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Looking to buy a good photography camera for around 900$

Go to solution Solved by YellowJersey,
3 hours ago, DynamicTypo said:

i more meant just in general  for buying a camera and camera equipment. 

Oh. Yeah, in that case, then you can get some good stuff on black friday / cyber monday.

I'm looking to get back into photography and wasn't to sure where to start and what to look for. I've started diving into research but there's a lot of info out there and a lot of brands and models, my main focus is photography and I don't care to much about taking videos. I mainly enjoy nature and close up photography, I really enjoy taking pictures of bees and flowers but also like taking photos of trees, mountains and lakes. I would really appreciate camera recommendations, and also recommendations on more research to do. I'm trying to get it on my birthday on the 14th, I know this is pretty short notice and would be willing to wait if you recommend to take more time for research/learning. thankyou all in advance for the help

Edit: 900$ usd

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Is that $900 USD? What currency are we talking?

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54 minutes ago, YellowJersey said:

Is that $900 USD? What currency are we talking?

USD

 

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Are you planning to edit photos or just take the JPEG straight off the camera? 

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12 hours ago, DynamicTypo said:

USD

 

Ok, so there are two paths you can take as a newcomer.

1) Buy an older DSLR style camera. The advantage here is that you can get these relatively cheap. The disadvantage is that DSLRs are largely being phased out in favour of mirrorless cameras, so don't expect new bodies or lenses.

2) Buy a newer mirrorless style camera. The advantage here is that new bodies and lenses are coming out all the time. The disadvantage is that it'll be a bit more expensive. I'd recommend this path, but I tend to think longer term. Others will probably disagree and say that the savings from buying a DSLR outweigh the lack of new stuff.

The next thing we need to decide is sensor size. For interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), there are three sensor sizes: full frame (biggest), APS-C (middle), MicroFourThirds (MFT) (smallest) The benefits of a big sensor is that it tends to have higher image quality. The disadvantage is that the cameras tend to be more expensive and the lenses tend to be bigger, heavier, and more expensive. For you, I'd recommend going APS-C as it's a nice middle-of-the-road that keeps the cost and weight down but retains good image quality.

 For APS-C cameras, I'd look at Sony or FujiFilm. BH Photo has a Sony A6100 that comes with a 16-50mm lens combo (called a "kit") that fits your budget and would probably be a good starting point. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1502816-REG/sony_alpha_a6100_mirrorless_digital.html

 

 Alternatively, FujiFilm has an X-T30 II that comes with a 15-45mm lens, but it's a bit more expensive here https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1662378-REG/fujifilm_16759732_x_t30_ii_mirrorless_digital.html


This is how lenses work. For example: 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6mm. The "15-45mm" is the focal length. Since this lens has two numbers, it's a zoom range. 15mm is the wide end and 45mm is the narrow end (how close or far away things are). Now, these numbers can be a bit confusing, but just be aware that the bigger the number, the closer your subject is, the lower the number, the farther away your subject is. To start out, something like a 15-45mm would be a good zoom range. The "f/3.5-5.6mm" refers to the minimum aperture (the size of the hole at the back of the lens that the light passes through en route to the sensor. The lower the number, the more light passes through when the lens aperture is wide open, which is beneficial for low light, but it means the "Depth of field" (the amount of the photo that's in focus) is smaller. You can change aperture settings and "stop down" (make the aperture hole smaller) to let in less light in order to increase your depth of field so more of the photo is in focus (this is what we landscape photographers often do).

 Let us know if there's anything else you need. I know this can all be a bit daunting to get into.

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9 hours ago, Imbadatnames said:

Are you planning to edit photos or just take the JPEG straight off the camera? 

mix of both not quite sure, probably if i am editing ill find and use free software

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1 hour ago, YellowJersey said:

Ok, so there are two paths you can take as a newcomer.

1) Buy an older DSLR style camera. The advantage here is that you can get these relatively cheap. The disadvantage is that DSLRs are largely being phased out in favour of mirrorless cameras, so don't expect new bodies or lenses.

2) Buy a newer mirrorless style camera. The advantage here is that new bodies and lenses are coming out all the time. The disadvantage is that it'll be a bit more expensive. I'd recommend this path, but I tend to think longer term. Others will probably disagree and say that the savings from buying a DSLR outweigh the lack of new stuff.

The next thing we need to decide is sensor size. For interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs), there are three sensor sizes: full frame (biggest), APS-C (middle), MicroFourThirds (MFT) (smallest) The benefits of a big sensor is that it tends to have higher image quality. The disadvantage is that the cameras tend to be more expensive and the lenses tend to be bigger, heavier, and more expensive. For you, I'd recommend going APS-C as it's a nice middle-of-the-road that keeps the cost and weight down but retains good image quality.

 For APS-C cameras, I'd look at Sony or FujiFilm. BH Photo has a Sony A6100 that comes with a 16-50mm lens combo (called a "kit") that fits your budget and would probably be a good starting point. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1502816-REG/sony_alpha_a6100_mirrorless_digital.html

 

 Alternatively, FujiFilm has an X-T30 II that comes with a 15-45mm lens, but it's a bit more expensive here https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1662378-REG/fujifilm_16759732_x_t30_ii_mirrorless_digital.html


This is how lenses work. For example: 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6mm. The "15-45mm" is the focal length. Since this lens has two numbers, it's a zoom range. 15mm is the wide end and 45mm is the narrow end (how close or far away things are). Now, these numbers can be a bit confusing, but just be aware that the bigger the number, the closer your subject is, the lower the number, the farther away your subject is. To start out, something like a 15-45mm would be a good zoom range. The "f/3.5-5.6mm" refers to the minimum aperture (the size of the hole at the back of the lens that the light passes through en route to the sensor. The lower the number, the more light passes through when the lens aperture is wide open, which is beneficial for low light, but it means the "Depth of field" (the amount of the photo that's in focus) is smaller. You can change aperture settings and "stop down" (make the aperture hole smaller) to let in less light in order to increase your depth of field so more of the photo is in focus (this is what we landscape photographers often do).

 Let us know if there's anything else you need. I know this can all be a bit daunting to get into.

I definitely like the idea of having lots of lens options and future-proof, and I'm not sure how true this is but mirrorless will probably have a longer lifespan because of the lack of a moving part. would a APS-C be okay for taking star and night sky pics, or is that more of a lens based thing. weight and size isn't really a concern of mine. I am willing to go a bit above budget if its worth it, also would it be a better idea to wait fir something like cyber Monday or black Friday for better deals? 

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25 minutes ago, DynamicTypo said:

mix of both not quite sure, probably if i am editing ill find and use free software

If you’re looking at JPEGs at all I’d have a look around for who’s colour science you like the best. Personally I’m a fan of Fujis along with their “film” settings which mimics films that Fuji made. Capture one is decent and I got it free with my camera. 

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6 hours ago, DynamicTypo said:

I definitely like the idea of having lots of lens options and future-proof, and I'm not sure how true this is but mirrorless will probably have a longer lifespan because of the lack of a moving part. would a APS-C be okay for taking star and night sky pics, or is that more of a lens based thing. weight and size isn't really a concern of mine. I am willing to go a bit above budget if its worth it, also would it be a better idea to wait fir something like cyber Monday or black Friday for better deals? 

 

 

Stars and night sky is more of a lens thing than a sensor thing. Having a bigger sensor helps, but there are techniques you can use. The big difference is noise in the image; bigger sensors handle noise better. For nighty sky photos, I highly recommend getting a star tracker; a device that moves your camera along with the Earth's rotation so you can take exposures several minutes long. I use one for my star photos. Alternatively, you can stack photos; take multiple exposures and then merge them in post to even the pixels out and reduce noise. Alternatively alternatively, you can get a star tracker and stack photos; this is what I do for my photos.

 For the stars, you want a nice "fast" lens (meaning that the aperture has a low number). I use a 20mm f/2 on a full frame sensor (as the APS-C sensor is smaller, my lens would be 1.5x magnification and would be the equivalent of a 30mm f/2. This is called "crop factor" https://petapixel.com/what-is-crop-factor/

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3 hours ago, YellowJersey said:

 

 

Stars and night sky is more of a lens thing than a sensor thing. Having a bigger sensor helps, but there are techniques you can use. The big difference is noise in the image; bigger sensors handle noise better. For nighty sky photos, I highly recommend getting a star tracker; a device that moves your camera along with the Earth's rotation so you can take exposures several minutes long. I use one for my star photos. Alternatively, you can stack photos; take multiple exposures and then merge them in post to even the pixels out and reduce noise. Alternatively alternatively, you can get a star tracker and stack photos; this is what I do for my photos.

 For the stars, you want a nice "fast" lens (meaning that the aperture has a low number). I use a 20mm f/2 on a full frame sensor (as the APS-C sensor is smaller, my lens would be 1.5x magnification and would be the equivalent of a 30mm f/2. This is called "crop factor" https://petapixel.com/what-is-crop-factor/

I still would like to know if it might be a better idea to wait until a sale like black Friday or cyber Monday?

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10 hours ago, DynamicTypo said:

I still would like to know if it might be a better idea to wait until a sale like black Friday or cyber Monday?

 

 For a full frame camera? You could. But there is a significant price jump going to full frame with the additional lens costs. I'm looking on BH right now and none of the cameras in the $1000 range are ones that I would really recommend. I think you're thinking about it a bit too much.

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20 minutes ago, YellowJersey said:

 

 For a full frame camera? You could. But there is a significant price jump going to full frame with the additional lens costs. I'm looking on BH right now and none of the cameras in the $1000 range are ones that I would really recommend. I think you're thinking about it a bit too much.

i more meant just in general  for buying a camera and camera equipment. 

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3 hours ago, DynamicTypo said:

i more meant just in general  for buying a camera and camera equipment. 

Oh. Yeah, in that case, then you can get some good stuff on black friday / cyber monday.

System Specs: Second-class potato, slightly mouldy

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  • 4 weeks later...

999 for the body for a X-S10 which is pretty good but if you don't have a lens your over.  Maybe a used XT3?  I ended up with the XT4 as I found a "like new" open box on B&H while the X-S10 was out of stock.  Got the lens used "excellent+" on K&H.  Ended up not all that bad after selling the d7200 and its lens.  Less than the X-S10 kit new with tax.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would look for a used "last gen" top tier dslm like a fuji x-t3. Don't know what the situation is where you live but I can find them including kit lens (18-55 f2.8) between 750€ and 1100€ in my area. Just need to look around a bit

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/24/2022 at 1:08 PM, belst said:

I would look for a used "last gen" top tier dslm like a fuji x-t3. Don't know what the situation is where you live but I can find them including kit lens (18-55 f2.8) between 750€ and 1100€ in my area. Just need to look around a bit

I agree!

May be a bit to late, but my advise is to look for used camera gear too.

(and not hope to get a good deal on black friday / cyber monday)

I bougt all of my gear (except Sony A7iv) second hand and saved 40-50% (a totoal of ~3500€).

There are realy good deals for used gear. I could by a Sony a7 iii with the kit lens (28-70) for 830€ right now.


APS-C or full frame for Astro?

-> To be honest it makes not a big difference. If the settings are wrong, the noise from a bigger sensor (FF) is just the same as the noise from a APS-C sensor.

    If the settings are well (Weather, lightpolution, ...)  you even can get incredible images with a apeture of f4 on aps-c - you need to edit the RAWs of course (and maybe stack them)


I personaly own 3 different cameras (Sony a6000-astro, a7, a7iv), but have used a ton of other cameras too (Canon 70D, 80D, 5Dii, R6, R5 / Nikon D850 / Fuji XT30ii, XT3 / Leica SL2-S) .

=> There are visible qulitiy differences in the RAW data. But every camera, not older then 5 years looks almost the same. The bigest difference is the lens thogh. If you get a really sharp one it will get better results then most "fast" lens. I would buy used Sigma lenses.


If you go Sony, there are so may good (and cheap) third-party lenses (Samyang, Tamron, Sigma, ...). I can not recommend any Sony lenses (as long as you are not a pro), since the good ones are so expensive and the affordable ones are not (as) sharp (as Sigma or Tamron).

 

 

If you have any questions left, feel free to ask!

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On 8/6/2022 at 11:36 PM, DynamicTypo said:

I'm looking to get back into photography and wasn't to sure where to start and what to look for. I've started diving into research but there's a lot of info out there and a lot of brands and models, my main focus is photography and I don't care to much about taking videos. I mainly enjoy nature and close up photography, I really enjoy taking pictures of bees and flowers but also like taking photos of trees, mountains and lakes. I would really appreciate camera recommendations, and also recommendations on more research to do. I'm trying to get it on my birthday on the 14th, I know this is pretty short notice and would be willing to wait if you recommend to take more time for research/learning. thankyou all in advance for the help

Edit: 900$ usd

For $900, your best bet is going to be a used Sony A7RII. 

 

For photography, you really kind of want full frame, not crop sensor (Fuji, Sony a6000 etc.)

The A7III is much better but it hasn't quite gotten down to that $900 price point (It's currently about $1100-$1200 used).

The A7II is crap.

Nikon/Canon Full Frame Mirrorless are fine, but the lenses are super expensive. Sony E mount has some reasonably priced third party lenses because they open their mount to other manufacturers (Sigma, Tamron, Viltrox etc.) 

 

So, to recap, A7RII. 

 

Or save up a few hundred bucks more and get an A7III. It is significantly better in pretty much every way and is not way more expensive or anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/13/2022 at 9:13 AM, CHICKSLAYA said:

For $900, your best bet is going to be a used Sony A7RII. 

no you need a very specific set of needs to want that over another body, it would not be my recommendation to start someone on

On 10/13/2022 at 9:13 AM, CHICKSLAYA said:

For photography, you really kind of want full frame, not crop sensor (Fuji, Sony a6000 etc.)

Crop vs full frame really doesn't matter image wise, I've had great stuff take on a 5dmk3, 60d, X-S10

 

 

sounds like your after a body with a good do it all lens those lenses typically the more expensive kit option or getting a few lenses to fill those needs.

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