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Looking for a new Camera


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#1 Pole

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

I have finally broken down and admitted that I need to get rid of my 7 year old 6MP Kodak. It was a great camera while it lasted but it just doesn't cut the mustard compared to everything on the market now. I have been looking around at cameras and I have a few ideas of what I would like to get, but I could use some hints or advice as I know very little about nice cameras. I really want to learn though!

I have been wanting to get a DSLR camera for some time now but I just don't know enough to make an informed decision. So what I want is a DSLR or comprable camera that I can use for both taking good picutres of mini's and for normal everyday use (weddings, birthdays, ect...).

I want to get a camera that I won't have to replace in 2 years. I have been looking around on Amazon and here are a few I found that I really like. The price difference between them is LARGE but if the more expensive is really worth it, I am willing to fork out the money.

Nikon Coolpix L810 16.1MP with 26x optical zoom - $180 Not a DSLR but looked nice for the price


Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens $646


Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging - $699


My price range puts things needing to come in at ~$900 or less. The cheaper the better but I want to get something quality that will work and last.

Also what additional gear should I look at for photographing Mini's? Any lenses or anything special I should look at?

I appriciate any advice anyone can offer!




(Disclaimer: I don't know if the links I posted are allowed. If I need to remove them, please let me know.)

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#2 buglips*the*goblin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:12 AM

I'm not especially convinced an expensive camera is necessary. I'm using a cheapo Canon A480 Powershot under extremely primitive lighting conditions and with little in the way of photography skills.

Here is an unadjusted super macro picture of a tiny Ral Partha lady's face:

Posted Image



And here is an unadjusted super macro picture of a common orb weaver spider:

Posted Image




This camera's what? $30-$40? Would anybody even need more detail than that? And that's with nothing to stabilize the camera - just me holding it in my shaky hands.

IMO, unless you've got an extremely specialized purpose in mind, so long as you work to set your lighting up decently there's no reason you have to spend big money.

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#3 Pole

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:38 AM

A little more research has shown that the Nikon Coolpix only has one timer setting... 10secs. is way to long for me. I am still tossing the idea of a DSLR around but I have a bit of research to do yet. Some input would be welcome!

Thanks!

2013: 14 Minis Painted

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Free time = 0


#4 Heisler

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:19 AM

I think you need to take a good look at what, if anything, you will gain from using a DSLR. I currently have a number of Nikon DSLRs (and SLRs) which I dearly love. One of the reasons is that I'm able to use all of my old Nikon lenses even on the current generation of DSLRs, granted I lose some of the functionality of the camera itself when I'm using an old lens but it allowed me plenty of time to upgrade lenses and I still have lenses to use. Your ability to take good mini photos will depend, primarily, on the lens you are using, what distance will it focus at, that kind of thing. All of mine have a macro mode, but what I can achieve with that mode is entirely dependent on the lens I'm using. So a DSLR will give you a lot of versatility if you take a lot of pictures of a variety of subjects because you can essentially customize you camera to the situation. I also like the size of my cameras, a lot of the point in shoots are almost to small for my hands.

I have seen plenty of little point in shoots that take great pictures even of miniatures. In fact my phone actually seems to take better miniature pictures than my DSLR. The Nikon Coolpix line seems to be a favorite, again, I have a hard time using them because my fingers always manage to hit two buttons.
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#5 Pole

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:34 AM

I have been looking at a few point and shoot camera's and I know that they would be easier to use and what not but, I also have big hands. I really want a full body camera if I can swing it. The CoolPix looks like a great camera for the price, but I plan on using the timer and a 10 second timer will most likely frustrate the hell out of me.

The whole, me wanting a DSLR, is a long standing thing really. I would love to have a more versatile camera and have the freedom to tweak settings and such that a DSLR will allow. The frustrating things is that lenses are expensive and if I do get a DSLR it will be some time before I am able to spring for another lens or two. I have never owned a SLR or a DSLR but I did get to play with quite a few when I was managing a pawn shop back in the day. I think thats mostly where me wanting one comes from.

I am still looking around at all my options at the moment and I am keeping myself open. If I could something similar to the CoolPix L810 for around the same price, I would most likely spring for that while I learn a bit more about the DSLR's.

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#6 Spike

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:15 PM

Having helped a few other friends shop for cameras and accessories, I find it helps to know how far you want to go with your photography. If you plan on getting a DSLR, you will inevitably want to buy more lenses. While most people agree that Nikhor lenses are superior to Canon, they are also generally a bit higher in price. As for the camera body, it almost seems to be a matter of personal preference with Canon and Nikon users. People who have used both seem to agree that Canon works better for people with smaller or more agile hands.

The one advantage that the point-and-shoot compacts have over DSLRs is that they usually come with a super-macro mode, whereas with the DSLR to get true super-macro closeups you will need to buy a rather expensive lens just for that. But don't worry. With typical 12mp to 15mp resolution in modern low-end DSLRs, you'll be able to get a good high-quality image using the usual 18-55mm "kit" lens that usually comes with a DSLR body. You just have to back up a bit and zoom in.

Don't let a 10-sec timer discourage you too much from what otherwise might seem like a good deal. For around $15 you can get a wired remote shutter release cable to fit whatever DSLR you choose. Also, some P&S cameras come with remotes.

You will eventually want a tripod though...and if you get the DSLR I cannot recommend enough that you buy a good dedicated camera bag to protect your gear.

And if you get the DSLR and want to be like just about every other DSLR owner, you should strongly consider getting the 50mm prime lens as your second lens. It's relatively cheap at around $110, and is perfect for portraits.

(edit)

Just to give the little Canon Powershot 8480 its due respect, it can take the picture below, and my $700 DSLR can't.


Posted Image

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#7 Pole

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:40 PM

Hey Spike! Thanks for the information. It's good to know about the Nikon being better for those of us with bigger hands! I went down to an old Pawnshop buddy of mine who I would take our cameras to for work and spoke with him today. He is going to keep his eyes out for a few good lenses for me and a good DSLR body. In the mean time I went ahead and bought a Panasonic DMC-FZ150 Point and shoot. He went on and on about how it would do everything I was looking for and more. After looking at quite a few online reviews I figured it would be a good fit.

Knowing the pawn business he could find the camera tomorrow for me, or it could be 3 years until a nice one came through the door. So in the mean time I have a very nice Point and Shoot to play with and learn on.

So all of this got me to thinking and I have another question. I was reading on a few macro photography boards and most seemed to like the Macro Ring Lights. Would those be any good with miniatures or are they too directional?

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#8 Spike

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:32 PM

I saw a macro ring light in action at a tabletop gaming convention two years ago. You probably can do fine without one if you're just going to be taking "studio portraits" of your painted minis, but if you ever go to a minis or gaming convention and want to get good well-lit photos of other folks' minis without having to spend a lot of time setting up and tinkering with lights or awkward remote flashes, you'll want the macro ring.

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#9 Pole

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:16 PM

Thanks Spike. I was hoping someone would know what I was talking about. I think I will hold off until after this ReaperCon to see how the pictures will be minus the ring light then.

Took a few shots of a freshly primered mini on stock settings tonight with the new camera. It was quick to focus, easy to adjust the timer, and looked great on the LCD screen. I will hopefully be getting a look at them on the computer tomorrow to see what they REALLY look like, but so far I am as pleased as can be. I will be giving the new Camera a workout this weekend while I paint at a friends, so hopefully my Photo-Fu can improve a bit.

2013: 14 Minis Painted

2014 Mini Painting Goal:  Paint something :down:
Free time = 0


#10 Kay

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:57 AM

After just getting back from a once in a lifetime trip to Europe with my daughter this summer, and discovering that half of the pictures are pointless to keep, I went out and purchased a new camera. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am with my purchase. I have a Canon PowerShot SX150 and I'm inappropriately in love with it!

I can take a picture of our cat from across the 15 foot room using the zoom, then zoom in on the actual picture and count hairs. We have taken it to several rock concerts and have gotten some pictures that rival the pros. Even with my husbandish taking them, and he is the world's worst photographer.

It says it has a 12X optical zoom and is 14.1 megapixils if that means anything to you. It doesn't to me... I just know that it takes great pictures. (and it doesn't eat through batteries like crack) I would post a picture of one of my WIP minis but I haven't figured out how to do that just yet.
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#11 Kay

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:47 AM

Buglips to the rescue again!!!

Here's a few of the pics of the throne. I don't know how to make the pictures smaller when I post them... something new to learn this week.

.Posted Image

.So this is obviously a small object, up close and personal, with bad lighting- and it looks this good.

.Posted Image

.At this is at a concert this summer, taken by my horrible photographer husbandish from easily a football field & a half away (we got the cheap seats)- Poison was one of the opening acts. With my husband moving and Bret moving it's pretty good. He was zoomed all the way in and it was typical outdoor concert lighting.

.Considering the old camera would have just been a blurry shot of random colors- I'm in love with this one!!


*Edited to change the pictures to smaller versions. I hope it worked.

Edited by Kay, 04 September 2012 - 09:18 PM.

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#12 GreyHorde

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:10 PM

I'm in the market for a new camera, too. A friend has a Canon PowerShot SX150 and loves it, especially the macro mode, so I may get one. On the other hand, I have some low-light and outdoor conditions coming up this Fall, and a family vacation where video becomes important. If I can manage it, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 gets very good reviews. @Pole - post up what you think of it?

#13 Kay

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:21 PM

I've had good luck with both low-light and outdoor conditions with my PowerShot. The video on the camera is good too though it can hog memory so make sure if you plan to use the camera for that feature a lot that you have extra SD cards- and batteries for video mode.
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#14 Steel_Wind

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:58 AM

While I respect the OPs DSLR quest, I'm just looking for a cheap butt camera that will take a decent picture of a mini in a light box.

Canon A2300, 4000IS or whatever. Any advice is welcome.

Requirements: A camera which when placed on a cheap butt tripod will take decent macro pictures of minis in a light box. The End.


#15 Loim

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:48 AM

Most of the newer point and shoot cameras should do what you are wanting Steel_Wind. In fact with all the new technology the exception seems to be cameras that won't do everything except feed the dog. I personally prefer Nikon. I own a D50 and also have had lots of good experience with their CoolPix line. I imagine as long as you stick to the better known names (Nikon, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, etc) you will do probably do ok. I would probably look around either online or in-store to find a few I liked, then do a little research via Amazon and Google to see what people were saying about those models.

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