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23 hours ago, 7749 said:

How is that camera? I'm thinking about getting it maybe.

I'm happy with how it performs, no complaints whatsoever.. It's very flexible for both day and nighttime use. As long as you have good editing software to pair the images with, you're more or less 100% set. Idk what camera you use now so apologies if this is repeat info/something you already know, but the camera is only good for its flexibility and ability to take high resolution images. The raw image is something to -work with- rather than just take and publish, IMO. Sometimes by pure luck the lighting and colors will work out fine to have the raw image come out great, but most of the time it won't work out like that..  I haven't published that many images publicly online (And frankly the ones that i have uploaded to the wiki, I regret uploading since the editing work I did on them is pretty crummy),  but the ones that awstott posted are very good representations of what the camera produces IMO.

If you're into videography I wouldn't recommend it at all.

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I’m at the storage unit and I found some stuff that should definitely not be there. I thought all my film was at home but apparently not as I discovered when I rummaged around one of

Got a new D3400 last Friday, (Black Friday) with 18-55mm & 70-300mm lenses plus a bag to contain everything for $600.

All very good points.  I can definitely understand his father's reluctance to buy used equipment if he's gotten burned in the past.  Camera stores typically do two different approaches to used equipme

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Does anyone own or have an experience with the Nikon D5600? I'm not sure if the price point and quality are worth it or if it'd be better to go with something like a D3500. I have been using in the past a Canon Powershot SX530 or my cellphone. I'm no professional and don't want anything crazy. I just want to get a better quality camera with some decent lenses for a trip to Seattle/Vancouver I will be doing in a few months.

Any advice is appreciated.

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 I don't have experience with that particular model, however work has a 5XXX series camera and I find it on the small side.  Mind you I don't exactly have small hands either.  You will notice as you go up in the models the specs get better, as well as the feature set, and lastly the body is larger.  The 5600 is likely a nice capable camera, but I would suggest going somewhere that has a display model to see how it feels in your hands before purchasing.

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Don't get fixated on the different models.  A D3xxx will take just as awesome pictures as a D5xxx.  The D5xxx series have a few more little features built in, but those are things you might not even use or need.  My recommendation is try to spend less on the body and use the extra money for lenses, that's what makes the difference in image quality.  I also agree with the above posts, if it doesn't feel right in your hands, you won't use it, if you don't use it, its a waste of money.  If the D5xxx or D3xxx are too small, look at getting maybe a used D7xxx, they're a bit bigger and, for me at least, feel so much more natural in my hands.

Another reason to look for a used D7xxx is that the D7xxx series has a built in autofocus into the body where as the D3xxx and D5xxx need to have lenses with autofocus built in in order to use the autofocus.

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Does anyone have any experience with the Canon SL3? I've seen reviews of it around and by all accounts it seems to be a good camera and relatively affordable for me, but I don't know personally know anyone in the community who has used it and whether it's the most optimal for bus shooting. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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9 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Does anyone have any experience with the Canon SL3? I've seen reviews of it around and by all accounts it seems to be a good camera and relatively affordable for me, but I don't know personally know anyone in the community who has used it and whether it's the most optimal for bus shooting. Any feedback would be appreciated.

SL3 is a good little camera for beginners, being a SLR it'll come down more to the lenses you put on for shooting buses.  Keep in mind that it has an APS- C sensor and Canon's crop is 1.6, so a 100mm lens will give you a picture if you were using a 160mm lens on a full frame.  So if you're getting close to the buses, you'll have to get a small lens.  The kit lens is the usual 18-55mm which, with the crop factor, acts as a 29-88mm and can be very restrictive for some types of photography.

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3 hours ago, 9924 said:

SL3 is a good little camera for beginners, being a SLR it'll come down more to the lenses you put on for shooting buses.  Keep in mind that it has an APS- C sensor and Canon's crop is 1.6, so a 100mm lens will give you a picture if you were using a 160mm lens on a full frame.  So if you're getting close to the buses, you'll have to get a small lens.  The kit lens is the usual 18-55mm which, with the crop factor, acts as a 29-88mm and can be very restrictive for some types of photography.

My suggestion, keep an open mind, do not focus on one camera!  I've owned a life time worths of cameras and lenses and I strongly urge anyone that isn't a professional photographer to seriously consider buying used equipment, especially for a first camera.

Thanks for your feedback. I've given some thought before to the idea of buying used equipment, but this purchase will not be mine alone - me and my dad have agreed to split the cost of the base camera kit, and he says that he's been burned by buying second hand equipment before - inevitably, it ended up breaking - so I doubt I'd be able to convince him to agree to buy second hand.

Getting up close to the buses might not necessarily be a huge problem. In my experience, If I'm at the point where I have to get right up next to it, I feel like it may be worth foregoing the photo anyway, because at such a close up range, depending on the camera, the distortion can be bothersome. And even if it's not, there's not much value to an in-its-face shot of a bus, in terms of documenting it, IMO. It's a neat visual but if I want to actually document what the bus is then I often have to stand further back, anyway.

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6 hours ago, 9924 said:

 So if you're getting close to the buses, you'll have to get a small lens.  The kit lens is the usual 18-55mm which, with the crop factor, acts as a 29-88mm and can be very restrictive for some types of photography.

While a kit lens at the end of the day is a kit lens, I would disagree that a 18-55mm is restrictive. When it comes to shooting film, I was blown away how much of a pain in the ass (and how jealous I was) of a friend who had a 28mm lens and could get in close and tight, while I was stuck with a 50mm. I usually had to wait for him to take his shots before I could as I was standing halfway across the transit centre. If you get much wider than 24-28mm equivalent,  you start really getting distortion issues, and even a 28mm will have some distortion if you look for it. I've since upgraded (used equipment for the win) to a 16-50mm. The slightly wider angle is nice, but, not really needed. I can still get in as tight as needed in transit centres, LRT station etc. 
My 16-50mm F2.8 on the Sony A77II body covers 90% of my requirements. It's gotten to the point where if I need to zoom more than the lens allows, I'll just use the "smart teleconverter" feature which basically just crops the image sensor. I'm not trying to be some super duper photographer. I'm shooting a bus that may or may not make it onto the internet. Using the smart teleconverter simply means I don't need to crop in post production. Having a constant F2.8 aperture however is VERY important when you have the short days during the winter in particular, but possibly shooting inside a LRT Station unexpectedly for whatever reason. For when I do want to pull out the telephoto lens out, it was able to upgrade from the el cheapo ~70-300mm class of lens by picking up a used G series 70-300mm lens for $500.

The best kit lens I encountered was the Sony 18-70mm which only came out with the first few generations of DSLR bodies. That thing could cover a pretty reasonable range, but, was also an outlier in kit lens. Image quality was about par for the course.

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14 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Does anyone have any experience with the Canon SL3? I've seen reviews of it around and by all accounts it seems to be a good camera and relatively affordable for me, but I don't know personally know anyone in the community who has used it and whether it's the most optimal for bus shooting. Any feedback would be appreciated.

My friend has the Canon SL2, the predecessor from the SL3 and he is very happy with his.  The Canon SL3 has a lot more features than it's predecessor, and as a result I think it'll be a great camera for you, weither that be photography or videography.

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10 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Thanks for your feedback. I've given some thought before to the idea of buying used equipment, but this purchase will not be mine alone - me and my dad have agreed to split the cost of the base camera kit, and he says that he's been burned by buying second hand equipment before - inevitably, it ended up breaking - so I doubt I'd be able to convince him to agree to buy second hand.

Fair enough, I can totally understand the caution with pre-owned equipment but, especially with camera's, it's become a very reliable market with a lot of pro's always upgrading to the newest equipment.  I haven't shot Canon in about 15 years, so honestly, I can't even say what lenses are compatible or not, but if they work on the SL3, see if you can pick up some vintage fixed focal manual focus lenses for it.  They are dirt cheap (being manual focus) but the images you get from them are amazing.

6 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

While a kit lens at the end of the day is a kit lens, I would disagree that a 18-55mm is restrictive. When it comes to shooting film, I was blown away how much of a pain in the ass (and how jealous I was) of a friend who had a 28mm lens and could get in close and tight, while I was stuck with a 50mm. I usually had to wait for him to take his shots before I could as I was standing halfway across the transit centre. If you get much wider than 24-28mm equivalent,  you start really getting distortion issues, and even a 28mm will have some distortion if you look for it. I've since upgraded (used equipment for the win) to a 16-50mm. The slightly wider angle is nice, but, not really needed. I can still get in as tight as needed in transit centres, LRT station etc. 
My 16-50mm F2.8 on the Sony A77II body covers 90% of my requirements. It's gotten to the point where if I need to zoom more than the lens allows, I'll just use the "smart teleconverter" feature which basically just crops the image sensor. I'm not trying to be some super duper photographer. I'm shooting a bus that may or may not make it onto the internet. Using the smart teleconverter simply means I don't need to crop in post production. Having a constant F2.8 aperture however is VERY important when you have the short days during the winter in particular, but possibly shooting inside a LRT Station unexpectedly for whatever reason. For when I do want to pull out the telephoto lens out, it was able to upgrade from the el cheapo ~70-300mm class of lens by picking up a used G series 70-300mm lens for $500.

The best kit lens I encountered was the Sony 18-70mm which only came out with the first few generations of DSLR bodies. That thing could cover a pretty reasonable range, but, was also an outlier in kit lens. Image quality was about par for the course.

Yeah, I'm gonna stay with my opinion on the 18-55 kit lens.  There's a reason why most photographers pretty much toss it into the back of the bag, it just provides very consistent flat and bland images.  When I went to Nikon, the first lens I bought was a 35mm f1.8 and even though the focal length is covered in the 18-55 kit lens, the 35 blows it out of the water in every way.  The same goes for my 10-20mm f4.0 and 50mm f1.8.  Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I used the 18-55, not sure I even have it anymore 😆

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On May 12, 2020 at 5:16 AM, 9924 said:

Fair enough, I can totally understand the caution with pre-owned equipment but, especially with camera's, it's become a very reliable market with a lot of pro's always upgrading to the newest equipment.  I haven't shot Canon in about 15 years, so honestly, I can't even say what lenses are compatible or not, but if they work on the SL3, see if you can pick up some vintage fixed focal manual focus lenses for it.  They are dirt cheap (being manual focus) but the images you get from them are amazing.

Yeah, I'm gonna stay with my opinion on the 18-55 kit lens.  There's a reason why most photographers pretty much toss it into the back of the bag, it just provides very consistent flat and bland images.  When I went to Nikon, the first lens I bought was a 35mm f1.8 and even though the focal length is covered in the 18-55 kit lens, the 35 blows it out of the water in every way.  The same goes for my 10-20mm f4.0 and 50mm f1.8.  Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I used the 18-55, not sure I even have it anymore 😆

All very good points.  I can definitely understand his father's reluctance to buy used equipment if he's gotten burned in the past.  Camera stores typically do two different approaches to used equipment.  Some of them actually buy used equipment and resell it with a warranty after going through it, quite often as people trade in for newer equipment, and that's usually a pretty safe way to buy used gear since if it acts up in the warranty period, the store will either fix/replace/refund it.  Others sell used equipment on consignment and that's the more risky of the two.  Basically in a consignment sale, all the store is doing is acting as a venue for someone selling their gear privately.  All they do is provide display case space to show it off and ring up the sale and handle the financial transaction for a cut of the selling price so it's pretty much the same as buying privately from a classified ad on Kijiji with no warranty or recourse if something goes bad, so I'd be reluctant to pay top dollar for YMMV used equipment being sold on a consignment basis.  That said, all my cameras have been used.  I had one replaced under a store warranty when the meter in one quit working within about two weeks and ended up exchanging a total lemon of a lens that had problems with the iris blades jamming.

Kit lenses are definitely built to a price, that's for sure, and it usually shows so fixed focal length lenses are definitely the way to go except for the occasional zoom that's an excellent performer.  Every manufacturer seems to do it occasionally where they turn out a zoom lens that has performance that hits it out of the park as if it's a fixed length prime lens and it's definitely worth picking those up when you can, but otherwise I'd stay away from zooms and stick with primes since zoom lenses usually involve sacrifices towards image quality to enable functionality while keeping the price from ballooning.

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So a few days ago, I went ahead and bought the Canon SL3.

I really like it so far. It checks off a lot of boxes for what I was looking for in a camera, particularly when it comes to the quality of night photos which were a big weak link in my collection so far. The focus will take a bit of working out since it behaves so differently (especially the manual focus) from what I'm used to, but once I get used to it, I'll be off and away. Grabbed a 55-250 mm telephoto lens for it yesterday too.

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7 hours ago, Orion VI said:

Anybody have experience with the Nikon D780? I've been looking at this camera for a while now.

I have a D750.  Upgraded from the D7200.  

Do you have existing F mount lenses?  Specifically FX lenses?  DX lenes do "work" but you might as well not bother.  If you don't have FX glass I would strongly recommend investing in a mirrorless setup as the DSLR is going the way of the dinosaur.

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17 hours ago, awstott said:

I have a D750.  Upgraded from the D7200.  

Do you have existing F mount lenses?  Specifically FX lenses?  DX lenes do "work" but you might as well not bother.  If you don't have FX glass I would strongly recommend investing in a mirrorless setup as the DSLR is going the way of the dinosaur.

I do, in fact in only have F mount lenses. Plus, I honestly don't care for any of the benefits that a mirrorless camera gives, for comparable prices (silent shooting, faster continuous shooting, off of the top of my head). I've only ever used DSLRs to take photos, and I trust them the most. I'm looking for the best image quality I can possibly get, with 4K video, for the cheapest price, which to me seems to be the D780. I could also consider the D850, but i'm still looking into that.

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I'm not really sure what the best place to ask this is, so I'll try here.

What is the best way to figure out ISO?

So far, in my travels with my SL3, I have found out two valuable pieces of information: f/8 is the sharpness sweet spot on both of my lenses, and I am too clumsy to shoot anything slower than 1/500, so I try to keep my shutter fast, too - for buses, anyway... there is some room for negotiation with other types of photography, in terms of both settings.

This of course means that my bus photos, without a good ISO boost, would be quite dark, but I'm not really sure what the best way to figure out what ISO I need is (auto ISO tends to not be sufficient). Though I am partial to shooting through the viewfinder, one of the limitations is that there is no preview in there as to whether the photo will be correctly exposed or not, and that has bitten me in the ass on more than one occasion. I shoot RAW, so fortunately I've yet to lose an actual photo, but I find that relying on RAW to make up for my lack of skill is a crutch, and it's becoming a bit of an embarrassment. If I'm in one spot and I'm going to be there for a while, obviously I can change to live view, set up a good shot, and then be confident that most of my photos will be fine, but for locations where I might be pointing the camera at various locations, such as at an intersection, it typically happens that auto ISO is insufficient: one location is fine and the other is overexposed, and there's no quick way to correct this without missing the shot. On a few occasions, the auto ISO bumped me up as far as 1250 on a bright, sunny day!!

Does anyone have any advice?

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A few considerations. 

Metering mode. I keep mine usually on spot or center weighted metering. A lot of what I shoot are blue buses or black locomotives. I find evaluative metering will cause an under exposure of the vehicle I'm after, so, I prefer to meter off of what I'm shooting as opposed to the whole scene. 

How well does you camera handle ISO and noise? Mine does well easily up to 1600 ISO. I'm not taking photos for a book or anything a publication. They might make it to the Internet. So I don't sweat the small stuff and I'll just use the higher ISO.

I do also bracket my shots +/- 0.3 with a burst of 3 images. I don't like dicking aroud with RAW images so usually one of the 3 has the perfect exposure and I just delete the other 2.

A lot of the time when it comes to choosing ISO/ F stop combinations it comes down to intuition and experience. I also don't stick with F8.0. My 16-50mm F2.8 lens is quite decent at F2.8 and my new 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 is quite good as low as F4.5, so I'll usually open the aperture and then increase ISO. Off the top of my head, I'd say I probably do 400 on sunny days, 500-640 on a cloudy bright day, 640-1000 on a cloudy day for moving vehicles. Stationary vehicles will always get 400 and F8.0. 

I try not go below 400 ISO. I don't want to run into a "oh shit" situation when I realize my ISO is completely wrong for the scene. At least at 400ISO on a cloudy day I can salvage a shot by quickly hitting the thumbwheel and opening the aperture all the way. 

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Thanks for your advice, I'll try changing my metering mode as well as bracketing my shots. My camera is pretty good on the noise front, I don't think I've gotten any shots at 1600 yet but there's no noticeable noise even at 1250 so I'm not very worried about that ruining the photo or anything. It just struck me as being overkill for such a bright scene LOL!

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