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Wren

Any Opinions on This Camera?

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I know there are a few camera enthusiasts on the boards, and was just wondering if any of you had time to give me a quick opinion on a camera I'm considering.

 

I've been eyeing this camera to replace my aging Fujifilm FinePix 6000fd. Primary uses would be photographing miniatures, and special events pictures like weddings, parties and vacations. (Since the portability of camera phones outweighs the crappy picture quality.) I would want to be able to at least competently do those things with the lens it ships with, though could consider purchasing the macro lens at some point. Best Buy has a deal that comes with a pancake lens for increased portability.

 

I'm concerned about whether I'd miss zoom capability from a more traditional digital camera feature set, and whether having everything buried in menus would be annoying. (I'm far, far from a photographer, but I do mess around with the f stop and exposure a fair bit while taking photos of minis.)

 

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-nex-f3

 

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Honestly at that price point I would go with: Nikon D3200. My wife currently uses the D3100 and I have the D7000. I love both of these cameras and they have so many options and take such nice photos. The nice thing about the D7000 is that when you put it in Manual mode, you can control f stop with one spin knob on the back and exposure with another on the front. So when I am looking through the eye piece I with my pointer finger to adjust one and my thumb to adjust the other. It's so quick and handy. You could get the D3100 at a killer price right now.

 

My wife currently uses the 18-300mm nikon lens and I use either the 35mm nikon lens with f/1.8g or my 105mm Nikon macro lens with f/2.8g I believe it is.

 

By the way I am a Nikon junkie.

 

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It gets good reviews on Amazon. You should look at those, as there are several in depth comments about the camera by current users.

 

 

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The camera itself should be great. The pancake would likely leave much to be desired for miniatures (though good for most other things). Does it also come with the kit zoom lens? While not amazing close-up wise it doesn't look bad for it either. Some cropping would probably be needed but not absurd amounts. Sony's macro lens is relatively cheap at under $300. I have no idea how good it is but it's probably pretty decent.

 

Personally I'm an Olympus mirco 4/3 fan. For marco I use an EM5 with a 105mm macro lens and its amazing. :)

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Honestly at that price point I would go with: Nikon D3200. My wife currently uses the D3100 and I have the D7000. I love both of these cameras and they have so many options and take such nice photos. The nice thing about the D7000 is that when you put it in Manual mode, you can control f stop with one spin knob on the back and exposure with another on the front. So when I am looking through the eye piece I with my pointer finger to adjust one and my thumb to adjust the other. It's so quick and handy. You could get the D3100 at a killer price right now.

 

My wife currently uses the 18-300mm nikon lens and I use either the 35mm nikon lens with f/1.8g or my 105mm Nikon macro lens with f/2.8g I believe it is.

 

By the way I am a Nikon junkie.

 

I am also a big fan of Nikon. I have a D50 I bought a few years back with a kit lens. I use an old Vivitar manual focus macro lens, and both camera and lenses are capable of so much more than I am.

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Sony has excellent sensors (they're used in many Nikon DSLRs, btw). But their lens selection is weak compared to Canon/Nikon and they use a proprietary hot shoe, so I wouldn't buy one, myself.

 

The people that do buy them seem very happy, though.

 

The D3200 and Canon's equivalent are both excellent choices.

 

Frankly, if you buy any interchangeable lens camera made in the last 4 years or so, you should be fine for the sorts of things you're talking about (assuming you aren't planning to shoot weddings professionally.)

 

I wouldn't get a macro lens to start with unless you know how to light a subject a couple of inches from the front of the lens. Kit lenses can usually focus closely enough for photos of minis.

 

HTH

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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I was definitely going to try with the kit lens before looking at a macro lens purchase. It said minimum distance on the kit lens was 25 cm, which is closer than I often shoot minis.

 

And I'm definitely not going pro wedding photographer! ;->

 

@cmorse - The pancake lens comes in a combo package from Best Buy, it's just a bonus that makes the camera package a little more appealing to me since it makes it more portable immediately.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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I do agree that a macro lens is a whole different kind of beast. I had to rethink how I approached my shoots. I love taking close-ups of flowers and bugs and using my 35mm to my 105mm are two totally different kinds of beasts. The 35mm is deffinately alot more user friendly, and I tend to use it for parties and weddings and the such. It also does great close-ups for minis. It can be had for about $200 new for the Nikon.

 

I do agree that whether it is Sony, Nikon, or Canon that you will probably be happy with any of the newer DSLR's. I wish I could attach some of the flower pictures I just took at a local conservatory with my 105mm lense. They are on my facebook page if you mosey over there and want to take a look to see what I can do with my 105mm lens.

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And because of this thread I think I have finally decided on the Nikon lens I want for miniature photography!

Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

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The 40mm is a good lens and the price is right, but it's a bit short. This starts to matter when you go to a true macro distance, where the subject is 3.5cm from the front element of the lens. At that distance it can be very difficult to light the front of the subject because the camera is in the way of the lights.. The 60mm Micro is very good and a reasonable length. The 105mm Micro is darn near magical, though, and a brilliant portrait lens.

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Yes, but have you priced a 105 lately? And you realize that you talked me out of the 105 not that long ago?

Edited by Heisler

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Something else to keep in mind about macro lenses. You don't need a modern one. You will rarely ever use auto focus with macro. An old Tamron 90mm SP that is manual focus only is still a great lens. There are many articles out there listing which old macro lenses are as good or nearly as good as the latest thing from any given company.

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Yes, but have you priced a 105 lately? And you realize that you talked me out of the 105 not that long ago?

IIRC, that was more about not needing a macro at all (for which, see above). Failing that, "A foolish consistency..." and so on. ^_^

 

Seriously, even a 60mm macro gets you close enough to the subject that lighting is difficult. I've had decent luck with a ring light or you could use the dedicated macro flash that Nikon makes, but that's pretty hideously expensive, too.

 

You're right about the 105 being expensive, of course, but it does give you enough stand-off distance that simpler lighting works.

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