A camera for a non photographer

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Jim K, Mar 14, 2022.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    So I've been learning all afternoon. You guys gave me just enough to get me interested lol.

    At this point, I'm leaning towards the https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...c_gx85wk_lumix_dmc_gx85_mirrorless_micro.html recommended by @Salty . It seems to be a good compromise between size, capability, and price. I also like the idea of the M4/3 system so that we could potentially mess with different lenses if we get into it, or use these lenses on another body if this one dies. My only concern is that it was released in 2016, so it's pretty old. I suppose that might be part of the attractive price.

    I also looked at https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1389450-REG/panasonic_lumix_dmc_zs200_digital_camera.html . Point N Shoot, but with a 1" sensor and a big zoom. Very similar specs to the Sony mentioned above, but with more zoom. I'm concerned about it being too delicate as our last camera was this style and simply fell apart.

    Also on the list were:
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1598863-REG/canon_4728c014_eos_m50_mark_ii.html
    and
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/802478562-USE/canon_2727c021_eos_rebel_t7_dslr.html/specs

    I looked at the "bridge" cameras, but it seemed like they were mostly bigger bodies and smaller sensors. Crazy zooms though, although I guess that's easier with the smaller sensors. Maybe I'm making too much of sensor size? We really loved the Canon Elph we used to have and it was a 1/2.3 sensor.

    Still open to advice. Not sure when I'll pull the trigger, but it looks like B&H is closed for a Jewish holiday through the weekend so there's no hurry. Again I don't know what I don't know here.
     
  2. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    1" sensor isn't a physical 1" sensor. I only found out recently. But you don't need that to take amazing photos.
     
  3. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Sony RX100 (choose the model that fits your budget) is awesome.
     
  4. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Yet another vote for Sony R100. There are like 8 versions to pick from so its hard to know which to get. The later ones are more about 4k video so older models are great for photos. Its a very nice back lit sensor and at 1" pretty darn good in low light. Most models have a pop up viewfinder and I think a few had a built in ND filter.

    The problem with any camera is that the immediate sharing and social feedback gratification is like 1000x more painful than a phone.

    To start seeing objects on the ground from our GA flights you probably want around 100mm lens (full frame). And you probably want around 20MP. Then some IBIS (in body stabilization) or image stabilized lens.

    The RX100 gets you to about 70mm and 20MP. Nice!

    If I was going to shoot a lot of ground photos I'd want a 70-200 zoom much like Jack uses. If its in a crop body sensor that's another 1,6x zoom.

    My favorite is a 85mm lens on a Sony A7RII. Short lens. F1.8. Wicked sharp. 40+ MP so endless crop.

    But for a great small camera RX100. This guy is kinda funky but maybe it will illustrate its capability.

    *Edit* it appears later models go up to 200mm zoom. Spendy though.

     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
  5. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's easy to fall down the trap of picking a camera just based on specmanship. One needs to read some reviews, see some photos made with the camera, and then decide. My good old Nikon D40 didn't have top specs when it was released, let alone compared to today's cameras, yet I love the thing just the same. It has great contrast, vivid color capture, and very nice skin tone rendering. I really like the photos that come out of this old cheap camera.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I haven't seriously shot in a long time, I need to dust the kit off and spend some time slowing down, looking at things, and shooting some photos again.
     
  6. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    Good question and I'm not sure I can answer it. It is the top of the line Canon DSLR and I worked my way up to it. It is a very rugged camera and I like the weight of it. I started off many years ago with some of the lower end cameras and when I look back at those photos, I see a big difference. Just not as sharp, not as colorful.

    I never stop being amazed that a photo can be so sharp with me shooting handheld, no stabilizer, blasting through the air at 100mph.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. masloki

    masloki Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not to dissuade from getting a camera for photos, but you could grab one year old iPhone 12 pro for under 1k and dedicate it to camera duties. Keep your daily as your smartphone and you should have better luck with the camera-phone.

    And yes, smartphones onboard AI enhanced photo processing, sensors and lenses have advanced quite a bit in the last couple years. This is coming from a former Nokia employee and those phones had some bonkers good cameras over the days. Apple grabbed hired on some of those guys.
     
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    not sure if it's been mentioned but there's a way to put a black cloth of some sort kind of behind the camera to eliminate glare on the windows. that might help with clarity.
     
  9. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    Air-to-Air Briefing That's one of my notes on my briefing page for air-to-air shots, but it also works when shooting through a window. "Consider a black shirt if you are in a plane with a canopy. Less reflection."
     
  10. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Line Up and Wait

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    You can spent countless hours studying how to photograph better (but, tl;dr fly lower and during the magic hours) with whatever you already own and you'll improve far more than spending $500 or $1000 or $2500 will benefit you on new gear. And then, when you finally have the skills needed to justify a new camera, you'll also have the skills needed to figure out which one you want and why. To illustrate that point, the below are not great, but were taken with an iPhone 10 during the magic hours.

    IMG_1093-sm.jpg IMG_1104-sm.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2022
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  11. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They're actually pretty great!
     
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  12. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Line Up and Wait

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    I wanted to comment on something else also, but forgot. I just switched to using the logbook built into foreflight and it has a really cool feature that I hadn't known about. It will look at your apple devices (or iCloud?) and see what photos you took during the flight you logged. So then your logbook has flights in it and when you look back at your flights you can relive the adventure.

    Germane to this thread, I've started taking pictures of things I notice during my flights and want to learn more about later, like the house/building in your photo.
     
  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Android - esp Pixel for the win. It's comical how bad iPhone photos are in relation. I swear you would think there's a piece of wax paper over the lens with all the iPhones, or they're using one of these:
    upload_2022-3-16_11-24-23.png

    Here's two pictures I took recently, both were taken with whatever default setting the camera has and no changes after the fact. tbh I find the more I mess with the settings or the pictures afterwards the worse it looks
    upload_2022-3-16_11-27-40.png
    ^unfortunately a good camera can't fix an incompetent photographer (me) from not cutting the top of the damn sailboat mast off

    upload_2022-3-16_11-28-31.png
     
  14. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    Oh, good another fanboy heard from. The current pixel, the current samsung and the current iphone are all great cameras. Here's the current pixel compared to the current iphone.

    "Overall, it's almost impossible to consider either phone much better than the other. They both have superb cameras, so choosing between them should come down to a preference over Android versus iOS, rather than based on camera quality alone."

    https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/iphone-13-pro-vs-pixel-6-pro-which-phone-has-the-best-camera/
     
  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    It's interesting, because just above that sentence you quoted, the author also writes "Personally, I think the iPhone 13 Pro takes the win in the night-mode test, but the Pixel 6 Pro comes out on top everywhere else."

    Part of my issue with iPhones are the same issue people have with Prius drivers, Tesla drivers, and Starbucks aficianados. It comes with this heir of superiority.


    I'll be a fanboy for the camera. But the phone in general is not great - I don't really fall in either camp
    -the auto-rotate feature sucks, there's an annoyingly long delay before the screen flips (much longer than my previous pixel 3)
    -the battery life is offensively poor
    -no Foreflight, and I've yet to find a good android capable competitor.. so I keep an iPad for Foreflight
    -the Android platform is just a little clunky. I appreciate the level of control the user gets, but even simple things like scroll cadence just don't feel as refined as what you get with an iPhone
    -speech to text and auto-complete are better in the android, and general text editing is easier with Android


    Back to the thread - I am not sure it's worth spending money for a good camera.. just buy a good phone that either takes good pictures by default, or at least get an app or software to make some of the flying pictures pop
     
  16. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    Leave my grandfather out of this. I may indeed be superior to him, but he's a damn fine person.
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I stay in the fruit family basically for Foreflight. I like it, and it's only on Apple. I do like the cameras on the Pixel series of phones, but have no interest in maintaining two ecosystems.
     
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  18. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    My newest (oldest?) camera arrived yesterday!
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The only old camera I have is one of these old rangefinders, my dad bought it when he was stationed in France when he was in the Army.

    Capture.JPG

    And I can't give up the first camera I ever bought for my self, this Minolta I used in highschool yearbook lol:

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Part of my old camera collection. These are the “portables”

    the bantam special is a really cool camera.

    EAF09C6C-0124-42DF-80E2-6994FC1ACC5A.jpeg 474F6A80-CD24-4A73-A720-9C3B67E5EF09.jpeg CBD85E5A-4E9D-4135-82FF-158B1C4E9E15.jpeg 8FE41EF2-1EBF-47FE-B133-D6BAFAD8F9CE.jpeg 6C1389CC-4021-456F-8D7F-26C05C481257.jpeg
     
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  21. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    That looks fun. I got one of these to play with older cameras (produced from 1968-73) a couple years back. I really like that's there's nothing electric on it. And it has a good weight to it. Not as old as some of the others posted above.
    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can see the corner of my first camera - a Minolta x-700 cropped off of the top photo above. It was a really good camera in its day. I’ll not part with it unless someone offers a stupid amount for it, which is unlikely. It’s not nostalgic and not particularly awesome either.
     
  23. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Line Up and Wait

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    I can just pull my canopy back and no problems.
     
  24. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Full disclosure, I’m a “has been” wanna be pro photographer that doesn’t even keep up with things anymore. At one point I made enough to pay for a dive trip with my underwater photography, and some of my pictures were purchased for a series of postage stamps in Nevis (tiny island country next to st kitts). They sent me a very nice collectors panel of them after they were published.

    But I never reached the point where I could even pay for my equipment, so only a wannabe. Now, everybody underwater has a camera so you have to get insanely unique shots of difficult subjects to stand out even a tiny bit. My pics are better, but not better enough to sell. Lol

    I’ve considered doing some air to air stuff, but honestly, I’d rather fly the plane for jack than man the camera. ;) I might eventually get someone to fly my plane so I can get some nice shots of it from another plane, but that will require borrowing a plane, a pilot, and I’m sure they will suck next to jacks. Another minus is it wouldn’t be me flying in the pics. Maybe I’m going to have to contract jack.
     
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  25. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’ll make you a deal jack. I’ll do a spread of you taking a spread of me and we’ll call it even. Rotfl
     
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