Camera upgrade conundrum

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Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby KirstyC » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:25 am

Dear all,

I am in the market for a camera upgrade.

My current camera is a Nikon D60 with an 18 - 55mm AF lens and a 52mm manual focus lens.

I've been asked to buy a camera for work. We currently use a Canon E550.

The one that looks good to me is the Nikon D850.

Should I move work to a Nikon? For now I'm the only one who will use it. Once we are back in the office there is potential for others to use it.
Or should I choose a Canon and update my own older camera and keep the two separate? Which Canon model is near equivalent to the Nikon D850?

Having separate cameras is quite confusing to operate once I taken it off automatic. So consistency is better for me.
However it feels unethical to ditch the older work camera in favour of one I prefer. Both cameras are very old and starting to cause some embarrassment when it takes minutes to process each shot.

Any advice or thoughts gladly received, including your thoughts on the Nikon D850.
Thank you
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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby PhilC » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:22 pm

Hi Kirsty
Canon equivalent is probably the latest incarnation of a 5D.

I don’t understand why it is unethical to go for Nikon since it is you that is going to use it.

Some personal (brief) comments...

The d850 is a superb camera, but the newer Z7 mirrorless is lighter and uses the same sensor, though is a couple of hundred pounds more expensive.

But if you go mirrorless all manufacturers become available. Sony seemingly has the kudos for full frame, but smaller sensor models of Fujifilm and especially Olympus are ahead technologically.

Personally, I still use a d800, Fujifilm s3pro, previously a Nikon d7100, Nikon d70, and also have an Olympus EM-1 Mk ii which I use far more because of weight/size/features... but it has a smaller sensor and more prone to noise when challenged.

All similar cameras have good megapixel counts, 20mp is perfectly fine to a3 print size.

Warning: Most people are likely to favour the camera marque they own. I think a d850 is as good as it gets for a dslr, but mirrorless compact system cameras are taking over.

A d850 is a huge step up from a d60...

Best wishes

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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby KirstyC » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:34 pm

Hi Phil,

Thank you for replying so quickly. I haven't considered mirrorless at all. Quite intrigued by the Olympus as a lighter weight camera that keeps quality is very appealing.
What other features do you like about it?
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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby PhilC » Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:03 pm

These are some features present in the feature set of the Olympus EM1 mk ii/iii that are absent from DSLRs and many mirrorless systems:

Focus stacking in camera – multiple exposures with a single shutter press that are merged in camera to a jpg file

Live composite – camera will take a series of images that you can see build up on the camera monitor. Useful for light trails and also star trails photography, eg leave the camera to shoot multiples of exposures which are blended and merged in camera. There is also the Live Bulb and Live Time features which are bulb exposures that you see building up on the rear screen, you press the shutter again to stop the exposure when you are happy with the result. This is also different to Bulb time that is present in other cameras.

Pro Capture – when you press the shutter half way the camera captures a continuously updated series of 35 images, when the shutter is pressed all the way down the last 35 images are recorded from 17 images before that last shutter press and 18 after. Incidentally, the camera is hooting at up to 60 frames per second! I dont think any other camera gets close.

High Res Shot – mounted on a tripod the camera takes 8 images which are combined in camera to produce a 50mp image. The EM1 mk iii or EM1 x goes to 80mp, and has a hand held mode.

Stabilisation – Olympus’ stabilisation is in camera, and renowned as being the best in the business.

Monochrome picture mode – more than just a basic conversion – you can alter tone graduations, dial in a red/orange/yellow/green/etc filter and see the result on the camera screen.

Art filters – special effects (I don’t use them)

Lenses – smaller, lighter and (usually) less expensive like for like

Other features – nothing is missing from the EM1 line.

A few of these features are now being added by new mirrorless bodies Canon/Nikon/Sony but Olympus have been doing these features for years. Some of these features are possible because it is a smaller sensor so incamera processing is quicker, and the newest Olympus models also have dual processor cameras to increase speed.

Despite all of this, sometimes I do appreciate the advantages/disadvantages of a full frame DSLR (Nikon) that has a wider dynamic range as well as higher resolution. A 20mp Micro Four Thirds will still cover A3 prints without problem, provided there’s not been too much cropping. A smaller body results in buttons being more fiddly, though the EM1 is not short of customisable buttons. The EM1 is complex and has a learning curve to work out how to access all its features.

Olympus has recently been bought by Japan Industrial Partners and a new company formed – OM Digital Solutions. Despite the bad press of a few months ago the signs are that the new owners will continue developing product lines and move the brand forward.

Whichever way you go, there aren’t bad cameras at this price level, but they all have merits.

Best regards
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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby PeterJ » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:13 pm

Hi Kirsty, I like Phil's answer it represents the best of being a member of BCC where everyone is so helpful.

For my part I would ask what 'work' needs the camera for? I would also think about the lenses that you already have and may be used to using, will they fit on your new camera, you can do this with adapters too and it will offset some of the cost if you can buy the Body Only version.

Also, do you need things to be waterproof for outside use? As you know some cameras and lenses are better at some things than others, Products, Portrait, Weddings, Sports and Wildlife etc. so that might be an important consideration too. A good camera in the wrong hands will give worse results than a poor camera in the right Phil says, modern cameras are all pretty good, but photographers maybe not so...

I get confused with all the different models and makes you mention but a quick look showed me the Nikon D60 could be had for about £60 whereas the D850 starts at about £2,500 for just the body. The D850 is a PRO camera by the look of it. Will your employer budget for this amount and, no disrespect, but would you know how to use it? I don't think I'd get the best from it myself, well not without a lot of study.

Lastly, I find that the weight of cameras plays a big part in how often they get used. Lenses are heavy, if they're any good, and Phil is right to point out the advantage of mirrorless. The bodies are lighter (lenses probably weigh about the same) and the camera will show you exactly the picture you are taking even as you adjust the exposure settings in real time. I love this feature and wouldn't go back to a DSLR, where you have to set it up, take a picture, check the picture and (maybe) try again. (I know, this is an over simplification but the general drift is a fair point, IMHO). In a lot of cases our phones these days have good enough cameras built into them. The camera they used at the Council (Olympus Tough) was superseded because everyone just used their phones...just saying as this might save you a lot of money.

If it's any help at all I have a Canon 7D Mk 2 which you are welcome to borrow, see if it's any better than your E550. I'm not sure how we could arrange this in current lockdown but we could try to sort something out. Just let me know ;-)

All the best

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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby peterr » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:41 pm

If looking at the Nikon D850, then it might also be worth considering the Nikon D780. It gets very good reviews, full frame, costs less than the D850 and 24MP is still plenty good enough for A3 prints.
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Re: Camera upgrade conundrum

Postby KirstyC » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:23 am

Thank you both for such detailed responses.

To answer a few questions:

Work - I'm using the camera for everything from formal head and shoulders shots of senior officers and councilllors (Worcestershire County Council) to low res social media and large format images that can be used as back projection or printed onto to an A1 or larger poster. Some of my shots could be used on motorway advertising boards. It depends on the project or campaign.

My skills set; I joined Beacon to up skill because I was tired of being asked if the real photographer was available. I'm self taught apart the beginners/improvers sessions I joined in the year or so before lockdown. But my father and grandfather were good photographers, members of Forest of Dean Camera Club. My husband is also very good but is often reluctant to do much with me as he teaches media studies and film all day.

The current work camera gets used by a number of people so whatever we get needs a solid automatic setting.

Good point re lens and adapters - will need to check this out.

I'm still thinking the Nikon is the way to go but very interested in mirrorless for me. The weight of the camera is something that puts me off taking out my DSLR and instead I snap away with my iPhone - it is just now I want to do more.

I'm looking forward to lockdown easing and some face to face meets. I would like to have a go with some other models, perhaps this is something that can be set up later in the summer or autumn.
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