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  1. #1
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    Red face help an amateur in need!

    I'm 16 and love to dabble in photography when i have free time, but (not including several cheap point-and-shoots) the only camera my family owns is a fairly old but trusty (I think) Nikon D50. Basically, I want something with really good image quality that's easier to take out with me, like a compact system camera. The option of interchangeable lenses and an external flash (if there isn't one built in) also attracts me, because if there isn't room in my bag i can always switch a bigger lens for a pancake one. Also, they look cool.

    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.

    around AUD$500, but I'm flexible (I'm planning on finding an online shop that sells cameras for cheaper than in store)

    Size

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

    Small enough to take out easily, most compact system cameras are probably a good size

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?

    I'm not sure, as long as it takes good quality photos really

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)

    Standard would be fine but zoom isn't the most important thing for me as it's easy to crop or whatever

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)

    9 (relative to price I guess)

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?

    i kind of understand a little bit about exposure so it'd be good to have that option, but i would predominantly use the auto function hehe

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?

    Family/friends, 'selfies' (don't hate me haha), pets, still life, holidays... I guess kind of an 'all rounder' camera

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?

    hmm, possibly? Having the option would be good

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?

    Yes

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?

    Maybe

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate?

    Nope

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?

    I've been liking the sound of the Olympus E-PL5, the Canon EOS-M and possibly one from the Nikon J series

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    i don't need any but I guess they'd come in handy sometimes

    Thank you!!

    ps. sorry for being such a noob *sigh*

  2. #2
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    Default Re: help an amateur in need!

    Compact system cameras (mirrorless interchangeable lens) are a good choice. The Olympus E-PL5 is probably outside of your price range but the less expensive, but still very good Olympus E-PM2 isn't. The Sony NEX 3N is excellent and is probably within your budget. The Nikon 1 J2 is probably within your budget as well and is a very good camera, as is the Panasonic GF3. The Canon EOS-M is well made but Canon doesn't produce many lenses for it so I'd recommend the others over the Canon. If I had to choose one of the cameras noted above it would be the Sony.

    If you want something smaller, without interchangeable lenses, there are several excellent, large-sensor (for better image quality) point and shoot cameras within your price range. I like the Canon S110, the Nikon P330, the Canon G15, the Samsung EX2F, the Panasonic LF1, the Pentax MX-1, the Fuji X10 and the Olympus XZ-2. The Panasonic LF1 stands out because it has the most optical zoom (7x) in its class (tied with the Nikon P7700).
    My Gear:
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 110 HS
    Canon A720IS (retired)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: help an amateur in need!

    A couple of thoughts -

    The option of interchangeable lenses and an external flash (if there isn't one built in) also attracts me
    If you want to maximize this, the strongest choice, by far, is M4/3 (Olympus and Panasonic). But there are some caveats to keep in mind on the external flash: Not all M4/3 models have a hotshoe (most of the Panny GF series lack this). While many Sony NEX have the hotshoe, it isn't the standard hotshoe design, except on the new NEX 6. The same brand flash as the camera (example Oly flash on Oly camera) will not be a lot brighter than built-in flash. For serious flash you will need to look to 3rd party brands such as Metz, Nissin, Sunpak. And these will be manual control flash units, not TTL.

    i kind of understand a little bit about exposure so it'd be good to have that option, but i would predominantly use the auto function hehe
    It usually comes as a surprise to folks that the more "professional" cameras are worse at auto operation than the consumer cameras. So if you are serious about sticking with Auto, then stick with the consumer cameras. That said, the various mirrorless brands fall behind here in different ways. Nikon is the best, fewest problem Auto results. Canon and Panasonic can wobble on exposure, Sony more than just wobble! Olympus AE is good, but a strong reddish color tint can happen (erratic and unpredictable). Older Panasonics have weaker color, newer ones are said to be improved. Olympus color can be super saturated. Most of these issues can be fixed with a photo editor. But it's usually better to switch to one of the PSAM modes and get it right in the camera.

    Really a fun camera sector, enjoy your shopping!

    Kelly Cook
    Olympus PL2, Canon EOS 50D, Fujifilm F45fd, various film dinosaurs

  4. #4
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    Default Re: help an amateur in need!

    Thanks for the advice Andy and Kelly! It'll definitely help me choose

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ou Yi glas

    "I've been liking the sound of the Olympus E-PL5, the Canon EOS-M and possibly one from the Nikon J series"

    If you are are looking at these three options, the Olympus E-PL5 gets my vote. It has fast AF and a very good kit lens.

 

 

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