Newbie needing advice, please


Cokiee

New Member
Sep 22, 2010
26
0
0
Singapore!
#1
Hi all,

Happy new year! I'd like to seek some advise, please. I had this idea that I wanted to get a camera (system) and justified it by telling myself that I want to shoot some nice photos :bsmilie:,plus it's a topic I've toyed with in the past but never executed due to budget, time etc.

For a start I then considered what I'd be using the camera for, and came up with the following 'keywords': street photography, walkabout camera, food, portraits of people on the streets, interesting things I see around, and when I travel, some landscape shots.

With these in mind, I originally thought of the Fuji X100T, as in speaking to a few friends, a 35mm equivalent lens would be sufficient for walkabout shots etc. Another thought I had was to get an interchangeable lens system, then using the shorter kit lens for general usage. The benefit I had in mind was the possibility of taking it further if I do want to do so. Reading off the interweb I then considered (at around my budget) the Olympus OMD EM 10 Mark 2 (Or Mark 1 for that matter), and was alerted through further reading of the Fuji XT10.

As such I'd like to seek some advice, please. Given the considerations I have, what would you perhaps suggest, or if in your shoes, consider? Right now I expect to be doing very little, or no post-processing, photos good for internet or small sized prints, and definitely not in RAW.

Thank you for your time!
:)

edit: ignore the join date, as you can see I registered a long time ago, posted some, then just resigned to revisiting on an on-off basis.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
805
10
18
#2
Hi all,


As such I'd like to seek some advice, please. Given the considerations I have, what would you perhaps suggest, or if in your shoes, consider? Right now I expect to be doing very little, or no post-processing, photos good for internet or small sized prints, and definitely not in RAW.

Thank you for your time!
:)
No one can tell you what camera to get as you are the best person to decide.
In my opinion you are already trying to jump into the deep end of the pool without really
having learnt to swim.Walk before you run as they say.Your camera choices will hit $1K+.

What would I do if in your shoes? I'll play with the camera in your smartphone and see
what it can and cannot do in terms of picture taking.Next Borrow someone's camera be it
a point-n-shoot or system camera, use it for a while to see how it handles and the quality
of it's picture output.In fact the output from your smartphone is already good for the internet.

Read about digital photography and the reviews of cameras that you have shortlisted.
Next go to the shops to try out the real camera,how it feels in your hands and working it.


It is inevitable that you will need to do some postprocessing like cropping,colour or
white balance to make your pictures presentable or visually appealing.

About raw...Let me illustrate with an analogy of film camera days,It's like after
delveloping the film and printing and you only keep the prints then you burn/destroy the
negatives/film. You can't print any new ones anymore.If you value your images keep your
raw files as the raw files which contain all information of your image are discarded
after the camera converts to jpeg format.
 

Last edited:

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#3
The best camera is the one you have in your hand when you need it.
And for what you need as you said, any smart phones can give it to you.
And also, go and check it out how others create stuning images with their phone cameras, I am not talking about smart photo advertisments, I am referring to those real photographers shooting with phone cameras.
 

Oct 12, 2004
445
5
18
#4
Hi all,

Happy new year! I'd like to seek some advise, please. I had this idea that I wanted to get a camera (system) and justified it by telling myself that I want to shoot some nice photos :bsmilie:,plus it's a topic I've toyed with in the past but never executed due to budget, time etc.

For a start I then considered what I'd be using the camera for, and came up with the following 'keywords': street photography, walkabout camera, food, portraits of people on the streets, interesting things I see around, and when I travel, some landscape shots.

With these in mind, I originally thought of the Fuji X100T, as in speaking to a few friends, a 35mm equivalent lens would be sufficient for walkabout shots etc. Another thought I had was to get an interchangeable lens system, then using the shorter kit lens for general usage. The benefit I had in mind was the possibility of taking it further if I do want to do so. Reading off the interweb I then considered (at around my budget) the Olympus OMD EM 10 Mark 2 (Or Mark 1 for that matter), and was alerted through further reading of the Fuji XT10.

As such I'd like to seek some advice, please. Given the considerations I have, what would you perhaps suggest, or if in your shoes, consider? Right now I expect to be doing very little, or no post-processing, photos good for internet or small sized prints, and definitely not in RAW.

Thank you for your time!
:)

edit: ignore the join date, as you can see I registered a long time ago, posted some, then just resigned to revisiting on an on-off basis.
Fortunately your intended use all tend to be complimentary and to be quite honest, not particularly demanding of the camera.
Of course there will be some that may be a bit more specialised and generally preferred for a particular genre eg. street or landscapes, almost any current generation camera with a decent sized sensor will handle the job.

The other forum members have mentioned use of a smartphone and its quite a good idea actually and can be likened to a fixed focal lens camera. Most are in the region of around 28-30mm equivalent focal length but you'd need to google your smartphone model to find out specifically.
If you don't feel restricted by the single focal length, the next thing to work out is your preferred focal length. The X100T has a 35mm equivalent focal length and some may feel it may not be wide enough for landscapes. Alternatives include the Ricoh GR and Nikon Coolpix A, Sigma DP1 Quattro, all of which have 28mm equivalent focal lengths. I'll leave out Leica Q since you say budget is a consideration. The preferred focal length is largely down to taste. I prefer 28mm equiv, but I'm not sure if I've been conditioned to it from my smartphone use. I also like the 50ish mm focal length but that's probably too restrictive for classic landscape.

If you feel a single focal length is too restrictive then consider either a fixed lens zoom or an interchangeable lens system. Some good fixed lens candidates include the Sony RX100 series, Canon G1x/G7x series and Panasonic LX100.

For system cameras, then the options really open up but I'll let you consider the above first before looking into systems cameras because there really are a lot of info.

As for processing, the truth is every single jpeg that the camera spits out undergoes processing. You either let the camera's JPEG engine do it or you do it. And there's nothing wrong with either approach but if you're a jpeg shooter, spend some time configuring the image profiles in-camera because the defaults are rarely optimal in my experience.
The 'look' and colour you get from each camera manufacturer is also different and unique. In RAW you can virtually make any image from one camera look like another but as a jpeg shooter, the proprietary look may be an important consideration.
I'm a RAW shooter but I'm quite partial to Fuji's classic chrome film simulation.
 

TWmilkteaTW

Senior Member
May 30, 2011
2,251
1
0
#5
Right... If someone would be kind enough to lend you their camera.. you could try shooting it and see if that's what you want to do and what you like to do. Or you could just visit the showrooms or mega electronics store to hands on.

If not.. If you really looking to buy a camera for your intended personal usage as per post 1..

Camera that comes to my mind will be the Sony 5100 or Sony 6000. These camera are small, light and take good enough pictures (if you use them well) And most importantly, They dont break the bank.. With kit lens.. the combo run you less than $900 SGD. In this range..There are many choices out there too. I merely suggest the Sony just because I'm more updated used to their camera.

If you really into buying a camera.. Set your budget..look into what kind of camera you can get..And get the 1 you like best or think it will work for you best.
Cheers.
 

Cokiee

New Member
Sep 22, 2010
26
0
0
Singapore!
#6
Thank you all for the kind insights!

@One Eye Jack - rather than trying to jump into the deep end directly, I guess the thought process was also to get the best I can (or am willing to) afjford currently, such that there will be opportunities for upgrading and expansion etc. Will try and borrow (or rent) one and see if I do like it though - thanks for the suggestion.

@catchlights - after reading through CS forums and seeing a number of people (many seemingly senior) suggest the camera phone, I have in fact considered this option. However I decided that I generally like to keep them separate. Also, somewhere down the line I sorta decided that I eventually do want the option to zoom. For me the smartphone just needs to allow me to call/text/surf etc, which explains the xiaomi :) I will however look into how the pros take photos with their smartphones. Can I ask if you have any leads I can start from please?

@swifty - thanks for the suggestions on various alternatives I can consider. I am aware that for now the demands really can be fulfilled by most if not all cameras. Also the point about processing - thanks for putting things into perspective. When I wrote the original post, the processing I sorta had in mind were the perceivably more complicated ones, but in you've put it succinctly. I've read some reviews re the xt10 in which some reviewers have found that they liked the JPEG files produced.

@TWmilktea - thanks for the suggestions on alternatives to consider as well. Will definitely visit some showrooms and have some hands on to see which of these I like handling better.

In general, thank you all for the comments. I realise asking such a broad question really opens the field up, and at this point in time what I seem to want to do can definitely be achieved by say an iPhone 6 or a LG G4. I can't deny (as I'm sure many of us were when we started) that there is an element of wanting an actual camera - call it ego perhaps.

For some strange reason I'm quite drawn towards brands like Fuji, Canon and Nikon, and less so Sony and Panasonic. But that's clearly having a closed mind. :)

As a matter of curiosity, what sort of scenarios would warrant one getting a camera? I'm thinking that the objectives of most starters would be similar to mine - simply to shoot better photos, though we may not be sure what 'better' means :)



Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,570
13
0
48
Oklahoma, USA
#7
Even with great study and perhaps maybe even practice with several models of camera, if you continue at this pursuit long enough, you will probably discover that any old camera will do. Indeed the trick is to find the one (or ones) that work for you. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush...and infinitely more than one in someone else's hand. :)

To borrow a master's advice - Your first 10,000 snaps are your worst. In my case...the next 20,000 weren't much more pleasing...haha :bsmilie:

You want a camera that is an extension of your hand, eye, and mind...one that you can pull out and snap...got the picture...automatically and precisely what you want. At least that is how I look at cameras nowadays.

Now ask about lenses...
 

Last edited:

Cokiee

New Member
Sep 22, 2010
26
0
0
Singapore!
#8
That's really quite a Zen reply! (And yes certainly don't want my bird in someone else's hand... Heh.)

But I get your point - I've also been advised by other well meaning friends that I could decide on paper which is the best for me, but if I end up not liking the feel of holding it it completely defeats the purpose. In my case I see it as a positive that I haven't had the chance to form an impression yet.

Separately, have sorta decided that I would like to look at an interchangeable system, so will be reading up (any suggestions other than on dpreview?) on them, in tandem with the XT10 and Olympus OMDs.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

DSolZ

New Member
Mar 6, 2010
784
6
0
#9
That's really quite a Zen reply! (And yes certainly don't want my bird in someone else's hand... Heh.)

But I get your point - I've also been advised by other well meaning friends that I could decide on paper which is the best for me, but if I end up not liking the feel of holding it it completely defeats the purpose. In my case I see it as a positive that I haven't had the chance to form an impression yet.

Separately, have sorta decided that I would like to look at an interchangeable system, so will be reading up (any suggestions other than on dpreview?) on them, in tandem with the XT10 and Olympus OMDs.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk

What is ur budget for Camera + lens + accessories you wish to spend in the next 2 years in total?
 

Cokiee

New Member
Sep 22, 2010
26
0
0
Singapore!
#10
The number I have in my head as an initial start off is in the region of 1 - 1.5k, slightly scalable and not including things like drybox, maintenance equipment etc. Over the next two years ... I haven't thought about it, though my sense is that it'll be on a need-to basis. If an interchangeable system, I reckon it'll take me some time to actually know the camera inside out, and then shooting to the point I know what I need/want next.

Not sure I see the intent, though? Happy to hear any comments / suggestions!

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

Kermitfm

New Member
Mar 10, 2007
301
2
0
#11
Hi Cokiee, the problem you are facing is that there are too many choices. The truth is that almost every camera is good as they are made for a specific requirement. You seem to be leaning towards the Olympus and Fuji brands. My 2 cents advice is to focus on this two brands and choose one within your budget. You may not get it correct the first time, but at least you will learn more about the different features and how useful or essential to you. Only you can make the decision. My normal advice for people starting out is to get a camera that your friends are using (and they like them) so that you can learn from them and exchange tips.
 

trd2970

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2005
5,310
1
0
#12
Hi Cokiee, the problem you are facing is that there are too many choices. The truth is that almost every camera is good as they are made for a specific requirement. You seem to be leaning towards the Olympus and Fuji brands. My 2 cents advice is to focus on this two brands and choose one within your budget. You may not get it correct the first time, but at least you will learn more about the different features and how useful or essential to you. Only you can make the decision. My normal advice for people starting out is to get a camera that your friends are using (and they like them) so that you can learn from them and exchange tips.
totally agree on this...u nailed it with ur opening...there are too many choices
 

trd2970

Senior Member
Jun 8, 2005
5,310
1
0
#13
it's really a 1st world problem
 

DSolZ

New Member
Mar 6, 2010
784
6
0
#14
The number I have in my head as an initial start off is in the region of 1 - 1.5k, slightly scalable and not including things like drybox, maintenance equipment etc. Over the next two years ... I haven't thought about it, though my sense is that it'll be on a need-to basis. If an interchangeable system, I reckon it'll take me some time to actually know the camera inside out, and then shooting to the point I know what I need/want next.

Not sure I see the intent, though? Happy to hear any comments / suggestions!

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
With your budget you can get the xt10 with 18-55. The Fuji 18-55 kit lens is not a typical cheapo kit lens ... It is rather sharp.

Before you buy it do try it out in the Fuji show room in Funan to make sure u like the size and weight. Since you mentioned you wouldn't be shooting raw for a start, Fuji jpeg colors is rather good so it should suit you well.

If you prefer something that is smaller and lighter, I would personally go for Olympus em10. It is cheap and good performer and it will be good camera to start learning photography with.

I would even maybe recommend Olympus em5 which could be had from bns with a lens for 500 and it too offers you a good starting point.

Personally I don't see the need to go for the latest and greatest when you first starting out. FYI digital cameras don't retain value well, if I you are not making full use of it yet, the depreciation would be for nothing.

Of course if money is not the issue, then by all means buy something you like and have fun.
 

Last edited:

Cokiee

New Member
Sep 22, 2010
26
0
0
Singapore!
#15
@kermitfm, @trd - I do agree actually! Complete parody of choice. You're right also in saying that I generally am leaving towards either of the two. Do you have a particular preference given the two?

@Dsolz, haha money is always an issue! Some have too little, some have too much. For me I'm the former heh.

I did read about Fuji having great JPEG colours off the shot, which is why it became one of the ones I wanted to consider.

Between the xt10 & em5 m1 though, is there a particular preference you have and why?

This question keeps coming up as its interesting and informative to see what different people see and value, and from there I can have a wider exposure and understanding of the machines' strength and limitation.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,247
15
38
#16
The seniors have given very good advice from their vast experiences and I agree with them. Just giving my 2 cents on some questions you raised...

Happy new year! I'd like to seek some advise, please. I had this idea that I wanted to get a camera (system) and justified it by telling myself that I want to shoot some nice photos :bsmilie:,plus it's a topic I've toyed with in the past but never executed due to budget, time etc.
Decades of awesome marketing by the camera companies, but everyone conveniently leaves out the one behind the camera ;)
(when's the last time when the food is good you ask what knife the chef used or what pan the cook used? Hehe...)

@catchlights - after reading through CS forums and seeing a number of people (many seemingly senior) suggest the camera phone, I have in fact considered this option. However I decided that I generally like to keep them separate. Also, somewhere down the line I sorta decided that I eventually do want the option to zoom. For me the smartphone just needs to allow me to call/text/surf etc, which explains the xiaomi :) I will however look into how the pros take photos with their smartphones. Can I ask if you have any leads I can start from please?

.
.
.

As a matter of curiosity, what sort of scenarios would warrant one getting a camera? I'm thinking that the objectives of most starters would be similar to mine - simply to shoot better photos, though we may not be sure what 'better' means :)

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
I googled 'mobile photography awards' and got to this website. You can also google 'iphoneography'
http://mobilephotoawards.com/2014-mpa-winners-honorable-mentions/

Actually the lines between smartphones and dedicated cameras are blurring. There's a phone with 10x zoom lens from Samsung, and also a phone with larger 1" sensor from Panasonic.

@kermitfm, @trd - I do agree actually! Complete parody of choice. You're right also in saying that I generally am leaving towards either of the two. Do you have a particular preference given the two?

@Dsolz, haha money is always an issue! Some have too little, some have too much. For me I'm the former heh.

I did read about Fuji having great JPEG colours off the shot, which is why it became one of the ones I wanted to consider.

Between the xt10 & em5 m1 though, is there a particular preference you have and why?

This question keeps coming up as its interesting and informative to see what different people see and value, and from there I can have a wider exposure and understanding of the machines' strength and limitation.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
You won't go wrong going with either Olympus or Fuji. There are pros and cons of each system that's why people can argue for whole forums over which is better hehe... my very general idea is that Fuji has a bigger sensor and many lenses are targeted at the higher end market, so image quality is a bit better however the system will be larger / heavier and more expensive. Many people who chose Fuji also like the out of camera JPG colours more. Olympus or the micro four thirds system has a bigger range of lenses from entry level to high end so a bit more options.

For me if there's a camera that makes you want to pick it up to learn about photography then it would have fulfilled it's purpose. Do note like many hobbies the costs can quickly spiral if you're not careful that's why all the seniors are advising you to go slow ;)
 

Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,570
13
0
48
Oklahoma, USA
#17
I would like to add one more thing. Learn the definitions of aperture, shutter speed, iso/asa, and white balance. You do not have to understand the terms entirely at this point but do know the definition and explore the concepts. These things are the beginning of all photography. Also prepare to work hard at this if you want to become proficient at making pictures outside of auto mode and letting the camera do what it will. If you follow my advice and ground yourself well with the four terms I mention above then you will have the knowledge you need to control the tools and thus make the images you desire. By all means be patient with yourself...like anything worth pursuing it takes time and much practice.

About a month ago there was a short thread in which one of the bros gave a brief summary of the merits of both systems that you speak of. It is probably the most concise and clear explanation I have ever read on the particular subject. Eg. one of the two is better enabled to do video...I will try to find this for you later today...
 

Last edited:

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
805
10
18
#18
@kermitfm, @trd - I do agree actually! Complete parody of choice. You're right also in saying that I generally am leaving towards either of the two. Do you have a particular preference given the two?

@Dsolz, haha money is always an issue! Some have too little, some have too much. For me I'm the former heh.

I did read about Fuji having great JPEG colours off the shot, which is why it became one of the ones I wanted to consider.

Between the xt10 & em5 m1 though, is there a particular preference you have and why?

This question keeps coming up as its interesting and informative to see what different people see and value, and from there I can have a wider exposure and understanding of the machines' strength and limitation.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
If you have artistic aspirations of photograhy then a system camera is the way to go.
Although you like fuji for it's jpeg colour output it's because it uses a different type
of image sensor called "x trans" compared to the majority of cameras employing the Beyer
technology.So comparison is not apples to apples.

Fuji Xt10 is the cheaper version of it's flagship XT1 but there is a "drawback" that
it has image stabalisation in it's lenses and not all have it notably it's prime/fixed
focal length lenses.Argument being since they have wide apertures so using higher shutter
speeds and iso solve the problem.The main barrier is price of entry for the Fuji system
being lenses are expensive because it uses a larger image sensor (APSC) as lenses are
larger and heavier.

Compared to OLympus EM10 image stabalisation is in the body ( 3 axis).As a beginner you
need all the help that this in body stabalisation affords in reducing camera shake as
that will produce more usable pictures in challenging low light environments.It uses
the same image processing engine as the flagship EM1.It also has the same 81 auto
focusing points.The best part is it's affordable price that suit your budget.

The EM5 mk1 lags far behind in terms of improvements but if you can afford it EM5 mk2
would be better as it has 5 axis stabalisation, same as EM1 vs 3 axis for EM10.
Even girls are upgrading to EM5 mk2, what does that tell you? :) Check out Robin Wong's
reviews of EM10 and EM5 mk2.

Photography is not just about colours.If you have a versatile and affordable camera
system it makes your life easier.But make no mistake,having the lastest and greatest
camera system does not a photographer make as naive people assume.It's knowing the
basics of photography like composition, exposure/metering, the type of lighting that
produces good textures and depth on subjects.The methods or knowledge of good lighting.
All this take effort and time to learn.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
63
48
lil red dot
#19
TS the suggestion to start with your smart phone is a good idea, because good pictures are more about composition and having a story behind the pictures. As a start google ABC aka Aik Beng Chia, asliceofheaven aka Derek Woo, alex ortega on instagram and see how these folks take their smart phone photography to the limit. You will see only your creativity is the limit.

For a start download snapseed app to use as your picture editor and start from there.

As you progress, you will hit some limitations, from there you will know what you need in a camera system.
 

Last edited:

DSolZ

New Member
Mar 6, 2010
784
6
0
#20
@kermitfm, @trd - I do agree actually! Complete parody of choice. You're right also in saying that I generally am leaving towards either of the two. Do you have a particular preference given the two?

@Dsolz, haha money is always an issue! Some have too little, some have too much. For me I'm the former heh.

I did read about Fuji having great JPEG colours off the shot, which is why it became one of the ones I wanted to consider.

Between the xt10 & em5 m1 though, is there a particular preference you have and why?

This question keeps coming up as its interesting and informative to see what different people see and value, and from there I can have a wider exposure and understanding of the machines' strength and limitation.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
Personally, for a start, I will go for em5 m1 second hand. (Probably any recent non compact cam would serve you well, I am recommending em5 because of the value)

Yes it is old, and it has a small sensor, sucks at high ISO.

But to me photography is always about working with the limitations. (Limitation of money as well lol.)

Em5 m1 with kit lens can be have for less then 500. You get to play with it for a few months and if you don't like, sell it for little to no lost.

You probably won't out grow the camera within the next 1 year.

In 1 year time the Fuji xt10 can lose you 30-50% value especially when the new sensor camera arrives early this year ( xpro2, xt2 etc)

For now I recommend you just get a system and have fun taking photo and save the money for a few nice trips to e.g. Indonesia, Cambodia.

Personally I am not a great photographer, I do not have as much passion like many other here. Hence all the more I need to remind myself not to buy the latest and greatest toys as the limitation is really myself.

And my suggestion to you is to shoot raw as it does allow more head room for editing. And you can also better apply film simulation presets in Lightroom to get closer to Fuji colors if that is what you like.

Personally I like the em10 kit lens better then em5 kit lens due to the size. But I am told the em5 kit lens is better quality.

FYI, I have a Fuji xt1, and owned Olympus EM10 for a while. Played with my gf's OMD EM5.
 

Last edited:
Top Bottom