Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The Saloon Photo Album => Topic started by: Vegemite on May 26, 2007, 03:09:10 AM

Title: Camera Buying
Post by: Vegemite on May 26, 2007, 03:09:10 AM
Help? I plan to buy a decent digital camera before I return home. What should I be looking for? I've tried searching the net but now I want advice from some 'real' people.

I want a camera that will zoom in and out, will be able to take pictures of people moving, will be able to take pictures of sun-rises and of dusk - a camera that can take good pictures.

What are people's favourite cameras? Which brands are safe to buy in China?
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on May 26, 2007, 03:17:06 AM
I have a Fuji Finepix s9500.
9 megapixels, 10x zoom. Looks and feels like an SLR, but without interchangeable lenses. Pretty good. Got it for 4500 RMB.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Newbs on May 26, 2007, 06:15:46 AM
Can't remember what I bought in China but I know I got my mate, a local, to do a lot of the spade work for me.  ie.  I kept out of sight at the emporium where we were and he did the asking and bargaining as much as possible.  This came in handy, and he was also able to help out when it had to be replaced under warranty.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Pashley on May 26, 2007, 06:22:42 AM
Help? I plan to buy a decent digital camera before I return home. What should I be looking for? I've tried searching the net but now I want advice from some 'real' people.

I want a camera that will zoom in and out, will be able to take pictures of people moving, will be able to take pictures of sun-rises and of dusk - a camera that can take good pictures.

What are people's favourite cameras? Which brands are safe to buy in China?

Some good articles:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Travel_photography
http://www.photo.net/

I've seen several articles (including comments from pros who have high-end cameras but also want a small cheap camera they can carry everywhere) rating the Fuji F30 as having much the best low-light performance in its class. If you want a point-and-shoot, look at it. I think there's a F31 now.

Image stabilisation (IS) or anti-shake technology is becoming widely available lately. Quite a few of the lower cost point-and-shoot cameras have it, including some Olympus models that are also weather sealed, rain and dust resistant. A friend bought one of those (stylus 730?) for 2700 or so, was happy with it, had it stolen, bought another, FE190?, for 2000 or so, is happy.

People seem to be almost unanimous that the Canon 5D with its full frame sensor is among the best digital cameras available, but at over $2000 for the body alone and then you have to buy lenses, you won't be getting it on a Chinese salary. Also, it is large, heavy and complex to operate.

In digital SLRs Canon and Nikon are the most popular brands, but they build their IS into lenses which makes the lenses heavier and more expensive and means you don't get it for all lenses.

The Pentax K10D and cheaper K100D have IS in the body. Olympus has announced an E510 with IS in the body. To my way of thinking, those are the DSLRs to consider.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Nolefan on May 26, 2007, 06:52:45 AM
a lot of choices out here...

I usually recommend going for last year's high end cameras since they usually drop in price when new models are released. MP are becoming slowly overkill and too many people are using 9, 10 MP cameras when a good old 3 or 5 MP would be more than adequate.

You need to then consider wether you want a heavy/bulky one or a camera that you can stick in your pocket and carry everywhere.  Slim ones can't get too good of a proper real zoom 3x or 5x at the most they balance it out with digital zoom which i personally am not a big fan of.

Each brand has pros and cons but I tend to stay away form high end and bigger names. Konika-Minolta makes amazing camera that are on par with just about everybody else's; so does Casio. Yet, their cameras are cheaper giving you more bang for your buck.

The only one i recommend staying away from is Samsung... their cameras are crap IMHO. I have yet to meet anybody that's happy with a samsung.

Right now, I'm using my konika-minolta 530C which I bought 2 years ago in Shijiazhuang. 5MP, normal features, can use both memory sticks AND SD cards, great battery life! I paid 2200 for it back then and it's running like a champ after being used and abused in multiple bootcamps, trips, etc..
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on May 26, 2007, 07:26:31 AM
I was tossing up between a KonicaMinolta and the Fuji. They both have a similar model. Can't remember what decided me on the Fuji.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on May 26, 2007, 01:08:47 PM
But us serious snappers need something more dignified!!
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Eagle on May 26, 2007, 04:04:26 PM
In my opinion, unless you want a Chinese camera, they will be cheaper out of China for out of country brands as they are more expensive to buy in China.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on May 26, 2007, 05:06:42 PM
If you are buying a camera to take home - buy it at home.  WHY?  Because the warranty is only valid in the country of purchase!!  If you are going to be here for a while - buy it here.

I have 2 Canon digitals. One I bought in Oz and it is now my backup camera.  A 4mp Powershot 45, the other an 8 MP 11x optical zoom 22 digital zoom (which i NEVER use).  I have bought a 1.5 multipler lens for it to increase my zoom.  I also have an optical Olympus with the biggest zoom they have in PhD cameras (Push here dummy) - a backup backup.

I have a good relationship with my camera shop and they give me good deals on batteries, bits and pieces and my new camera.  But I walk in there and I truly truly LUST after the really fancy SLRs with the whacking great zoom lens.   I will have to succumb one day soon.  Only thing stopping me is weight.  Even carrying my multiplier increases every muscles I own.  But I really want to take fantastic close up shots of things.

This is an addictive process.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on May 26, 2007, 09:20:53 PM
I have loved the Olympus digital camera I brought over here with me. It's been a brick- and taken some great photos- for many years now. Simple to use, great zooms both optical and digital, and came with reasonably good and friendly photo management software.

Mine's from the States but you can find Olympus here too.

I've always heard it suggested that things like this are a much better bargain in Hong Kong, if that option is open. Similar or lower prices, and better quality than what's sold in the Mainland market.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: contemporarydog on May 28, 2007, 07:35:09 AM
I have a canon powershot s80.  Bought it in march last year.  Good quality pics, Really good quality video (but very high memory intensive - but I resolve that by compressing them afterwards with Windows Movie Maker, the best free thing with windoze).  Fits into pocket easily.  Very happy.

Night shots not great though.  Sometimes using the flash at night I get weird splodges on the picture.  My friend with the same camera gets the same thing.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Vegemite on May 30, 2007, 08:08:57 AM
If you are buying a camera to take home - buy it at home.  WHY?  Because the warranty is only valid in the country of purchase!!

Checking out prices, cameras cost a lot more in some countries than they do here. If I were to buy the camera I want back home, it'll cost me nearly 2000RMB more back in NZ.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on May 30, 2007, 08:58:41 AM
Quote
For that price difference buy two!
Perzakkly!! Then sell the spare in NZ! agagagagag
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Eagle on May 30, 2007, 02:45:00 PM
It would cost me about 1200 RMB more to by my Sony here in China than it cost me in Canada.  DSC-H5 for those interested.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lono Tiki on June 27, 2007, 09:40:37 AM
Digital Photography Review (http://www.dpreview.com) has great information. I spent several weeks perusing that website before making a purchase.

Prior to coming to China, I bought a 3 megapixel Olympus. Within a month, it was dead from the humidity here.

A month and a half ago, my wife was on a business trip to Hong Kong and I had her buy a Ricoh Caplio R6 (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0703/07030506RICOHR6.asp). This isn't a "serious" photography camera... but what's great about it is that it has a 7.1x optical zoom (and a wide angle of 28mm) and still fits in your pocket with ease. It's worked absolutely beautifully so far and I'll post some pictures later to give an idea of what it's capable of.

I strongly urge you to take a look at this camera if you want something that has some oomph, but is comfortable enough to carry with you every day.

In Hong Kong, it cost about 2,800rmb.

(http://www.dpreview.com/news/0703/ricoh_r6_black-001.jpg)

Review 1 (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_ricoh_caplio_r6.php)
Review 2 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2007/04/09/Ricoh-Caplio-R6-Review/p1)
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: moon over parma on June 28, 2007, 04:25:57 AM
Pretty fly little camera, Lono.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: keinnon on December 11, 2007, 05:38:15 AM
A great site to check for camera info is: http://www.steves-digicams.com/

A good time to buy cameras is around April, just after the big industry show in Las Vegas, when all the new models come out and last year's drop in price.

Check what software comes with your camera too.  Sometimes you'll get Adobe Elements, which in itself is a good program - but then if you want you can upgrade to PhotoShop and basically pay the difference.

Make sure to check on your camera/computer compatibility: you don't want a new camera that won't interact with your old computer.

And be prepared to fall in love with photography all over again! Digital cameras have made such a difference in the photo world.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: ericthered on September 23, 2008, 08:25:04 AM
As this is a thread about buying a camera, might I ask a question: my camera is broken. Three years it worked, pirated junk from Nanchang. Completely dead I need to buy a new one. Not really too concerned about the make, more the price. Lin'an is, I am told, rather expensive. Where do I go to buy a good camera in Hangzhou without being left with wu fen for the rest of the month?
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Stil on September 23, 2008, 10:41:25 AM
I know you said it's completely broken but is it truly dead. Have you tried to get it fixed. I know you have been here before Morty but sometimes we forget that what we would throw away at home you get fixed here. Low costs of labour.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: ericthered on September 23, 2008, 11:10:33 AM
It already broke once in Nanchang and then it got fixed, or temporarily fixed. It's completely unresponsive, doesn't even recharge when I put it in the charger.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on September 23, 2008, 11:40:20 AM
Got film??
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on September 23, 2008, 11:50:40 AM
I don't know about hangzhou for buying - those people can tell you more. BUT.. consider the internet as well as a source.  I have bought mobiles, lens and other stuff via the internet at LOW prices and they have been pretty good.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: ericthered on September 23, 2008, 02:53:47 PM
Got film??

No and no magnesium powder either....it's digital...
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Pashley on September 25, 2008, 04:57:32 AM
The biggest camera trade show is Photokina, every two years in Frankfurt. It is running now; various companies are announcing new models. Look for those to turn up on the shop shelves over the next few months, or look for discounts on the older models.

dpreview.com, photo.net and other sites have details, or just search for photokina
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: chinalin on October 21, 2008, 02:39:08 PM
I have looked at the prices of cameras here in Guangdong Province, and they are more expensive, for good ones, than home in Australia.  But, my option, has been to buy, on Ebay from a dealer in Hong Kong, who ships anywhere in the world, and comes out with much better deals than either here on the mainland, or at home.
The camera I have at the moment is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3.  It is a fantastic little machine, with 10x optical zoom....good for those shots of faces too good to miss, but impossible, or too rude, go get up close to.
Previously I had a Canon.  That was a great camera with 12x zoom, but I found it too bulky and heavy for my liking, but when I bought it, you had to go bulky to get a decent zoom.  Things have changed, and my son in Australia bought it off me, and I am really happy with my much more compact model, with almost the same zoom.
If anyone would like me to dig out the name of the dealer through Hong Kong, I would be happy to do so, as both of my last two cameras have been bought from him.  He has a rating on Ebay of something like 99.8% positive.
Hope this is of use to someone.  Lin.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: joe on January 26, 2009, 12:22:18 AM
For travelling, I would have (until yesterday) recommended the Sony Cybershot series. I say until yesterday, as the lens of my Cybershot DSC-T20 vibrates, the whole camera shakes, and basically won't take a photo. I bought this on Hong Kong when they first came out, just over a year ago. After looking it up on the net, turns out there was a product recall on the very same model, with the very same problem. Unfortunately, Sony are only acknowledging select serial numbers, and guess who has a different serial number?

Though they take a relatively crisp image, (see my Hong Kong photo's) this doesn't last long. To make matters worse, it's not just this model; it seems all the cybershots have had their problems, right the way through the range...in short, steer clear.

Just thought I'd throw something in about DSLR's, in case anyone was looking into getting one. Though I'd outline the very basics, cos I was very confused when first getting into the world of DSLR's! There's loads to consider, and lots of hidden costs. Also so much to read you end up going in circles.

I'd say that my Canon 400D is a very decent camera - The one thing that surprised was that it's actually pretty small!

Although DSLR Canon bodies are pricey, it is ALL about the lens. I can take shit photos on my £400 camera by just sticking a rubbish lens on it, and equally, you could take an amazing shot with a £2,500 lens.

Turns out loads of people were raving about the new 'kit' lens that comes bundled with most Canons now - as opposed to the shitty plastic ones they used to put on them. I think its called the 18-55 IS lens? Mixed reviews from what I've read, but I love it, takes a lovely sharp image.

One of the best lenses ever is called the 'nifty 50' - the f.1.8 50mm canon lens - mine cost about £50 and it is amazing, especially in low light..so it is possible to do well on the cheap...

Coming into DSLRs new, I'd definitely go with the 400D, and spend some extra cash on guaranteed sweet lens or two. Without going into how lenses operate, its hard to tell you much about lenses...

In short, the 'faster' a lens, the lower the F number, which means the 'less' light it needs to take good shots. EG f4.5 compared to f1.8 - the 1.8 can take decent shots in relative dark compared to the 4.5.
Sometimes this can make ENORMOUS price differences. The same 'zoom' lens, the 50mm, is about £60 at f.18, and about £400 at f.1.0!!

Landscapes - you need wide angle to get as much in - ie lowest zoom mm numbers - the kit lens is pretty wide at 18-55 (but remember its x1.6=28mm - normal human vision is kinda 35mm). That'd do you.

Batteries and memory cards obviously to budget for.
Canon's own battery is £60. Balls to that - I got two 'non brand' canon copies for £12 and can't tell the difference when it comes to holding charge.

Memory coming down massively. I went for several lower GB cards rather than one giant one in case of catastrophic failure and losing all photos off one card.

Unless you're prepared to pay silly money, a 'full frame' sensor camera is out of the question - you'll be getting a crop frame (mine is also crop), which means the sensor multiplies the image by 1.6 - so a 100mm lens actually zooms in at 160mm. Good for long distance, bad for wideangle - my wideangle lens on my film camera is amazing, but less wide on my digital camera, takes in way less, almost looks normal.

In short - 400D with kit lens, plus maybe a 50mm 1.8 for £60 would be pretty damn good. for under £400.


Huge review there, sorry...just got started and didn't know where to finish!
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: fox on January 26, 2009, 02:10:02 AM
i suppose it all comes down to what kind of shots you want to take and what ur budget is.

I have a canon ixus which is almost 3 years old and been a joy to use, but yesterday i treated myself to one of those nikon d90s with a 18-200 lens, wow this thing rocks and will keep me busy for a long time. For travelling its obviously heavier than the ixus but then i will have a lot more fun with it.

i priced them up in hk and taobao and ended up getting one in a local store for much the same as i would have paid online. the plus is that its a local shop that will sort stuff for me during the years guarantee period, and hes a very nice guy - into his photography and invited me on a local city shoot with him some time.

Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on January 26, 2009, 02:17:48 AM
Help? I plan to buy a decent digital camera before I return home. What should I be looking for? I've tried searching the net but now I want advice from some 'real' people.

I want a camera that will zoom in and out, will be able to take pictures of people moving, will be able to take pictures of sun-rises and of dusk - a camera that can take good pictures.

What are people's favourite cameras? Which brands are safe to buy in China?

Whatever you get, make sure that you won't need an interpreter to operate it. Failing that, go to your local department store, check out what feels right for you, then go home to see if the instructions and owner's manual are downloadable. (Almost of the major camera makers' cameras make their owner's manuals available. The trick is in finding them.

I don't use point-and shoot cameras because they don't always allow the operator full control of the camera. (Yeah, I lug a DSLR). After you buy your camera, invest in a cheap aluminum tripod so that you can catch the low-light scenes. The tripod defeats the convenience of owning a point-and-shoot, but unfortunately, that's probably the only way you'll be able to catch those sunrises, unless you're smart enough to figure out how a P&S works.

I'm not. llllllllll
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: ting on January 26, 2009, 03:33:28 AM
i can strongly second the opinion that the Caplio by Ricoh is excellent value, takes great pix, has super fast action, easy controls and for me, best of all, gets within 1cm of the insects and spiders i like to 'shoot'.  i bought mine in usa, on sale, about $230 with 2G memory card.  this is not my first Ricoh Caplio, the first one was stolen in Vietnam.  Ricoh spends much less on advertising compared to the 'big names' and you pay for those ads but get no better quality, imho.  try for the Caplio R7.  one year old but who needs the newest fashion?
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on January 27, 2009, 01:09:56 AM
At B&H camera in the U.S. you can buy a 12 mp Olympus for USD$150.00 plus shipping.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on January 28, 2009, 05:13:51 AM
I love my Canon 40D. It came with 18-200mm lens - really versatile all round lens.  Since then I succumbed to lens lust and bought a 200-500mm, a 100mm macro, and a 10-22mm for super wide angles.  Plus a good remote control and external flash.  2 small 'table' tripods - one with flexi legs to balance on uneven surfaces, and one 'normal' tripod.

I just need a camera wallah to carry it all!

Bought it in China - check where your warranty is when you buy - most times it is only in the country of purchase.  So if you are going to be here more than 12 months, it's better to buy here.  Otherwise at home.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: joe on January 28, 2009, 03:28:36 PM
My brother has the 40D, very nice camera! He didn't like how small 400D was, so went for that.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on January 29, 2009, 06:36:45 PM
He DIDN'T like - so bought???
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on January 29, 2009, 11:17:04 PM
I'm a long-time Canon camera user. I loved their old SLR lenses and most of their bodies(my first was an FTbN). For studio work I use a Cambo 4x5 with Schneider lenses. In 2004, I realized that it was really foolish to shoot a small product job on 4x5 film. For LESS than the price of 4x5 film + processing + mileage to and from the lab PLUS polaroid proofs,PLUS the time it took to scan them for transmission to the art director, I could buy a 10D and a macro lens for an upcoming job. I never regretted the decision.

HOWEVER, I am now in the market for something with greater megapixel capacity, largely because the publishing industry is quickly shifting toward the larger files. While I believe that for DSLRs, Canon makes the most rugged units on the market, and are the most intuitive to use, I can't recommend them as a starter DSLR system YET. I am seriously considering switching to Minolta/Sony. The alpha 700 series body starts at 12 megapixels, and the alpha 900 series starts at 24 megapixels. Sigma makes some excellent lenses for almost all cameras now, and for the serious glass user, Zeiss (think Hasselblad and Rollei) has rereleased the Planar design for users seeking a special "presence"  in their images for their Minolta/Konica/Sony users.

Cut to the chase: One should hold off on investing in a DSLR SYSTEM until one knows where the market is heading. Canon's 40D is great; its D400 and XTIs are wonderful cameras. Olympus makes great cameras too. There's also Nikon. Unless you're willing to go through the camera makers'gyrations, I'd settle for a good high-megapixel  point-and-shoot camera for now.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on January 29, 2009, 11:34:12 PM
He DIDN'T like - so bought???

The 400D's ergonomics are lacking. The 40D's ergos are much better plus the chassis is, (I believe), metal, while the 400D is pretty cramped  and made of plastic.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: El Macho on September 17, 2009, 01:47:05 AM
are DSLR's more or less expensive in China than abroad? I'd really like to purchase one (entry-level...nothing too fancy, just a camera and a lens), but won't do it if it'll be much more expensive than at home.

And, on that point, anyone want to recommend camera shops in Beijing? (Ideally in Haidian...zhongguancun is right around the corner, but there are so many shops there I prefer to buy on recommendation.)
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on September 17, 2009, 01:52:13 AM
They are pretty much the same price, although of course, here you can bargain a little.  I would recommend that if you were going to be in China for more than the warranty period, you buy it here.  If you will return home before the expiry, buy it there.  Warranty is for country of purchase.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: El Macho on September 17, 2009, 08:31:19 AM
For the next year I'm not going to be in any one place for too long...I'm here in Beijing through January, then in Scotland from February through August. I can't believe Canon/Nikon/Pentax don't offer worldwide warranties. That's silly!
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 17, 2009, 03:24:38 PM
I got a secondhand DSLR in Beijing for what I think was a pretty good price, about 2000RMB for a Canon 400D. I hadn't used a DSLR before (but had a great Nikon N70 back in college that was, sadly, stolen) so I sort of wanted a starter camera and didn't want to drop a massive wad of cash on my first one. I paid just about 2000RMB for a kit with the body and a basic lens (well and the battery, memory card, charger, all that as well).

I bought it at a secondhand electronics market at Maizidian, near Chaoyang Park. The goods sold there are authorized as being authentic merchandise, no fakes. There are about 3-4 big Camera shops in the compound with everything from entry level to high end equipment. I'd give it a look if you're into saving some money, from what I can tell I paid less than I would have buying off of eBay.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: El Macho on September 18, 2009, 03:37:47 AM
Thanks! I'll give a look over that way when I'm ready to buy.

TaoBao has some promising leads, too...but I'd have a Chinese friend help me investigate before buying anything.

Right now I'm leaning towards a Nikon d40. Lotus, what do you shoot with?
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on September 18, 2009, 04:08:42 AM
Canon EOS 40D - kit lens was a Tamron 18-200mm, but since then I've added a few more lens (including the new Tamron 18-270mm with the Tamron version of image stabilisation).  Check which kit lens will come with it.  

I love my camera.  Not too heavy, but with good quality and functionality.  I also have a little one - an IXUS 980 which I take with me to work, shopping etc.  Can't be without a camera!!

There should be a warning attached to camera buying and photography - it becomes addictive very quickly!!  Lens lust hits very fast!  ahahahahah
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: keinnon on September 19, 2009, 08:51:17 AM
I noticed a post here about megapixels and publishing photos. The more megapixels the better is a bit of a myth. The main reason being that the CCD on many cameras is roughly the same size so what's happening is that they're cramming more sensors into the same size space resulting in (frequently) poorer sensors. I use my old Nikon D70 still and if I need to enlarge images for publication I use the Image Size function in PhotoShop and use the Bicubic Smoother for enlarging. Usually I increase the size in 10% increments, mainly because that's what I've been doing for years. There's other software out there specifically made for digital enlargements but the results I've seen (both real life and in reading articles on the web) verify that PS bicubic smoothing does a fine job. A good test is to compare  a section of your enlarged image with the same section of the original - I find it hard to tell the difference.
The biggest factor in making a good quality image is your lens. Put your money into a good lens, and don't worry about the megapixels.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Lotus Eater on September 19, 2009, 09:38:57 AM
I agree with keinnon - unless you plan on blowing your photos up to well over poster size megapixels don't mean a lot.  Shooting in RAW gives you more info than you would get in Jpeg and if you are into publishing photos, then it gives yuo more latitude to play with them as well.

Otherwise, most people get along very well with Jpeg, at highest resolution in their camera.  Much better to put the money into a good zoom lens for those shots where you can't get in close.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: keinnon on September 19, 2009, 09:51:22 AM
Very true Lotus Eater. A small addendum (wow I must've spelt it right!).... I like zoom lens, especially for traveling when you don't want to pack a bunch of lens... however, I must add, the trouble with zoom lens is that they have more glass and a basic principle of lens is the less glass the better (less distortion). So a set focal length is way to go if you want super clear images. That said I've currently got an 18-55mm on my camera as I'm into street photography and it allows me to get people in the picture without they're being aware they're in the frame. Kind of sneaky but sometimes I don't want a 'posed' look. I know some people are stickers for tradition and say you gotta use an old Leica, BW film etc etc but I find I'm getting good results and personally I'm not much for 'tradition' (gets in the way of progress). Blah blah blah .... end of rant  bibibibibi

BTW LE: I love seeing your photos here. I really want to get to the back country when time allows. I'm just starting to get a feel for SE Asia. The first few days I was simply overwhelmed by visual stimuli; so much stuff packed into such a small area. Makes Europe look positively spacious and North America like the wild frontier still.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on May 28, 2010, 02:37:19 PM
I noticed a post here about megapixels and publishing photos. The more megapixels the better is a bit of a myth. The main reason being that the CCD on many cameras is roughly the same size so what's happening is that they're cramming more sensors into the same size space resulting in (frequently) poorer sensors.

Not a myth in my experience. I was shooting on a 6mp until the industry standard for pro/prosumer cameras changed. Publications REQUESTED a minimum of 8 mp. I agree that the sensor size and density is mostly irrelevant for magazine publication , but photo editors and publishers want as much resolution as possible. (Yes, it's mostly voodoo on their part). MY EXPERIENCE** is that advertising designers (depending upon the end use, size of the final image) usually want a finished product. For an image that will appear in a low-paying local publication, I usually submit a finished product --- less sharpening. For images that are commissioned for regional, national, and the occasional international publication (and when I am working directly with the publisher) I may submit three versions: Finished .jpg, unfinished .jpg and the raw file, whether I am asked to or not. This allows the photoeditor/designer to take his pick. No matter how determined one may be to calibrate color to a standard, invariably, somebody complains that the colors are off.

At this point, I think that one who sells many images should shoot with a full-frame sensor rather than an APS-C sensor because (as you say) cramming more and more pixels onto a small sensor results in a noisier image. This can be overcome, but if one shoots stock, one usually doesn't have the luxury of putting his image through Noise Ninja and other such programs. A full-frame sensor image shot at 25 mp is a far cry from anything shot on an APS-C sensor , then output at 8"x10". 

Re: Postprocessing. For stock photography, the larger the file the better ( Assuming that you submit your file batches as .jpg files). The agencies that handle and have handled my images want NO PP whatsoever, not even sharpening. That's why your advice regarding lens quality is so pertinent. Generally, sharpening is the last thing that should be adjusted in an image file. Start off with a great image, then let the end user manipulate it to his heart's content.

** Your experience may differ.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Dex on November 15, 2010, 07:36:31 AM
I went for the Canon G10. Fancy and pricy (well, not that pricy).

Has all the features of most worthy SLRs but feels like a large compact camera. Sweet. It produces fine pics but has a shutter problem (it sticks). Nothing a little Chinaman couldn't fix I'm sure.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: xwarrior on November 15, 2010, 12:29:56 PM
Hi Dex. I see the G10 has a built-in lens cover. I once had an Asahi Pentax with the same system ... and they do give problems.

I found that I could solve the problem by tapping gently (very) on the cover leaves while powering up.

You are not the only one having this problem with a G10 and a review notes:

Quote
Survivability

The Canon G10 has the same 2 weak points as most other compacts: the lens erection system, and the little plastic blades at the front of the lens which form a dust barrier.

Many compact cameras suffer from lens erection and retraction problems as they age. I had no problems with unintended erection while carried in my pocket; the power switch is well designed. Many other cameras turn on accidentally while in my pocket, and harm themselves trying to extend their lenses while confined.

The little plastic lens barrier blades on many compact cameras get stuck partially open, or partially closed, over time. When this happens, you either get black bars over your pictures (barrier stuck partially closed), or have an unprotected lens when put away (blades stuck partially open.

I doubt the G10 is any better than other cameras here.

** I know you do not have an "erection" problem, even 'unintended' ones,  uuuuuuuuuu but the other problem may be relevant.  bfbfbfbfbf


 
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Dex on November 17, 2010, 07:34:55 AM
Cheers XW

I'll try to tapping thing - usually I have to manually shift up/down the actual shutters. I'm sure it can be fixed in China. Usually for a pittence too.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: seamallowance on November 18, 2010, 02:04:36 AM
Cheers XW

I'll try to tapping thing - usually I have to manually shift up/down the actual shutters. I'm sure it can be fixed in China. Usually for a pittence too.

I always keep my Canon SD600 camera in my pants pocket, always leave my pants on the floor and now I stepped on my camera when I got up to pee in the middle of night. llllllllll

Now, the display is busted. Yes, I can buy another of the same camera for about 450 RMB, but if a camera can be repaired for a "pittance", I wanna know about such a place.

(Oh, and when you wrote "manually shift up/down the actual shutters", I thought you were referring to something else...)
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: teacheraus on November 18, 2010, 02:20:16 AM


Now, the display is busted. Yes, I can buy another of the same camera for about 450 RMB, but if a camera can be repaired for a "pittance", I wanna know about such a place.


I think that you will probably find tht it is cheaper to go buy a new camera than to get it fixed.
I had a similar problem on a laptop once and it was significantly cheaper to buy a new computer than to get the screen fixed.

I think the screens are easily the most vulnerable part of digital cameras making me very happy that the new camera I recently bought came with a hard protective case
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Dex on November 19, 2010, 07:15:48 AM
I'll surely let you know if I find such a place (maybe you're right).
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Leon Purvis on June 07, 2011, 09:55:33 AM
I'm looking for a much smaller camera these days.(Presently shooting with a Canon 50D). The Canon Powershot SX30 looks good. Much smaller than a DSLR but has all of the functions of one (except the lens isn't removable) PLUS it has video. Presently going for $399.99 at B&H. B&H will ship internationally, but you can buy one in China for nearly the same price that you'd pay to have it shipped from the U.S..

Here's a link:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/734782-REG/Canon_4344B001_PowerShot_SX30_IS_Digital.html
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: xwarrior on June 07, 2011, 11:18:43 AM
The Canon Powershot SX30 looks totally similar to the Canon Powershot S3Is (12x and 6mp) I have had for 4 years - except it has more of everything.

After skimmming through a couple of reviews I can make a few comments based on my experiences with the S3Is ... and my prejudices.

SIZE: Cnet says the SX30 is big and clunky. No problem - I like a camera that looks and can be gripped like a 'real' camera. Advantage is that is smaller than the SLD's and I carry it on top of other junk in my general purpose shoulder bag.

LCD: It is small and not that bright. But 99% of the time I use the view finder on a camera anyway. The fact that you can change the vari-angle LCD to many positions is a real plus in some unusual situations that I will not go into.  ababababab

ZOOM: I do not care what others say but I reckon that even with a good auto-stabiliser anything over 10x zoom needs a tripod. Most photos I take in China do not need more than 12x zoom because if you are any further away something is going to get get in the way --- including a lot of polluted and dust-laden air.I reckon that you can reckon on getting camera shake sometimes ... the auto-stabiliser is good but over 10x the shot becomes problematic 

MACRO: It is really quite good - use it a lot

ISO: This is a real problem - anything over 400 on a Canon seems to produce a lot of noise. From what I have read the SX30 has the same problem. It is a very real problem at times in China.

AUTO FOCUS: Generally ok - but sometimes, when ripping off a shot, it gets confused

BATTERY: I can use rechargeable 4 x AA batteries on mine and I am real happy with that. I can take heaps of photos (700+ with 2500's ... I have done that on a Sports Day ). If needed (so far, never) I can change batteries and keep shooting. I think the dedicated battery of the SX30 will be a limitation.     

VIDEO: I did not buy the camera for video (better to get video camera for that) but to me the video function is great. Takes real good clear video with great sound. Got a real surprise

PHOTOS: This is the real problem area with a Canon. While the photos are generally ok they produce soft images with the odd minor technical problem. Colour is thereabouts but it is not easy to get the skin tones exactly and consistently right for Chinese people (in my opinion).
I read once that Canon persists with a not-so-great programme for JPEG conversion and this is the source of the problem. Video conversion, on the other hand, uses a good programme so that accounts for the difference.

OVERALL: If I wanted real sharp, clear and accurate photos I would go back to Asahi Pentax. I bought the Canon because it was totally multi-purpose and, by and large, I am happy with the way it has performed.
While I would like to have sharper photos Chinese girls find them scary (show every blemish etc) so the softer look is ok for portraits . . . so in a way that is a plus.
         



 

 
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Stil on August 26, 2012, 06:21:30 AM
After getting some complaints at home that I wasn't sending many pictures, I decided to buy a decent camera. For the last few years I'd been using my camera phone, which while decent gives you no control and is only useful in really good light.

I have never kept up with the changes in the camera market so it was time to do a little research.

It seems that in the last couple of years a new breed of consumer camera has been developed. They are called mirrorless cameras.

Theres a form factor called Micro 4/3 and Sony makes a NEX series of models.

These cameras have very good sensors, interchangeable lenses, all the control settings of the standard DSLRs but are the fraction of the size. They will even work with old legacy lenses from other manufactures with an adaptor. When I head back to Canada, I'll be able to grab my fathers's old Nikon film camera manual lenses and use them. He passed away in 1999, this will be a thrill for me.

With a 'pancake' lens (I don't have one... yet), they are coat pocketable if not pants pocketable (cargo pants excepted) but even if not as pocketable as the point and shoot cameras today, they are light and unobtrusive to carry around. Besides I always have my phone camera if all I want is a pocket camera.

I chose the Sony NEX 5N for about 4000 rmb with a kit lens 18-55mm and it's been great. I can take it everywhere.

Here's a couple of iPhone photos of it with a cigarette pack for size.

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/IMG_3388.jpg)

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/IMG_3390.jpg)


I'm now trying to learn how to take good pictures and it's reminding me of learning a language. There are all the technical aspects like aperture, ISO, shutter speed in order to get good exposure but no matter how much you study and learn from reading, there's no substitute for practice and the feeling/art of it. Much like language, no?

Night with the BBQ boss. No flash.

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/_DSC2170.jpg)


Midday sun

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/_DSC2251.jpg)


Morning

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/_DSC2186.jpg)


Indoors

(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a197/Bissessar/IMG_1324.jpg)


It can be hard to tell with the stepped-down photos on the forum but the pictures are really nice.


If you are looking to buy a new camera, check into these.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: George on August 26, 2012, 09:55:40 AM
Nice shots, Stil. I'll have to look into this. How big can you blow-up? How many megapixels?
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Stil on August 26, 2012, 10:59:39 AM
16.1 Megapixles. There is a Sony NEX 7 at 24 MP. The sensors are top notch so it's purely about the quality of the lenses and since you can use pretty much any lens (with adaptor), the quality is  very high.

Here are some reviews

http://mansurovs.com/sony-nex-5n-review

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/nex5n-review




.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: Fozzwaldus on August 26, 2012, 10:59:49 AM
 agagagagag

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA5II5AlO7w

I think Stil should start a thread on gadget shopping in Chiner.
Title: Re: Camera Buying
Post by: caley1313 on October 30, 2012, 08:12:31 PM
I'm a photographer from a former lifetime and these days use the Pentax K5 and K20D coupled with their Limited series of lenses. I highly recommend the lenses if you can get them at a fair price. I, too, own the Canon G10 and it's my favorite walking about camera. I took it with me in 2010 to Mianyang and it took some wonderful images and especially in good light. I recollect that the Pentax lenses cost a fair penny when I was last in China, so I delayed my purchases until I returned stateside. Ended up saving several hundred dollars on the Limited series of lenses. FWIIW, I'll be heading to Ningbo in February with my wife for a year of teaching at a local uni and would love to get out on photo junkets with any and all. We'll be in touch.