New travel blogger needs camera- more confused after visit to B&H

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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kikinyc
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New travel blogger needs camera- more confused after visit to B&H
6 months ago

I recently started writing a travel blog about shopping while traveling and am realizing I need a better camera. I'm a writer, not a photographer, but really want to learn how to take better photos.  I am currently borrowing a fuji x10 and took an intro class on using manual settings, so although I'm a little familiar with some terms, the actual meaning hasn't really sunk in yet.

Here's what I need to do:  general travel photos of area to create context (landscape, building, interesting scenes etc).  But I also need to go into shops and photograph the items I think are worth buying.  This works fine when I actually buy the item and photograph it at home, but I can't buy everything so I am stuck taking photos in shops with horrible lighting (usually spotlights of some kind), and try to do so quickly and discreetly-- close ups of items, preferably with a bokeh blur in the background. I also need something that will work well in low light (eg night time christmas markets).  I was interested in an interchangeable lens mirrorless so in the future I'd have more options but for the time being want to use just one lens as I won't have time to swap lenses.

I thought a good fit would be something like the nex-6 or fuiji ex-1, but when I went to B&H yesterday, I tried focusing both cameras on a quarter with the kits lens and was unsuccessful-- B&H told me that a camera with an interchangeable lens won't have one lens that is "all-purpose" and recommended the rx-100.  Is this true??  Any recommendations for me?

Here are some photos I took on my last trip which are representative of the types of photos I'll be taking-- in addition to the camera recommendations, if anyone has general photography tips for me (especially how to deal with spotlight lighting in stores) I'd greatly appreciate it.

tried to blur out the background not very successfully

sample scene

sample goods display

lighting in this very pink-- had no idea what setting to use

took forever for the camera to focus on this ring-- and still had issues with shadows-- shopkeeper stood there patiently the entire time

typical store lighting

attempted bokeh

typical scene

practicing night photos

more night photos

If I buy a souvenir, I can at least photograph it at home.  I only get light in one tiny corner of my apartment a couple hours a day though.

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