What's new

Pro-sumer Photography Equipment

89Breaker

Around
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
793
Messages
143
The Army has seen fit to station me in Hawaii and I’d like to buy the wife a high quality camera. I think they’re called SLR with the detachable lenses but I’m clueless on terminology.

Ideally it is something that allows her enough features to grow with as her skills improve. We have decent enough cameras on our phones and a couple of regular handhelds but want to get something nicer.

It doesn’t need to be a new camera nor have a bunch of features that don’t result in better pictures but does need to be a common brand with excellent aftermarket support AND hopefully I only have to buy this once.
 
If you’re talking about a real DSLR, the “only buy it once” goes out the window: she’ll always be buying and upgrading lenses, etc, to say nothing of all the software, etc. You can really probably do better with the higher end “point and shoot” versions with non-removable lenses: a lot of them will do anything a dslr will do, but are really more versatile. Lenses that will zoom from a decent wide angle to super-telephoto, etc. The real plus on DSLR gear is some better sensor technologies which really is to the point where it would be unnoticeable unless you’re in the habit of buying 16x20 or larger prints, plus specialty lenses, many of which cost as much or more than the body..often MUCH more. I’ve got a Canon 77D, which is probably a good point on their product line for this, of course it’s obsolete and has been replaced since i bought it. I’ve got probably another 2 or 3 grand worth of lenses, and still have others i’d like to have and/or may/will get.

There’s also the new mirror less stuff, which just brings a whole new facet to it.

I’d definitely start out with the point and shoot, something down the lines of a Canon sx70, for example. if she’s really into it, you’ll buy another camera later, that’s the normal progression of things. you could spend several grand on dslr gear and not be able to match that range as far as the lenses. and you don’t have a shitload of money sitting there if she turns out not being all that into it.
 
Spend money on lenses. Bodies are throw away as the tech changes. As long as you go with a major system a lens may last you 3+ bodies. Also good lenses hold their value. You can but a used high end lens keep it 2 year and sell it for 90-95% of what you paid. You can also buy a shitty kit lens and its worth 40% of what you paid the day you walk out.

As far as brand its even worse than the jeep/toyota/trucks/etc debate. There is less difference and huge brand loyalty and bashing. Some do things better - some can focus faster where another may have better AWB. In the end I would pick one that works and learn how to use it.

Personally I like lighter and smaller so the mirrorless Micro 4/3 system has become my choice. Another advantage is there are 2 different manufacturers making bodies and lenses, but they all work together, giving me more choice and if one does something stupid with their design I can just swap to the others bodies. The sony mirrorless is also stupid popular and has some great lenses for decent prices

I've found this guy to be one of the best about honest cross brand reviews. He also can be a little bit of a sarcastic ahole, so it fits my style https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCknMR7NOY6ZKcVbyzOxQPhw
 
Camera gear is like aftermarket car parts, goes on forever. Full up front disclosure, I'm a Nikon fanboy so if this seems leaning hard toward Nikon, that is why.

Try to buy used, you can save all kinds of money.

Right now there are three areas you need to be looking at: Crop Sensor DSLR, Full Frame DSLR, and mirrorless. For starting out, I'd say look at crop sensor DSLR or mirrorless. These will be more compact, lighter, and cheaper. For a beginner, do not go full frame DSLR as you need some skill to get the best out of it. DSLR comes into play for image quality and low light situations. I would not recommend a point and shoot. I noticed I hit my limit with my P&S within a few months and was very frustrating. Also if I had taken a class initially and learned WTF photography was, I wouldn't have even bothered with something that didn't allow me to manually control my settings.

Crop Sensor DSLR
Pros:
-Shit tons of everything you need laying around readily available
-Shit tons of info out there
-The latest and greatest ones are actually jam packed with tons of great tech and take a great picture.
Cons:
-They begin to falter when you start adding in expensive lenses
-Brand new, costly

Mirrorless
Pros:
-Lightweight
-Really good performance
-Great for video
Cons:
-Questionable low light performance
-Crap for accessories/aftermarket (this is the biggie)
-Still pricey

I'd say look for a good used Nikon or Canon entry level DSLR. Also buy her Adobe Photoshop Elements and Lightroom (I think you can get lightroom new as a stand alone product, elements is a program so good to go) for photo editing. Also buy her a big ass external hard drive and crap tons of FAST memory cards. Also get a VERY NICE camera bag. I like LowePro but many small time camera bag people make nice normal-people-bags that are also camera bags. Might be nice to NOT look like a tourist. Ignore Sony, Fuji, others as they have limits on accessories and lenses. Unfortunately, for the most part, buy Canon or Nikon and stick with it. Early on it can be less pain to make the switch but in a few years, it is very painful to switch.

For Nikon, I'd start off in the Nikon DX series, probably like in the Nikon D5000-series. Look for the camera that has the features you want. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting one that links to your cell phone. I've seen this in action and its pretty super awesome when you can take a photo and then immediately share it. Great because sometimes I'm in a position when a cell phone camera sucks but big ole DSLR can make it happen. Very nice to then immediately flip that photo to the other person rather than forget and then have to dick around with email, etc. Other than that, the features of all the crop sensor DSLRs are pretty similar. For Canon, look at the Rebel Series. T8i is the latest, so I'd say look for a T7 or T6 used. I recommend used because there are tons of entry level cameras laying around KEH, Ebay, FB marketplace, and Craigslist. Many were bought for some daughter who didn't care 2 years later (we have at least 3 of these laying around our house). Capitalize on this. Cameras depreciate pretty badly within a year or two. Sounds like this might be a fleeting hobby so go for it. DSLRs do have a life cycle, usually around 50,000-300,000 shutter clicks. Most of these used cameras have less than 5,000 shutter clicks. So I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used one in a heartbeat.

Lenses. Oh lawd this is like tires. For nikon, stick to nikon specific lenses. I've had little/few luck with aftermarket manufacturers of lenses. For Canon, Sigma makes a good lens. Canon lenses are better than sigma but you are a few years down the road from noticing a difference. Usually cameras come with a 18-55mm lens. These are actually decent little lenses. Good performance and image quality. They do lack low light and zoom capabilities. I'd say pick up a 70-300mm zoom lens as well. Very handy and usually can be had for cheap. If you can stomach the price, a "all in one" lens is super baller. I used to run a 18-200mm on my old nikon DX camera. Was a champion. Expensive but it just worked.

For now, ignore film. Its full hipster and kinda an ass pain. Also crap for learning as you have to wait 2 weeks instead of 2 seconds to find out of your image is worth a damn. Hell I still shoot film and have tons of rolls that I've never cared to develop. Probably should dig those out now...maybe...we'll see.

Lastly, edumacation. There are tons of online "get started in photography" classes and videos. All the settings and what all the shit on the cameras mean is like a foreign language. You can be like me, fumbling around for 2 years wondering why all my night images are shit or have someone explain it to you in an hour. Whichever.

Back in the day we did flickr walks (flickr is a photography website, like Instagram but for photographers, still around and kinda making a bit of a come back) which is a bunch of people going on a photo tour. The benefit of such photo tour is you are there to TAKE PHOTOS. So as a photographer, I don't feel like I'm holding up people with my setup or taking 5 minutes on a frame. Also with such loose requirements, if shit gets weird/boring, I would just "wander away" and fuck outta that group. Which happened with some regularity. But was great because flickr walks got me out and taking photos.
 
You can spend thousands on the latest greatest. I work for a museum with modest means. Our photographers have had good luck buying second generation gear from a local camera shop. People who want the latest greatest turn them in all the time. Still thousands but much cheaper than new. Kinda like cars. These days the difference in features is minor and someone getting started isn't going to miss them.

Buying it from the shop provides at least some sort of warrantee.
 
You would be better off directing your wife's interest into something that you will enjoy. Photography will suck all the money out of your life and you will be left at home cutting out paper dolls. :smokin:
 
For Nikon, I'd start off in the Nikon DX series, probably like in the Nikon D5000-series. Look for the camera that has the features you want. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting one that links to your cell phone. I've seen this in action and its pretty super awesome when you can take a photo and then immediately share it. Great because sometimes I'm in a position when a cell phone camera sucks but big ole DSLR can make it happen. Very nice to then immediately flip that photo to the other person rather than forget and then have to dick around with email, etc. Other than that, the features of all the crop sensor DSLRs are pretty similar. For Canon, look at the Rebel Series. T8i is the latest, so I'd say look for a T7 or T6 used. I recommend used because there are tons of entry level cameras laying around KEH, Ebay, FB marketplace, and Craigslist. Many were bought for some daughter who didn't care 2 years later (we have at least 3 of these laying around our house). Capitalize on this. Cameras depreciate pretty badly within a year or two. Sounds like this might be a fleeting hobby so go for it. DSLRs do have a life cycle, usually around 50,000-300,000 shutter clicks. Most of these used cameras have less than 5,000 shutter clicks. So I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used one in a heartbeat.

.
Just talking form a canon perspective to counteract your insane Nikon spiel:

The Rebel series has ALWAYS been aimed at the amateur/"guy with a wife and kids to take pics of and too much money" market: In recent years as the tech has progressed, that line has been blurred a bit, but the "D" market is still the Pro/ photo hobbyist line: Even now they've got the "manual adjustments" and such, that is useless unless you're really into it, front and center by comparison, while with a Rebel you may be digging deeper through a menu to find the same options if they exist at all. The higher end rebels may very well have everything that is needed for this particular "target market" just by virtue of the march of tech progress, but the D series bodies is really aimed directly at the "pro-sumer market" from the git-go...

The "D" cameras also get into the full-frame stuff you mentioned, while rebels are pretty much by definition APS-C cropped sensor.
 
You can spend thousands on the latest greatest. I work for a museum with modest means. Our photographers have had good luck buying second generation gear from a local camera shop. People who want the latest greatest turn them in all the time. Still thousands but much cheaper than new. Kinda like cars. These days the difference in features is minor and someone getting started isn't going to miss them.

Buying it from the shop provides at least some sort of warrantee.
That's bordering on being just completely wrong: they're putting in features faster than the market can keep up with them: the difference in firmware and features over two years or so is HUGE now. Mid-range cameras are sporting features that were just some pipe dream five years ago.. Most of this seems to be in autofocus systems, metering and such, but there are greatly significant differences between a new camera and even the newest bodies on the "used market"..
 
It'll all be in the closet within 6 months. I spent about $3k on this stuff and now it sits in a backpack never used and worth about 1/3 of what I paid if I could find a buyer that doesn't just want one lense.

Get an upper level all in one like recommended above. See how it plays out first.

Every other person in Hawaii is a "professional photographer". I lived there for 6 years.
 
That's bordering on being just completely wrong: they're putting in features faster than the market can keep up with them: the difference in firmware and features over two years or so is HUGE now. Mid-range cameras are sporting features that were just some pipe dream five years ago.. Most of this seems to be in autofocus systems, metering and such, but there are greatly significant differences between a new camera and even the newest bodies on the "used market"..

The important qualifier is "and someone getting started isn't going to miss them" ;)

You are right there are a lot of added features in new stuff these days. Many I know nothing about. Seemed that the OP was looking for a starter set for her intro into digital.

But go ahead and tell him to buy a $9000 camera body to see if she likes photography. :laughing:
 
The important qualifier is "and someone getting started isn't going to miss them" ;)

You are right there are a lot of added features in new stuff these days. Many I know nothing about. Seemed that the OP was looking for a starter set for her intro into digital.

But go ahead and tell him to buy a $9000 camera body to see if she likes photography. :laughing:

Well, on the flip side of that, it's the pros that won't really notice that stuff for the most part: Like that Canon Rebel T8 mentioned above: As I understand that's got sensors that look at your eyeball in the viewfinder and focuses where you're looking: that's not really all that important for pros, they're focusing on the subject but paying attention to a lot of different stuff, I could see that getting turned off in pretty short order if I was to get one.

The really funny part is when some "amateur" picks up one of my cameras and wants to just be able to look at the screen on the back to take the picture like on their phone, rather than putting their eye to the viewfinder. I can set it up like that on my most recent bodies, but it's pretty rare that I use that feature myself.
 
You said pro sumer line so I am going to say the first thing to decide is if you are going to go cropped sensor or full sensor. That affects the lenses you want. Nikon or canon is the way to go. Performance isn't really much different. I think the nikon used lenses are a better value, but I think new they are about the same meaning if you buy new expect to lose a bit more value on a high end nikon lens but expect to pay more for a used canon. Decide which route you will be taking. If used, learn about shutter counts on bodies.

For point and shoot, the Lecia Dlux7 is amazing and easy to carry with no lenses to change and someone who knows how to use it will put your average prosumer to shame. It is a legit prosumer point and shoot. The advantage to p and s is you get to take the photo when you see it rather than fumble around with changing lenses. It has a legit sensor so you can fix and crop later.
 
You would be better off directing your wife's interest into something that you will enjoy. Photography will suck all the money out of your life and you will be left at home cutting out paper dolls. :smokin:

Maybe he can get the wife or his self in the pics and it will be a beautiful experience for al concerned :flipoff2:
 
I am currently using the Nikon P1000, upgraded from the P900 when it came out. So then I took the IR filter out of the P900 and am playing around with night shots with that one.
the P1000 is a great camera with a 125x optical zoom, and additional fine digital zoom. You can google the specs easier than I can type them all out here.
The highlights though - that zoom is INSANE! I refer to it as the telescope.
This is not a swappable lens camera. It just has one massive lens that extends out of the cam at zoom It is a heavy cam. I find that I am much more selective of the shots I want to get these days. When I am on a hike it is in a backpack and the photo opp has to be pretty good for me to get it out. Hanging it around your neck on a hike is a real killjoy.
Lots of adjustable settings, shutter speed, iso, aperture, etc
Excellent pics in full bright light
Not a great cam for low light but decent.
MY wife uses a Panasonic lumix which is much smaller and also has a great zoom (but not 125x) which we use for the quick grab and shoot shots.
If I want to experiment or go for fancy shots I will put the P1000 on a tripod and take dozens of shots on diff settings and keep the best.
Here are some sample shots that show a good sampling of what it can do.
the grainy blob of light is the International Space Station, shot freehand. I think that particular shot was a frame from a video. The cam does do 4k Click image for larger version Name:	DSCN0344.jpg Views:	0 Size:	272.8 KB ID:	357911 Click image for larger version Name:	DSCN0344.jpg Views:	0 Size:	272.8 KB ID:	357911 Click image for larger version Name:	DSCN0344.jpg Views:	0 Size:	272.8 KB ID:	357911 Click image for larger version Name:	wilds 10.jpg Views:	0 Size:	649.5 KB ID:	357914 Click image for larger version Name:	wildlife 04.jpg Views:	0 Size:	384.2 KB ID:	357915 Keep in mind that a lot of these are pretty far away those moose are on the other side of a lake. Click image for larger version Name:	DSCN0344.jpg Views:	0 Size:	272.8 KB ID:	357911
 
Last edited:
Environment matters too. If you're shooting in dusty or rainy or high humidity, Pentax makes sense, they're built like a tank, and have o-rings at every potential intrusion point.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the old Canon lenses that were originally for 35mm SLR cameras will work with the DSLR bodies, but that is not true with Nikon. Point is you might find more options on the used market if you go Canon.
 
My cousin had some very expensive lenses and flashes for his Sony Camera. I was in charge of his estate. When trying to sell the items, all I got was really lowball offers (lower than a local camera store was offering). If you're looking used, you should be able to get some good deals by just making reasonable offers. I personally like Nikon equipment over Canon, but I think much of that is because I have almost always used Nikon so the Canon layout seems annoying.
 
Environment matters too. If you're shooting in dusty or rainy or high humidity, Pentax makes sense, they're built like a tank, and have o-rings at every potential intrusion point.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the old Canon lenses that were originally for 35mm SLR cameras will work with the DSLR bodies, but that is not true with Nikon. Point is you might find more options on the used market if you go Canon.

Kind of. More likely than Nikon for sure. Some of the autofocus stuff likely won't be autofocus trying to use older canon lenses with newer bodies.
 
Environment matters too. If you're shooting in dusty or rainy or high humidity, Pentax makes sense, they're built like a tank, and have o-rings at every potential intrusion point.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the old Canon lenses that were originally for 35mm SLR cameras will work with the DSLR bodies, but that is not true with Nikon. Point is you might find more options on the used market if you go Canon.

I believe that's backwards: Not a nikon guy, but as I recall they stuck with their F mount and adapted the autofocus to it: I remember back then them saying that Nikon pretty much owned the pro market then, and they feared a full revolt if they made all those pros switch a godawful investment in lenses to a different frame just to get the new body.. It's still generally compatible with some exceptions, but they've made some changes for the new cameras which, while they may fit, obviously won't work on a 1965 Nikon F body. The lens itself will work with manual adjustments and focusing, just the autofocus and metering improvements will be dead in the water.

As far as Canon, it just depends on the "series": When canon went to EOS, they had some film cameras early on with the EF series lenses, mainly as a result of the advent of autofocus lenses needing the electronic contacts on on the mount; the earlier versions (the old AE-1's and such) were FD lenses and completely incompatible (although I have seen some adapters that would let you use it completely manually on an EF mount, much like the old vs. new Nikon) . The EF will work with the current cameras. We're talking back to 1987-88 or so on the change, so it's not like this is a "new" mount configuration if you're worried about finding used lenses.


Of more concern, I'd think, would be the real possibility that Nikon may very well shut down camera production entirely: they've already shut down all japanese production, cut half of their DSLR line and put all those eggs in the mirrorless basket, which isn't doing that well for them. It's quite possible they may just punt entirely and just focus on other parts of their business.

On your point about Pentax having O-rings and such: Canon does the same on their higher end D models..
 
Last edited:
Lots of good info already here and X2 on investing on different lenses but be aware that on Canon, EFS lenses for cropped sensors will not work with Canon EF bodies that have a full sized (full frame) sensor, however the cropped sensor cameras will take BOTH the EF-S and the EF mounted lenses. Here's a list of full frame cameras that only take lenses with the EF mount.
Depending on what she's going to use the camera for, maybe as an all purpose kind of camera, then I'd recommend one of the 3 Canon bodies:
-Canon 70D, 80D or 90D (the latest being the 90D) they're not full frame but handle photos and video pretty well IF you plan on doing any type of youtube or video stuff. The 70D can be found used for between $300-$600 while the newer 90D will set you back around $1200 body only. These are solid, well built bodies that I've taken to many KOH and NorCal rock races over the years and have held up well. I still have my Canon 20D, which is roughly 18 yrs old but is still going strong and can be found used for like $150
For full frame, I use the 5D Mark IV and I went that route as I wanted a more photography focused camera as I don't shoot nor plan to do much video.

-Lenses: for the most flexibility you could get a 18-135mm lens (I use this one for shooting tech inspections, pit areas, or anywhere I need to get semi-close) .
-The 50mm "nifty-50" is a great and cheap lens that comes with a wide aperture of that can provide shallow depth of field. This gives you huge creative scope to blur out backgrounds and focus attention on your main subject. 50mm lenses also give attractive out-of-focus highlights.
-Lastly, there's the EF 100-400mm lens that works on both my 70D and my 5D Mark IV which is a beast

I'm sure there are some Nikon equivalents but I've never worked with that line before so I don't know much about those cameras.
 
Top Back Refresh