Shopping for camera

Shopping for camera

Postby David M » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:58 pm

Quick, someone go revive Matt, I'm sure he's fainted :roll: OK so you all know I need a camera, help me out. Obviously I want to be able to take good close up shots of fish, what a surprise. I am probably getting fairly close to having to set up a website so I'll need to put up good, clear shots of livestock for sale. I AM NOT a technophile, geek or compulsive perfectionist, I just want some decent photographs easily transferred to the web. It would be nice if I could spend under $500, half that would be ideal. What are your thoughts?
Seahorse Aquatics Current Availability List: http://www.sdreefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39000
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Postby KathyL » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:46 pm

Can't believe you posted this. Just goes to show, great minds think alike.

I spent the day researching cameras as my old canon only gives me frankenfish.

I seem to be stuck on Canons. I tried a couple in the store, and the macro is amazing. What I don't know is if the macro will focus on the fish behind the glass, rather than the glass itself. But they can autofocus on something 1 cm away...For someone with a bifocal dependency, this is a very good thing.

I've been asking questions in an aquarium photography forum. What I've learned about glare is this: The trouble with point and shoot cameras is the flash. It is not good enough and it is too close to the lens. A remote flash is better, and can be had for any point and shoot as a slave flash. It is triggered by the camera's preflash, and doesn't have to be wired to the camera. Unfortunately, you have to use the camera's flast to trigger the slave, so you get the ugly light in addition to the slave's light, which should be better. Not sure how to handle this....

So I am thinking about the Canon A720IS or the SX100IS. I have to go back to the store and try to focus it on something behind glass. If this works, I may just go with A720IS. It's around $200 on sale, and seems to have the features I want. But not the flash I want....

I could go with a DSLR, but that is spending the big bucks, and then I would have to get the lenses and the flashes, and photography is not my hobby, fish breeding is, and I can't afford another hobby....

Good luck with the search, and I am interested in what everyone else has to say.

Kathy
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Postby Kmiec123 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:51 pm

i like my Cannon Elph SD1000. check B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/
has an aquarium mode and great macro shots for the money.
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Postby sihaya » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:17 am

I know it might sound a little silly... but if you're looking for something to take pictures of tank life with, I really like taking these pictures from inside the aquarium (with an underwater camera). I have the Sealife DC600. You can see some examples of pics I took with it here: www.asira.org/my65g
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Postby KathyL » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:22 am

Nice pictures, Sara!

I think the canons have an underwater case that can do this, too. For me, I want to take pictures of larvae at all stages, and swarms of clownfish at all ages, and putting the camera in the water would freak them out and would not help me.
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Re:

Postby sihaya » Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:25 pm

KathyL wrote:Nice pictures, Sara!


Thanks :)

I think the canons have an underwater case that can do this, too. For me, I want to take pictures of larvae at all stages, and swarms of clownfish at all ages, and putting the camera in the water would freak them out and would not help me.


Hmm... have you thought about getting a stereo microscope with camera attachment?
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Postby KathyL » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:53 am

I have a cast off Nikon Stereo dissecting with a camera port. I haven't figured out how to take pictures of live fish with it, and I don't have the heart to kill one for research. :D
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Postby sihaya » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:24 am

Huh, I didn't think about how it might be more difficult/complicated with the scope. I still haven't gotten a camera for my scope yet...

Well, anyway, I hope you find something that works well so you can share some cool pictures! :)
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Postby "Umm, fish?" » Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:32 pm

Well, Kathy and David, the good thing about the point'n'shoots like you're talking about is that you'll get a whole lot more depth of field than you could get with an SLR. So, in that sense it's easier to shoot macro with them.

On the other hand, it's a lot harder to shoot small stuff because you're always trying to find ways to make do with the lens that came with camera.

But, I've seen plenty of great macro shots with the liitle cameras, so it can be done. You should probably think about getting a magnifying lens to clip on the front of the camera, something like this: http://www.compuplus.com/i-Raynox-CM2000-15x-and-25x-MacroClose-Up-2-Lens-Set-52mm-to-67mm-for-Digital-35mm-SLR-Cameras-1010897~.html?sid=9lw942409unvv91 (BTW, I don't know anything about that website. It was just a place where I found the lens.)

And, the flash on those little cameras is inadequate for macro (too underpowered and in the wrong place to hit the subject). You should consider upgrading that right away, too.

And, just so you know, those aren't necessarily just criticisms of the fixed-lens cameras. Only a very small percentage of camera owners shoots macro and so they just aren't designed for that. If you asked me about getting an SLR for macro shots, the first things I'd tell you to do are to upgrade the lens and upgrade the flash.

Good luck!
Andy

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Postby KathyL » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:31 pm

Hi Andy,
The new P&S (Point and shoot) cameras have great macro ability. I can focus at a distance of 1 cm. That's enough for me.

I don't understand your comment about depth of field. The one I am considering has an aperture priority control that lets me set aperture, and it sets shutter speed for me. Why wouldn't SLR (single lens reflex--a camera that allows lens changes and flash changes) cameras have this? I thought the advantage of SLR was the ability to control every part of the process,,,

?
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Postby KathyL » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:32 pm

Also, how can I upgrade the flash? I hate the flash that comes with the camera. I always get a glare, and the light quality is lousy.
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Postby Kmiec123 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:10 pm

Kathy...Check my link above for point and shoot flash upgrades.
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Postby KathyL » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:22 pm

Carl, I found a wireless flash that I assume operates on the signal of the preflash from the camera itself. It looks attractive, but I am not sure it will solve the glare problem. I am thinking that the camera's flash will have to activate in order to signal the wireless flash, and so the glare will still happen. Am I correct?

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Postby "Umm, fish?" » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:05 pm

Kathy--I was afraid you were going to ask me that. :) I don't pretend to understand the physics behind this. I believe that it's something to do with the difference in focal length between fixed-lens and SLR. But, I did go back and find the source of my information:

Your fixed-length digital camera is hopelessly plagued with an uncanny ability to render a tremendous amount of depth of field, even when you set your lens to f/2.8--an aperture of f/2.8 is equivalent to an aperture opening of f/11 on an SLR camera! ... Those of us who use SLRs can only dream of the vast depth of field that would result from apertures like f/64. [Kathy, the equivalent to f/64 on a fixed-lens is f/11.]


Fortunately for fixed-lens cameras, the greater depth of field can also be had at much faster shutter speeds than you'd be able to on an SLR. So, when your depth of field is set to f/2.8, you set your shutter speed as if it was f/2.8, but you're getting depth of field as if you had set f/11. But, you still have to jump through hoops to get your lens to shoot 1:1 macro (you can focus close, but can you fill up that sensor?).

So, there it is.

The quote is from: Bryan Peterson, Understanding Exposure, Revised Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera, New York: Amphoto, 2004, p. 46.
Andy

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Postby Kmiec123 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:31 pm

Not sure Kathy if you can turn off your camera flash and use only external....Possible, will have to check out the manual on the item and your spacific camera.
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Postby KathyL » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:56 am

OK, now that I've taken over David's thread, I just have to say, I am buying the Canon 720 for a wee bit over $200 and if I need better pictures for an article if I ever write it, I'll hire someone who knows what they are doing to take pictures with the money I'll save not buying a DSLR, lenses, and flashes not to mention the time required to learn it all. Is that a sentence?

Inhale.

Thanks very much for the information. I really learned a lot this weekend. You have all been very kind.

Back to David.


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