Equipment Question: Best Camera for Weather Photography?

C Sanchez

Enthusiast
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
1
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
What is the best camera recommended for weather photography that can get clear and wide shots and good enough to capture light at night as small as the stars? In other words, what camera would work great for just about any weather event no matter what time or day it is?
 
To give a good recommendation, we will need some more information, namely what your budget is. Most of us who do a lot on the photography side have either DSLR or mirrorless cameras, and don't bother with the consumer cameras. For example, I shoot with a Canon 50D for digital and (occasionally now) an old Canon Elan 7ne for film. I have three lenses that I swap in and out depending on what I'm shooting and both cameras having EF mounts helps in that I don't need a separate set of lenses for each one.

Others will have newer (and more expensive) models, but will almost exclusively be either Canon, Nikon, or Sony. Point and shoot cameras simply are not going to have the flexibility or capability to do the variety of camera work that most of us need. I tried that route before and I get much better results with my 10 year old 50D than I did with a much newer point and shoot.

Even if your budget is relatively low, you can still get an older Canon or Nikon and a lens to get you started for relatively cheap. Factoring in what I've paid for my current cameras and lenses listed above, as well as the XTi that I started with, I'm still under $500 for everything.

I apologize for not being able to tell you "Go buy camera A," but we at least need a budget to give a good recommendation.
 
Sep 7, 2013
555
364
21
Strasburg, CO
I have two older model Nikon DSLRs with a variety of budget lenses (Rokinon, Tamron, etc) and im perfectly capable of shooting anything from landscapes to milky way.

By no means are my photos professional grade, but theyre just for me so no worries there.

Also, my LG G6+ phone has a killer camera setup. Cell phones have come a long way, but still dont stand up to DSLR manual control for shooting lightning and astro.
 
Oct 31, 2013
401
303
21
Eastern TX Panhandle
What the others said, and you'll definitely want to get a full frame camera no matter what brand you get. Also, you will want to invest in good quality lenses. Cheap lenses for the most part will bring the quality of your photos way down.
 

C Sanchez

Enthusiast
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
1
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
To give a good recommendation, we will need some more information, namely what your budget is. Most of us who do a lot on the photography side have either DSLR or mirrorless cameras, and don't bother with the consumer cameras. For example, I shoot with a Canon 50D for digital and (occasionally now) an old Canon Elan 7ne for film. I have three lenses that I swap in and out depending on what I'm shooting and both cameras having EF mounts helps in that I don't need a separate set of lenses for each one.

Others will have newer (and more expensive) models, but will almost exclusively be either Canon, Nikon, or Sony. Point and shoot cameras simply are not going to have the flexibility or capability to do the variety of camera work that most of us need. I tried that route before and I get much better results with my 10 year old 50D than I did with a much newer point and shoot.

Even if your budget is relatively low, you can still get an older Canon or Nikon and a lens to get you started for relatively cheap. Factoring in what I've paid for my current cameras and lenses listed above, as well as the XTi that I started with, I'm still under $500 for everything.

I apologize for not being able to tell you "Go buy camera A," but we at least need a budget to give a good recommendation.
I would say between $500-$1000 is what I would prefer to stay around. No more, no less. I want to capture very good quality weather pictures. I’m used to using either my phone or my Canon Powershot SX720 HS. I definitely want to get wider shots too. Also, if not brand new, if I found a good condition used camera depending on your recommendation, would a used camera be ok?
 

C Sanchez

Enthusiast
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
1
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I have two older model Nikon DSLRs with a variety of budget lenses (Rokinon, Tamron, etc) and im perfectly capable of shooting anything from landscapes to milky way.

By no means are my photos professional grade, but theyre just for me so no worries there.

Also, my LG G6+ phone has a killer camera setup. Cell phones have come a long way, but still dont stand up to DSLR manual control for shooting lightning and astro.
If I could capture stars or better quality weather pictures with a wide shot, I wouldn’t complain.
 
I would say between $500-$1000 is what I would prefer to stay around. No more, no less. I want to capture very good quality weather pictures. I’m used to using either my phone or my Canon Powershot SX720 HS. I definitely want to get wider shots too. Also, if not brand new, if I found a good condition used camera depending on your recommendation, would a used camera be ok?
Absolutely. All my equipment was used when I bought it. My XTi was about 10 years old when I bought it in 2015, my 50D is a 10 year old camera and I bought it this year. My 7ne that I use for film is older than both of them, as is my 28-200mm Tamron lens. As long as it's been taken care of, you don't need new out of the box. Find what you want for a camera body, and leave room in your budget for a solid telephoto lens and a good wide angle. Since all my lenses are full frame EF mount Canon, I have room to upgrade to a full frame DSLR if I want to later, plus i can use all my lenses on my 7ne film camera. Having that kind of interchangeability is really nice.
 

C Sanchez

Enthusiast
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
1
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Absolutely. All my equipment was used when I bought it. My XTi was about 10 years old when I bought it in 2015, my 50D is a 10 year old camera and I bought it this year. My 7ne that I use for film is older than both of them, as is my 28-200mm Tamron lens. As long as it's been taken care of, you don't need new out of the box. Find what you want for a camera body, and leave room in your budget for a solid telephoto lens and a good wide angle. Since all my lenses are full frame EF mount Canon, I have room to upgrade to a full frame DSLR if I want to later, plus i can use all my lenses on my 7ne film camera. Having that kind of interchangeability is really nice.
I really appreciate all of your help! So I assume your recommended camera would be the canon.
 
Canon is my personal preference, but Nikon and Sony also make great products. Nikon has a similar range of available lenses as Canon does, and Sony is gaining ground in that department. If there is a photography store near you, I'd recommend going and getting a feel for each brand, and figure out which you're most comfortable with.
 
Jan 6, 2019
80
29
6
Tyler
Canon is my personal preference, but Nikon and Sony also make great products. Nikon has a similar range of available lenses as Canon does, and Sony is gaining ground in that department. If there is a photography store near you, I'd recommend going and getting a feel for each brand, and figure out which you're most comfortable with.
I have searched for brick n mortar camera store around my area and have not found any.
What do you think of buying used from Ebay or Amazon?
Thought about pawn shops. I just feel that buying off any of those 3 is a gamble.
 
I have searched for brick n mortar camera store around my area and have not found any.
What do you think of buying used from Ebay or Amazon?
Thought about pawn shops. I just feel that buying off any of those 3 is a gamble.
I've bought most of my equipment off Ebay. Cameras, lenses, both commercial and amateur radio equipment, etc. Look at feedback for the seller, and make sure there is a return policy for equipment not working properly.

The reason I mentioned finding a brick and mortar store to the OP is I think he would benefit from handling the different brands of DSLR to figure out what he likes. Once you start buying cameras and lenses, it's helpful to pick a brand and type of mount and stay there. That's a huge reason why brand loyalty among photographers is more substantial than in other types of products.
 

C Sanchez

Enthusiast
Jul 8, 2019
6
0
1
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I have a
Canon is my personal preference, but Nikon and Sony also make great products. Nikon has a similar range of available lenses as Canon does, and Sony is gaining ground in that department. If there is a photography store near you, I'd recommend going and getting a feel for each brand, and figure out which you're most comfortable with.
I have a possible offer for a used/good condition Nikon D3300, it seems fairly good and it comes with 4 lenses and even though it’s $750 it seems to be a good camera. I just don’t want to make the mistake of paying too much when I could’ve payed less for a good camera.
 

Steven Heicher

Enthusiast
Jul 19, 2019
2
0
1
Nashville, TN
I'd look up each lens in that pack just to see what's in it. If they're lenses like Nikon, Sigma, or Tamron, generally speaking you're good. Once you get into some of the XYZ lenses, then quality can become iffy.
 
I buy my camera equipment from pawn stores. That way I get to test it before I buy it. The key to getting good pawn shop value is finding a chain where they mark the price down each month. Then just find something that's been there for about 6 months. You can pay $150 - $200 for a decent body (not full frame), and $70 - $100 for each lens.

After buying anything used, make sure you have a camera shop clean it for you. No need to pay $3,000 on a full frame body until you have honed your camera skills and you're sure you are in it for the long haul.
 
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I buy my camera equipment from pawn stores. That way I get to test it before I buy it. The key to getting good pawn shop value is finding a chain where they mark the price down each month. Then just find something that's been there for about 6 months. You can pay $150 - $200 for a decent body (not full frame), and $70 - $100 for each lens.

After buying anything used, make sure you have a camera shop clean it for you. No need to pay $3,000 on a full frame body until you have honed your camera skills and you're sure you are in it for the long haul.
That's actually how I ended up with my Elan 7ne. A pawn shop listed their stuff on Ebay, and I just waited until the price started coming down. Then, once it basically was cut in half, I jumped on it before anyone else could beat me to the punch. The bonus was that it came with a lens that filled in a hole in my lens lineup as well, so I killed two birds with one stone on that. I've bought radio equipment from pawn shops that way as well. They quickly tire of holding on to things.
 
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Reactions: ScottCurry
Jan 5, 2008
90
4
6
DFW-Dallas/FortWorth
I must say I like all the good talk about NIKON !!!!!!! I am considering getting a 2nd camera for chasing and NIKON is what I am looking at ............ Maybe the 7100 series ...... Pecos Hank-Another well known chaser- has stuff on YouTube about his Camera's and I am seriously looking into getting that series for chasing and I have heard that Nikon is a Grrrrrreat Brand- I mean they've like been around for a long long long time. While we are on the subject of Camera's anyone got more advice on Nikon ????? and me considering the 7100 series for chasing ????????????????? and pictures and maybe video.

Shawn C.

"FOX 4-WARN SENIOR STORMTRACKER"

"FOX4NEWS.COM"
 
I must say I like all the good talk about NIKON !!!!!!! I am considering getting a 2nd camera for chasing and NIKON is what I am looking at ............ Maybe the 7100 series ...... Pecos Hank-Another well known chaser- has stuff on YouTube about his Camera's and I am seriously looking into getting that series for chasing and I have heard that Nikon is a Grrrrrreat Brand- I mean they've like been around for a long long long time. While we are on the subject of Camera's anyone got more advice on Nikon ????? and me considering the 7100 series for chasing ????????????????? and pictures and maybe video.

Shawn C.

"FOX 4-WARN SENIOR STORMTRACKER"

"FOX4NEWS.COM"

Anything Nikon, Canon, or Sony will be fine. I'm not familiar with the 7100 in particular, but I believe it's their equivalent to the Canon 80D. Crop sensor, but not low end.
 
I think the replies above are great - and my only reason for posting is to give my experiences of moving into storm photography a number of years back - I've always taken video, but wanted my own camera for taking stills.

I decided to not go down the DSLR route, as a) I wasn't really sure how much I would use it, and b) I didn't want to carry multiple lenses around, especially considering a). I've still got the camera - and have not moved into DSLR yet - mainly due to being happy with it, and it doing what I need from it.

I bought a Sony RX10, back in 2014 - it's a fixed lens camera, and techinically classed as a 'compact' - but it's a similar size to many DSLR cameras. It has a 24-200m f/2.8 lens, which gives great results - with f/2.8 at 200mm, you can get good light collection even at a decent zoom.

The RX10 has moved on to version 4 now (I've not moved on, mainly due to cost!) - it is packed with a lot of tech, and now has a 24-600mm lens, F/2 - 4.4. For an all-in-one camera, I think this really is pretty high!

Downsides? The fixed lens means you are 'stuck' with those ranges and f numbers, which is an issue if you want maximum flexibility. Also, the sensor size is 1 inch - so, no full frame...for many applications this is OK, and I find night photography is pretty good. However, at higher ISO it does get pretty grainy, when a full-frame would still be sharper/less noisy.

Below are just a couple of storm shots, which have been tweaked in Lightroom to improve contrast, etc - it shoots in RAW, which is very useful.