Need Your input to find a new camera...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Zeus1, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. We are looking to buy a camera for use in our emergency care department. Intended uses are

    - simple portrait photos of applicants for job openings

    - detailing extended traumatic injuries

    - photos of skin disorders, skin lesions, infections

    - identification of mass casualty victims (let’s hope this won’t be necessary)

    - small video clips of aberrant movements, gait disturbances

    What I think is necessary:

    - RAW and jpeg photos

    - ISO up to 12500

    - some macro possibility

    - one or more buttons to store custom settings

    I would prefer a fixed zoom lens.

    This camera will be manipulated by non-photographers, so must be easy to use.

    Budget max $500 US.

    What can You suggest?
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Some questions about the target environment if I may:

    1) If RAW, who will be processing the photos, and using what software? This is not necessarily an easy thing for non photo people to do.

    2) Why such high ISO, is flash off limits? Also how good does the high ISO have to be? My m4/3 goes to 25600 but I'd hesitate to go about 3200 for instance.

    3) What are the hygiene/cleaning requirements for such a unit?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. If necessary, raw will be processed by me using Photoshop cc. We will take pictures in raw+jpg mode all the time. Raw could be mandatory for legal proceedings.

    Flash will not be used, so sufficiently high iso will be necessary.

    Camera will be cleaned using specific non-alcohol containing wipes (we use the same wipes on our ultrasound equipment and computer screens)..
  4. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    What f-stop & shutter speed are you planning on shooting at that means you need ISO 12,500?

    Is the f-stop determined by how much you need to be in focus or some other reason?
  5. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    That's pretty strange. Why not?
  6. MaK543

    MaK543 Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2012
    MD USA
    Nikon D3300 w/ 18-55 VR II kit. It fits all your requirement. Pentax KS2 is slightly over budget, but offers a little more features than D3300. The articulated screen could be very helpful.
    In your price range, Canon, Olympus, and Panasonic can't compete with Nikon in high ISO performance. Sony's A58 is lacking features, and a5100 has a sub-par kit lens.
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    $500? Probably a tall order. I'd suggest one of the premium compacts with a fast lens. RX100 III, LX100, G7X, etc.
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  8. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Real Name:
    A little above your budget, but the Nikon DL24-85 might be a good choice for an application like this. With a really fast lens and max ISO of 12800 it should meet your lighting requirements. The Sony RX100 or Canon G9X would be my other suggestions for options which are under your budget.
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Having just taken delivery of it, I think the KS2 is a bit heavy for a camera of this purpose anyway.

    My suggestion would probably be the cheapest Sony RX100 / Canon G7X-like camera you can find. The Canons may be more usable for non photographers due to the touch screen.

    I wouldn't recommend any DSLR for this purpose. An older E-M5 with the 12-50 might be preferred just for weather-sealing and the ability to clean and sanitize the camera for thoroughly. The image stabilization on the OMDs makes a big improvement for non-photographers, as does the vastly superior Live View implementation compared to any DSLR. But really, ILCs are probably not suitable in general for this.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  10. @DaveEP@DaveEP:
    "What f-stop & shutter speed are you planning on shooting at that means you need ISO 12,500?"

    To clarify: I don't think we will have to use 12500; photos taken with my OMD have been taken at max 3200 ISO. However, I know something of photography, I understand f-stops and their influence on light admission to the sensor. Most of my colleagues (who will also use this camera) are f-stop unaware, so they tend to use high f-stops in order to maximize detail (depth-of-field).
    Photos will be taken under fluorescent overhead lights in rooms without any form of daylight.

    @Ulfric M Douglas@Ulfric M Douglas:
    No flash...most of my colleagues cannot use it.
  11. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I might suggest something like a Samsung Galaxy camera. The NX would be more pricy, but the P&S might work. It has the huge LCD screen and smartphone type of interface. Something that would make it easier for just about anyone to use.
  12. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I would ask the question of what is really needed vs. what you, the photo enthusiast, would like them to buy. ;)

    Sounds like to me a basic higher end point & shoot will be fine. I doubt you need RAW, especially if you are the only one who will know how to do anything with it. I doubt you need that high ISO as most emergency care facilities have plenty of light including point of care lighting (spot light above procedure tables, etc.) and most of the time what you are photographing is not moving or not moving much, so it isn't like you can't get away with lower ISO and slower shutter. I would instead opt for a model with good OPTICAL image stabilization for those shots.

    Anytime I have ever seen medical facilities use cameras it is always some basic compact point & shoot model.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    mark evans
    I doubt you know enough about Belgian/Flemish law to contradict OP's assertion that it could be mandatory in legal proceedings (which seems entirely reasonable to me).

    I wonder whether it might not make sense to first decide which lens would best serve your documentary needs, since the lens may well outlast whatever camera you get? A constant aperture zoom like the P12-35 would mean that the less experienced photographers wouldn't have to juggle changing focal length and changing aperture.
  14. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    then you will NEVER get accurate color, period, unless you can also force the building management to relamp the entire building with the more expensive ,and hard to acquire in some sizes, high CRI (CRI >90) lamps and to never substitute less expensive ordinary fluorescent lamps.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    If non photographers are going to use it, get a fixed lens camera like the lx100. I use an LX-7 quite a bit to document hospital interiors where I can't use a flash. The bright 1.4 lens helps quite a bit.
  16. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The LX100 has way too many manual controls to mess up for a beginner, that's the problem with most cameras favoured by us enthusiasts. I imagine the thing will probably in Auto or Program the whole time... nobody is going to be pixel peeping either, so a kit lens is fine. Size and weight is irrelevant too because nobody will be carrying it very far. In that light I would just go for an entry level APS-C (Sony/Canon/Nikon/Pentax) with a kit lens.
  17. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Pentax K-01 (used) with the DA 35mm F2.8 Limited.

    The 16 megapickle sensor in the K-01 is great with excellent low light performance (DxO scores are still very competitive among APS-C peers and better than any M43 alternative). Controls are simple. Lens is a normal with great macro capability. Body has shake reduction stabilization.

    You could probably get the above kit for ~$600.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    An entry-level modern DSLR is big enough to handle by everyone, has great ISO capability and usually a great Auto functionality, plus a pop-up flash for when someone can be bothered to use it.
    I too would recommend this type of camera for ease of handling,
    but would pair it with a fairly close-focusing prime for the better max aperture and decreased risk of zoom misuse.
    Something second-hand and cheap, but modern.
    i.e. Canon rebel type ...
  19. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    E-PL5 + Olympus 12-50 or Panasonic 30/2.8 Macro. Maybe a refurbished one, if this is an option? The E-M5 is over your budget. GF7?

    A VF is not a requirement I suppose and I think that shooting with a tilt LCD may be easier for complex angles, and more natural.

    If you need to work in really low light forget the 12-50 zoom. The oly 25/1.8 or Pana 25/1.7 are faster, have a reasonable minimum focus distance, you can fill the frame with a 6/7cm subject at full resolution, but not exactly macro (where you fill the frame with a small coin).

    The P30 is a good compromise, but may be a little tight for full body videos if you are in a close space.

    On a second thought I think the LX-100 wins for about anything: large sensor, fast lens, zoom for some versatility, reasonable macro. It's missing only the tilt LCD. The RX-100 III comes second: smaller sensor, slower lens...
  20. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    LX100 would win for me, but I really wonder if having a tilt LCD would be much more preferable for non-photogs? I see a lot of younger people who don't even seem to know what to do with a VF, so I would think that is not highly valued. I also have to think macro capabilities would be a big driver, if you want good close-ups of skin conditions or whatever. So maybe the RX100mk2. Tilt screen, no VF, focuses at 2", good high ISO, handles more like a P&S if you want it to, closer to $500 price point than LX100 or RX100mk3.

    I definitely would not be considering a DSLR or mirrorless cam with a kit lens. I think the Sony or Panny fixed lens options are worlds better for this application.