Camera Suggestions

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Nyxess's picture
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Camera Suggestions

Hello fellow memory making enthusiasts! On my last Disney trip we got memory maker for the week and ended up with a few hundred photos to sort through and have fun putting into albums and customizing them... Basically it was a total blast and we're very happy we invested in getting the photos.

One of the other things that it provided us with were little video clips on some of the rides and in special locations around the park. They were an unexpected little treat when we arrived home to look through the photos we'd accumulated.

And now... Well now I'd like to invest in my own camera to take photos, but also to take video with.

What cameras do you use? Do you have any suggestions for cameras that provide both excellent photo quality as well as video?

Let me know Smile!

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Brinbunny's picture
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I must admit I only used my iPhone/ pad, I'm rubbish with cameras. I agree though the memory maker is awesome awesome

Hope someone who knows cameras pops in shortly....

The Colonel's picture
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It totally depends on your budget and how much you want to carry.

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I have got an EOS-M compact camera,I find it has the range of my old DLSR and has all the options (lens etc) that i need but is half the size of my old one.May will be my first WDW trip with it but on a family holiday to the UK last yeat it took great pictures.I would recomend serious thought on a compact vs dlsr dependant on budget and use.

P.S. Other camera brands are available wink

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TNMedic's picture
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As the Colonel has already said the best way to approach this discussion is to first decide on a budget. When it comes to photography equipment you can spend as much as you want or relatively little and still be quite happy.

When evaluating for quality of picture you should pay attention to the number of pixels, commonly referred to as megapixels. For the standard sized 3 x 5 picture it is my opinion that a 12 megapixel camera is probably more than adequate. You can purchase a 16 megapixel camera for less than $100.00 that will record video as well.

Just my 0.02!

Nyxess's picture
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I'm not sure on a budget just yet - but I know that I'm interested in a camera that can do both photos and video relatively well. I've used an array of handheld cameras (Sony's CoolShot for example) that take excellent photos and are a great size, but the video is just... the worst.

I'd be alright with something a bit more pricey and hefty (size-wise) if it took good video.

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The Colonel's picture
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Check out the Canon S110. The S120 is out, so it is heavily discounted. It is a fully loaded pocket-sized camera. I've had the S95 for years.

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Nyxess's picture
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Brilliant! I'll take a spin by ye ol' camera shoppe this evening and give it a spin!

Thank you Smile

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Ask yourself hat do you want to do with your photography? is it jut fun capture the moment shots or are you trying to rival a pro photographer. I started off with a canon point and shoot and it was a good camera for a point and shoot I later moved up to a Nikon d3000 dslr and later to a D7000. We leave for disney in a few days and I just bought a nikon f2.8 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. I have close to 10,000 in camera gear but I am also looking at doing it as a career when I ret from the Navy in a few years.

You will notice I bought one camera body then moved to another. I bought the best camera body I could and used it until I out grew it and it couldn't do what I wanted it to (or my skills exceeded the camera ability) when I sold my d3000 I didn't get much for it and if I sold my d7000 now I would loose 60% at least on it. Why is this important? buy the best camera you can at the time so you have room to grow otherwise you will not stay happy with your camera for long if you plan to grow as a photographer.

Lenses glass is an investment if you buy good glass you can always recoup most of your money if you take care of your gear. the two lenses I mentioned buying above are two of Nikon's holy trinity and are not cheap. I have saved for years to get them and together they are just shy of 6,000 but I am building my wedding photography gear, you can still get good glass by buying a prime lens that is a lens with a fixed focal length like a 35mm f1.8 that lens goes for about 200 bucks and is excellent. You do have to zoom with your feet though, that means you have to move yourself to zoom in and out. You get used to it and the lenses are fast glass (takes less time for the camera to generate a image and they do better in low light.)

you do not have to start with a DSLR someone mentioned compacts (I don't like their small size and prefer the dslr's workhorse ruggedness) and like I said I started with a point and shoot. but if you find yourself loving photography take the time and ask yourself where you want to go with it if you love it and want to make a real go of it buy the best you can afford its cheaper in the long run.

If you want to know more I can explain fstops, shutter speeds, ISO settings all of it.

alicemouse's picture
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Reviving this thread from earlier in the year...

I'm very seriously considering taking my first leap into a DSLR. I considered it when I purchased my last camera and opted instead for an upgrade to a newer Sony Cybershot. I'm very happy with most aspects of my point and shoot, but I'm interested in exploring some added functionality that I think maybe a DSLR can provide. I do a photo book for each trip and although the books are getting better and better, I want to do more. I want to take better pictures and capture more details. Here are aspects that I'm seeking some improvement on...

* Better nighttime photos (my iPhone takes better dark shots than my real camera *facepalm*)
* More control over what subjects in the shot are in/out of focus
* Ability to capture cleaner images, especially of moving targets
* Ability to capture wide-angle (not so much for Disney, but if I purchase a new camera, it needs to give me more functionality for my real estate photos)

Other than seeing the beautiful pictures that DSLR cameras are capable of producing, I don't know much about how they work. I know that ISO is important, but I don't really know what I should look for in that regard. I know that shutter speed is important for low-light conditions, but what is a "good" shutter speed? I'm looking for a good combination of something that is upgradeable in the future, reasonably simple to learn, and something that I can get good results from. I'd like for my camera (or at least the components that I carry in the parks) to be reasonably compact because I am carrying less and less baggage into the parks these days. I'd like to spend $300 or less to start. I don't mind buying an older model second hand if I can get a good value and get something that isn't totally obsolete.

From what I understand from my research so far, you choose a camera body and then choose different lenses to swap out on that body. Are those the only two components? Are the lenses compatible with different camera bodies? If I buy, say a Nikon, could I use those same lenses if I upgrade to a different Nikon camera body at some point in the future? Would the same lenses also be compatible with a Canon, for example?

Do I need any special software to do post production on the photos? Currently all of my photos automatically dump into iPhoto, which seems to have fairly limited editing options. Do I actually need a camera or can I achieve better results just by using better software to clean up the photos in post production? Does each camera come with its own software or have you purchased software from a third party?

Thanks for your help and to all of the shutterbugs out there, thanks for the inspiration!

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

The Colonel's picture
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You've got a lot of questions there. Which Cybershot do you have. If it's the RX100, you should have all you need to take great pictures even in low light.

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I agree with The Colonel. I had aspirations for a DSLR, but have been turned off by lackluster video features. I'm more into video though. The Cybershots and Powershots in the $650 range look like the ones to get. Smaller size is better for me at the parks, and the video is pretty good until 4K video gets better at this price range and size. If you want cheaper, look for refurbished or older models. Be mindful that you would be getting last year's technology.

>> * Better nighttime photos (my iPhone takes better dark shots than my real camera *facepalm*)
I doubt this. Best way to take nighttime shots with ANY point and shoot camera is is set your camera on a tripod or on a fence or rock, turn it to about 100 to 200 iso (manual) and set the timer so you are not pushing the button to snap the photo. Rocking it even slightly will blur it. It will click at a very slow shutter speed, and you will get an AMAZING photo. The reason is higher ISO is just amplifying the light signal making it grainy.

>> * More control over what subjects in the shot are in/out of focus
To do this open your aperture. (i.e. f2.0 or f4.Innocent This is called depth of field.

>> * Ability to capture cleaner images, especially of moving targets
Maybe your camera has image stabilization or you need to use a higher shutter speed for less blur.

>> * Ability to capture wide-angle (not so much for Disney, but if I purchase a new camera, it needs to give me more functionality for my real estate photos)
Start off by buying a cheap wide angle lens if possible or I think the higher end compacts can zoom back pretty far to wide angle.

These guys checked out the two cameras I'm interested in, Sony and Cannon. They are into video, but they take good stills too.
https://

alicemouse's picture
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The Colonel wrote:
You've got a lot of questions there. Which Cybershot do you have. If it's the RX100, you should have all you need to take great pictures even in low light.

I have the wx-300. maybe i just need to mess around with the settings some more?

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

The Colonel's picture
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I'm not familiar with that model. I have the rx100 m3. You need to have full manual controls or it's just another point and shoot. And even p&s cameras are made very well these days. I still have a Nikon E800 with a whole 2 megapixels. I still use it occasionally.

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alicemouse's picture
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ThatMouse wrote:
I agree with The Colonel. I had aspirations for a DSLR, but have been turned off by lackluster video features. I'm more into video though. The Cybershots and Powershots in the $650 range look like the ones to get. Smaller size is better for me at the parks, and the video is pretty good until 4K video gets better at this price range and size. If you want cheaper, look for refurbished or older models. Be mindful that you would be getting last year's technology.

>> * Better nighttime photos (my iPhone takes better dark shots than my real camera *facepalm*)
I doubt this. Best way to take nighttime shots with ANY point and shoot camera is is set your camera on a tripod or on a fence or rock, turn it to about 100 to 200 iso (manual) and set the timer so you are not pushing the button to snap the photo. Rocking it even slightly will blur it. It will click at a very slow shutter speed, and you will get an AMAZING photo. The reason is higher ISO is just amplifying the light signal making it grainy.

>> * More control over what subjects in the shot are in/out of focus
To do this open your aperture. (i.e. f2.0 or f4.Innocent This is called depth of field.

>> * Ability to capture cleaner images, especially of moving targets
Maybe your camera has image stabilization or you need to use a higher shutter speed for less blur.

>> * Ability to capture wide-angle (not so much for Disney, but if I purchase a new camera, it needs to give me more functionality for my real estate photos)
Start off by buying a cheap wide angle lens if possible or I think the higher end compacts can zoom back pretty far to wide angle.

These guys checked out the two cameras I'm interested in, Sony and Cannon. They are into video, but they take good stills too.
https://

My cybershot was on sale for somewhere in the neighborhood of $220 when I bought it and it's currently selling on Amazon for $329, so I think I'm a few steps below the super-duper cybershot models. Ultimately, the size was a big factor in why I opted for point and shoot and between the sale and the gift cards that I had, I think I only paid somewhere around $40 for the camera. Also when I bought the camera 2-ish years ago, I was feeling very bogged down with work and the idea of exploring a new type of camera with new features that I needed to learn seemed like an extra undertaking that I just didn't want to get involved in at that time. I really do love the size of the camera, but I haven't figured out a combination of settings that are making me happy with the results that I'm getting. I'm going to play around with your idea of setting the timer for dark shots. I hadn't considered that and it makes a lot of sense. Also I'll dig back through my manual. I really want more control over the shutter speed (which I'm supposed to have according to the camera specs, but I haven't found a way to change it on the camera).

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

Kristen K.'s picture
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alicemouse wrote:

I'm very seriously considering taking my first leap into a DSLR.

Have you considered renting a DSLR before taking the leap? I went that rout and rented through Kingdom Camera Rentals with a really good experience. https://www.kingdomcamerarentals.com/ They will drop off and pick up right at your WDW hotel.

While I love my Nikon DSLR, I have decided that I really need to take a class to learn how to use it well. I'm not at all happy with the photos I get on the auto setting and I know that it's capable of so much more. Which means that my lack of knowledge is the real problem.

alicemouse wrote:
From what I understand from my research so far, you choose a camera body and then choose different lenses to swap out on that body. Are those the only two components? Are the lenses compatible with different camera bodies? If I buy, say a Nikon, could I use those same lenses if I upgrade to a different Nikon camera body at some point in the future? Would the same lenses also be compatible with a Canon, for example?

Nikon lenses will fit Nikon Camera, Canon will fit Canon, and so forth. Lenses are interchangeable with bodies from the same brand. However if you switch brands, you may need new lenses.

alicemouse wrote:
Do I need any special software to do post production on the photos? Currently all of my photos automatically dump into iPhoto, which seems to have fairly limited editing options.

Do I actually need a camera or can I achieve better results just by using better software to clean up the photos in post production? Does each camera come with its own software or have you purchased software from a third party?


You only need editing software if you want to edit. iPhoto can handle basics. I use picmonkey.com, I have a subscription. It sometimes has a problem with editing large formats.

The editing that I do most is to crop, saturate, and sharpen. iPhoto will do all of those things. PicMonkey does that and then some, which is why it is my favorite. Also - no matter what you do, don't save your images in .jpg - it compresses your photos and you lose both color and sharpness. I save in .png, I think some others on the forum do raw photos.

Adobe editing software is the gold standard. I downloaded it, but it really did a lot more than I needed so we canceled the subscription.

Editing is just part of the photography process these days, what used to be edited in the dark room is now all done digitally. If you've got good composition, a few minor touch ups will be all you need.

If you start playing with some editing of old photos now, you'll be able to answer the question for yourself if you want a new camera.

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I just recently heard about Kingdom Camera Rentals, and I visited their website. It appears they are closing their doors, as they aren't taking any more business.

Too bad, they seemed to have a good thing going.

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jrice4760 wrote:
I just recently heard about Kingdom Camera Rentals, and I visited their website. It appears they are closing their doors, as they aren't taking any more business.

Too bad, they seemed to have a good thing going.

Oh - that is so sad. They were really awesome. sad
So much for that idea.

MrHub's picture
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Her you go people, this one solves everything!

Kristen K.'s picture
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SHUT.THE.FRONT.DOOR!!! clapping

Seriously!? I totally want one, how fun is that!

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That is so cool.

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The Colonel's picture
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Another option

http://www.dxo.com/us/dxo-one?gclid=CLufjsuXrscCFdKPHwodIkwK8A

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alicemouse's picture
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oooohh neato, MrHub!!

Thanks for the rental idea, Kristen. Maybe I can find another place that has that option.

I was supposed to meet mr. mouse for lunch and we were going to go camera browsing today, but we had to postpone because his boss is leaving for the rest of the week and he wasn't going to be able to get away for lunch for very long after all. Bummer.

I did play around with the settings on the point and shoot a little bit and I'm getting some better results. I'm looking forward to exploring the options a bit though.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.