/ DSLR Recommendations

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Harry Cook - on 02 Oct 2017
Hey,

So next year I'm moving to Canada becoming a ski instructor and then hoping to progress through the mountain industry as my experience grows. I also love photography and will be looking to snap images as I go, and Im looking into the possibility of pursuing photography as a profession further down the line. Ive owned a Panasonic mirrorless as a hand-me down from my parents however will be looking to purchase my own DSLR sometime soon.

Ive done some researching and ultimately its confused me even more than before. Some people have said Nikon is best for mountain work and low light due to better ISO's and then others have gone the opposite way to canon, and thats without adding in the Sony a7 range and all the others out there.

So I'm just after some advice from fellow climbers, skiers, alpinists on whats best to go for. Obviously I don't want to be spending huge amounts i.e. 1dx prices but something that won't break the bank and will still allow room for some nice glass to go with.

Cheers
Harry

Blue Straggler - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:
A lot of replies on here will suggest mirrorless so I'll get in early and ask what it was about the Panasonic mirrorless that made you feel that a dSLR is the way forward.

I bet the consensus from this thread will be "get an Olympus mirrorless or if feeling rich, a higher-end Fuji one"

This post is a gentle and light-hearted warning to brace yourself and get ready to "justify" to Internet strangers why you want a dSLR
Post edited at 16:21
davidbeynon on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I dunno. Some people might try to sell him a second hand DSLR...

Climbthatpitch - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

I carry a nikon d7100 with me. Slightly heavy but not as heavy as a full frame. Some landscape and mountain photography on my IG account.
Probably could get a really good deal on them now as well.
I have never used a mirrorless so can't really comment on them.

https://www.instagram.com/leejames_photography/
John2 - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

I have a Sony a7R2, which is a good full frame mirrorless body. I'm very happy with it, and the body is smaller than most DSLRs. But since it's full frame, the lenses are just as big and heavy as DSLR lenses. If you want a camera to carry around I'd agree with the person who recommended the Fuji system.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

Deciding between canon and Nikon isn't really and issue. I think in most respect Nikon sensors are ahead but it doesn't really matter. Any current DSLR will take great picks. More important might be which lenses you might want as not all camera systems cover all lenses

The latest mirrorless are very good. But again think about lenses. If you want a weather sealed body and fast standard zoom price that up in a few sytems and look at the total weight. Or maybe be you want a few fast primes again check they exisit and price them up

If you don't know what you want don't spend alot of money. Buy something used and go from there. I'd say a Nikon D7000 (£280 used) and a 16=85 zoom (£250 used) was a good starting point assuming the DSLR route. There will be equivalent Canon set up but I just don't know the model numbers. I took my prices from Ffordes

Finally I'd say a DSLR will give cheap access to a camera that will focus on a moving object which might be good for skiing. I think mirrorless will do this but not as cheaply, yet
Harry Cook - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

Cheers, I dont want to spend massive amounts to start of with, just rather build up as I go
Harry Cook - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I guess my reasoning is a lot of the pros I've seen are using the latest DSLR systems but I understand what you mean.
richlan - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

Have a read here, John Griffith uses mirrorless quite a bit, some good insight into pro kit too

http://alpineexposures.com/phototips/tips-from-the-pros-which-camera-gear

Stuart en Écosse - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

A very short, glib answer;

for photography only, get a DSLR;

for everything else, get a mirrorless.

Everything else includes how often you will take it with you and how often you will use it.

If I could only have one system and one body, I'd probably opt for a Fuji XT2, while wishing I had a Canon FF.


Robert Durran - on 02 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

You could pick up a second hand Fuji X-E1 with the 16-55 kit lens very cheaply. If you like it you will really love an upgrade to an X-T10 or maybe X-T20 or X-T2 later and keep the X-E1 body as a spare.
Jonny on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

If you want an extremely compact DSLR that is unbelievable value, the Canon 100D is a great choice. Combined with a wide angle pancake lens it's only a little thicker than a mirrorless, and no wider, and will take vastly superior images for the same price.
Robert Durran - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonny:
> If you want an extremely compact DSLR that is unbelievable value, the Canon 100D is a great choice. Combined with a wide angle pancake lens it's only a little thicker than a mirrorless, and no wider, and will take vastly superior images for the same price.

Why? Image quality has nothing to do with whether or not there is a mirror; it is mostly to do with the sensor and lens.
Post edited at 09:14
Blue Straggler - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't think Jonny explicitly claimed that a mirror makes a camera better. He was talking about IQ at a certain price point, which has been alluded to by others in this thread too.
Toerag - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

> I guess my reasoning is a lot of the pros I've seen are using the latest DSLR systems but I understand what you mean.

That's because Pros are heavily invested in lenses to cover all eventualities and until recently mirrorless formats haven't had a comprehensive lens set.
The important questions are - do you intend to take your camera walking/climbing, and do you want to shoot in low light or sports/BIF? Because those are the pros/cons for Fuji and m43 mirrorless systems.
Harry Cook - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Toerag:

There would be certain times id want to shoot in low light and also there would be times where I'd want to shoot sports e.g. skiing/snowboarding, in terms of climbing I'd be wanting to take it with me, I'm not to fused about the weight etc however it does play a bit of a factor, its mainly quality and overall usage I'm after.
Jonny on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Exactly.

It's a little artificial, but this tool is fantastic for objective comparison of image quality between different cameras at different ISOs: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison

You have to shell out an awful lot of money on a mirrorless camera to match the performance of even the most basic DSLR (cf. The Fujifilm X-T10 mentioned above to the Canon 100D [SL1 in the tool drop-down]: comparable image quality [DLSR has better detail at low ISOs, mirrorless lower noise at higher ISOs] but for roughly twice the price of the SLR).
jethro kiernan - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:
Fuji XT 2 is worth a look if mirrorless is something you were considering, the decent Fuji lenses are good and weather sealed, if you are getting a DSLR you really need to consider full frame, especially if you are considering a move towards professional photography, as they are definatly moving pro to full frame in the medium term both Nikon and Canon and as a lot of Nikon DX lenses are average at best (the Nikon D500 is propably the last pro level DSLR we will see from Nikon in DX) Canon probably do better value Glass, Nikon tend to do better focusing and sensors, but that is hair splitting and it really doesn't matter which of the big two you choose, I have heard good things about Sony but if I was to go full frame I would get a Nikon D850, if I was to commit to Crop I would probably trade in for a Fuji XT2 (currently on a Nikon D7200).
A small micro 4/3 camera is worth considering as a second camera for "active" days out when photography isn't the mission, good enough quality for publishing if you get a great opportune shot.
Post edited at 13:55
yh001 - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to h.cook2000:

There are pros and cons for both systems - image/video quality, resolution, sensor size, ergonomics and controls, weather proofing etc. which you will probably be interested in if you are pursuing photography professionally.

I personally have a mid range mirrorless Fuji, and I laud it for it's portability and weight. The biggest issue for me is not the image/video quality as these are excellent and sufficient for my uses - it's the cost of lens which for me is prohibitive and limits me to a few crucial lenses that I stick with (perhaps a good thing to stop me squandering my life savings). As the old adage goes...the best camera is the one you have in your hands...If I were in your position I would weigh up your needs and list them in order of priority. Though commitment to buying in to a brand is a big decisions, cameras and lenses generally retain their value fairly well so should you decide to sell it on in the future for something else, that's probably also an option.
Arete - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Stuart en Écosse:

My fuji mirrorless is better than my Canon 40D slr. Many, many pro photographers, particularly wedding photographers, are switching to mirrorless. The quality available easily rivals that of all but the tip-top dslrs.
Robert Durran - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Arete:

> My fuji mirrorless is better than my Canon 40D slr.

Yes, there seems to be more or less a consensus that only FF will beat Fuji mirrorless for image quality.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
Sorry I didn't particularly mean to reply to Robert here...

Please don't waste time starring at the comparison tool at Dpreview (A quick peak at DXO mark might be allowed). All interchangeable lens cameras will have good enough image quality. The chances are that in good light you will never reach the max print size of your camera and even in poor light it will rarely happen. lens choice and form factor matter more

Dpreview is owned by Amazon. Surely Amazon only own a review sites to sell more units

Post edited at 18:12
Stuart en Écosse - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):
Agreed. Review sites are a minefield, filtering out who is owned and/or sponsored by whom.

The Fred Miranda forums, Photo.net and Photography Life are my favourite gossip shops for reviews, as well as the blogs of a few select pros. Dan Bailey (not the DB of this parish) is a good resource for Fuji users.

I should clarify that when I said "get a DSLR" in my last post I should have said "get a FF DSLR" though even then it depends what you want; a non FF Nikon or Canon 1 series (or a 7D) will kick any mirrorless camera into the weeds in the perspective of a sports photographer (though an XT2 with battery grip does 11fps and the AF is nearly as fast as the 5D3 which is still very fast).

Higher end cameras are so incredibly good these days that I can't help but think that with good glass it doesn't really matter what you have. How it feels in your hand, where you like the controls and your skills with processing software begin to become more important.

For those still hung up on the gear (like me) rather than the image making, some wise words from Verm (yes, The Verm):
https://photographylife.com/why-16-megapixels-when-i-could-have-50#more-102064
Post edited at 18:36
jonny.greenwood - on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to Harry Cook:

If you have Sony a7 money, then it's an incredible system. Canon 5dmk4 is also great if you don't mind bulk.

The Sony sensor tech has just been employed by Phase One in their next gen IQ3 100 Tricolor so that should give you an idea of their bayer tech.

Source: Digi Tech for 10 years
Jonny on 03 Oct 2017
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> Dpreview is owned by Amazon. Surely Amazon only own a review sites to sell more units

Considering that Amazon stock pretty much every single camera on the site, that's some 9-11 truth-level conspiracy thinking you've got going on.

It's not a case of to print large or not to print large; many of the image quality parameters one can evaluate with the DPReview tool (like local contrast) will be noticeable at small image sizes.

It's artificial, as I admitted, but that's the nature of objective comparisons.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonny:

> Considering that Amazon stock pretty much every single camera on the site, that's some 9-11 truth-level conspiracy thinking you've got going on.

Exactly Amazon don't care what camera you buy. But they do need a way of persuading you that to buy a more expensive one or that a new one is better than your old one. When in reality your not printing large enough to notice. I note Dpreview never mention print size, unlike image resource

I can see from where I'm sat 18" by 12" prints from my 6Mp D70s. Most are highly manipulated B&W conversions but show great detail. But DPR will say "16Mp starting to seem dated". Rather than can produce stunning 36" by 24" prints

Out of interest why do you think Amazon bought DPreview?



Jonny on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> Exactly Amazon don't care what camera you buy. But they do need a way of persuading you that to buy a more expensive one or that a new one is better than your old one.

I share with you the the feeling that the general push of messaging (at DPReview or elsewhere) is towards 'upgrading', while we don't really need anything beyond a basic film camera (I don't think we get any more subjective satisfaction), but that's in line with other technological trends, and see next point.

> I can see from where I'm sat 18" by 12" prints from my 6Mp D70s. Most are highly manipulated B&W conversions but show great detail. But DPR will say "16Mp starting to seem dated". Rather than can produce stunning 36" by 24" prints

I completely agree with you that that sort of camera will produce very satisfying prints, but if we are talking about differences in image quality between already excellent cameras, I maintain that the DPReview tool is a good one, even if I'm happy to agree with you that modern cameras for a few hundred pounds are all pretty much good enough. Also, perhaps there is heterogeneity of opinion at DPReview, but in an article specifically addressing the 'megapixel' question ( https://www.dpreview.com/articles/1313669123/how-many-megapixels ), their summary words were 'for most purposes 3MP is plenty, but you might want to shoot at around 8MP for the crispest possible details.'.

> Out of interest why do you think Amazon bought DPreview?

No doubt because they know it will help their sales, but that is consistent with their belief that their sales are satisfying genuine needs (or at least well-founded desires), and those are things we are taking to account in this discussion in trying to help Mr Cook with his decision.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 04 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonny:
Good come backs on all fronts. I hope I didn't cross the line to trolling. Like everyone else of course I've been sucked into the comparator tool

The Amazon buying Dpreview thing is interesting. I think it is for the following reasons

As stated above a desire to promote camera buying. That doesn't have to be cynical. I'm sure well informed consumers spend more and are happier with their purchases

Keeping the valuable onsite click through to sales for themselves (It is always Amazon now isn't it?)

I wonder if Amazon wanted expertise on up coming trends and popular cameras. It might be just a few days heads up that the X-T2 really is an amazing camera means that Amazon can get a big order for units just a head of everyone else. To me that would be good business sense.
Post edited at 15:28
radar on 05 Oct 2017

In reply

Have you considered Pentax? Waterproof (and properly waterproof), can be set to point and shoot or fully manual. iirc they have the Sony sensor, often come out better rated in tests than more expensive Nikon and Canon offerings. Their full frame camera is stunning. Downsides are a limited range of lenses.

Whatever route you go if Wex are cheapest, access them via Quidco for cashback.
Post edited at 08:49
Toerag - on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Harry Cook:

> There would be certain times id want to shoot in low light and also there would be times where I'd want to shoot sports e.g. skiing/snowboarding, in terms of climbing I'd be wanting to take it with me, I'm not to fused about the weight etc however it does play a bit of a factor, its mainly quality and overall usage I'm after.

OK, so to sum up, in general the bigger the sensor the better the image quality and ability to use low light.
'full frame' lenses are bigger than APS ones which are bigger than m43 ones
There is a camera available in all sensor sizes that will shoot fast enough for sports. Mirrorless options with good continuous autofocus are less prevalent though - for m43 you need an E-M1mk2, for APS you need the best sony A6xx I believe, not sure how good Fuji is. The Canon M5/6 might have good C-AF. Bear in mind both nikon and canon are rumoured to be bringing out FF mirrorless options in 2018.
Go look at the review sites and especially camerasize.com to compare the size and weights of the camera and lens sets you'll require for each format. Go play with an m43 setup in a shop or borrow one to see if image quality meets your requirements - if it does then there's no reason to go any bigger sensor-size-wise.
garycrocker - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to Jonny:

I would not buy a compact dslr over a mirror less camera as one of the chief reasons in my opinion of owning a pro sized dslr (7d or 5d say) is the larger size gives greater area for more well distributed buttons which makes changing settings quicker and easier. So if dslr it is then I'd get a 7d mk2 and 17-40 f4L. Wonderful combo. Weighs a tonne but you could batter a bear to death with it if needs be and it will still work.

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