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Camera Newbie - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Kingy, 18 Jan 2014.

  1. Kingy

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    Afternoon all,

    I've recently started working in lettings, & am toying with the idea of replacing the office camera. Trouble is, I know nothing about cameras... :o

    I've tried looking at some reviews & have seen good things written about the Sony RX100 II but I don't understand why such an expensive camera only has a 3.6x zoom, when other much cheaper compacts like the Cannon SX50 have a 50x zoom?

    I like that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 has WiFi & a free angle touchscreen, but I don't understand what I need when I'm looking at separate lenses. The camera body itself is £449, or £499 with a 14-42mm lense (which means 3x zoom right?), or £629 to include the 14-42mm lense & also a 45-150mm lense (also a 3x zoom(?), so why would I need both?).

    Wide angle lenses have been mentioned as a good thing, but how do I figure out which lense fits which camera body?

    Complete minefield & I'm hopelessly confused, any help appreciated... :)
     
  2. Zogger

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    The 3x just means the difference between the widest angle and the longest angle. The 2 lenses cover totally different ranges. The lower the mm the wider the view, so 10-20 is 2x and very wide and 100-200 is also 2x but much longer. The exact field of view you get depends on the sensor so 15mm on a compact is not the same as 15mm on a dslr in terms of the amount you see.

    I won't make any specific recommendations but for estate agent work you're unlikely to need anything long.

    Re the price range, zoom range is not everything when it comes to lenses. Bear in mind you can buy fixed (i.e 1x) lenses for £1000+

    Edited so much because I'm in my phone and easier to type in short bursts
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2014
  3. Hunders

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    If you are going to be taking photos of houses and inside of rooms etc then what you have been told about needing a wide angle is true. Disregard the 45-150mm because you probably wont need it as that is a medium to telescopic zoom and would be useless to take photos that include all/most of the room.
     
  4. Kingy

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    I get what you mean by wide angle, but I don't understand what the longest angle is? Is that zoom? 2x zoom seems rather limited considering the 50x zoom you can get on cheaper compacts. I get that I won't be using the zoom a huge amount, but it might be nice to have for shots from balconies or from the other side of a river etc?

    Apologies for being thick, but I don't understand how a 45-150mm (3x) zoom could be considered telescopic? I'm sure I'm missing something basic?

    I also keep seeing references to the effective mm relative to 35mm cameras, what are they?
     
  5. K.C. Leblanc

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    Joined: 13 Sep 2003

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    1. Because people who buy highend camera tend to realise that a 50x is a gimmic. So it simply wouldn't help them shift high end cameras.

    2. Most low end cameras have very small image sensors, so it's very easy to make a small lens with a long zoom range. As you increase the size of the image sensor (which improves the quality of the image) the lens needs to be larger and it becomes less practicle to cover a massive zoom range.

    Any lens descrbed as 'Micro 4 thirds' will fit the G6.
     
  6. Zogger

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    The 35mm equivalent is basically just a standard reference because of all the different sensor sizes, it means that you can compare lens zoom ranges (focal lengths) on different cameras.

    The best thing to do is forget 3x, 50x etc and look at the focal length in mm. Lower is wider (zoomed out) higher is longer (zoomed in)
     
  7. Kingy

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    Why is 50x a gimmick? I've heard that digital zoom rather than optical zoom is artificial, so I get why that would be gimmicky, but I've never understood why if I look through a viewfinder everything looks smaller than to the naked eye? Being able to recover back towards taking photos that look the same distance away as the naked eye (or even better, to take photos of things that the naked eye can't see) would seem like a good thing to noobs like myself?

    Thanks for the lense fit tip, is that a standard fit like HDMI or USB is a standard connector, or something specific to Panasonic cameras?... :)
     
  8. Hunders

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    I won't go into too much detail but I think I'm right in saying that the Panasonic G6 with it's micro four thirds sensor has a 2x 'crop factor'. Therefore, any given focal length used with the G6 will be equal to twice that on a full frame (35mm) camera. For instance, a 50mm lens on the G6 will actually be 100mm on a full frame. So, the 45-150mm lens of the G6 would have a focal length equal to that of 90-300 on a full frame which is a very telescopic zoom. The minium focal length of 14mm would equal 28mm on full frame which isn't particularly wide at all.

    As you're not really sure what focal length is I think the best thing for you to do is go to a decent camera shop and ask to be shown a few cameras where you can test the different focal lengths out and decide what would suit your needs best.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2014
  9. Zogger

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    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/special/lens_knowledge.html

    I haven't read the text on this page but look at the pictures showing different focal lengths on a four thirds sensor.

    The feeling that you can see more is because it's a wide focal length. Around 22mm on a four thirds should look "normal"

    Yes micro tour thirds is a standard agreed between a few manufacturers I think
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2014
  10. Kingy

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    Ahhh, ok cheers... :)

    So the 14-140mm lens option would give me the wide angle of the 14-42mm lens, and most of the zoom of the 45-150mm?

    That would beg the question, why would they offer both as separate lenses if 1 better lens would do the trick? Is the 14-140mm likely to bigger / heavier?

    Does 14mm constitute wide-angle, or do I need to look at something smaller? I've seen people mention fish eye lens', is that the same thing as wide-angle?
     
  11. Zogger

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    Yes that's right. Lenses have a very large zoom range are practical but normally have compromises like image quality or they don't "open up" to let as much light in, meaning you need to use a longer shutter speed in some circumstances.
    14mm is wide angle but may not be enough for all purposes. A fish eye is extreme wide angle and distorted in the shape of a fish eye and not great for estate agents
     
  12. Kingy

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    Is a longer shutter speed a difficult practice, or a simple setting tweak?

    If wide angle is 14mm, & fisheye/extreme wideangle is 8mm, what mm is the widest without the distorting effects of a fisheye?

    Possibly (another) daft question, but is the naked eye equivalent to a certain mm? ie, what is the naked eye's field of view in degrees, and what zoom level in mm will match what I can *see* normally?
     
  13. Zogger

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    all modern consumer cameras can set shutter speed automatically, the difficulty is if it's dark and the limit of the lens means you need a long shutter speed, you are more likely to introduce camera shake. (can be resolved with a tripod to stabilise the camera or a flash to introduce more light )

    According to wikipedia 22mm is normal (i.e like the eye) the four thirds. However you will probably find normal is not enough to get a whole room in a shot. It's a controversial subject because many people complaining estate agents shots at wide angles are misleading as they make a room look bigger, but you need to be able to represent a whole room in a picture. However I'm sure you'll find most EAs use a fairly wide angle for most purposes.
    I believe fish eye / distortion is not just about angle but also the way the lens is constructed. I've never really understood it.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2014
  14. Kingy

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    The DMC-G6 seems to be £449 for the body, or £649 including the 14-140mm lense. Seperately, the 14-140mm lense seems to be £495, ie, you'd expect the package to be £449+£495=£948.

    Am I missing something? Is this normal practice?
     
  15. Zogger

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    No idea as I don't know the system but that does sound like rather a large discount for a bundle. It's possible they may be different lenses with the same focal length but different specs otherwise
     
  16. Hunders

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    Have a look at the Fujifilm X-M1 with 16-55mm kit lens.
     
  17. Kingy

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    They both have identical maximum & minimum apertures as well as identical focal lengths. Anything else I should look out for?

    Camera Body

    Lense

    Bundle
     
  18. Kingy

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    The view finder tilts but isn't a free angle jobbie. Is the X-M1 better than the DMC-G6?
     
  19. King4aDay

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    You'll be particularly miffed that you missed the Amazon Boxing Day sales where the G6 + 14-140 kit was £369 after cashback, making it cheaper than buying just the body or lens separately :)
     
  20. Kingy

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    :(

    I didn't even bother looking at the sales as it so often seems like the latest award winning stuff isn't included & they only use the sales to flog off the kit that they wouldn't otherwise be able to shift...