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A little help from.. the Photographers...

joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
edited October 2011 in The hub
OK, so I want a new camera...

Simple? No. Not really. It never is, is it?

A little camera history... In the past I've always used and owned fairly cheap bridge camera's. They've been fine for my uses, but very limiting when trying to really progress in both still and movie.

So, I have a (small) amount of money. And I'm thinking it's time to splash and get a proper DSLR.

I have around £2-300 to spend ( I know, it's not much, but it's what I have...) maybe £350 at a push.

I'm happy to get S/H (unless there is a very good reason I shouldn't?!) Or Ideal'y in a sale... Last years model is fine....

Here's what I'm looking for...

I want it mostly for video. So Something that's got good manual control in video, with at least 720p res, Ideally 1080p... Good colour reproduction and quick auto focus, so it's good for the moving shot's...

I would also like a Mic' mount, and ideally, although money may restrict me, an articulated lcd.

It's not only for video though, quick burst speed and a a good af are important too. MF is on the lens, right?! (newb talking here...)

Any time I've used Canon's in the past I've been nothing but impressed. Although I am a bit of a newb, so...

I'm currently looking at the 550D, or if I could find the right deal a 600D.

What kind of range does a 18-55mm lens give? in zoom terms? Is it just a good everyday lens? How badly would I need to buy more lenses for Macro/big zoom? Again, sorry for being a newb...

On that note... do I need to be looking at different lenses for video? Bear in mind I'm an amateur and a skint one at that...

Also looking at the Nikon D5000, it has the articulated screen, but drops video res on its cheaper little brother, and I've heard Nikon's offer less manual control that the Canon's...?

The D5100 Also looks great, but it's out of budget, even If I got a good second hand deal...

What do people think of the Sony's? Some seem to offer really good features for the price... but I dont hear people rave about them as much as (almost all of my photographer mates) rave about the Canons...


A little help would be most appreciated!
I like bikes and stuff
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Posts

  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    Also, are my prices unrealistically low? Will I never find what I'm looking for at that price? Or are there loads of S/H bargains in that price range?
    I like bikes and stuff
  • Reading your post, it sounds like you want a video camera. Which would be obtainable in your budget and do everything you need, whilst still having the ability to capture stills as a secondary objective.

    But I may be wrong. Maybe you really do have a vested interedt in photography, and you're only looking for info on the video side, as you're already set on the rest?

    The trouble is, and I use Canon, so that's what I'm familiar with, is that only really the newer models have started including video. The 600d, 60d, etc. And they're not cheap.. I'm not sure exactly which models, and when it started, so I don;t know how far back you can go on the s/h market, but I don't think it's too far.

    So unless you really do want a dSLR and not a video camera, I'd have a look at the other options.

    The kit lens isn't superb, though I dare say fine for video. What lenses you buy depends on what you want to do with it, but if you thought the camera itself was expensive....
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    I'm not familiar with video, but it doesn't sound like it's a DSLR you want.

    Zoom means the ability to change focal lengths easily, the 18 - 55 mm lens is wide angle to standard, i.e. no telephoto as such so won't make distant things closer (like a binocular does). Focussing distance would be from something like 5cm to infinity (at the wider end of the lens).

    Mike mount: I think would be higher end.

    So for telephoto and video, you will want a big expensive lens with a wide aperture to get plenty of light through, but this will have a shallow depth of field, it would probably cost something like £700 for a telephoto.

    Macro can be done with a 50mm lens that focuses down to mm..

    The macro and telephoto can be done with a good DSLR, but video would need a different setup.

    As a mountain biker, what do you want the video for, filming others riding? then need a good lens, good sensor, good tripod, lighting, but sound is less important.

    Filming yourself riding? A DSLR is not up to this.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    Morning Josh, not seen you on here for a while

    When you say "bridge cameras" which ones have you owned?

    I ask as you could look in to getting a Panasonic/Olympus micro 4/3rds camera or one of the other Compact System Cameras (sony/samsung). I have owned an EPL-1 for 2 years now and i have got some great pictures with it, it also records at 1080p at 25fps which is good but not amazing! you can also get an external mic.

    at the minute i am finding my photography limited by the speed at which i can change settings and stuff so i am spending money in december to get a really good slr and lens.

    The dSlr option leaves you with the following options IMO;
    Canon 1100D

    Nikon d3100

    both are the entry level and are very good cameras, you might need to do a little saving though as they are £50 over your budget. Something to remember though, canon has a great range of legacy lenses that are compatible and nikon are an indivuduals preference in terms of weight etc, (im a canon man)

    In terms of buying secopnd hand you could look at shops that deal in second hand equipment, namely these;

    www.lcegroup.co.uk
    www.jacobsdigital.co.uk
    www.parkcameras.co.uk




    [url][/url]
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    I've had some similar questions lately as i want to get good footage without buying a camcorder, seems there's some amazing videos being filmed on DSLRs, but those are expensive models. As said, DSLRs might be good for tracking shots but not mounting to the bike.
    In my sig is a vid of Chicsands from the lens' of a Flip-sized Kodak sports camera that shot in 720p, and a Sony bridge that shot in 720p (both go up to 1080p). The footage looks good from the Sony, but you can't use any of the manual modes in video. I know you said you wanted to steer away from bridge cameras but a second hand Sony (which is a really good camera with 20x zoom - accessible in video) and the very cheap Kodak might be best for your budget? Alternatively - do some research into a £300 video recorder and see if that will meet your requirements better.
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    Looks like you want a video cam, not DSLR.

    It's starting to be less the case, but I think it remains true that whilst there are options for stills cameras that take video (and vice versa), they're all somewhat of a compromise unless you spend big money.

    I'd say prioritise what you want to do and buy the kit for that first. Then save up again and buy a DSLR.
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    I think you misunderstand me... I also want if for Still's. I was, once upon a time a fairly budding Photographer. I mentioned the video so much as that's something I'm less sure about. I know what I'm getting in terms of Stills.

    The 550D seems to be the best option, offering pretty much everything I wanted, aside from the articulated lens, it's just a case of if I can get it at the right price. The 600D would be even better, but I'm even less likely to get that at the right price.

    I might just have to save for a while and get something nearer to the new year...

    I'm not really sure about the Nikons, and I have more experience with Canon's, so I think I'll stick to them....

    Is there a better alternative for the price than the 550d? Or what about a CSC? I know very little about them, but have heard they are excellent?
    I like bikes and stuff
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    WHat bridge have you got and why is it limiting yor stills? I'd be tempted to keep the bridge camera, and get a dedicated video recorder.
  • If you really want a dSLR, I'd ask yourself, do you really need video?

    I 'upgraded' my dSLR not long back. It cost me £200. I got a s/h 30d. And it's a very nice bit of kit. The 350d that it replaced you can pick up for about £100.

    For the price of a 550d, you could get a dSLR and a video camera. I know it's not what you want to hear, but unless you can find a good bargain somewhere, I reckon it's gonna be over budget, at least for a couple of years yet.

    What have you found limiting about your bridge cameras?
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    Bridge camera's have mostly been cheap and therefore just a bit censored . Slow, and low with odd colour reproduction.

    About the old stuff.... can get a brand new 40D for very little money. It's so tempting, but truthfully the main reason I want a DSLR is that it can do everything I want from a camera. I can take just one camera wherever I go and know I can get the shot/clip I want. I'm also attracted to it for video due to it being so manually configurable... things like manual focus during recording really attract me...


    Maybe i'll just save for a few months and wait for a good deal on a 550 or 600D...
    I like bikes and stuff
  • joshtp wrote:
    Bridge camera's have mostly been cheap and therefore just a bit censored . Slow, and low with odd colour reproduction.

    About the old stuff.... can get a brand new 40D for very little money. It's so tempting, but truthfully the main reason I want a DSLR is that it can do everything I want from a camera. I can take just one camera wherever I go and know I can get the shot/clip I want. I'm also attracted to it for video due to it being so manually configurable... things like manual focus during recording really attract me...

    Maybe i'll just save for a few months and wait for a good deal on a 550 or 600D...

    The thing is. If we're staying inside budgets. A bridge or compact sounds ideal. A dSLR is not designed to be a jack of all trades camera, and that's eseentially what you're asking for. And you'll easily get it for £250.

    If you're more interested in photography and can get a brand new 40d for next to nothing, do it....the 40d is a favourite amongst many people, regarded as one of the best in its class. The one that got 'it' right. Otherwise tell me where I can get one for next to nothing :wink:

    It might not be a dSLR, but you should get a pretty good compact or bridge for that price, particularly on the s/h market! With plenty of manual controls. And you can squeeze it in your pocket. Perfect for riding.

    Colours shouldn't be off - unless the white balance isn't set right, which also applies to a dSLR. Sometimes you get a bit of shutter lag....I'd recommend going into the shop and trying them all....places like curry's are great for this. Some of them suffer much worse thasn others. Reading speed is primarily down to the cards used.
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    OK, wait. Please understand what I'm saying here.

    I want a DSLR for photography. I want something that will shoot at least 3-4 FPS, with the option of running different lenses. Something that can help me progress my photography, most of which is of action sports.

    I also want something that can be used for MTB film projects. That shoot's in HD and is manually configurable. I dont want to take 2 camera's if I go away, or if I'm off "up the hill" for a day. I dont want another bridge camera, I'm yet to use one that offers the kind of still performable you get with a proper dSLR. And I often find the colours on my current bridge a little washed out and lacking depth of colour. And its not the white balance.

    So, a D40 for (not next to nothing, but well within budget) would be perfect for my still needs, however it doesn't shoot video. So, a newer camera seems to be the best choice.

    I'm not buying a compact, you just cant get good results in low light with a lens that small. And they are very often quite laggy.

    the other option is a CSC, or something from the Lumix range, what's the general consensus on these things?
    I like bikes and stuff
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    joshtp you need to make a choice as to what is more important to you the video functions or the still photography.

    DSLRs, with the exception of higher end units are just a bit disappointing when it comes to video. The sensors tend to suffer from heat build up, which in the terms of long exposure still photography leads to an increase of noise in the final image. The same issue means that many even high end DSLRs have limited recording time when it comes to video, before it has to stop and start a new file after the sensor has cooled.

    Battery life is also a limiting factor, the battery of my 500d will last for around 70mins while shooting video. Also when recording at 1080 resolution, the 500d will only record at 20FPS.

    other concerns to be considered is exposure control, and jellocam distortion.

    if video is the important part, then a dedicated video camera would certainly be a better option.
    Fancy a brew?
  • You might be surprised with a dSLR. Don't expect perfect colours straight out of the box. They're designed to give you control over that afterwards, with your software of choice. A compact will often produce more pleasing 'out of the box' results in terms of colour, sharpness and contrast.

    If you can, I'd try some cameras out. Not always possible, I know, but might give you a better idea of what you want.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think you are asking for too much Josh. You are not going to get a unit that meets all your requirements.

    If you are planning to take so much gear, is an extra camera such a burden?
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    joshtp wrote:
    the other option is a CSC, or something from the Lumix range, what's the general consensus on these things?

    Micro 4/3rds is a great format and means the cameras is compact with a whole host of settings at a very high quiality.

    Both me and Sheepsteeth have been/still are owners of the Olympus EPL-1 and we have both agreed on the image quality that you can get from them is definately comparible to slr's, especially when you really know how to use the camera.

    Low light shots are brilliant as the image stabilisation is perfect, my IS failed and was replaced under warrenty, and when it didnt work you knew about it, but olympus changed it without question and replaced the scratched screen at no cost!

    Filming is good quality, with continual Auto focus built in it copes with action footage pretty well, and i would actually say better than my old Panasonic HD camcorder which was a suprise to me.

    The fundemental problems

    No viewfinder - The EPL1 and most CSC's don't come with a viewfinder unless you buy one seperately and they are expensive (i just sold mine for £150 on eBay). Without a viewfinder it makes certain photography hard, especially manual focus on objects when it is very bright light.

    Weak flash the built in flash is gash, and i mean gash, on the EPL-1, it doesnt stack up to the pictures you can take with the IS on and the flash off. so i never used it.

    Settings without a click wheel it can be difficult to change between settings whilst your shooting. Say you compase a picture, take it and realise it would have been better with a higher or lower f number/ISO/shutter speed, then you have to go through a number of settings, where as an slr, from experience is very quick.

    I have owned my EPL-1 for 2 years now and got some amazing pictures and found the small size really usefull, but as i want to progress my pictures i feel i need to upgrade to an slr.
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    OK, the other thing to remember is that I'm not a pro, I want something that will shoot good video, perfect for youtube edits, and take good pictures, alowing me to be a bit more creative.

    For this, something like a 550D does seem perfect, I'm a newb when it comes to DSLR's and knowing what's good and what's not, but I know how to take a picture. I know I'm not going to get good results out of the box, but something that will help me to get the really great pictures I always feel my Bridge ('s) hold me back slightly on.

    After a bit more reaserch a CSC like the Sony NEX 5 (or 5N should I find the right deal) could be ideal. It is a shame to lose the viefinder and full DSLR function. But it's a pretty good price, shoots in full HD, and has most of the control of a dSLR... Definitely worth a look, but I think I wouldnt need to use one before I bit the bullet. For now at least, 550D is still top of my shopping list.
    I like bikes and stuff
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    joshtp wrote:
    Definitely worth a look, but I think I wouldnt need to use one before I bit the bullet. For now at least, 550D is still top of my shopping list.

    If you are in the bristol area i can get hold one one from work you can have a try for a weekend
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    joshtp wrote:
    … I want something that will shoot good video…

    Thats the thing though compared to a dedicated camcorder, the majority of DSLRs and CSC do not shoot good video. adequate video yes, but not good video, and not even adequate when it comes to anything involving panning.

    if you really insist on buying a DSLR or CSC for shooting video, especially action style video, then try and find one with a CCD sensor over one with a CMOS sensor, so that you avoid jellocam distortion.

    an example of jellocam from a D90, but canons DSLRs are also affected.
    Fancy a brew?
  • I would suggest you look at the Lumix G series. The newer models do HD video and my earlier G1 takes perfect stills.
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    77ric wrote:
    joshtp wrote:
    … I want something that will shoot good video…

    Thats the thing though compared to a dedicated camcorder, the majority of DSLRs and CSC do not shoot good video. adequate video yes, but not good video, and not even adequate when it comes to anything involving panning.

    if you really insist on buying a DSLR or CSC for shooting video, especially action style video, then try and find one with a CCD sensor over one with a CMOS sensor, so that you avoid jellocam distortion.

    an example of jellocam from a D90, but canons DSLRs are also affected.

    I'm totally prepared to believe you, it's just the number of very good, high quality, well shot video's using dSLR's has swung me to believe they can, and often are very capable of shooting good video.
    Maia Media on Youtube has some excellent MTB work, all shot with a DSLR. Or in some cases a G1
    I like bikes and stuff
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    joshtp wrote:

    I'm totally prepared to believe you, it's just the number of very good, high quality, well shot video's using dSLR's has swung me to believe they can, and often are very capable of shooting good video.
    Maia Media on Youtube has some excellent MTB work, all shot with a DSLR. Or in some cases a G1

    I wouldn't describe the video's on maia media's youtube channel or even on there website as high quality. Well shot yes, but not high quality, as they have obviously had the censored compressed out of them, so very hard to tell what the quality is like.

    As I said adequate video can be achieved from the majority of DSLR capable of shooting video, just want you to be aware of the short comings, of shooting video with a DSLR.

    Just shoot with the limitations in mind.

    the other thing to consider before buying a DSLR, regardless of wether your shooting video or stills. Consider very carefully the brand you buy into, once you have spent a wad of cash on a variety of lenses (especially primes or high end fixed large aperture telezooms, if your after the shallow DOF), your basically locked into that brand.
    Fancy a brew?
  • joshtp wrote:
    I'm totally prepared to believe you, it's just the number of very good, high quality, well shot video's using dSLR's has swung me to believe they can, and often are very capable of shooting good video.

    I have to agree. I've seen some amazing short movies short on a dSLR. But...

    and I could be wrong...

    I wonder how many of them are shot by experienced photographers, who are already adept in dealing with light, exposure, angles, etc? Guys who already know what kit they need, where to be, and what settings to use before they even attempt to take the shot, as soon as it's in their mind.

    And if you want to be that guy....fair do's. But if video is the main priority, then I'd seriously go for a video camera.

    Bear in mind, that lenses are bloody expensive as well. Which is the whole point of a dSLR.
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    I wonder how many of them are shot by experienced photographers, who are already adept in dealing with light, exposure, angles, etc? Guys who already know what kit they need, where to be, and what settings to use before they even attempt to take the shot, as soon as it's in their mind.

    +1
    Fancy a brew?
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    Hmmm, maybe I'll just have to get 2! :lol:

    I might just get something "purely" for Still, as I could save quite a bit of money by getting an older/less advanced one...

    Then what's saved could go toward a nice video camera for my moving projects.

    It's all very confusing...
    I like bikes and stuff
  • KaiseKaise Posts: 2,498
    right hold on a minute, have either of you ever shot a film on a dSLR? There are plenty of people doing it and making decent videos!

    Shotting using a dSLR justification;
    Kendy Ty shot Keelan Phillips' video with a 550D with a 18-270mm Tamron PZD dii lens
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKixKfQRIL4

    You can see the camera being used at 38mins 50secs of the concrete circus video, means of identification is the lens is shown pretty clearly and the rear of the camera is shown, and even though blurred the mode selection dial on the canon is on the right hand side, which means is either a 600 or a 550D with the size of screen added in to the equation.

    Amateur/Enthusiast Shot Video
    This video shot on a 600D at 24fps in 1080p shows the light light capability by someone that isn't the best film maker in the world, there is some lag here and there but it is still as good as you will get with a video camera in my experience
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryLy0J2fDxc

    Camera test using the kit lens and only camera settings in RAW - no post edit, just uploaded as is. with editing this would be a smooth film without major hassle!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_7HsJCF ... re=related

    Maybe Josh wants to become adept at filming and getting to know light, exposures angles etc?

    I'm going to step away from this as i think I've supplied enough advise and evidence that a dSLAR is good at shooting video and is being used more and more by the industry.

    Josh i think the best thing is to go into a dedicated camera shop for some advice, go to more than one shop and speak to them, try the cameras, look at example videos, call park cameras, they will advise without trying to sell you a camera.
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    Yes, and I found the experience and results to be rather disappointing, compared to using a dedicated video camera. The quality was adequate, and thats fine for simple movies, but certainly not for anything memorable. Perhaps a pro level DSLR would be better. No one has said that it can't be done or that JoshTP shouldn't do it. I've simply tried to point out the short comings of using consumer level DSLR, so that he is fully prepared for them should he chose to take the DSLR route.

    as for speaking to camera shops, i'd suggest speaking to film makers, that have used both systems.
    Fancy a brew?
  • kaiser83 wrote:
    Maybe Josh wants to become adept at filming and getting to know light, exposures angles etc?

    My point was that, yes, there are some great videos doing the rounds that have been filmed on dSLR. But that doesn't mean your average video camera can't do the same. It is the hands that hold them that work the magic. And the hands that hold dSLRs are often well trained..

    Bearing in mind that all of these camera are out of the range of the ops budget anyway. And for that kinda money you can have a semi-pro video camera on the s/h market.

    Horses for courses though.
  • mrfmilomrfmilo Posts: 2,728
    Josh, good luck getting a 550d for £300!

    If you want to have everything you have listed, save up. You will not get all the features you have said for that price. Look at the 500D - good deal here:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CANON-EOS-REB ... 218wt_1039
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    On the dSLR for video thing...

    Danny Mac - Industrial revolutions - here in HD - http://vimeo.com/30043673

    Was:

    "All shot on 5D MKII using Zeiss 50mm 1.4, Canon 135m F2 and Canon 24mm F1.4."

    Nice kit, I know. But all dSLR.
    I like bikes and stuff
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