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Author Topic: Digital Camera & Photoshop tips  (Read 131338 times)
Sky
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Reply #840 on: December 17, 2013, 08:24:34 AM

One problem is that the more elaborate the basing becomes the tougher they are to ship. And one of my recent projects (the Twilight Knight) is resin and super-fragile. His sword broke at the hand while I was assembling him, which is not uncommon. They get so fiddly that I bought a flight case with steel shelves and I'm going to magnetize the models so they stick to the shelf rather than try to pack them in foam for the trip.

satael
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Reply #841 on: January 02, 2014, 05:47:18 AM

Shooting pictures of snowflakes by some russian guy (I really like how the whole contraption is built from various parts)
Bunk
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Reply #842 on: January 02, 2014, 08:19:59 AM

Ok, that was actually quite cool. I have a hard time just getting the snowflakes to appear in the air in most shots.

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Samwise
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Reply #843 on: April 27, 2014, 08:39:05 PM

Thread necro!

I think I asked this question for myself about six years ago, now I'm asking on behalf of family since the answer has probably changed in the interim: what would be a good camera purchase for someone looking to move a step or two up from an iPhone camera but not get seriously invested in the hobby?

Back when I last asked this I wound up getting a refurbished Nikon D50 for about $200, which I've been very happy with.  I'm considering something at a similar level as a possible graduation/going-away gift for my sister -- she's not a serious photographer by any means, but she's got a good eye and always likes borrowing my camera when it's in reach, so I feel like having her own "good" camera might be a good present.  Doesn't have to be a DSLR, but if it's not a significant difference in quality from a smartphone camera I don't think there's much point.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Lightstalker
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Reply #844 on: April 28, 2014, 10:59:18 PM

I went to Digital Photography Review 3 years ago and bought the highest rated travel camera I could find (Canon PowerShot SX230 HS) and have been very happy with it.  That camera was just under $300, freakishly good for that price range, and has held up well all around the world and in the woods.  My wife's Rebel only comes out when fancy lenses are required/desired, and the PowerShot is small enough that it happens to be in your pocket when you see something worth taking a picture of.  It is down to $230 now, but I'd imagine in the last 3 years things have moved on (e.g. the PowerShot SX280 HS is the latest, $200 new, and still winning 'best travel camera' honors).

I'd pick a price range and then start with the silver/gold reviewed cameras on DPReview. 
Khaldun
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Reply #845 on: April 29, 2014, 06:19:44 AM

I think a DSLR only benefits a person who is interested in learning how to shoot manual. Otherwise, yeah, go for a high-quality point-and-shoot, of which there are quite a few.
Numtini
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Reply #846 on: April 29, 2014, 06:53:24 AM

I picked up a Fuji XF1 a few months ago for something to stick in my purse and it seems hard to find anything else as good for $200 new. Decent size sensor, F1.8, good to 3200 ISO. Full manual controls if she wants to get creative. Very light and cute as hell if you like retro. Weakness is only 4x zoom and no viewfinder--the latter drives me nuts.

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Reply #847 on: April 29, 2014, 07:21:55 AM

Not having a viewfinder is really the only thing that bothers me about the ELPH I bought a couple years ago before I went on vacation to replace my old ELPH S400 which died several years before. It is almost impossible to see what you are shooting to frame a shot if it is bright out and the sun is behind you with just a screen.

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apocrypha
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Reply #848 on: April 29, 2014, 08:27:40 AM

Yeah the image quality of decent compacts and mirrorless systems (although personally I think the mirrorless cameras are still too expensive) is really good these days. If your budget is limited then a good compact is definitely the way to go, and there's plenty now with manual control options if you want to have a go at that.

Both Canon and Fuji have some amazing small cameras now, IMO way ahead of the rest of the pack.

The "decide your budget, head to dpreview.com" advice is spot on. The compact camera market is being relentlessly squeezed by smartphones these days so there's some great deals to be had. That said, don't knock smartphone cameras. They've also come a long way in recent years and iPhones (4 or later) have amazing cameras. And there's the Lumia 1020 which has an incredible camera, but it's a Windows phone.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
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Reply #849 on: April 29, 2014, 09:28:10 AM

That said, don't knock smartphone cameras. They've also come a long way in recent years and iPhones (4 or later) have amazing cameras.

I've got a 5S and the camera is definitely good "for a phone", and that is how I take most photos just because of the convenience factor, but for a lot of stuff (in particular for shooting in anything less than full sunlight) it's still worth lugging the Nikon around if I want a pretty shot.

Thanks for the tips, all, I will investigate these options further.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
IainC
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Reply #850 on: April 29, 2014, 10:22:15 AM

I just dropped the cash on a shiny new EOS 70D. It'll be a lovely upgrade from my current 350D. It arrives next week and I cannot wait.

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

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Trippy
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Reply #851 on: April 29, 2014, 12:42:15 PM

Thread necro!

I think I asked this question for myself about six years ago, now I'm asking on behalf of family since the answer has probably changed in the interim: what would be a good camera purchase for someone looking to move a step or two up from an iPhone camera but not get seriously invested in the hobby?

Back when I last asked this I wound up getting a refurbished Nikon D50 for about $200, which I've been very happy with.  I'm considering something at a similar level as a possible graduation/going-away gift for my sister -- she's not a serious photographer by any means, but she's got a good eye and always likes borrowing my camera when it's in reach, so I feel like having her own "good" camera might be a good present.  Doesn't have to be a DSLR, but if it's not a significant difference in quality from a smartphone camera I don't think there's much point.
What does she like about your D50? E.g. optical viewfinder? Faster operation? Better autofocus? Able to take pictures in lower light situations? Most compact digital cameras still have bigger sensors and better lenses compared to smart phones and will take better pictures so those are still a possibility. Cameras with significantly bigger sensors compared to smartphones like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are larger and she may not want to carry it around as much.


JWIV
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Reply #852 on: April 30, 2014, 10:59:26 AM

I finally got around to picking up an external flash for my camera - nothing fancy, just a Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight, but still a HUGE improvement over the built in camera flash (which I've refused to use for years, so taking indoor shots has always been a frustrating challenge).  Really looking forward to playing with this a bit.
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Reply #853 on: April 30, 2014, 12:53:55 PM

I have a Walimex external flash with a diffuser hood. Makes a huge difference for portraits and close-range stuff.

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Khaldun
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Reply #854 on: April 30, 2014, 01:32:16 PM

My Yongnuo is also holding up pretty well despite a lot of predictions from folks that it wouldn't. I bought two cheap wireless communicators too since the d3100 camera body can't communicate wirelessly with flashes. So I can do some good light work w/a moveable external flash if I spend the time on a set-up.

Still toying with getting a good strobe at some point, but I think it doesn't make sense unless I upgrade to a camera body that can be a genuine commander for a multi-flash/strobe set-up. I also think this is just going to take me crossing over into much more deliberate conceptual & portrait work than I do right now, and I might really need to take some classes to fill in my spotty self-trained understanding of what I'm doing. Looking back at my 2013 photos I'm pretty pleased with about 30-40 of them out of thousands but I recognize that I've got a long way to go if I want to move up to the next level. I have noticed that I'm getting so much pickier about what I shoot and when I shoot when I'm going out on a hike or an exploration. I don't even bother taking the camera out if it's mid-day unless there is a really striking view, the weather conditions are unusual or I'm in deep forest or somewhere else that casts shadows even with the sun at its height.
Samwise
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Reply #855 on: April 30, 2014, 01:34:37 PM

Back when I last asked this I wound up getting a refurbished Nikon D50 for about $200, which I've been very happy with.  I'm considering something at a similar level as a possible graduation/going-away gift for my sister -- she's not a serious photographer by any means, but she's got a good eye and always likes borrowing my camera when it's in reach, so I feel like having her own "good" camera might be a good present.  Doesn't have to be a DSLR, but if it's not a significant difference in quality from a smartphone camera I don't think there's much point.
What does she like about your D50? E.g. optical viewfinder? Faster operation? Better autofocus? Able to take pictures in lower light situations? Most compact digital cameras still have bigger sensors and better lenses compared to smart phones and will take better pictures so those are still a possibility. Cameras with significantly bigger sensors compared to smartphones like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are larger and she may not want to carry it around as much.

I think she likes the same things I like about it, which are that it goes "click" in a very satisfying way and takes pictures that come out pretty.   awesome, for real  

She's a smarty so I'm pretty sure if I got her her own DSLR she'd have fun figuring out the manual settings, but there aren't specific requirements there one way or another.  Finding the balance between "takes better enough pictures to be worth carrying an extra thing" and "too big to be worth carrying around" is the key.  I really need to get my hands on one of these modern compacts to see how good the photos are; the last compact camera I used took pictures that are significantly worse than what I can take with my new phone.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Trippy
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Reply #856 on: April 30, 2014, 04:27:35 PM

Back when I last asked this I wound up getting a refurbished Nikon D50 for about $200, which I've been very happy with.  I'm considering something at a similar level as a possible graduation/going-away gift for my sister -- she's not a serious photographer by any means, but she's got a good eye and always likes borrowing my camera when it's in reach, so I feel like having her own "good" camera might be a good present.  Doesn't have to be a DSLR, but if it's not a significant difference in quality from a smartphone camera I don't think there's much point.
What does she like about your D50? E.g. optical viewfinder? Faster operation? Better autofocus? Able to take pictures in lower light situations? Most compact digital cameras still have bigger sensors and better lenses compared to smart phones and will take better pictures so those are still a possibility. Cameras with significantly bigger sensors compared to smartphones like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are larger and she may not want to carry it around as much.
I think she likes the same things I like about it, which are that it goes "click" in a very satisfying way and takes pictures that come out pretty.   awesome, for real  

She's a smarty so I'm pretty sure if I got her her own DSLR she'd have fun figuring out the manual settings, but there aren't specific requirements there one way or another. Finding the balance between "takes better enough pictures to be worth carrying an extra thing" and "too big to be worth carrying around" is the key.  I really need to get my hands on one of these modern compacts to see how good the photos are; the last compact camera I used took pictures that are significantly worse than what I can take with my new phone.
This is a good article comparing sensor sizes among the different camera ranges:

http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/

In the compact camera category you can see the typical sizes that are available. I've been a fan of the Canon compact S series as I own the S40, S70 and S90. They have slightly larger sensors than the typical compact camera and have full manual controls and RAW support but are still "pocketable".

The benchmark right now for compact camera image quality is the Sony RX100 which has a ginormous sensor for a camera that size (there's also a more expensive updated II model). It's about 25% larger in volume (mostly in the depth dimension), though, compared to, say, an S110 which may make it harder to carry around. It's also quite a bit more expensive.
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Reply #857 on: April 30, 2014, 06:55:32 PM

Thoughts on this fella?  (Canon SX50 HS)

The price is right, and I like the sound of the mondo optical zoom + manual controls.  Both pretty big differentiators from a smartphone.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #858 on: April 30, 2014, 06:58:11 PM

That style of "superzoom" is pretty big -- as in DSLR-sized. Probably better just to give her your camera and get something better for yourself awesome, for real
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Reply #859 on: May 01, 2014, 11:38:40 AM

Thoughts on this fella?  (Canon SX50 HS)

The price is right, and I like the sound of the mondo optical zoom + manual controls.  Both pretty big differentiators from a smartphone.

For the same price, you could get a 3100 and kit lens (or whatever, but I think you shoot Nikon).

You might want to see if she wants portable or sophisticated. Don't know how much of a surprise you want it to be though.

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Reply #860 on: May 01, 2014, 04:04:47 PM

I'm thinking portable is better since she's not yet geographically settled.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #861 on: May 30, 2014, 04:03:22 PM

I'm trying to get a .png of Tom's head (i.e. a transparent background which is the part I am having trouble with) in 64x64 pixels, 32x32 pixels and 24x24 pixels. 

Anybody with some skills want to do me a solid?


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Kail
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Reply #862 on: May 30, 2014, 09:28:06 PM

Is this roughly what you're looking for?





Or do you want the bowl transparent too, because that might be tricky.

edit:
Actually, rigged a quick version of it below:




Not super high quality or anything, though.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 11:00:51 PM by Kail »
Abagadro
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Reply #863 on: May 30, 2014, 11:45:04 PM

That is AWESOME. Thank you thank you.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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Reply #864 on: November 30, 2016, 06:51:31 PM

I'm going to drag this out of the ground instead of making a new one.

I was a hobby photographer and lab manager in the 90s and got out as the industry shifted away from print. I had a few low and mid-range Nikon bodies and lenses and even have a few of my old lenses (52mm and a tele) in storage. I want to get a new DSLR but don't know where to start.

I'm thinking of the D3300 or D5300 to get me back into it enough before I start dumping 'real' money - any thoughts on those bodies? I'll likely snag a 50mm fast to pair with it along with all the goodies, can't find my tripod and I'll need an extra batt/charger/storage.

Any advice would be appreciated.
apocrypha
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Reply #865 on: December 01, 2016, 01:08:37 AM

They're both decent entry-level DSLRs, definitely, if getting slightly long in the tooth.

However if you think there's a fair chance that you'd want to upgrade in time then the problem with an entry-level camera is that it becomes mostly superfluous when you do. Have you thought about a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera? They're smaller and lighter than a full DSLR so if/when you do decide to upgrade then they remain useful as a much easier to tote around option. The downside would be that any lenses you got for the mirrorless wouldn't then be useable with a future DSLR, but they tend to be cheaper anyway.

I bought a small camera (Fuji X100S) a few years ago as a complement to my DSLRs and outside of work I use the Fuji ten times more often than the Nikons, just because it's so much easier to grab and carry around with me.

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Khaldun
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Reply #866 on: December 01, 2016, 10:33:54 AM

I'm kind of thinking the same way--that I want a smaller, lighter, cheaper mirrorless or p&s for doing street photography. Can't afford it just now but maybe later next year. I just can't deal with trying to pull up the big DSLR when that is what I'm interested in doing--it gets a lot of attention and spoils a lot of more spontaneous opportunities for interesting pictures in live, human contexts. I might take the DSLR if I were going to an event with crowds or a low-light situation, I guess. The DSLR feels more and more to me like something to use just for landscapes, flower/insect macros, and formal portraiture.
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Reply #867 on: December 01, 2016, 11:29:36 AM

If you already have old Nikon glass then be aware that neither the 3300 nor the 5300 have a focus drive in the body because the newer lenses that they're designed for (AF-S range) have the focus drive in the lens instead. This means that your old AF lenses will only focus manually. You'd need a 7-series body to get autofocus compatibility. If you don't mind buying used, you can get a 7100 at a good price these days.

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Hawkbit
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Reply #868 on: December 02, 2016, 11:47:05 AM

Lots of great advice here, thanks. I hadn't considered mirrorless, so I've looked at the options and I can't seem to find suitable sub-$1000 options in the market right now. Am I missing something with these models? The idea of having a smaller camera to take everywhere is appealing, but was really hoping to get into a $500 body and use existing lenses which sounds less optimal at this point.
apocrypha
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Reply #869 on: December 02, 2016, 12:48:42 PM

Yeah, thinking about it, that's a difficult price point for decent smaller cameras. Mostly because that market has been destroyed by smartphones, so the niche that exists is aimed at the higher end. Plus the mirrorless cameras haven't been around long enough for low prices on older models yet.

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Reply #870 on: December 02, 2016, 12:59:34 PM

I hadn't even thought of that, that the point and shoot is dead as a thing. We've all got phones that do as well as they can, excepting optical zoom. What a crazy world.

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Reply #871 on: December 02, 2016, 01:27:46 PM

Lots of great advice here, thanks. I hadn't considered mirrorless, so I've looked at the options and I can't seem to find suitable sub-$1000 options in the market right now. Am I missing something with these models? The idea of having a smaller camera to take everywhere is appealing, but was really hoping to get into a $500 body and use existing lenses which sounds less optimal at this point.
There are sub-$1000 options. E.g.:

http://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-6000-body-kit ($699 with 2 lenses)
Sky
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Reply #872 on: December 02, 2016, 10:18:55 PM

My new favorite photographer https://www.facebook.com/Sheridans.Art/

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