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  1. #1
    varu121 is offline I'm new here!
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    Question Help needed to start...

    Hi,
    let me start off by saying that i am completely new to professional photography...
    I know a lot of theoritical stuff, but all i ever used ws a Sony DSC S700 (pretty old, i know...), so i could not do anything practically. A gift given almost 6 years back, it made me take up photography as a hobby.

    So, now i want to improve my photography skills using sumthing bigger than this...
    I ws thinking of buying Sony HX200V. All the reviews said mostly positive stuff....so i wanted to get some advice from professionals.

    What do you think?

    If it is not a good one to start off with, then please suggest some other cams.

    Thank you...

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    Welcome to DPS and welcome to (more in-depth) photography. The kind of advice that might be helpful will be better if you say what kind of photography you're interested in. Also, do you aspire to be a professional? That would define even different paths of learning and growth.

    The camera that you have and what you're looking at is a little different than the "usual" path, but certainly not wrong in any way. Often, once you buy a camera you stay with that brand for compatibility with the components and accessories. In your case, your s700 is a self-contained unit and you wouldn't lose anything by considering any other brand.

    Not that you need to go with a different brand, but you have many options that are not constrained by your existing equipment.

    So, back to the two most important questions for starting out:
    1) what kind of photography are you interested in?
    2) what is your budget?
    Dave.
    It's not even about the pictures; it's about the memories and communication.

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    varu121 is offline I'm new here!
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    I am not thinking of taking up photography as a career, but i would love to use it as a hobby...

    And to answer your questions:
    1) I am not interested in sumthing particular, but i would love to experiment with stuff like:
    a) night sky
    b) motion blurring
    Something new, that is different from taking pictures from routine point and shoot cameras, that dont allow me to set shutter speed, aperture, exposure, etc. on my own.

    2) My budget is pretty low, i can buy something below $450.

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    inkista's Avatar
    inkista is offline Gear Geek Girl
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    I think you need to go with an interchangeable lens camera, but it's a matter of degrees, and your budget will make going with an IL camera very hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by varu121 View Post
    a) night sky
    b) motion blurring
    Generally, the issue here between a fixed-lens P&S camera and an interchangeable lens camera is how long you can leave the shutter open. You CAN get by with a P&S for this, but you'll probably be limited to 15s or 30s exposures. So star trails and other very long exposure types of images are going to have to be done in post-processing by stacking multiple shots. You cannot do the minutes/hours long exposure required for deep sky photography (but then, you'd also need a tracking head and to live somewhere not light polluted, which may not be possible, either).

    IL cameras often have something called "bulb" mode, where you can leave the shutter open for as long as you like, and where you have exact control over how long the shutter is left open. P&S cameras typically will tick off the time in full seconds, and at pre-programmed intervals, so you have a little less control.

    But as I said, if your P&S has a 30s max. exposure time, you can probably do most of the photography you're thinking about: car light trails, night time landscape shots, etc. And stacking might help you extend that capability a little bit, if you're willing to learn how to post-process. If the max. exposure time is 15s though, you might be a bit hard-pressed.

    The main equipment you want for night photography, however, isn't even really bulb mode, it's a good sturdy tripod. Or just a tripod. Blurring is much easier.


    Canon Powershot S30. In P mode. On an ultrapod travel tripod on a bench. Timer to eliminate shake from pushing the shutter button.
    iso 80, f/3.5, 2/5s.

    I forced a longer shutter speed by setting the iso to 80 (lowest in the camera).

    Something new, that is different from taking pictures from routine point and shoot cameras, that dont allow me to set shutter speed, aperture, exposure, etc. on my own.
    There are many P&S cameras that will allow you some or complete control over shutter speed, aperture, and iso. The phrase to look for in reviews is "PSAM modes". Just check that the camera has Manual, shutter priority (S, or Tv), aperture priority (A or Av). If it has RAW capability, that's an even bigger bonus.

    2) My budget is pretty low, i can buy something below $450.
    For that budget, you can probably pick up a used dSLR/mirrorless body and one lens. And that might be enough for you and to get you started. But with dSLRs/mirrorless, chances are you're going to want more lenses, and more pieces of gear, and it gets expensive. To me, to really go with an interchangeable lens system, you probably want a total budget, over time, of at least $1000-$2000. But that's just me.

    So, a high-end compact from Canon, Panasonic, or Fuji would be my usual recommendations.

    However. There is one interchangeable lens camera that might actually fit your needs for now and a little ways into the future, and fall inside your price range. And that's the Nikon V1. Right now it's going for a little less than $350 on Amazon with the 10-30 kitted (yay Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals). It's a mirrorless compact camera that's halfway between a P&S camera and a dSLR in terms of sensor size and capabilities. Like a dSLR, it has all the modes for full control, a larger sensor than you're used to with a P&S, RAW capability (better post processing ability than JPEG), and it has bulb mode.

    The first drawback is that the 10-30 lens isn't going to be particularly long (2.7x crop, so it's like a 27-81mm on a film camera). So to add telephoto zooming-in capability, you'll probably have to spend another $250 to get the 30-110 lens and then learn to switch lenses. And pretty much the same for a low-light lens. As I said, interchangeable lens systems get more expensive pretty quickly. But you are mostly looking at $200-$300 lens prices, not $300, $600, and $1000-to-omfg! as with dSLR/mirrorless lenses.

    The second drawback is that there's no flash hotshoe--just an accessory port for the EVF where you can add a funky tiny little external flash, but there's no adapter yet for the accessory port to a real hotshoe. So, if you wanted to go Strobist, the Nikon 1 system won't be what you want.

    If you want a flash hotshoe, too, then I'd point you back to the high-end enthusiast compacts by Canon, Panasonic, and Fuji. A used Canon S100 or G12 might be worth looking into, as well as the (more expensive) current S110 and G15.

    If you still want to look at dSLR or mirrorless cameras, I'd recommend looking at used cameras, probably entry level, one or two generations back to get inside your price range. So, the Nikon D3000 or D5000, the Canon T2i and T3, or XS, the NEX-3, Olympus E-PL2, or Panasonic GF-2 might make decent starting points for investigation.
    Last edited by inkista; 12-08-2012 at 05:36 PM.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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    varu121 is offline I'm new here!
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    Thank you for sharing such valuable info...

    But it seems that Amazon does not ship the Nikon V1 to where i stay, and the price here is sumwhere above $800

    I was just wondering, hx200v has manual controls for aperture and shutter as well. Wont that be sufficient for shoot the night sky?
    I am not looking to locate galaxies, but just to get a good view of the stars...

    I heard that this model is a 'bridge' between a DSLR and a p-n-s cam.
    Last edited by varu121; 12-08-2012 at 05:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by varu121 View Post
    ... I was just wondering, hx200v has manual controls for aperture and shutter as well. Wont that be sufficient for shoot the night sky?
    I am not looking to locate galaxies, but just to get a good view of the stars...
    Yes. It should work. Sorry. I must've been going too fast, and hadn't realized you'd already figured out which camera you wanted.

    You have the full PSAM modes, and a 30s shutter speed limit, so you can use it. However. You don't have a flash hotshoe, and it's using a 1/2.3" sensor, with an f/2.8-5.6 lens, so it's not great for photos indoors without a flash, and you can't go strobist. Whether that matters to you or not is up to you.

    I heard that this model is a 'bridge' between a DSLR and a p-n-s cam.
    Well, it's called a "bridge camera", and used to be the stepping stone between dSLR and P&S, but these days it's more of a P&S with a superzoom lens and a grip. They are higher-end, but the small sensor size and slow lenses, makes it more suitable for daytime outdoor use. Long exposure on a tripod is one thing. Taking pics around the dinner table is another.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

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    varu121 is offline I'm new here!
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    Thank you Mr.Dave, for sharing such valuable information with me...

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    awesome thread revival.

    Now Im entertaining the thought of "keeping up" some long prom dresses. Wonder what the occupants of said dresses will think of that though
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    And now nobody can see the spam you were talking about.
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