Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Asking Advice for Next Camera
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Sep 14, 2020 19:22:51   #
mcacm111
 
I would like to ask for advice on what camera to purchase next. Perhaps some background would help. Twenty years ago I sold my Nikon manual film SLR and began to use point-and-shoot digitals. My two most recent cameras were a Sony NEX-3, and, for the last 4-5 years, a Sony RX100 IV. The aim was minimal weight and bulk, with acceptable image quality; and I'm happy enough with the Sony's 24-70mm (35 mm equivalent) zoom range. I almost exclusively shoot jpegs, editing some of those. I take some issue with the color of the Sony's out-of-camera jpegs; have decided I want higher IQ and more dial controls; and am willing to accept somewhat more bulk and weight. Probably would only purchase a few lenses. Am considering the following cameras: Fujifilm XT-30 or possibly XT-3, Canon M6 II, Nikon Z50 (APS-C); or Canon RP, Nikon Z5, Sony A7 II (full frame). Would most likely start out with a modest zoom, and would like to initially stay closer to $1K than $2K if possible. Notice I'm looking for compactness within those categories; and wondering if I really need to go to full frame.

Any opinions would be most appreciated.

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Sep 14, 2020 19:58:19   #
Cany143 Loc: SE Utah
 
You've included a whole lot of variables there, not the least of which is whether or not to go full frame. Though I have no experience with any of the Canons or Nikon Z's you mentioned, I do have experience with the Fuji's, and as a result, I'd recommend them very highly, not only for their compactness, but for their ease of operation (the logically placed, top mounted --almost 'old school'-- ISO and shutter speed dials (& etc), and their image IQ as well, even (or maybe especially) since you prefer shooting jpegs. Considering your price range, and the fact that you want to include a modest zoom of some sort, while either the XT-30, or the somewhat pricier XT-3 could certainly be possibilities, you might instead consider having very nearly the same capabilities of either of these by looking into a good used XT-2. Body and lens (maybe the very excellent XF 18-55 f2.8-4.0?) could come in under $1000, and would leave you room ($$$) to complete the kit by adding another lens or two.

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Sep 14, 2020 20:02:46   #
laf Loc: Nordland
 
Pen F

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Sep 14, 2020 20:34:39   #
rwm283main Loc: Terryville, CT
 
All excellent choices with, and I would imagine, quite a difference in feel and operation on all your choices.
I've been shooting with Nikon FX and APS-C cameras for many years, and still own 2 great models. I was looking for something lighter for my all day hikes in the woods. After testing and comparing the results from a few mirrorless cameras I went with Fujifilm. I have an X-T2 and a X-T100. The X-T100 with a wide angle lens fits in my small messenger bag while I have the X-T2 with the 55-200mm lens around my neck. The weight of the two are probably less than what I was carrying with my Nikon kit. The feel of the Fujifilm camera in my hand, which is a medium sized hand, is just so nice. Both my Fujifilm cameras deliver excellent IQ. The X-T2 is my favorite because of the controls that are at your finger tip. Everything you need to control the exposure is right there without having to go into a menu. Great cameras!

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Sep 14, 2020 20:44:14   #
larryepage Loc: North Texas
 
mcacm111 wrote:
I would like to ask for advice on what camera to purchase next. Perhaps some background would help. Twenty years ago I sold my Nikon manual film SLR and began to use point-and-shoot digitals. My two most recent cameras were a Sony NEX-3, and, for the last 4-5 years, a Sony RX100 IV. The aim was minimal weight and bulk, with acceptable image quality; and I'm happy enough with the Sony's 24-70mm (35 mm equivalent) zoom range. I almost exclusively shoot jpegs, editing some of those. I take some issue with the color of the Sony's out-of-camera jpegs; have decided I want higher IQ and more dial controls; and am willing to accept somewhat more bulk and weight. Probably would only purchase a few lenses. Am considering the following cameras: Fujifilm XT-30 or possibly XT-3, Canon M6 II, Nikon Z50 (APS-C); or Canon RP, Nikon Z5, Sony A7 II (full frame). Would most likely start out with a modest zoom, and would like to initially stay closer to $1K than $2K if possible. Notice I'm looking for compactness within those categories; and wondering if I really need to go to full frame.

Any opinions would be most appreciated.
I would like to ask for advice on what camera to p... (show quote)


You mention that you want more access to direct "dial controls," which I interpret as wishing to manage more of your exposure and picture controls without having to go into the menu system. If this is, in fact, the case, then my suggestion is that you look for nice used copies of the cameras directed more toward the professional market. I cannot help you with any specific camera models other than Nikon, but for Nikon, this would mean looking at cameras like the D300s or the D500 for DX. For full frame, it means cameras like the D810 or the D850. It is possible to shoot all day making adjustments just with control buttons and dials and never enter the menu, although those cameras all do provide some very helpful controls via the menu. No other models that I have used provide this capability to the extent that these cameras do. (I've not used the D1-D6, but believe their interface is very similar.)

These options will not provide you with the compactness that you also mention, but direct control must be sacrificed to varying extents to accomplish that compactness, so your big challenge is going to be working through the tradeoff between these two requirements. There's just not room on a small camera for lots of knobs and buttons. (And if they are there, they are invariably tiny and hard to find and operate.) In the end, you are going to have to find a way to physically look at cameras, holding them, trying them, and understanding what they do and do not offer in order to make your final decision.

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Sep 14, 2020 21:34:54   #
Cany143 Loc: SE Utah
 
larryepage wrote:
You mention that you want more access to direct "dial controls," which I interpret as wishing to manage more of your exposure and picture controls without having to go into the menu system. If this is, in fact, the case, then my suggestion is that you look for nice used copies of the cameras directed more toward the professional market. I cannot help you with any specific camera models other than Nikon, but for Nikon, this would mean looking at cameras like the D300s or the D500 for DX. For full frame, it means cameras like the D810 or the D850. It is possible to shoot all day making adjustments just with control buttons and dials and never enter the menu, although those cameras all do provide some very helpful controls via the menu. No other models that I have used provide this capability to the extent that these cameras do. (I've not used the D1-D6, but believe their interface is very similar.)

These options will not provide you with the compactness that you also mention, but direct control must be sacrificed to varying extents to accomplish that compactness, so your big challenge is going to be working through the tradeoff between these two requirements. There's just not room on a small camera for lots of knobs and buttons. (And if they are there, they are invariably tiny and hard to find and operate.) In the end, you are going to have to find a way to physically look at cameras, holding them, trying them, and understanding what they do and do not offer in order to make your final decision.
You mention that you want more access to direct &q... (show quote)


No offense or anything, but my 'main' camera is a Nikon D810. There is no way that it --along with whichever of the lenses I might have attached to it at any given time, or otherwise have available in my regular 'getting out there/carry-able for long stretches of time in the sorts of places I go' camera case-- could be called 'compact.' Or light, either. That doesn't concern me as such, but considering our OP's wishes and/or wants above my (our) own, and suggesting that having 'direct control' needs to be sacrificed in any way with anything 'less' is as far from being accurate as anything I can imagine. You've apparently never held, much less used, any of the better --even any of the 'older'-- Fujifilm cameras that are available. Tiny, hard to find, knobs and/or dials? What? Jeez! I'd like the controls on (any of) my (ff and crop sensor) Nikons to be as logically placed as they are on either my X-Pro1 or my XT-2. Likewise, sure, the menu setups are not the same on my Nikons and my Fujis, and krikey! the menu differences between my D810 and my D610 and my D7200 (or even my D5300) aren't the same as each other either, but each is logical, just like the menus on either of my Fuji's, and once any of them have been gotten used to (i.e., 'learned'), they make equal and rational sense.

Only camera I've ever had --and I've had literally hundreds-- that I hated was a p&s-ish Panasonic. Took an ok picture, but I'd have needed to get a PhD to figure out --and remember-- the menu system. I bought it thinking I'd like something 'compact and light' for off-the-cuff random snaps. Big mistake. Thankfully, I didn't take a big hit when I sold it.

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Sep 14, 2020 22:14:08   #
rebride Loc: 2,000 Light Years From Home
 
The Fuji X-T3 w/ XF 16-80mm is on sale at the most inexpensive price it will ever be.
Top shelf Fuji jpeg quality.
Analogue style exposure controls. Aperture ring, shutter speed, ISO.
Much like an old Nikon SLR but digitized.
Most excellent combo.

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Sep 14, 2020 22:17:12   #
larryepage Loc: North Texas
 
Cany143 wrote:
No offense or anything, but my 'main' camera is a Nikon D810. There is no way that it --along with whichever of the lenses I might have attached to it at any given time, or otherwise have available in my regular 'getting out there/carry-able for long stretches of time in the sorts of places I go' camera case-- could be called 'compact.' Or light, either. That doesn't concern me as such, but considering our OP's wishes and/or wants above my (our) own, and suggesting that having 'direct control' needs to be sacrificed in any way with anything 'less' is as far from being accurate as anything I can imagine. You've apparently never held, much less used, any of the better --even any of the 'older'-- Fujifilm cameras that are available. Tiny, hard to find, knobs and/or dials? What? Jeez! I'd like the controls on (any of) my (ff and crop sensor) Nikons to be as logically placed as they are on either my X-Pro1 or my XT-2. Likewise, sure, the menu setups are not the same on my Nikons and my Fujis, and krikey! the menu differences between my D810 and my D610 and my D7200 (or even my D5300) aren't the same as each other either, but each is logical, just like the menus on either of my Fuji's, and once any of them have been gotten used to (i.e., 'learned'), they make equal and rational sense.

Only camera I've ever had --and I've had literally hundreds-- that I hated was a p&s-ish Panasonic. Took an ok picture, but I'd have needed to get a PhD to figure out --and remember-- the menu system. I bought it thinking I'd like something 'compact and light' for off-the-cuff random snaps. Big mistake.
No offense or anything, but my 'main' camera is a ... (show quote)


No offense taken. I always appreciate your comments. My comments were based on the statement from the OP that he shoots JPEGs, which in turn I take to validate his specific requirement or desire for more direct picture control. I like/require direct control access also, so feel like I understand what the OP is seeking. I know that my wife's D40x is very frustrating to me, because it is necessary to access the menu for just about everything. The same is true for the D3xxx, D5xxx, and D7xxx cameras. The D6xx and D7xx cameras are different from those, but still do not work for me. Hence my comments about the cameras I listed.

The OP also lists a requirement for compactness. I have an old CoolPix camera that meets that need, but offers no control other than via the menu.

Also, I was very clear that I cold not speak to any other camera brands. I do have experience with the Fuji S3Pro, which was actually my first DSLR. It produced beautiful 6 MP images, but was truly atrocious to try to use. It may be completely unfair, but because of the painful user interface, I have never looked at another Fuji camera, despite the beautiful images.

In the final analysis, the OP is going to have to work through a resolution to two classically conflicting requirements. I can't do that for him, nor can anyone else here. I'm sure that there is a solution. Finding it may be a challenge, but that is part of the fun in the long run.

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Sep 14, 2020 22:56:02   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
Cany143 wrote:
You've included a whole lot of variables there, not the least of which is whether or not to go full frame. Though I have no experience with any of the Canons or Nikon Z's you mentioned, I do have experience with the Fuji's, and as a result, I'd recommend them very highly, not only for their compactness, but for their ease of operation (the logically placed, top mounted --almost 'old school'-- ISO and shutter speed dials (& etc), and their image IQ as well, even (or maybe especially) since you prefer shooting jpegs. Considering your price range, and the fact that you want to include a modest zoom of some sort, while either the XT-30, or the somewhat pricier XT-3 could certainly be possibilities, you might instead consider having very nearly the same capabilities of either of these by looking into a good used XT-2. Body and lens (maybe the very excellent XF 18-55 f2.8-4.0?) could come in under $1000, and would leave you room ($$$) to complete the kit by adding another lens or two.
You've included a whole lot of variables there, no... (show quote)


👍👍 I can’t improve on or add anything to that advice!

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Sep 15, 2020 07:38:01   #
sueyeisert Loc: New Jersey
 
I also really like Fuji and found it easy to switch from Nikon. Buy used to save money from a reputable dealer.

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Sep 15, 2020 07:44:51   #
sueyeisert Loc: New Jersey
 
larryepage wrote:
No offense taken. I always appreciate your comments. My comments were based on the statement from the OP that he shoots JPEGs, which in turn I take to validate his specific requirement or desire for more direct picture control. I like/require direct control access also, so feel like I understand what the OP is seeking. I know that my wife's D40x is very frustrating to me, because it is necessary to access the menu for just about everything. The same is true for the D3xxx, D5xxx, and D7xxx cameras. The D6xx and D7xx cameras are different from those, but still do not work for me. Hence my comments about the cameras I listed.

The OP also lists a requirement for compactness. I have an old CoolPix camera that meets that need, but offers no control other than via the menu.

Also, I was very clear that I cold not speak to any other camera brands. I do have experience with the Fuji S3Pro, which was actually my first DSLR. It produced beautiful 6 MP images, but was truly atrocious to try to use. It may be completely unfair, but because of the painful user interface, I have never looked at another Fuji camera, despite the beautiful images.

In the final analysis, the OP is going to have to work through a resolution to two classically conflicting requirements. I can't do that for him, nor can anyone else here. I'm sure that there is a solution. Finding it may be a challenge, but that is part of the fun in the long run.
No offense taken. I always appreciate your commen... (show quote)


The user interface is extremely easy I have the XE-2 and the XPro-2 and my friend has the XT-3 she was using the camera without reading the manual. It’s a very easy interface. Most controls are on the camera itself.

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Sep 15, 2020 07:55:39   #
bikerguy
 
Consider the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark III with the 14-42. It is compact and light with plenty of lenses available.

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Sep 15, 2020 08:05:34   #
eadler
 
Leica CL. Yes it's pricey but I think worth it. It's easy to operate with three buttons and two dial. Leica's philosophy is to give you everything that you need but not the things that you don't. The recent firmware update to the menu allows you change about ten different settings such as ISO, shooting mode, shutter speed aperture from a single screen. You can choose lenses from Sigma, and Panasonic as well as M mount lenses with an adaptor. Last but not least it takes great photos.

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Sep 15, 2020 08:24:24   #
Bison Bud
 
If your looking for compact and high quality, I would have to think that the Sony RX100 IV you already have may be about as good as it gets without going to a much larger, full frame DLSR. Yeah, you can buy a camera with better specifications, but it's not going to be compact. Unfortunately, one has to give up something to keep the camera small and if that is a high priority, I think you've already made a wise choice with the Sony RX100 IV. Good luck and good shooting to all.

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Sep 15, 2020 08:43:32   #
mizzee Loc: Boston,Ma
 
Add an Olympus to your list. Camera inspires spontaneity. I paired it at first with a 14-150 lens (28-300 equivalent). I’m getting better images than with my beloved Nikon. Started with a Mark 5 II and recently upgraded to a III. There are good deals on the II that fit well within your budget.

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