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      03-25-2021, 08:02 PM   #1
pmatias03
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Beginner Camera Recommendations for Car Photography

Hey everyone, I'm looking for some advice as a beginner into a car photography. I've been doing research and it's narrowed down to Canon, Sony or Nikon. I'm flexible on budget but I would say around $2k all in with a lens. Most important for me is that I am new and a beginner so I want to make sure functionality is easy but I am tech savvy so I can learn quick. I also want a camera that I can use over time as I get more experienced. I don't want to sell myself short either.

I will primarily be taking still photos of cars. Maybe a rolling shot here and there. No plans for video right now.

Any recommendations on camera and which lens I need for this type of photography?

Thanks!
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      03-25-2021, 08:09 PM   #2
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I started off with a Canon G7x "point-and-shoot". Albeit a very expensive point and shoot at the time. I found that I was outgrowing it because I was learning so much more and wanted more out of my photos so I went and got a Canon 80d w/18-135mm kit lens. It is a very versatile lens for a beginner and IMO Canon is easy to use. There are other folks who started with just a 50mm lens because it might be difficult to learn with zoom features and you'd just have to focus on a set lens.

Anyways, I would just recommend any of those three brands you mentioned and learn the controls/buttons from using it overtime. You can't really go wrong with the equipment these days--it's all you when it comes to how the photos will look.
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      03-25-2021, 08:23 PM   #3
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Good advice to buy a Powershot, it will allow you to learn, elevate your skills and shoot good images. I still have a G15 that I enjoy using when walking around and on vacations.
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      03-25-2021, 09:32 PM   #4
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Tough to go wrong with any of those brands. For an interchangeable lens camera, I suggest going with mirrorless instead of a traditional DSLR. The autofocus on the newer bodies is just amazing.

Have a look at this: DP Review cameras under $1500.

A key thing to remember is that itís really the lens that makes the difference. And knowing how to use it, of course.

I would also suggest renting some different cameras before buying. Gives you a chance to hold them in your hand and see if itís comfortable.
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      03-25-2021, 10:35 PM   #5
pmatias03
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I appreciate all the feedback. I definitely want an interchangeable lens camera. I've read that Sony makes excellent mirrorless cameras and the "go to" for DSLR are Canon and Nikon. I've looked at the following options so far: Canon T8i and Nikon D5600. On the higher end, Canon 90D, Canon 6D Mark ii and Sony a7iii.

For a beginner, is it worth it to get a Full Frame lens camera or wait until I gain some experience?

I know some of these options may be a stretch for a beginner but I also want something I can use for a long time and buy some lenses as I learn.
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      03-25-2021, 10:49 PM   #6
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If you wait for the next round of sales, you could get a Sony A7 II for under $1k and have some cash left over for a nice lens. Full disclosure: thatís what I did

If you go with Sony/Nikon/Canon, itís better start with FF. The reason is that a FF lens can be used on a crop-sensor camera, but it doesnít work as well when you go the other direction.

Iíve used Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Nikon... they are all good! Tough to go wrong with any of them; just remember that youíre buying into a system as much as a single camera. And itís expensive to change systems...
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      03-25-2021, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmatias03 View Post
I appreciate all the feedback. I definitely want an interchangeable lens camera. I've read that Sony makes excellent mirrorless cameras and the "go to" for DSLR are Canon and Nikon. I've looked at the following options so far: Canon T8i and Nikon D5600. On the higher end, Canon 90D, Canon 6D Mark ii and Sony a7iii.

For a beginner, is it worth it to get a Full Frame lens camera or wait until I gain some experience?

I know some of these options may be a stretch for a beginner but I also want something I can use for a long time and buy some lenses as I learn.

You can start with a FF but it's also huge and $$$. Maybe try a mirrorless camera, but like it's been said--you'll spend good money on lens. I have like 5 lens with my 80d. I have looked into the Canon EOS R, but I am still churning out some good photos with my 80d and also still learning.
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      03-26-2021, 05:24 AM   #8
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My latest camera is a Sony A7c. It has a full frame sensor, in a smaller "Rangefinder" body.
Love it!

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      03-26-2021, 08:07 AM   #9
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Unless it has to absolutely be new, look into a used camera. Look up KEH cameras, and find something that you may have reviewed, and then look for a lower shutter count camera. Chances are good that you will find one reasonable enough to also afford a decent lens.

https://www.keh.com/shop/cameras/digital-cameras.html
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      03-26-2021, 08:11 AM   #10
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The camera/lens you buy all depends on the type of photo's you want to take.

The biggest question is if you really want that shallow depth of field, as that's what costs the money.

Are you trying to take shots like pic 1 or pic 2?
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      03-26-2021, 08:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPhatic View Post
The camera/lens you buy all depends on the type of photo's you want to take.

The biggest question is if you really want that shallow depth of field, as that's what costs the money.

Are you trying to take shots like pic 1 or pic 2?
I would honestly say both. I want to start at pic 1 and as I gain experience eventually start to take more pictures like pic 2. I have read depth of field is very important in car photography. What would you recommend for a setup for pic 1? Thanks.
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      03-26-2021, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmatias03 View Post
I would honestly say both. I want to start at pic 1 and as I gain experience eventually start to take more pictures like pic 2. I have read depth of field is very important in car photography. What would you recommend for a setup for pic 1? Thanks.
First, I'd recommend you go with a used full frame Nikon D800/810 or Canon 5DMKII instead of a Sony. Sony might be light and mirrorless, but the digital interface leaves much to be desired, as does the lens selection. With camera bodies the shutter-count is like miles on a car. Most newer bodies are rated for 200,000 actuations, so buying one with less than 10,000 is where you want to be, or 25,000 if you have to.

For your lens you're going to have a lot of people recommend you start with the 50mm f1.8, or the "nifty fifty" or "thrifty fifty" as some call it. The price is great, but the focal length is a bit too long for automotive photography IMO. I'd recommend for all your short shots you get a 35/1.8...again, used, from somewhere reputable like KEH.

For the long lens look you're going to need that long lens, no way to escape it, and for that depth of field, a constant aperture of 2.8. I'm not a fan of zooms, so my recommendation is the Nikkor 180mm f2.8...again, used.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr....8d-if-ed.html

The combination of a full frame body, like the D800, paired with the 35/1.8 & 180/2.8 is a bargain buster used, and will allow you to take most every kind of automotive shot you need.
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      03-26-2021, 09:32 AM   #13
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This is a $3000 body for $800 and change. I'd call about the shutter count.
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      03-26-2021, 11:29 AM   #14
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I like browsing this site for ideas https://shotkit.com/category/inside-...otojournalism/



automobile photographers: https://shotkit.com/category/inside-...ag/automobile/
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      03-26-2021, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPhatic View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmatias03 View Post
I would honestly say both. I want to start at pic 1 and as I gain experience eventually start to take more pictures like pic 2. I have read depth of field is very important in car photography. What would you recommend for a setup for pic 1? Thanks.
First, I'd recommend you go with a used full frame Nikon D800/810 or Canon 5DMKII instead of a Sony. Sony might be light and mirrorless, but the digital interface leaves much to be desired, as does the lens selection. With camera bodies the shutter-count is like miles on a car. Most newer bodies are rated for 200,000 actuations, so buying one with less than 10,000 is where you want to be, or 25,000 if you have to.

For your lens you're going to have a lot of people recommend you start with the 50mm f1.8, or the "nifty fifty" or "thrifty fifty" as some call it. The price is great, but the focal length is a bit too long for automotive photography IMO. I'd recommend for all your short shots you get a 35/1.8...again, used, from somewhere reputable like KEH.

For the long lens look you're going to need that long lens, no way to escape it, and for that depth of field, a constant aperture of 2.8. I'm not a fan of zooms, so my recommendation is the Nikkor 180mm f2.8...again, used.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr....8d-if-ed.html

The combination of a full frame body, like the D800, paired with the 35/1.8 & 180/2.8 is a bargain buster used, and will allow you to take most every kind of automotive shot you need.
Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it and it's a good starting point.
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      03-26-2021, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Great resource thank you!
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      03-26-2021, 01:08 PM   #17
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This thread is great. Learned a LOT about cameras.
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      03-26-2021, 03:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPhatic View Post
This is a $3000 body for $800 and change. I'd call about the shutter count.
Cameras depreciate faster than cars do. I buy all my photo equipment at KEH for over 20 years. Their EX+ grade is usually 'like new' compared to other resellers.

The Cannon G1/3/5 X models are a good place to begin for hi quality all in ones with much larger than Point n Shoot or Iphone camera image sensors.

Sony is putting out some amazing prosumer all in ones too.
These all have larger than typical sensors, though not as large as full frame SLR's.

One other thing--the best camera is the one you have with you.
If you go the SLR route, they are big and heavy to carry around.

If you must have an interchangable lens camera, consider the Fuji XT-1/2/3/4... The XT 1 and 2 are amazing for the money right now.
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      03-26-2021, 07:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6oclockshadow View Post
Cameras depreciate faster than cars do. I buy all my photo equipment at KEH for over 20 years. Their EX+ grade is usually 'like new' compared to other resellers.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6oclockshadow View Post
Sony is putting out some amazing prosumer all in ones too.
These all have larger than typical sensors, though not as large as full frame SLR's.
At the prices we're talking I don't see any reason at all to go less than FF, which is where most end up anyway, so why not just go there right from the get go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6oclockshadow View Post
One other thing--the best camera is the one you have with you.
I don't agree with this at all. No phone will ever duplicate real glass.

The best camera is the one that suits your needs.
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      03-26-2021, 10:10 PM   #20
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What I meant was, if you don't have it with you, because you don't want to carry a lot of equipment, then its not a great camera.

But yes, if you're going to be setting up photo shoots, go with the biggest sensor you can find.
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      03-27-2021, 05:40 AM   #21
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https://cameradecision.com/compare/S...-Fujifilm-X-T4

This site lets you compare any cameras.

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      03-27-2021, 08:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlebear View Post
https://cameradecision.com/compare/S...-Fujifilm-X-T4

This site lets you compare any cameras.

Murf
Thanks man, yes this is also a great resource I have been using as well. Toughest part is narrowing down the cameras. The options are endless and based on feedback I think I have to hold a few in hand to see what feels right.
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