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Camera advice

Discussion in 'Through the Lens' started by Prymal, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Over the past weeks, I've seen some outstanding photography on the board.
    I'm interested in acquiring a digital camera after the holiday season but have no experience with photography and was hoping some of the 'board' photographers could offer up a few suggestions. Thanks in advance. Definitely looking for a model that will allow me to get up close and take close-up photos and not require a great amount of photographic experience/knowledge to turn out good photos!

  2. Murziukas

    Murziukas Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I'm not a big expert, but go for as big as available optical zoom (x10, x12) and macro function. ;)
  3. parabuthus

    parabuthus Arachnodemon Old Timer

    If you get a fairly expensive Digital camera on the market right now -any brand- that is 5 mega pixels you will have a good camera and you will be able to capture some great photos... goodluck. My camera is 3.2 mega pixels and I get decent pictures, but the standard is rising very quickly.
  4. 1/2

    1/2 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    If you buy a compact camera, make sure it has a Macro function. These are often indicated with a flower or bug on the function wheel. Or if you go for a SLR camera you can buy Macro lens separatly. It depends on what you want to put in it. The SLR is more expencive, but more versitile (if you have more than just the one lens that is....)

    When buying a camera you have to think of how you want to use it, and look at more than just what the people in the store want to sell. (they want to sell what they make most money of.) So do a bit of reserch before you buy.

    Best of luck ;)
  5. Nikos

    Nikos Arachnoprince Old Timer

    sony dsc-f717 has a good macro function and since its a bit outdated you'll be able to get it cheap
  6. parabuthus

    parabuthus Arachnodemon Old Timer

    I was under the impression that most digital cameras available on the market presently, and for the past 5 years, have a macro function :?.

    I think I'd be hard pushed to find a digitial camera brought out recently that doesn't have one (?).
  7. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer


    First, thanks to everyone for their suggestions, advice and recommendations.
    At present, I've been looking over the Canon PowerShot S2 IS: 5 mp with 12x Image Stabilizer Lens and the 9 mp, 10.7x zoom Fujifilm FinePix S9000. I'm learning toward the Canon.
    Primary use will be to shoot scorpions and spiders BUT I want something that'll be able to take a close-up of the pectines of an I2 specimens as small as Diplocentrus spp. (9-10 mm in total length). Thanks!

  8. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    High mp

    Someone just informed me that the Samsung Pro815 has 15x zoom and 8 mp resolution! Anyone using this beast?

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  9. parabuthus

    parabuthus Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Hi Luc,

    The Samsung sounds like a good bet! I personally use a Canon powershot, it has 3.2 mega pixels and 4x optical zoom. It does the job for me, anything with better specs should be able to take a great photograph! Goodluck.
  10. 1/2

    1/2 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    The canon power shot would be a good bet. The stabilizer will make it easier for you to get crisp photos with out using a tripod... 5 megapixles is usually good enough for most users (unless they want to make a 6 square meter print of the photo...)
  11. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer


    Yeah, I don't want to invest $$$ in something that for the most part will be over-kill for my photographic intent and purpose. Also, I've never taken a single photo in my life and need something real "dummy" friendly that can do the job without a great deal of hassle.
    I've seen some remarkable photos taken by 4 mp cameras with 10x zoom that to my untrained eye, appear just as crisp and sharp as those taken with larger mp cameras with 12x.

    1/2 - a 6m x 6m photo would make for a nice wrap-around wallpaper on my invertebrate room but I think I should be realistic and stick to 8 x 10 or smaller images! LOL

    With all things considered, I think the Canon PowerShot S2 is the best choice. My primary concern is in being able to take close-up, clear, crisp photos of the post-embryos and early instar stages of smaller scorps (diplocentrids and euscorpiids). The Samsung is nice but I think it a bit much for a novice photographer and by the time I actually learn what i'm doing, it'll probably be out-dated by a 20 mp, 50x zoom camera!

    Thanks to all,
  12. Nazgul

    Nazgul Arachnoangel Old Timer


    I´d recommend a Ricoh Caplio GX with 5.1 MP (there´s also a very similar type of cam with 8 MP from Ricoh Caplio). The zoom function isn´t the best, 3x optical zoom, if I remember correctly. But the macro function is outstanding, down to 1 cm distance. And it´s an easy-to-use and quite chaep camera.

    It´s the one I´m using and I´m very satisfied with it.

  13. fscorpion

    fscorpion Arachnobaron Old Timer

    The Canon PowerShot S2 IS is a great camera, It can make some outstanding photos it has a good 12X optical Zoom with image stabilizator, but more important it has a great makro option that can focus from 00mm! Yes, you read correctly, you can practically touch the object you are focusing, that is great stuff...its easy to handle and has really a lot of options...
    I have a camera that can zoom from 8cm and it makes very good makro pictures, but mine is at the level of Canon PowerShot S1 IS, you can imagine what this could be doing...
    The only thing its that its not really cheap...Nazgul has a much better solution as far as price is concerned and the photos are still excellent...
  14. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer


    All of the photos on your site were taken with the Ricoh? I'm amazed as to the quality and detail of the photos. Quite nice indeed!

  15. Nazgul

    Nazgul Arachnoangel Old Timer


    no, the pics on my page are a little bit older. They´ve been taken with an older version of the Caplio GX, the Caplio RR30. I haven´t updated the gallery for a while, I´m working on it at the moment. All of the more recent pics I uploaded to the "Scorpion picture thread" are taken with the GX for example. The cost-value of the Caplio GX is really fantastic, in Europe the price is around 180 Euros.

  16. redhourglass

    redhourglass Arachnobaron Old Timer


    Luc, I was in the same boat a couple years ago with no experience with digital cameras. Reading up on the various specification informations under the numerous brands made me crazy after time LOL. However based on price and consumer reports I chose Canon Powershot A75. More information can found in this link: CLICK

    I have no real complaints about the purchase but keep in mind that software packages come in the box also as to adjust the images taken. Even some of the best photos provided in the scorpion picture thread by members are after trial/error and editing.

    I expect to see some photos in your published articles soon. ;)

    Cheers and good luck.

    Sinc. Chad :)
  17. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Hi Chad-

    Reading all the reviews (DPReview, etc.) can drive one mad because, for everyone who likes a certain model, there's someone that doesn't. After much researching, I think the bottom line is that there's no 'perfect' camera and that everyone has a different idea of what a 'perfect' camera entails.
    From the hundreds of reviews I've read, contact with several digi-photographers, etc. I think the Canon S2 offers the most for the price and class, and seems "dummy" friendly! LOL
    As for photos in my articles - actually, one of the reasons for FINALLY wanting to get a digicam is to add some colors to several forthcoming articles in the Forum and other publications (alternative foraging strategies in the long-jawed orb-weaving spiders of genus Tetragnathus - JOA - soon?). I prefer text but photos do add a bit of color to an article and cuts down on the written descriptive process.
    I also plan to get a web-site up shortly with focus on the U.S. diplocentrids and uroctonids; another on P. imperator; Tetragnathus; Black Racers...too many plans...never enough time! LOL
    Hey, how 'bout writing up an article on those confusing vaejovids for the Forum and enlightening us as to the mysteries of identifying more than a couple species?! LOL

    Take care,
  18. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer


    The photos on your site are done very well; capturing the succint features of the scorps pictured. A friend of mine - her grandfather was a former photographer for Playboy Magazine still relies on cameras from the eighties for all his photography and shockingly, they're comparable to modern SLR's and some of his private works are of much higher quality than I've seen from photographers in the nineties and current; and he won't even consider touching a digicam!
    Guess in the end, it all comes down to the knowledge and experience of the photographer and in being able to squeeze the best out of whatever camera is used.
    Looking at some of your recent photos with the Ricoh, in my inexperienced opinion, they're comparable to some of the higher-end models sporting all the modern "bells and whistles"! Keep up the great work.

  19. 1/2

    1/2 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Reading the reviews will as you say only make you more confused. One mans opinion. You can allway ask to try out a camera at the store, but this will give limited input. If you go to Canon, Sigma, Nikons web page you will se a list of cameras, with specifications. Find out what you nead from your camera.
    Macro is one thing, 5 or 6 megapixles is good. (more is better but will not show to much untill you are up to sises of a few square meters.)
    Make sure the lens is light strong. (f3- f5) The more light the lens letts in the less you are dependent on the surrownding lights. (If fotographing scorps or spiders f3 or f5) is not the best but you will have the option. Stabilizor like you mentioned is a good thing, makes it easier to get clear pics.

    Allso think about everything you might want to use the camera for.

    Me personally I carry my camera allmost 24/7, but I am a hobby photographer... ;)

    If you nead photo advice don't hesitate to ask.
  20. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer


    I've checked out all of the camera manufacturuer's sites to get an idea of what everyone has to offer (which, will probably be outdated by next year anyway!). At this point in time, I think it'll be the Canon S2 in January.
    Thanks for the information and the kind offer of guidance. I'm sure once I finally acquire the camera, I'll need all the help I can get to actually turn it on and use it! LOL

    Thanks again,
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