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Photography Gear Thread

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by dj Red Turtle, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. dj Red Turtle

    dj Red Turtle TRIBE Promoter

    Camera upgrade

    I've been using a Canon elph for pictures of the houses I've been listing and it just doesn't cut it.

    SLR's are overkill for what I need. Plus I can't justify spending that much cash for just taking pictures of rooms.

    I want to hear your opinion on a few cameras, and if you have some recommendations, that would be awesome.

    So here are what I've been looking at

    Canon PowerShot G11
    Nikon P90

    What I basically need is a camera that has a wide angle lens and is good for low light conditions (well indoors).

    Let me hear your thoughts.
  2. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Kevin, do a search on the internet for best cameras for real estate... I did for a friend selling real estate here in South Africa, and found that the most important criteria for real estate photography seems to be the focal length of lens. You want something with a wide angle lens at least 28mm or better still, 24mm. If the camera you buy has a zoom lens, make sure the wide aspect is at least 28.

    Secondly, those in the know say that an accessory shoe on the camera is important for adding an external flash. If you want to light interior rooms properly so they look good, the built-in flash in cameras you buy is really crappy. Get one with a hot shoe. I would get a small external flash and point it at the ceiling which will bounce out enough light to fill a room nicely (nice pics sell houses IMO)

    While I am a Nikon guy myself, the Nikon you mentioned does not have a hot shoe although it does have a wider lens than the Canon.

    I would go with the Canon because it has a hot shoe and a wide enough lens. Also get a external flash. Canon makes a small one called the Canon Speedlite 270EX. Just make sure it can bounce (point straight up at the ceiling), otherwise you will have to get a 3rd party flash that can do that. The next flash model up from Canon is a lot more expensive.

    And, when you are the listing agent for some multi-million $ crib on the bridal path, call me and let me shoot the interior with my studio strobes :)
  3. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    I just checked, that Canon flash can bounce up:

  4. djfear

    djfear TRIBE Member

    I have a Nikon D700 DSLR and am a Nikon guy for sure, but I recommend the Canon G11. In fact, I bought one with some friends for my girlfriend as a present.

    Canon P&S are better than Nikon P&S in my opinion and she is very happy with the camera even though she's a novice right now, and I am very happy because I think the camera itself is GREAT.

    I would actually buy it myself if I had the money to blow.

    *edit: Seriously, I have nothing but good things to say about that camera. In my opinion this is a no brainer.
  5. bitchass

    bitchass TRIBE Member

    Spend the money, get an SLR with the flash (Nikons are neat because multiple flashes can be used as master/slave without extra equipment) and also a tripod with a panorama head so you can make your own virtual tours with 360 images.

    I just don't see how a point and shoot, especially a smaller handheld, will do much for you in low light conditions.
  6. bitchass

    bitchass TRIBE Member

    And you don't need the crazy $400 panorama head for the tripod, you just need one that allows you to lock the camera sideways while being tilted and swivels without falling out. I found a Manfrotto head for $100.

    If you take enough pictures, free software like Hugin or Microsoft ICE will correct the light dropoffs and automatically correct the lack of nodal swivel (I think thats the correct term). I usually take 30-60 pictures and the software has them ready in a couple minutes.

    Then use software (I use Panasolado SpinControl) to make a Flash tour that you can insert on any site.

    Its not quite as slick as the $200+ per tour "professional" stuff but they always want to host it on their sites - and I don't believe in sending my site's visitors to other providers that have links to other agents :)
  7. dj Red Turtle

    dj Red Turtle TRIBE Promoter

  8. bitchass

    bitchass TRIBE Member

    And the 18-55IS lens is a pretty good lens for what you're looking for. My older Canon SD800 is wide angle 28mm and at 18mm, they're pretty comparable (the XSI is a cropped sensor so 18mm is roughly equivalent) but you'll have much better low light with the XSI and the corners won't have anywhere near as much distortion.

    Even with the onboard flash you will be much better off than a point and shoot - and it allows you to add on extra features down the road, like an external flash for about $300 and even a wide angle lens like the Sigma 10-24 for about $400. It gets pricey - but its cheaper than paying someone $200+ each listing to take pictures (not saying that you will be as good as a pro but you don't need a pro photographer in every listing, either)
  9. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

  10. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    The Panasonic Lumix LX-3 has a 24-60mm F2.0-F2.8 lens, which is wide and fast so it would be good for indoor real estate pics. The jpeg engine of the camera is pretty good too.

    Much more compact than a dSLR. With a dSLR you'll just be lugging around a bigger camera that you'll probably just leave in "auto" mode and use the kit lens, so you won't be getting much benefit in terms of picture quality.Unless you want to impress clients with a bigger, pro looking camera.

    the LX-3

  11. dj Red Turtle

    dj Red Turtle TRIBE Promoter

    So I ended up getting the Canon Rebel Xsi from Futureshop. Awesome buy. Now I just need to pick up a flash for it. I should have picked one up while I was there but didn't have time. What do you guys think of this?

    Canon Speedlite Flash (270EX) - Future Shop It's on sale.
  12. bitchass

    bitchass TRIBE Member

    Thats the same flash that AlexD pictured in the third post - not sure about specs but the price seems good. Next step up is the 430EX which is usually on sale for $300 somewhere - but not sure what the differences would be.
  13. dj Red Turtle

    dj Red Turtle TRIBE Promoter

  14. dj Red Turtle

    dj Red Turtle TRIBE Promoter

    I just picked up this flash. Thanks for the advice!
  15. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    This is a thread about photography gear. I know we have the photography thread already, but people are always asking gear questions (what camera should I buy, etc..) so I think it would be nice to have all the gear questions in one place for easy finding and search indexing.

    I think it will also be a great place to find out 'real world' reviews of members gear, including advantages and disadvantages. I am sure it will help others out there on the internets decide on what gear to get.
  16. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    Or should I create a Photography Room and move all these photography threads into it......
  17. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    Missed this thread, but I highly highly recommend this Panasonic. Picture quality is insane, possibly the best p+s camera in low light I have ever seen. If it had HD video I would have bought it instead of the Lumix that did have HD video.

    @dj Red Turtle, if I saw this earlier I would have directed you to these new micro four-thirds (interchangeable lens pocket cameras). They are fairly new (some call them gimmicky), but they are exactly the answer to a bulky SLR vs sub-par picture quality from a p+s. The idea is that they use the same censor size as a DSLR (old APS-sized 24x36), which is a night/day better quality than traditional p+s digital cameras, but without the bulk of an SLR.

    Here's some reviews on them
    Olympus E-PL1 Review | Digital Camera Resource Page
    Olympus E-PL1 Preview: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

    Olympus and Panasonic are the only makers currently, and they are fairly pricey $600-$1000, as with any new technology.
  18. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    I'm not really for more rooms as they tend to lag, unless there's some big traffic (hip hop room versus geek room), but there's a few old threads I answered today before I even saw this thread.
  19. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    I think the separation into a forum would really help for search engine indexing. We are really well indexed in general, but once a person arrives at a huge thread on photography via a search engine (say they are looking for a camera to use in real estate or for work purposes) they have to pick through someones pics of burma in the thread to find the info they need and a lot of them give up before getting their answer.

    One thing about TRIBE a lot of members don't realize is the huge numbers of non-members who come here just to find quick answers to questions like that.
  20. thom100

    thom100 TRIBE Member

    I agree 100%. Subdividing this places further with how slow it has already gotten would be silly.

    Search engine indexing is something that is behind the scenes, it almost feels like you'd be inconveniencing members to drive traffic from nonmembers.
  21. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    I can understand the point about indexing for search engines, which is always a good idea. Even recently I did a search for something about Lightroom and ended up in a Lightroom forum, joined, and got my answers. However, that entire forum was dedicated to Lightroom.

    I'm not familiar with non-member activities, but if photography is one of the topics that leads to Tribe via search engines, then it makes sense. But if it isn't, then it will be irrelevant, and we know what search engines think of irrelevancy.
  22. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    i've been recommending the micro four thirds camers to all sorts of people.
    my only point of contention with what you said is the sensor size. micro four thirds uses a 4/3 sensor that is a bit smaller than dSLR APS-C size sensor.


    grey box is a full frame sensor
    turquoise is nikon's APS-C sensor
    blue is canon's APS-C sensor
    yellow is the 4/3 sensor that Panasonic and Olympus use
    red and pink are the typical sensor sizes in point and shoot cameras
    green is 2/3 size that higher end point and shoots use. not sure which if any current models have use it. even canon's g11 which is their premium point and shoot uses the red 1/1.7" size sensor.

    here's the sexy Olympus EP-1 beside the Panasonic LX-3


    sony is intruducing it's "NEX" series of cameras. they've stuffed an APS-C size sensor into bodies that are a bit slimmer than Panasonic and Olympus' micro four thirds bodies. the sony camera's are probably going to be cheaper than the micro 4/3 cameras but they don't seem to offer the pro level of control that panasonic and olympus offer. also the early reviews on the lenses that sony is offering aren't good.


    samsung also introduced a small body stuffed with an APS-C sensor. it's the Samsung NX-10. i wouldn't touch it.


    i'll probably buy a Panasonic micro four thirds camera soon. either the GF-1 or the G2. The GF1 is a compact range finder style the G2 is bit bigger but has a tilt and swivel screen. I was taking pics on the weekend with a Canon XS and found myself wishing for the swivel screen of my S5. I just need to find out if the the audio recording levels on the G2 can be adjusted.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  23. KiFe

    KiFe TRIBE Member

    I totally agree...

    The general forum seems to keep this place alive, if everything constantly gets parsed out of it then it'll never have new content.

    Next we'll be discussing starting an Amusing/Strange/Random forum, where we can have a thread for each Amusing, Strange and Random picture types.

    I'll try to click more of the ad banners when I hang around.
  24. alexd

    alexd Administrator Staff Member

    My idea was more about grouping photography together in one category, yet still having separate threads for it. But I guess there is not enough in "photography" to stratify into different threads in its own forum.

    Never mind. At least I have separated the gear thread out from the photo thread, and it will make it easier to find stuff and users pics that way for us and also for visitors.
  25. djfear

    djfear TRIBE Member

    Nikon FX lenses

    Just curious what Nikon FX camera users have for lens preferences? I know mine changed completely when I jumped from D100 to D700. My old trusty 24-120mm 3.5-5.6f Nikkor went from favourite to "oh god, the barrel distortion... the chromatic aberration... shoot me". Now I've mainly been using my 105mm macro which takes nice photos.

    Maybe I'm being a technology snob but I really noticed it.

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