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Old Jul 25, 2017, 3:59 PM   #1
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Default New User-Need a Camera for Northern Lights

I am need of a camera for photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland, but also don't want something that is going to cost an arm and a leg. I am a newer user, but plan to take a basic photography class before the trip. What is the best, lower cost camera, that will take adequate shots of the Northern Lights in December? Price range is $400 to about $600, little higher if a whole set up kit is available (tripod, other lenses, etc.)
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Old Jul 25, 2017, 9:05 PM   #2
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I am need of a camera for photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland, but also don't want something that is going to cost an arm and a leg. I am a newer user, but plan to take a basic photography class before the trip. What is the best, lower cost camera, that will take adequate shots of the Northern Lights in December? Price range is $400 to about $600, little higher if a whole set up kit is available (tripod, other lenses, etc.)
At that budget, I'd say that your options for an interchangeable lens camera are quite limited.

You'll be taking photos in low light, so you'll need a large aperture lens to admit more light and a large sensor to lessen the amount of image noise.

I'd say your best bet would be from a Sony RX-100 or RX-100 II, or something similar.

A better choice would be the Sony RX-100 III with it's faster lens, or the Sony RX-10 with its faster and longer lens, but they're just outside your budget.
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Old Jul 26, 2017, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Thanks-opinion on Nikon D3300 for that use?

Thanks for the information. I am looking into the ones you suggested, but also ran across a Nikon D3300 DSLR (that has quite a kit with it). What is your opinion on that Camera for use photographing Northern Lights?

Or do you have any tips on how to find one of the Sony's you recommended at discounted price or to include tripod and possible other lenses?
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Old Jul 26, 2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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This is what is in the Nikon D3300 Bundle. Not sure if anything would help the quality with the low lighting...? Again, very new to photography.
  • Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera
  • Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Lens
  • Digital Camera Flash
  • 0.43X Wide Angle Lens w/ Macro Portion
  • 2.2x Photo Professional Telephoto HD Lens
  • Multi-Coated 3 Piece Filter Kit (UV-CPL-FLD)
  • 64GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card
  • Replacement Battery for Nikon EN-EL14
  • Professional Wrist Grip Strap
  • Wireless Remote Control
  • High Speed Card Reader
  • Lens Cap Keeper Holder
  • Professional Tripod for Digital SLR Camera
  • Backpack for DSLR System (Black)
  • Pen Pocket Cleaning Brush
  • Air Blower Cleaner
  • Deluxe Cleaning Kit For DSLR Cameras
What's in the Box:
  • EN-EL14A Lithium-Ion Battery (1030mAh)
  • MH-24 Quick Charger for EN-EL14 Battery
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Shield (Replacement)
  • DK-20 Rubber Eyecup
  • UC-E17 USB Cable
  • EG-CP16 Nikon Audio/Video Cable
  • AN-DC3 Camera Strap (Black)
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • BS-1 Hot-Shoe Cover
  • ViewNX 2 CD-ROM
  • This TriStateCamera Listing comes complete with Manufacturer's Supplied Accessories and a One Year Seller Supplied Warranty and Includes :
  • [1] Nikon D3300 DSLR Camera - 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor, EXPEED 4 Image Processor, 3.0" 921k-Dot LCD Monitor, Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps, 5 fps Shooting at Full Resolution, Compatible with WU-1a Wireless Adapter
  • [2] Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Lens + [3] Digital Camera Flash + [4] 0.43X Wide Angle Lens w/ Macro Portion + [5] 2.2x Photo Professional Telephoto HD Lens + [6] Multi-Coated 3 Piece Filter Kit (UV-CPL-FLD) + [7] 64GB Class 10 SDHC
  • [9] Professional Wrist Grip Strap + [10] Wireless Remote Control + [11] High Speed Card Reader + [12] Lens Cap Keeper Holder + [13] Professional Tripod for Digital SLR Camera + [14] Backpack for DSLR System (Black) + [15] Pen Pocket Cleaning Brush +
  • This Nikon DSLR Camera is fully USA compatible and includes US plugs for use in the US.
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Old Jul 26, 2017, 5:15 PM   #5
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Package deals like that generally have a good camera, and maybe a good lens, but the rest of the stuff is cheap no-name garbage.

Also, reviews of Tri-State Camera are not overwhelmingly good.

Adorama, a much better retailer, has that camera and lens for $447. That camera is pretty good, but the lens is pretty dim, so you'll have to use a longer shutter speed (risking motion blur due to camera shake) or a higher ISO (increasing image noise.)

You could supplement that kit with another faster lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 ($167) or the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 ($217) and not be too far over your budget.
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Old Jul 27, 2017, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
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At that budget, I'd say that your options for an interchangeable lens camera are quite limited.

You'll be taking photos in low light, so you'll need a large aperture lens to admit more light and a large sensor to lessen the amount of image noise.

I'd say your best bet would be from a Sony RX-100 or RX-100 II, or something similar.

A better choice would be the Sony RX-100 III with it's faster lens, or the Sony RX-10 with its faster and longer lens, but they're just outside your budget.
Agreed totally.
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Old Jul 31, 2017, 7:22 AM   #7
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I would concentrate on what people have not/do not tell you

TWO (minimum) spare fully charged batteries

Spare universal battery charger

AT LEAST a camera with TWO card slots, cards fail, or shoot using two cards, swapping them every few shots, and at least SIX GOOD quality cards, not cheap rubbish, say Lexar/Sandisk

Look at fully guaranteed used cameras also, why not, from a reputable retailer.
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