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Buying a camera

CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
I have a dog, and photographing him has kind of turned into somewhat of a hobby now. Normally I use my phone for that, but I'm starting to reach a point where I could probably get much better shots if I had a "real" camera. Maybe it's because my phone's about three years old and starting to slow down, but it takes long enough to take a photo that often times my dog has stopped doing the cute thing, blinked, or moved just enough that the picture's blurry.

Also, we kind of do this thing where I stick a some treats in a bunch of cardboard boxes, hide the boxes in other cardboard boxes, and he spends like 20 minutes opening and shredding everything. It's adorable, but every video I take of it kind of sucks because I can't get high enough to film that without moving back and forward constantly.

So basically, I'm looking for something with a lens I can adjust to get some quick shutter speed while also letting in a lot of light, that I can attach to a tripod and use to take decent video. From what I read, that sounds like a DSLR camera, but there's way too much information for me to sift through online to figure out what I should get and most of it's about vlogging.

I can afford to spend $1000 on this, but I'd prefer to not to go over $800 if possible. (This would be a birthday/Christmas/graduation gift from my grandfather. He always tells me to buy something I want, but it has to be a physical object and not an "experience" like a trip, lessons, show, dinner, etc. My grandma was really into photography and DSLR cameras last/are fixable, so this is also like, his ideal gift to give me.)

Is that doable? What kind of cameras should I be looking at?

Posts

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Even just a beginner's kit like this is gonna be a BIG step up from a phone camera. I bought my partner an EOS60D a few years ago and neither of us is anywhere near exhausting that cameras capabilities with the included kit lenses yet.

    firewaterworddavidsdurionsCreaganDirtmuncher
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    I was in a similar situation and also got the Rebel 6T. I paid $270 for a refurbished one from cannon with a couple lenses. It definitely takes better pictures than my s7 and was cheap enough that if I end up losing interest I won't feel like I wasted a ton of money.

    Creagan
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    yea cameras are one of those things where it pays to go back a few years to get what was once high end and is no longer

    camo_sig.png
    firewaterwordShogunCreaganFiendishrabbitShadowfire
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    http://dpreview.com is a good place to go for general information / buying guides / etc.

    Creagan
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    I would look for a lightly used DSLR body or new starter kit (body and lens) and then either way get a new or lightly used prime (fixed zoom) lens with a large aperture, which helps capture those quick shots. You could look at getting a lens with vibration reduction, but I'd go new there, just because I've personally had issues with VR motors on used lenses.

    I shoot on a nikon 5300 body, which can be picked up for around $400 (throw in another $200 or so and you can get two kit lenses as well). For fast motion outdoors animal stuff, I like to use a fixed 35mm lens, since it lets a ton of light in.

    Don't discount fixed lens bodies though. I played around with a fujifilm X100 recently and it took some incredible pictures. As it should, for over a grand. But you don't need to worry about buying and switching lenses that way.

    One other recommendation is to get a good strap/sling for whatever you buy. I use a Blackrapid Breathe Curve, and love it. It's a bit pricey for a strap, but it's fantastic, and I don't think I could ever go back to using a normal strap.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    Creagan
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Good recommendations on DSLRs, but being a fan I've got to promote the mirrorless as well. For example the a6000: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mirrorless-Digital-Camera-3-0-Inch/dp/B00I8BICCG

    Main advantage of mirrorless is comparable quality in smaller body, so if that's not a concern then yeah, a slightly older good DSLR is your best bet.

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
    Creagan
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    yea i think its worth it to strongly consider mirrorless. with the right adapter you can use most SLR lens and you get the benefit of a more compact package that you are more likely to use it

    camo_sig.png
    Creagan
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    You got a couple things going on here.
    Creagan wrote: »
    it takes long enough to take a photo that often times my dog has stopped doing the cute thing, blinked,

    Here you want a fast shutter release. I'm not sure if mirrored edges out mirrorless or vice versa. I haven't been impressed with the mirrorless models I've tried (regarding shutter release speed\lag), but you should be able to get a good feel by going to a local camera store and playing with them. You will have to play with the settings to optimize this as in-cam processing will inform shot-to-shot times.
    Creagan wrote: »
    or moved just enough that the picture's blurry

    Here you need faster glass/lenses ($$$) or less processing in camera.
    Creagan wrote: »
    every video I take of it kind of sucks because I can't get high enough to film that without moving back and forward constantly.

    Zooming and composing with your feet is like the 1st thing you have to learn/practice in traditional photography. If you want fast glass with zoom you will pay $Texas for it. Kit lenses give you a very usuable zoom range. But low f prime will give you a lot more flexibility with available light shooting (no flash) or non-ideal conditions (your subject won't sit still), but that means you have to zoom/compose with your feet and not the lens.
    Creagan wrote: »
    I'm looking for something with a lens I can adjust to get some quick shutter speed while also letting in a lot of light, that I can attach to a tripod and use to take decent video.

    Not sure how you're shooting your video, but that sounds like you need zoom? A tripod will give you another half to full (or more) stop over hand holding.


    I would suggest buying a used Canon (probably Rebel line) and a plastic fantastic (50mm prime). And once you've become comfortable with manual shooting you still have enough in your budget for a decent used "normal" zoom. I'm sure there are equivalents in the Nikon line, I just don't know Nikon.

    firewaterwordCreagan
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    I think the Nikon equivalent would be somewhere around the d3xxx or d5xxx range, but I'm not super familiar with the rebel line. I do remember reading good things about the t6 when I was shopping.

    Keep in mind that different bodies have different sensor crops, and unless you're spending a ton on a full frame, you'll probably get an APS-C, which effectively means your 50mm lens gives a field of view equivalent to that of a 75mm lens, due to the 1.5x crop factor.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    Creagan
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    I'd get this bundle in your situation: http://a.co/7ZaAMxf

    Add a tripod http://a.co/2KEcutL

    And a fixed lens after you get familiar with the equipment, mentioned above I believe http://a.co/bHtqzwY

    Or this one, if your budget can take it and you are wanting to shoot in darker places: http://a.co/f0oz4R8

    Only because you want to do video, did I not recommend getting what I still shoot with, which is a Canon XSi. It's pushing 10 years old now and you can find them for like $100 used. But it doesn't do video. There are equivalents with Nikon, so it's worth it to ask your grandfather if there are lenses lying around, as that'd determine which company you want to go with since their lenses are not swappable between each other.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Creagan
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    The canon 35mm f/2 will give you the "normal" (50mm lens on a film camera, gives you the most natural view w/out zoom) view on an APS-C crop sensor. I have this lens and it's my favorite. It will also cost you 5-6 bills new.

    firewaterwordCreagan
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Even the old dslr will be good. A d90 is older but it has the af motor in body so you can use cheaper older lenses that do the have the motor built in

    camo_sig.png
    Creagan
  • WindburnWindburn Registered User regular
    The first question you should ask yourself is, how much time do you want to spend learning how to use a new camera?

    DSLR’s give you a lot of creative power, but you have to make knowledgeable choices based on your environment and subject in order to get the specific shot you are going for. For example, a “fast lens” has a low f-stop (big aperature), which means you can use a faster shutter speed for the same exposure as a slower lens. This can be good for photographing children and pets. However, they also have a very narrow depth of field, meaning that only a small range of distance will be in focus. This can be a nice effect when intentional (bokeh), but when trying to photograph fast moving subjects (again: children and pets) it can result in the subject moving out of focus and you getting a bunch of blurry pictures. A lot of terminology is being thrown around in this thread, but even basic camera functions may seem like Greek if you are coming from an iPhone (f-stop, ISO, Av, Tv, depth of field, etc).
    If you don’t want to spend time learning such things, you may be disappointed with the pictures you take with a DSLR.

    What you may be much happier with is a high-end “point and shoot.” They are designed to require minimal input to make the best shot prediction. And they are really good. Scary good.

    https://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Camera-Sensor/dp/B01BV14OXA/ref=sr_1_3?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1513839030&sr=1-3&keywords=canon+g7x+mark+ii

    https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX100-Digital-Camera/dp/B01MCRBY4X/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513839130&sr=1-5&keywords=sony+rx100

    Most importantly, there is a saying that the best camera is the one you use. A smaller pocket camera may be a much more frequently used camera than a large DSLR.

    That being said, if you are excited about learning how to take better pictures (regardless of what camera your decide on), I can’t overstate the value of taking some classes. A lot of community art centers have single-day introductory digital photography course. They are awesome for learning about your new camera and getting some creative feedback on your pictures.

    firewaterwordLindCreagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Sorry for the delayed response, this was all super helpful and I was trying to look up everything and understand it and then we switched to the holiday forums.

    So what's going through my head right now:
    • I like the simplicity of point-and-shoots, but I'm also a klutz when it comes to small, sleek, lightweight items. Getting a DSLR might be safer from that perspective. I do better with more solid things with some weight to them.
    • I'd want a Cannon over a Nikon. My sister has Nikons, and when you buy from the same brands as my sisters, all your charger cables and other small lose-able accessories slowly vanish.
    • Fixed lenses sound like they'd solve the problem I have with indoor photography because of the wider aperture, and might mean there's less of a learning curve than a DSLR with a zoom lens.
    • While I haven't taken any photography classes, I do have an Art History BA so I have some idea of what goes into making an image aesthetically pleasing. Not like, a photography-degree level of understanding, but at least a basic grasp.
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)
    • Grandpa has this "thing" about buying used tech stuff, so while I think it might be smart to get a refurbished camera, that might not go over too well with him.

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    If you can go to a store, even a big box place and get your hands on the different models, that should help with the decision. The SL2 is noticeably smaller than the T6/i and higher end models.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Creaganfirewaterword
  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit 4.5 MV of POWER! Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Sorry for the delayed response, this was all super helpful and I was trying to look up everything and understand it and then we switched to the holiday forums.

    So what's going through my head right now:
    • I like the simplicity of point-and-shoots, but I'm also a klutz when it comes to small, sleek, lightweight items. Getting a DSLR might be safer from that perspective. I do better with more solid things with some weight to them.
    • I'd want a Cannon over a Nikon. My sister has Nikons, and when you buy from the same brands as my sisters, all your charger cables and other small lose-able accessories slowly vanish.
    • Fixed lenses sound like they'd solve the problem I have with indoor photography because of the wider aperture, and might mean there's less of a learning curve than a DSLR with a zoom lens.
    • While I haven't taken any photography classes, I do have an Art History BA so I have some idea of what goes into making an image aesthetically pleasing. Not like, a photography-degree level of understanding, but at least a basic grasp.
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)
    • Grandpa has this "thing" about buying used tech stuff, so while I think it might be smart to get a refurbished camera, that might not go over too well with him.

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

    I would recommend the DSLR over the Powershot, especially since it is cheaper and offer nearly unlimited upgradeability. It has an EF mount for lenses, so you have a broad range of lenses you can buy should you ever want to expand your collection. If you have something like a Best Buy nearby, I do recommend going and picking up a few cameras to get a feel for each. Hold a regular Canon DSLR in the same price range as the SL2 and see how each feels. Maybe even feel a couple of Nikon models to compare and contrast.

    Also, get yourself a carrying case. Other accessories that might be nice would be a timer, a tripod and maybe a couple of nice microfiber cloths. Amazon sells most of this and it is quite inexpensive. You'll maybe spend $75 for all the accessories I listed.

    Stuff like filters are lens specific and you need to make sure that the lens has the correct size filter like 52 mm, 58 mm, etc., so you don't want to buy these until you are sure of what your lens will support.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
    Creagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Visiting a physical store will be tricky this week, but I can try. If it helps, I have held my sister's Nikon D5300 and that was about the right size. Slightly smaller would be perfect. The biggest issue I have with point and shoots is they're all sleek, with less grip aids (that curve built into DSLRs you hold onto, or the textured plastic.) Basically, the closer you get to an Apple product, the more likely I am to have it slip out of my hands.

    My thinking with the Rebel EOS was that it seemed like would kind of cover everybody's concerns regarding the learning curve vs. usability. It's a DSLR, but supposed to be very good for beginners. I could use a fixed lens to start with, which I think would be more like what I already deal with using my phone. So I could focus on learning what aperture settings and shutter speed do.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Trying it out in person before purchasing it is arguably even more important with a tripod than the camera itself.

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
    Creagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    That's good to keep in mind!

    Also, I just want to note, my hesitance to go to a physical store has nothing to do with being lazy/not believing you guys. I injured my foot right before I was supposed to dog-sit. So it actually is tricky to get to a physical store at the moment.

    I really appreciate the advice and intend to implement it if possible.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

    Are you planning on doing indoor video with the camera stationary? If so, be aware that wide angle fast primes or zooms can be particularly expensive; and that may be the type of lenses you need to capture indoor video of moving subjects. The crop factor on an APS-C "zooms" lenses by about 60% over their 35mm rating. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but shouldn't be important until you've had a good bit of experience using your equipment.

    So if you have some specific types of pictures or recordings you want to take, that makes it even more important to put your hands on it, put your eye to it, swap out lenses, so you can compose your expected shots before you buy.

    And regarding dropping, any decent camera (P&S or DSLR) will have a lanyard ring. You can get a lanyard that fits like a necklace instead of a bracelet. There are more involved strap systems as well as many pros have more than one rig on them.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Creagan wrote: »
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

    Are you planning on doing indoor video with the camera stationary? If so, be aware that wide angle fast primes or zooms can be particularly expensive; and that may be the type of lenses you need to capture indoor video of moving subjects. The crop factor on an APS-C "zooms" lenses by about 60% over their 35mm rating. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but shouldn't be important until you've had a good bit of experience using your equipment.

    So if you have some specific types of pictures or recordings you want to take, that makes it even more important to put your hands on it, put your eye to it, swap out lenses, so you can compose your expected shots before you buy.

    And regarding dropping, any decent camera (P&S or DSLR) will have a lanyard ring. You can get a lanyard that fits like a necklace instead of a bracelet. There are more involved strap systems as well as many pros have more than one rig on them.

    Maybe? My thinking was, if I stuck the camera on a tripod and had the camera up high enough, I could get my entire living room in the shot and not have to move the camera. Would that need a wide-angle lens?

    And actually, I have dropped cameras while wearing the wristlet. I've never work the necklace-type things (not sure how that'll work, given that purely synthetic fibers make me itch.) But the problem is that I have really sensitive skin. I can't wear a watch because the band will rub until it hurts and there's a bright red ring around my wrist (even if it's loose.)

    When I'm using a camera lanyard I loosen the strap once it starts hurting, (or loosen it because I fiddle with things constantly.) Then the camera slips out of my fingers while my arm's down, and while I'm trying to catch it the strap comes off my wrist and I drop it. Luckily I've only done that with cheaper cameras, but the point is, I'm not good at stopping myself from doing stupid shit with cameras and I'd like to take that into account when I purchase one.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 2018
    Creagan wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    Creagan wrote: »
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

    Are you planning on doing indoor video with the camera stationary? If so, be aware that wide angle fast primes or zooms can be particularly expensive; and that may be the type of lenses you need to capture indoor video of moving subjects. The crop factor on an APS-C "zooms" lenses by about 60% over their 35mm rating. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but shouldn't be important until you've had a good bit of experience using your equipment.

    So if you have some specific types of pictures or recordings you want to take, that makes it even more important to put your hands on it, put your eye to it, swap out lenses, so you can compose your expected shots before you buy.

    And regarding dropping, any decent camera (P&S or DSLR) will have a lanyard ring. You can get a lanyard that fits like a necklace instead of a bracelet. There are more involved strap systems as well as many pros have more than one rig on them.

    Maybe? My thinking was, if I stuck the camera on a tripod and had the camera up high enough, I could get my entire living room in the shot and not have to move the camera. Would that need a wide-angle lens?

    And actually, I have dropped cameras while wearing the wristlet. I've never work the necklace-type things (not sure how that'll work, given that purely synthetic fibers make me itch.) But the problem is that I have really sensitive skin. I can't wear a watch because the band will rub until it hurts and there's a bright red ring around my wrist (even if it's loose.)

    When I'm using a camera lanyard I loosen the strap once it starts hurting, (or loosen it because I fiddle with things constantly.) Then the camera slips out of my fingers while my arm's down, and while I'm trying to catch it the strap comes off my wrist and I drop it. Luckily I've only done that with cheaper cameras, but the point is, I'm not good at stopping myself from doing stupid shit with cameras and I'd like to take that into account when I purchase one.

    You can buy straps that work across the body. Think seat belt instead of necklace, so the only things it really touches is your hip and shoulder. With larger/longer straps you can put a sensitive seat belt fabric over them as well, or make your own sleeve with cutting up an old t-shirt or something. I don't have experience with cameras but I've had to do it with duffel/gym bag straps.

    dispatch.o on
    Creagan
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Yeah I mentioned in an earlier comment, but I highly recommend getting a cross body strap. You don't have to spend a ton, just make sure it has adjustable locks (little sliding clamps that can secure or free the camera's movement on the strap, if that makes sense). Also make sure the attachment point between the camera and the strap is secure.
    Mine has a locking carabiner, for example.

    Having the camera's weight balanced on the hip and shoulder is way way more comfortable - especially when you're talking heavy zoom lenses.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    Creagan
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Maybe? My thinking was, if I stuck the camera on a tripod and had the camera up high enough, I could get my entire living room in the shot and not have to move the camera. Would that need a wide-angle lens?

    Yup -- if you had the camera right in the very farthest part of the corner pointing towards the rest of the room, you'd need a 90 degree field of view to get the entire room in view, which is a 12mm lens on the nikon/canon cameras people are mentioning. That's certainly possible, but don't forget that if the camera's taking a photo of the entire room, the part of the image that actually contains your dog is going to be pretty small. (also, a lens that'll zoom out that wide won't zoom in enough to take photos of just your dog from the same position, so you'd probably need two lenses, not just one)

    Honestly, you're trying to take pretty much the most technically difficult type of shot there is, because your subject and environment are both making things difficult:
    • moving objects = difficult to focus, because the camera has to keep refocusing to keep the subject in focus as it moves around
    • shots indoors = difficult to focus, because indoors there's less light so the camera has less light to "see with" when focusing
    • moving objects = difficult to get sharp, because you want to use a very short exposure to avoid motion blur from the subject moving
    • shots indoors = difficult to get sharp, because there's not much light, so the camera wants to have longer exposures so it's not too dark
    • moving objects = want more depth of field, so you have a better chance of the thing you're photographing still being in focus
    • shots indoors = need less depth of field to let enough light in because it's not as bright as outdoors

    (a "fast" lens (large aperture -> lets lots of light in) will let more light into the camera so it can focus more easily with less light, and it will let you take shorter exposures so you get less motion blur. But the more light that comes in, the more of that light is "out of focus light", so the less of your final image is in focus, so you have a better chance of your dog having moved out of the range that's in focus. I have made this mistake many times when taking photos of kids running around. Also, fast lenses cost more.)

    In an ideal world, you'd get the same setup that people doing, say, basketball photography have, because you're trying basically the same sort of thing, ie taking photos of moving things that are happening very rapidly while indoors -- but that is expensive.

    Alternative 2:
    • open all the curtains to let as much light in as possible. Potentially turn on lights indoors as well, to get more light still. There's a reason that photographic studios have all the giant lights and flashes there..
    • get a body that lets you take shots at higher ISO with less noise, so you can "let in more light" by telling the camera to be more sensitive. Generally speaking, newer bodies are better at this than older ones, because the technology is still improving
    • shoot on 'motor drive', ie take lots of bursts of photos, and hope that one of them is in focus as the dog moves through the in-focus spot / pauses for an instant.

    Creagan
  • AtheraalAtheraal Registered User regular
    I have a somewhat out of the norm suggestion:

    Get a 360 degree camera. Or at least 180. But I think with your desire to catch good shots of your dog, it makes a lot of sense. Then instead of focusing your attention on your fancy camera, you can focus it on, y'know, enjoying playing with your dog. Just try to face vaguely in the direction of the cam, and when you're picking out the best moments later, you can also unhurriedly decide on how to frame the shot.

    Well within your budget too: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-360-degree-camera/

    Creagan
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    Creagan wrote: »
    • When I said back and forward, moving the camera side to side. My apartment's pretty small so I can't physically get far back enough with my phone to actually record my dog as he runs around without making a viewer sick. (Hence the desire for a tripod, which when set on a table, would allow me to record the entire room and not have to move the camera.)

    With those things in mind, I think either a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a fixed lens or a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II might make the most sense. I'm leaning to the Rebel because I feel like I might drop the Powershot.

    Are you planning on doing indoor video with the camera stationary? If so, be aware that wide angle fast primes or zooms can be particularly expensive; and that may be the type of lenses you need to capture indoor video of moving subjects. The crop factor on an APS-C "zooms" lenses by about 60% over their 35mm rating. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but shouldn't be important until you've had a good bit of experience using your equipment.

    So if you have some specific types of pictures or recordings you want to take, that makes it even more important to put your hands on it, put your eye to it, swap out lenses, so you can compose your expected shots before you buy.

    And regarding dropping, any decent camera (P&S or DSLR) will have a lanyard ring. You can get a lanyard that fits like a necklace instead of a bracelet. There are more involved strap systems as well as many pros have more than one rig on them.

    Maybe? My thinking was, if I stuck the camera on a tripod and had the camera up high enough, I could get my entire living room in the shot and not have to move the camera. Would that need a wide-angle lens?

    And actually, I have dropped cameras while wearing the wristlet. I've never work the necklace-type things (not sure how that'll work, given that purely synthetic fibers make me itch.) But the problem is that I have really sensitive skin. I can't wear a watch because the band will rub until it hurts and there's a bright red ring around my wrist (even if it's loose.)

    When I'm using a camera lanyard I loosen the strap once it starts hurting, (or loosen it because I fiddle with things constantly.) Then the camera slips out of my fingers while my arm's down, and while I'm trying to catch it the strap comes off my wrist and I drop it. Luckily I've only done that with cheaper cameras, but the point is, I'm not good at stopping myself from doing stupid shit with cameras and I'd like to take that into account when I purchase one.

    I think you will need a wide angle for getting the whole living room and not having to move the camera. Interior shots in rental/real estate industry require a wide angle lens to get the whole room in view. As you seem to prefer canon I think you should check out the canon 24mm STM with whatever body (at a store) you are interested in. It's affordable for what you get, but it's not really "wide". It's on the shorter edge of "normal perspective" but it may get you what you need in your price range. However, since it is a prime (fixed focal length) it doesn't have near the flexibility as a kit lens or a faster normal zoom would have. To get a fast zoom that goes down further may set you back more than the camera body.

    You can get cross body straps or various harnesses that allow you to drop the camera and not have the fabric contact your wrist or neck. It can get expensive fast, but usually there are cheaper alternatives to the premier brands.

    Creagan
  • NewblarNewblar Registered User regular
    You can cut down on neck lanyard discomfort by wearing a collar and popping it 80s style. Cuts down on sunburns too.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Creagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    This has been amazingly helpful. Thank you all so much.

    I like the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 a lot. It's like the happy medium as far as size/weight go. Small enough that my tiny baby hands can handle it comfortably, but not as small and sleek as a point-and-shoot.

    Cross body straps sound way better than a lanyard. (The collar idea would work great in theory but I don't own any shirts with collars.)

    It sounds like my best option right now is to get a fixed-lens for video and a zoom for still photography. My apartment has a floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door to the balcony over the dumpsters, and is a great source of natural light. Which might help me work around the more depth of field more light problem.

    So unless this is a terrible idea I should be immediately talked out of, I think I'm going to go for the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 with a kit lens plus the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens that was recommended. Then I'll figure out the tripod/strap situation.

    Thank you again for all your help. I really appreciate it!

    davidsdurionsdjmitchellafirewaterwordSoggybiscuitdispatch.oCauld
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Post some photos once you've had it for a bit! That lens sounds pretty great. Having the full-time manual focus is a very cool feature. Lets you play around with focus from a great starting point if you let it autofocus first. When I was looking to upgrade from the basic neck strap that came with the camera, I found the wirecutter's recommendations to be pretty useful. I ended up going with a version of their top pick (a Blackrapid crossbody), but there are some other good ones on there. I was a bit hesitant to spend the money on it at first, but I simply can't overstate how much of an improvement it is over a neck strap. Between quick shooting access and the ability to restrain the camera on my hip when hiking, I don't think I could ever go back to a basic strap.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    Creagan
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Probably a personal bias, but the Blackrapid and its ilk are really not ideal. Wirecutter admits as much themselves that it takes up the tripod mount. Sure, you can get a tripod plate for your Blackrapid strap, but still a rather clunky setup.

    Instead, consider Op/Tech or something that attaches to the camera's own strap lugs, not the tripod mount.

    Creagan
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    If that isn't against the rules, I will! (Maybe do a comparison of what I was taking with my smartphone vs what I can do with the camera.)

    Like I said earlier, I have some idea of what makes an image interesting. But extra tips, and advice on how to fully take advantage of the camera would be awesome.

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    If that isn't against the rules, I will! (Maybe do a comparison of what I was taking with my smartphone vs what I can do with the camera.)

    Like I said earlier, I have some idea of what makes an image interesting. But extra tips, and advice on how to fully take advantage of the camera would be awesome.

    Is there a community college near you that hosts photography classes?

    Skeith
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    So I Love Peak Design’s Clip system: https://www.peakdesign.com/product/clips

    I usually use it on my belt and with a hand strap as well, it feels and has been super secure. I can even ride my bike with it on my belt with no worries about it falling and I’m not having to lug around a camera bag all the time. There are other companies that make similar systems but Peak Design seems to do a great job in my experience.

    As for a neck strap, I very much prefer the sliding, single anchor type that goes across chest and shoulder to hip. Way less stress on neck and back and I’ve never had trouble taking camera off to put on tripod. The one I use and love was a Kickstarter that doesn’t appear to exist anymore as a product you can buy. But it’s pretty much a simpler version of this:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0XA9LL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_DkKyAbVW1AB6N

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I've been able to play around the the camera a bit! I really like it, and I'm glad I picked a camera body that tells you what all the settings mean/do because I cannot seem to remember anything beyond the green symbol is "auto" and the slashed-out lightning bolt is no flash. And getting the two different lenses was the right choice. The fixed lens was more intuitive for me, because it felt like photographing with my phone. The zoom lens requires more set-up and I'm not good at that (but enjoying the challenge.)

    Anyway, these are my favorite photos I've taken so far (resized and edited.)

    dtPAUIL.png

    VHnzC3t.jpg

    ID6Pi8b.jpg

    IaKQXFH.png

    I don't want to overload the thread with photos, so as a comparison, here's an album of photos I took of my dog with my phone. Pretty sure the ones with the camera are just all around better. But at the very least, getting the photos *with* the camera were way easier so it still solved my first problem.

    Also, here's an album of unedited photos I took that turned out okay.
    And here are the big versions of the photos I color corrected.

    Photos where my dog is lying down, asleep were taken with the zoom lens. Everything else was with the fixed lens. Most photos were taken with REALLY lousy lighting. (Especially the ones where the dog's asleep. Under a table. At night.)

    I have a long way to go. But I'm enjoying learning how the camera and lenses work, and what needs to be done to get the kind of shot I want.

    Thank you again for all your help! You made this way easier for me.

    davidsdurionsLindCaulddjmitchellaOrogogusDjeetfirewaterwordBouwsT
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