Cameras forum


Overwhelmed with all the different camera choices

by TheFaulteringMind / April 2, 2013 11:24 AM PDT

I'm looking for a digital camera, not one of the super compact ones that all those teens have nowadays. but something that would be able to swap out the lens for an increased zoom/ fisheye lens. Around 14 or 16 megapixels and in the price range of 300 to 600 dollars. i'm going to be taking longer distance shots/panoramic views of nature and the like. narrowing down my search alittle with suggestions is greatly appreciated.

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Clarification Request
Is that $300-600 for just the body?
by MarkatNite / April 2, 2013 1:35 PM PDT

Or does that need to include both a fisheye lens and zoom lens, as well? And how long a lens do you need?

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honestly i'm just hoping for some kind of direction
by TheFaulteringMind / April 4, 2013 7:01 AM PDT

the pricing range was just a quick number gap that i threw out there, going over by a little bit wouldn't be a problem. if there was some kind of partial or complete package deal that'd be perfect, but that isn't a must. but for the increased zoom, i was considering either a 16-105mm or maybe even a 55-200mm, but it might be overkill with that.

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Just a note from a t3i owner.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2013 7:13 AM PDT

I got the 55-250 and it's great but for walking around I put the stock 18-55 back on. I think I'm getting more use from the stock lens but look forward to the 50mm fixed lens. I think the 18-55 and fixed 50 may get the most use for me.

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Maybe a Panasonic G5?
by MarkatNite / April 6, 2013 11:21 AM PDT

It's 16MP and can be had for around $400, and you could probably add the 45-150mm lens for another $200, but that still leaves no money for a fisheye. (Pany's is ~$600 and the 3rd party Samyang/Rokinon--which will be full manual; no AF, electronic aperture control, etc.--is $300.)

HTH - Mark

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the fisheye can just be a later purchace
by TheFaulteringMind / April 8, 2013 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Maybe a Panasonic G5?

if anything, just a body and standard lens would just be fine for now. i can always pick up the other lenses further down the road.

All Answers

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by Flatworm / April 12, 2013 10:40 PM PDT

It is hard to find a non-SLR camera that has a fisheye lens capability for the price you state, although quite a few of them have fixed lenses with remarkable zoom capacities.

There are things like the Nikon One, Sony Alpha, Pentax K and Olympus PEN systems, but with lenses you will go as far out of your price range as you would getting a full-blown DSLR, but without the range of lens options.

I would recommend you actually go the DSLR route and spend a few extra dollars. But choose wisely, young Jedi. Once you pick a brand, you are pretty much stuck with it for life, because your lens collection will soon render the price of the camera body a comparative triviality, and the lenses are not interchangeable with other body brands. Personally I like Nikon -- they have higher quality lenses, in my opinion. You can still get the last-generation but still pretty good Nikon D3100 really, really cheap these days, even with one or two lenses and everything, very close to your price range (but a decent wide angle zoom lens and a fisheye will set you back a bit).

Now, for myself, I am looking to replace my obsolete super-compact, which provides lower resolution (but better pictures) than my smartphone, but the choices there are truly bewildering. New products are being introduced at such a furious pace that it is hard to obtain reliable reviews to help with a purchase decision. By the time, for instance, a Consumer Reports review comes out, the highly rated items are often already no longer available, and their direct successors may or may not be as good. In this world, the replacements are often markedly inferior to the cameras they replace in a manufacturer's lineup. Weird. Sort of like the 2012 Honda Civics and VW Jettas.

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Nikon D3100 14.2 MP Digital SLR with 18-55mm Nikkor
by richteral / April 17, 2013 7:53 PM PDT

That is where to start, for less than 450 bucks, delivered. Then look around for what sort of long lens you might want and/or need (two different things) and get for a couple of hundred. You certainly do not need 200 mm for pans, and the same applies to fisheye - ever thought about distortion? What you do seem to need is finding out what shots exactly you will produce with the gear you have in hand.

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