Author Topic: A new camera...  (Read 5107 times)

A new camera...
« on: 06 July, 2023, 01:02:35 pm »
I think that I want a new camera.  I currently use my Samsung phone which does take excellent photos but I am fed up of having to basically guess what I am taking in strong sunlight.  I have borrowed my mates Olympus omd e-m10 mk iv (what a snappy, easy to remember name...), a micro 4/3 camera which seems to fit the bill - I can see through the viewfinder clearly with and without glasses on, and it is a nice compact size which is also important having got used to using a phone for photos.  He did admit that he is yet to take a photo with the camera which is better than he would have got with his phone, but I really want something with a viewfinder that is compact but still allows me to "be creative".  i.e. faff around, mutter about impenetrable menu layers and generally incur the wrath of Mrs LJ.

I used to have (well, I've still got) an Olympus OM10, bought on the day way back when we beat the Aussies at Headingly in 1981, but stopped using that when compact digital cameras arrived.  The last proper camera I bought was a Panasonic Lumix back in 2010, and since about 2015 I have just used my phone, but in strong sunlight it is hopeless.

Has anyone got any better suggestions or experience with the Olympus?

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #1 on: 06 July, 2023, 01:55:28 pm »
i have the Mk II and it great for messing around with. You can get an adaptor for about £20 that lets you mount any original analogue OM compatible lenses which are really lovely and cheapish on eBay. I now have a small collection of tele and macro lenses to play with.
The Olympus 14-42mm kit lens it usually get sold with is a nice compact lens that will fulfil most walk about needs to get you going as well.
Highly recommended.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #2 on: 06 July, 2023, 02:08:58 pm »
Phone vs camera..

They are both great, but have strengths and weaknesses. For most people the phone camera replaces the Instamatic type of camera of the past.

M4/3 is a great format, IMO, as it allows for sensible sized cameras (more similar to old 35mm sizes) but is hugely flexible and capable. A viewfinder you can look though is great for isolating what you are taking from everything else, you get to see the composition you are taking.

I currently use an Olympus OM-1, have the previous model as a back up and have an Olympus Pen-F, which sadly is not longer available but is a delicious bit of kit.
It is simpler than it looks.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #3 on: 06 July, 2023, 02:14:14 pm »
the canon r10 is meant to be very good too, with a slightly bigger sensor which might give marginally better results? (pixel density is probably similar, I haven't done the math).

Worth trying to get your hands on both to see which fits better, if you've got a big John Lewis near you they might stock both?

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #4 on: 06 July, 2023, 02:33:14 pm »
Thank you, all of you.  Well, except Mike, cos I did not know about the R10 and have just found they also make the slightly simpler R50 as well, so that is this afternoon wasted...   ;D

I need to see if JL do the canon cameras - I have looked before and they did not stock the Olympus.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #5 on: 06 July, 2023, 02:41:23 pm »
the R50 is **tiny** - if your hands are even medium sized then it'll feel really small. 

edited to add - if you want to buy more than the kit lens its definitely worth checking mpb.com for a used version, I've saved a lot of money there over the years...

Beardy

  • Shedist
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #6 on: 06 July, 2023, 02:59:06 pm »
I have a full frame digi SLR and a couple of Olympus 4/3 camera’s with a smattering of lenses for both systems. There’s a significant amount of my hard earned invested in my kit and not a small amount of time spent learning to use it all. It’s particularly annoying therefore, that the photos I take with my phone are nearly always as good as those I take with my cameras, and it’s really annoying when they are better! I’ve always got my phone with me as well.

What I’m saying is that time learning how to overcome your phone shortcomings and a little money invested in a small tripod and a screen shade might be a better investment than getting a new camera. I don’t believe you’ll ever get the flexibility or meet specialist needs with a phone, but for general snapshots most modern smartphone cameras are difficult to beat.
For every complex problem in the world, there is a simple and easily understood solution that’s wrong.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #7 on: 06 July, 2023, 03:02:49 pm »

edited to add - if you want to buy more than the kit lens its definitely worth checking mpb.com for a used version, I've saved a lot of money there over the years...

Do you mean just the lenses?  I did look at the Olympus camera on there and as you have to buy the lens and body separately there is virtually no saving over the cost of a new body plus lens kit.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #8 on: 06 July, 2023, 03:06:55 pm »
(Snip)

What I’m saying is that time learning how to overcome your phone shortcomings and a little money invested in a small tripod and a screen shade might be a better investment than getting a new camera. I don’t believe you’ll ever get the flexibility or meet specialist needs with a phone, but for general snapshots most modern smartphone cameras are difficult to beat.

I totally understand what you mean, a modern phone gives superb results, but I really struggle with it in strong sunlight.  I know I could get a shade of some sort, but I have been itching for a proper camera for a while.  I am sure that most of the pictures that I take in future will still be on my phone.

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #9 on: 06 July, 2023, 03:26:33 pm »
The big difference is depth of field.  If you like the Leica style (shoot everything wide open and feel the bokeh, man), a phone won't cut it.  Some of them do Gaussian blur, but that's like astroturf.  I tried it on my S22 and it is laughably crap, with a sharp bit of background left around the subject.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #10 on: 06 July, 2023, 06:58:38 pm »
Yes, Micro 4/3 is a good option. Fairly compact, and a variety of lenses available.
Worth a look at the Panasonic Lumix cameras as well. Something like the GX80 or GX9 if you want something fairly small, with a viewfinder. The GX9 has an interesting tilting viewfinder, plus the tilt screen is handy.
And the kit lenses are pretty good. The Panasonic 12-32mm is nice and small, though not sure how durable it is, mine is now misbehaving. Or the Panasonic 12-60 is a useful range for most stuff, probably a better quality lens, though a bit bigger.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #11 on: 06 July, 2023, 09:18:59 pm »
I have Panasonics, a GX-80 and a GM-1
The GX-80 is a fantastic camera, everything about it is spot on, topped off with incredible image stabilisation which allows decent hand held shots that have never been possible with any other camera I've owned.
The GM-1, no longer available, was and probably still is the smallest M4/3 camera ever made, it shares the same sensor as the GX-80, but otherwise much simplified, no viewfinder, not the same image stabilisations, most buttons missing and where the same features are available they're tucked away in a menu.
I use the GM-1 far more than the GX-80, I never thought the size difference would bother me till I had the choice, the GX-80 only gets used if I'm going out specifically to take photos, the GM-1 gets carried around all the time.
If I were buying again, I'd be tempted to go down a sensor size to 1", from the photos I'v seen they don't lose much and are considerably smaller.  Also, despite the GX-80 having an adequate viewfinder, I tend to use the tilting screen more, there's not many situations where I can't position it to eliminate glare and it isn't as good as some I've seen on more recent cameras.  If looking now, I'd prioritise that over the viewfinder.
Lastly, fancy five axis image stabilisation has bits that rattle, I don't know how robust it is, but it makes me nervous having it bouncing about on a bike all day.


Woofage

  • Tofu-eating Wokerati
  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #12 on: 07 July, 2023, 04:10:11 pm »
Another Panasonic M4/3 user here. I've looked at Olympus, but found the interface less intuitive than the former. Nicely screwed together though, and the styling reminds me of some of my cameras of the past.

Current line-up is a G80 (G85), which is as big as I'd want to go, and a teeny tiny GX880 (which will fit in a jacket pocket). The kit zooms are excellent so you may not need anything else. If I had to criticise either camera, it's that they have so many options it can get confusing if you've spent some time away from them.
Pen Pusher

Beardy

  • Shedist
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #13 on: 07 July, 2023, 05:21:59 pm »
(Snip)

What I’m saying is that time learning how to overcome your phone shortcomings and a little money invested in a small tripod and a screen shade might be a better investment than getting a new camera. I don’t believe you’ll ever get the flexibility or meet specialist needs with a phone, but for general snapshots most modern smartphone cameras are difficult to beat.

I totally understand what you mean, a modern phone gives superb results, but I really struggle with it in strong sunlight.  I know I could get a shade of some sort, but I have been itching for a proper camera for a while.  I am sure that most of the pictures that I take in future will still be on my phone.
Ah, we’re in N+1 territory then.  ;D Nothing wrong with that, after all that’s why we work beyond the need to feed ourselves, so we can afford the toys we want for when we’re not at work. 
My standard advise in this situation is
1) budget - there’s no point handling a Leica if you can only afford a Kodak,
2) go and handle as Amy cameras as you can in your budget. In this day and age the kit at any given pricepoint us going to be pretty much the same in terms of quality and image capability; the results are going to depend on how comfortable and easy to use you find any given camera.
3) lenses - unless you know exactly what you’re going to take pictures of and thus can be sure what glass you need, I’d suggest getting a ‘standard zoom’ as a first lens, so 35-70 or 35-110 (in corrected 35mm focal length)

A note on sensor sizes. Unless you are a super enthusiast, very rich or a professional I wouldn’t bother with full frame these days, the quality of images from cropped sensor cameras are just outstanding for most use. My Nikon D810 is a superb camera but a body and a bag full of glass is very heavy, I take the Oly out far more often. The main decision is really which manufacturer as that will determine your sensor. But as they are all much of a muchness, it’s down to which feels best in your hands.

Apologies if I’m preaching to the choir.
For every complex problem in the world, there is a simple and easily understood solution that’s wrong.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #14 on: 07 July, 2023, 05:38:28 pm »
what he said...  Really recommend you go and play with some cameras and test out how they feel and look through the viewfinders, they are a pretty mixed bag, especially because they're digital and not optical viewfinders like with an oldfashioned DSLR.

You also want to play with the settings and every brand does it differently (fuji is brilliant, with big dials for everything but they are pricey).

Is there an actual camera shop anywhere near you? 

And a new body + kit lens will definitely be a better option than buying used, but when you want a prime or 'better' zoom it's worth looking at MPB.

Edit: I've just spent 10 minutes on Wex, if I was spending a grand on a fun camera I could use to start a system, then it'd be between the Nikon Z FC and Fuji XT30ii, and I'd probably go for the Fuji because I've had one of theirs before and loved it, and there's a great catalog of used lenses to grow it with...

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #15 on: 07 July, 2023, 08:38:57 pm »
Thank you all again.  I think... (it is very confusing!)

Mike is right, i need to go to a shop and look properly.  Fortunately there is a branch of T4 Cameras in Witney which is not too far away and they seem to have a reasonable amount of stock judging by the web site.  I also bought my last camera from them, the Lumix, but from their now defunct Newbury shop.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #16 on: 07 July, 2023, 09:06:52 pm »
(Snip)

What I’m saying is that time learning how to overcome your phone shortcomings and a little money invested in a small tripod and a screen shade might be a better investment than getting a new camera. I don’t believe you’ll ever get the flexibility or meet specialist needs with a phone, but for general snapshots most modern smartphone cameras are difficult to beat.

I totally understand what you mean, a modern phone gives superb results, but I really struggle with it in strong sunlight.  I know I could get a shade of some sort, but I have been itching for a proper camera for a while.  I am sure that most of the pictures that I take in future will still be on my phone.

Sorry no recommendations, but there's a lot to be said for a viewfinder, TTL or otherwise. Back in historical times, when all cameras had a screen, photographers would either have a black cloth hood to put over their head or, with medium format, a pop-up hood on the camera. Taking pictures on a phone in bright light, I often wish for such a thing and usually just point in the right direction and hope the camera does the focus and light automatically.

For anyone needing reading glasses that's another obstacle. Viewfinders have diopter adjustments so you can use them without glasses. Phones are great for "the best camera is the one you have with you" but it's often quicker to pick up an actual camera than put on glasses, find you still can't see much cos of ambient light, chimp the screen under the nearest shade, try again...
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #17 on: 23 July, 2023, 03:00:16 pm »
The big difference is depth of field.  If you like the Leica style (shoot everything wide open and feel the bokeh, man), a phone won't cut it.  Some of them do Gaussian blur, but that's like astroturf.  I tried it on my S22 and it is laughably crap, with a sharp bit of background left around the subject.
This. And phones make portraits that look a bit like CGI. (Over-saturated colours and pixel smear visible when you zoom or crop which is rubbing out the noise from the tiny sensor.) Impressive resolution though. At least, that's my experience of iphone.

Google Pixel can produce remarkable results in low light and in high contrast situations, but those results may be uncanny and quite different from what we see with our eyes (and different to the photographs we're used to seeing), so the images may not seem like an accurate record.

So, a phone is fine for pics that will serve as a record of day-to-day information (I've found phones superb for capturing text on pieces of paper, for instance). A phone may also be good for street photography in bright daylight. For portraits, moving subjects and anything else, I reckon you get more natural-looking results from any half-decent camera made in the last ten years. The catch is that half-decent cameras generally aren't quite 'point-and-shoot', so there's a learning curve for the user.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #18 on: 24 July, 2023, 02:44:28 pm »
An up-date.

Taking Mike's advice I went to the shop to have a look at cameras in the flesh.  They have a good stock of Nikon and Canon but they do not stock, but are dealers for, Olympus and Fuji.  After talking through the sort of things I wanted to do (mainly family and landscapes and buildings) and looking at the Canon R5 and R50 and the equivalent Nikon he showed me the little Canon G1X.  This is not a dslr with interchangeable lenses but a compact camera with a small zoom lens - about 24mm to 70mm in old 35mm terms.  The viewfinder was good, on par with the dslr cameras, and there is plenty of control with it so that it does not have to be used on "Auto" all the time.  It is also just about pocketable and fits the criteria for Mrs LJ in that she will be happy to use it and I won't be tempted to take loads of lenses around with me and spend ages faffing about while she stands with her arms folded.  I only got it at the weekend so have not been able to venture outside with it yet and there are only so many photos of a sleeping cat that you can take so I need to wait before I can try it properly.  Plus I have not finished wading through the manual, but I am nearly there.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #19 on: 31 July, 2023, 08:29:13 pm »
Canon G series have long been considered the next best thing to a DSLR - the camera a photographer might take on his/her travels. Which is to say, it's highly recommended. When it comes to camera operation and technique, much of what you learnt in your film SLR days will be relevant. Have fun.

slope

  • Inclined to distraction
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Re: A new camera...
« Reply #20 on: 31 July, 2023, 09:02:02 pm »
I'm still loving a 2017 Canon G5X Mark I.

Small enough to never leave home without. Does everything I need. Familiar retro feel in the hand and eye. 24-70. F1.8. Manual and Aperture priority modes. Important viewfinder with the addition of a very useful swivel screen.

 :thumbsup:


LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #21 on: 01 August, 2023, 12:20:40 am »
I use MPB all the time.
In my opinion cameras have been plenty good enough for about 7 years.  The law of diminishing returns really affects cameras and phones severely now.
I have several cameras (and I've also had more than several).
The unsung hero of my current crop is the Canon M50.
It's a good cheap buy off MPB.   The 22mm f2 "pancake" keeps it small and makes it an ideal "Street" camera.
It produces great HD video.  Flippy screen is great.
With a Speed-booster adapter (Viltrox) it takes any of the amazing Canon full-frame lenses AND you get an extra stop of light.
So a 50mm f/1.8 become a 1.4 and so on.
I only know about Canon cameras so I'll recommend the M50 and (full frame) the 6D.
The 6D is bargain of the decade on MPB.  It produces stunning images.  I just paid €330 for an immaculate one.
Think about that.  300 quid for a full-frame Canon (that produces colours that other manufacturers can only dream of).
MPB all the way (Did I mention my Canon 1Dmk2 for 200 quid????).

Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #22 on: 01 August, 2023, 01:27:05 am »
I would echo @Pickled Onion's view on the value of a proper viewfinder over a back-of-camera screen.

The other thing is that, to be much good, what you buy must be portable enough that you'll mostly have the camera with you. The best camera in the world is no good if you left it at home because it would be awkward to take.

When considering camera size, don't be led astray by the claims of interchangeable lens cameras to be particularly compact. The camera itself may be, but the size will increase considerably when you put a lens on it. Yes, there are pancake lenses, but they are single focal length, generally wide angle.

I'd suggest a large sensor compact - Canon G5X, G7X, or a Sony RX100 (III to VII)

Woofage

  • Tofu-eating Wokerati
  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A new camera...
« Reply #23 on: 01 August, 2023, 12:04:27 pm »
MPB all the way

Agreed. I've bought at least 3 camera bodies and a handful of lenses from them, plus the odd battery & other accessory. In all cases my expectation in terms of condition etc has been exceeded.

I've also traded-in a couple of items and the process is straightforward and fair.

Wex and Ffordes also do s/h, but on a much smaller scale than MPB.
Pen Pusher

Re: A new camera...
« Reply #24 on: 10 September, 2023, 04:08:11 pm »
I would echo @Pickled Onion's view on the value of a proper viewfinder over a back-of-camera screen.

The other thing is that, to be much good, what you buy must be portable enough that you'll mostly have the camera with you. The best camera in the world is no good if you left it at home because it would be awkward to take.

When considering camera size, don't be led astray by the claims of interchangeable lens cameras to be particularly compact. The camera itself may be, but the size will increase considerably when you put a lens on it. Yes, there are pancake lenses, but they are single focal length, generally wide angle.

I'd suggest a large sensor compact - Canon G5X, G7X, or a Sony RX100 (III to VII)

Mirrorless bodies are small but the lenses are still huge.