proper camera - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Smile proper camera


can someone point me in right direction as to what kind of digital camera to purchase to take pictures of aquarium. low buget. also lighting,position,etc. most pictures of tanks i've seen nowdays are very good. would like to duplicate.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 07:17 PM
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What kind of budget are we looking at here? Also, what else do you plan on using the camera for, or will it be dedicated totally to fish photography?


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 07:34 PM
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Here's two things I've learned from buying a digital camera.

1) Anything over 3 megapixels really only becomes very useful if you are printing out the images. For viewing on a PC and sharing on the internet, you'll be cutting the resolution down quite a bit anyway. The only thing that would draw me in to buy a 6 megapixel camera is the ability to "zoom" by cropping out the part of the image you want, without using lenses.

2) Manual Modes! You don't necessarily need an SLR digital to have full manual control over aperture and shutter speed. Look for a camera that lets you adjust both. Even if you're a beginner, it won't be long before you're looking for ways to improve your skills at aquatic photography.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-27-2005, 10:26 PM
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Don't forget the ability to use Macro mode. If you want to take some fabulous up close pictures of your favorite fish, shrimp, snail, your toenails, or whatever you want a camera that a good macro mode..

Some camera's have a great Macro mode, but horrible light senstivity without using a flash (sony cameras are notorious for this).

My own personal bias is telling me to recomend either a Nikon or a Canon. These manufacturers are always putting out amazing quality cameras and I have not been dissapointed yet.

I own a Canon Powershot A80, as it lets me have full manual controls over the camera. This camera has been replaced with the A85, and recently an A95 has been released as well (5mp version of the same camera)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 01:08 AM
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I have the canon powershot sd200 digital elph. Its a 3.2 megapixel, has full manual control if I so choose, and I can zoom in on pictures already taken. It also has macro mode for taking all the cool upclose stuff.

Planted tanks are all about shrimp.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 01:26 AM
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Definitely look for something with macro capability and manual settings. My next camera will probably be a Canon digital SLR. I'm saving my$$$.



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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 02:23 AM
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I have a Fujifilm Z602 or something like that, it takes great macros, but you need to have a couple of drinks to calm yourself before you can take a pic without using the macro or flash. I don't know if cameras come with anti-vibration like video cameras, but I'll check into it before I buy another one.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 150EH
I don't know if cameras come with anti-vibration like video cameras, but I'll check into it before I buy another one.
Canon & I believe Minolta have a few models with image stabilization.
I currently use a Canon S1IS and although it lacks a true macro, I can still get in to about 3.5 in for the shots. The IS really comes in handy when taking shots using the zoom.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 04:00 AM
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Manual mode and Macro mode are a necessity, I have a Canon powershot A80 also, nice little camera indeed, but, next time I will get one with a hotshoe for external flash.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 05:51 AM
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At the moment I have an HP850 4mp 8x optical zoom, had it for more than 2 years, and it has been great so far. But soon I am going to change it for something better.

I also have a Nikon 4100 (actually i bought it for the gf) this is supposed to be great for marco shots, but I havent really tested it yet.

In the next couple of months I will be getting either a Canon Digital Rebel or Nikon D70 or the new Olympus Evolt E300. Either of which are supposed to be great. Check out for the best reviews around.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 06:19 AM
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DPreview is a great website for sure. Canon is at the top of the heap, for sure. However, I would recommend a D70 over the Rebel anyday. I own Fuji S2s because I have Nikon glass. They are great DSLRs too. IMHO, just pick which company you want to stay with because the glass will cost more than the camera over the long haul, Canon not withstanding. $8K for their flagship 1Ds MarkII! What is it, 16 mp, with better than medium format resolution. I guess if you need some Discus macro shots, that is THE camera to own.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 10:34 AM
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I suspect that Cornhusker has been a bit overwhelmed by these responses unless he's been researching cameras and knows what all these terms mean . Visit dpreview for sure. Most excellent resource if you're looking for a camera. There is a search feature that lets you choose the options you want on the camera (manual, zoom, external flash, etc.,) and the budget you've got and then will compare them side by side. Myself is going with the Fujifilm S7000 as I think I'll get the most bang for the buck on this one, it's got the features I want, and the shortcomings it does have I feel I can live with (they've all got something unless you're willing to pay way over a grand.) Of course it's still close to $500 . I'm saving my pennies .


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 01:47 PM
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Don't forget about ebay as a source for cameras. I've purchased two from there. A Canon A75 and a Nikon Coolpix 4500. Gave the Canon to my son for Christmas and kept the Nikon because of its great macro capabilities.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 04:16 PM
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Also, the best shots are achieved by using no room lighting, no flash...just the lighting inside the tank. This is why control over the aperture, shutter speed, white balance...all that good stuff.

Adobe's 'lite' version of photoshop is pretty cheap (or free with some scanners/cameras) and should help you tweak the final shots.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-28-2005, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by m.lemay
Definitely look for something with macro capability and manual settings. My next camera will probably be a Canon digital SLR. I'm saving my$$$.

For just slightly more, I would take a look at the Nikon D70 also. For the price of a D70, it's really hard to beat since the functionality of it are more closely to those of Canon's 10D.

Dpreview is definitely a great site for camera reviews, even though they might be more skewed towards the Canon brand. Still a great source of info. I would go there and read up on the camera and visit the forums. Then, head out to a camera store and try out the camera(s) that you're interested in. You won't be using a camera as much if it doesn't feel comfortable in your hands.

Lastly, the price of the camera doesn't mean that you'll end up w/great pictures. Takes a lot of practice and getting used to the camera. Take for instance, DSLRs, there's a big price difference b/w Canon's D300, Nikon's D70, and Canon's 20D. You can either take great or poor pictures with any of them. What really matters is the glass that you use.


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