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Category Archives: Nikon

The best travel compact cameras in 2017

So travel photography has a number of challenges and the first is the size of your gear. I tried to compromise and use smaller compact style cameras but never felt I could get the same as using my DSLR kit. So my compromise is to carry weighty cameras and lenses however not everybody is that stupid.

There are a range of compact cameras aimed at the travel market, for me Lumix and the TZ range has it in the bag but strangely not everyone agrees with me.

A travel compact should produce decent images, have good pixel count and probably most importantly a tremendous zoom range, sometimes called a super-zoom.

Tech Radar has done a sterling job reviewing what is the best travel camera in 2017

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TZ100 Travel Compact

When you’re going on vacation you’re going to naturally want to take a camera along with you too, and the one in your smartphone probably won’t cut. Why? While it might be fine for snapshots, the fixed wide-angle lens on most smartphones won’t allow you to zoom into your subject.

In fact zooming is the key, because you won’t know what you want to shoot until you get there and quite often the things you want to photograph will be off in the distance. Now is not the time to find out your zoom isn’t powerful enough. And don’t think that you can simply digitally zoom in on your smartphone’s screen – quality will drop off rapidly.

This is why the ‘travel camera’ genre is so popular. These are compact cameras barely larger than a regular point-and-shoot model, but with massive 20x or 30x zoom lenses. You get the portability of a regular camera, but with much more scope for shooting different kinds of subjects.

Some models now sport larger sensors for improved image quality, the TZ100 has a 1″ sensor and is great in low light

You’re not going to get the same kind of quality you’d get from a DSLR or a mirrorless camera because the only way to make cameras with big zooms small enough to go in a pocket is to use a smaller sensor. But the picture quality is still pretty good, and perfect for sharing with friends and family, while some models now sport larger sensorsfor improved image quality. 

If you’re not sure this is the kind of camera you need, check our step by step guide: What camera should I buy?

Alternatively, if you’re going to be by the pool or on the beach, you might want something a bit more rugged, so take a look at our best waterproof cameraguide.

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The 10 best compact cameras in 2017

A compact camera is by definition small, and by design has the lens built into the body. There are a number of different types of compact cameras some specialised to specific photographic tasks such as travel compact cameras. Most compact cameras offer good quality and the better ones a wide range of functions that would seem to be similar to those on DSLR or CSC type cameras but in their first instances they should work well as simple to use cameras.

I recently bought a Lumix TZ100 to take on my motorbike and I am really impressed with the quality, I still don’t like using a compact as much as I do my DSLR but when it was a choice between wet weather gear and my DSLR camera the wet weather gear won so a compromise on the camera front was needed.

Tech Radar has a review of some of the compact cameras that have excelled in 2017

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Compact cameras and the compact camera market have changed a lot over the last few years. Smartphones have decimated the entry-level range of point-and-shoot models that used to be popular and as a result manufacturers have concentrated on putting more advanced features into cameras to make them more attractive.

In addition to a move towards having physically larger sensors to boost image quality that can rival DSLRs in some cases, some compact cameras sport lenses long zoom ranges or wide maximum apertures. Wi-Fi connectivity is also now de rigueur on most compacts, so you can transfer shots quickly to a phone for sharing on Facebook etc

Many enthusiast photographers used to be very sniffy about compact digital cameras, but there are now many that make a great alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless system camera. And those who are new to photography and thinking about stepping up from a smartphone have some pretty sophisticated choices as well. 

There are small cameras that can slip in a pocket yet have huge zoom ranges, and large bridge cameras that look like DSLRs, but have a fixed lens and lots of automated easy-to-use options.

These cameras prove that you don’t have to buy a camera that takes interchangeable lenses to get great shots.

If you need a bit more help figuring out what kind of camera you need, then read this article: What camera should I buy?

The 10 best mirrorless cameras in 2017

For people who want the control of a DSLR but not the size or the weight there are mirrorless or compact system cameras CSC. These have interchangeable lenses and the same sorts of control that a DSLR will have but not the optical viewing system. If there is a viewfinder it will be a EVF type (electronic viewfinder) so this is like a small monitor that you look at through the viewfinder. Some don’t have this at all and you are required to use the monitor on that back to compose your images as you might on a compact camera. I would generally avoid these. This type of camera tends to be more expensive than traditional DSLR and the lenses are expensive too.

I see many of these cameras in class and find I am constantly irritated by the necessity to hide all the controls you want at your fingertips in menus that you have to access on screen. The tradeoff of in size and weight for a decent photographic experience is not one I would choose but I understand why people do

Tech Radar has a very useful review of the CSC cameras available and has ranked these as the best of 2017

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Best CSC Cameras 2017

Once upon a time, keen photographers bought a DSLR – it was the established order of things. But the mirror mechanism of a DSLR is complex and noisy and adds to the weight of the camera, and that’s where the mirrorless camera, or compact system camera comes in. They keep the big sensors and interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras but ditch the mirror to produce a smaller, lighter and simpler camera.

In fact, there are still pros and cons to both designs. If you want to find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences.  Some mirrorless cameras have a compact, rectangular body, some are styled like DSLRs with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top – though this houses an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical viewfinder you get with a DSLR.

Be aware, too, that cheaper mirrorless cameras don’t come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with a compact camera or a smartphone. (If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you need, read our easy to follow guide: What camera should I buy?)

No two photographers are exactly the same – we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the 10 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.

The 10 best mid-range DSLRs in 2017

You have been into your photography for some time. You know the way you can control your images, you understand aperture and shutter and ISO, you you don’t save your money and go to our post on entry level cameras for 2017 and take a course. But if you are ready to take a step up then a new camera might be the lift you need away from your first entry level dslr. A mid range DSLR will be heavier, it will feel more solid and will put up with more use and punishment, It will have more sophisticated controls and offer you less help in taking pictures as the assumption is you don’t need the help as you are more advanced as a photographer.

Tech Radar is an excellent site that reviews equipment and here you will find their recommendations for 2017

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Best Mid range or enthusiasts DSLR cameras 2017

Mid-range enthusiast DSLRs offer more power, robustness and control than typical entry-level DSLR models. They’re great for shooting tricky subjects like sports or wildlife, thanks to having faster continuous shooting rates and more often than not, superior autofocus systems that features advanced tracking modes. Many also add weatherproofing for extra robustness and peace of mind.

Although enthusiast DSLRs don’t tend to offer more megapixels than their entry-level siblings, you’ll often get an increased ISO sensitivity range to help with low light shooting. While most enthusiast DSLRs are based around APS-C sized sensors, some models sport larger full-frame chips that are normally the preserve of pro-spec models. If you’re not quite sure what advantages shooting with a full-frame sensor brings, you can check out our guide to sensor sizes

But just because these DSLRs are intended for enthusiast photographers, that doesn’t make them intimidating to shoot with. The additional controls positioned on the camera body can actually improve their ease of use, allowing you to access key settings quickly, without the need to dive into a menu regularly. Don’t worry though, most still include an automatic mode that’ll take care of everything for you if you want to learn as you shoot.

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Canon 7D

Best Entry Level DSLR Camera 2017

If you don’t know what sort of camera you should buy this post will help you 

An entry-level camera is one that is surprisingly good and better than most of it’s owners at making great pictures. I often say to people that if they don’t like their pictures it is unlikely to be the cameras fault. I sometimes have people say they have bought a better camera than they need so that it will last. A DSLR is digital so it will not last, it will be superseded every year, just like your phone or your laptop so buying something better now and hoping it will still please you in 10 years is a mistake. If you are looking for a decent camera to get started with one of these would be more than suitable.

Spend less money on your camera and buy a course from us and you will be set up as a photographer

Tech Radar is always a good place to start your investigations into what camera you need to buy

Entry Level DSLR Cameras

If you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot camera or are no longer satisfied with the snaps you get from your smartphone, and feel like you’re ready to take your photography to the next level, then an entry-level DSLR is the most obvious choice. 

Entry-level DSLRs deliver a big step up in image quality from a compact camera or smartphone, offering far more manual control and the ability to change lenses to tackle a huge variety of projects. Don’t worry though – there are also a host of auto modes to help you out until you’re comfortable with the more creative controls.

Obviously, the more features you want, the more you’ll pay, but do you actually need them? Our top camera is one of the cheapest on the market, but still offers impressive performance and image quality, plus enough features to handle most assignments, especially if you’re still learning.

What camera should I buy? Techradar’s step-by-step guide

From simple point-and-shoot compacts to full-frame DSLRs, we explain the differences

Once upon a time you would go to a camera shop for this advice but where are the camera shops now? The last remaining one in all of Oxfordshire is in Witney, T4 Cameras, a proper camera shop with people who know about cameras. Buy new or from their extensive second hand range. However if you want to do some research before heading to Witney this will help. It is important to understand the differences between the types of cameras now available

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You only have to go into a high-street retail store or look online to get an idea of the sheer number of digital cameras on the market. There are so many brands, types and technologies now available, with each one claiming to be the best (of course!), that it can be really difficult to make sense of it all.

But it’s possible to break all these competing cameras down into a few basic types, and once you do that it becomes much easier to figure out the kind of camera that’s right for you. 

That’s what we’ve done with our expert guide, and you can follow the links at the bottom of the pages to find which is the best camera currently available in each category.

So we’ll start with the basics and work up through the more advanced cameras to the types the professionals use. But you don’t have to stay with us all the way. Treat this guide like sightseeing tour – when you’ve got to where you want to go, just step off the bus!

You can read more of this at Techradar

 

THE DEATH OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

This is a really interesting article about how digital cameras are perceived and why there is so little difference between them. Much like cars I think, any small car is much the same as any other, you choose one because of how it looks and is marketed. However pretty much all cameras look the same so why choose a Nikon or a Canon or any of the others? This article addresses some of the issues that I have seen come up in class with questions from students. The old assumption that a keen photographer would replace their camera every three years no longer holds. In fact if you have a camera from anytime in the last 4 or 5 years it might always do everything you want to a quality you are happy with. Here is the article by Temoor Iqbal is a London based street photographer and writer. You can find out more about him on his website

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As camera makers struggle to innovate, consumers are finding little need to upgrade. The market is slowing to the point of inertia – manufacturers need to take a leftfield approach to stay competitive

In February, Nikon – the world’s second-biggest camera manufacturer by market share – published a notice of ‘recognition of extraordinary loss’. The statement admitted that, over the last nine months of 2016, the company had lost $260m…….

INNOVATION STAGNATION

This decline is curious, at least in the way that it has played out. Aside from Nikon, few if any leading manufacturers have acknowledged that there is any problem. The former cancelled its planned DL series of mirrorless (high-end compact) cameras in the wake of the loss announcement, but market leader Canon released its newest professional model – the EOS 5D Mk IV – in September last year. The camera was universally recognised as an excellent, capable piece of technology, but a unifying feature of reviews was the suggestion that Canon had not changed enough from the previous model – the Mk III – to justify the upgrade……It’s often obscured by superficial features, but the fact is most high-end digital cameras are exactly the same as one another, and the same as older models from the last five years. What’s more, there’s little prospect of them changing much in the near future. As a result, there’s little incentive to upgrade as often as manufacturers would like, which is behind sluggish sales and rapidly stagnating production levels. “If you’re in the market to buy a new camera and don’t have one already…you’ll struggle to make a bad decision”, wrote tech journalist Vlad Savov for The Verge last year. “But if you already own a camera from the past half decade, you probably won’t feel any urge or need to upgrade. Digital imaging technology has matured [and] maturity brings with it a sort of developmental stagnation.”

Read the whole thing here

 

10 best mirrorless cameras in 2016

A mirrorless camera, sometimes referred to as a csc type camera has interchangeable lenses like a dslr, usually as good quality as a dslr but does not have an optical viewfinder, some have electronic viewfinders some rely upon the monitor on the back for composing the pictures. They are gaining in popularity because they are small and light but offer good quality like a dslr camera. This review on Techradar will help you

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Once upon a time, keen photographers bought a DSLR – it was the established order of things. But the mirror mechanism of a DSLR is complex and noisy and adds to the weight of the camera, and that’s where the mirrorless camera, or compact system camera comes in. They keep the big sensors and interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras but ditch the mirror to produce a smaller, lighter and simpler camera.

In fact, there are still pros and cons to both designs. If you want to find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences.

Some mirrorless cameras have a compact, rectangular body, some are styled like DSLRs with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top – though this houses an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical viewfinder you get with a DSLR.

Be aware, too, that cheaper mirrorless cameras don’t come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with a compact camera or a smartphone. (If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you need, read our easy to follow guide: What camera should I buy?)

No two photographers are exactly the same – we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the 10 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.

1. Fuji X-T2

A stunning camera perfect for enthusiast photographers

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert

Polished handling
Fast autofocus
No touchscreen
Not much else

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

The brilliant E-M10 II ticks boxes you probably didn’t even know about

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate

Compact size, lenses too
Excellent viewfinder
Smaller sensor than some
Pricier than original E-M10

3. Sony Alpha A7R II

Sony’s highest resolution full-framer is going down a storm

Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 42.4MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate:5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert

Huge, high quality images
Excellent quality viewfinder
Needs a faster AF point settings
Tilting rather than vari-angle screen

4. Fuji X-T10

The X-T10 makes access to Fuji’s terrific X-mount system affordable

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 16.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 920,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate

Excellent build and design
Value for money
High ISOs are JPEG only
Lacks X-T1’s weatherproofing

5. Fuji X-Pro2

Classic styling houses a stack of features aimed at the enthusiast photographer

Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF & Optical | Monitor:3.0-inch display, 1,620,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p | User level: Expert

Clever viewfinder
Very good detail and colour
Fixed rear display
EV dial easily knocked
see all the review here on Techradar
Got the camera get a course to learn how to use it, we recommend our Understanding Your DSLR course, ideal for this sort of camera

10 best compact cameras 2016

so you have decided that someone in your life needs a new camera and a compact is the one, this review from Techradar will help you decide

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Compact cameras and the compact camera market have changed a lot over the last few years. Smart phones have decimated the entry-level range of point-and-shoot models that used to be popular and as a result manufacturers have concentrated on putting more advanced features into cameras to make them more attractive.

In addition to a move towards having physically larger sensors to boost image quality, some compact cameras now have lenses with long zoom ranges or wide apertures and there’s better control over exposure along with a much wider range of settings than in the past. Wi-Fi connectivity is also now de rigueur, so you can transfer shots quickly to a phone for sharing on Facebook etc.

Many enthusiast photographers used to be very sniffy about compact digital cameras, but there are now many that make a great alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless system camera.. And those who are new to photography and thinking about stepping up from a smartphone have some pretty sophisticated choices. There are small cameras that can slip in a pocket yet have huge zoom ranges, and large bridge cameras that look like DSLRs, but have a fixed lens and lots of automated easy-to-use options.

These cameras prove that you don’t have to buy a camera that takes interchangeable lenses to get great shots.

If you need a bit more help figuring out what kind of camera you need, then read this article: What camera should I buy?

Or if you already know what kind of camera you want, then check out our more specific compact camera guides:

1. Panasonic LX100

A compact masterpiece, with a big sensor, classic controls and a viewfinder

Sensor: Micro Four Thirds, 12.8MP | Lens: 24-75mm, f/1.7-2.8 | Monitor: 3-inch, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert

Big sensor, small body
Traditional controls
Prone to lens flare
Modest resolution

2. Fuji X70

Great for those who want a larger than average sensor and traditional controls

Sensor: APS-C, 16.3MP | Lens: 28mm, f/2.8 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 10fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Expert

High quality APS-C format sensor
Traditional exposure controls
No viewfinder
Fixed focal length lens

3. Sony RX100 IV

Sony’s super-high speed sensor tech is brilliant but pricey

Sensor: 1-inch, 20MP | Lens: 24-80mm, f/1.8-2.8 | Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 5.5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert

High-speed shooting and 4K
Compact design
The tech makes it expensive
Only a 3x zoom range

4. Panasonic TZ100 / SZ100

Panasonic’s premium travel camera has a larger sensor than the rest of the range

Sensor: 1-inch type, 20.1MP | Lens: 25-250mm, f/2.8-5.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/Intermediate

1-inch type sensor
10x zoom range lens
Small electronic viewfinder
Fixed screen
Bought the camera now get the course, our Beginners Photography course is perfect for someone with a compact camera

Best entry-level DSLR 2016

It is that time of year when knowing what to buy to get one of the best cameras for your purposes and budget becomes more focussed because of the short time before it gets wrapped and stored under a tree. This might help from Techradar

If you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot camera and feel like you’re ready to take your photography to the next step, then an entry-level DSLR is the obvious choice. You might also want to consider a mirrorless camera as an alternative, although you won’t find one with a viewfinder at the same price as a DSLR.

If you are thinking about a mirrorless camera, then you might want to read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences. Or, if you’re not sure what kind of camera you need at all, then read our easy to follow guide to camera types: What camera should I buy?

DSLRs deliver a big step up in image quality from a compact camera, far more manual control and the ability to change lenses to tackle a huge variety of projects. Obviously, the more features you want, the more you’ll pay, but do you actually need them? Our top camera is one of the cheapest on the market, but still offers impressive performance and image quality, plus enough features to handle most assignments, especially if you’re still learning.

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1. Nikon D3300

It’s not the most expensive entry-level DSLR, but we think it’s the best

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen: 3-inch, 921,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Max video resolution:1080p | User level: Beginner

Great image quality
Guide mode
Fixed screen
No built-in Wi-Fi

2. Canon EOS Rebel T6i / Canon EOS 750D

A compelling combination of top-notch ergonomics and a superb sensor

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen:3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed:5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Terrific sensor
Wi-Fi with NFC
Average battery life
Only 95% viewfinder coverage

3. Nikon D5500

Choosing between Canon and Nikon is tougher than ever

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen:3.2-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed:5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

High-res, non-anti-aliased sensor
Touch-sensitive articulating screen
Slow live-view focussing
No GPS

4. Canon EOS Rebel T6s / Canon EOS 760D

Like the EOS 750D, but with better handling and a second LCD

Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen:3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed:5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Great touchscreen
Excellent sensor
AF point selection fiddly
Expensive
and remember the camera is nothing without knowing how to use it so head over to our courses and grab one now