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Old Nov 3, 2012, 5:08 PM   #1
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Default Stressing Out, can't find the right Camera for me, please help!

Ok, I feel like I am taking crazy pills. Am I the only person on Earth who wants a camera that takes very nice quality at a semi close range? I mean, I am an audio journalist and I just cannot find a camera that is humanely priced that isn't packaged with features I just will never use.

I take pictures of electronics, so low light and the highest quality anti blur pictures are required, I also would like it to record some high quality videos in 720 or 1080. 720 is fine, so long as it looks great. It seems like the DSLRs today are all geared to take photos at 26x-40x zoom, have some type of fancy LCD screen that flips out and makes you toast if you want, I dont need any of that. I dont need all the filters, switches, knobs and especially do not need any zoom beyond 5x.

I was looking at the Nikon L810 due to it being so cheap and nicely rated. but even it has features I am not ever going to use. I dont want to pay more than $400, but I am really stressed and do not know what to get. Size doesn't matter to me, I prefer a medium sized one anyway and want to get away from compact cams. Any help is appreciated!
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 8:00 PM   #2
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Whatever camera you buy will have several options you will not use...that is a given. You may never use them, true, but they are made with them...not individually. If you were able to have a camera ordered to your specs it would cost way more than 500 for it.
You need to concentrate on what you do need, and which cameras have those features...forget the rest of the options. Concentrate on What You are Looking For...size, low light, photo quality, zoom, macro, etc.
If you find a camera that does the things you want it to do, in the price range you are willing to pay, works well...IGNORE that it does more...because you never have to use them. Learn how to use the camera to do the shooting you want.
It is very simple, really, I have cameras I do not use specific options on...so I do not. Other cameras I enjoy exploring all the options.
If the Nikon will do what you need, has the options you want sounds good...there are many cameras out there that will. I have Sony's, Canon, and Kodak's which will do closeup work very well. Since I cannot see the intricate hardware in computers I use cameras ability to photograph and enlarge what I need to see.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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If you are a professional "audio journalist" who shoots "electronics," not sure what that means, and your budget is $400, I would suggest the Panasonic FZ150. It has an external microphone jack so you can get the audio and if you learn to use the camera properly get decent low light pictures. I use it for many purposes as a journalist, but I also own a DSLR for other kinds of shots, very low mixed lighting for example. It's a very good all rounder with several video options, but has its limitations due to a small chip. Frankly, what you are looking for $400 at the professional level does not exist and you will have to pay considerably more to get true professional results. Look at the Panasonic GH series for higher level pictures, audio and movies, but be prepared to spend a LOT more than $400. As for all the buttons and functions you don't need, I with you but you can't get around it and get high level results. A simple point and shoot with no manual controls isn't even close to what you need. Good luck.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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Portal- you suggest that DSLR's are geared for 24-40x zoom...? Well... not really... as a DSLR's limitations is primarily governed by the lens attached... and I don't know of such a lens for a DSLR anyway.. it would be massive..!!
I suspect that you're mistaking that for a "bridge" camera, which usually does come with a rather large zoom- though of course,you don't have to use it..!
You also say you don't want "switches and knobs"... well, those are what get you the best results- as opposed to an "auto everything" camera, guessing it's way through everything and not ideal for a specific purpose.
When you say you want to take pics' of electronics and at semi-close range, what exactly are you describing..? Can you be more specific..? Are we talking chips/components on boards or hi-fi equipment..?
pboerger's suggestion of the FZ150 isn't a bad one- it can pretty much shoot anything if you know what you're doing with it- though I suspect all the dials/knobs/switches- and a toast making flip screen- might not be to your taste...!
Maybe the FZ's little brother might be of interest..?
http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_G...883/index.html
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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Just an opinion Portal, I would look for one that comes with a complementary coffee pot, as you are probably going to spend some late hours fiddling with the thing no matter what you purchase, Happy hunting.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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I went with a Panasonic GF3, with a 14-42mm, Pancake and Macro lens. I got everything used so it was very under budget and the quality is stellar.

My problem is at the moment I am not sure if I need the 14-42mm lens or not. An audio journalist is exactly what it sounds like, I write reviews for audio products. That includes headphones, amps, sources, speakers. Anything that pushes sound, I write about. I realized over the past two weeks since I've had the GF3 that it is not a great camera for indoor photos unless I have my own light box. I'm struggling a lot.

However, naturally light snaps are beautiful. Shots with artificial light are not so good. I guess I need to upgrade my light sources because anything indoor turns out with a lot of noise and is not nearly as nice looking as outdoor images. I made the wrong choice in camera for my indoor shooting needs, but outdoor snaps...my my for that price they seem very nice. I'll need to fashion my own light box with proper lighting. Those photos below are just a black box with a lamp behind me. Sometimes they turn out really nice, most of the time they are terrible.

Marco Lens
http://michaeljulius.deviantart.com/#/d5n4jae

Pancake
http://michaeljulius.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5mgrpk
http://michaeljulius.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5mg9ty

14-42
http://michaeljulius.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5mqwmr
http://michaeljulius.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5mqw5r
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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Your shots of your "tech/audio" stuff look very nice.
However,given that most of your subjects are "still" can you not use a lower iso/tripod/longer exposure- thus avoiding any noise issues that may be concerning you..?
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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Definitely. I plan to do anything I can to increase low light picture quality. It is really tough with this camera, 1 out of 100 snaps turn out GREAT. Not sure if its worth the stress for indoor things but outdoor snaps are again, just so awesome. The Pancake lens is fantastic, but $90 for the lens just to sit in my pocket when I dont go out that much doesn't seem worth it. Then again, I never zoom or need to crop much. The 14-42mm zoom lens is equally as good when not zoomed in. Not sure if I should return the Zoom Lens or the Pancake.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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With longer exposures/low iso, I'm sure you'll be very happy with the cameras output.
As for the lens- I'd probably go with the 14-42 myself, just for the extra versatility should the need arise- both are pretty good optically- but the pancake does kinda look right on the GF3..!
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 2:06 PM   #10
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It is much easier if I were to take it outside, ya. But I rarely if ever do that. ( although i really should take my camera anything I go, the GF3 is so small. )

I don't see any settings on my GF3 for long exposure. ISO settings are easy to get to, but there are a few scenery settings that mention exposure but I am not at all sure of what to do to get the best results for indoor snaps. I've been using the auto feature for pretty much everything, it always nails it perfectly and gets all the settings right with one touch of the A+ button. I'll have to dive into it if you have never used the GF3 User interface...i have no idea where the long exposure settings are...i looked everywhere in the menus lol
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