recommend a phone camera - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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recommend a phone camera

My old iPhone 6 has seen it's better days and needs a new battery. Considering that the iPhone 5 isn't even being updated any longer, I don't think going with a new battery is a wise direction. I'm comfortable with iPhones and used to them, but will consider other brands. The main thing I want a better ability to to is take close-up macro shots. I might get one decent photo of a small shrimp out of ten tries with my current phone and rarely get what I'd consider a really good shot. While I'm sure they are superior, I don't really want a stand alone camera since I know I'll rarely have it on me.



The iPhone 11 Pro gets good camera reviews but I've seen very little in the way of macros taken with it. Not really into selfies so the front camera is not important. The Pixel seems to be popular for its camera, but some are saying the new iPhones have caught up. I'm guessing a lot of you out there have tried a few and have some thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 12:02 AM
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Due to the small sensor size and how close the lens is to the sensor, my understanding is pretty much any phone will take decent macro shots. Decent meaning compared to other budget consumer cameras. You are right that a proper stand alone camera is superior... However, if your goal is only to post pictures on this forum it doesn't matter much what you use since the forum limits the size of pictures to only 1024x768. Thus while my pretty awesome sony a7III does still take better pictures then my phone, its not leaps and bounds better until I try to blow up a phone picture to 8x10 size. Then you notice the difference immediately. When you limit the both my camera and my phone to 1024x768 then you barely notice a difference.

So if you are comfortable with Apple then the iphone 11 is probably your goto. I just upgraded to a pixel 4 which in the camera department is really the only rival to the iphone. I think its a nice camera and a good phone but I like androids and Apple products are not an option to me due to general geek reasons that are are not applicable to this situation.

TL;DR - Buy the iphone 11.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Probably going that direction, thanks. Last night I got what should have been some really neat shots but once I opened them all, they were really disappointing. Can't wait until I can capture what I see better than this.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 04:53 PM
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One thing to consider is the software on these phones is not the greatest for what we do. Android has various camera apps so maybe there is one better than the basic google app. As it is, trying to get my phone to focus on the eye of a shrimp is super hard.

With my real camera I can simply set a single point that will be where the camera focuses and then put that point anywhere I want it. This is a pretty basic feature for midrange cameras and up, but not something I can get my android to do as of yet. The focus area being far too large to get real clarity.

I have no idea how the iphone handles this issue but my guess is you will still have some difficulty.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 06:23 PM
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You could get good 'regular' shots with a phone camera, but not really macro. A macro shot is mostly the lens. To get a good regular shot with a phone camera you need to throw alot of light on the subject. The sensor in a phone camera just isn't big enough or sensitive enough in low light.

A macro lens is engineered to be able to focus on something close enough so it's life size (1:1 Magnification ratio) That's what allows you to see detail. A typical lens is like 10:1 I believe. I don't believe you can get that from a cell phone camera. Don't know how good the add-on macro lens are for phones.
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Last edited by Asteroid; 11-07-2019 at 11:37 PM. Reason: .
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I bought an iPhone 10 rather than 11 for the $500 difference. I'm finding that when I take pictures with this camera, it's more like a 1 second video. It doesn't duplicate this when I upload them but on the phone, the shrimp are moving for a second.


This one in particular looks fine on my phone (though it's moving) but is sorry when shown as a still image:


Still have some learning to do but I have reason to think this is going to be a much better camera than my old iPhone 6S. I've seen there's a "live" setting so hopefully turning that off will fix this issue and the pictures will be more in focus.

Bump: Wish I'd tried that before posting. Now we're talking!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:05 PM
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You have "live" picture mode activated. When your shooting a pic, touch the icon on top of the screen that looks like a bunch of circles (2nd from the left). That will turn it off. You'll see a / line through it.

edit: Guess you figured it out
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:51 PM
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Really like those blues. I noticed you have them with the yellows. Are you looking to cross-breed?


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Shouldn't be possible, the yellows are tangerine tigers (Caridina) and the blues are Neos. The pictures are a little confusing because the yellow Neos are on the same substrate mix, but in a different tank.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Shouldn't be possible, the yellows are tangerine tigers (Caridina) and the blues are Neos.
Shows you how much I know about shrimp thought they were all Neos. Those tangerine ones look alot like my Yellow Neos (from the pics anyway.)
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's why I mixed them with blues so I could 100% tell the difference. But there's dark patterning on the tigers in person (or when in focus).

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:19 PM
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Oh, got it, that's pretty cool. One think I'll mention about photography and shrimp. I don't know if it's a biological thing or not, but I find it very hard for example to get a very clear pic of my yellow shrimp even with my macro and dslr. It always looks a little blurry. Doesn't happen with fish and it's not as bad with the RCS.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:04 PM
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For most phone cameras focusing is often the biggest problem in picture quality. To get a good picture of shrimp or anything small most people move the camera closer. Often too close for the camera to focus. Resulting in blurry shot. For Iphones instead zoom in as much as possible to magnify the image and then move away from the subject until it can focus. Once in focus take the picture. With the IPhone 6 you can get vey sharp close up images this way.

The other common issue is motion blur. any shaking of the camera may blur the image. Or any motion of the subject may make the subject blurry but the rest of the picture sharp. This problem often occurs due to not enough light and the longer exposure the camera needed to get enough light to make an image.

To solve motion blur add more supplemental lighting into the subject. For aquarium photography the best way to get more light is to place a light source right above the camera and turn off all room lights, This will make the subject bright while while avoiding glare off of the glass.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:43 PM
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A $10 lens kit from fleabay or Amazon does wonders for shrimp photography.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
...
The other common issue is motion blur. any shaking of the camera may blur the image. Or any motion of the subject may make the subject blurry but the rest of the picture sharp. This problem often occurs due to not enough light and the longer exposure the camera needed to get enough light to make an image.

Once in focus take the picture. With the IPhone 6 you can get vey sharp close up images this way.
Actually I'm pretty sure iphones have IS (Image Stablization) so I don't think handheld is really an issue with blur. Shrimp are stop and go so movement shouldn't be a problem either if you wait for shrimp to stop moving.

Let's see what the iphone can do, post some photos to show OP what is possible.


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