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Should I buy a camera?

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HoldenC

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Hi there,

Whenever I’ve been hiking or travelling I’m normally disappointed by my photos when I get home (I use an iPhone 7). I often find it quite difficult to frame landscapes nicely without walking a load to get the shot right, because I can’t zoom without losing the image quality.

I’m a complete novice, but I was wondering whether buying a mirrorless camera with a kit zoom lense would allow me to significantly improve the quality of photos I take, or whether I’d be better off investing some time learning how to better frame photos with my phone.

I know very little about cameras so I don’t know how significant the photo quality difference between a ~£700 mirrorless and a smartphone would be.

Any advice or experience appreciated!

Thanks
 
Take a look at Panasonic compact cameras, my only advice would be to buy the best you can afford.
 
Take a look at Panasonic compact cameras, my only advice would be to buy the best you can afford.
Will do.

I’m more interested in whether I could take much better photos though?
 
It would probably be worth searching you tube on taking better photos with your mobile phone. Ive seen some stunning images from this phone but I am not familiar with it. I think it will be easier to obtain higher quality image from a larger sensor camera but a good image can be made by either piece of gear. Keep in mind, some post editing skills can be helpful as well. Searching, studying, and practicing what you learn will advance your imagery with your current setup.
 
It would probably be worth searching you tube on taking better photos with your mobile phone. Ive seen some stunning images from this phone but I am not familiar with it. I think it will be easier to obtain higher quality image from a larger sensor camera but a good image can be made by either piece of gear. Keep in mind, some post editing skills can be helpful as well. Searching, studying, and practicing what you learn will advance your imagery with your current setup.
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.
 
New gear can sometimes motivate and inspire one to get out and shoot. I vote for a new camera.
 
I only really use my phone if I don't have my camera with me as I feel that the image quality is better with the larger sensor in a camera. It also allows you to better control the image you want to take using techniques such as long exposure using an ND filter, bracketing etc. Having said that thee are some great images on this forum under the"photos taken with a phone" section.
Photos taken with a phone
 
I would say buy the camera.

But its the person not the gear. I always say a camera is just a dark box with a tube filled with glass attached.

You would be well served to find a mentor and advisor to work with you on shots.

You have the motivation, now its technique learning time.

But most of all, don't get discouraged. Keep shooting.
 
Depending on your budget and location, don't overlook used gear. If you are in the US, consider Adorama, B&H and KEH. In Canada, I would consider Henry's (I actually bought a film body from their ebay site).
 
People take great landscape images, especially panoramas, with smartphone cameras every day and you may want to upgrade your smartphone for one with a better camera and take a photography class geared toward smartphones. There are some very good ones online, or look for a class at a local community college. For the best smartphone cameras look at the reviews at DxOMark.com . If you are serious, but not yet sure you want to make a full fledged commitment to photography, go for a bridge camera. The better ones have almost all the features of mirrorless or dslr cameras, but the lens is fixed, not removable. Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony all make very good ones. Look for one for similar specs to the Panasonic Lumix FZ80, which is a good value and is good for landscapes, but can handle wildlife. You will want to make the commitment to study photography. If you really want to get into photography then go the mirrorless camera route, which is the future of photography. I would recommend Sony, which leads in mirrorless technology like the a6400 with something like a Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6. Don't go this route unless your are seriously going to commit yourself to learning photography.

You will often hear the phrase, it's the photographer, not the camera.
 
You said you can't always get the photo you want because you can't get in close enough. For that you probably need a telephoto (longer) lens.

You could get a point 'n shoot with a lens that zooms and magnifies, or a camera with separate body and lenses and get a telephoto lens. Kit lenses aren't usually the sharpest or best lenses, and I agree with the polar bear - buying used is an excellent idea!

If you buy a camera you'll need to learn how to use it and get in plenty of practice. It's not going to hop out of the box and instantly take fabulous pictures, it will depend on you.
 
Thanks very much for all of the advice!

I'd definitely buy used if I were to buy a camera! I think an Olympus OMD EM5 ii, because it's compact and weatherproof.

For the moment I think I'll download an app and play with ISO, exposure, shutter speed etc. on my phone and when I've got to grips with that buy a camera if I'm still struggling.
 
1. I often find it quite difficult to frame landscapes nicely without walking a load to get the shot right, because I can’t zoom without losing the image quality.

2. I was wondering whether buying a mirrorless camera with a kit zoom lense would allow me to significantly improve the quality of photos I take,

3. or whether I’d be better off investing some time learning how to better frame photos with my phone.

4. I know very little about cameras so I don’t know how significant the photo quality difference between a ~£700 mirrorless and a smartphone would be.
1. IMO, landscape shots usually disappoint. The reason is, your camera cannot "take in" everything that you see with your eyes. A wide-angle lens (like in your phone camera) takes the wide shots, but loses much detail that is simply too far away.

2. I say yes. A larger sensor, coupled with a quality lens will show a big difference.

3. Do both. Learn how to "see" a good shot and then capture it. Framing is certainly one aspect of good photography, but you can "frame" the shot even later on your computer providing you left some space around the edges when you took the photo.

4. If you want to take on the hobby of photography, then you're ready to move up to a "real" camera.
 
To me the iPhone is good for close up family shots, close ups of objects, and broad landscapes. I like my DSLR for zooming in. Even sunsets look better because you can move in to the colors. Go with something simple.
 
If you are not sure you are going be involved it photography I would buy a Wal-Mart special in the $50 to $75 range. You get 14 -16 megapixels, zoom and other functions. My wife likes these and takes hundreds of photos when we travel. Her last one was less than $50.

If you do not like it, you are not out much. If the photo bug bites you, you have a good backup camera for those places you would not take your expensive gear.

I like a view finder so I find my Canon DSLR is a better fit for me. My wife like the screen and thinks my camera it too big, too heavy and too complicated. I have to admit that she had some excellent shots from our trip to Iceland.
 
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