Need something cheap that can do decent HDR shots, and HD footage.

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by ttoonnyy1, Feb 1, 2014.

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  1. ttoonnyy1

    ttoonnyy1 New Member

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    This short questionnaire will help the rest of us make good camera recommendations for you. Please answer each question carefully and succinctly.

    The questions marked with a * are the most important.

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
    I'm hoping not to spend more than $400 having done a little research.. I could go higher if I really had no choice, but this started out with aiming for $200..

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    Not important.

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    Not sure. I know I want some large images, probably at-least 4k for photographs, just HD for video.

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)
    At-least 10x - I'll be needing to get some high quality zoomed in shots on chrome balls (and nope, I'm not shooting pornos with cylons)..
    I don't think the zoom is 100% critical, but I would definitely like some decent level to be safe.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    7 - My high res images will be as lighting for 3D environments.. they won't always be visible, but videos of the same environments will be.

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    I definitely need to be able to take HDR images, that is vital.
    At-least if there isn't a function for it, if I can easily change the exposure level, without going through a load of settings, to take a bunch of pictures easily, I can still combine them to HDR later on the pc.
    I could deal with doing that manually, as it would be far from the majority of work on one of those anyway.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    (I've put %s of importance on the functionality I need, e.g. 4, at 5%, is something I do not need at all if I have to sacrifice it to have the other features, primarily 1 & 3, within my price range)
    1 [50%] - Creating spherical HDRIs from a chrome ball in various lighting conditions, preferably with good macro & zoom capabilities. A default HDR ability so I don't need to keep altering the exposure would definitely be preferable.
    2 [20%] - Taking standard Panoramas in HDR is something I'd also like, but not 100% essential.
    3 [25%] - Also taking HD footage for VFX compositing is essential.. no stabilisation necessary though (I can handle that post process)
    4 [5%] - Some basic level of HFR recording at HD would be an added bonus so I can do some slo-mo when needed, but far from essential.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    Nope, my work is all digital. Though taking a high res HDR image is essential.

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    Quite often, though the most appealing environments for me to utilise will have the highest range of lights I can find (e.g. a dark room with bright light getting through some cracks, or a bright sunny day from the darker interior of a car.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    Probably never with photos.
    Probably always with video.


    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    As long as it's not a nintendo!

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    I was looking at the SX50.. a bit higher than I wanted to go in price though, and I'm not sure it's right for me anyway.

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    Wide angle would be nice, especially for panoramas, but not essential, and if I can later buy a different lens for it to get that (I'm a noob with cameras and am not sure about these things), then that's not a major issue.

    Basically what I need, in order of importance:
    Needs to shoot high-ish res images in low and high light, HDRI capability essential, shooting HD footage also necessary, panorama capability would be great too, a wide angle lens would be cool for the panorama shots, good zoom would be nice, and I wouldn't say no to some slo-mo.
    And hopefully for a lot less than $500.. I can dream.

    Thanks for your time =)
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    There are a few long zoom point and shoot cameras that have auto exposure bracketing.

    The best all around is probably the Panasonic FZ70 which is an ultra long-zoom camera (60x) that has auto-bracketing but lacks a high speed video mode. You can pick it up for about $300 online.

    The Panasonic ZS30 is a smaller camera with a long zoom (20x), high speed video and auto-bracketing but it's a bit more expensive than the FZ70.

    The Panasonic LF1 is about the same size as the ZS30 and has better image quality, though less zoom (7x). It has auto-bracketing but not high speed video. It's priced about the same as the FZ70.

    The Fuji F900 EXR has auto-bracketing but not high speed video. It has a 20x zoom and costs under $250.
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