Good cameras for insect macro?

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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I had a Kodak z7590 with which I spent all last summer taking macro pictures of insects (with a cheap macro lense). However, on a bus trip home a few months ago, it got stolen.

I thought I'd ask this here since I want something that could take good macro pics of insects, as well as anything else I come across in my journeys through the backyard. I want to keep it under $500 though.

Any suggestions?

I probably won't get it for a while but I want to start looking.
 

Scarp172

Arachnoknight
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Feb 1, 2006
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Well I'm no photographer, but I have a Canon S2 IS and it does wonders. It's quite similar (as far as specs go) to your kodak, from what I can tell.
Here's a couple I took this summer when I first got the camera.These were from about 12 feet away, freehand.
1 2 3

And here's one a week later using the macro on it (no lenses) about 4" away.
4

bit closer
5

I'm sure I don't do this camera justice, but it's been nice and it's under $300 if you look in the right places. I would suggest getting the S3 if you can afford it for its larger screen, better autofocus, and a bit sturdier body. Hope this helps a bit.
-Steve
 

Arachnophilist

Arachnoprince
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I have a Nikon Coolpix S6 and it seems to do well and I dont even know how to use it yet :D
 

324r350

Arachnoknight
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You could get a used D30, a 50mm lens, and a set of extension tubes for under $500. You could teach yourself a bit about photography too.
 

arachnocat

Arachnoangel
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I'll be getting a new camera soon too. I've tried looking around at reviews online but it's much better to read personal reviews and see examples. It's really hard to pick a good camera especially if you're new to photography like me. :?
I'm glad someone started this thread. It should be very helpful :)
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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I was able to take some great pics with my other camera, you can check some of them out here: http://weirdbuglady.deviantart.com/gallery/?order=9&countrows=1&search=insect

I took a photography class last year in my senior year of high school so I know how to work my dad's old camera, it was tough learning how to do things on a digital though. I definitely want something that I can do manual adjustments with. But above all: macro capabilities/able to put a relatively inexpensive macro lens on it. I'm thinking something a step above the kodak z7590 I had before, but not *too* big of a step.

Thanks for the input and keep it coming {D
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Scarp - I looked up that camera and it sounds great! I'll definitely keep that one in mind.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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~$130 a year ago, Nikon Coolpix L3, 5.1MP

$1, with a double or triple lens hand held magnifiying glass


zoom



zoom


zoom




the little accessory hair you can see by the foot spine is on the order of 300 MICROMETERS long!!!

granted it took a while to be able to take those pics and it is hell to get them as your depth of field (how much depth is in focus at once) approaches zero with these pics... but still, hard to beat what would be a < $100 rig :D


the weird light affects are because i use a clear-sided triple lens magnifier and the flash gets caught between the lens a tiny bit. i can alter angles to reduce the affect

this is really more an "ad" for using magnifying glasses than a particular cam, though =P

oh, and this method pretty much is impossible to use on moving targets.
 

324r350

Arachnoknight
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Im havn't really messed around with macro photography but I took this pic a few weeks ago with an $70 50mm lens.
Thats only cropped a little, and the full size has a lot of detail

 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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I use a Fuji Finepix S9000, which is a sort of "hybrid" between a high-end point-and-shoot and a SLR. It has both a built-in Macro and Supermacro feature, along with optional manual or autofocus, and nearly 11x optical zoom. You can purchase Raynox lenses to go with this camera, including a Supermacro(2.2x) and a teleconversion lens(Raynox 2020 Pro), separately. These increase the magnification of the built-in features. If you go to my Deviant Art website, you can see some of the Macro shots I've taken of arthropods, mostly spiders, with and without the additional lenses, to get some idea of what it can do. That is http://pitbulllady.deviantart.com

pitbulllady
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Hehe Ive seen your stuff on deviantart pitbulllady, I love it :D

How much did your camera cost?
 

Insecto

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May 13, 2006
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Ha im using Zenit MT, cool camera (old but still one of the best).... It's unbrokable camera!!!
 

anthony k

Arachnopeon
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Oct 17, 2006
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Excellent pictures pitbulllady, what sort of settings do you use with your camera?

I've got a finepix S9600 and can't get pictures anywhere near as clear as yours!

:?
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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Excellent pictures pitbulllady, what sort of settings do you use with your camera?

I've got a finepix S9600 and can't get pictures anywhere near as clear as yours!

:?

I normally use the "anti-shake" mode, which sets the ISO and shutter speed automatically, as needed. This feature is a sort of stabilizer to prevent blurred pics, but I'm normally pretty steady with the camera, anyway. When I use the flash, I use it on the lowest possible setting, even when taking pictures at night of wild spiders outdoors, and you can set the flash intensity with this camera with ease, or add an external flash unit. I generally rely on the autofocus of the camera rather than manual, unless I'm photographing a small spider or insect against a large, "busy" background, like a Gasteracantha canceriformes spider on its web, with a bunch of leaves behind it. If I use autofocus, the camera will focus on the largest things in the frame, which will be the leaves, not the spider, so I have to go to manual for those pics. I always use the setting for "Best Color" in the color selection, which really shows colors well. The camera itself is really good as-is, for both Macro and zoom pics, and it's even better with the auxilliary lenses. I got the camera and lenses online from BHP Photo, which had the best prices I'd found. It's not a cheap camera-this one cost nearly $800.00 last year when I bought it, not counting shipping, though they've gone down quite a bit since, and this company runs special offers a lot. The teleconversion lens by Raynox was another $200.00, and the Supermacro lense was 89.00, but I have to say that all have paid for themselves in my own satisfaction and enjoyment, if nothing else. I've really been pleased with this camera. It's a rather complicated bit of equipment to work, but once you get used to it, it's not so bad. Anyone who is accustomed to SLR cameras would have no trouble learning to use this one.

pitbulllady
 

racketman

Arachnopeon
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Mar 17, 2007
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I would get a used Canon 350D (about $400) with a used 60mm macro lens (about $300). If that stretches the budget too far a cheap 50mm on extension tubes works well. Both can be used with the pop up flash to good effect though with a full set of tubes you might get shadow.
 

Galapoheros

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Ha, that pede looks like it's giving us a "hand gesture". Check out the thread in the Myriapods section with the title "Some morphology". Taken with a "naked" camera. Prob pretty $ though.
 

324r350

Arachnoknight
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I would get a used Canon 350D (about $400) with a used 60mm macro lens (about $300). If that stretches the budget too far a cheap 50mm on extension tubes works well. Both can be used with the pop up flash to good effect though with a full set of tubes you might get shadow.
The 60mm would be great for insect photography
 

Eggy

Arachnosquire
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Jan 2, 2006
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Anybody with some expirience with the Cannon Powershot S3 IS. I think the 0cm Macro would be great for real close up, along with 12X Optical zoom.
 
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