1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Amateur seeks wife

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Scooterza, May 19, 2020.

  1. Scooterza

    Scooterza New Member

    Okay, I'm not actually seeking a wife! I'm hoping to keep the one I have by not spending an absolute FORTUNE on a DSLR!

    I've been taking photos for years but mostly with horrible point and shoot cameras, or on the odd fortunate occasion, borrowing a friend's DSLR. I've always held off buying a camera for one reason or another. But I now live in Yorkshire and go for a walks on a regular basis. I find myself taking so many photos with my phone and I often wish I had something better to really get the most of the lovely scenes I stumble upon!

    My issue is, we've just emigrated to the UK and so cannot justify spending £1500 on camera gear. I'm thinking more along the lines of £200 for now. So if I'm buying second hand, what's a camera that perhaps was the Golf GTI of it's day 3 or 4 years ago, and is still pretty decent today. In other words, what cameras won't feel like they're totally obsolete and might allow me to indulge my desire to take decent photos for a few years?

    Thanks very much for the advice!
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi, there isn’t an answer really. Modern cameras are all pretty good and do more or less the same thing. The last “big” change has been an improvement in focus detection on so-called “mirrorless” cameras that has closed (eliminated) the gap on automatic focusing speed between them and DSLRs. Previously (roughly > 3 years) they were less good for photographing fast moving subjects.

    The reason there are so many cameras on the market is more to do with nuances in handling than anything else. The core advice is always try the camera out yourself to see if you like holding it, the controls fall to hand, the size and weight suit, etc. I use Canon (DSLR) mostly and Fuji (mirrorless) for when I don’t want to carry the weight. The original choice of Canon was made in film days when I tried Canon, Nikon and Minolta side by side and picked Canon. Long term the cost actually lies in lenses not cameras and you don’t find many people switching systems once they have established a system.

    A camera costing £5,000 will be “better” than one costing £500 but a lot of that is robustness. It’s like buying tools. Something designed to be used once a year for DIY ain’t going to last long on a building site.

    If you want something to carry on walks to take pictures for the scenery I’d look at used Fuji. They are mirrorless rather than DSLRs. They did a lot of fast development so there are many cameras around on the used market. They are reasonably put together and the lenses, though not cheap are less expensive than the Canon and Nikon equivalents. They offer a choice of SLR style (XT) or rangefinder (XE) style bodies. The versions 2 (XT-2, XE-2) are better than versions 1. The XT-3 (still current but heavily discounted to shift old stock) is widely considered one of the best APS-C (that’s the most common sensor size) cameras on the market. It has much better AF than series 2. The XT-4 has just been launched. Most shipped as kits with a 18-55 mm lens which, focal length wise, is pretty much what every APS-C DSLR comes with and is suitable for landscape.

    Of course you may absolutely hate them. Hopefully camera shops will soon open up again so that you can try.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    One of these 2 will probably be the sort of thing that will suit you...

    Cameras Sony HX90 and Panasonic TZ70 DSC01601.JPG

    The Sony on the right is the HX90. Its lens zooms from a little wider than your phone to 3x closer than a pair of binoculars. The screen at the back can be tilted to let you take pictures with the camera held at waist level while the little panel above the "Sony" logo pops up to reveal an eye level finder, which is useful in bright light where the screen might wash out. There's a flashgun that also pops up from the panel above the lens.

    The camera on the right is a Panasonic Lumic TZ70. It offers much the same facilities as the Sony but in a simpler package: the rear screen doesn't tilt and the eye level finder is permanently fixed in place. It's generally faster to use than the Sony and offers a little better sharpness when the lens is at maximum zoom.

    Both cameras will fit in a jacket pocket.

    A couple of examples from the Sony...

    Bearded young man with glasses pleased expression HX90 00194.JPG
    Crows on chimney Clyst St Mary HX90 DSC00026.JPG

    ...and a couple from the Panasonic camera...

    Pigeons kissing in silhouette P1030357.JPG
    Cars in late evening sunshine TZ70 P1030617.JPG

    If you look around either of these cameras should be within your budget and provide you with the maximum "bang for your buck". :)
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    First decide what kind of camera you want (if you look at AP regularly you should have some idea by now, otherwise the question is too vague to answer), and then look at the LCE and Ffordes websites to see what you can get for your budget. On your budget you can find something decent with an APS-C sized sensor (about half the size of a 35 mm 'full frame' sensor), so I would suggest you buy a used DSLR body only (and there is a lot of choice) and look for a used old-model Sigma 17-70 to use with it. I have a DSLR body that I use with one of these lenses, and it is better and more versatile than the usual 18-55 kit lens. (The DSLR body I own now sells used for £200, and I have used it recently with my old-model Sigma 17-70.) Other people will suggest something completely different (see above), so you must first decide what type of camera you want. Consider size and weight as well as cost, just don't pretend you will get all the latest 'must have' features that you will have (and pay for) on a new camera, like 'image stabilisation' in the lens (but a used Pentax DSLR, like my K-5, will have this in the body).

    For example, if you can stretch to £260 you can buy this pair in 'good condition' for a company I have used and would recommend.


    And £270 will get this pair. Note that the lens appears to be the F2.8-F4.5 NEW model, but is priced as the F2.8-F4.5 OLD model, so there may be some confusion at the branch. The new model is 'OS', and the old one not.


    If you really want something small and don't want interchangeable lenses, start here to get an idea of what £200 will buy, and then do some research on the size of the digital sensors used (there are some old reviews on the AP website). Note that ones with 'superzooms' will have very small sensors (not good for picture quality if you want decent prints done), and ones with shorter zoom ranges will have larger sensors (better for decent prints).

    So another consideration: are large prints important to you, or will the images only be viewed on PC and telephone screens?


    Have fun - there is a lot of good condition used stuff available at good prices.
  5. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    This got me thinking that the Canon eos 600D is 9 years old... I got one and really can’t find any reason to replace it, excellent camera that does all I need and more.
    Might an option for you, another interesting camera was the Nikon D5100. Again like the 600d can be picked up at a good price.
  6. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I suppose the first response to a query like this should always be 'what do you want to do with the photographs you take?'
    If not large prints, it must be difficult to qualify buying anything more capable than producing images adequate for viewing on small screens. Or to continue the car idea, would you buy a Golf GTI and only use it for shopping and the school run? Man people do, although something cheaper to buy and run would be more than adequate.

    As I suggested above, I would look for a 3 or 4 year old 'entry level' DSLR body from Canon/Nikon/Pentax and an old model Sigma 17-70. To use the car comparison, on the given budget this would be like buying a 3 or 4 year old 1.6 litre saloon car, not a Golf GTI.

    Of course, what I would buy and what original OP wants or eventually gets are probably different.
    I look forward to finding out his final choice.

Share This Page