Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 27, 2011, 2:57 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
Default Digital Simplicity... does it exist?

Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I have looked around to find the answer to this question without a post, and I apologize if it has already been answered...

I know next to nothing about photography. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to take a class or understand a lot about aperture, ISO, exposure etc...

1. We have a one year old, he's growing quickly, and so far almost all pictures of him have been with an iPhone 4 which does fine in bright light with minimal movement.
2. I'd love a camera that has very few features/options/settings but can take decent (i.e. not blurry, not totally crappy and grainy) shots indoors of a quick moving one year old.
3. It doesn't need to be compact. But I don't think we're going to be mounting it on a tripod. Handheld shots are a must.
4. Under $2,000 if possible, if not let me know.
5. I'd rather not mount ceiling flashes all around our living room. Is it possible to get a camera that has a large enough sensor and a bright enough lens to take decent pictures indoors without a flash?
6. A viewfinder would be nice. I'd rather not hold the camera 2 ft away from my face to line up the shot, but having an LCD to check the shot would be nice too.
7. I'd like to get the nice depth-of-field look with the subject in focus and the background blurry. (The iPhone doesn't do this at all.)
8. All the shots I take are pretty close up. (2-15 ft. or so)

I guess I'm basically looking for a camera that has all the "features" of a Walgreens disposable that is digital, has a huge sensor, a bright lens, and takes lovely shots without a flash. Does a camera like this exist?

I think we probably need a DSLR or an EVIL camera. All point and shoots I've ever used, (Canon, Olympus, Sony) look awful indoors. I'm guessing this is because their sensors are tiny? But it seems like DSLR's have an enormous amount of settings, menus, tweaking and just huge amounts of knowledge in order to operate.

I'll happily spend a few thousand dollars on a nice camera, but I'd really rather not spend all of that on features that I will not be using. Someday I may have the time to really get into photography, but I just don't have the time right now, and this kid isn't getting any younger!

Thanks so much for your help!
JohnnyB25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 27, 2011, 4:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,130
Default

Yes, the tiny sensors and often not-so-brights lenses on P&S cams struggle indoors. Check out the Olympus Pen EPL-1 as a start.
__________________
Disclaimer: I take photos of life rather than live to take photos and my opinions of cameras are reflected accordingly.
FiveO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2011, 7:40 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
Yes, the tiny sensors and often not-so-brights lenses on P&S cams struggle indoors. Check out the Olympus Pen EPL-1 as a start.
Thank you for pointing me in that direction.

Just read about and bought the Olympus online. It looks to be exactly what I was hoping existed. A big step up from a P&S in quality, but not so intimidating in the settings etc. as a DSLR.

Should be here tomorrow.

Many thanks again.
JohnnyB25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2011, 7:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
jdnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 336
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyB25 View Post
Hello,

This is my first post on these forums. I have looked around to find the answer to this question without a post, and I apologize if it has already been answered...

I think we probably need a DSLR or an EVIL camera. All point and shoots I've ever used, (Canon, Olympus, Sony) look awful indoors. I'm guessing this is because their sensors are tiny? But it seems like DSLR's have an enormous amount of settings, menus, tweaking and just huge amounts of knowledge in order to operate.

I'll happily spend a few thousand dollars on a nice camera, but I'd really rather not spend all of that on features that I will not be using. Someday I may have the time to really get into photography, but I just don't have the time right now, and this kid isn't getting any younger!

Thanks so much for your help!
Johnny - first of all, welcome. If you're seriouse about the $2,000, then I would suggest a Canon T2i with a Canon ef 24-70mm f2.8 USM. You can pick the lens up new for around $1400 and the T2i goes for about $700 new at Adorama (body only). You can get the lens used for anywere from $1000 to $1200. An alternative would be the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM, which is what I use. It goes for $899 new and about $750 used. The reviews are very similar on both. You'll have a good camera that has excellent low light/high ISO capabilities for a consumer dslr, a good choice of automatic settings (sports, low light, etc.), with some advanced capabilities if you want to get more proficient & a fast, high quality lens that will last, hold its value & be great for any level of Canon DSLR if you ever want to upgrade. Here is an article in shutterbug magazine that describes the performance of the T2i, calling it the little brother of the 7D, that I think is very enlightening:

http://shutterbug.com/equipmentrevie...lrs/0910canon/

There are other choices, of course, but I'm a Canon bigot, so this is my recommendation.
__________________
Jerry
jdnan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2011, 8:31 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdnan View Post
Johnny - first of all, welcome. If you're seriouse about the $2,000, then I would suggest a Canon T2i with a Canon ef 24-70mm f2.8 USM. You can pick the lens up new for around $1400 and the T2i goes for about $700 new at Adorama (body only). You can get the lens used for anywere from $1000 to $1200. An alternative would be the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM, which is what I use. It goes for $899 new and about $750 used. The reviews are very similar on both. You'll have a good camera that has excellent low light/high ISO capabilities for a consumer dslr, a good choice of automatic settings (sports, low light, etc.), with some advanced capabilities if you want to get more proficient & a fast, high quality lens that will last, hold its value & be great for any level of Canon DSLR if you ever want to upgrade. Here is an article in shutterbug magazine that describes the performance of the T2i, calling it the little brother of the 7D, that I think is very enlightening:

http://shutterbug.com/equipmentrevie...lrs/0910canon/

There are other choices, of course, but I'm a Canon bigot, so this is my recommendation.
Thanks very much for your reply.

I've heard wonderful things about Canon DSLRs, especially the T2i and T3i (the only real difference between them is the movable LCD on the T3i, right?) Most likely, I'll get one as I get to a time in my life where I can really get into photography. I ended up going with the cheaper Olympus as it probably fits my needs for this time. Even though the T2i has these automated settings I would feel like I wasn't using the camera to its potential. Irrational, I know, but such is life.

Thanks again.
JohnnyB25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 2011, 11:45 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Belize & UK
Posts: 463
Default

Too late to help you (congratulations on the Oly) but maybe helpful to others in the same position. I agree with Jerry on the T2i, but I'd suggest a cheaper alternative than the Canon 24-70. I recently bought the Tamron equivalent, their 28-75 f2.8 for $500 and I'm very happy with it. With the money you'd save you could buy a decent flash and still stay well below your limit of $2k.

Just a thought.
__________________
Canon 5D & 7D (both gripped), 24-105L, 100-400L, EF-S 15-85, 50 f1.8, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 12-24, G10, A1+10 FD lenses, tripods, lights etc
peterbj7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2011, 7:51 AM   #7
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Congrats on the new camera. Now buy an external flash. I can guarantee my canon 1dIII and f1.8 lenses will do better in low light than the kit you just bought but what I have isn't good enough without flash. Buy an external flash - you'll be glad you did and it will save you constant frustration anytime you, heaven forbid, want to take a photo when there isn't sunlight streaming in the window. You've got a great camera - you just need the external flash
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2011, 8:27 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,156
Default

Good morning and congrats on choosing the EPL-1. It is a good performer and should serve you well. I've enjoyed using mine taking candids of the grandkids.

As John pointed out, getting an external flash for indoor shots will help you immensely. Fortunately, the camera has a built in hot shoe that will accept Olympus Flashes ( among other compatible flash units). I use the FL-36 Olympus flash and while, it is a little large in relation to the size of the camera,
works well.

Another consideration for low light/indoor photographs is looking at getting a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 m43 lens. This lens, while pricy, is a wonderful performer
and will allow you to capture shots without the use of a flash that, otherwise would be difficult or impossible with the standard kit lens.

Good luck and most of all have fun.

Zig
__________________
http://scortoncreekgallery.smugmug.com/

So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2011, 9:57 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 601
Default

actually i think it was a good choice. the epl1 is supposed to have a very good auto setting, not to mention excellent jpg quality. plus it can use the panasonic lenses, which are very nice and good values.

enjoy your new camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyB25 View Post
Thanks very much for your reply.

I've heard wonderful things about Canon DSLRs, especially the T2i and T3i (the only real difference between them is the movable LCD on the T3i, right?) Most likely, I'll get one as I get to a time in my life where I can really get into photography. I ended up going with the cheaper Olympus as it probably fits my needs for this time. Even though the T2i has these automated settings I would feel like I wasn't using the camera to its potential. Irrational, I know, but such is life.

Thanks again.
pcake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2011, 10:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
jdnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 336
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
Too late to help you (congratulations on the Oly) but maybe helpful to others in the same position. I agree with Jerry on the T2i, but I'd suggest a cheaper alternative than the Canon 24-70. I recently bought the Tamron equivalent, their 28-75 f2.8 for $500 and I'm very happy with it. With the money you'd save you could buy a decent flash and still stay well below your limit of $2k.

Just a thought.
Duh, I don't know why I didn't think of that lens as well. As Peter said, you've already made a different choice and I hope you get some great pics and post some for us to enjoy. For others who may be interested in the Canon for a similar solution, I have that same lens on my old Pentax K10D that my wife primarily uses and, as Peter says, it's a very nice lens for a much lower price.

Congratulations on your new camera. Those PEN's intrigue me as well, and I think there will be a nice market for those cameras. I echo the others in suggesting the external flash. You don't have to get a huge one, but you'll definitely need more than is on the camera. Cheers!
__________________
Jerry
jdnan is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 PM.