Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:37 pm

I got caught in the past with a huge pixel count and all it did was make large files which were poor quality. To use them as web pictures, I had to scale them down to 10%, or to even print on proper paper, they didn't look any better than a much lower pixel camera (in fact worse than the Fuji Fixepix bridge camera I have - takes great pictures but takes an age doing so).

The D40 looks to be a 6MP which will do fine for my needs. Any models I could look for in the older Sony stuff, Steve?

Roger - I guess that's the risk on second hand (I'm browsing the Amazon marketplace at the moment due to the lack of "proper" camera shops locally to browse a second hand selections). My new ethos of "old but good" seems to be paying off on other items so I'm hoping it will continue. There's a D40 with a 90-day warranty which may be worth the little extra just in case.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:58 pm

Yes, the loss of good-quality local photographic retailers is a bit of a :w (especially from a personal perspective :wink: )

The 90 day waranty sounds good - at least you can quickly test it -you don't need to wait for the film to be developed! :lol:

It is true that pixels aren't everything - it's a bit like buying a car based solely on the mpg figure. At least as important are things like lens quality, focussing accuracy, and the size of the sensor ("film") area. In general, an SLR like the D40 will almost always give better results overall than a compact camera, because of that larger sensor. One of the problems with mobile phone cameras, is that they can give incredible results on some subjects but because they use such tiny sensors, they don't have real "in depth" quality.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:46 pm

My Sony is an A350 14.2MP . It came with an 18-70 zoom, but I've also got a 100-200mm which probably gets the most use TBH.

There are a few for sale on eBay for around £150 including a lens. If there's a downside, it's that it takes a CF card rather than an SD, but that's never been a problem for me.

All these photos were taken with it :-

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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:01 pm

Rightly or wrongly, I've just bought a Canon EOS 400D complete with the battery grip, bag, and a stabilising 17-85 zoom lens (checked and lens new is twice what I paid for the whole setup :shock:)


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:26 pm

My first DSLR which I bought in 2007 was a Canon EOS 400D and it's the camera that I referred to earlier, that has been hammered to death and refuses to die :D All my "proper" photos from 2007 to mid last year, when I upgraded, were taken on that, and as I mentioned, I still use it as a backup, to save changing lenses too frequently. I don't know that particular lens, but I'd be very surprised if it wasn't up to scratch. 17-85 is a good general purpose range which will cover most things, though as Steve suggests you might find something a bit longer helps with motorsport.

Good luck with it and happy snapping! :D


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Corky » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:39 pm

Sounds like a good buy Phil. It should yield much better quality photos than a bridge camera would.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:02 am

Roger - if you've seen how close you are to trackside at the Malta Classic, it doesn't need to be a huge zoom lens :mrgreen: Good to note that the kit is up to the job (having seen your pics); just the idiot behind the viewfinder to train now (me). Lens is this one and seems OK at first glance having had a quick play about with it last night. One of the guys in the office has a Canon 550D - we think we can swap lenses if need be for testing purposes ;)

Corky - that's my theory as well. Wife didn't quite see it like that, thinking I've paid more for an 8 year old camera than I can buy a new (bridge) camera with twice the pixels.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by philhoward » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:13 am

Roger Pennington wrote: With any S/H camera it's a good idea if you can, to check for signs of hard use or ill treatment. Normally you can also check the total number of photos it's been used for (I'm not sure how Nikon implement that) which can also give a good indication. Most entry-level cameras like the d40 are rated at about 50,000 mtbf (my original Canon was rated at that, it's now up to about 150,000 and still going, though it's now only used as a spare)
Luckily this one is in very good condition and if the image counter is correct, has taken less than 4000 photos since new, so is barely run in.


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Re: Recommend me a (cheap) camera...

Post by Roger Pennington » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:07 pm

Sounds like it's still got plenty of life left then! :D

It shouldn't be a problem swapping lenses from the 550D, if you want to try different options.

The lens you've got should be well up to the job. It's worth remembering that "back in the day" when the average enthusiast used an SLR with prime (non zoom) lenses, an average outfit would be a 35mm camera with a 50mm standard lens, a 28mm wide angle, and a 135mm telephoto. That's exactly what your current set up gives you (in one package, and including all focal lengths in between). :D

The key is to exploit the possibilities of your equipment, in any given situation. :)


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