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Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Lorraine Clark, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. Thanks for accepting me into your group. I’m definitely on the amateur side of amateur but I love photography. I live in rural(ish) Scotland so I particularly enjoy the landscape, seascape and macro nature opportunities around me. At the moment I’m using an iPhone pro 12 max with an additional macro lense (partly because it’s handy when you’re on the back of a motorbike!) but I plan to buy ‘proper’ camera equipment, which is partly my reason for joining this forum.

    Looking forward to some guidance and inspiration.


    peterba likes this.
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard.
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  3. Thankyou!
  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Hi and glad to see you.
    Jashua Hudson and Lorraine Clark like this.
  5. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Hello Lorraine

    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  6. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Welcome! I'm sure you'll get answers to any questions you might have. In fact, you'll probably get many answers - mostly contradicatory - but we all mean well! ;) :)
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  7. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you would like some advice about buying a proper camera, think carefully about how much stuff you (and your motorbike?) are prepared to carry, and how much you want to spend. For example, a lens that is ideal for seascape and landscape shots will probably not be ideal for macro shots too. There is a lot of decent quality stuff available second hand from reputable retailers who advertise regularly in AP, but also a bewildering choice of types of camera.

    Also consider what you will want to do with your pictures - if they will only ever be seen on a PC monitor or social media website, you won't need the image quality that would be required if you want decent quality large prints to display on a wall (which is probably the best place for your favourite shots).
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Lorraine, welcome to the forum.
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  10. Thanks Roger, good to be here.
  12. Thanks so much Chester, good advice. I hadn’t considered the second hand market but it’s probably a great place for a rookie to cut their teeth without spending a fortune. I like to travel light, so compact is one of my top priorities, however, image quality is also important so I’ll be doing a bit of research before diving in.
  13. Thanks Peterba, I look forward to becoming more baffled
    peterba likes this.
  14. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I'm confident that we can achieve that for you. ;) :D
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you may want to but more specialist lenses in future (wide angle or macro, for example), you will find that the availability and price of second hand lenses are much better for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. The more recent mirrorless camera bodies usually use different lens mounts and you will find that second hand lenses are often more expensive. Deciding on the right camera body first may save you a lot of money later when you look for second hand lenses to fit it.

    'Compact' is a word that people like to use but often don't define. Do you mean small enough to fit in a pocket, small enough to fit in a small bag (and what size is a small bag?), etc.

    The smallest cameras will usually have smaller digital sensors which may limit image quality (hence my question about big prints for your wall), and something a little larger like a second hand APS-C DSLR body will have a larger sensor and offer more flexibility about lenses (see above).

    Also, if you decide on a particular camera, if buying second hand you don't have to buy one with its original 'kit lens'. You can buy the body alone and a lens of your choice to use with it.

    You may find this helpful - it doesn't appear to have been updated recently to include mirrorless cameras, so when reading the page you need only know that mirrorless cameras have the classic 'mirror and pentaprism' viewfinder of a DSLR replaced by a small display screen in the viewfinder. This means that for a given sensor size the camera bodies may be smaller than a DSLR body - but beware the availability and price of second hand lenses to fit them.


    I don't know if this page will help or confuse - if the latter, I apologise.


    The page explains the different sensor sizes used in digital cameras. Much of it is a bit technical, but the diagrams of the various sensor sizes may help (the section on 'Common image sensor formats' may explain some of the names). It is by using small sensors that 'compact cameras' can be small and their lenses have impressive zoom ranges, but at the expense of image quality being limited by the sensor. This is why I always ask 'what do you want to do with your pictures?'
  16. Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to provide all that info :) Lots for me to think about
  17. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    When I got my first digital SLR in 2007 it was a Pentax because I had been using one of their 35 mm film cameras for 27 years and had some lenses to fit. Also at that time there were fewer types of digital camera available at anything like sensible prices, so I got a Pentax DSLR with an APS-C sensor. I have only upgraded once, to the model I now have that is about 10 years old.

    I recommended Canon and Nikon DSLRs because so many have been sold, and so many lenses that fit them sold too, that these are probably the best-value options if buying second hand and if you are buying your first proper camera. For me, an APS-C DSLR has been the best balance between between cost, size and weight, but for you it may be too big. If you can, get some 'hands on' time with a few different types of camera at a specialist retailer. Are you within travelling distance of any of the retailers who advertise in AP?

    After you have done a bit more research (the best way to avoid an expensive mistake), somebody here will be able to answer questions you will have. Some of the variations between types of camera will be confusing, hence my suggestion about first deciding what you want to do with your pictures because this will be relevant to any advice offered.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  18. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum Lorraine.
    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  19. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    For second hand, look at : https://www.ffordes.com/ or : https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/ although there are others.

    Don't forget to look at mirrorless Fuji and Olympus as well. They tend to be smaller and lighter than dslr's and the pictures they produce are at least as good as the "Big Boys". Prices of older models are not as high as you may think and are generally very good value.

    Lorraine Clark likes this.
  20. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If I did not already own a camera body or lenses (which I believe applies to Lorraine) and had a lot of money to spend (Lorraine has not told us her budget), I would probably buy a second hand Fuji X-T3 because of its design. But I would be put off by the price of lenses to fit it, even if also purchased second hand.

    For example, Lorraine has expressed and interest in 'landscape, seascape and macro nature'. For a Canon or Nikon APS-C DSLR body, a good condition old model Sigma 10-20 mm for landscape work can now be found for £150 at LCE (I have one of these and it's one of my favourite lenses). You won't find a Fuji fit lens of similar specifications at anything like this price - all I could find was a second hand Fuji 10-24 mm at £479 second hand at Ffordes. For the Olympus, the nearest equivalent lens I could find was the Panasonic 7-14 mm for £450 second hand at LCE.

    Similarly, an old model Tamron 90 mm F 2.8 macro (I have one over 20 years old that produces great images) to fit a Canon or Nikon APS-C DSLR body can be found for £140-£150 at LCE, but I could not find a similar lens second hand to fit a Fuji. For the Olympus, the nearest equivalent lens I found was an Olympus 60 mm macro for £349 second hand from Ffordes.

    You may argue that the more modern lenses are 'better' than the older ones I mention, but unless you want very large prints are you likely to notice? Also, the newer lenses may have the current 'must have' feature of image stabilisation - but at a cost.

    The price (and choice) of lenses for some camera fittings is a problem that AP often ignores when reviewing camera bodies with a kit lens, which is why (if funds are limited and more lenses may be wanted later) I suggested buying a camera body that will allow the biggest possible choice of such lenses second hand. Suggesting a camera body is only the first step, but the cost and availability of second hand lenses to fit it should be considered too.
    Lorraine Clark likes this.

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