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Camera Questions..

Discussion in 'Through the Lens' started by kgrigoryev, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. kgrigoryev

    kgrigoryev Arachnopeon

    I want to make some pictures of my versicolor and rosehair but don't know how. What kind of camera should I use(# of megapixels)? what kind of lighting works best? Flash or no flash? do I need optical zoom? I see a lot of really good photos on this site and just wan't to be able to make my own to keep and post :).
  2. jayefbe

    jayefbe Arachnoprince Old Timer

    You need a DSLR camera with a good macro lens. The really good photos are probably taken with setups that cost a few thousand.
  3. I use a Nikon Coolpix S3100 14mp, only camera I've got I have to be in low lit room with auto setting max+ exposure and flash on as it's not easy to capture the true colour of the T, their hairs seem to take in all the natural light making them not easy to get awesome pics
  4. The_Dude

    The_Dude Arachnosquire

    Agreed with jfb. For high quality pics, a macro lens will be necessary. But again, that's for serious photographers if you're into that. Otherwise, yeah some high MP compact you can find at any retailer will do fine if you don't want tremendous detail. For slings tho, yeah macro lens almost definite.
  5. kgrigoryev

    kgrigoryev Arachnopeon

    Thanks a lot for the info everyone!!
  6. Ultum4Spiderz

    Ultum4Spiderz Arachnoking Active Member

    I take all my pics with a cheap digital camera LOL... get a nicer one
  7. You don't need a macro lens, or even a DSLR to take pictures of just the spider. for macros of the spider that would be good. I've gotten good pictures of mine when I used to use a point and shoot.

    This was taken with a point and shoot. So it's possible to get good results, and I'm sure you could even better. Because this one does seem to lack some quality, but you can do just fine with a regular digital camera.
  8. jayefbe

    jayefbe Arachnoprince Old Timer

    That's actually pretty good. What kind of camera are you using? Any special lighting? What settings are you using on the camera?
  9. advan

    advan oOOo Staff Member

    A DLSR with a macro lens will get you the best pictures. You can do alright with a decent point and shoot. :)

    Attached Files:

  10. I feel sorry for those kids in that school bus.

    Sorry for going off topic I just couldn't resist though.
  11. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Arachnopeon

    Contrary to popular belief you don´t need a camera with a lot of mega pixels to take good photo´s.
    It´s the quality of the lens that will give your picture the most definition.
    You can make pictures fit for National Geographic magazine with a 5 megapixel camera no problem.
    Big resolutions certainly have advantages for designers who want to blow up the image and you get some more freedom when cropping the image but it is in no way the first thing to look for.

    I own a DSLR with a macro lens myself and it´s nice but it´s also very expensive to collect a decent set of gear.
    It sounds like you are just stepping into the world of photography so I would advise you to also look into the high quality compact cameras and the bridge cameras.
    Bridge means it's a mix between compact and DSLR.
    You won't have to get into buying expensive gear like flash units and lenses.

    The smaller sensor and short focal distance of smaller camera's is actually very well suited for macro photography because the depth of field (depth of the area that isn't out of focus) is much longer than what you get with a DSLR macro lens.
    This makes it a lot easier to take a sharp photo but the downside is less 'bokeh' or blur effect caused by a smaller depth of field.
    This small depth of field can be very desirable but also makes it a big challenge to get the right results when you want more sharpness requiring a high F number and a long exposure which in turn demands the use of a tripod.
    This long exposure is a problem when your object is moving and you don't have a expensive ring flash unit.

    I got carried away a little but all in all I am saying that a DSLR give a certain flexibility and artistic freedom but you don't need an expensive DSLR to take beautiful photo's.
    There. :)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  12. deltakiloworks

    deltakiloworks Arachnopeon

    Another off topic:

    Sorry hassman if I had to use your picture, now I could not resist either.



  13. kgrigoryev

    kgrigoryev Arachnopeon

    Advan, you took that with a micro lens? I have a Casio 7.2mp 3x Zoom camera with anti-shake. I also have a 5.1mp with 12x optical zoom Sony Cybershot. Which one is better, more megapixels or higher optical zoom? I still don't know what lighting to use. The blues on my versicolor look a bit dark.
  14. advan

    advan oOOo Staff Member

    All of my pictures are with a Panasonic point and shoot. It has a macro setting and I also mess with the white balance settings. It does pretty well for someone that's spends their money on spiders instead of a nice DLSR/lens set up. :D I can get you the model when I get home if you like. - Chad
  15. jayefbe

    jayefbe Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Thanks for the info. I too am very interested. I've been saving up for a nice DSLR, but if I can blow that money on T's....
  16. kgrigoryev

    kgrigoryev Arachnopeon

    So is it better to have more megapixels or a higher optical zoom? Do better lenses take better photos?
  17. Crysta

    Crysta Arachnoprince Old Timer

    DSL's with a 100mm macro lens and a decent flash do pretty amazing. Although that might cost you a lot since you need to buy the body, a lens, and a flash - all of which add up.


    with proper lighting your everyday point and shoot can turn out really decent images.
    Canon poweshot sd1400is, about 150$

    Canon Powershot G10, a little more expensive 300$ used
    [​IMG] (2mm)

    Thats up to you though
    and how patient you are.
  18. kgrigoryev

    kgrigoryev Arachnopeon

    Wow, very nice. Thanks!!
  19. MattInNYC

    MattInNYC Arachnopeon

    Wow, lots of misinformation in the first few replies here. Yes, a DSLR with a dedicated macro lens and off camera flash is a great setup for taking tarantula pics. That's what I usually use, but it's certainly not required.
    For one thing, true macro means at least a 1:1 reproduction ratio, meaning what you're taking a picture of is reproduced at actual size on the film/sensor plane. With an adult tarantula of reasonable size this would only be a requirement if you want to take detailed shots of specific parts. The whole animal is large enough that true macro definitely isn't necessary.

    Don't worry about megapixels either unless you plan on printing your shots poster sized. Most people probably have monitors with a resolution of 1920x1080, some might have more, some might have less. That's only equivalent to about 2 megapixels, so anything more than that would be fine for displaying pictures online unless you're cropping heavily with every shot. Not many people have any use for the original resolution their cameras are capable of, but will still buy one with the most megapixels because years of marketing have made the term synonymous with quality.

    The bottom line is, understanding how to use your camera, knowing what settings will produce the results you want, and what went wrong when they don't come outthe way you want, is more important than which camera you're using. Someone who knows what they're doing will be able to take great pics with both a $200 point and shoot, and a $7000 pro DSLR body with macro and off camera flash setup. By the same token, someone who doesn't know what they're doing could take horrible pictures with either setup.
    What camera you should get depends entirely on your budget. If you have enough to spare for a DSLR setup, by all means go for it. Personally I'd say start off with a compact, but spend a little extra to get one which has manual exposure modes (A,S,M), at the very least control of ISO, and an aperture priority mode. Understanding the relationship between aperture, distance from subject, and DOF will be some of the most important areas to understand when it comes to small subjects.

    To address your other questions "optical zoom" is the only kind you want to even look at, so called "digital zoom" is simply cropping and magnifying the image produced by the sensor, and will degrade image quality, you never want to use it. More telephoto reach (more mm) will also be useful for small subjects, because you can be farther away from the animal and not as likely to disturb it. Also look at the minimum focus distance of the camera when looking at specs so you know how close you can get. When it comes to compacts, there are good options available from most major brands, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus... etc. Crysta's pics are a perfect example of what you can do with a compact camera if you know how to use it.

    Feel free to ask me any other camera related questions you have.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
    • Like Like x 2
  20. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Great answer, Matt. Any opinion on setting up light tents? Trying to find the right bulbs to set up a photo station in a very dark house. Would like to go flashless and rely on the lights and maybe a homemade diffuser at most. I'm terribly cheap and love DIY...
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