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New to Cameras costing > $150 USD

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by gengo, May 12, 2014.

  1. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    Over the past decade, I've been through three different P&S cameras, none of which cost me more than $150.

    I have an Olympus Stylus 300, a Samsung S860, and a Sony Cybershot DSC-W180.

    The most adventurous thing I've done with a camera is have an underwater housing for the Olympus Stylus 300.

    Now, an upcoming trip to Japan (the end of June) has made me re-evaluate my camera situation and I decided to get a better camera.

    However, I have NO understanding of the terminology and what things mean - so I didn't feel I was ready for the money time(learning) investment involved in getting a DSLR.

    After a few weeks of researching different options, I ended up purchasing an Olympus PEN E-PM2 with two lens kit.

    I've since also purchased the Panasonic LUMIX 14mm f/2.5 lens as well.

    I have no aspirations of becoming anything beyond a tourist photographer, but I want to set myself up for the fewest problems possible in achieving that goal.

    I am considering Lens Hoods for each of these lenses - this hood for the 14mm f/2.5 lens, this for the M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R Lens, and this for the M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R Lens.

    And even though the camera is small and light, I am considering a Black Rapids type sling, as while I am in Japan I fully expect to have my camera out and "at the ready" for 8+ hours per day.

    I would greatly appreciate any guidance on resources to read to prepare myself better, to maximize the pictures I take - and on the hoods / sling I am planning on purchasing.

    Thank you all very much and I look forward to learning as much as possible about this new world.
     
  2. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    You can shoot on auto and get nice pictures, so keep that in mind as your fallback as you travel.

    I would recommend reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure." You might also want to look at Scott Kelby's "The Digital Photography Book" series. I think he has 5 volumes of that series out, more or less -- start with Book 1, of course.

    Anybody know if there's a decent book out about the capabilities of the E-PM2? (And by "decent book," I mean easier to read than the manual.) When I started with an E-PL3, I found the "for dummies" book on the E-PL1 very useful, even though my model was slightly newer.
     
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  3. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Steven
    Hey Gengo Welcome to the forum!!

    First, get familiarize with your camera before you go on your trip. I would also suggest you buy extra batteries if you are planning shoot the whole day. Also I am not sure about the strap on your link but it might be too big and bulky for the E-PM2.

    I am currently using the Peak design leash and cuff and I find them very good. Small, light, very versatile, can fit in the pocket and easily removable.
    https://peakdesignltd.com/store/?c=straps
     
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  4. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    1. enable Super Control Panel
    2. Get into understanding of "depth of field" (DOF) - this is the largest thing that is different from shooting with P&S. Read, calculate - http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html and then shoot tests making sure all your subjects are in focus - check on PC or tablet, camera screen is too small to see something to be slightly out of focus.
     
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  5. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    Thank you so much for the replies!

    @flamingfish - I will definitely look into those resources. I've been reading (and re-reading) the manual, but it isn't always clear to me.

    @monk3y - I have already started "experimental shooting" - trying to figure out what I can. And I'm planning on getting a package that has two extra batteries and an extra charger.
    As for the strap, that "Leash & Cuff" combo that you linked looks good. I don't think the strap I listed is too large, but having the cuff might come in handy in other situations.

    @budeny - It took me a couple of days, but I have enabled the SCP. I'm also just starting to play around with DoF understanding. The person who recommended the camera suggested that I spend a lot of my experimenting time in Aperture Priority mode.
     
  6. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    690
    Nov 18, 2013
    I would take at least 3 batteries, and 4 SD cards (in case one dies on you ). And +1 on use auto if you don't think you know how to get the shot you are taking. I actually currently have the same lenses as you do. If you are shooting aperture try to keep one F stop down (If at 5.6 on the zoom, got to 7.1 or 8 on the F stop for best images). The 14mm will be a great inside lens for museums and stuff. I've been looking at the BR Metro strap. I normally shoot with two Nikon bodies and the BR Strips have been great. I think the Metro might be small enough. However the strap that comes with the Olympus also works well as the cameras are light. Shoot lots of images before you go that will be your best preparation for using it when you are under the stress of travel. Have a great trip.
     
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  7. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    @D7k1 - is there a formula or easy way to determine "one f stop down"?

    For instance, on both of the two adjustable lenses that I have, the minimum aperture at 42mm and 150mm respectively is 5.6 - and you're saying I should set my camera's aperture to 7.1 or 8. So what about when at 14mm f 2.5 or 14mm f 3.6 or 40mm f 4.0 - how do I determine the f stop then? Is it simply a matter of finding that f stop in my camera and then pressing up once?

    Again, I have the Olympus PM2.

    Thank you.
     
  8. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    By the way, any opinions (especially anything negative) about the lens hoods listed above? If there isn't a huge reason to avoid them, I'm thinking about buying soon.
     
  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    The hood you linked for the 14mm lens is fine. The other two lens hoods, frankly, are over-priced. If I were you, for the 14-42mm lens, just get a generic lens shade for 37mm threads that looks and costs similar to the lens shade you are getting for the 14mm lens. Amazon probably has them for $6-8. For the longer lens, get a 58mm threaded collapsible lens shade that's a bit bigger

    Try these and save yourself about $50:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fotasy-LW37-3...id=1399945316&sr=1-5&keywords=37mm+lens+shade

    http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Screw-...d=1399945224&sr=1-23&keywords=58mm+lens+shade
     
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  10. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Very good choice for a step up from P&S. iAuto mode is actually pretty darn good. I'd worry about getting focus perfect and shutter speeds to minimize blur. You can fix just about everything except for a blurry shot.
     
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  11. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    @dougjgreen - thank you so much. I went with the one I initially posted because I wasn't certain any of the others fit my lenses. I don't know how to tell what size threads I need.

    @yakky - any suggestions or examples on "getting focus perfect and shutter speeds to minimize blur"? Is this one of those things I will have to "figure out" on my own?

    ETA: Should I move some of the questions to individual threads - or am I okay keeping them all here for now?
     
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I have owned the 14-42 zoom, and I still own the Panasonic 14mm so I know what fits them. As far as the 40-150mm lens, I looked up it's specifications on DPReview to see that it takes a 58mm threaded hood.
     
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  13. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular

    70
    May 12, 2014
    Thank you. I wasn't questioning your knowledge by the way, I was just trying to clarify confusion on my end.

    Before looking for lens hoods, I used Olympus Lens Hoods website, which shows two different versions of my lenses (14-42mm with and without the R and 40-150mm w/wo the R) with no indication of the lens filter thread.

    Thank you again for clarify and bringing me a new resource - DPReview!
     
  14. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    For f-stops, they are every 1.4x. Full stops are 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8. Should be bolded when you adjust. Easiest way to ensure focys is making sure the box is what you want it to be on. Had a problem early on with one get-together where it kept locking on the mirror instead of faces. Shutter speeds will be dictated by aperture and ISO. Rule of thumb is ~2x focal length without great technique. Overall, focus on enjoying the vacation, and the camera will become an extension. If you find yourself fighting it too much, set in iAuto or leave in hotel room.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green

    I didn't take it that way - my point in that post was to steer you to the DPReview resource. It has lots of good info concerning specs of lenses, cameras, reviews, etc.
     
  16. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    690
    Nov 18, 2013
    Yes, just use the arrows to go up and down on the F stop. So it depends what focal length you have the zooms set at. Don't do any adjustment and zoom out to see where the F stops changes. I'd write that down so you know at what focal length you need what F stop for the sharpest images. On the 14mm it's sharp from 2.5, but I normally shoot at 3.5 (half stop) or 4 in good light, indoors use 2.5.
     
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  17. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    http://photographylife.com/focus-and-recompose-technique is a good article on figuring out focus points and how to use them. Most modern cameras, PM2 very much so are great at getting exposure right, and modern software can do a tremendous job of correcting what it doesn't get right. The PM2s face detection is also spectacular, probably the best of any brand out there but there are times the camera will think something else is your subject, and that is what you want to account for.

    As far as shutter speeds, the rule of 1/focal length equiv. is a good start, though doubling that never hurt anyone. If you go into the flash settings menu and set minimum speed to 1/180 or higher, the camera will keep the speeds up high, though at the cost of using higher ISO indoors.
     
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  18. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The one thing to keep in mind when reading 'Understanding Exposure' is that the aperture settings recommended are appropriate for full-frame (film or digital) cameras; not so much for 43 cameras, and definitely not for compact cameras. The principles are sound, the numbers less applicable to most beginner's situations. For example, while I often shoot F8/F11 on FF, I rarely go above F/5.6 or a little higher on MFT, and avoid anything over F/4.0 (where I have the choice) on my RX100.
     
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  19. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    So, mattia, for m 4/3, instead of "f8 and be there," the saying should be "f5.6 and be there?" I've been using f8 as my default aperture when I'm not trying to do anything special with depth of field. If I understand you correctly, I should probably use 5.6 as the default, right?
     
  20. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Short version: yes.
     
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