Camera advice after returning to photography after 5 years

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Tom
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Hello

After 5 years of not picking up a camera and a recent change of job I'm looking to reignite my old hobby – excitement doesn't come close! :)

As its been so long and I'll undoubtedly be rusty I'm not sure the cost of a high-end enthusiast, pro camera would be warranted at this stage.

I am leaning towards landscape and travel/holiday use with a budget of £600-1,000 (don't want to get carried away at such an early stage). To get started I was looking at the Canon 750D but the introduction of the Canon mirrorless has caught my eye too, mainly because it's a category I've only recently discovered!

Of course something with longevity would be ideal but as it's been so long since I've shot I accept there may be some growth and changing down the line.

Be great to hear anyone's thoughts or advice?

Tom
 
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David
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For landscape travel and holiday I would certainly consider mirrorless as an alternative to a DSLR. With the right lenses the size difference can be quite considerable and out to be a big factor when out and about.

However you need to consider the fact that if you then go and stick full frame glass on the mirrorless camera the size difference is instantly negated.

A couple of years ago I spent a few years without really picking up the camera and it wasn't until I bought a Canon M3 mirrorless but I really started to get back into photography.
I still have that camera and a couple of lenses which are so small and light it's unbelievable but it felt silly with my bigger canon glass so I sold the the DSLR and EF lenses and I'm pretty much invested in the Fuji world now - mainly because of the lenses, they don't have a full frame offering so all the glass is sized appropriately for mirrorless.

Olympus, Sony ETEC all make very good cameras and have a healthy secondhand market the most. I guess I'm just saying consider mirrorless, and pay attention to the lenses available as arguably, that is the most important element.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Hi Ancient

I don't have any equipment now as I sold it quite some time back.

Canon is what I've used previously so that felt the natural direction but I'm happy to look around.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Hi Furtim

Thank you for your thoughts, mirrorless certainly caught my attention for exactly some of those points made. And I can imagine putting a big lens on a small mirrorless body looking a bit odd!

So have you switched over to Fuji DSLR now or is that still mirrorless you work with?

Maybe taking similar steps to you in trying mirrorless to get myself back into photography and seeing what goes from there is a good approach..

Thanks!
 
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16,081
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Toni
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It's generally considered that Canon don't have the best sensors right now, so if you're not invested there's no compelling reason to go that way. For landscape use a full frame has advantages, but can be bulky in conventional DSLR format. Considering you want to travel then something lighter would help too, but it depends how light you want to go. There's a few options I'd consider in your position:

Used Sony A7 - full frame mirrorless that can take lenses from other makers with an adapter. It's compact, relatively light and produces very high quality images.

Fuji system - crop sensor cameras with retro styling, high quality lenses and a slightly funky sensor that some love and others not so much, fuji seem good at providing software updates for legacy cameras to improve performance. Available used at a wide range of price points & models.

Used Olympus E-M5 MkII - relativey tiny mirrorless camera with great image quality considering the tiny sensor, and a range of excellent lenses available. My wife's E-M10 is just a little larger than a compact when fitted with a pancake zoom.

There's a bunch of stuff that might work - take your time & have a browse (now I sound like the automated till at Tesco!). Personally I don't mind a little weight for travel, so cart around a Nikon D610 (Fx) and a few lenses, but if you prefer to go as light as possible then the Oly would take a lot of beating.
 
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travellingtom
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Best self-service till I've every used thats for sure! ;)

Ah, was just about to reply and saw your second comment. That Sony A7 is getting a lot of love on these forums, lots of people changing over to Sony because of it and for that price its extremely tempting.

At the moment I'm being pulled towards either the Olympus or the Sony, the Olympus has a good range of lenses available.

Thats some sound and sensible advice Chipper - may have to pop down to a shop and get hands on with those two me thinks!
 

GTG

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I bought a Fuji X-T1 last week.

I would be very shocked if it is inferior to any mirrorless £400 or under used.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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That Fuji is another good shout, the graphite silver looks great too!

I must say theres some cracking cameras around!
 
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Darren
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So, cue corny beard stroking, you haven't used a digital camera for yonks? Get a little Nikon pocket camera second hand & learn how to set it up & use it & post shots. If you're still keen on taking pics after that then the Fujifilm stuff is what I'd buy
 
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I have MFT and also a Sony A7 and I'd recommend the Sony A7 but if going APS-C I'd take a long hard look at the Sony A6xxx cameras.

If you are tempted towards MFT don't forget Panasonic. There are some excellent deals on the GX80 and their 12-35mm f2.8 is a very nice lens. This kit can't match the image quality you can get from an A7 though but they are very responsive.
 
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Definately get to currys or wherever you can try a load of cameras,some that sound and look good on paper may not be to your liking in hand,that way you can have a list of possibles.go home then go back another day
trying the ones youve shortlisted.
 
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Steven
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That Fuji is another good shout, the graphite silver looks great too!

I must say theres some cracking cameras around!
I left DSLR's years ago due to size/weight and have used rangefinders and mirrorless ever since. Together with my kids, we have Leicas, Voightlander, Fuji and Sony, also Zeiss glass.

The main issue should be to get good, fast lenses at a sensible price. Fuji wins on his hands down. The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 R is an unbelievably good lens and spectacularly fast. It is £319 used at mpb.com. The equivalent Leica is better but costs over £3,000. Alternatively, the Fuji 18-55 is also an excellent lens.
mob.com do an X-T1 for £379, so for £700 you can get started. Personally I'd go for the 35mm because the ultra fast lens would be best for travel interiors and nighttime photography. If you want zoom, the 18-55 is faster than its competitors.

I had an A7R, but beyond the 24-70 kit lens putting lenses on it is expensive.
 
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Allen
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I have a Canon 650D two lens setup I am thinking of selling , let me know if your intrested
 
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David
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Hi Furtim

Thank you for your thoughts, mirrorless certainly caught my attention for exactly some of those points made. And I can imagine putting a big lens on a small mirrorless body looking a bit odd!

So have you switched over to Fuji DSLR now or is that still mirrorless you work with?

Maybe taking similar steps to you in trying mirrorless to get myself back into photography and seeing what goes from there is a good approach..

Thanks!
The Fujis are all mirrorless and the Fuji lens lineup, because they are sized for mirrorless only are smaller and lighter than the canon versions
 
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23,801
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Phil
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If I was starting from scratch and buying a DSLR, I'd go for a Nikon FF (great vfm and loads of s/h lenses)

But if I was after a set up for travel, and family, I'd go for a Fuji mirrorless, DSLRs still have the edge when it comes to extreme performance, but if you had a low end DSLR all those years ago, you'll not notice a performance hit.

Next up (or down, size wise) would be an Olympus M43 system, I had a play with a mates, and it's a very capable camera, though he admits that IQ is noticeably worse than his crop cameras.

So Fuji is probably the best 'compromise', great system, great lenses, lovely to use.
 
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237
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Andy
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Hello
After 5 years of not picking up a camera and a recent change of job I'm looking to reignite my old hobby – excitement doesn't come close! :)
As its been so long and I'll undoubtedly be rusty I'm not sure the cost of a high-end enthusiast, pro camera would be warranted at this stage.
I am leaning towards landscape and travel/holiday use with a budget of £600-1,000 (don't want to get carried away at such an early stage). To get started I was looking at the Canon 750D but the introduction of the Canon mirrorless has caught my eye too, mainly because it's a category I've only recently discovered!
Of course something with longevity would be ideal but as it's been so long since I've shot I accept there may be some growth and changing down the line.

Be great to hear anyone's thoughts or advice?
Tom
A couple of years ago I was in the same position. I'd used Minolta Canon Nikon Olympus and Mamiya in the past but had made do with a Ricoh compact for years, maybe a decade.
Decided I fancied one of mirrorless Olympus/Fuji/Sony systems.

All three are super quality, any of the lens systems would do far more than I'll ever need. Though Olympus have a special place in my heart and I loved the retro OM styling, and the Fuji small-lightness tempted me, in the end I chose full frame and a body that was ergonomic...fit my hands: Sony A7ii.
No regrets, 6 prime lenses and still got GAS for more Sony gear.

Ergonomics is in many circumstances the most important consideration.
 
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Riz
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Definitely consider mirrorless options but try and a modern DSLR too as you may like the feel better etc, both have their advantages.
As mentioned previously, the best compromise would probably be the excellent Fuji X system in terms of size, weight and cost.
Full-frame still advantages but at a higher price point with the Sony FE system, having owned both the Sony was for me.
Photography can be a expensive hobby so really test the kit out and do plenty of research, reviews can be biased but they do give you some good information too.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Thank you all for the comments and sensible advice, been reading and referencing them this morning :)

Believe my sister has one of those Nikon Coolpix I could use in the meantime, can put that to use whilst I'm saving and researching.

I work in Holborn, London so was planning to drop into a shop nearby to get hands-on with a couple of models after work.

In the long term I would really like to get specifically into landscape photography, with that said are there any cameras that have been mentioned so far that lend themselves to that better than others?

That aside everything suggested so far has been really helpful – plenty of bedtime reading!
 
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Ben
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It's already been said, but getting hands on the body is more important than I thought. I was looking at the Sony a6xxx range before I went for a Nikon body. It wasn't until I held the a6000 that I realised it wouldn't suit me, far to small for my hands.
 
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A couple of years ago I was in the same position. I'd used Minolta Canon Nikon Olympus and Mamiya in the past but had made do with a Ricoh compact for years, maybe a decade.
Decided I fancied one of mirrorless Olympus/Fuji/Sony systems.

All three are super quality, any of the lens systems would do far more than I'll ever need. Though Olympus have a special place in my heart and I loved the retro OM styling, and the Fuji small-lightness tempted me, in the end I chose full frame and a body that was ergonomic...fit my hands: Sony A7ii.
No regrets, 6 prime lenses and still got GAS for more Sony gear.

Ergonomics is in many circumstances the most important consideration.
agreed
 
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9,510
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Thank you all for the comments and sensible advice, been reading and referencing them this morning :)

Believe my sister has one of those Nikon Coolpix I could use in the meantime, can put that to use whilst I'm saving and researching.

I work in Holborn, London so was planning to drop into a shop nearby to get hands-on with a couple of models after work.

In the long term I would really like to get specifically into landscape photography, with that said are there any cameras that have been mentioned so far that lend themselves to that better than others?

That aside everything suggested so far has been really helpful – plenty of bedtime reading!
the Nikon D800/810 are mentioned a lot in landscape work
 
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255
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Steven
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Thank you all for the comments and sensible advice, been reading and referencing them this morning :)

Believe my sister has one of those Nikon Coolpix I could use in the meantime, can put that to use whilst I'm saving and researching.

I work in Holborn, London so was planning to drop into a shop nearby to get hands-on with a couple of models after work.

In the long term I would really like to get specifically into landscape photography, with that said are there any cameras that have been mentioned so far that lend themselves to that better than others?

That aside everything suggested so far has been really helpful – plenty of bedtime reading!
Go and see Mark or Trevor at London Camera Exchange, Mark has always done nice deals for me.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Go and see Mark or Trevor at London Camera Exchange, Mark has always done nice deals for me.
Perfect, thats not far from me at all.

And thank you for the Nikon suggestion Snake, will take a look at those models.
 
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Andy
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Then there's Park Cameras on Rathbone Place, and the new Jessops on Oxford Street, and John Lewis etc
 
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Toni
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So, cue corny beard stroking, you haven't used a digital camera for yonks? Get a little Nikon pocket camera second hand & learn how to set it up & use it & post shots. If you're still keen on taking pics after that then the Fujifilm stuff is what I'd buy
I'm sure Darren won't mind me saying, this is just a way to waste £100-£200. There's no need to 'get your eye in' with a compact, and shooting on a device with rear screen only will change the way you visualise and take an image. Much better to put the money towards another lens.

If I was starting from scratch and buying a DSLR, I'd go for a Nikon FF (great vfm and loads of s/h lenses)

snip
I have a D610 and a D70 (infrared converted) from Nikon, and physically they are very very close in size despite the D70 being crop sensor (and horribly plasticky - I can't believe they asked $1500/£1000 originally): Fx isn't necessarily huge even when in DSLR format. My wife has an Olympus E-M10, which is tiny like a compact, and has the small M43 sensor. With photos taken in ideal conditions, when editing images that more-or-less fill the screen it's very difficult to tell the images apart, however when you start having to recover shadow detail, or zoom in 1:1 then it quickly becomes obvious which is which. I also find that the raw files from the D610 allow much more work before halos and fringes start appearing compared to either M43 or APS-C images.
 

akr

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Al
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I've got an Olympus EM5 II, my first ever mirror less camera. Before that I had a Canon 40D (still have it) and some good Canon glass, and before that a 20d and 400D (my first digital camera was a Fuji 2Mb!).

Anyway I've not taken the 40D since I got the EM5. In all honesty, I marginally prefer the images from my 40D when paired with my 85 or 135 but I just was not taking it out enough. I hardly notice taking the EM5 with me, it's what I'll take on holiday with me this year.

The one area it does lack in is continual autofocus, especially when running straight towards the camera. It does focus quickly I find for one shot, but my much older 40D is faster and more reliable for focusing on fast moving things. I'll probably keep my 40D for this reason for any wildlife photography I ever do

As the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, and for me that is the EM5. It's not the best camera in the world, but it's plenty good enough for me and I've been out with it more times in the last few months than in the last few years with the 40D. I'm not saying get an EM5, but get something you will use - for me I realised weight was the issue so that ruled out a lot of things - it's hard to focus on that but important to remember your core wants in the camera.

Good luck, you can research and confuse yourself monumentally reading all these reviews! There are lots of threads on here for the different cameras and systems, we;; worth a (long) look.

Al
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Thanks again for the last few comments. As it stands – and this is without actually picking a camera up! – I'm leaning towards the mirrorless approach. The concept and advantages sound really good.

But there could be a plot twist once I get down to the shop to get hands on with them. And by them I mean the A7, X-T1 and the EM5.

Thank you to those who have commented and passed on their wisdom, I'll be sure to post back on here once a decision has been made

:)
 
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Alan
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To chuck in my two pennies worth I decided to get rid of all my Nikon gear a few years back. Not because I disliked it but because I wanted a more lightweight option for travelling and couldn't justify an additional second camera. I purchased the Sony A7 but, whilst the quality was great it didn't give me the "feel" I wanted. As a result I traded the A7 for the smaller Sony A6000 which I find to be absolutely fantastic in terms of ease of use, quality and I can also purchase older cheaper glass and use it with an adapter (Sony glass in my view is very expensive). It also gives me 11fps should I need it.

The only minor issue I have is that battery life isn't the best. I have never ran out on a days outing but would certainly recommend a back up battery. Also has Wifi to transfer images to your phone / social media pages etc.

I think the best option is go into a shop, put some cameras in your hand and have a play. If it feels good then you are on the right path.

Good luck.

Alan
 

akr

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2,821
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Al
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The only minor issue I have is that battery life isn't the best. I have never ran out on a days outing but would certainly recommend a back up battery.
Good point re the batteries! I got a couple.of 3rd party ones off Amazon but always have at least one spare, if not 2.

Also if you are looking at the EM5 lookup live comp and high res.
 
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travellingtom
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Tom
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Well, it's only been exactly 2 months since I posted on this forum and can finally reveal what camera I chose which was a Canon 1300D.

After a lot of back and forth I decided to keep it simple and go for an entry level DSLR to learn the ropes again. The more I went into shops and handled a friends camera to test it out the more I thought I needed to walk before running.

So perhaps a curve ball following the discussions on this forum (all of which I'm very thankful for) I felt this was the most suitable approach, in terms of both ability and budget!

Will be sure to post some photos on the forum very soon!

Thanks again to everyone who helped out, certainly played a part in the decision!

Tom :)
 
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Simon
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If I was starting again I would go Fuji - great bodies, great IQ and great lenses!
 
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