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Hi, everyone! Advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by SerenaSunshine, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. SerenaSunshine

    SerenaSunshine New Member

    Thanks to admin for letting me join the forum. I love taking photos, sometimes with my Samsung Galaxy S10+, and sometimes with my Panasonic Lumix FZ-200. I take about 10-15,000 photos a year, mostly of our dogs , flowers and landscapes. I'm thinking about taking the plunge into DSLR territory. I've been looking around online and doing a lot of research, but my mind is now boggled! I was, at first, going to get the Panasonic FZ -1000, then FZ-2000, then Sony RX10-M4 (too expensive!). I recently saw someone we know who has a Nikon D5600, and I've seen his action shots of our dogs that he took, I love the photos. I held his camera and thought "this changes everything" (I thought DSLRs were heavy!) The only thing is, we like to go to Wales a lot (Well, we DID! and we will again someday after the lockdown is over.) It rains a lot over there. And the D5600 camera isn't weather sealed. I would like a camera that takes photos as good as, or better than the Nikon D5600, but that is as light as the D5600, weather sealed is a must, and a fully articulating screen. any ideas ? Oh, and price is also a consideration, I can't really go over £700. Thanks for any help!
  2. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I think in order to stick with Nikon and have a weather-sealed camera, you are going to end up having to buy a D500 which is a lot larger, heavier and more expensive..

    You could consider looking at micro-four-thirds, for example an Olympus E-M5 mark II, I'm not sure if a *used" E-M 1 mark 1 will be weatherproofed to the required extent .... are you considering used, or new only, and what lens are you likely to get?
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome
    Trouble is I suspect that the combination of light water resistant -both lens and body - does not exist at the price you mention.Or indeed at any price new. I hope I am wrong. It might be worth contacting one of the big retailers such as WEX to ask their advice.
    As an alternative have you looked at the Olympus tough range such as the TG6?
  4. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Hello Serena.

    You can get a thing called a RainSleeve - basically a specialised plastic bag which fits over camera and lens body leaving the lens itself open. You can still use all the controls.


    ps it doesn't rain all the time in Wales, that's propaganda started by the Romans

    pps well, not quite all the time, anyway.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.

    Two things really.

    There is no such thing as “a camera that takes”. A camera is as good as the person that uses it is skilled and experienced. Second, if you go from what you are used to, a bridge camera, to an interchangeable lens camera then you’ll find that you’ve opened the door to buying lenses. The camera body tends to become the least part of the system and camera lenses that do what bridge camera lenses do are bigger, heavier and more expensive. Bridge cameras have come a long way since the 2012 that I think your Fz-200 was made with much faster Autofocus and better image quality, especially the 1” sensor ones. The Sony Rx-10 series may look expensive, and the camera is large, but you couldn't carry in one bag the DSLR equivalent. My wife has the Rx-10 mkiii and from an image quality point of view yes I can tell the difference between her picture and mine if we go out and take similar shots but I’m carrying kit that costs 10 times as much and weighs probably ten times as much. Plus all she has to do is swing the camera, zoom and shoot whereas I’ll be phaffing about changing lenses.

    I’m not arguing against buying a DSLR (or CSC). Most of us on this forum use them. Just be aware that the advantage of having separate lenses for separate purposes carries a penalty of weight and ultimately cost.

    Secondly weather sealing is one of those “mmm” things. Most people don’t do what, say a professional sports photographer has to do, which is sit for 90 minutes in torrential rain taking pictures. If it’s pouring down and you want to take pictures in the rain you stand under something. A camera will tolerate getting a bit wet as long as you wipe it dry and don’t put it away with water on it. The majority of lenses aren’t weather sealed unless you are going up market.

    We should soon be at the end of lockdown when it will be possible to go back into camera shops and see and handle different cameras. If you really like the Nikon then that is great but be sure what it is that you want it for and factor in the cost of lenses if you are looking for the zoom range you’ll get with a bridge camera.
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I use various cameras but the most generally useful in my current line-up are a Sony A65 fitted with a Tamron 16-300mm and a Nikon D600 fitted with a Tamron 28-300mm, which are effectively "bridge cameras" with large sensors. The Nikon setup is quite recent so I haven't given it a serious workout so far but the Sony has served me well...

    Stilt dancer in Princesshay Exeter A65 DSC00353.JPG
    Battery tester in use A65 DSC03465.JPG
    Teenagers in Sidmouth A65 DSC03417.JPG
    Halifax bomber at Yorkshire Air Museum A65 DSC02648.JPG DSC02648.JPG
    Young woman running Woolbrook Road Sidmouth DSC03047.JPG
  7. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Photographers managed for over 150 years using cameras that were not 'weatherproof', and so can you if you avoid using your camera in downpours or gales. Standing where there is some shelter is often the simplest solution.

    I suggest you ask if you can borrow the DSLR and a lens for 2 or 3 days, and try using it, before rushing to buy one of your own. You may be happier with one of the compacts with an 'APS-C' sized sensor (as used in many DSLRs) and its fixed lens that offers a reasonable zoom range. Some compacts have much smaller sensors and will not give the same image quality, although how important this is will depend on what you want to do with your pictures. If they are only ever viewed on a PC screen or a handheld device with a small screen, you won't need the same image quality that you would if you wanted large prints for your wall. It is worth thinking carefully about this because it may help you avoid an expensive mistake.

    Also, if the DSLR you saw was fitted with its 18-55 mm lens that is often sold with new camera bodies, consider that if you want to photograph dogs from a distance it might not be the best lens and that an 18-135 or 18-200 lens may be more versatile. You don't have to buy a DSLR with its 'kit' lens - you can buy a second hand camera body and a second hand lens separately. You should be able to find a second hand older model Nikon or Canon DSLR, and a second hand 18-135 or 18-200, from the reputable dealers who advertise in AP. You may even find that you don't need your entire budget.

    For example - a Nikon 3100 body (well reviewed when new) and a matching Nikon 18-135 for £119 each.

    AP's website can be helpful too - see the 'reviews' and 'second-hand' tabs at the top of the home page.


    I found this review - the camera body is cheap because it's a 10 year old model, but is probably ideal for learning with. This one looks great - it's hardly been used ('Boxed with charger, battery, strap and instructions, approximately 2,640 shots taken'). The camera body and lens won't have image stabilisation, but at £238 for both... and people did manage without this too until it became a 'must have' feature with along weather sealing and articulating screens (if you want to take a low-angle shot of a dog, you can lie on the ground and use the viewfinder).


    At these prices, if you want to upgrade the camera body or lens later, you won't lose too much money. But don't even consider that until you are sure that you have 'outgrown' them, or that you want to do something that they cannot do (macro shots or extreme wide angle stuff, for example). You don't need all the latest 'must have' features to learn about photography, just something basic, a lot of enthusiasm and suitable subjects (like your dog).

    A final thought - what do you do with the 10-15,000 pictures taken very year?

    Have fun.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  8. SerenaSunshine

    SerenaSunshine New Member

    Hi, cheers for all of your advice! After very careful consideration, I have decided NOT to go down the DSLR route. I have purchased a used Panasonic FZ-2000 (which I got for an exceptionally good price). I know I won't get as good IQ as from a DSLR, (and it's not weather resistant), but it should be better than my previous FZ-200 at least. And it's just one thing (albeit twice the weight of the FZ-200) to carry around/worry about. Thanks again, you'll probably see me on here again awhile I'm learning to use my "new "camera!
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    You might be very pleasantly surprised.

    Panasonic kit is often very good and bridge cameras, if you work within their limitations, are capable of providing very pleasing images. Here are some made with a Fujifilm SL300 that I bought from a charity shop for £5, because it was missing a battery...

    Bus driver in mirrir SL300 DSCF3604 copy.JPG
    Teenagers at waters edge Sidmouth sea front SL300 DSCF3529.jpg
    Bus driver smiling at colleague SL300 DSCF3452.jpg
    New Street Exmouth SL300 DSCF3751.JPG
    Fujifilm SL300 8GB 05 SL300 DSCF3397.JPG
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If it does what you want, then it's the ideal camera for you.

    Have you seen this? If you want to make videos of your dogs, it appears to have all the features for this.


    It has a '1 inch' sensor, which is why the large range zoom lens can be so compact, and if used with care you should be able to get some decent 40 or 50 cm prints done (other members with cameras that use this sensor will be able to give more advice about this). Because of the small sensor (but still much larger than a smartphone sensor), you might find that images appear soft a small lens apertures like F 11 or F 16 (although it may not offer these - even Panasonic's own website is vague about this). I think I've read in AP that F 5.6 is the smallest lens aperture advisable to use with this sized sensor (but again members with cameras with this size sensor can help), which means you will have a very small range of lens apertures to use at the long end of the zoom.

    Also, because of the sensor size, the shallow depth of field effects (blurred backgrounds) may be less noticeable than you will get with a larger sensor size as used in DSLRs.

    I'm still curious to know what you do with the 'about 10-15,000 photos a year' that you take. How many do you keep?

    Have fun, and consider uploading some of your favourite images to a gallery on this website. The recommended size is 800-1000 pixels on the longer side, so they will need to be resized copies of the originals.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Excellent! Have fun. I look forward to seeing your pictures.
  12. SerenaSunshine

    SerenaSunshine New Member

    Hi all, thanks for your input. Still learning how to use the new camera, it's quite different to my old one! Regarding all the photos I take every year, not all come out that good! I use my Samsung Galaxy S10+ (which is great for a smartphone) but photos are often blurry due to the dogs running around like mad. Same issue with the FZ-200! And on the actual camera I often used the multi photo setting, where it takes five shots in succession, which adds to the total amount. I put a lot on social media, and print some off. And the best ones go on the calendar!
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Re. 'blurry due to the dogs running around like mad'. Look at the user manual for the new camera, and read about shutter speeds and the option of automated exposure with shutter speed priority. This is where you set the shutter speed and camera adjusts lens aperture (and perhaps ISO too) - try 1/500 or 1/1000 second if the dogs are active. Also, look at the autofocus options and experiment - if 'spot focus' is available this might help too. This should restrict the autofocus to a small area of the image (usually the centre) rather than a large area so the camera may focus on something else and not the dogs.

    Be prepared to experiment - the camera will have a lot of options, and the 'auto everything' approach of a smartphone may not be best for dogs that won't sit still. You may find that after a while you won't need to take so many shots to get really good ones.

    Re. the calendar - I've been getting calendars done for the last 13 years (every since I got my first DSLR), and for the last 4 years have ordered an A2 calendar from CEWE by uploading images to their website. The image size is 572 x 327 mm and your best shots could look great this size.

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