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Photography Equipment & Software Thread

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I bought myself a Nikon Coolpix P900 over Christmas and it's not been until now I've really been able to use it. The zoom is fantastic and whilst it's not anything on the image quality of all of your cameras, it still takes some good shots. I took this last night (bearing in mind this is free-hand and not with a tripod):


That's with the full x83 (2000mm) optical zoom. Not too shabby :) Theres a bit of noise but it was a twilighty sky and not perfectly dark. This is also using Auto mode so no messing around with the ISO settings yet. I took some more pics at the nearby lakes where I live and you could zoom in on some people walking on the path on the other side where I couldn't even see they were there before. It's a quite scary camera and is definitely a bit stalkerish. I'm planning on taking it on holiday to Vietnam in a couple of months so will see how it performs on the go.

Nothing like 10x mate.

Only About 1.5x Vs my 600mm on DX (900mm effective). Thats a bloody good zoom you have there.

Thats £200 cheaper then my Sigma lens (at a good price) alone. Then theres the D7100 on top!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sony announces the a6300 and as a Sony a6000 user this is great news that they've updated it but more importantly Sony is finally releasing a 70-200 f2.8 lens under a new line called G Master.



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  • 2 weeks later...


Seems fine but you can't shoot RAW with it which limits its power somewhat (it would limit your abilty to edit in Lightroom). 

Also its not weather proofed. And that would be a big issue for me for landscapes.

That said its mainly as i only as i like to shoot storms but sometimes when you go out walking like i do, and you have changable weather, you'll get the most amazing sunscapes with lots of sun/cloud details and if its raining you could miss a shot. Thats just me though.

You can buy cheap weather proof coats which work well enough and they're quite universal (although they'll limit what you can see in the viewfinder a bit).

I guess my main point is, sometimes, even when its raining, you can get some cracking shots.

As a photographer of any sort...you won't want to waste the day. You just change your thinking to shoot "wet" and see what you can get.


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12 hours ago, johnboy1967 said:

I've the chance of a Sony hx300 and wondered if it would be a good start to photography as a hobby instead of a dslr that I was considering. 


Most of the pics will be family and landscape.


If you're interested in photography as a hobby, then I'd go for a DSLR rather than a bridge camera. DSLS are far more flexible, will have better image quality (due to physically bigger sensors) faster shooting speed, better autofocus and low-light ability, and will allow a lot more creativity and choice due to a huge range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. An entry level DSLR with a an 18-55mm kit lens will cover your landscape and family potos requirements (although lose the extreme telephoto power). I would also say that, if you want to shoot landscapes, then having the ability to shoot in RAW format is a big advantage - it will allow you to pull a lot more detail and dynamic range from your pictures, especially in difficult lighting situations.


Mirrorless cameras offer similar functionality to DSLRs too, but in smaller, more compact bodies - again with advantages and disadvatages, so those are another alternative.


If, on the other hand, you just want a decent all-in-one camera that will still take nice pictures, and you can live without the extra abilities and flexibility of a DSLR, then a bridge camera will probably be the cheaper and more convenient option. And, if it's something you need, you'll also be very hard pushed to get the same telephoto zoom on a DSLR without spending thousands and lugging around a lens the size of a howitzer.


A lot of it comes down to what you want and what your budget is.


I liked the bridge camera that I had, and it was really convenient and I loved the zoom (although it was pretty measly compared to current models), but I always found myself wishing I could do things outside it's capabilities - especially where it came to getting nice shallow depth of field effects.

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8 hours ago, johnboy1967 said:


Yes, I'd say that's definitely worth considering. Compact System Cameras can produce some stunning results - I think a few of the people posting pictures on here use them - and they provide most of the features of a DSLR in a more compact body. They can have a few disadvantages - usually no optical viewfinder, and autofocus and low-light capability can be poorer in some cases - but also loads of advantages too - lighter; smaller; faster shooting speeds;tiltable LCDs etc. I think you can get adapters to use third party lenses too.

That model gets good reviews. I'd suggest going into a shop where they sell a range of cameras so you can see how it (or a similar model) feels.


This Flickr group gives some indication of what results you can get (obviously dependent on lenses etc.): https://www.flickr.com/groups/lumix-gx7/pool/

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So I managed to get a bit of time with my camera today and thought I'd take a few more shots around Portsmouth. I've put them here and not in the photography thread as it's more showing off the camera's abilities rather than showing off photo quality. There were all taken free-hand and in cold conditions so not much time to play around with the settings. I've highlighted two areas on this zoomed out shot:




Concentrating on one of the windows, it's pretty amazing being able to see this far... even to the point where I can see the guy on the right is married!



Zooming in a bit further, this other shot is just because I was wondering what the black bit at the top of the Spinnaker tower was:



I did a second shot of a distant boat with some people on it.



...and here's a close up



Right that's enough polluting of this thread with my zoom shots. I might try seeing how I get on with taking some aesthetic shots and post them to the photography thread, though looking at what other people at posting I'll be completely outclassed. I'm heading to Vietnam in a couple of weeks so will do a bit of practising and maybe post a few when I get back :) 

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Bloody hell that is seriously impressive tronied! Just looked it up, the lens - optical - is the equiv of a 24-2000! Amazing.


How is it hand holding at it's most zoomed in? It must shake and wobble all over the place.



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The image stabilisation is seriously impressive. Before I bought it I did some research on it and apparently it's got 4 or 5 stages to keep the image still. I know from personal experience how hard it is to keep binoculars steady even at half that zoom so was really expecting using this to be nigh on impossible. After using it however it keeps whatever you're looking at very still and centred even at maximum zoom so pictures come out really well. It's got some really intelligent tech behind it, but you'd need it for such a crazy lens. I was able to zoom in on something, keep it focused and get the shot I wanted usually first time.


I do find though that I primarily use the eye-piece (digital) to take shots rather than the screen. I find things to be a bit more unwieldy and unsteady when trying to hold the camera in front of you and look at the screen whereas the other method just feels steadier and more natural.

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1 hour ago, Fletch said:

Tronied you bugger I'd forgeotten about these and now I'm hovering over the buy button! That is an incredible zoom and probably would work out a lot cheaper than trying to get an equivalent lens for my SLR.


Probably weigh a tad less too. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm toying with the idea of getting a mirrorless camera. It's primarily to have something relatively compact and lightweight to take on holiday with me (but also for ad hoc trips out where I don't want to be lugging a bigger camera around but want something better than my phone), but still giving similar functionality to my DSLR. I don't want to spend a lot as it's not going to be my primary camera, but obviously want the best piece of kit I can get within my budget (no more than £250 including a lens). I don't mind going second-hand from a decent supplier.


At present I'm looking at the Sony A5000 as a possible contender, but I'm not really set on a make or model at this stage. I also don't really need it for a few months yet, so if there are likely to be new model releases that will drive the prices of older kit down in the meantime, so much the better.


Other than the usual requirements of good image quality, autofocus etc. I definitely want a flip-screen to allow me to take shots from different angles and and EVF would be nice (although I'm not sure what's likely in my price-range).


Does anyone have any recommendations / advice?



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The thing is if you buy into another system (Sony) you're going to have to buy into lenses as well and we all know that lenses is where your money should go. 


For example I got the a6000 with the kit lenses. Great camera awful lenses compared to what you'll be used to.  


If you just want a good camera that's portable why not consider a prosumer/bridge/compact camera.


For example http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-DSCWX500-Digital-Compact-Tiltable/dp/B00WSIAE4Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458396116&sr=8-1&keywords=Sony+DSCWX500%2FB




or as you can wait a few months, save a bit more and then get a second hand a6000 with a decent lens...

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The ecosystem thing is true, but I'm currently using Nikon and their mirrorless range don't use the F-mount that the SLRS do. If they did I'd probably be straight in with one of those. There's an adapter, but it's the best part of £300 by itself. 


Bridge cameras are fine in and of themselves, but if I want to get a different lens - e.g a nice fast prime to get some shallow depth of field, I'm stuck. I do like the range on those super zooms though, I have to admit.

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  • 2 weeks later...
10 hours ago, Dimahoo said:

Oh. Just a quite note. The google Nik collection is free now. Everything in it. 

Refund to anyone who bought it i think.







I got a copy at the weekend. Some impressive stuff in there.

PhotosInColor are doing a set of tutorial videos for it all this week. https://www.youtube.com/user/photosincolor

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5 minutes ago, Sidewaysbob said:

Is that a standalone bit of software or just a plugin for lightroom/photoshop etc ?


You can run them as standalone, but I think they're really designed as plug ins for Lightroom / Photoshop. This page gives some info (although the layout is weird and it reads like it's poetry or something!). :)


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