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Camera buying advice please

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sammy.se

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Hi,

Wondering where camera buyers like to buy their cameras?

I'm hoping to grab a deal this 'black Friday', on a DSLR which can record 4K video.

I don't really have a preference for brands, so if someone has any advice or recommendations on specific cameras, I'd be very grateful.

My budget is £500 to £700 including a general lens (i.e. not specific to macro or distance).
I will be using it for holiday photos, general stuff (days out) and I do want to record myself doing some wood work - hence the 4K video requirement.
I would like the 4K video to be good enough to be played on a TV, and I don't want any borders.

Thanks!
Sammy
 

BucksDad

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If recording video is important to you, then you'll probably want to get a mirrorless camera - most don't have recording limits for video whereas DSLRs usually have a time limit to prevent overheating.

Panasonic G80 fits in your price range and is great for video as it offers simultaneous recording / clean HDMI output if you need it and allows unlimited recording time.
 

paulrbarnard

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Look at mirrorless rather than DSLR if you are looking for interchangeable lenses or one of the super zoom all in ones if you don’t want to change lenses. DSLR are decidedly old technology today. They can of course still take good images but they are sadly lacking in future proofing your system and not as good for video work.
 

Ttrees

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Couldn't give you an opinion on whats the best camera, but just giving my 2cents regarding
having a camera in the workshop.
I have a 40 pound, likely less now... 16 megapixel samsung selfie camera which has a full size screen, so you can see what you're filming.
Probably getting on now.
I think they all can record without borders, and for my videos, good enough to get the point across.
Again couldn't give you an idea of sound quality, but it seems good enough to pick up my mumblings, and I never talk towards the camera, always from behind.

I got the missus the same one years ago, so I have a battery on stand by if I remember.
She uses the phone now, so it sits unused.

If you intend on even the odd video then a spare battery could be likely very important.
I'm no youtuber, nor have a section of the workshop devoted to that video I might be making,
so waiting for a camera to charge would get in the way of working/ the video I might be making at the same time, as what I do is pretty rough and ready and hopefully gets the point across.

I don't think a big lump of a camera would suit me, and I'd be mollycoddling it too much if it were expensive.
Mine is mounted on an old microphone stand with wooden microphone so a heavier one wouldn't be suitable.

Normally I find that you need light behind the camera, as you get a glare if facing light.
But I admit I ain't knowledgeable in that area.

Have you tried to see what even an old phone can do?
It might be good enough for videos in the workshop, or at least give a clue as to what else might be required, don't know how you are planning to "style" these videos or not...
i.e presenting the videos like Matt Estlea or Rob Cosman, minus a camera man.
Mitch Peacock is a good example in that regard.
Make note of all the stuff like umbrellas which "seems" necessary if you want to make use of what the DSLR or whatever camera can provide.

Personally as a viewer, I've not been wanting more from anything I've watched, and I don't care whatever style the video is in.
Take some of David W's videos, bearing in mind it's not in the same style as folks above with big zoom outs for the "Hi folks" introductions or whatever.
It's just the work in the shot and not much else.
I think all he has is a good phone for the job.
No need for a microphone if you're close to the work, and should you not wish to be a "presenter"
i.e to stay anonymous, then it might be a waste of money to get something suited to "presenting"
as it were.

And there's the file size which I can only presume is larger compared to a cheap camera?
I seem to be able to get... upto a 20 minute video uploaded onto youtube without needing programs to shrink the file, and use online video converter to merge two very short videos together for free
(without their watermark)

Seems to me, like you have to buy a lot more than an expensive camera, if you want to make use of it.
I could be talking nonsense, but just noting some stuff which might still be the case?

Tom
 

sammy.se

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Thanks all for your suggestions!!

If recording video is important to you, then you'll probably want to get a mirrorless camera - most don't have recording limits for video whereas DSLRs usually have a time limit to prevent overheating.

Panasonic G80 fits in your price range and is great for video as it offers simultaneous recording / clean HDMI output if you need it and allows unlimited recording time.
Perfect, Mirrorless sounds good, and I will look at the G80 now.
Do you have any preferred vendors? I'm thinking John Lewis or Amazon.

Look at mirrorless rather than DSLR if you are looking for interchangeable lenses or one of the super zoom all in ones if you don’t want to change lenses. DSLR are decidedly old technology today. They can of course still take good images but they are sadly lacking in future proofing your system and not as good for video work.
I would like the option of changing lenses, so I might go that route. And thanks for the tip re DSLR.


Couldn't give you an opinion on whats the best camera, but just giving my 2cents regarding
having a camera in the workshop.
I have a 40 pound, likely less now... 16 megapixel samsung selfie camera which has a full size screen, so you can see what you're filming.
Probably getting on now.
I think they all can record without borders, and for my videos, good enough to get the point across.
Again couldn't give you an idea of sound quality, but it seems good enough to pick up my mumblings, and I never talk towards the camera, always from behind.

I got the missus the same one years ago, so I have a battery on stand by if I remember.
She uses the phone now, so it sits unused.

If you intend on even the odd video then a spare battery could be likely very important.
I'm no youtuber, nor have a section of the workshop devoted to that video I might be making,
so waiting for a camera to charge would get in the way of working/ the video I might be making at the same time, as what I do is pretty rough and ready and hopefully gets the point across.

I don't think a big lump of a camera would suit me, and I'd be mollycoddling it too much if it were expensive.
Mine is mounted on an old microphone stand with wooden microphone so a heavier one wouldn't be suitable.

...

Tom
Thanks Tom! Lots of good points and lots to think about.
I have a pretty decent phone camera, so this is for those special events (like holidays etc) and I would really love to try some video editing, hence the 4K. Chances are, I will still use my phone is very dusty situations, but would still like to try a proper camera on a tripod etc.
 

Richard_C

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I used SLRs back in film days, then DSLRs, then a good quality compact, now just a phone with occasional outings for the camera. DSLR days were numbered when I realised I no longer wanted to lug all that stuff around.

Dust is a problem with any removable lens camera, less so with film because it normally only affects one frame but digital sensors attract it and once there it's on every shot until you sort it out. Unless you are really sure you want to change lenses, stick with fixed or zoom.

Some compacts have flip up, out or over viewing screens which can be handy for videos of yourself.

Lighting will have a far bigger impact on perceived quality of your videos than extra megapixels or a marginally bettet lens.

DP review is a decent comparison website but I think they are owned by Amazon or similar now, no reviewers are neutral.
 

akirk

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I was a professional photographer for decades - ended up with 10s of thousands of pounds of Nikon Pro kit...
Sold it all as it was just sitting there most of the year - for 90%+ of the time my iphone is more than sufficient - the one lack is a longer distance lense - only having a 2x optical option...

certainly no issue in taking video / most holiday images...
yes, I have no doubt that there are many ways in which the Pro DSLR is better, but when the phone is as good as it is - there is little reason (for my photography) to have anything extra
 

Ttrees

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Ooh another consideration which I didn't think about, the lens.
Only taking a photo yesterday, and noted the condensation on the lens.
Probably would have had to have some tissue handy had I an expensive one,
and not use my t shirt.
 
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I was a professional photographer for decades - ended up with 10s of thousands of pounds of Nikon Pro kit...
Sold it all as it was just sitting there most of the year - for 90%+ of the time my iphone is more than sufficient - the one lack is a longer distance lense - only having a 2x optical option...

certainly no issue in taking video / most holiday images...
yes, I have no doubt that there are many ways in which the Pro DSLR is better, but when the phone is as good as it is - there is little reason (for my photography) to have anything extra
This really made me think. A former professional photographer selling up £££££ of kit and now finds a phone is sufficient. I've been an enthusiastic amateur for 40 years plus and still use a half reasonable Nikon D7100. I guess times change and that is why some of us become 'old farts'. Same in the world of the workshop I guess.......my father worked for himself from a shed at the bottom of the garden, made a living, supported a wife and 2 boys, had a car and a boat and was 95 when he died. He was a 'chippy' and only ever had one electrical tool. That was a Black & Decker (gold in colour I seem to recall) drill which he plugged into a single pendant light fitment. How times change.......and in just a few years.
 

Mark Thompson

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Try
www.hdewcameras.co.uk
I saved over £1000 when buying an Eos 5d mk1V.
Great service and a British company, lots of cheaper sellers aren't based in UK which can be a problem if you need to return it.
My camera was an import but came with same UK spec and warranty.
 

Sandyn

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Panasonic G80 fits in your price range and is great for video as it offers simultaneous recording / clean HDMI output if you need it and allows unlimited recording time.
That's an amazing bit of technology for the price. Panasonic make good cameras.
 

akirk

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This really made me think. A former professional photographer selling up £££££ of kit and now finds a phone is sufficient. I've been an enthusiastic amateur for 40 years plus and still use a half reasonable Nikon D7100. I guess times change and that is why some of us become 'old farts'. Same in the world of the workshop I guess.......my father worked for himself from a shed at the bottom of the garden, made a living, supported a wife and 2 boys, had a car and a boat and was 95 when he died. He was a 'chippy' and only ever had one electrical tool. That was a Black & Decker (gold in colour I seem to recall) drill which he plugged into a single pendant light fitment. How times change.......and in just a few years.
The vast majority of what makes a photo good is composition, lighting and timing… none of those are camera dependent…

The advantages a camera will bring is:
- quality of sensor - esp. in the dark a full frame dslr will still beat a mobile, but it is getting closer
- ability to freeze action with high shutter speeds- mobiles are pretty much there
- flexibility with lenses, zooms / wide angle - new phones are much closer, mine has three lenses built in, wide, normal and 2x - covers 90% of needs…

The advantages a phone brings:
- always with you
- small
- built in post-processing and sharing options / connectivity
- silent / subtle
- focus / exposure - both are far more intelligent than a dslr, watch a slightly out of focus image coming into focus!
- clever algorithms - eg depth of field matching f2.8 lenses

sure, for some photography a dslr is still better, and with a phone you don’t ‘feel’ like a photographer! but we still have a D7100 floating around in the business and the iphone will win in most scenarios…
 

ChippyKlutz

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Advice often given is to buy secondhand. I have used MPB.com and can recommend them (usual disclaimers.) Much better value for money since you don't lose a lot of value as soon as you open the box, you get a guarantee and you get 14 days to test and return if you change your mind. If going for a camera rather than a phone, usual advice is to choose your lens first - whichever is most suited for your purpose - and then get whatever body accepts it.
 

Sandyn

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This really made me think. A former professional photographer selling up £££££ of kit and now finds a phone is sufficient. I've been an enthusiastic amateur for 40 years plus and still use a half reasonable Nikon D7100. I guess times change and that is why some of us become 'old farts'. Same in the world of the workshop I guess
Times do change. Photography has changed. What you can do now is incredible. I still have a fortune in Canon pro kit, but most of the time, for what I call social photography I use my phone, because I can take a picture and share it immediately. I always have my phone with me, but have to decide to take my Canon gear.
I still use my Canon gear when I want quality images, in the studio and when I want to do photography for pleasure. I definitely fall into the 'old fart' category as my daughter keeps reminding me.
 

Ollie78

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This is an interesting thread. I looked into cameras a little last year, not being an expert or anything it can be super confusing.

I find that the photos I get on my phone are adequate but don't have the look of those from a proper camera.
My phone camera has insane megapixel count and several lenses and stuff, my ancient cannon 5d has about a quarter of the pixels but it has a proper lens and just gets more light in there. It's a slightly intangible quality you can't explain exactly.
I was considering a mirrorles or a micro 4 thirds. Too skint at the moment.
I also like having a viewfinder you put your eye up to, screens are always reflective and you can't really see what you are getting.

It's a rabbit hole of its own, almost as bad as woodwork.

Good luck

Ollie
 

akirk

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If you find something to photograph - and take a photo with both 5D (an old but good camera), and your phone - then put them both up next to each other - what are you seeing that is different?

Even contemporary Canon and Nikon cameras had a different look / feel - so all devices will have differences - though you can to a certain extent impose your own perspective on the photos in post-processing (e.g. lightroom)

I used to teach photography, and would run a 2 hour session where people would come with any device / camera - and it was amazing how much improvement they could see in two hours with no regard to the specific device - so nothing to do with changing lenses / settings - everything to do with how you use light / how you build the composition / how you catch the moment / angles of view / times of day / etc...

So, I do agree, there is still something about a proper camera - but if you do some digging into photos on a mobile - it is stunning the shots people do get...
 

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