in the wild is definitely going to happen. If your three lens aren't worth a great deal you won't find changing over brands to be an issue either, plus you could possibly trade those against any purchase but like the others have said you really need some numbers you're willing to spend and if moneys tight stick to those figures.
     
  11. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's hard to get a do it all camera. You could of course get a cam that will do everything you list, but then hiking you are carrying lots. Weather sealing seems an important factor here also, something rugged.

    The wildlife you intend to shoot, is this birds in flight as well as others or more stationary?

    Throw example, a canon 6d or Nikon d610, your lenses are substantial. A weather sealed M4/3 such as a Panasonic G80 or Olympus Em1 might be a great option but someone above says these may not be good enough for stars etc, I think I'd take the hit here though, I'm sure stars are still possible with these cams
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you have seen some of the great images people make with cell phones then you should ignore the issue of sensor size. I'm also a mirrorless user and I view DSLR's as big, heavy, clunky, old fashioned machines. Pros who need them should use DSLR's but I don't understand why they appeal to amateurs. Some amateurs are more concerned with features and bragging rights than they are about photography. Having been a commercial photography pro for many years and now an amateur, at least I have the experience to have well developed opinions.

    There are some great mirrorless camera systems from companies like Fuji, Sony, Panasonic and Canon M series. Go check them out. They will do what a DSLR will do in smaller, lighter package. I use Fuji which makes cameras with metal bodies and lenses with metal bodies and aperture rings. The lenses are as good as lenses get. Their products are made for the best quality rather than the best price like plastic DSLR's.
     

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