Just coming back

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Disp10-9 New Member • Posts: 4
Just coming back
2

I've recently just returned to photography after a bit of a hiatus. I previously had a Nikon d3100 that I used to shoot travel photography. I am looking to spend $3000 and here is what I know (list of priorities).

1. I want to go with the sony brand. All of my research has been on sony and I recently got to play around with an a7iii and loved the image quality.

2. I will mainly shoot while traveling/backpacking. So I need something small both in the lens and body. I plan to carry a very small day bag inside my travel backpack, so I will only have room for two small lenses or 1 medium sized lens total. In that same vein, I want to go light.

3. Image quality. I hope to print off an occasional 8x10 from my travels.

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife 4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

5. I'm okay dropping most of my budget on a really nice lens if it covers what I want. In fact I would prefer it.

My first thought was to go with the the a series, but I've not been impressed with the 6400 or 6600. The shallow depth of field bothers me, but maybe it's just my lack of experience with it.

Any recommendations or direction would be greatly appreciated. I've started to become confused in what I really want and am talking myself into a cybershot or up to the new A7c.

Nikon D3100
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ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Just coming back

Disp10-9 wrote:

I've recently just returned to photography after a bit of a hiatus. I previously had a Nikon d3100 that I used to shoot travel photography. I am looking to spend $3000 and here is what I know (list of priorities).

1. I want to go with the sony brand. All of my research has been on sony and I recently got to play around with an a7iii and loved the image quality.

2. I will mainly shoot while traveling/backpacking. So I need something small both in the lens and body. I plan to carry a very small day bag inside my travel backpack, so I will only have room for two small lenses or 1 medium sized lens total. In that same vein, I want to go light.

3. Image quality. I hope to print off an occasional 8x10 from my travels.

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife 4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

5. I'm okay dropping most of my budget on a really nice lens if it covers what I want. In fact I would prefer it.

My first thought was to go with the the a series, but I've not been impressed with the 6400 or 6600. The shallow depth of field bothers me, but maybe it's just my lack of experience with it.

Any recommendations or direction would be greatly appreciated. I've started to become confused in what I really want and am talking myself into a cybershot or up to the new A7c.

You can get something like the A7RII and a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 or the 28-200 for less than your budget.

 ChelseaPhotographer's gear list:ChelseaPhotographer's gear list
SeaLife DC2000 Ricoh GR III Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850 +1 more
JochenIs Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Just coming back

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife 4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

I would go for a good zoom and a samyang 14mm f2.8 + a tripod for the milky way and wide landscapes.

 JochenIs's gear list:JochenIs's gear list
Nikon D700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +1 more
AlbertTheLazy
AlbertTheLazy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,326
Re: Just coming back
1

Disp10-9 wrote:

1. I want to go with the sony brand. All of my research has been on sony and I recently got to play around with an a7iii and loved the image quality.

If you are happy with Sony handling their cameras certainly deliver a lot of functionality

2. I will mainly shoot while traveling/backpacking. So I need something small both in the lens and body. I plan to carry a very small day bag inside my travel backpack, so I will only have room for two small lenses or 1 medium sized lens total. In that same vein, I want to go light.

Overall that argues against FF because the lenses are bigger for similar angles of view.

3. Image quality. I hope to print off an occasional 8x10 from my travels.

Pretty much any modern camera will meet that criterion. You could even go down to a 1" sensor if the camera delivers everything else you need.

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife

Small critters far away?

4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

Sony have a reputation for 'star eating'. I can't speak from experience but apparently the noise reduction can actually delete stars because they look like noise to the system. Definitely double check on the astrophotography forum.

5. I'm okay dropping most of my budget on a really nice lens if it covers what I want. In fact I would prefer it.

'Really nice' zooms tend to be fairly big and heavy. If you are basing your quality measure on 10x8 prints it may not be worth while.

My first thought was to go with the the a series, but I've not been impressed with the 6400 or 6600. The shallow depth of field bothers me, but maybe it's just my lack of experience with it.

Do you mean it is 'too shallow' or not shallow enough? Depth of field control is a question of distance, aperture and focal length. Once you know what you are doing the differences between FF and smaller sensors are not massive.

Any recommendations or direction would be greatly appreciated. I've started to become confused in what I really want and am talking myself into a cybershot or up to the new A7c.

The comments on the A7c have generally not been flattering. And any size saving is only on the body; the lenses are the same as for any other A7 model.

Have a play with this site to see how big various combinations of body and lens work out.

https://camerasize.com/compact/#858.515,777.396,ha,t

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Albert the lazy photographer
Having fun with my cameras in Herefordshire

 AlbertTheLazy's gear list:AlbertTheLazy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G15 Fujifilm X-T1 Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +4 more
jkokura Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Just coming back

I'm curious why you're going with Sony. Is it because of the volume of lenses available?

Of note, your interests are so broad that you're probably going to end up wanting/needing a fairly large kit. A good long lens, a good wide angle, a lightweight multi-tasking zoom, and at least one body that works with all of them. At your budget it's very difficult to recommend a silver bullet. It seems to me that you could do it, but trying to get it all up front might be too hard.

What I'd recommend is settling on the body you want to use moving forward. Never mind all the prospective tasks you want to do, get something that you can see yourself using in the here and now, and then choose which is the highest priority. Is it wildlife? Is it astro? Is it travel? Get the camera body and lens that is best suited for the highest priority of what you're wanting.

There are probably a good number of A7II ($1100 used) and A7RII ($1500 use?) bodies used out there. The A7III ($2K new, $1500 used) might be a great choice as well, but the costliest. Since you say you want to be able travel light, the reality is that the mirrorless world is already small and light. Going full frame vs APSC is really not that big a difference in terms of package, but the quality of the cameras in the Sony Full Frame is big. I say go FF in this case.

Since travel is what you want to do first, there are two approaches. A street style prime lens, maybe a 28 or 35mm, or a decent zoom like a 24-105. I'd get one of each. The Sony 28mm F2 is $450 new. The Sony 35mm 1.8 is about $750 new, but you can get a Tamron 35mm 2.8 for $300 new. The very small and lightweight 28-60mm Sony lens is $500 new. The larger, heavier, but higher quality Sony 24-105 F4 is $1400 new. The Sony 24-240 is more than $1000, and it's larger and heavier, but the thing about that lens is that it's closer to the all-in-one type of lens that also might get you closer to getting some wildlife stuff. But to be honest, the 200-600 is likely the only lens that I would recommend for wildlife on a FF Sony. The 100-400 is close, but it's pricier and doesn't quite get you the same reach. The problem is that the 200-600 is $2000, and would eat up 2/3 of your budget.

In your shoes, I'd get your camera of choice, the Tamron 35mm 2.8, and the 24-240 zoom. Then I'd start saving for a high quality wide angle for astro/landscape (Sony 20mm?), and a quality telephoto zoom (the 200-600?) for long distance. You aren't going to be able to afford all of them at the same time on your budget.

Jacob

 jkokura's gear list:jkokura's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D5600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art +4 more
OP Disp10-9 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Just coming back
1

Wouldn't this be a pretty heavy and a large setup?

OP Disp10-9 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Just coming back
1

AlbertTheLazy wrote:

Disp10-9 wrote:

1. I want to go with the sony brand. All of my research has been on sony and I recently got to play around with an a7iii and loved the image quality.

If you are happy with Sony handling their cameras certainly deliver a lot of functionality

2. I will mainly shoot while traveling/backpacking. So I need something small both in the lens and body. I plan to carry a very small day bag inside my travel backpack, so I will only have room for two small lenses or 1 medium sized lens total. In that same vein, I want to go light.

Overall that argues against FF because the lenses are bigger for similar angles of view.

3. Image quality. I hope to print off an occasional 8x10 from my travels.

Pretty much any modern camera will meet that criterion. You could even go down to a 1" sensor if the camera delivers everything else you need.

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife

Small critters far away?

4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

Sony have a reputation for 'star eating'. I can't speak from experience but apparently the noise reduction can actually delete stars because they look like noise to the system. Definitely double check on the astrophotography forum.

Do you have a brand you would recommend? I would be open to going outside sony, but I don't know where to start.

5. I'm okay dropping most of my budget on a really nice lens if it covers what I want. In fact I would prefer it.

'Really nice' zooms tend to be fairly big and heavy. If you are basing your quality measure on 10x8 prints it may not be worth while.

My first thought was to go with the the a series, but I've not been impressed with the 6400 or 6600. The shallow depth of field bothers me, but maybe it's just my lack of experience with it.

Do you mean it is 'too shallow' or not shallow enough? Depth of field control is a question of distance, aperture and focal length. Once you know what you are doing the differences between FF and smaller sensors are not massive.

Any recommendations or direction would be greatly appreciated. I've started to become confused in what I really want and am talking myself into a cybershot or up to the new A7c.

The comments on the A7c have generally not been flattering. And any size saving is only on the body; the lenses are the same as for any other A7 model.

Have a play with this site to see how big various combinations of body and lens work out.

https://camerasize.com/compact/#858.515,777.396,ha,t

I will check out that link. I wondered if something like this existed!

OP Disp10-9 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Just coming back
1

jkokura wrote:

I'm curious why you're going with Sony. Is it because of the volume of lenses available?

Of note, your interests are so broad that you're probably going to end up wanting/needing a fairly large kit. A good long lens, a good wide angle, a lightweight multi-tasking zoom, and at least one body that works with all of them. At your budget it's very difficult to recommend a silver bullet. It seems to me that you could do it, but trying to get it all up front might be too hard.

What I'd recommend is settling on the body you want to use moving forward. Never mind all the prospective tasks you want to do, get something that you can see yourself using in the here and now, and then choose which is the highest priority. Is it wildlife? Is it astro? Is it travel? Get the camera body and lens that is best suited for the highest priority of what you're wanting.

There are probably a good number of A7II ($1100 used) and A7RII ($1500 use?) bodies used out there. The A7III ($2K new, $1500 used) might be a great choice as well, but the costliest. Since you say you want to be able travel light, the reality is that the mirrorless world is already small and light. Going full frame vs APSC is really not that big a difference in terms of package, but the quality of the cameras in the Sony Full Frame is big. I say go FF in this case.

Since travel is what you want to do first, there are two approaches. A street style prime lens, maybe a 28 or 35mm, or a decent zoom like a 24-105. I'd get one of each. The Sony 28mm F2 is $450 new. The Sony 35mm 1.8 is about $750 new, but you can get a Tamron 35mm 2.8 for $300 new. The very small and lightweight 28-60mm Sony lens is $500 new. The larger, heavier, but higher quality Sony 24-105 F4 is $1400 new. The Sony 24-240 is more than $1000, and it's larger and heavier, but the thing about that lens is that it's closer to the all-in-one type of lens that also might get you closer to getting some wildlife stuff. But to be honest, the 200-600 is likely the only lens that I would recommend for wildlife on a FF Sony. The 100-400 is close, but it's pricier and doesn't quite get you the same reach. The problem is that the 200-600 is $2000, and would eat up 2/3 of your budget.

In your shoes, I'd get your camera of choice, the Tamron 35mm 2.8, and the 24-240 zoom. Then I'd start saving for a high quality wide angle for astro/landscape (Sony 20mm?), and a quality telephoto zoom (the 200-600?) for long distance. You aren't going to be able to afford all of them at the same time on your budget.

Jacob

You are absolutely right. I'm not sure if it was your goal, but you spelling out the vast range of lenses I would need helped me realize I need to cut out some of my hopes with this set up. My top priority is going light for travel and I want smaller, high quality lenses. I went back and looked at my pictures from years back and most of my work was shot between FF 35mm. 55ish mm and 75mm (Outside of the rare wildlife photo at 200 mm). With that being said I don't think I can pack light and shoot wildlife, so I will drop it for now and focus on that FF 35-75 mm range.

I recently rented a A6400 with the sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 and while I enjoyed the lens, it was too heavy for the travel I plan to do. So I think I will stick with primes for now.

I originally decided on Sony because of my recent exposure to their lineup of cameras and the large range of high quality lenses. However, since posting my original question, I've gone down a rabbit hole of Fuji and am now looking between the APS-C choices of both. Can you speak more on your comment about the quality of the full frame sony camera to the A series?

jkokura Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Just coming back
2

Disp10-9 wrote:

You are absolutely right. I'm not sure if it was your goal, but you spelling out the vast range of lenses I would need helped me realize I need to cut out some of my hopes with this set up. My top priority is going light for travel and I want smaller, high quality lenses. I went back and looked at my pictures from years back and most of my work was shot between FF 35mm. 55ish mm and 75mm (Outside of the rare wildlife photo at 200 mm). With that being said I don't think I can pack light and shoot wildlife, so I will drop it for now and focus on that FF 35-75 mm range.

I recently rented a A6400 with the sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 and while I enjoyed the lens, it was too heavy for the travel I plan to do. So I think I will stick with primes for now.

I originally decided on Sony because of my recent exposure to their lineup of cameras and the large range of high quality lenses. However, since posting my original question, I've gone down a rabbit hole of Fuji and am now looking between the APS-C choices of both. Can you speak more on your comment about the quality of the full frame sony camera to the A series?

It's not my experience, it's just the reports from others I've seen. The A6XXX series cameras aren't the same sort of camera as the FF Sony cameras. They're smaller and lighter, but they apparently aren't nearly as good in terms of sensors, and the small format with the rangefinderish shape isn't a fan favourite. To be honest, I think if you're wanting APSC in mirrorless I'd recommend the Nikon Z50 LONG before the Sony APSC. I have no experience with the Canon APSC cameras, but I'd probably recommend them first too.

I use APSC cameras. There is no need to go full frame for most people. You can pretty much shoot anything you want to with APSC format, but there are specific benefits to going full frame. The low light capabilities are one, but the Mirrorless cameras these days, including the APSC ones, have taken large strides in this area.

I think it's not a bad plan to go with an APSC camera, but you have to keep in mind one specific factor - you will not be able to find APSC specific lenses for the big 3 - Sony, Nikon and Canon do not make high quality lenses specifically for the APSC format. All their lenses for that format are designed to be mid to low quality lenses. You can, of course, use full frame glass on APSC bodies. I do every day.

I don't think there is a magic bullet on this one for you. There is no perfect easy answer. There are good answers that meet pretty much all of your criteria but compromise on something. There are also great answers that meet all your criteria but blow your budget. In the end, I say choose what you like the best and move forward. If you're like most people, including me, a year from now you'll have learned better what you want out of your equipment and you'll make adjustments. Buying used will keep you from losing too much if you decide to sell, but you will lose a little, and it's just the cost of the hobby.
Jacob

 jkokura's gear list:jkokura's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D5600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art +4 more
ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Just coming back
1

Disp10-9 wrote:

jkokura wrote:

I'm curious why you're going with Sony. Is it because of the volume of lenses available?

Of note, your interests are so broad that you're probably going to end up wanting/needing a fairly large kit. A good long lens, a good wide angle, a lightweight multi-tasking zoom, and at least one body that works with all of them. At your budget it's very difficult to recommend a silver bullet. It seems to me that you could do it, but trying to get it all up front might be too hard.

What I'd recommend is settling on the body you want to use moving forward. Never mind all the prospective tasks you want to do, get something that you can see yourself using in the here and now, and then choose which is the highest priority. Is it wildlife? Is it astro? Is it travel? Get the camera body and lens that is best suited for the highest priority of what you're wanting.

There are probably a good number of A7II ($1100 used) and A7RII ($1500 use?) bodies used out there. The A7III ($2K new, $1500 used) might be a great choice as well, but the costliest. Since you say you want to be able travel light, the reality is that the mirrorless world is already small and light. Going full frame vs APSC is really not that big a difference in terms of package, but the quality of the cameras in the Sony Full Frame is big. I say go FF in this case.

Since travel is what you want to do first, there are two approaches. A street style prime lens, maybe a 28 or 35mm, or a decent zoom like a 24-105. I'd get one of each. The Sony 28mm F2 is $450 new. The Sony 35mm 1.8 is about $750 new, but you can get a Tamron 35mm 2.8 for $300 new. The very small and lightweight 28-60mm Sony lens is $500 new. The larger, heavier, but higher quality Sony 24-105 F4 is $1400 new. The Sony 24-240 is more than $1000, and it's larger and heavier, but the thing about that lens is that it's closer to the all-in-one type of lens that also might get you closer to getting some wildlife stuff. But to be honest, the 200-600 is likely the only lens that I would recommend for wildlife on a FF Sony. The 100-400 is close, but it's pricier and doesn't quite get you the same reach. The problem is that the 200-600 is $2000, and would eat up 2/3 of your budget.

In your shoes, I'd get your camera of choice, the Tamron 35mm 2.8, and the 24-240 zoom. Then I'd start saving for a high quality wide angle for astro/landscape (Sony 20mm?), and a quality telephoto zoom (the 200-600?) for long distance. You aren't going to be able to afford all of them at the same time on your budget.

Jacob

You are absolutely right. I'm not sure if it was your goal, but you spelling out the vast range of lenses I would need helped me realize I need to cut out some of my hopes with this set up. My top priority is going light for travel and I want smaller, high quality lenses. I went back and looked at my pictures from years back and most of my work was shot between FF 35mm. 55ish mm and 75mm (Outside of the rare wildlife photo at 200 mm). With that being said I don't think I can pack light and shoot wildlife, so I will drop it for now and focus on that FF 35-75 mm range.

I recently rented a A6400 with the sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 and while I enjoyed the lens, it was too heavy for the travel I plan to do. So I think I will stick with primes for now.

I originally decided on Sony because of my recent exposure to their lineup of cameras and the large range of high quality lenses. However, since posting my original question, I've gone down a rabbit hole of Fuji and am now looking between the APS-C choices of both. Can you speak more on your comment about the quality of the full frame sony camera to the A series?

The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is really good. Almost as good as the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 but it is much cheaper, lighter and smaller. That is what I have on my A7RIV most of the time...

 ChelseaPhotographer's gear list:ChelseaPhotographer's gear list
SeaLife DC2000 Ricoh GR III Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850 +1 more
DeathArrow Senior Member • Posts: 3,387
Re: Just coming back
1

Disp10-9 wrote:

I've recently just returned to photography after a bit of a hiatus. I previously had a Nikon d3100 that I used to shoot travel photography. I am looking to spend $3000 and here is what I know (list of priorities).

1. I want to go with the sony brand. All of my research has been on sony and I recently got to play around with an a7iii and loved the image quality.

2. I will mainly shoot while traveling/backpacking. So I need something small both in the lens and body. I plan to carry a very small day bag inside my travel backpack, so I will only have room for two small lenses or 1 medium sized lens total. In that same vein, I want to go light.

3. Image quality. I hope to print off an occasional 8x10 from my travels.

4. The order of what I like to shoot is 1. Travel photography 2. Landscape 3. Wildlife 4. I would like to learn astrophotography (milky way and northern lights).

5. I'm okay dropping most of my budget on a really nice lens if it covers what I want. In fact I would prefer it.

My first thought was to go with the the a series, but I've not been impressed with the 6400 or 6600. The shallow depth of field bothers me, but maybe it's just my lack of experience with it.

Any recommendations or direction would be greatly appreciated. I've started to become confused in what I really want and am talking myself into a cybershot or up to the new A7c.

A7III is a solid camera and it has a great price/performance ratio. To get some quality glass is a must if you want to extract maximum quality from it.

For travel and landscape I would suggest getting Tamron 18-28 f/2.8 and either Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 or Tamron 24-70 f/2.8

I would add an 35 or 50mm f/1.8 or 1.4 prime for situations where light is really low. Samyang 35mm has a really good price and is great optically. Sigma has some nice prime lenses, too.

 DeathArrow's gear list:DeathArrow's gear list
Sony RX100 VA Nikon D300 Nikon D610 Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +6 more
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