DSLR camera track world advice
A handful of/10 years ago I had a Pentax K-M camera. It was good enough for what I needed – got some nice star/landscape/sunset photos and the quality was good enough to put on a couple of 3x4ft canvases on our walls. Life was good. Life was simple.
The camera got broken in a house move 3 years ago and I’ve been using my phone for snaps since.
Now we find ourselves wanting to update the photo canvases on our walls and the phone snaps aren’t good enough quality for that size of print.
So I find myself looking for a new fairly basic camera but suppose the ability to shoot timelapse/1080p video would be nice too. Not sure where to start really, so whats the STW recommendation for good value, dependable camera without breaking the bank.Think alpkit rather than patagonia level price wise.
ThanksPosted 1 month ago
I suppose the best place to start is what lenses do you have, if any?
And do you want to buy used or new?
I used Canon EOS DSLR for years (expressly for creating large landscape prints), going through a few upgrades (always Canon) as I relied solely on my nifty fifty lens for sharpness.
Got tired of carrying the DSLR bags and the faff so now use a Pentax 12 MP digital compact which is surprisingly good enough for at least A3 prints
DSLR tho… my advice is to spend yr money on the best lens you can afford. Think carefully about what type of lens. I was happier with the sharpest prime I could afford. Kit lenses can be a mixed bag so I’d be all over DPReview with that QPosted 1 month ago
Lots of extremely capable secondhand kit available if you don’t have to have the latest thing.Posted 1 month ago
Mirrorless is kinda where it’s at these days tbh, unless you really want a big camera. The Fuji stuff is really nice, brilliant ergonomics and feel.Posted 1 month ago
I’ve a pentax manual 50mm prime and one kit lens left not obviously broken. But one lens and the body was crushed. All lenses and body were in one bag – found under a lot of Very.Heavy.Stuff.
So I am going on basis of all knackerd.
Second hand is my preferred option, had a look on Facebook marketplace but no idea whats good or not really.Posted 1 month ago
I just got back into photography this Christmas as my daughter was showing an interest and it sparked mine – my last camera was an 18 year old dslr and before that a pentax film camera!
I don’t think you can go wrong with Fujifilm – I bought a secondhand (but mint) Fuji X-E2 from MPB with 6 months warranty for around £200 and a couple of cheap lenses off ebay. I also bought a pentax lens adaptor so I could use my old manual focus lenses from film days.
I like the experience so much with the mirrorless/manual focus that I’m probably going to get a slightly newer Fuji mirrorless in the near future with weathersealing and a bigger sensor.
Mirrorless cameras are amazing as they give you so much info through the viewfinder and it reacts when you use the manual apature ring on an old lens! Fantastic.
They eat batteries though – much more than DSLR’s so factor in a couple of spares.
You should look at X-E2/3, XT100/200, XT20, XT2/3 or any of the newer ones if your budget will stretch. All of these have 16MP sensors or 24MP sensors in APS-C size and will be more than capable of getting you something great looking to print.
I think I’ll be going for either a secondhand X-T2 or even an X-T3 if I sell a bike…….Posted 1 month ago
Shortly after thinking what I wanted was a full frame mirrorless and buying a Nikon Z6, I then found it bulky and it’s not something you want with you everyday at that cost.
I then found the X100 range from Fuji, easy to have with you often, a capable photographer can manage fantastic images with it and the retro styling is something I love. I however, need a lot more practice with it to get the results I see in my head before the shot. MPB and ebay have lots of the F,T,S models if you just want to try it out without going all out for the V. It also removes the constant investigation and investment in lenses as it’s fixed, which again for me was a plus 🙂Posted 1 month ago
Mirrorless is kinda where it’s at these days tbh,
Expensive though, especially if you want a half-decent lens with ‘approaching comparable’ image quality of a DSLR setup that would typically cost much less.
I say this as someone tired of carrying DSLR but miss the silky-smooth big old bokehPosted 1 month ago
I have an xt2 borrowed from a mate and it’s lovely
Expensive though, especially if you want a half-decent lens
A second hand body from a couple of years ago won’t be expensive. Lenses can be a bit spendy admittedly.Posted 1 month ago
Depend what you want and how much.Posted 1 month ago
I like my Mirrorless Canon M50. It’s small (means I’m more likely to carry it with me), easy to use and shoots good pics. I sold my full size DSLR as it was simply to big to carry and was rarely used.
It came with a standard kit lens and I added a prime lens and a wide angle, neither of which were expensive.
Lots of extremely capable secondhand kit available if you don’t have to have the latest thing.
This. We have bought a full DSLR set up for middle_oab as he is taking a photography college course this year. It is amazingly good – Nikon D7000, a Nikon 50mm prime and 18-125 Sigma came to £330. His birthday in 10 days and we have just bought him a (huge!) Nikon 70-300 for £220. We had bag, tripod, cleaning kit etc already. All from MPB who are excellent.
What lenses do you still have?
The obvious thing if you still have some lenses is a second hand Pentax – https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/brands/pentax/Posted 1 month ago
I have an older Canon 60D and a few good lenses. With a toddler and another on the way i’m looking to go mirrorless.
I’ve been looking at the Canon M series, I know the Canon system, i can use the lenses i have with an adaptor.Posted 1 month ago
I use a Pentax k5. My wife has a cannon 60d.
Both a bit older, both still take great photos.
I have using hers as the menu and controls all work slightly differently. Because I don’t use it, it’s still a bit odd.
The k5 has survived 2 drops to concrete from waist high. Cheap, tough, takes good photos, you can use it with your current lenses if they are ok.
Looks like they are going for 160-300 on eBay.
Definitely go mirrorless not proper DSLR.
I have an old Fuji X-T1 and it is lovely, especially if you like physical dials instead of touchscreens. The X-T1/T2 are pretty cheap these days, the only catch with Fuji is that the lenses are relatively expensive. The flip side is that even their cheapest lenses are pretty damn good. The “kit” 18-50 is f/2.8-f/4 and has image stabilisation, for example.Posted 1 month ago
Another very happy Fuji(xt20) user here. Lens wise the Viltrox stuff presents better value for very little lost in image quality. Also with focus peaking manual focus lenses are practical and fun.Posted 1 month ago
There are some good deals on the twin lens Olympus OM-D E10 MK3 at the minute. I’ve just picked one up, really nice kit and surprisingly small.Posted 1 month ago
If you want to go cheap, I have a Nikon D7000 body (and a D90 if you want really cheap) that I would let go for a good price. Might even be able to dig out a lens too depending what you want.
There is a catch though.
The autofocus on both through the viewfinder is out of whack. You can tune it manually with the D90 and through software with the D7000 but I’ve never managed to get it great – if I set it so it’s perfect with a 50mm at 1.8 6ft away, it’ll back / forward focus at any other distance. It’s not really noticeable at smaller apertures, if at all – probably fine for landscape.
Both of them are also perfect if you use live view (which is a LOT nicer on the newer D7000) but a lot slower to use. Again, fine for landscapes or still life.
Apparently it’s a common thing with the D7000, I think the D90 is just old. I bought the D7000 off ebay and by the time I’d realised it was too late for a refund. D’oh. It also has a sticky power button.Posted 1 month ago
Gave my Canon 500D to child #2 when I bought a canon m100.
For the 500D I had a few lenses including a 50mm f1.4. Brilliant pictures. But like most DSLRs, even compact ones like this, bulky to carry so often left it behind when going out.
M100 came with 2 lenses. Use the 22mm most and can easily carry the 15-45mm in a coat pocket. Both are obviously slower than the 50mm f1.4.
the thing I didn’t bank on was that despite its fancy tech being an inexpensive mirrorless means that I either have to hold the M100 far from me or use reading glasses to be able to focus on its screen 🤦🏻♂️ I also find its settings less intuitive than the 500D. But then I’ve taken maybe a 1,000 or so pictures with it so far and 10,000s with the 500D so there’s plenty of practice to be had.
carry-wise and cost-wise I’d go for the M100 or similar again. For image quality and ease of use I’d go back to the 500D.Posted 1 month ago
Now we find ourselves wanting to update the photo canvases on our walls and the phone snaps aren’t good enough quality for that size of print.
Mate of mine shoots Nikon. He’s got a large landscape canvas on his wall, I asked him “what lens did you shoot that with?” He replied, “oh, iPhone.”Posted 1 month ago
Mpb.com for second hand stuff.Posted 1 month ago
+ 1 for the Olympus Micro 4/3 system. I recently got an OM-D-E10 and I love it. Really classy piece of kit and small and light. Some excellent lightweight lenses available from Olympus and Panasonic (Both work equally as well).Posted 1 month ago
This post feels the wrong way around.
Do you want to take up photography again and then display them on your wall?
Or do you just need some photos for your wall and you are not too fussed about the photography bit – is it just a means to an end?
Is it important to you that you/partner press the trigger? Or is it specific shots/locations you are after?
If you want to get into photography – crack on. It’s one of my reasons to be in silly places at silly times of the day. DSLRs (or mirrorless for those without a bunch of other hobbys to fund) and a tripod unleash so much creativity – ND filters and long exposures is my current thing. Curiously I have 6 frames I made myself waiting until I have 6 photos I am proud enough of to have on the wall. It’s been two years since I made them…..
If it’s just about getting stuff on the wall check out what you can do with your phone – if it’s modern it is surprising. If it has a raw photo mode so much the better. My wife’s Huawei is incredible – for a phone. DSLR gives you more tools and opportunities but the hardest part is seeing the composition. For most rank armatures you only get this right once in a blue moon. You increase the odds if the camera is always in your pocket. If I’m honest if it wasn’t for the playing around with filters and tripods and long exposures I’m not convinced my photography would be much worse if just on my phone (shot in raw – did I say this is important?).
Or….thought about supporting an actual photographer? Someone local in your local camera club would bite your hand off for a commission of something specific to you in your area. Or a more nationally recognised photographer – I enjoy a Thomas Heaton weekly YouTube video and would be more than happy to have his work on my wall as a fellow seeker of quiet mountain places.Posted 1 month ago
Thanks all. Been looking at the mbp website and quite taken by the mirrorless sony a6000.Posted 1 month ago
Mate of mine shoots Nikon. He’s got a large landscape canvas on his wall, I asked him “what lens did you shoot that with?” He replied, “oh, iPhone.”
A few things. Firstly (re pixel-peeping) textured canvas is very forgiving of large prints of subpar resolution. And yes, most recent iPhones can take pretty good landscape pictures, provided with optimal lighting and base ISO. But you have virtually zero creative options or lens choice, no ND filters, UV filters etc etc. Also, I’ve never once gotten an iPhone/small lens camera to capture (say) subtle cloud formations/sunsets. It always blows out the yellows and destroys/doesn’t capture much of the visible tonal value. You also cannot do much with curves with iPhone pics. Push the mid-range and shadows in low light or night shots and it will start breaking up fast. Bear in mind I have to produce fine art prints on specific papers, corporate art installations etc so my needs are different. But a capture is a capture. Landscapes (and skies) can be full of subtlety. Take two images – one from my first DSLR, one from my iPhone:
Canon EOS D30 ( 3 megapixel APS sized CMOS) 50mm prime lens taken 2005ish:
iPhone SE (12-megapixel) taken 2019:
Both straight out of the camera. The iPhone is entirely unnatural. No amount of PP is going to approach the smooth detail from the ancient Canon DSLR. 3 megapixels! I made 9-foot Fujifilm Pearl stock prints from that camera (interpolated by the RIP) and they stood up fine. The 12 megapixel iPhone at that size and with that splashy tone death would look like a bag of rusty spanners. But to be fair, either camera could probably make an acceptable large format print of a bag of rusty spanners 🙂
* This is admittedly changing for the better with recent RAW-capable smartphone cameras. They are slowly catching up with some year 2k DSLR features 😉Posted 1 month ago
* Edit – seem to have crossed posts with convert!
By the way, the distant hills in those two shots are the same distant hillsPosted 1 month ago
I went through a cull just before lockdown 1.
I had Nikon D200 and a D80 with a series of fast zooms and fast primes. I hadn’t used it in years. For photography I bought them for I no longer do and wanted something a little more compact for traveling.
I still haven’t found anything that fits my needs/wants. I did look at the Lumix GX80 as it is nice and compact, even though they have been superseded by the GX90, the GX80 still go for a similar price as if it were new. So still looking..
If all you want is to update your canvases on the wall something pre owned would be the best way to go. However, consider that you might want to use a camera more often and will need to lug it around, therefore a more modern mirrorless camera is more compact and less bulky to carry.Posted 1 month ago
I would agree with @p7eaven.
At first glance my phone takes a cracking photo – although pause for a minute and you realise it isn’t as good as a ‘proper’ camera. Great for everyday.
I too have taken some brilliant shots on my old Pentax K100d (6mp and £62 with both kit lenses…). The best pictures I have are also with an ancient 50mm manual lens that is 50 years old or so. There is just something about the amount of light a bigger lens takes in and the larger sensor just being able to make out more of the detail.Posted 1 month ago
Full frame DSLR for the win unless you can afford the latest full frame mirror less.Posted 1 month ago
Everything other than that has a loss in quality and usually control. The trade off is you will get a usually smaller, cheaper and often easier to use camera. Nobody can tell you what is important to you.
It’s like asking what bike should I buy.
Sorry, thats a bit negative.Posted 1 month ago
This is just a personal view. I prefer DSLR. I also prefer full frame sensors as they, with few exceptions, give better image quality when paired with decent lenses.
I also have bought compact mirrorless cameras and use my phone and iPad Mini for pics under different situations. I have never gone out specifically to take photos with anything other than a DLSR, I will usually have either a mirrorless or phone with me in all other situations.
I have a history in sport and landscape/architectural photography and that usually involves the longest and fastest or widest lenses I can get. Mirrorless tends to fall down on the wide angle stuff.
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