Cameras

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Ant
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#1 Cameras

Post by Ant »

One for the photographers, my wife takes alot of pictures of her corals in the marine fish tank we have, and is finding that the phone camera is just not up to the job.

The pictures she takes tend to be close up shots, not sure they are macro shots, they are of the corals as a whole. And closer in shots of the polyps on the branches of the corals.

I dont want to spend a fortune on a camera although it will be used for more than just corals if i get one, but i know practically nothing about these things. Ive been using whatever camera my phone has on it for almost 20 years (i was one of those fools who had the very first camera phones in the early 2000s)

I 'think' a dslr is needed, but there are a million and one options

Any help appreciated

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pre65
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#2 Re: Cameras

Post by pre65 »

Ant wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:58 pm
I 'think' a dslr is needed, but there are a million and one options

Any help appreciated

Cheers ant
A million and 26 options.

Only consider a DSLR if you really need interchangeable lens.

Is she taking pictures of coral through the tank glass ?
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IslandPink
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#3 Re: Cameras

Post by IslandPink »

You're right that there's a million & one options. I'm no expert on all that's out there, though I know a fair bit more since getting a digital camera early last year. I suppose it's worth asking what is the most demanding thing she'll do with the pictures that she's taken ? If it's just Facebook or email, then the file sizes won't have to be any more than about 3MB.
Most DSLR's these days are upwards of 20MPix and the full sized jpegs are 15MB+ . You can always select reduced file sizes... but not worth buying a newish DSLR for that. You could buy an older DSLR from a few years ago, which will be fairly cheap and with 12 to 18MPix, if you want a solid camera, but it may be better to go for something smaller.
Next step down is APSC cameras with the 2/3rds sized sensors, Fuji have done a lot of good models in this area, they have real knobs that turn,for shutter speeds etc, quite an old-school approach. Their earlier ones like the XT-1 could be affordable.
The macro lens things is worth thinking about,. With a DSLR or a 'system' camera like the Fuji , you will be able to buy a proper macro lens that can focus in close and deliver sharp results across the frame, rather than a zoom that does a bit of macro as an afterthought.

Have a look at FFordes site ( in Inverness ) they are a bit 2nd-hand dealer, I've had loads of things off them ( and sold stuff ) over the years. You could email them and explain what you want from this camera, they may be able to home-in on what's best.

https://www.ffordes.com/
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pre65
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#4 Re: Cameras

Post by pre65 »

My "second" camera is a Canon Powershot S5is, and for what it cost me second-hand it's a useful tool.

My main camera (and Simon of this parish) is a Canon EOS40d which cost me £100 second-hand some years ago just for the body. Even now it's still a superb camera and I've not been tempted to upgrade. My main lens (and Simon) is a Canon 17mm-85mm zoom, which covers most things I need.
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#5 Re: Cameras

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simon
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#6 Re: Cameras

Post by simon »

Some good advice above.

Also worth thinking about how she actually takes the photos. Presumably from outside the tank (!) so there will be reflections from the tank glass, and diffraction effects of the water itself.

Cameras and lenses are just tools to take photos. How the photo is taken is where the skill is and the more demanding the situation the more the skill will affect the outcome.
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#7 Re: Cameras

Post by IslandPink »

simon wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:53 pm and diffraction effects of the water itself.
I might have to take you up on that comment ... :)
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#8 Re: Cameras

Post by pre65 »

I'd agree that the photographer him or herself is more important than the type or quality of the equipment.
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#9 Re: Cameras

Post by simon »

IslandPink wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:01 pm
simon wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:53 pm and diffraction effects of the water itself.
I might have to take you up on that comment ... :)
Yeah, I did think that was a rather inelegant description that didn't really describe the interaction of glass and water. But I couldn't be arsed to change it. :-D
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rowuk
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#10 Re: Cameras

Post by rowuk »

Maybe consider a new phone with better optics?
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Ant
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#11 Re: Cameras

Post by Ant »

Well ive been looking and researching, and come to the conclusion that unless im willing to pay a couple of hundred quid for a camera and lens this is something of a non starter.
All she does with the pictures is put them on a forum she goes on.
She takes the picture on the phone then uploads it. Using a dedicated camera will mean firing up a computer and faffing about to get the images off the camera, ect ect.

Nope, sod that it will be an expensive pain in the arse when she doesnt really have an interest in photography in the first place. If she was interested in photography as a hobby or something it would be a different story
For what she wants to do, might as well just buy a better pbone as rowuk says

The people on her fish forum are recommending cameras 500 quid up, no way im paying that kind of money

Thanks everyone for the advice
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pre65
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#12 Re: Cameras

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Ant wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:39 pm
For what she wants to do, might as well just buy a better phone as rowuk says

A wise decision.
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#13 Re: Cameras

Post by IslandPink »

simon wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:02 pm Yeah, I did think that was a rather inelegant description that didn't really describe the interaction of glass and water. But I couldn't be arsed to change it. :-D
I think 'refraction' is the word you were looking for.
But anyway, the effects of the water and glass are common to any camera you'd use.
Having the camera on a tripod , even a lightweight one, could be a good step, since focusing things when they are close becomes hit and miss even with autofocus.
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Ray P
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#14 Re: Cameras

Post by Ray P »

Ant wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:39 pm For what she wants to do, might as well just buy a better pbone as rowuk says
Ant, I have one of these that she's welcome to. It's just gathering dust - it is a few years old but it does have a macro capability and a threaded bush for a stand. 8M pixels is probably good enough.

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/28760 ... ifilms5800

I've not used it for a while but if it's of interest I'll dig it out and put some batteries in and check it is functioning. I'm sure a manual will be available on-line somewhere.
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#15 Re: Cameras

Post by pre65 »

That looks a nice camera Ray, 8MP is plenty good enough, and more features than most people will ever need. Using AA batteries is good as well. :)
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