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CamERA Equipment |OT| Photon Capturing Comparison Club

Dr. Monkey

Mafia MVP
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,606
Hello! I was hoping to get a little advice. My elder child is super into making minifig scenes and dioramas and now that he's getting more serious, we need to be thinking about photo equipment. I tried some add-on phone macro lenses, but they were a bust - the other lenses worked just fine, but not the macro, which is all I wanted. I don't want to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars if possible (outside budget of maybe $400; would prefer to go under that). I used to be into photography, but when I stopped, of course I sold all my stuff. Sigh. I'm not sure I know enough to solve this problem myself anyway - so here I am.

We want to be able to get good detail on scenes maybe 12 x 12 in, and up close on lego figs. We have good lighting sources. Any advice appreciated!
 
Hello! I was hoping to get a little advice. My elder child is super into making minifig scenes and dioramas and now that he's getting more serious, we need to be thinking about photo equipment. I tried some add-on phone macro lenses, but they were a bust - the other lenses worked just fine, but not the macro, which is all I wanted. I don't want to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars if possible (outside budget of maybe $400; would prefer to go under that). I used to be into photography, but when I stopped, of course I sold all my stuff. Sigh. I'm not sure I know enough to solve this problem myself anyway - so here I am.

We want to be able to get good detail on scenes maybe 12 x 12 in, and up close on lego figs. We have good lighting sources. Any advice appreciated!
Astral/H3X
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,645
Maybe a used/refurbished RX100 III? That should be around a few hundred dollars and has pretty good macro capabilities. Will certainly be an upgrade from a smartphone. Image quality will be great as long as you have full control of lighting/movement in the scene, which it sounds like you do!
 
Oct 25, 2017
635
I wanted to post this before entering the thread, but from time to time I keep being amazed by the bright light performance of the RX100M3 using low ISO. The sharpness, IQ,... you wouldn't be able to tell this was a pocket camera from a 100% crop alone. Of course I shoot in RAW using full manual controls. But the whole package is amazing lol. The lens could always be (wishfully) faster at the longer end, but it's already at about the limit of what you can expect from such a compact device.

The whole thing falls apart quickly when the light gets dimmer though, and the controls are an absolute pain.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,645
I wanted to post this before entering the thread, but from time to time I keep being amazed by the bright light performance of the RX100M3 using low ISO. The sharpness, IQ,... you wouldn't be able to tell this was a pocket camera from a 100% crop alone. Of course I shoot in RAW using full manual controls. But the whole package is amazing lol. The lens could always be (wishfully) faster at the longer end, but it's already at about the limit of what you can expect from such a compact device.

The whole thing falls apart quickly when the light gets dimmer though, and the controls are an absolute pain.
Totally agree. I've got the V version and the image quality of the 1" sensor is really impressive as long as you can keep the ISO under 1000 or so (preferably under 640) and it comes in an absolutely tiny package.
 
Oct 25, 2017
635
Totally agree. I've got the V version and the image quality of the 1" sensor is really impressive as long as you can keep the ISO under 1000 or so (preferably under 640) and it comes in an absolutely tiny package.
At ISO160 it's pretty amazing, shame there's no native 100/80 option though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,880
Hello! I was hoping to get a little advice. My elder child is super into making minifig scenes and dioramas and now that he's getting more serious, we need to be thinking about photo equipment. I tried some add-on phone macro lenses, but they were a bust - the other lenses worked just fine, but not the macro, which is all I wanted. I don't want to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars if possible (outside budget of maybe $400; would prefer to go under that). I used to be into photography, but when I stopped, of course I sold all my stuff. Sigh. I'm not sure I know enough to solve this problem myself anyway - so here I am.

We want to be able to get good detail on scenes maybe 12 x 12 in, and up close on lego figs. We have good lighting sources. Any advice appreciated!
We buying to do exactly one thing... Take photos of toys. If you wanna do more, this won't be what you get.

For the camera, get the Sony a5100. (Link provided) It's the most capable sensor for the cheapest money. It'll suck at absolutely any type of general use photography, and we aint even getting a lens with it, but it's $350 and that's okay for photos of Legos and toys and stuff.

For the lens, there's a few options -- but we're gonna go vintage. Why? Toys don't move. You don't need autofocus or stabilization. All you need are good bits of close up glass, and old lenses are just as good.
Some of these may only go to 1:2, which is where the object will project onto the sensor at half the actual size. (So if it's a 10mm tall object, it will take up 5mm of the sensor). Most of these are paired with a special extension tube to bring them all the way to 1:1, which is full size.
My main recommendation:
Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro (with extension tube)
You really just can't go wrong with this one, aside from the possibility of a bad copy. These are cheap and great -- though they'll have a wee bit of a yellow cast to them. This is easily fixed by using a custom white balance, and only if it even happens to bother you.
Other than that, since it's not natively a Sony lens, you'll need this FD to E Mount adapter.

Lastly, a tripod is heavily recommended, though since it's non-moving objects, you don't need a fancy one; you may have a perfectly good enough tripod laying around your house.

Again this setup is sacrificing everything else purely for toy/Lego photography. It will take *awesome* Lego and Toy photos... but basically nothing else.
Some sample photos of what to expect out of this gear; all of the following photos were taken with the exact same lens that I posted, and with a camera that has the exact same sensor.

20150714-Fresh Haircut.jpg
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
Lego Self Portrait
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
20150714-On Patrol.jpg
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
20150715-News.jpg
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
Revenge of the Smiles
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
Cowboy Trooper vs Ninjas
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
Pool for One
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr
Nighttime Stroll
by Hunter Mauro, on Flickr

Was this just an excuse to post photos of Legos? Maybe.
 
Oct 29, 2017
127
I knew what I was getting into buying the Fuji XF 56 1.2 - the autofocus performance is pretty atrocious in even remotely low light. Which is annoying because low light is one of the two reasons you want a super fast lens.

My question is - will AF performance for this lens drastically improve if I upgrade from an X-T20 to an X-T2 or X-T3?
 

Dr. Monkey

Mafia MVP
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,606
Oh, wow, Astral/H3X, that's awesome. And we don't need anything else with it - I don't have the time to sink into photography otherwise. Thank you so much, especially for the explanations of why the particular choices were made. Much appreciated.
 
I'm looking to get a DSLR, likely a refurbished Canon 80d for photo and some video work. What would be a good price point to jump in on? I'm not dying to get one ASAP, but I'd like to buy one if it makes sense financially. Should I wait until the potential new model with 4k gets announced?
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
I knew what I was getting into buying the Fuji XF 56 1.2 - the autofocus performance is pretty atrocious in even remotely low light. Which is annoying because low light is one of the two reasons you want a super fast lens.

My question is - will AF performance for this lens drastically improve if I upgrade from an X-T20 to an X-T2 or X-T3?
Yes. What are you using that thing on again?
I'm looking to get a DSLR, likely a refurbished Canon 80d for photo and some video work. What would be a good price point to jump in on? I'm not dying to get one ASAP, but I'd like to buy one if it makes sense financially. Should I wait until the potential new model with 4k gets announced?
Why Canon? I'm honestly getting to a point where I wouldn't do video work on anything that doesn't have focus peaking.
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
What would you recommend?
If you have the budget for either a Fuji X-T2 or X-T3 then get that. If you want full frame get a Sony A7RII, want something light and portable get a Panasonic G85, like you have options here. Don't get a Canon just because it's a recognized name. More budget strapped get a Sony A6300 or X-T20.
 
If you have the budget for either a Fuji X-T2 or X-T3 then get that. If you want full frame get a Sony A7RII, want something light and portable get a Panasonic G85, like you have options here. Don't get a Canon just because it's a recognized name. More budget strapped get a Sony A6300 or X-T20.
If I were to go with the less expensive options, what lens would be the best for general purpose?
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
If I were to go with the less expensive options, what lens would be the best for general purpose?
This tends to vary by system honestly. People tend to like the Fuji 18-55 kit lens, I don't. I usually try to get whatever 2.8 24-70 equivalent I can find. You do any indoor work? Sony is trickier people tend to really like the 18-35 1.8 Art lens if you get the A6300.
 
Oct 29, 2017
127
Yes. What are you using that thing on again?
All sorts of stuff but mostly for portraits. I take a lot of pictures of my kids and friends. I'm not trying to take "action" shots of my kids just randomly playing, it's more controlled portraits and it's fine for that as long as it's good light.

The other night I was at a bar and took some pics of the band playing and it was hunting like crazy so I ended up just using MF. Pics came out OK but it was pretty disappointing considering the cost of the lens.
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
All sorts of stuff but mostly for portraits. I take a lot of pictures of my kids and friends. I'm not trying to take "action" shots of my kids just randomly playing, it's more controlled portraits and it's fine for that as long as it's good light.

The other night I was at a bar and took some pics of the band playing and it was hunting like crazy so I ended up just using MF. Pics came out OK but it was pretty disappointing considering the cost of the lens.
Most of the primes outside of maybe the 90F2 and 200F2 are not good for faster stuff. I think I usually put the camera in Zone AF and burst fire. I know the speed is mostly regarding the older primes, I think the X-T3 helps them a little bit though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
635
So I asked the Slide Lite for my New Year's Eve present. That's a good choice, right? I feel other straps are either too industrial or too hipster (leather) and this one will go well with my everyday backpack.

What do you use when storing your MILC at home? Put it in a bag? Just on a safe shelf? I guess it doesn't matter much and I don't need to really find a seperate solution to store it at home.
 
Oct 29, 2017
127
So I asked the Slide Lite for my New Year's Eve present. That's a good choice, right? I feel other straps are either too industrial or too hipster (leather) and this one will go well with my everyday backpack.

What do you use when storing your MILC at home? Put it in a bag? Just on a safe shelf? I guess it doesn't matter much and I don't need to really find a seperate solution to store it at home.
I have a Luma Loop and I'm really happy with it, but also ordered a Peak Capture Clip as well for when I have my Peak backpack with me.

At home I just use a cheap AmazonBasics camera bag with inserts
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,880
So I asked the Slide Lite for my New Year's Eve present. That's a good choice, right? I feel other straps are either too industrial or too hipster (leather) and this one will go well with my everyday backpack.

What do you use when storing your MILC at home? Put it in a bag? Just on a safe shelf? I guess it doesn't matter much and I don't need to really find a seperate solution to store it at home.
Slide Lite is fantastic. Best feature is that it's never there when you don't want it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,196
So my uncle is down here visiting right now and we've gone out shooting some. He is gonna give me a sweet deal on the 50s with some nice glass as well. Just gonna have to see when the gfx 100s comes out. Might not be until q2 2019?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,094
Any thoughts on the following Mirrorless cameras?

Panasonic Lumix GX850
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9K
Fujifilm X-T100
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
Canon EOS M50

My needs outside good pictures

1) 4K video at least 25 FPS without a 5 minute limit (edit: after a bit of research ignore this one, 4K seems really crap on budget mirror-less cameras)
2) Flip screen
3) Good auto focus
4) Size
5) Battery life
6) Mic jack (low priority)

I have picked out those cameras as they are in my budget range. I need something that won't be bulky whilst traveling.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
468
Europe
Any thoughts on the following Mirrorless cameras?

Panasonic Lumix GX850
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9K
Fujifilm X-T100
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
Canon EOS M50

My needs outside good pictures

1) 4K video at least 25 FPS without a 5 minute limit (edit: after a bit of research ignore this one, 4K seems really crap on budget mirror-less cameras)
2) Flip screen
3) Good auto focus
4) Size
5) Battery life
6) Mic jack (low priority)
Just some quick thoughts:
- Canon lens ecosystem is nothing to write home about. You can adapt the EF-S glass, if you're willing to pay for the adapter and accept the bulk.
- MFT lenses are the biggest plus for that system. Compact or bright, there's a lot of good glass to choose from.
- Fuji has good lenses, too. The sensor might be the best of that bunch for some good low light performance.
- The Olympus has some okayish 4k video for its price. Nothing professional of course and missing a mic jack. Stabilization works great.
- GX850 has no viewfinder. You'll have to decide for yourself, if this is a problem for you. For me it would be a K.O. criterion.

Look for a shop which gives you the opportunity to try the cameras in your own hands. Frankly they are all fine in their own way, but personal preferences are the most important benchmark imo.
 
Oct 27, 2017
143
finland
Any thoughts on the following Mirrorless cameras?

Panasonic Lumix GX850
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9K
Fujifilm X-T100
Olympus OM-D E-M10 III
Canon EOS M50

My needs outside good pictures

1) 4K video at least 25 FPS without a 5 minute limit (edit: after a bit of research ignore this one, 4K seems really crap on budget mirror-less cameras)
2) Flip screen
3) Good auto focus
4) Size
5) Battery life
6) Mic jack (low priority)

I have picked out those cameras as they are in my budget range. I need something that won't be bulky whilst traveling.
The Lumix GX85 seems to be much better than the GX850 in the video department. The price is about the same right now on US Amazon with the GX85 on sale.
The 4k on the X-T100 is pretty much unusable, I wouldn't get an Olympus camera for video either as Panasonic's cameras have much better video features.
 
Oct 25, 2017
468
Europe
The Lumix GX85 seems to be much better than the GX850 in the video department. The price is about the same right now on US Amazon with the GX85 on sale.
The 4k on the X-T100 is pretty much unusable, I wouldn't get an Olympus camera for video either as Panasonic's cameras have much better video features.
Correct. If video is the main purpose, I would consider a used GH4 in this price range. A bit bulkier, but much more capable and expandable.
 
Oct 30, 2017
963
1. What's your budget? $200 to $250
2. What size/form factor do you prefer? i dont care
3. What kinds of subjects will you be shooting? watches, jewelry and electronics, and some people's faces, also wanna use the camera as a webcam
4. What level of photography experience do you have? pretty low
5. Do you plan on upgrading in the future with lenses and accessories? nope

thanks guys.
 
Oct 25, 2017
465
1. What's your budget? $200 to $250
2. What size/form factor do you prefer? i dont care
3. What kinds of subjects will you be shooting? watches, jewelry and electronics, and some people's faces, also wanna use the camera as a webcam
4. What level of photography experience do you have? pretty low
5. Do you plan on upgrading in the future with lenses and accessories? nope

thanks guys.
Stick to your smartphone.
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
my smartphone sucks man T.T
There is nothing that is in this price range as good as your smart phone. You might be able to pull a used d5200 with no lens at that price but I do not feel like checking right now.

Edit: Did some Ebaying and up your budget by $50-$100 and get a used Panasonic G7, Fuji X-T10 (Not sure on the video for the Fuji) or Sony A6000
 
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Oct 26, 2017
2,634
Happy New Year!!

I'm looking for a cheap stabilizer that works well for a mirrorless camera (fuji x100f). Anyone know?

I took some travel footage of my new year and want something that makes my footage not shaky, it is unbearable.

also, does anyone have a list of recommended stuff of a travel blog? I have a x100f and a mic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
I think my next lens will be the 70-200gm, this thing needs reach badly, 85mm is not reach. Don't ask me how I'm going to get it, but I have a dream *giorno giovanna I have a dream music plays in the background* After I get that thing I can start putting it to work as my head shot camera.

Edit: I'm really starting to wish YouTubers would stop preaching "just bump up the iso" over having access to an extra stop of light.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
163
Thinking about getting a wide angle zoom instead of primes. More than once last year I've been too lazy to switch lenses while hiking.

Three options, 16-35 f4, 16-35 f2.8 or the 12-24 f4. The GM is almost double the price of the f4, and since I mainly shoot landscapes I don't think I need f2.8. And I also think 16mm is wide enough, so the 16-35 f4 would be the most reasonable to get...
 
Oct 25, 2017
14,562
Thinking about getting a wide angle zoom instead of primes. More than once last year I've been too lazy to switch lenses while hiking.

Three options, 16-35 f4, 16-35 f2.8 or the 12-24 f4. The GM is almost double the price of the f4, and since I mainly shoot landscapes I don't think I need f2.8. And I also think 16mm is wide enough, so the 16-35 f4 would be the most reasonable to get...
2.8 for an UWA is probably unneeded unless you do astro work or indoor event work or video work. I heard the 16-35 Zeiss is better than the 24-70 Zeiss which is soft and has the ugliest bokeh...granted I don't exactly trust Zeiss when it comes to their zooms.

Edit: Apparently Sony cameras still overheat for video...no wonder why I'm not getting rid of my Fuji system.
 
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