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Old Jan 21, 2013, 5:34 AM   #1
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Default Minor quandary

Hi all - my first posting here and i'm still *absolutely* a newbie when it comes to photography. I finally decided (after using a point and shoot for years and being dissatisfied with the results) that I would actually take the time to learn how to do it properly and perhaps be less dissatisfied with the results

I fully appreciate it doesn't matter what camera I have if I don't take some time and care with the process!

Ok - so my "quandary"; I bought a second-hand Fujifilm S5600 recently, I figured...spend less...get something with more control and start just learning the basics properly. I won't move on to a better camera until I can consistently produce good pictures with that one (recognising that not *every* picture will be great...but as long as I understand why they are or aren't that's fine)

Given how much time I spend looking at reviews it would be nice to garner user opinion; if only to narrow the behemoth of a search.

These are the main things I will likely shoot:

1. Low light scenes; parties, clubs, indoor stuff
2. Buildings or natural features...probably mostly in good light (unless the poor light adds something creatively of course)
3. People; either indoors (see 1) or more likely outdoors when climbing (obviouisly not when i'm vclimbing....i'm keen...not mental)
4. SOme landscape shots but probably more close landscapes...ie: The hill in front of me rather than the entire range

That list is roughly in order of importance I suppose.....

So - for the creative elements I'd like it seems the key things are a decent wide aperture (if I can get up to f2 that would be great but f2.8 seems to be average at a reasonable price and will be perfectly fine...I think.) I would *like* to have the option of going to f16 if possible......but it's not a deal breaker. The other thing would be a large sensor for the low light stuff obviously.


I would VERY much like manual control over focus if possible.

BUT - this all needs to be in a reasonably compact package (i mean compact in size not the camera format!!). Climbing and outdoorsy stuff as well as club thing means carrying loads of lenses etc is a non-starter.

So here's my quandary.......

Do I go for something like the Fujifilm X-S1 (which has a 2/3 sensor and seems to do everything I want...albeit with more zoom than I probably need)

OR - do I go for an entry level DSLR for around the same price....assuming something comparable exists?


I'm guessing everyone will say DSLR; which is fine. But please bear in mind the compact carrying aspect as that's important. Plus - I can outlay a few hundred for camera (INCLUDING lens) but after that it's not going to be a hobby I can throw much money at for quite a long time.

At the moment i'm aiming for something like the Fujifilm X-S1 as it seems to get the best reviews of bridge/superzoom cameras and will probably do the job (seems to tick all the boxes).

Thoughts?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 2:24 AM   #2
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First, I'd look closely at the premium/enthusiast class of compacts, like the Panasonic LX, Olympus XZ, and Canon S100, etc. I think they fit your urban/outdoor needs better.

The X-S1 is $699 in the US. That's $100 more than a Nikon D5100 with a kit lens.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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If the compact carrying aspect is important to you, the X-S1 is just as big as an entry level dslr with a standard zoom lens. If you like Fuji, the X10 would seem to fit your needs better.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 2:51 PM   #4
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G'day Martin

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin0642 View Post
Hi all - .... I bought a second-hand Fujifilm S5600 recently, .....

These are the main things I will likely shoot:

1. Low light scenes; parties, clubs, indoor stuff
2. Buildings or natural features...probably mostly in good light (unless the poor light adds something creatively of course)
3. People; either indoors (see 1) or more likely outdoors when climbing (obviouisly not when i'm climbing....i'm keen...not mental)
4. SOme landscape shots but probably more close landscapes...ie: The hill in front of me rather than the entire range

That list is roughly in order of importance I suppose.....

.......

I would VERY much like manual control over focus if possible.

BUT - this all needs to be in a reasonably compact package (i mean compact in size not the camera format!!). Climbing and outdoorsy stuff as well as club thing means carrying loads of lenses etc is a non-starter.

... Thoughts?
Oh mate - you sound just like me

May I invite you to read my personal-user review of my X-s1 ~ it's in the Knowledge centre section at the top of the screen

You say in the beginning that you bought the Fuji 5600 - the 5000 to 5800 series were good-enough cameras 5 to 10 yrs ago, but as Fuji increased the megapixels, the image-save-speed got slower and the noise went up. The lens offered 10x zoom covering the range 35mm to 350mm [film camera] which comes in as dSLR equivalent of 24mm to 240mm

Today's Fuji X-s1 - yes it's bigger and heavier than the older fuji cameras; its lens is 24mm to 625mm [film] or 18mm to 420mm [dSLR]
The lens is very sharp for such a lens, but like all 'consumer grade' zoom lenses, as you zoom out, the max f-stop goes down ~ so it goes from f2,8 down to f5,6 at max zoom. This may or may-not be an issue for you. If it is, look at the new Panasonic FZ200 with its constant value f2,8 zoom lens

As to low-light stuff - every camera records noise [like film used to show 'grain'], and every camera selling for under $2000 will show noise somewhere in the photo. The noise control in current cameras is very good when compared with 3 - 5 - 8yrs old cameras. I recently did some noise-control tests for the X-s1 & the Panny G2 & a Pentax - and they all showed low-light noise to varying extents. More noise was visible in the X-s1 images than the Pentax, but you would expect that for a small-sensor camera. Was it much-worse? .. no, and if it wasn't pointed out to non-photographer people, they probably would not have worried about it either

ps- the Panny FZ200 does have very good focus-in-low-light capabilities, much better than the Fuji does

As others here will also tell you - a budget-priced dSLR will do all the stuff that the X-s1 or FZ200 does, and focus faster - and because they have a larger sensor - will also have many other advantages. They are quite correct here. You and only you can decide upon the one-lens + small sensor solution vs the many-lens + dSLR sensor solution

Hope this helps 'confuse' you some more ... pl come back with more Qs as they arise
Regards, Phil
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 5:17 AM   #5
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Many thanks for your replies gents - very much appreciated! I think the quandary only really started when I looked at decent (as far as i could tell) entry level DSLRs and saw the price comparison to the XS-1.

I suppose...to be fair...I don't actually *need* to buy a shed load of lenses to start with...however I hear very mixed reports about the kit lenses that usually get offered in entry level dslr kits.

So...and i'm hoping people will chip in on this bit of musing.... I could theoretically get something with a decent lens that is no bulkier than the XS-1 but will have a larger/better sensor. If there's little to choose in price then I have to wonder what the XS-1 and its ilk is actually for?

So - what are people's thoughts on the kinds of lenses that come with basic (but decent) DSLRs? I appreciate paying more for a separate lens will get me better quality but I need to be realistic about cost here. As I get more into it I will upgrade, but I need to be quite harsh with myself and only do that when equipment becomes a limiting factor. Right now - I'm the limiting factor!

So - the XS-1 is ball park 400-500....are there entry level DSLRs (with lens) that are viable options given my needs? The long range zoom just isn't something I need right now and may not ever really need.

Thank you in advance...sorry for the clumsy questions!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 2:22 PM   #6
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G'day Martin

It gets to the stage when it becomes "how long it that piece of string..."

Years ago [film days] cameras generally were either fixed-lens 50mm jobs or SLRs with extra lenses ~ and that was your only choice. Nowadays with better technology, we have the superzoom / bridge cameras into the mix as well

Another side of the discussion is "them damn megapixels" - we've seen cameras go from 2 or 3 mpx to 25 to 30mpx in some of today's cameras, and yet some people are still not happy with what they can get with the technology. Have a read of other threads here &/or on other photo/camera forums and you'll see that 'some' people are never satisfied

With super-sized sensors & the megapixels to go with it comes both noise issues & hard disk storage issues as the file sizes become larger & larger

Do you need super-sized megapixels?
Do you need super wide-angle or telephoto lenses?
Do you need super fast focusing, powerful flash stuff, etc etc etc

You and only you can decide what will do your sort of photography

If you want to embrace the whiz-bang world of interchangeable lenses, then buy yourself an SLR and over the next 3-5 years, but another lens or two each year. Many people I meet just get the 2 basic kit lenses and never get any more and that's their photo-world - to swap the big lens for the little lens

- Or
If you just want a 'good-all-purpose camera' that will do lots of stuff easily, go for a superzoom of one brand or another. Don't be shy about it - 1/3 of all cameras sold today are superzooms

Keep asking both us and yourself lots of questions
Regards, Phil
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 4:24 AM   #7
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A less expensive "all in one" alternative over the X-S1 might be the Fuji HS30...?
No,not the big sensor you might want- but definitely worth considering if you're looking at the X-S1.
The DSLR and kit lens has its advantages- namely better IQ (certainly if you're a pixel peeper), better high iso performance and swift focusing(especially Canon).
Whilst most kit lenses are fine optically (assuming you're not too critical), you might find it's range limiting in time- so expect to dip into a deep pocket in the future.
Also,they're not as wide compared to the 24mm equivalent of the XS-1 or the HS30 or indeed most "bridges"- usually starting out at an equivalent of 27mm or thereabouts.
The usual kit lenses are not particularly fast (f/3.5-5.6) but you do have the option to step down a great deal if you so wish- more than you'll ever need.
The HS30 and X-S1 drop down to f/11 max- and if that's limiting for some creative purpose, it's time for an ND filter...!
If zoom range isn't of much interest and you want to go light,Fuji's X10 might be worth a look- offering a manual zoom,all the manual control you need to learn,a fast f/2-2.8 lens (shutting down to a max f/11) and pretty decent low light performance for the price...
Here's one opinion on the X10...
http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/201...ji-x10-review/

Might be just the ticket for a "manual" learning curve...
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 5:31 AM   #8
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Hmmm.....ok - first things first; MANY thanks to the people who haev contributed here. It's been a huge help.

I'm starting to look at DSLR's - especially something like the Nikon D310-...just because of what you get for your money and the option to upgrade just the lens in future. Tricky one though. Being able to go to f2.8 or better (ideally f2 or bigger) is a deal breaker for me and that doesn't seem to be an option on kit lenses for the D3100. Obviously that potentially pushes the price up a fair bit ...but it is absolutely a deal breaker.

Hmmm. The x10 sounds interesting.... I don't need super wide angle or telephoto, i'll be doing more close up stuff than distance stuff defeinitely.

Food for thought.........
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 1:27 PM   #9
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Good on yer Martin ...

You've joined the "in future - wish-list" club

Seriously - whatever you end up with will have been well researched and hopefully will give you many years of pleasure
Phil
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 6:36 AM   #10
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Many thanks Phil...you've been extremely helpful. I'm sure I'll be back with questions at some point but for now I think it's time to get my head down and just learn the basics properly!!
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