Small dslr or other recommendations????

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by DawnM, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    I really do enjoy taking pictures, but I find that i end up taking my P&S far more often than my DSLR because my DSLR is a huge beast. I have the Canon 40d and I am realizing that it is just not fitting my needs. When I go to a party or event it is fine because I don't have to lug it around, but for most things I really just want a camera that is easy to carry and take quality pictures.

    I want to have a camera with me often to take pictures of the kids, etc...something I could stick in a smaller purse type bag.

    I DO want the customization of a DSLR. I want to control the settings and take better pictures than a little P&S.

    So, I guess I have a couple of questions.

    1. In light of the above, would you just sell the large camera or would you keep it for occasional use?

    2. What small camera would you recommend? I really want one that can shoot video and take quality still pictures. I am trying to decide if I need interchangeable lenses or not.

    I was looking at the Canon G series as an option but wondered if one of the smaller new DSLRs would be a better choice? Something like the Nikon 1?

    Other recommendations? I am just beginning my search and plan to spend some time looking, but really don't know where to start.

    Thanks,

    Dawn
     
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  3. boBQuincy

    boBQuincy <font color=green>I am not carrying three pods<br>

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    If you are used to a dSLR then a P&S may disappoint. Image quality may not be an issue as some P&S (like Sony's RX100) are getting close to APS-C image quality. It is the handling that I missed, the viewfinder, the controls, and yes the interchangeable (and fast) lenses. For these features a mirrorless camera may be what you want.

    Micro 4/3 or Sony NEX are the best of this type. Nikon's 1 series has too small of a sensor and Canon's M has too few lenses (EF and EF-S with an adapter don't count because they go against why we got a smaller camera in the first place). Look at Panasonic's G3/5, Olympus EM-5, or Sony Nex-7 for the ones with a built in viewfinder.

    After switching from Canon EOS to Micro 4/3 I kept the larger camera for it's (slightly) better image quality but find I rarely use it and have started to sell some lenses.
     
  4. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Thank you. This is the info I am looking for. No, I don't want a P&S. Is that what the Nikon is?

    I just spent a little time looking at the NEX. Who makes the Micro 4/3?

    THanks,

    Dawn

     
  5. bob100

    bob100 DIS Veteran

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    along with the other recommendations take a look at the EOS-M mirrorless
    http://www.extremetech.com/electron...rrorless-camera-for-consumers-moving-upmarket

    it uses regular Canon lens and "M" pancake lens
     
  6. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Do yourself a favor and look at the rx100. I had the same issue as you.
    The rx100 has all the customization of a high level dSLR.
    The downside is that you can't change lenses. But if you were only going to stick to a kit lens anyway, then the rx100 can give you better quality than the Nex or micro 4/3rds.

    And the big advantage: While something like the Nex is smaller than a dSLR, it's still not truly small. Won't fit in your pocket. The rx100 produces near dSLR quality photo and video, with all the advanced controls of a dSLR, while fitting in your pocket.

    I've seen a lot if comparisons between the Nikon 1 and the rx100, as they both use the same sensor. The rx100 has more advanced dSLR-like controls, a better lens, and higher image quality. The Nikon has a slightly better focusing system.
     
  7. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg WEDway Peoplemover Rider

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    Dawn,

    Micro 4:3, or M4:3, is a sensor size reference - larger than P&S or the Nikon 1/Sony RX100, but a bit smaller than the Sony NEX or Samsung NX. They are made by either Panasonic or Olympus - Panasonic models usually start with G or GH, and Olympus models are usually called 'Pen'. They are similar to the Sony NEX in that they have interchangeable lenses on a compact mirrorless body. The NEX uses the same APS-C sensor as most DSLRs today, while the M4:3 sensor is just a bit smaller. Both would be significantly larger than any P&S sensor.
     
  8. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Thank you all so much. I didn't know there were this many choices out there. I am plugging in the options and looking at choices/ideas.

    Looks like the price range is between $450-$850 or so without additional accessories.

    Any suggestions as to what B&M store might carry several of these to check them out? I haven't bought a new camera since Wolf Camera was still around.
     
  9. MolonLabe

    MolonLabe DTOM

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    Since you mentioned the G series, I love my g11. It takes some amazing shots and is fully customizable.

    I also love my new t4i and used it as my primary camera at wdw last month. with a strap like a br or carryspeed like I used, I was able to carry it everyday forma full week. averaging 10 hours a day on my shoulder or in my hands. I also captured about 7k images, lol.

    Good luck on your decision, for me, the g11 and t4i do everything I want and more. You mentioned video, the g11 is great for that. The 18-135stm was mybwalk around lens at wdw.
     
  10. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Thank you. I am taking a look.

    One thing I don't see on this is a place to add a flash. Do you ever wish you had the capability to add a flash?

    I do like the size. I don't necessarily need it small enough to put in my pocket, but that is a nice feature.

    Dawn

     
  11. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Thank you. My friend brought her G10 to the beach a few years back and raved about it.

    I don't know if that one takes video or not but she kept telling me that other than the lens changing, it did everything my 40d could do.

    At that time I had JUST gotten the 40d and really didn't know what all she was talking about! I just smiled and nodded! :lmao:

     
  12. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Ah, got it. Thank you for explaining that.

     
  13. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    It has a pop up flash. It's pretty nice actually, as it is a tilt-able flash. You can bounce the flash off the ceiling.

    No, I don't feel the need to add an additional external flash. I rarely even use the included flash. The low light ability of the camera, and the fast lens, allow me to shoot without the flash in almost all situations. (I do use the internal flash as a fill flash in day light)
     
  14. LittleMissMagic

    LittleMissMagic Victoria on Vacation

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    I'll throw in a recommendation for the Nikon1 series. I have the J1, and I know someone with the v1. They've also just added the j2 (not much difference except they went with a plastic body so I believe it's lighter) and v2 (more similar to the standard DSLR with the grip).

    I've really enjoyed the j1. Its adjustments are in different locations than the DSLR, so it's a little tricky getting used to. It takes great low light pictures, ISO up to 3200. You can shoot in RAW format. Has a pop-up flash which I rarely find myself using (and avoid it actually). There have been a few situations where I wish I could add an external flash. The V1 and V2 have that ability. The other difference between the j model and v model is that the v had a viewfinder and the j does not. And there are times I wish I had a viewfinder. Looking back, I might should've purchased the v1 instead (but hey - the v only came in black and the j came in all these pretty colors... The v now comes in white which is what I got anyway), but I've thoroughly enjoyed the j1 and am glad I made the purchase.

    Another cool feature about these cameras is that you can attach almost all NIKKOR lenses to the body, not just the Nikon1 lenses.

    Also, one of its draws is the ability to take HD video and still photos at the same time. Not something I do often, but I've tried it out a few times and the video is great quality - better than my Sony Handycam from four years ago by far (not surprising).
     
  15. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Thanks.

    Costco actually has a good deal on the J1 right now. $499 for a bundle with 2 lenses, the body, and a small case.

     
  16. Beep

    Beep My heart and soul live in Florida!

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    Hi

    I recently spent three weeks in Florida with a Panasonic Lumix GF2, 14-42mm and 45-200mm lenses. I was completely new to the camera as I had a $40 Sanyo point and shoot for years.

    I loved it! It wasn't difficult to carry around (weighed less than 5lbs with the super zoom lens which I had attached most of the time) and I had a shoulder strap,rather than a neck strap.

    My only criticism with it is the battery, it doesn't have much of a life and I had two spares with me.

    It took brilliant video too but I bought it mainly for photos.
     
  17. SplashMo

    SplashMo DIS Veteran

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  18. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    I've been reading about the 1 Series, and I have played around with the J1 and V1. Interestingly, I have read some reviews of the new V2 -- The V2 is really made for a photo enthusiast, with a ton of manual controls.
    The J1/V1/J2 are designed more like a point and shoot, but with interchangeable lenses. Many of the manual controls are hidden or entirely lacking. For example, I believe ISO control, while possible, is buried in menu options, instead of being simple to reach. (But there it can be accessed with 1 button on the V2). All the cameras entirely lack bracketing exposure. Still, with the V2, they have aimed at those who want a compact advanced camera system. While they were previously focusing on point & shooters, who wanted higher quality.

    There are some great deals on the J1 and V1 as they are being cleared out of stock. I saw the V1 for $299. But I just can't recommend the cameras for someone looking for advanced dSLR type controls.
     
  19. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    I wasn't able to play around with one as the store I went to had them unplugged (plug broken actually) but that is the impression I got as well.

    Kind of a glorified point and shoot.

    Reviews weren't stellar either.

    Dawn

     
  20. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Oh good grief~!

    I had no idea all that was out there. I have spent the last many days reading reviews, comparing side by side DPReviews, thinking of what it is exactly that I need, scouring Craigslist for possible last year's models, watching YouTube reviews and comparisons, and looking at CNET's top 10 compact system cameras for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    GAH!!!!!!! I am more confused now than I was before!

    I have ruled out the Nikon J1 and V1 as options.

    I like the Sony Nex from what I have seen so far, but that lens is quite large for a carry around.

    I still like the Canon G15 and Sony RX100, but am still feeling like I like the interchangeable lenses and deciding if I need/want that feature.

    Looking now at the Olympus PEN and the Pentax Lumix compact systems.

    I am trying to determine shutter speed differences, ease of changing settings, and sensor sizes.

    Our local camera store has shut down and the closest real dedicated camera store is 20 miles away. I haven't been able to get there with the Holidays. Best Buy had NOTHING when I went......mostly P&S, two or three DSLRs and the J1 as the only compact system camera.
     
  21. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    With shutter speed differences, do you mean frames per second burst speed? Actual shutter speed shouldn't be an issue... As it's pretty rare you are likely to shoot at 1/2000th of a second.
    Burst rate -- frames per second -- will be an issue if you are shooting sports and such.
    Shutter lag may also be an issue, and really comes down to focus speeds. Cameras don't shoot until focus is locked. So a slow autofocus system, or hunting for focus, can create annoying lag between shots. Typically, dSLRs and SLTs will have the fastest focus systems. Most mirrorless cameras and advanced compacts use Contrast detection autofocus, which can be a bit slower. But with a good enough processor and enough focus points, it can be almost as fast as a dSLR. There are a handful of non-dSLRs that use dSLR-type autofocus (phase detection). This is where the Nikon 1 series shines, I think the newest Nex cameras shine here, but I haven't tried them first hand.

    Ease of changing settings is huge, if you want more than a "point and shoot." Usually, this is where dSLRs shine. The experience can vary widely between mirrorless and advanced compact systems. Of the models I have hands on experience with, the RX100 does shine here. It has every manual setting you would find in a dSLR, and almost as accessible. It has a handy control ring. It has customizable buttons, so you can set the manual settings you use most. It has a "memory" function for 3 different set ups. Really, the RX100 is more customizable than my dSLR, which says a lot.

    Sensory size -- Certainly matters. But careful getting hung up on small differences. For example, my experience with the 1-inch sensor found in the J1 and RX100 -- Much bigger than most P&S cameras, but smaller than dSLR, and smaller than most mirrorless -- It is "big enough" for most purposes. The RX100 handles low light exceptionally well In good day light, IQ is very high, pictures are sharp. Where it doesn't perform like a bigger sensor is in depth of field. It's not easy to get great background blur in portraits, etc. (You can get some, but you may need to get awkwardly close to your subject).
    So if taking portraits with nice background blurring is a priority, then you may want a bigger sensor. If that isn't a big issue, then a smaller sensor may be okay with you.

    If you are leaning towards putting a lot of weight into being able to change lenses, then the next question is do you already own multiple Canon lenses that you value?
    If so, and you don't want to invest in a whole new set of lenses,then you may simply want to look at a newer Canon dSLR like the t3i -- It is a fair amount smaller and lighter than the 40D. Not "small".. but at least a bit smaller. And it would upgrade other aspects too.
    If you aren't already tied to Canon lenses, than of course you have more freedom. For example, the Sony A33/35/27 is half the weight of the Canon 40D, and slightly smaller dimensions. (And if you know what to look for, you can get some great old Minolta lenses for Sonys)

    I think the first question really is, how small do you want to go?

    Personally, I feel I "need" both. I love having something super high quality that can fit in my pocket. Thus, I can get near-dSLR quality anywhere I go. I can take just the RX100 on vacation, and not really feel like I'm sacrificing quality.
    But when I do want to be more serious, when I do want to play with different lenses, when I want great portraits, I can pull out my dSLR.

    Definitely an investment to have both, but for me, it's worth it. Having 1 "in between" camera wouldn't make me happy. It would still be too big to carry everywhere.
     

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