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Looking for camera suggestions
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RobOnTheCape
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Mar 30, 2011, 04:01 PM
 
Hello all,

I work for a vacation rental company, and for quite a few years we have had a simply point a shoot camera with which we have been relying on to take shots for our website. The pics are ok, but not what we should be displaying on our site in comparison to others I see, After many years I finally got the green light to buy a dslr. The budget is around $500, and what I'm looking for is nothing fancy(I know I won't get it for $500), but just a good quality camera which comes with at least one lens, and importantly that lens should be able to give us great interior photos meaning that it will now grab the entire field in front of us such as the vaulted ceilings, and the field to the left and right which are now cut off using the point and shoot presently in use.

I know some have video capability, and that would be nice, but the lens which does the job is more important right now. Lastly, since these shots will be for the web only, thus megabits shouldn't be a factor.

Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
     
iMOTOR
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Mar 30, 2011, 07:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by RobOnTheCape View Post
The pics are ok, but not what we should be displaying on our site in comparison to others I see
Do you know if your competitors are using professional photographers? Some of my clients bring me shots they took on a “on a really good camera,” and it’s like pulling teeth for me to convince them that their pics aren’t good enough, and they need to suck it up and hire a professional.

You could get by with a $500 camera if you’re a really skilled photographer, but practically speaking, you’re looking at $1000 minimum for a decent camera body, decent lens, and a decent tripod. And even then, you still need to be at least partially skilled with a camera to get good shots.
     
tooki
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Mar 30, 2011, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by RobOnTheCape View Post
...and importantly that lens should be able to give us great interior photos meaning that it will now grab the entire field in front of us such as the vaulted ceilings, and the field to the left and right which are now cut off using the point and shoot presently in use.
For that, you need an ultrawide lens, and that alone will set you back $450 or more. (Yes, the 6mm difference between the 12mm wide end on an ultrawide and the 18mm wide end on a standard kit lens makes a huge difference.)

So unfortunately, your budget may not be realistic for your needs -- unless you look at used. For $600, you could get a Nikon D70 and a Tokina 12-24mm ultrawide, both used, but that's fine since they're both built solidly. That exact combination was my primary rig until recently, when I replaced the D70 with a D7000. The Tokina ultrawide remains my primary lens.

You might also want to consider buying an off-camera flash unit (for Nikon, that'd be an SB-600, -700, -800, or -900) to give you the flexibility to shoot at night.
     
RobOnTheCape  (op)
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Mar 30, 2011, 07:21 PM
 
I don't know what they are using. However, the fact is that I'm not getting more than 600 tops, and though I hear what you're saying, don't you feel that I can see an improvement in image quality by bumping up from a four+ year old point and shoot to an entry level dslr with a little coaching?

Thanks
     
iMOTOR
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Mar 30, 2011, 07:36 PM
 
It all depends on how bad the old camera is. An SLR is not necessarily better than a point and shoot except that an SLR gives you finer control over the image. But if you put an SLR on full auto mode, you essentially have a big point and shoot camera.
     
iMOTOR
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Mar 30, 2011, 08:14 PM
 
This is probably the best camera you’re going to get for under $600 new:
Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office : EOS Rebel XS 18-55IS Kit

Factor in $140 investing in a decent tripod eventually:
Manfrotto 190XDB Tripod Legs (Black) - Supports 11 lbs 190XDB
Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head w/RC2 QR Plate 494RC2 B&H Photo

The problem you’re up against is, no sub $1000 DSLR new or used has a full frame sensor, so now what would be an ultra wide lens on a full frame camera (17-24mm) is now only moderately wide on a APS-C size sensor camera.
     
RobOnTheCape  (op)
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Mar 30, 2011, 08:27 PM
 
This is some very good info. I did a quick search of the Canon kit you mentioned, and came across it for as low as $450. More importantly I'm beginning to understand what a higher end camera is capable of.
Thanks so much.
     
reader50
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Mar 30, 2011, 11:03 PM
 
The kit lens may be wide enough for you. Going from a compact camera to a DSLR sensor, the 18mm lens setting will capture twice as wide an angle. That was my experience.

Any tripod is better than taking the shot handheld. If you've got a $30 tripod sitting around, try it with a basic DSLR. Use a timed shot so your hands are off the camera when it fires. You can always buy an expensive tripod later. Ditto on a wider lens.
     
iMOTOR
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Mar 30, 2011, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Going from a compact camera to a DSLR sensor, the 18mm lens setting will capture twice as wide an angle.
Not exactly; 18mm focal length lens on a APS-C sensor camera has a field of view equivalent to 28mm on a full frame (24x36mm) sensor. Many P&S cameras have at least 28mm (full frame equivalent) field of view on the short side.
     
reader50
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Mar 31, 2011, 12:04 AM
 
I went from a Fujifilm F10 (36-108mm) to a Canon APS-C (18-55mm). It gave me roughly twice the angle of view (unscientific impression). It depends on which camera he has now.
     
iMOTOR
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Mar 31, 2011, 12:31 AM
 
From Google: it looks like the 36mm on a Fuji F10 is aprox. equiv. to 100mm full frame, so your impression is right, 28mm full frame equiv. would be at least twice the field of view.
     
mattyb
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Mar 31, 2011, 09:35 AM
 
Have you looked at 2nd hand stuff from B&H or Adorama? IIUC, they even have guarantees.

If you're doing interiors, you could try stitching/panoramas, but then you may not have the time or money to invest in post processing software. Wide angle lenses tend to distort, which means either weird pictures or time spent editting. For this sort of work, a tripod is a must. I suppose that you could also do films this way instead of the stitching method.

There are some excellent photogs who use nothing but their kit lens, they aren't always (the kit lens) as bad as people make them out to be.

Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
Not exactly; 18mm focal length lens on a APS-C sensor camera has a field of view equivalent to 28mm on a full frame (24x36mm) sensor. Many P&S cameras have at least 28mm (full frame equivalent) field of view on the short side.
Except if you use a Nikon, which has a 1.5 crop factor (the Canon EOS Rebel XS is 1.6) like the D3100 you'll get 27mm.

1mm makes a difference!!!!
     
ort888
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Mar 31, 2011, 04:30 PM
 
You might see if there is someplace in your town that rents camera equipment.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
   
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