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Testing and buying a camera

cowboymug

Member
Having finished an online photography course, I may need to upgrade from my combination of iPhone X / GoPro Hero7 Black for landscape photography.

Ideally I want to test a range of cameras in a landscape setting, get all of the images on a file and compare the quality to figure out the optimal level of quality against funds invested.
I may attend a photography club and ask people with the same shot on the same day to send me the file - do you guys have a better method to figure out the optimal level of camera to buy?

Also, is Amazon the cheapest place you guys recommend to buy a camera or am I missing a trick?

FWIW, I'm looking at getting a full sensor mirrorless camera - Sony A7R would be bottom of the range here.
 

rebel06

Looking for a cause.
Moderator
Hello and welcome to the forum.
What is your budget for camera and lens.?
Are you in the UK.?

Paul
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
Having finished an online photography course, I may need to upgrade from my combination of iPhone X / GoPro Hero7 Black for landscape photography.

Ideally I want to test a range of cameras in a landscape setting, get all of the images on a file and compare the quality to figure out the optimal level of quality against funds invested.
I may attend a photography club and ask people with the same shot on the same day to send me the file - do you guys have a better method to figure out the optimal level of camera to buy?

Also, is Amazon the cheapest place you guys recommend to buy a camera or am I missing a trick?

FWIW, I'm looking at getting a full sensor mirrorless camera - Sony A7R would be bottom of the range here.
The problem with your idea is that people will process the photo. So then the raw to jpg conversion needs to be taken into account. But, you can ask for a just converted from raw to jpg with no adjustments, that should be minimal. I do think you have another problem: finding a group of people with full frame mirrorless cameras. I know in my camera club of about 100 people I only see a few using mirrorless and most are not full frame. There is a question of if this exercise is even worth it in the real world. Camera magazines do comparisons like this all the time, you may want to check those. The differences may be so minor in the end that you need something else to base a decision on.

Amazon is not normally the best deal on cameras, see the link someone gave above to check prices.

One thing I suggest, no matter where you buy the camera from, go and hold one. If it does not feel comfortable you will not like it as much and may not use it as much. Go try them in person to get a feel for them.
 

cowboymug

Member
I'm not in the UK, I'm based between Turkey and Ireland.

I don't have a specific budget, the lower the better of course - I haven't taken a lens into account, but I will be shooting landscapes, with a person in the foreground.
I travel lots so size/weight is important.
On one hand I don't want to overspend, on the other I don't want to underspend and drop more funds further down the line upgrading.
 

Snips

Always on
As (almost) everyone knows here I'm keen on the Canon 6D Mk1 - it's not mirrorless though but it does have live view. The range of lenses is excellent and the body price for a second hand version is a little lower than the Sony A7R.

This site might help you out if you're checking out specifications:
https://www.dpreview.com
 

rebel06

Looking for a cause.
Moderator
Without a budget range it's very difficult to suggest a camera and you must take the lens into account as it may possibly cost you as much or more than the body.
Also what is the image you have tried to upload .. just comes out as blank ???

Paul
 

cowboymug

Member
I found a great tool to compare different cameras on the same scene (link removed see rules) but unfortunately it doesn't have any of landscapes - does anyone know of something similar online?
 
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Snips

Always on
Without wanting to be too simplistic, I would suggest that the better cameras in the studio would be better at landscapes too. Also, it’s the lens that tends to make more of a difference as opposed to the camera body.
 

cowboymug

Member
Haha ok I won't stretch my budget that far!
2-3k on the body and 1k on the lens.

Speaking of budget, if I were to buy both camera and lens second hand, then realize a few months later that it's not for me and sell them on, what % of the initial investment would I lose out on roughly?
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
Haha ok I won't stretch my budget that far!
2-3k on the body and 1k on the lens.

Speaking of budget, if I were to buy both camera and lens second hand, then realize a few months later that it's not for me and sell them on, what % of the initial investment would I lose out on roughly?
Camera more than lens. Lenses retain their value quite well for good ones.
 

MikeB

Always on
Premium Member
You're moving up from a iPhone X and GoPro to a more serious camera. All major name brands produce excellent cameras. Whether you buy Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, or Sony you will be getting an excellent camera. The differences from one to another are marginal. Every camera in their camera lines can produce award winning photos. It seems to me that you are over-thinking your purchase.

Recognize that you are buying into a camera system. The camera body will last a few years and you will either outgrow it or you will want to move to a current model. However, the lenses will last for years, if properly taken care of they will serve several camera bodies.

Choose the camera system that makes the most sense for what you want to do. Compare the features and functionality and make the choice for what works best for your requirements.
-- you want full frame but is that important for the type of photography you plan on doing, for some types of photography a smaller sensor maybe be better and certainly less expensive - for example, if you are going to cripple a full frame camera with a cheap lens then you'd may be better off getting a smaller sensor camera and a great lens - you will produce higher quality photos
-- still images vs. still images and some video (or video and some still images) - a smaller sensor may be better for video
-- standard resolution (best for portraiture) or high resolution (best for landscapes and architecture); if you're not willing to buy high resolution lenses then a high resolution camera body may be wasting money; high resolution cameras are more difficult to handhold and not have problems with camera shake

Once you figure out what you need/want, then look at your budget. You will either realize that "want" and "need" may not be the same or you may realize that saving up for a particular camera and lens(es) may make more sense at this time.

Buying used is fine. You will suffer less of a loss buying and then selling a used camera/lens than a new one. The % of lost investment depends on the specific camera/lens and demand.
 

cowboymug

Member
Thanks for the responses guys and sorry for such a late response! All prices I’ve found are second hand.

CAMERA
As I never use a tripod, I’m guessing image stabilization is important for me (even though most photos will be in good light so can have a fast shutter speed), and will buy a second hand Sony A7II as my camera body for £650.

I agree that hand holding the camera and seeing if I like the feel of it is important. Do most cameras of the same brand tend to feel the same? I won’t have a chance to visit a shop for a couple of weeks, but if I don’t like the Sony feel, my backups are Nikon D750 (£625) or Canon 6D (£500) or 5D Mark II (£369) –but they don’t have image stabilization and are all heavier.

LENS
I’ve been googling, then treating the Dxomark score as a benchmark on how good it is.
I’m still unsure what focal lengh I want – I use my gopro hero 7 a lot which is apparently 16mm, so I’m leaning towards the Sony FE 16-35mm f4 (£789).

Other lenses I’m interested in are Sony FE 12-24mm f4 (£1116) and Sony E 10-18mm f4 (£269). If I were to start at a very cheap lens, to find out what focal length I need, Sony E 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 (£79) could be a good starting point.
Dxomark don’t show all of these lenses for some reason – does anybody know why? Is there a good alternative that can quantify the quality of a lens like Dxomark does?

Finally, this is assuming all Sony E and FE lenses will fit onto the A7II.

Any suggestions on other lenses would be appreciated! Low weight is an aspect I’ve been focusing on also. Thanks :)
 

Snips

Always on
–but they don’t have image stabilization and are all heavier.
In the Canon the image stabilisation is in the lens you buy, not the camera body.

Re the lens it’s quite a good idea to buy a cheap, second hand one with a fair range of focal length, e.g. 24-105mm and see how you get on. One of the best landscape photographers on the forum frequently uses a 70-20mm which is what I use for show jumping events and wedding photographers use them too. Landscape photography is not always wide angle.
 

Minor Problem

Always on
Premium Member
The A7II is s very different beast to the A7RII, the R is their high resolution beast aimed at landscape and studio/portrait photographers whereas the A7II is a lower resolution general purpose do it all sort of machine.
 

Ozzie_Traveller

Old Hand
Premium Member
G'day CBM

Reading your OP and the follow up comments - I am concerned regarding your a) experience level vs b) your camera target

You say that you have used "simple" phone &/or gopro stuff + done an on-line course [all well and good] but you are now asking for full-frame mirrorless and lenses. Q- are you shooting too high and too quickly?? What is your target audience? Will this be used for income-producing activities? What is your overall budget? > because full frame mirrorless plus several good quality lenses equals the cost of a brand-new motor car in many places

Phil
 

cowboymug

Member
@Ozzie_Traveller - Target Audience is my instagram account, which I'm trying to monetise.

@Minor Problem - Do you think the upgrade from 24 to 42 MP will make that much of a difference for landscape photos? This is the main difference between the A7RII and A7II.

@Snips - does every single Nikon and Canon lens have image stabilisation? It's not something I can filter in a Dxomark search.
 

imagesBV

Well-Known Member
Canon lenses have ‘IS’ in their description. High megapixels are better for landscape...providing more detail. Think about the system....I would think hard about which systems are going to be with us in the future. Canon full frame EF is here for now but in the longer term Canons new mirrorless RF system will probably take over. Don’t be compromised with APSC unless you have to...bigger sensors are ultimately best....but it hardly matters in real life situations. Good advice above too....see what feels good, which menu system you find easiest to use etc. Have you tried HDEW for imported new but 25% cheaper or mpb for good second hand. I would say you can expect to lose 30% when you trade in to answer another question above. My choice would be Sony A7R all versions I suspect are excellent and a good lens in the 16mm to 35mm range....and a filter kit with neutral grad should be on your list for landscape and a flash for fill in when taking people in your landscapes
 
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Snips

Always on
@Snips - does every single Nikon and Canon lens have image stabilisation? It's not something I can filter in a Dxomark search.
Not all Canon lenses have image stabilisation but it doesn’t mean to say the lens is no good. I’m thinking particularly of the 70-200mm f/4. Second hand this is one of the best value lenses around.

I don’t know about the Nikon. Another superb make but I chose to go down the Canon route as I preferred the colours produced by the camera.

If you’re thinking of leaning towards landscape photography might I suggest you factor in a decent tripod into the budget? Something that can hold the camera a foot or two off the ground will give you added flexibility especially for water and seascapes.
 

Blofeld

Forum Photobomber
Moderator
Can’t add much more to the posts above, lots of good advice here.
Just a quick note to say try not to get hung up on lens weight, if you start comparing lens weight you’ll end up compromising quality.
A really good tripod is a must, and don’t skimp here either.... I’ve recently upgraded my tripod and the difference is crazy.
 

SeanNeedham

Ol' Sparky
Honorary Life Member
I don’t know about the Nikon
This here is same as the Canon, not all have stabilisation; some don't need it (the PC-E tilt/shifts) and others are so unique that I doubt they'll redesign the lenses just to have it (the 105/135 DC's, the 50mm AI 1.2, some of the fish-eyes and primes as well).
 

cowboymug

Member
I held the camera in the store today and I like it!
I plan to buy both the body and lens from Park Cameras - if anybody sees anything wrong with what I'm buying or knows a cheaper place to buy either please let me know!

Body - £499
Lens - £759

Thanks :)
 
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