What Type of Camera Does The Camera Corner Guru Use (and Why)?

Wendy (@TheWendyPower):

My apologies if you already discussed this inquiry in a previous podcast. I was simply wondering a few questions:

  1. What type of camera was your first serious piece of hardware. The one that launched your career and that you used as a spring board? (I realize the answer will be a legacy piece in 2020).

  2. In 2020, if you were to launch your career today, what would be the camera you would choose (which I also realize is an ecosystem question, too) today?

Thank you in advance for whatever candor you can provide. My purpose in these questions is that I want to “invest” in a nice camera. I come from an iPhone / Galaxy background in photography but I have had a few Powershots in my past. I am told that Canon is the best for taking great photos that require little post-edits to simply look amazing. I am also wanting a camera where I can invest in different lens over time…I plan to keep this new camera for a minimum of 8 years to a solid decade. Additionally, I want to shoot 4K video and try video streaming with it. I have modest means so whatever I choose must be feature-rich.

I have considered the Canon T8i & D90 so far. If you are a proponent and user of Canon, I am additionally wondering how Linux Compatibility is. I do rock a 2019 MacBook Pro 16 but whatever I buy MUST also work well on a Gnome-based distro. Currently I run PopOS on a Thinkpad X1 Extreme (1st Gen) and a box rocking an AMD 2nd gen 16-core Threadripper, 64 GB Ram, & 2 Vega 64’s rocking Ubuntu 20.04.1…and I want the purchase to play well on those systems as well so I can play with Darktable and other alternatives for photography and video editing via Linux.

Thanks for all your help, Wendy.

Respectfully,

Restless Nomad
South Korea

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Good name :slight_smile:

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  1. The camera that I really started playing with and learning how the settings worked was a Canon Rebel XT. It wasn’t anything special, just an entry-level DSLR. The camera that I used for my first paid job was a Nikon D3400. Also an entry-level DSLR.

  2. If I was buying a camera today, it would be a Sony Mirrorless. The 6000 line is fantastic. If I had the money to buy any camera it would be in the Sony Alpha line. Either the new models of the 6000 or Alpha line would do what you are wanting to do. Though if you like Canon better, they make a great camera that would serve you well.

You have a great system there and most of the camera models are supported in Linux editing programs. Here is the support list from Darktable.

I hope that helps!

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Wendy:

Thank you for taking the time to answer my query. Also, thank you DLN team for featuring my post on Hardware Addicts #24 (Time: 49m 22s). Yes, my own subsequent research suggests that I should target Mirrorless (future-proofing) and that I should also choose Sony. However, my very novice, unprofessional reasoning is simply that I was turned off from Canon & Nikon when I discovered their artificial limits on 4K video recording of 30 minutes. Now, to be fair, I know there are some that would simply tell me to go buy a dedicated 4K video solution if I care so much about a detail like that. To answer that critique, I want the single solution to rule them all. I travel a lot and I need a single solution that will do it all fairly well. It’s my Tolkien “One Ring To Rule Them All” approach to enthusiast pro-equipment…I want one single camera that does it all that isn’t my smartphone and has expandability as I grow in my mastery with the craft.

I think Canon & Nikon really missed the boat with an artificial video limitation like that (but I know that is due to the EU imposing a 14% duty on Camcorders in 1996…a duty Canon & Nikon simply refuse to pay into the modern era / EU Defined a video camera as being able to record video longer than 30 minutes consecutively in their tax code). But Sony leads the way by simply not caring about the law and paying it to provide the modern feature…sadly this has swayed me towards Sony as a result. I would like to say it was the AF feature or the still’s quality…but no its a feature that was artificially created by the EU to make revenue…grrrr. Reference: https://youtu.be/-B9GLrJoUA8

So yes, Sony, Sony, Sony. I think my investment into their ecosystem of photography (by way of lenses) will make a handsome ability over time. This leads me to my next question…lenses. I am simply overwhelmed in my lack of. experience upon the subject. So much so that I probably should create a whole new post to address it.

I think I shall do just that.

Suffice to say, I am now considering either an A6400 or A6500 (my feeling is that a 6600 would simply be overkill for my needs).

Regards,

Restless Nomad

I’ve no doubt that’s an excuse they might be comfortable with but it wouldn’t prevent them from making the firmware available should someone wish to convert their camera into a “camcorder” or by the least make it easy for the community to do it.

I’ve only flashed a higher end Sony camera once but I do know there’s a thriving community producing custom firmware for unlocking and adding aftermarket features. It may be worth picking a range of cameras you’d be happy with and making a choice based on the custom firmware availabile for each one.

Granted… custom firmware will almost certainly void your warranty and risks bricking the camera so perhaps it’s best practiced on a used camera. If you really want a new one you could get a banged up cheap one for testing, flash it, then resell it.

You’d also want to make sure the 4k time limitation is not a safety to prevent overheating and if it is… that there’s modifications you can do to overcome it.

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For the lenses you really need to think about what you want to do with your camera.

If you want to do mainly landscape you would probably be mostly satisfied with something like:

  • 16-35mm zoomlens
  • 24-70mm zoomlens
  • 70-200mm zoomlens

If you want to focus on portaits you might prefer a 35mm and 50mm prime with maybe a good 24-70mm zoomlens.