Tarantula Photography

wyllomoon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
23
I'm not much of a photographer, but I do like to take pics of my T's every now and then and in order to get some nice, close-up shots of the young or small ones I need a digital camera that zooms in really well. Here's the problem - I don't know much about digital cameras and I would like to try to stay within the $300 - $500 CDN price range or even less if possible.

I was hoping someone here who is experienced with spider/insect photography might be able to make a suggestion as to what sort of camera I should look into. Links would be wonderful if they are permitted.

Also any tips you might have would be appreciated. I've seen some incredible pics here in the gallery!

Thanks in advance.

Lisa
 

Hamburglar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
585
www.dpreview.com has excellent reviews on digital cameras. You have to decide what is important to you before you buy. Whether you want a camera with a fixed lense or one that has lenses you can change.... etc.. etc..
 

Hamburglar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
585
I would also recommend that you go to a store that is reputable and try a few out. Several different people telling you what they use isn't that valuable in my opinion. For example, I use nikon cameras, whereas, my dad uses equally good canon cameras. However, I hate the user interface on canons so I wont use them. Too many differences in individual cameras to try and buy one blindly.

Just a thought...
 

Tunedbeat

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
656
I'd recommend a Canon S3 IS, unless you can get your hands on a D-SLR under $500. With the S3 you can get really close without any lens, it has a nice macro feature and a super macro for those really close up shots.

This is about as close as i could get without a lens with the Canon S3.
 

Python

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
631
I agree with Hamburglar on this one. Everybody has their favorite so if enough people respond, you will have a recomendation for every cameera out there. I myself use a Nikon too and they make some really good cameras. If you are going for the $300 to $500 range, a DSLR is probably not what you want. Most of them are over that although the price is dropping and I believe that you can get a Canon Digital Rebel or a couple of different Nikon DSLR's for around the upper end of your limit there. In the end, you will have to figure out what features you want the most and look through alot of different reviews to find one that fits your needs.
 

Amanda

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
652
I got this one a month or so ago, and I LOVE it!
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=DSCN2&TabName=acc

It's 10.1 megapixels, and has a great macro setting. The first round of pictures I took with it weren't the greatest, but that's happened with every camera I've owned. A month later, and they're gorgeous!

That said, a friend of my brother's has the same camera, so I was able to try hers out before I bought this one. I've always loved www.epinions.com for researching things before I buy. You can read user-posted reviews, and even see the prices currently offered by all of the major online retailers for comparison.
 

Transylvania

Zookeeper/Trainer
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
594
To be honest, I've had better luck using my dad's square-shaped Sony than my $400 professional camera-shaped Konica Minolta. A lot of the really expensive digital cams are great for outdoor photography, but when it comes to indoor, especially indoor macro, they can be weak.
Taken using Sony Cybershot DSC-P100:

It's still pretty expensive, but many still consider it "point-and-shoot."
So just search and experiment and find whatever camera you like best that fits your lifestyle. :)
 

darkness_falls8

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
126
I use a Nikon CoolPix. Got it for $120. It's really nice, takes nice close ups. Check my profile for examples.
 

syndicate

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,508
u can probaly get a nikon cool pix 5000which is what i use for round 100 dollars these days.takes good shots.
heres some examples







 

Hamburglar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
585
To be honest, I've had better luck using my dad's square-shaped Sony than my $400 professional camera-shaped Konica Minolta. A lot of the really expensive digital cams are great for outdoor photography, but when it comes to indoor, especially indoor macro, they can be weak.
Taken using Sony Cybershot DSC-P100:

It's still pretty expensive, but many still consider it "point-and-shoot."
So just search and experiment and find whatever camera you like best that fits your lifestyle. :)
400 isn't really expensive for digital cameras... and my camera does just fine indoors provided I have the appropriate lens and lighting... "professional" cameras generally do not have a macro feature included. Macro photography is done by attaching a macro lens to the body.. However, like I said comparing digital cameras is apples and oranges... some people feel like a nut and some people don't... its all personal preference...
 

wyllomoon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
23
Wow, so many replies. Thank you for the suggestions, advice and for sharing these gorgeous pictures!

I guess some of the people above had a point when they said that everyone will have their own personal preference when it comes to digital cameras and that I should go try a few out before I buy one. Think they'll let me bring my T's into the store to test the close up shots? LOL Kidding, of course. If I can spend less than $300 CDN, that will be a bonus because I'm certainly no photographer and I just want to play around with it and see what I can do.

Your suggestions are very helpful and I'll be sure to try to check out all of the cameras mentioned here if I can find them. All I know for sure is that I have to get something better than my cell phone camera!

Look how terrible these are!

Grammostola rosea:

Theraphosa blondi with rat pink (squint and you might see it!)


Must get good camera! Thanks again!
 

Python

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
631
One other thing to remember, if you go to the store to look at cameras, the sales clerks will have their own personal preference as well. The best thing to do is read the various reviews for different cameras, and look for the most user friendly camera you can find. Don't let anyone tell you that more money=better pictures. The camera might not last as long or might not have all the features the more expensive ones do, but I have taken pictures with a point and shoot that were as good or better than some taken with a DSLR. In the end, reviews are your best bet. They are impartial because they have to be. Camera store employees, friends, people on this board, they all have a favorite and you probably won't find it easy to single one out from the replies here or elsewhere. In the end, it's personal choice.
 

Amanda

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
652
Ditto to everything Python said.

Since you are buying this primarily for photographing your Ts, you have to automatically rule out all cameras that do not have a macro setting. Beyond that, try them out, read the reviews, and pay special attention to what reviewers say about the macro capabilities. That is what will give you the shots you are looking for.
 

Transylvania

Zookeeper/Trainer
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
594
400 isn't really expensive for digital cameras... and my camera does just fine indoors provided I have the appropriate lens and lighting... "professional" cameras generally do not have a macro feature included. Macro photography is done by attaching a macro lens to the body.. However, like I said comparing digital cameras is apples and oranges... some people feel like a nut and some people don't... its all personal preference...
Well 400 is expensive for me. :p But mine does come with macro and super-macro settings since it's digital. I don't own a film camera. The macro usually only works outside, but it has great results:
 

lunixweb

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Messages
333
nice picture Saddlepatch ;) ... Here's my 5 cents... only ask to the clerk of the cameras' shop, tell him what do you want and he would recommend you a better option..
 

FlaRe

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
6
I prefer to set my cam which is a Canon A80 (old model but does the job) 4 megapixel on "Action Setting" with "Macro Function".

The action setting prevents the image from being blurry should the T move. Macro Function for close up shots. I photograph in "small image size" setting for posting in forums.

A rotating LCD Viewfinder help me take pictures in different angles.

Lastly, you can also enhance sharpness in PS.

Here's a sample of a juvy King Bab, the scorp is extra.



 
Top