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I take 99% of my pictures with my cell phone. They are just memories to me, not an avocation. I have gotten pretty good at tapping to focus on the right depth of field, so they are often pretty good. Editable right on the phone too.

A few years back, we wanted a nicer camera for a vacation, but didn't really want to get into photography, if you know what I mean. A decent zoomable lens, with point and shoot. We bought a Nikon P600. Digital with a wifi link to download the pics. Blown away by our first attempt. Remarkably better, especially in darker light or at longer distances.

If this is similar to what you're looking to upgrade to, I'm sure whatever you have will work. If you want to really get into the art of photography, you'll have to dig deeper. I'd suggest starting by looking up good practices for taking a pic, even if with a fully automatic. Tips on sun position, point of focus, framing the subject are simple and make a big difference. My wife gets frustrated when she sees my camera phone pics come out substantially better and blames her phone. :)
 

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It's a good camera but it won't take good pictures itself. The photographer must do that.

I learned a long time ago to hire photographers for important events. There is A LOT of work involved, and if it's important enough to document beyond family snapshots, it's absolutely worth the expense.
 

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Apple iphone has a great camera, and you can take both photographs and shoot video on it. If you want to spend your time and energy learning something, get a subscription to Adobe Photoshop (photos) and Adobe Premier Pro (video). There are also "free" programs that do what Photoshop and Premier Pro do that are very good. The pros use these programs to make their photographs look better. I'd spend the money and time on the software.
 

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I have a Canon 70D and a Canon EF 400mm lens for wildlife photography. What I have learned is you REALLY need a tripod for crisp images. Even just a little, imperceptible, handshake is enough to take the crispness out of a camera. So if you're looking for something for the event and it's going to be a situation where the subject will be posing, then consider a tripod and a remote click or timer. Also, learn to balance shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I think that's the trinity of photography. The higher the shutter speed, the crisper the image, but the more light loss, hence the need to balance that between the aperture and ISO. It's not easy, and I'm not nearly as proficient as I would like to be. But I keep practicing. Do a bit of research on the internet and you can improve the quality of your pictures significantly.
 

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Good thread!

So what is a decent upgrade from a cell phone which is not spendy, not complicated to use and gets you to another level of photography? What do these cost?
 

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I've had every sort of camera from a Nikon professional set up with all the bells and whistles to a few point and shoot literally 'waterproof' (which we never take underwater or try to get wet) ones and none seem to last more than about 3 years.
We sell a considerable amount of pics to a stock house, so the better the camera, the better the pic, but I'm getting tired of forking out $300.00 to $500.00 a pop. Our present Nikon is going back to them for repairs the second time in two months and I paid less than $150.00 for the new waterproof point and shoot a month back.
I recommend you go cheap.
 

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In my experience, good quality photos (of subjects in motion) really benefit from a quality camera and lens. What makes a big difference is the speed of the auto focus for the camera and lens. I previously used (and still have) an entry-level Canon DSLR, the TI, I think, and the 70D is so much better. There's really no comparison. My set up costs a lot (probably a bit more than $2k for lens and camera), but I've had it 10 years or more, and it's for a hobby I get a lot of satisfaction from, so it's worth it to me. Would I do spend that if it wasn't a hobby? No way.
 

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Re: Sails for light winds

It's a good camera but it won't take good pictures itself. The photographer must do that.

I learned a long time ago to hire photographers for important events. There is A LOT of work involved, and if it's important enough to document beyond family snapshots, it's absolutely worth the expense.
Phil you are totally not wrong, but there are also a whole slew of "professionals" that are not.
I would say finding a reputable photographer makes ALL the difference.

My son is a videographer, and also a part-time photographer, and the thousands of dollars he has in equipment and experience put everything he takes in a different league.
Others comment about tools to "enhance" pictures, yep, if they start out good, you can make them "better" for sure, but if they stink to start, they will just stink squared in software.
 

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I bought a new Canon 70D a few months ago yo go to Africa. It was approx USD$600 off the internet in London, caméra body only.
I paired it with my older Sigma 50 to 200mm lens.
It's good but the lens is a bit cheap - about $200 if I remember correctly.
The next big wildlife trip I will go up a grade to a more expensive lens.

And a tripod. It's a must.

But I didn't really need a tripod in Africa because I was always shooting from inside a vehicle. You xan walk outside the vehicle and set up a tripod but this makes the lions a tad hungry. Dunno why.

:crying

The quality of the 70D and my Sigma lens leaves any smartphone in this dust.

Mark
 

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I've been very impressed with my new Samsung Galaxy 10+ phone and take a lot of photos and video with it. Especially since it's always nearby in my pocket. It has five different lenses on it. I just use it for point and shoot but, has a bunch of modes that you can play with. I also use a Action Camera a cheap GoPro knock off. Bought on Amazon for about $50. Good for underwater and I don't feel as bad if I should lose it over the side where two of my GoPros ended up. One in the Maldives and one in the Dry Tortugas.
 

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I bought a new Canon 70D a few months ago yo go to Africa. It was approx USD$600 off the internet in London, caméra body only.
I paired it with my older Sigma 50 to 200mm lens.
It's good but the lens is a bit cheap - about $200 if I remember correctly.
The next big wildlife trip I will go up a grade to a more expensive lens.

And a tripod. It's a must.

But I didn't really need a tripod in Africa because I was always shooting from inside a vehicle. You xan walk outside the vehicle and set up a tripod but this makes the lions a tad hungry. Dunno why.

:crying

The quality of the 70D and my Sigma lens leaves any smartphone in this dust.

Mark
I too have a 70D. No comparison to a cell phone.
 

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We just got a Panasonic Lumix FZ300. It has a 24x optical zoom, which they claim is equivalent to a 600mm lens. It’s a dust & splash-proof bridge camera, which seems to make sense for outdoor photography. Our iPhone cameras were fine for portraits and in-home scenes, but not for getting shots of other boats at any distance. (They tend to fall well behind when we race...:))
 

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