Photography – 2nd hand camera, help me choose please
I recently signed up to an online photography diploma course, which starts next week. Only problem is, I don’t own any sort of decent camera. I like the idea of being able to take great quality landscape photos with high enough definition to possibly make prints, 12 x 18 inches maybe.
I have been looking online and it looks like a good time to buy 2nd hand. But I don’t even really know what I should be looking for. Can someone help sort out all the jargon for me please?
Any of these any use? The names of most of the cameras are in the web address. I don’t want anything extremely complicated as I’m not very tech savvy.
Any help greatly appreciated 🙂 . Even if I can just get an idea of what I’d need / what I don’t need.
Thanks!Posted 1 month ago
Personally I’d stick to any dslr from Canon or Nikon, simply due to the plethora of second hand lenses available.
Even iPhones will produce images for 12×18, it’s more about the useability, controllability and the ‘ecosystem’ available for dslr.
Don’t get too hung up on the body itself, equipmentwise it’s 90% about the lens.Posted 1 month ago
Many of those are very old cameras – I’d advise getting something more modern as the sensors have moved on considerably.
I wouldn’t look at interchangeable lens cameras (ILC) if you’re looking at the £200 budget, you’d be stuck with an old body and a crappy kit zoom lens.
One of the earlier sony rx 100 cameras would be a great choice, or possibly a similar spec Panasonic.
Canon make decent lenses but their dslr bodies and compact cameras haven’t been competitive for 5 years. If you’re going to get an ILC I’d stick to Nikon or Sony e-mount.Posted 1 month agobob_summersMember
I don’t want anything extremely complicated as I’m not very tech savvy.
You sound like me. For not much more than a ton you should be able to pick up a used Olympus OM-1 with its 50mm/f1.8 kit lens, a few rolls of Ilford HP5+ and you’ll have as good a chance of creating gorgeous images as with any modern digital.
edit: just seen the landscape bit, you’ll need a wider lens but the rest still stands.Posted 1 month ago
So what about the Canon and Nikon ones I’ve listed above, too old or behind the times? I really don’t have much knowledge in this area. Thanks
The prices are terribly uncompetitive. I’d suggest looking at eBay or MPB – you should be able to get a D3300 within your budget, or a rx100 i (maybe ii).Posted 1 month ago
I mean I’m prepared to put the effort in to learn my way around whatever one I end up with, and I like the idea of being able to use a proper camera, but I’m not much of a tech geek so it won’t come naturally.
So try get the newest 2nd hand camera I can see? Rough budget is 200 – 300, don’t want to be going bananas. It’s my first ‘shot’ at it. 😉Posted 1 month agoMalvern RiderMember
As an old-time landscape photographer I’d suggest that you are spoiled for choice. I spent decades using Canon DSLRs but got tired with the schlepping, anyway, things changed and I now carry a 12mp compact zoom (great lens ) which is ideal for prints up to 18 inches. For low light photography the Sony RX100 is excellent but I found was not sturdy or ergonomic enough to cope/handle the rigours. I’d be looking at the Ricoh GRII or a Fuji film X100 something if I wanted a trusty carry-around. If you find a prime lens limiting then maybe look into mirrorless compacts? I personally enjoy prime lenses as they force me into ‘composition mode’ and time has proven that (at least for me) my most satisfying results have been from the creativity and sharpness both demanded and offered by a prime lens setup. It’s just that with a compact zoom I now have great macro options, another aspect of landscape photography that I enjoy immensely.
*Edit – although if you’re ‘learning the ropes’ it may be best to grab a decent used DSLR and just get stuck in until you learn more about the possibilities, and discober any limitations. Your *second* camera choice will (ideally) then be informed much more by your developing style and evolving requirements.Posted 1 month agoThree_FishMember
A dSLR is, fundamentally, a very, very simple thing to use. You set ISO, decide on aperture and shutter speed, you frame, focus and: click. That’s what you need to learn to take photographs. Everything else is bells and whistles, you’ll figure it out as and when you need it.
I’d recommend getting the best Nikon or Canon dSLR that fits your budget, with either a 35mm or 50mm prime lens (maybe switch 50mm for 24/28mm if you’re doing lots of landscape). I don’t know Canon, but stay away from 2nd hand Nikon D600 unless they seller can confirm that Nikon have replaced the sensor/shutter seal (international recall).
The D6** series are full-frame, everything belies that is cropped (roughly 1/3 off your lens’ focal range) – a 28mm on a D3300, for example, will be equivalent to a 35mm on a D610.Posted 1 month agostumpy01Member
I haven’t looked at all of the camera links you have posted above, but a lot of them seem on the high side for what you are getting.
For example, the Nikon D3100 seems quite pricey for what you are getting.
I’ve got a D80. It’s an old body and yes, things have moved on in terms of the sensor technology. A newer body would allow you to get ‘cleaner’ images in low light. But, it is still a great camera with very good ergonomics.
Having a quick look on ebay, there are loads on there with bidding currently well below your budget.
I would also try to factor in a tripod.
There is a comment above about getting a 35 or 50mm prime lens. If landscape is what you are trying to capture, I wouldn’t be looking at those lenses; the chances are they won’t be wide enough to capture a whole landscape scene.
Oh, and regarding your comment about printing 8×12 images – the 4 megapixel Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 that I bought in around 2004 would have no trouble with 8×12 size reprints. So, don’t worry too much about that aspect of it.
I would look for an SLR that offers good controls & easy adjustability.Posted 1 month agofinishthatSubscriber
The price in those links are on the high side .Posted 1 month ago
Complexity is going to be down to learning the basics of exposure – aperture and shutter speed – how they impact the results , this is likely going to be part of the online course.
The Art bit is composing the image using the tools you have – the lens being the most important thing, and likely in the course too.
So having a camera that makes changing the exposure and composition easy is important if you are needing to explore photography rather than rely on the equipment to automatically help you and not really understand whats going on.
So getting a camera that allows easy manual adjustment of basic settings can really help you feel confident in experimenting – having basic settings obscured by being buried down in menus is a real pain.
Think carefully about how much weight you are happy to carry around as landscape photography often benefits from being shot from a tripod – worth getting second hand as they are usually sold barely used , any kind of still life or even portrait in natural light will greatly benefit from a tripod too.
You can get impossibly bogged down in specifications – and there are always “better” models and endless online arguments about this stuff , its best to get something cheap and cheerful that will do the job as advised in a post above and learn what bits matter to you.
I am going to suggest a cheap and capable micro 4/3 DSLR style camera that is easy to use and to get it with the kit lens 14-42 or 14-45 , the Panasonic G1 or G2, G3 or the similar G10 , any one will do and should be
cheap to buy easy to carry and easy to use. (not more than 150e – so budget left for tripod and something to carry the camera in).bigyinnMember
if you’re ‘learning the ropes’ it may be best to grab a decent used DSLR and just get stuck in until you learn more about the possibilities, and discober any limitations. Your *second* camera choice will (ideally) then be informed much more by your developing style and evolving requirements.
This is probably the best advice offered. Get one with a kit zoom, (18-55mm typically) and play around, fiddle with settings and learn how to use it. Then once you’ve learnt the basics you can consider where the camera is letting you down or holding you back. Most cmaeras under 5years old will be pretty good.Posted 1 month ago
Absolutely no point is spending a heap of dosh on something that you may not even enjoy.NicoMember
So what about the Canon and Nikon ones I’ve listed above, too old or behind the times?
I’ve got a Nikon D70. It’s ancient in comparison to the ones you list, but when I bought it it took great photos and it still does. 7MP – a lot less than my phone, though the lens is a bit bigger. I’m not recommending it, just pointing out that pretty much any decent camera will be fine and if you are doing a course then you will be improving the weakest link in most photography.Posted 1 month ago
One of my favourite landscape images that have ever taken was with a Canon 350d. Landscape photography actually isn’t as demanding on the camera as things like wildlife of sports photography. You will usually have the luxury of being able to use low iso, small apertures and won’t be doing much cropping. I really wouldn’t get too hung up on which body so long as it has all the manual controls and the ability to take raw pictures.
Biggest improvement in image quality I ever made was putting an L series lens on that 350d. Second biggest was Lightroom.Posted 1 month ago
So what kind of lense do I need to be looking at for landscape photography? I’m sure its been mentioned once, but just to clarify. 15mm to 50mm?
I just want to be able to capture the depth and detail of what I can see, especially with sunrise and sunset over the mountains.
Thanks 🙂Posted 1 month agoCHBSubscriber
I am a Nikon user and have a D80, D3300 and a full frame D610. If you are actually wanting to learn about photography the extra manual controls of the D80 and the D610 are a massive advantage over the D3300. Cheaper cameras have some amazing sensors, but you often have to dive into menus to change ISO, Apperture and Exposure, which is a pain. I would look at getting something like an old D90 or other older, but higher range DSLR. The sensors have improved a lot in sensitivity in the past few years, but unless your photography is in lots of low light conditions you will still be amazed at the results of a 3-5 year old model.Posted 1 month ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.