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Started by AdonisBlue on Sep 21, 2021 9:12:15 PM
Best budget camera.

After years of using a smart phone camera I need to buy a digital camera. Last time I owned one they still had films. Here's the challenge, I've hardly got any money to spend and want it mainly for walking/wildlife photos, plus also a bit of the family. The wildlife I'm into at the moment is small, so a decent macro (?) lense would be useful and something fairly small and light.

When I've looked on Google the best 'budget' camera reviews seem to be around £500! That's not a budget to me, that's a lot of money. Am I asking too much to get one for much less than this? If so I'll just get a Samsung smart phone or similar instead.

LomaxFairchild - 21 Sep 2021 21:16:13 (#1 of 88)

Phone cameras are absolutely brilliant these days, and outperform DSLRs in many situations, however one area they don't is wildlife photography where you really need a decent zoom.

LomaxFairchild - 21 Sep 2021 21:17:35 (#2 of 88)

If you're not bothered about video, you might be able to pick up something decent secondhand from someone upgrading to 4k.

You might be able to pick up something like Canon 200D with the 135 kit lens secondhand for £400. London Camera Exchange website worth keeping an eye on as a lot of professionals trade in their kit there and they offer a 6 month warranty.

AdonisBlue - 21 Sep 2021 21:24:13 (#3 of 88)

What's made me realise I need a decent macro/zoom is I'm involved in wildlife surveys in local nature reserves. I need to be able to take a decent photo of fairly nervous butterflies/Insects and small skittish lizards to prove I've seen them.

My camera phone just doesn't cut it on close ups, I have to get so close to the animal I'm trying to photograph I disturb it.

I've no idea what upgrade to 4k means, I'm that much of a noob I'm afraid.

LomaxFairchild - 21 Sep 2021 21:26:09 (#4 of 88)

It's just the next resolution standard up from HD. Unless you're going to be shooting video, you can ignore it.

AdonisBlue - 21 Sep 2021 21:28:19 (#5 of 88)

Thanks, yes videos are not at all important. Still shots, mainly close ups.

Thanks for the link. Have to admit I'm very nervous about trusting anyone enough to buy anything second hand online, I don't even like buying anything new online. Buy I can see the logic in it here.

LomaxFairchild - 21 Sep 2021 21:42:53 (#6 of 88)

They have shops dotted around the country, if you'd rather buy IRL

JennyRad - 21 Sep 2021 21:24:56 (#7 of 88)

There are a number of chain and indie second-hand electrical stores which are by no means as dubious as that sort of sounds - that will actually do you very well. I can certainly understand the urge to want to go look in shops - I'd definitely be looking to see what, of that sort of thing, you have locally.

6to24characters - 21 Sep 2021 21:29:35 (#8 of 88)

I've just treated myself to a Lumix FZ82; which is good quality, versati!e and so far appears idiot proof

machiavelli - 21 Sep 2021 22:38:11 (#9 of 88)

Get a secondhand canon digital body (one of the entry level ones). Look in flea markets for old film camera lenses in good condition. I've picked up beauties for £15-25. You can get an adapter from eBay if you need a conversion for the mount. I've been using M42 screw mount lenses (Zenit, Practika) on a Canon 400D. The Zenit 58mm lens is good for close ups

LomaxFairchild - 21 Sep 2021 22:55:30 (#10 of 88)

This doesn't look bad - 24 mega-pixels and a zoom with a reasonably decent reach:

tasselhoff - 21 Sep 2021 22:57:39 (#11 of 88)

This looks decent h

Tenesmus - 21 Sep 2021 23:27:18 (#12 of 88)

I've seen a 20mp Nikon L330 on Facebook Marketplace for £30. No bells or whistles but a ridiculous zoom lens and cheap. So try Facebook.

widenation - 22 Sep 2021 00:40:34 (#13 of 88)

#9 is a good shout. I've done the same but with a Pentax DSLR. Get a 2nd hand KX or similar for £100 and a world of cheap legacy/film lenses opens up. You're utilising old film-era stuff which I kind of prefer the feel of anyway.

Edit - my Samsung phone camera is crap.

quattrobhoy - 22 Sep 2021 11:57:18 (#14 of 88)

When buying second hand, lens availablity can be just, if not more, important.

IIRC Pentax PK lenses (all variants) will work on any Pentax DSLR body, albeit with limited control functions. This also applies to Samsung GX10/20 body which Pentax (K10/20D) co-developed. No adaptor necessary.

widenation - 22 Sep 2021 12:03:14 (#15 of 88)

Useful chart - don't let it put you off however:

TommyDGNR8 - 22 Sep 2021 12:23:06 (#16 of 88)

If you don't want to get sucked into SLR-land, check out the current bridge cameras. You can get a lot of camera there for 300 quid or so.

(Sadly, Fuji - who offered by far the best bang for your buck - have dropped out of the market. Check the budget end of the Sony and Lumix ranges, though.)

AdonisBlue - 22 Sep 2021 20:24:37 (#17 of 88)

Thanks Lomax and others. Yes it certainly makes all the difference being able to go into a shop and actually handle the thing.

To others. Maybe I didn't make it clear how much of a noob I am. So some of the posts above seen highly informative, like 9, but they are a different language to me. No way do I have the skills or time to wander around car boots looking for parts that I dunno if they'll fit. I need to keep it simple.

What's a bridge camera? I think SLR stands for single lens errr reflex or something but no idea what that means to be honest.

widenation - 22 Sep 2021 20:27:51 (#18 of 88)

Would you want an optical viewfinder - or are you happy with camera-view being represented on a screen?

AdonisBlue - 22 Sep 2021 20:31:47 (#19 of 88)

Oh a nice little optical window, those screens are useless on a sunny day outdoors. Met a few people with big fancy cameras on the reserve I survey and they were useless because they lacked a little old school hole.

AdonisBlue - 22 Sep 2021 20:33:16 (#20 of 88)

One of them even had a wall around the screen, supposedly to enable it to be viewed in daylight, but it was still impossible to use or view pictures taken on.

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