How do you find out the limits of a camera?


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Soulblade88

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#1
Imagine this scene. You are on top of a hill covered with forest at night. From the highest point you can see miles of trees from every direction. Since this is a jungle there aren't any street lamps maybe light from the moon and the stars. What sort of camera would you use and what sort of lens to get a clear shot. HP camera is out, pocket size digicam is out. Low range DSLR probably out. What do you think?

Here's another scene.

You are watching a football game in a stadium. You are seated in the middle so you aren't too far away and you are not too near so you have some height to see the entire field. You want to take some pictures of the players while playing the game and of course they must not be blur. What sort of camera do you use? HP cam? pocket digicam?


I noticed that there isn't a guide to teach ppl what to expect with their gear and What scene can they expect a nice picture. I know it's kind of subjective because some of you will be going if they take with their ipad and they like it it's good enough which isn't the point at all. The point is more like this guy thought his ipad is good enough to take the picture but found out through his own experience it isn't.

Anyway i discovered there really isn't info on which gear to use for which scene.
 

G-man

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Mar 2, 2006
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#2
Er.... all cameras can take the scene you describe. It's whether the results are acceptable for you, the photographer.
 

Soulblade88

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#3
Er.... all cameras can take the scene you describe. It's whether the results are acceptable for you, the photographer.
HP camera taking night shots usually quite bad. I know la it's all down to personal preference but i guess i should have mentioned that it looks good enough to be on a magazine cover or ppl will praise it.
 

SilentSeth

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Jun 7, 2011
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#4
In short: any reasonably good camera will do.

For scene one, if you are going to shoot inanimate objects (forest) at night / low light situations, use tripod, because it probably needs slower shutter speed. Switch to manual focus if auto focus fails. Camera doesn't really matter.

Scene two, you can google and check how enthusiast sport photographer works. Usually two bodies with lenses covering different focal length. Again the camera doesn't really matter. As a proof, we've seen great sport pictures taken by photographers using film camera, or Canon 7d, 5dmk3 or nikon D800.

But again i'm not sure you can bring such equipment into the stadium without having press card id.. Better check first :)

And like the previous poster said, it really depends on what kind of result you want to get.
 

zeehamzah

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Feb 8, 2011
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#5
Imagine this scene. You are on top of a hill covered with forest at night. From the highest point you can see miles of trees from every direction. Since this is a jungle there aren't any street lamps maybe light from the moon and the stars. What sort of camera would you use and what sort of lens to get a clear shot. HP camera is out, pocket size digicam is out. Low range DSLR probably out. What do you think? Here's another scene. You are watching a football game in a stadium. You are seated in the middle so you aren't too far away and you are not too near so you have some height to see the entire field. You want to take some pictures of the players while playing the game and of course they must not be blur. What sort of camera do you use? HP cam? pocket digicam? I noticed that there isn't a guide to teach ppl what to expect with their gear and What scene can they expect a nice picture. I know it's kind of subjective because some of you will be going if they take with their ipad and they like it it's good enough which isn't the point at all. The point is more like this guy thought his ipad is good enough to take the picture but found out through his own experience it isn't. Anyway i discovered there really isn't info on which gear to use for which scene.


#1 If i know I will be going there, i will bring what is neccessary.

#2 Its either i sit and enjoy the game or be prepare to bring camera gears to snap photos of the game.

Eventually you need to know what you want to do and bring.

You mentioned for magazine covers and for people to praise it? Then jolly well bring what you need. You need to be prepared for what you want to shoot. You cant blame the gears for not being with you .
 

Mar 1, 2012
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#6
Imagine this scene. You are on top of a hill covered with forest at night. From the highest point you can see miles of trees from every direction. Since this is a jungle there aren't any street lamps maybe light from the moon and the stars. What sort of camera would you use and what sort of lens to get a clear shot. HP camera is out, pocket size digicam is out. Low range DSLR probably out. What do you think?

Here's another scene.

You are watching a football game in a stadium. You are seated in the middle so you aren't too far away and you are not too near so you have some height to see the entire field. You want to take some pictures of the players while playing the game and of course they must not be blur. What sort of camera do you use? HP cam? pocket digicam?

I noticed that there isn't a guide to teach ppl what to expect with their gear and What scene can they expect a nice picture. I know it's kind of subjective because some of you will be going if they take with their ipad and they like it it's good enough which isn't the point at all. The point is more like this guy thought his ipad is good enough to take the picture but found out through his own experience it isn't.

Anyway i discovered there really isn't info on which gear to use for which scene.
If u know ur exposure triangle, you wouldn't be asking this. The first scene is quite straightforward, unless u are limited by cameras without manual settings and bulb mode, or a lens not wide enuff.

The 2nd scene, you will need a long lens definitely, and a fast shutter speed. If it is in bright daylight, u may get away with a bridge camera with super long but slow zoom. For better performance you will need bigger sensor to keep noise down and faster lens for faster shutterspeed.

That said, as per your title, it's important to know the limits of ur camera and/or lenses. There's no all-in-one without compromise. Which is why ppl have multiple lenses and/or camera bodies for different purposes. Knowing what to pack for different photography outing/assignment is also a skill in itself.
 

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richiemccaw1

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Feb 21, 2013
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#7
Perhaps you should look into reading up about the basics of photography that is non gear related. I'm sure you already have the gear and software to take photos in most situations. Most of what you are taking and posting for critique is really not gear intensive.

Although what is nice is really subjective, there are a few general rules which can get you started. You would do well to get a copy of Michael Freeman's books on composition and framing. I am sure many here would agree that similar books would improve your photography a lot more than buying a specific type of camera and/or lens would.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#8
for the 1st scene, if you have a tripod, any camera can nail the shot.

for the 2nd scene, it is not even hard. Stadiums are so brightly lit, that any consumer pns with 10-20x zoom will be able to nail the shot.

No one will tell you what gear to use. You need to figure it out. it is not hard. But if you cannot even figure it out, photography might not be your thing. Find another hobby.
 

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rhino123

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#9
Imagine this scene. You are on top of a hill covered with forest at night. From the highest point you can see miles of trees from every direction. Since this is a jungle there aren't any street lamps maybe light from the moon and the stars. What sort of camera would you use and what sort of lens to get a clear shot. HP camera is out, pocket size digicam is out. Low range DSLR probably out. What do you think?
Any camera with long exposure should be able to get the scene you want. Of course it would help if you are using lower ISO (less high-ISO noise) and use tripod. Also do note that even at very low ISO, if the exposure was too long (dependent on the sensor and processor), you might still get noise. So if possible, take your shot in RAW mode, and take a couple of shots, rather than one very long exposure, then stack them up.

As to what is the focal length of your lens, it is up to you, because nobody know what composition and how you want your picture to looked.

You are watching a football game in a stadium. You are seated in the middle so you aren't too far away and you are not too near so you have some height to see the entire field. You want to take some pictures of the players while playing the game and of course they must not be blur. What sort of camera do you use? HP cam? pocket digicam?
In this case you might want a camera that can shoot faster fps. And again... there are heaps of cameras in the market that have this functions... secondly... you might want to shoot at a higher shutter speed. Look up sports photography and you will get heaps of information online.


I noticed that there isn't a guide to teach ppl what to expect with their gear and What scene can they expect a nice picture. I know it's kind of subjective because some of you will be going if they take with their ipad and they like it it's good enough which isn't the point at all. The point is more like this guy thought his ipad is good enough to take the picture but found out through his own experience it isn't.

Anyway i discovered there really isn't info on which gear to use for which scene.
Of course there is no guide to teach people what to expect with their gear. How the hell is anyone going to know what you expect of your gear. Don't expect to be spoonfed every single time. And how to shoot those scenarios that you stated can be found easily online. You just need to be a bit more proactive and look deeper. Also there is nothing wrong with your gears, etc. However, if you think your gears are the one limiting you... please buy yourself a D4s or 1DX.
 

Soulblade88

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#10
#1 If i know I will be going there, i will bring what is neccessary.

#2 Its either i sit and enjoy the game or be prepare to bring camera gears to snap photos of the game.

Eventually you need to know what you want to do and bring.

You mentioned for magazine covers and for people to praise it? Then jolly well bring what you need. You need to be prepared for what you want to shoot. You cant blame the gears for not being with you .


Can you name what type of gear is neccessary for each scene? Model of camera, brand etc.
 

Soulblade88

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#11
Perhaps you should look into reading up about the basics of photography that is non gear related. I'm sure you already have the gear and software to take photos in most situations. Most of what you are taking and posting for critique is really not gear intensive.

Although what is nice is really subjective, there are a few general rules which can get you started. You would do well to get a copy of Michael Freeman's books on composition and framing. I am sure many here would agree that similar books would improve your photography a lot more than buying a specific type of camera and/or lens would.
Where can i download a free copy of the book?
 

rhino123

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#12
Can you name what type of gear is neccessary for each scene? Model of camera, brand etc.
1) What camera you have. Those cameras are good enough. Bring a tripod. (Sirui, Benro, Gitzo, Manfrotto, etc) is good.
2) Bring a monopod for the camera you have, if lighting is abundance, then no need to bring anything, just your camera.

And of course, you would ignore this comment, because you are bend on saying your camera is not good enough for you. So for the record... buy a D4s or a 1DX.
 

Soulblade88

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#13
for the 1st scene, if you have a tripod, any camera can nail the shot.

for the 2nd scene, it is not even hard. Stadiums are so brightly lit, that any consumer pns with 10-20x zoom will be able to nail the shot.

No one will tell you what gear to use. You need to figure it out. it is not hard. But if you cannot even figure it out, photography might not be your thing. Find another hobby.


But with such a low light source since it's in a jungle with no street lamps how would lower end cameras have enough light to take the shot even with long exposure.
 

SilentSeth

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#14
But with such a low light source since it's in a jungle with no street lamps how would lower end cameras have enough light to take the shot even with long exposure.
If your eyes can see the jungles, means there's light, however low. Then use long exposure + tripod. Long exposure will allow the sensor to grab more light.

Imagine putting a bucket outside your house to collect rain water. The longer you put it, more water u get. That simple.

(Unless u take pictures in jungles where your eyes can't even see a thing.)
 

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daredevil123

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#15
But with such a low light source since it's in a jungle with no street lamps how would lower end cameras have enough light to take the shot even with long exposure.
with long exposure, more light is allowed to hit the sensor by opening up the shutter longer...
Doesn't matter low end high end camera.

This is shot with a low end DSLR Nikon D40x with kit lens 18-55 (non-vr). Long exposure. There were no street lamps anywhere back then.

 

Dura77

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#16
Have you even tried? These people know what they are talking about. It's best if you listen to their advice. I'm using an entry level dslr and I can capture the stars. What more a jungle? Just use a longer shutter speed
 

lewissac

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#17
But with such a low light source since it's in a jungle with no street lamps how would lower end cameras have enough light to take the shot even with long exposure.
You already mentioned there's moon. It's a powerful light source.
Unless u know what is exposure triangle, I believe you would need to work pretty hard to get the exposure right.
 

Feb 23, 2012
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#18
There is no this definitive answer to your questions I am afraid. With right technique like everyone mentioned you can take an awesome shot with even a cheap camera. This is my personal experience. I wanted to learn basics so I found a camera which offered all controls and helped me to learn.

My first
1st Camera Canon SX110. Full manual controls. took long exposure shots, time lapse vacations, portraits. Learned a lot
2nd camera Sony A57. First Interchangeable lens camera. Again learned a lot though thousands of shots.
3rd camera Sony A7. Finally was confident enough to buy a full frame camera and I now shoot with manual lenses learning all the way.

Its the guy behind the camera not the camera. An expensive cam wont make a good magazine shot. You will. Get a basic camera or DSLR cam like for example a D40X which you can pick for 200 bucks now will take great shots which everyone can praise.

Or as some rich guys do, get a D4S with a 24-70 f2.8 VRII or Canon 1DX with 24-70 f2.8 and you should be equipped to get the scenarios you mentioned. Although I cant guarantee you will get the shot if you dont know the techniques.
 

SkyStrike

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#19
Imagine this scene. You are on top of a hill covered with forest at night. From the highest point you can see miles of trees from every direction. Since this is a jungle there aren't any street lamps maybe light from the moon and the stars. What sort of camera would you use and what sort of lens to get a clear shot. HP camera is out, pocket size digicam is out. Low range DSLR probably out. What do you think?

Here's another scene.

You are watching a football game in a stadium. You are seated in the middle so you aren't too far away and you are not too near so you have some height to see the entire field. You want to take some pictures of the players while playing the game and of course they must not be blur. What sort of camera do you use? HP cam? pocket digicam?


I noticed that there isn't a guide to teach ppl what to expect with their gear and What scene can they expect a nice picture. I know it's kind of subjective because some of you will be going if they take with their ipad and they like it it's good enough which isn't the point at all. The point is more like this guy thought his ipad is good enough to take the picture but found out through his own experience it isn't.

Anyway i discovered there really isn't info on which gear to use for which scene.
But with such a low light source since it's in a jungle with no street lamps how would lower end cameras have enough light to take the shot even with long exposure.
I'm not sure what kind of equipment you are using, but much of the issues discussed revolves around the need to understand your own needs (not fantasize about situations that will not happen to you or maybe it will be many years later before it really happen), and the limits of the camera. But to know the limits of the camera, you need to go thru the process of understanding it by USING IT. Comparing camera/lens specs online won't get you anywhere.

Even users of top end gears have (some) complaints about their own gear's limitations. But the key thing is to know what you need and react accordingly.

With that out of the way...

To be brutally honest
#1 - If you know how to expose properly, exposing for a longer time OR using a large aperture lens OR bumping up the ISO will get you more light in every situation. Unless there's absolutely no light at all.

#2 - Common sense says that if you are far away from the game and you want to capture those action up-close scene you see on newspaper, you will need a looooong focal length. The further away you are, the longer focal length you need. And of course, to get those no-blur shot, your shutter speed must be faster that the action.

And I don't think there will be a guide to tell people what kind of camera will get you what kind of shots. If there's one, I will seriously believe it's back or sponsored by some camera/lens maker.

HP camera taking night shots usually quite bad. I know la it's all down to personal preference but i guess i should have mentioned that it looks good enough to be on a magazine cover or ppl will praise it.
To be honest again, if your picture's composition is crap, even if you are using top end gears, it's still crap (with better image quality than if you were to use 'cheaper' equipment). Image quality isn't the only thing that defines the picture.

And for your shots to be selected to be printed for magazine covers, you need to start taking criticism in a positive way instead of conveniently ignoring what others have said.
 

CamInit

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Nov 3, 2009
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#20
If I intend to take photos then I will always take my DSLR, tripod, etc and standard gear along.

For the first scenario, if its really dark, then accurate focusing is more of a concern. Usually I carry a torch with me to shine at objects some distance away for manual focusing at infinity for landscapes. I don't trust the markings on the lens.

For second scenario, fast focusing and flexibility of reach will the concern. That probably means a telephoto zoom with fast AF reaction. Use center point focus if feel that the peripheral AF points are not good enough (6D, 5DMk2, etc). High ISO to minimize blurriness from movement.

The scenarios you describe are dependent on how well you know/handle your equipment plus what you aim to achieve. There is no perfect gear for every scenario but you just have to work your way around whatever limitations along the way.
:)
 

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