Good camera - new baby coming

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Triple digit golfer
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Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Triple digit golfer » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:55 am

With a baby due in a few months, my wife wants to buy a good camera. I would like recommendations on what qualities I should be looking for in a "good camera." She wants to be able to take "those pictures where the baby will be clear but everything in the background is blurry."

All kidding aside, we just want a good quality camera that will take better pictures than our smartphones (although in my opinion, smartphones take great pictures) and is easy for beginners to use.

Any suggestions?

kjvmartin
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:02 am

We bought a Nikon D3300 and a 35mm prime lens with the idea of "saving money" on professional pictures. It works for the bokeh effect your wife wants. The entire package around Black Friday was $299 for the camera + kit lens and then around $130 for the 35mm fixed lens. This was a refurbished model via Adorama. There is a newer D3400, but I didn't think it was worth any uncharge.

It's an art which will take some study and research if you want consistently good pictures. We still use iPhone 99% of the time and I question the amount of money we've allegedly saved by buying the DSLR. Babies are often "cute" for very brief moments of time when you'll struggle to get your phone open before it's over.... let alone find the DSLR, turn it on, focus, etc.

BogleBoogie
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by BogleBoogie » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:07 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:With a baby due in a few months, my wife wants to buy a good camera. I would like recommendations on what qualities I should be looking for in a "good camera." She wants to be able to take "those pictures where the baby will be clear but everything in the background is blurry."

All kidding aside, we just want a good quality camera that will take better pictures than our smartphones (although in my opinion, smartphones take great pictures) and is easy for beginners to use.

Any suggestions?
I'm not a camera guy but my wife recently wanted one for essentially the same purpose. She purchased one through Costco, it is the Canon Powershot Sx530 and got it for $249. It came with a carrying case and large memory card. I like Costco because they seem to do a good job vetting the products they carry and have a good track record of standing behind them when it comes to returning items. You'll find more informed responses from camera enthusiasts, but figured I would weigh in with our recent purchase. Good luck and congrats on the baby!

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lthenderson
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:07 am

Lots of prior posts on similar requests. Personally in the easy to use category, I would just stick with my smart phone. I think point and shoot cameras are going the same direction as eight track tapes. There are lots of DSLR cameras that take great quality pictures but I wouldn't place them into the easy to use category unless you just use the all automated button and if that is the case, why spend all the money. I would rather spend my money on photo processing software to achieve the various looks you are going for.

Boglegrappler
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Boglegrappler » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:10 am

The effect that you are talking about comes from using a camera set up that creates a narrow "depth of field" , which means that the distance range over which objects are in focus is very small. Objects in front of the focus range are blurred, as are objects beyond the focus range.

It's not actually the camera alone that can create that effect. Its the combination of the camera and the lens. But generally, the depth of field in any picture shrinks much smaller if the shot is taken at a wide aperture. Aperture is the measurement of the "iris" of the camera (just like your eye), and if you open the aperture wider, more more ligh comes into the sensor or film, but it comes in in a slightly different way, more spread around the lens, and less concentrated right in the middle spot.

If I were you, I'd read up on this a little bit. You need a lens that will have an aperture that will open to 1.8, I'd say. Note that smaller aperture numbers mean the aperture is larger. The lens itself, in setups where you have detachable lenses, is where the aperture is located. So you have to buy the right lens. Lenses which have large apertures are more expensive, and are bought to allow better shots in lower light situations.

There are probably some point and shoot cameras that will allow you to shoot with a wide open aperture, but I'm not sure of which ones they are, and they will be more expensive when you find them.

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climber2020
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by climber2020 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:12 am

Fuji X100 series. If you don't want to spend $1300 and are ok with a used model, there's plenty of them at keh.com.

MPAndy222
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by MPAndy222 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:36 am

I would recommending going with an entry level dslr and a prime lens. For example - you can get a canon rebel t6 and a 50mm prime 1.8 lens for ~$600. Else you could get an iPhone 7 plus and get the same effect as they have two cameras

Finance-MD
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Finance-MD » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:37 am

If you want 'easy-to-use' - i would definitely not get a SLR.

iPhones are so easy to use, and I find that most people who go the SLR route just give up; just not worth it.

I used to shoot (pictures) professionally and have expensive full-frame professional SLR equipment. I also have mirrorless cameras and my iPhone.

2 years ago I gave up using my SLR unless for a hired gig. It's just far too much work to get a good shot (from focusing, exposing, etc.) using a mirror instead of the technology we have in today's chips and having to haul around all that gear.

Mirrorless cameras are *MUCH* easier to use if you want to be able to expose and focus more manually and have a good size sensor and get creamy 'bokeh' effects (lens dependent). We still use our (now old) sony NEX-6 as our go too for when we want great photos without too much inconvenience. The sensor is similar to most SLR's for similar overall quality. (We still have to deal with charging the battery and downloading photos; but the act of taking pictures is much easier). Then the editing :O -- which i don't have time for anymore.

If I were to get another mirrrorless camera these days, I'd probably lean toward a panasonic Lumix or a Sony alpha, something that i can send readily to my phone directly for insta-posting... then i'd still have the good raw images for post-processing in my computer if i ever want to get around to it. (just yesterday i edited a round of SLR photos for a friend from 51 weeks ago... just under the 1 year mark :/... fail).

if you want "really" small so that you take more photos with it overall... the Sony RX100 is best in its class (though i've never owned one).... i'm also partial to the Canon G series (my G9 is one of my all time favorites for overall ease of use, best auto mode i've ever used on a point and shoot).

In terms of importance in getting good photos: Photographer >>>> lens & lighting >>> camera body.

Price-wise... please don't caught up in buying the "newest" model advertising the "most" megapixels.
That's all marketing mumbo jumbo; more megapixels does not mean better photo quality, but does mean bigger file size and more pain in the download/edit/upload workflow.... I actually despise high MP size. I usually buy a model just as it goes clearance for the newest version; you can often get it at ~40% discount. Unless a new model has something you *need* and would really make your workflow easier (e.g. wifi compatibility)... newer doesn't mean better... just newer. And it won't make your photos any better either... You can always get something that's a few years old that's well depreciated... see how you like it. if ends up not getting used, then sell it off without taking much of a hit.

amythius
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by amythius » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:43 am

1) Maybe a little more on intended uses? And budget? Are we talking $250, $400, $2k ?

2) Preference on ease / customization?

3) Size matter?


I ask these because I think they matter at this point of camera evolution. Everyone knows DSLR are amazing at taking pictues. But you also need a little more knowledge to use them. I opted to go for three things:
1 - Ease of Use, 2 - Size and 3 - Video Capable

This sent me in the direction of a Point-And-Shoot that would fit in my pocket. I didn't want something dangling around my neck or a huge fanny pack with lenses. I chose the Sony RX-100 model for about $400 when my first was born. The detail and picture quality is astounding compared to the previous point and shoots we had before. I was also interested in taking quality video on this camera -- and it is better than any pocket camcorder I had previously. So I combined my video camera and camera into one with this purchase.

I actually have a Google Pixel phone now -- which has a top-rated phone camera. And while it is a very good camera, I often prefer what my Sony RX-100 can do. Honestly, for the $500 invested into my camera and it's intended usage over a decade or two -- I could not have made a wiser investment. I enjoy looking at pictures at least once a week, and maintain digital libraries for my own consumption as well as sharing with family.

Some sites I used for research are as follows:
dpreview
cameradecision
cameralabs

I think for 2017, the Sony RX-100 and Lumix are great point and shoots. But to each his own! Best of luck!

You mentioned 'easy to use' and I think Point and Shoots still fulfill that criteria. I made some initial settings changes on my camera, and now just 98% of the time use the Automated setting to take pictures. Then review and keep what I want.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:51 am

If you aren't looking for a DSLR with interchangeable lenses I agree with the Sony RX100 V. It's the latest version out. If I hadn't gotten a Nikon D7000 I would've bought the Sony. As a matter of fact, sometimes I wish I did buy the Sony for the portability factor which definitely does not exist with my DLSR. I've even considered selling the DSLR to buy the Sony but I've done that before to buy a P&S and regretted it.
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by fourwheelcycle » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:01 am

kjvmartin wrote: We still use iPhone 99% of the time and I question the amount of money we've allegedly saved by buying the DSLR. Babies are often "cute" for very brief moments of time when you'll struggle to get your phone open before it's over.... let alone find the DSLR, turn it on, focus, etc.
I absolutely agree. Our first grandchild was born ten months ago and all pictures and videos are taken and shared on the iPhone, which our son and DIL both use proficiently. I have used SLRs and DSLRs for over forty years. They are great, but I cannot get my camera and take a good picture, bokeh or otherwise, anywhere near as fast as our son can grab his iPhone. With an iPhone you are ready to share, email, or post a photo or video immediately; with a camera there are still extra steps from photo or video to sharing, emailing, or posting. I have cropped and edited some of our son's iPhone pictures and they seem pretty good to me.

As far as saving money on professional photographers, I would suggest the main benefit relates to the photographer and their lighting setup, not the camera. When we were raising our kids I took all the holiday card photos and we used professional photographers for baby and family photos every few years. If you look around our house it is the professional photos that have made it into picture frames. My photos only survive in our iPhoto files.
Last edited by fourwheelcycle on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:09 am

> pictures where the baby will be clear but everything in the background is blurry."

You want a camera with a relatively large aperture (this means the max f number of the lens is a SMALL number, of order 2.0).

Since optics of this sort is not really cheap it will not be a cheap camera, at least it will not have been cheap when new.

A 35 mm lens with f number 1.8, in any brand, SLR or mirrorless, will work fine.

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vinvedi
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by vinvedi » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:11 am

I would recommend iPhone or similar smartphone for spontaneity and a professional photographer for special occasions

3spots
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by 3spots » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:19 am

I am a bit of a camera buff, and my all-time-favorite, better than my DSLR is the Panasonic Lumix FZ300. I take it everywhere despite it not being a pocket-sized camera. here is why:

1. Great in low light -- has a consistent F2.8 through an incredible zoom range to 600mm
2. No interchangeable lenses to worry about -- wide to zoom all in that incredible Leica lens.
3. Brilliant 4K video -- some people prefer this camera to a dedicated video camera
4. LCD that tilts and swivels -- can place camera to take ground level shots without out you having to be on the ground. Can tilt is around to see the selfies you are taking.
4. Beautiful viewfinder - because the sun on an LCD is miserable.
5. Easy to use one-handed -- I frequently take shots from back of motorcycle with a glove on.
6. Lightweight. It is bigger than a pocket camera but not heavy. I use a strap that screws into the tripod socket and carry it cross wise.
7. Quick start up -- I can have it on standby or turned off and still have it turn on and get the shot.

I don't keep this camera in a case, it gets knocked around, goes on hikes, sits in the car... it just never fails. I have nicer cameras, but I take most of my shots with this one.

3pots

Gadget
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Gadget » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:37 am

I have a Canon 7D mark II with a 50 mm 1.4 lens. It is great for staged photos. I can get almost as good as pro photography with it. My problem is that since I'm not a pro, I really have to think about the settings and lighting and sometimes experiment to get the picture right. In real life situations, my Google pixel phone is almost always better. You really have to understand aperture, shutter speed, exposure, etc on a dslr to beat a phone in my opinion.

For instance, I took pictures of my kids first birthday party. The ones I took were great and better than a cell phone can do. But every time I handed it to a family member to take a picture of our whole family, it confused them and didn't turn out as good as a cell phone picture. Point and shoot on a dslr just isn't as good as point and shoot on a great phone, unless you really need optical zoom. It used to be low lighting too with a dslr, but my pixel phone is so good in low lighting I don't use the dslr for that much either.

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Triple digit golfer » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:47 am

Thank you, everybody. I've read all of your replies and they are appreciated.

Neither of us are professional photographers or anywhere close, so we definitely don't want a difficult to use DSLR camera or one that requires changing lenses or settings frequently. I like that the Sony RX100 lets you change by just twisting the lens.

Also looking into that Panasonic Lumix FX300.

Thanks all.

stimulacra
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by stimulacra » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:55 am

I was in a similar boat to you when our daughter was born. Ended up getting a Canon 60D with some lenses to help capture all of her first milestones.

That was back in 2010 so I think the current model to get would be the Canon EOS 80D dSLR (it should be around $1100 - 1200 for a decent kit), Canon 7D mk II would be the step-up upgrade. For lenses I would recommend either the 40mm 2.8 STM (pancake) for compactness or Canon's 50mm 1.4 USM (for the blurry background effect). If you want to upgrade to full-frame (the sensors matches the original dimension of 35mm film photography, early dSLR's were originally crop factor), the Canon 6D or 5D Mk III or IV are all great options but come with added costs.

If you have a Costco membership, they typically have good deals on dSLR kits.

The primary benefit of a dSLR for me was being able to nail the shot due to the high frame rate, babies and toddlers don't keep still so being able to capture 6 images per second, often times made the difference between capturing that perfect keeper or not. dSLRs helped increase the yield of photos some of which I was easily able to enlarge to 16 x 20 prints with no noticeable drop in image quality.

If a dSLR seems too bulky for you (It didn't bother me much since I was hauling around a ton of baby gear anyways) consider getting a mirrorless camera system (FujiFilm is the only real contender here) or any of the premium compacts from Canon or Nikon (The low-end of the spectrum has effectively been replaced by smartphones).

As my daughter got older I've transitioned to a FujiFilm X100-T and my iPhone SE. Part of this might be due to the fact that there is a slight social stigma for adult males carrying around dSLR cameras with conspicuous zoom or telephoto lenses, I would occasionally get hassled by paranoid moms or security guards when doing street photography.

Some current buying guides below. It's very much a choose your own adventure in terms of brands, systems, and workflow you want to commit to.

From Digital Photography Review:
http://bit.ly/2siEIDf

From The Wirecutter
http://bit.ly/2rIJlaU

Also note: the most recent version of the iPhone (I think it's the larger version) can fake the blurry background effect via “Portrait mode” by using the dual lens.

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Pajamas
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:21 am

The best camera is the one that you have in your hand when you want to take a photograph. Get a smartphone with an excellent camera so that you can take lots of photos (and video) of the baby whenever and wherever you are inspired to do so. If you get a single function camera or even a video camera, then you will only use it when you plan to do so ahead of time and will miss most of the photo opportunities or would only be able to take advantage of them with a clearly inferior smartphone camera.

I remember my father carrying a bulky camera and accessories on some vacations and at special occasions, lots of trouble. He had boxes and boxes of slides and films from all over the world. No one ever looked at any of them after the first year unless they were cleaning out the closet where they were all stored. Nowadays, the big advantage is being able to share images instantly, so do so.

asterix0
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by asterix0 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:57 pm

I recommend the Sony RX100. It has a 1" sensor which makes it useful in low light and a wide maximum aperture which can blur the background. If you want to spend a lot of money (around $1000), get the V. If you want a viewfinder, get the iii. If you want to save and are happy using the back of camera display to compose photos, get the original which now costs about $400. If you want to take photo lessons (I am) get a DSLR.

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MN-Investor
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by MN-Investor » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:31 pm

An expert photographer will get better pictures with a mid-range priced camera than an amateur will with an expensive camera.

Two things are important to your success, and this includes taking photos with a cell phone camera -

First, know its capabilities. My iPhone 7 Plus can do some pretty neat things, but I wouldn't be able to do those neat things if I didn't know they existed. It's vital that you understand all the capabilities of whatever camera you do use.

And second, practice! Back when you had to use film and pay for development, practicing was expensive. There's no excuse in this digital age to not practice, practice, practice! It makes you a better photographer and gets you in the habit of whipping out that camera and quickly setting up a shot. Get a friend or two to critique your photos so you learn how to improve them.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

Dvorak212
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Dvorak212 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:38 pm

I bought a DSLR (Nikon) when baby #1 was born and later switched to a Canon DSLR. Over time I started using it less and less until I switched to a semi-pro compact, Canon S120. It has great image quality and lens, but most importantly it's very pocketable. These days I take most pics from iPhone 7 Plus since it's always with me. Portrait mode gives some nice bokeh for the effort/money. I keep the S120 around for bdays and special occasions though. Congrats on the baby!

Lobster
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Lobster » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:47 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote: Any suggestions?
We bought an entry level DSLR for the same reason just before our first son was born. To date we use the iphone camera 10 times more often (literally). If I did it over again I'd pay the $150 for the newborn shots they usually take at the hospital and called it good.
Submit to the relentless rules of humble arithmetic and avoid the tyranny of compounding costs.

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AAA
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by AAA » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:54 pm

Finance-MD wrote:If you want 'easy-to-use' - i would definitely not get a SLR.

iPhones are so easy to use, and I find that most people who go the SLR route just give up; just not worth it.
I'm not sure of your statistics regarding SLR's, but as the OP's child grows into an active toddler he may find that a smartphone is not responsive enough.

Teague
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Teague » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:09 pm

AAA wrote:
Finance-MD wrote:If you want 'easy-to-use' - i would definitely not get a SLR.

iPhones are so easy to use, and I find that most people who go the SLR route just give up; just not worth it.
I'm not sure of your statistics regarding SLR's, but as the OP's child grows into an active toddler he may find that a smartphone is not responsive enough.
Agreed.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Toddlers come next.
Semper Augustus

MutualEdge
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by MutualEdge » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:24 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:>

A 35 mm lens with f number 1.8, in any brand, SLR or mirrorless, will work fine.
This.

If you want a zoom capable of producing background bokeh, get a zoom lens with a 2.8 aperature.

Get a cheaper or older model camera and invest more in the lenses. If you're willing to learn a bit and want some serious photos, go this route. The iPhone still can't complete in this arena...yet...

Enjoy!

squirm
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by squirm » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:33 pm

You'll end up using your phone camera. I was like you and bought the fancy camera before baby was due, learned how to use it and got good at photo shop even. Ended up using the phone camera 99% of the time. Just buy a good phone with a good camera, overall it'll work out better.

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rob
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by rob » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:01 pm

If your asking the question - mobile phone is the answer. Look at some services that auto print mobile phone pictures into a book or alike.

Personally, I've had SLR's around the house for years and most of the pictures of the kids I love are from one SLR or another...... but you have to have the interest.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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FraggleRock
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by FraggleRock » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:47 pm

iPhone 7 + $3 ProCamera app

gpburdell
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by gpburdell » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:57 pm

Sony RX100 (3rd generation or higher). One of the best point and shoot cameras you can get and small enough to fit in pants and take anywhere. Alot of venues won't let you take in the big DSLRs, etc. I typically keep mine in the glove compartment of my car so it's usually on hand when needed. That DSLR left at home is worthless when you something comes up spur of the moment.

iamlucky13
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:03 pm

I'm going again with the message that consistently good photos are more a matter of having a detailed understanding of photography in addition to be able to work your camera than about having a good camera.

If you want to spend time learning and make photography a serious hobby, I'd take a look at the Sony RX100 line or Canon G series for compacts (the RX100 III and Canon G7X II are very similar and a good all around balance), or just about any of the Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, or Panasonic interchangeable lens cameras (aka, DSLR's or mirrorless cameras.

The less sure you are of making photography a hobby, the lower on the scale I'd go. The Sony and Canon compacts are really quite good point-and-shoots but also offer a pretty full set of features for hobbyists, and they're a lot easier to juggle with a baby than an SLR. The situation you would most likely see an advantage over your smart phone is with low light or fast-moving subjects. They will also provide a better focus isolation than a point-and-shoot, but perhaps not as much as you're expecting.

Otherwise, consider sticking with your smart phone and spend the money instead on hiring a photographer for mini-sessions for special events when you want nice photos.

toast0
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by toast0 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:35 am

lthenderson wrote:There are lots of DSLR cameras that take great quality pictures but I wouldn't place them into the easy to use category unless you just use the all automated button and if that is the case, why spend all the money.
We got a Nikon D3100 around the birth of our child, and we've been using it mostly in auto (or auto + no flash). It's clearly not as convenient as a smartphone camera, so it doesn't go everywhere, but when we do bring it, it takes consistently good pictures, and it's consistently fast (in tricky situations there can be some trouble focusing, mostly in situations where our smartphones had no chance anyway), and it's a pleasure to use something designed to take pictures to take pictures. I'm really happy with the 16-300mm 3rd party zoom we got, which basically covers everything. If I started over today, I'd probably look into the mirrorless systems, which have a lot of size advantage, but didn't seem quite ready when I was shopping 6 years ago. (FWIW, the Nikon D3300 seems to be basically the same or slightly better than the D3400 in terms of features).

Either way, plan to buy the camera (or decide to just go with a smartphone), before the due date; there's a lot of comparison to be done, and it's a lot harder to do under the influence of massive sleep deprivation. :)

squirm
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by squirm » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:18 am

Lobster wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote: Any suggestions?
We bought an entry level DSLR for the same reason just before our first son was born. To date we use the iphone camera 10 times more often (literally). If I did it over again I'd pay the $150 for the newborn shots they usually take at the hospital and called it good.
I have a dslr with less then 200 pictures from years ago. Convenience of phone cameras outweighs quality the vast majority of the time. More so today since phone cameras are pretty good anyway.

When the novelty of a new dslr wears off, it just sits around unused, that's what happened with me.

Finance-MD
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Finance-MD » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:01 pm

Teague wrote:
AAA wrote:
Finance-MD wrote:If you want 'easy-to-use' - i would definitely not get a SLR.

iPhones are so easy to use, and I find that most people who go the SLR route just give up; just not worth it.
I'm not sure of your statistics regarding SLR's, but as the OP's child grows into an active toddler he may find that a smartphone is not responsive enough.
Agreed.

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Toddlers come next.
I was commenting on 'easy to use.'
I personally recommend a mirrorless camera or a good p&s such as the rx100.
Did you read my entire post?
I take pictures of toddlers and animals with my iPhone all the time.
Even taking professional photos of animals or toddlers I never use any of the 'high speed shooting' modes. Everything is 'single click.'
I can do better with my better gear. But as others have said, the phone is right there all the time. I've taken tens of thousands of photos in my life professionally and not. Many of my best photos, regardless of the setting or the person, animal, etc. were taken on my iPhone.
Photographs are taken by photographers.

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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by JeffAL » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:24 pm

I thought going DSLR and a fast prime was the way to go for good low light performance. I then discovered that a prime shooting at a low f-stop didn't work for twins because one was always slightly outside the (narrow) focal plane.

If I was buying today, I'd go mirrorless.

The vast majority of our pics are taken with our iPhones (7+) though.

Hockey10
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Hockey10 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:52 pm

Save your money and stick with an Iphone. The quality of today's smartphone photos are lightyears better than the typical photos in the dark ages of yesteryear.

The cameras in the 1970s used flashcubes for indooor shots. (The flashcubes were expensive). You bought some Kodak film (a 20 shot roll of film as I recall). Then you loaded it carefully into the camera (afraid that you might accidentally expose it to too much light). You were very careful when each of the 20 photos were taken. Then you unloaded the film from the camera (being even more careful than when you loaded the blank roll). Then you took your roll of Kodak film to the local camera shop, waited about a week, then paid a lot of :moneybag . As you looked at the photos for the first time, you realized that 8 of them were horrible, 9 were so-so, and maybe 3 were good enough to keep / paste into a photo album.

My younger son tells me that I should always use DW's Iphone 7 for pictures when we are taking an important photo, since it has a better camera than my Iphone 6. I tell him he has no clue since he did not grow up in the 1970s. :annoyed

killjoy2012
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by killjoy2012 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:59 pm

DSLRs shoot nice pics, no doubt, but very few of us, other than hard core photographers, are going to lug that thing all around town all day just to get some incremental increase in PQ. I think you should first decide on physical size, as in how pocketable or not you want the camera to be. Then maybe cost. Then PQ.

Camera phone covers most of the spur of moment shots. I personally can see value in a high quality, point and shoot that's pocketable -- something like a Canon S110/120 or Sony RX100. But my family members who have DSLRs rarely break them out for pictures. Maybe for Xmas or some holiday where the camera is at their house. But lugging a DSLR, on top of the kids and all of the gear, just to get some incremental PQ - not me, and not most.

aqan
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by aqan » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:29 pm

I feel that these days you only need to buy a decent DSLR... most of the time you'll be using your smartphone as that will be always handy to record the spontaneous cuteness :)

MutualEdge
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by MutualEdge » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:20 pm

JeffAL wrote:I thought going DSLR and a fast prime was the way to go for good low light performance. I then discovered that a prime shooting at a low f-stop didn't work for twins because one was always slightly outside the (narrow) focal plane.

If I was buying today, I'd go mirrorless.

The vast majority of our pics are taken with our iPhones (7+) though.
JeffAL,

It is the way to go. Try shooting the twins at 4 or 4.5 and see if that gets them both into focus. You might have to go up to f5. But the quality should still be greater than that of a phone.

It's true. If you go the dslr route, you have to be interested in photography, otherwise you'll reach for your phone for ease-of-use. However, like investing, an interest in photography can pay dividends. That said, I'm probably biased :D

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Sandtrap
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:26 am

Canon g9, g5 :D
Shared experiences to benefit all -- not an exspurt -- per forum guidelines :) Golf score allocation 50/50 swings vs putts.

SleepKing
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by SleepKing » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:38 am

To answer your question, you absolutely need something other than the phone camera if you want to get really nice photos for display, etc... If you're happy with mediocre or worse quality photos in difficult light and fast motion environments, then its fine to stick with the phone.

From my experience, we drastically underestimated the amount of pictures being taken in poor lighting situations. Professional photos look great because the lighting is spot on. Kids in the house, store, party, bright outdoors, holidays in dim lighting, etc... the iphones do ok in the light, but leave much to be desired. Same thing for DSLRs. Unless you buy a very expensive model with insane ISO capabilities, you will be disappointed. Thus, you need an external flash and photo editing software (I use lightroom).

With that said, I usse a Nikon D3100 with an external flash for most 'important photos'...ie Christmas day, father/mother day, birthday parties, etc... where I know the lighting will be bad. This always gets me some great 'keeper shots'. If we are doing outdoor things or the lighting is adequate to capture fast moving kids, I ditch the flash. I use a prime 35mm for 'portrait' shots and the 18-200 lens for everyday shooting.

I don't think you can go wrong with many recs on here. All about price point and LEARNING how to shoot photos. For an entry level DSLR, external flash, and a zoom lens, this can easily add up to >$3000.

Personally, I'm really interested in getting the Sony A7RII or A6300. A bit more compact than DLSR and are multipurpose. Check out stuckincustoms.com

We have captured many memories that we look at all the time over the years. I feel this is one area where you shouldn't cheap out.

Da5id
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Da5id » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:54 am

Hockey10 wrote:Save your money and stick with an Iphone. The quality of today's smartphone photos are lightyears better than the typical photos in the dark ages of yesteryear.
There clearly is a case for standalone high quality cameras with nice lenses, particularly for certain special applications (sports, distant wildlife, really low light situations, etc).

That said, having a good smartphone camera is a huge win. The best camera in the world is useless if you don't have it with you when you want to take a shot!

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jharkin
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by jharkin » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:04 am

I'm a little biased, my wife is an amateur photography buff who used to work in the darkroom at college, etc and she has a full blown Cannon DSLR rig with various prime, zoom, telephoto and wide angle lenses. We *used* to also have point and shoot cameras but now we mostly use the phones and break out the SLR for special events. In DSLRs Cannon or Nikon is definitely the way to go and cannon seems to be more popular with pro's.

(And then their are rangefinder cameras like Leica's - another universe entirely and those people look down on DSLR people :twisted: )

However, if you want to do things beyond simple snapshots, like depth of field effects (what you are referring to with the blurred background), macro work, telephoto, etc... the smartphone falls short. All the megapixels in the world cant compensate for the tiny sensor and single fixed lens.

That's not to say DSLR is the answer.. as others say they can be intimidating and there is a lot to learn. A good mid range point and shoot with a decent lens and optical zoom might not be a bad idea. I'm not the photography expert and cant give you brand/model recommendations however.

squirm
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by squirm » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:13 am

I just looked and I have over 10,000 pictures, about 90% of those are from the phone, 9.5% from my Lumix point and shoot super zoom and .4% from my dslr and .1% from professional photographer. Unless you plan on blowing them up and printing them out, I have a hard time telling the difference in quality between the different cameras when viewing on the screen. The only photos that really stick out are the ones done by a professional. Photography is more than having a quality photo/camera, it's about the art, setting, background and pose, things that take years of experience.

If I had to do it over again, I'd stick with a phone and hire a photographer once a year or so for the stand out photographs.

chmcnm
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by chmcnm » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:35 am

Been there, done that. Stick to a smart phone or a good, smaller camera. Kids very rarely sit still long enough to setup a quality camera for a picture. Most of my kids photos are spontaneous. Very rarely do you have a camera around when you need it. Go to a pro for a set of family portraits every few years, especially when the kids are little. Worth every penny.

JDot
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by JDot » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:34 pm

This thread has probably ran its course, but I just can't help myself.

I recently spent many hours researching, purchasing, and learning to use a fairly nice DSLR, a D7200. I shoot in RAW and use lightroom and photoshop for post processing.

Unless you are willing to dedicate over a $1,000 in camera gear and literally spending hours teaching yourself about photography and post processing, I suggest you stick with one of the cell phone cameras I mention below and google photos.

The best cameras on cell phones, per many recent reviews are: the new pixel (small or large), iPhone 7 plus, the S7, and the S8.

That's just my suggestion. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting into photography. I'm so glad I did as it's been something I wanted to dabble in for years.

Definitely check out google photos regardless of what you do!

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Ozonewanderer
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by Ozonewanderer » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:26 pm

I get so mad when my iPhone takes better photos than my $2300 Sony A7 with Zeiss 55 mm lens. And that's frequently.

The new iPhone 7+takes photos in Portrait mode giving the clear subject, fuzzy background image.

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AAA
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by AAA » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:10 am

Finance-MD wrote:I was commenting on 'easy to use.'
I personally recommend a mirrorless camera or a good p&s such as the rx100.
Did you read my entire post?
I take pictures of toddlers and animals with my iPhone all the time.
And I was commenting on responsiveness (shutter lag, etc.).

mlipps
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by mlipps » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:35 am

Why don't you just use your iPhone in portrait mode?

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/21/hands ... rait-mode/

TN_Boy
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by TN_Boy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:11 pm

JDot wrote:This thread has probably ran its course, but I just can't help myself.

I recently spent many hours researching, purchasing, and learning to use a fairly nice DSLR, a D7200. I shoot in RAW and use lightroom and photoshop for post processing.

Unless you are willing to dedicate over a $1,000 in camera gear and literally spending hours teaching yourself about photography and post processing, I suggest you stick with one of the cell phone cameras I mention below and google photos.

The best cameras on cell phones, per many recent reviews are: the new pixel (small or large), iPhone 7 plus, the S7, and the S8.

That's just my suggestion. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting into photography. I'm so glad I did as it's been something I wanted to dabble in for years.

Definitely check out google photos regardless of what you do!
I tend to reluctantly agree with this advice, since I think it does take some effort to start getting the benefits of a better camera. And the cell phone is usually handy. One exception is zoom -- if you have a cell phone only and what you want a picture of is far away relative to its size, well, there really isn't a substitute for optical zoom. I do believe, rightly or wrongly, that I can get better pictures from my camera, using what I know about photography and the wonders of post-processing, than from any cell phone *if I want to concentrate on the photography.*

I would be interested in seeing pictures of moving subjects in low light taken with even the best cell phone cameras, since I can't figure out how to overcome the limitations of the small sensor.

Looking at the pictures I take (not of kids, usually) the cell phone sure wouldn't cut it. But a huge number of pictures people take now are those of other people, usually relatively close. And most of those pictures are not printed, especially not printed large, nor are they displayed at a large size on a really big monitor.

One thing that did surprise me in this thread, is that several people remarked on how they wanted better cameras/professionally taken pictures for maybe once a year 'stand out' photographs or special events etc, but I personally find almost all formal pictures really boring, and a lot of the special event pictures are posed. The candid shots are the ones I find much more interesting.

dcdowden
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Re: Good camera - new baby coming

Post by dcdowden » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:24 pm

I bought my son and dil a Canon G7X a couple years ago for the birth of their first child. This is a fairly compact camera with an f 1.8 aperture lens. The camera has excellent low light performance because of the larger lens which is important for shooting indoors without using a flash. It also has good video performance as well. The camera is available for about $600 on Amazon, but there may be newer models available as well. I have bought a couple slightly older models on Ebay at quite a discount, because there seem to be people that always like to upgrade to the latest and then sell the older versions.

All that said, most of the pictures my son has sent me were taken on his cell phone which is currently a Google Pixel XL. They are really quite good. I have a Panasonic Lumix G7 which is an interchangeable lens camera in the Micro 4/3 format which provides many of the advantages of a DSLR but in a smaller package which makes it more portable. I try to use my camera to get the best pictures at family events.

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