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Best camera to take pictures of arthropods?

Discussion in 'Through the Lens' started by spudzilla, Aug 9, 2012.

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    I want to buy a camera to document the growth of my tarantulas and their behavior, like a closeup of a small sling eating a fruit fly. I want high quality and detail so that in the future I can use the photos in projects. Does anyone have any suggestions based on their experience? I'd like something that can get a real close up of the eyes, for example.
  2. Aviara

    Aviara Arachnoknight

    What sort of budget would you have when looking for cameras? That greatly effects the decision. Keep in mind also that the quality of macro lens you purchase has a far greater effect on picture quality than does the actual camera body.
  3. I would be willing to spend no more than $400 or $500. Under $300 would be optimal.
  4. Aviara

    Aviara Arachnoknight

    I'm not sure I can help you there honestly! I just spend almost 3k on a Canon with a 100mm macro lens for my macro photography setup. And even then, I can't get close enough to get clear photographs of my tarantulas' eyes, as you were talking about. It's certainly enough to get great photographs of 1/2" and 1/4" slings, though, as well as all sorts of insects. I know there are some tricks to setting up a macro lens using cheap materials, but I don't know that you could find a high-quality macro setup for your price range without compromising image quality, in all honesty.
  5. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    A quality DSLR with a macro lens is way out of your price range then hehe!Unless you find a used one cheap of course but still then under 300 is pushing it!
    If I were you I would look into a nice point and shoot.Check some of the Canon power shots or Nikon cool pics out and see which ones have the best options for macro shooting!You can get some pretty damn good photos with a point and shoot and some can even use external lens!
  6. Aviara

    Aviara Arachnoknight

    If you're interested, here's another idea, although it takes a little more patience! A lot of older quality film cameras are for sale for fairly low prices. You just might be able to find a decent-quality film camera with a macro lens in your budget, although it's doubtful. If so, you'll have to pay to buy film and have it developed, which can be a pain and adds up quickly, but film cameras can save you money upfront.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. iaminside

    iaminside Arachnopeon

    if you dont want to drop the cash then the point n shoot route would be the way to go imo.. i have a cannon T1 that i love but like it was said, just can't ever seem to get close enough. i recently made a macro lens for my iphone using an old pair of binoculars. i am impressed with the quality i have been getting. still cant get close enough but a lot less bulk when im trying to get close.
  8. tjrd83

    tjrd83 Arachnosquire

    I just bought a Nikon Coolpix L810 for 200 dollars and I love the photos that I'm getting so far. GP sling.jpg
  9. OK, so capturing the eyes is out of the question.
    Here are three I've been thinking about.

    Nikon Coolpix L810:
    It's definitely in my price range, BUT according to the reviews it has slow shutter speed. So, I'm thinking that if I want to capture a moving insect this one may not be a good idea.

    Then there's the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:
    But that one has a painful price tag.

    Another painful price tag is the
    Nikon D7000
    Very painful price

    Nice call on the cannon power shot, I'm liking the PowerShot SX40 HS
    It's not crazy expensive.

    I think I may end up getting the Nikon Coolpixs L810 which is inexpensive and save up money to buy a better one later on. Does anyone have experience with these? Thoughts?
    Now, I'm worried about shutter speed.
  10. I use a sony Cyber-Shot (10X optical zoom) 25mm wide-angel lens.
    It also shoots HD movies.
    (all though I crop my images, here is a pic)

    And we got the camera for $250
    Hope this helps!
  11. iaminside

    iaminside Arachnopeon

    for what it's worth here is a pic i took with my iphone 4 and home made macro lens.

    • Like Like x 1
  12. I'd be interested to see what that entailed if you don't mind explaining
  13. iaminside

    iaminside Arachnopeon

    all that it really amounts to is taking the ocular lens from the binoculars and securing it over the camera lens somehow. i made a mount for the lens using a broken toy i stole from my kids.
  14. Hi,

    Since most of the time the T will not be moving while you are taking the shot, and as for most macro shots you will require your subject to be really still, I'll suggest that you get a decent camera with interchangeable lens, now the micro four thirds are gaining some foothold in the market. Although your budget it a little tight, I will suggest going for a 2nd hand camera with a kit lens, and buy some extension tubes so that you are able to focus on a small sling that requires more than 1:1 magnification that is available for most macro lenses.

    You can then apply the focus stacking technique to it as the depth of field will be really shallow. You should be able to get quite sharp images with great depth of the tarantula slings that you are after. I will also suggest some table mounted LED lights for you to control the lighting better.

    Best Regards,
  15. That's pretty creative! I definitely will try
  16. desertanimal

    desertanimal Arachnoknight

    I love the macro capabilities on the Sony cyber shot. It does great with my snakes and they are not still. I use both it and my DSLR on the spiders.
  17. Fossa

    Fossa Arachnopeon

    DSCF3614.jpg Thats a fujifilm hs20EXR ....great camera for a reasonable budget...my other half used it Africa and got better pictures than the people with DSLRs simply for speed of shooting, video is HD but to be honest I never use that feature.If your doing macro make sure you use good lighting though as it can struggle a little in low light.
  18. Fossa

    Fossa Arachnopeon

    Here's a better pic...again without even using macro capabilities. Oh and you have the option to use a manual focus ala DLSLR or auto focus....something missing from most bridge cameras. DSCF3760.jpg
  19. goodoldneon

    goodoldneon Arachnoknight

    These were taken with a six or seven year old Fuji Finepix 5100S and a twenty dollar macro lens. Admittedly, these photos aren't going to win any awards - but they represent my first attempt at macro photography. The only downside to this camera is it's small display screen, which, if memory serves, is 1.5 inches. Amazon has one available on their site.


    macro4.jpg macro 1.jpg macro 3.jpg macro2.jpg
  20. Thanks for all the replies! I ended up getting the Nikon Coolpics because of the price. Here is a picture I got of Beatrice (Lasiodora parahybana.)


    It was difficult getting a focused photo and one that wasn't blurred because of my shaky hands, but for the price it wasn't too bad. I'll probably get the Cannon Rebel it3 when I get some more money or the Fujifilm hs20EXR or the Sony Cyber Shot. I need something with a faster shutter speed than the Nikon CoolPics I bought.
    • Like Like x 1
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