looking to buy the best camera for myself

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by canIphoto?, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. canIphoto?

    canIphoto? TPF Noob!

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    i know this can vary from person to person

    I am looking into a dslr, preferably a canon or nikon. I may consider sony since their line looks very promising.

    I am thinking of getting a full frame camera to start because it'll save me a lot of money long term

    my budget is about 3500 usd which would include the body, equipments (ring light (i dont get much nature light where I live) & tripod), lens .

    I mainly will shoot for things I'm selling for my website (ecommerce) and also i'll be an avid instagram user looking to shoot portraits, nature/ astro.

    what camera/lens would you think is best for me? also any opinions and thoughts are welcomed

    thanks for your time!


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. What kind of products are you going to photograph?

    A ring light has a very special look. Some like it, others not so much. I do, but it limits your creativity quite a bit compared to other light saping tools.
    I changed from Canon to Sony mirrorless some time ago and while I still have all the Canon stuff, I hardly ever use it. However, buying e.g. used lenses is very difficult for the Sony E-mount system. And the lenses are comparatively expensive. But e.g. the 55mm f1.8 from Zeiss is the best lens I have ever used. It is tack sharp even at f1.8 (lenses use to be less sharp at the biggest opening) and not to compare to anything I had from Canon before.
     
  3. canIphoto?

    canIphoto? TPF Noob!

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    I'm just looking to photograph basic clothings/ accessories to advertise for sale so it can show details.

    also, what do you mean it limits creativity?
     
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  4. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would not recommend full frame. The only thing you might need it for is astrophotography, and astrophotography is so difficult and so specialized that to really do it well, you probably should buy a camera specifically for that. Unless by "Astro" you just mean occasionally grabbing a photo of the moon or stars while camping that will never go anywhere but Facebook, in which case a crop sensor camera will be fine.

    I also wouldn't recommend a ring light for much of what you're doing, except for macro work. If you're planning to take photos of tiny details, like stitching or a button or clasp, then you'll need a specialized macro lens. With that, a ring light would work beautifully. But for portraits and clothing that is 10-20 feet away, a ring light won't look much better than the pop-up flash (which is horrendous.) A soft box or umbrella and reflector would be a much better and more versatile choice. You may eventually want to work up to two or even three lights, but I would start with one.

    If the studio you're working in has white walls and a white ceiling, you could even start out with a technique called "bounce flash." Eventually you'll probably want to move the light off camera, but bouncing the flash can give a great starting point for beginners.

    As far as a lens goes, it's probably best to start with the kit lens that comes with the camera. Until you take some photos, it's hard to know what your preferred focal length will be. I would guess maybe around 35mm for the indoor shots of merchandise and probably 50mm for portraits (these are on a crop sensor...more like 50mm for merchandise and 85mm for portraits on full frame) but it's hard to know for sure before you've tried it out and figured out your own style. After you've done that, then it would definitely be worthwhile to get a prime (or two) in that preferred focal length.

    Like the previous poster, I also shoot Sony mirrorless. I don't really see any advantage to mirrorless in your situation, since most of your merchandise work will likely be done on a tripod in controlled conditions. So a slightly lighter camera won't make much of a difference, and you didn't mention needing video capabilities or wanting to use legacy lenses (also advantages of mirrorless.) So unless you just like the feel of them, don't feel obligated to go mirrorless just because of spec sheets. Nikon and Canon are both good companies with good cameras, it's mostly down to which feels best to you. Definitely get into a camera store to test out all three cameras, because that will make a huge difference.
     
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  5. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    With regular flash or even speedlights you can use softboxes or umbrellas, shaping the light. You can have it soft, or hard and use it for showing texture, creating shadows where you want it and add fill light where you don't. A ringlight is mainly used for macros and for a specific look in portraits.
    When photographing accessories, you need to get close to the subject with a macro lens or so called extension tubes. A50mm-ish prime lens should cover your needs for the product shots, and will also work for a modern portrait look.
    Regarding cameras: Buying new full frame isn't cheap (except for the Sony a7(1)), and if you want good quality glass too, you might have to check the used market, which more or less reduces your choice to Canon and Nikon.
    It all depends a bit on how many lenses you want to start with and how quickly you think you would have the budget for new ones should you just start with one or two lenses.

     
  6. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would just add that for Instagram photos and product photography you probably don't need to go fullframe. A high end crop camera and good lenses along with good light would be more than enough.

    If you are set on fullframe it's hard to do better than Nikon d750 for the price.

    I'd look into a Nikon dx D7200 though, as they are relatively inexpensive at the moment and imo do everything rather well. You'd probably get one for 900 dollars new. Add in some lights and some lenses and you should be sorted for way less than your 3500
     
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  7. canIphoto?

    canIphoto? TPF Noob!

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    by Astro I mean shooting night skys

    some examples could be found here #astrophotography • Instagram photos and videos

    Thanks for this, i will look into it

    I was told going for a kit len would be a waste of money because they are poor quality. I was thinking of jump starting with a prime len.

    I'm not particularly firm on a canon or nikon, I'll happily experiment with a sony, pentax, linex, etc
    excuse my ignorance, but essentially if the camera I'll be buying needs meets the importance of what I need which is

    1)allows me to take great shots in low light settings (as i have very poor lightening indoors) mainly used for shooting merch i have advertised online
    2)shoot portrait photos, nature, wildlife, night sky, architecture (when I travel) for my instagram feed and blog
    3) weight matters a bit as I wouldn't like to lug around a heavy camera around, but not a necessity because i have a camera bag that'll fit any size.
    4)can last me 5 + years without it becoming obsolete
    5)not necessary but video capability would be nice without it affecting the camera feature as I'll like to film myself talking in front of a camera with a tripod for a project.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The camera is immaterial. As long as it can synch external flash and adjust aperture and shutter speed it will work just fine. But forget the ring light. There are some affordable monolight setups available on the internet. Put one of those into your cart. It is by far the most important part of what you propose. You won't even need a tripod because you can hand hold the flash. Buy whichever camera fits your budget and your preference. It doesn't matter at all.
     
  9. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If low light is a really big thing for your photos you'd be better off alright going fullframe as you suggested originally.

    The Nikon d750 is a great all around camera, that is fab in low light, hi iso situations. Some of the shots in your link were using this camera
     
  10. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It'll be a bigger waste of money to buy a prime lens (or two or three) in focal lengths that you don't use. The kit lens is the cheapest and easiest way for a photographer to learn their own style. It's not supposed to be the only lens you ever use, but it is supposed to be a learning tool. Skipping it can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. If you want, you can buy a used kit lens (B&H and KEH.com are reputable used camera equipment sites) and then sell it when it's time to buy a prime in order to minimize your losses. But often it's cheaper to buy it in a bundle while on sale, where the price comes down to almost free.

    Keep in mind that many of those shots are composites (the ones that have something else besides the sky in the shot) and others were taken using a high powered telescope (seeing the rings on Saturn or the spot on Jupiter.) For just the basic Milky Way shots, that could as much as triple the cost of the camera body you need. You need a camera that does very well with high ISOs (higher than 3200.)

    You didn't mention computer software, but it's very important to have for all the things you've mentioned. Lightroom and Photoshop are by far the most popular programs, and are available as a bundle for $9.99/month. You can also use free programs, such as the camera software or GIMP, but I personally found that they aren't particularly user friendly and there aren't nearly as many tutorials on them, which can make them more difficult to learn.

    1) Low light shouldn't matter as much as far as shooting merch goes, because as we've mentioned, product photography should always be done using flash. You will get far more professional shots using a flash with an entry level camera than you will with a top-of-the-line camera and poor indoor lighting. High ISOs can't fix bad lighting.

    2) The things you want to take photos of are all over the place as far as focal lengths and camera requirements go. You'll need a bag full of primes. Wildlife is another specialized area, like astrophotography, but on the other end of the spectrum. For that, you need long, long lenses with stellar autofocus. Honestly, I still recommend waiting on astrophotography and wildlife for the time being, and just focusing on portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, and merchandise for now. Those can be done with fairly common, inexpensive focal lengths and are suitable subjects for beginning photographers.

    3) Well, if weight matters a little, then it's worth looking into mirrorless. Go into a camera store and play around with a few, see what feels natural to you. If you feel like the size of full frame DSLRs are no big deal, great. If you feel them and decide that there's no way you'd ever carry that around all day, then it's definitely time to figure out other options.

    4) Every current camera will be obsolete in 5+ years. It doesn't mean that they'll magically shut off and stop working, though. If they suit your needs now, they'll suit your needs in 5 years.

    5) Mirrorless definitely has big advantages over DSLRs as far as video goes, but if it's just for one project, I wouldn't make that a deciding factor.
     
  11. canIphoto?

    canIphoto? TPF Noob!

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    the d750 seemed like a great camera, but it was released 3 years ago, it's on sale now for just under 2k. is it still worth the buy?
     
  12. canIphoto?

    canIphoto? TPF Noob!

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    @cherylynne1

    ty so much for your through input. I do have photoshop installed on my computer and I plan to use it to do some editing.

    so what would be your recommedation as far as camera body and lenses goes? buy a high end crop sensor camera with the kit lense in a package deal? i know many have stated that it shouldn't matter, but I am not familiar with much of the camera's technical terms. I just need a camera to do what i need, which I provided above. certainly the equipments and lighting i got down. also, weight aside, what do i lose out from going mirrorless instead of a dslr?
     

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