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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just looking at the pictures in my tank journal and then at minorheros newt tank and I knew I had to get a better cam. I have never had a camera always use my phone or tablet. So is there any good camera that's not super expensive? Like under $150? Is there anything that's best to have for taking pics of an aquarium?

Thanks for all your help
 

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I was just looking at the pictures in my tank journal and then at minorheros newt tank and I knew I had to get a better cam. I have never had a camera always use my phone or tablet. So is there any good camera that's not super expensive? Like under $150? Is there anything that's best to have for taking pics of an aquarium?

Thanks for all your help
OLD saw was it's not the camera but the photographer..
W/ aquariums it is not the camera or the photographer but the light..


Any camera w/ RAW (easy to non-destructively fix things file) capability and a good macro lens though not sure that is a prerequisite but it
is commonly suggested. Owing 5 macro lenses myself I do like them. :)
Some phone camera have RAW capability.

Soo w/ a budget of $150 and knowing I couldn't get you there I just did some used shopping to show you a starting point.
Unless you got real lucky any decent macro lens alone would break your bank.
settled on a "fast" 35 designed for the APS-C sensor... and an older Nikon body.
$223.04 plus tax and shipping (didn't go that far on checkout.
BTW: I've dealt w/ KEH and it is (well was I'm a bit out of the camera market atm) well regarded.
Nikon was given the blessing of dpreview (also my old "go to knowledgebase")
Now 10mps is behind the times a bit but more than adequate.. See my beginning sentence.

KEH sells through Amazon as well but looks cheaper to go direct.
and see below image
IF possible and you are interested ask KEH if they know the shutter count..
Shutter count
is an estimation of how much the camera has been used. Most shutters are rated to a minimum of 150,000 (entry and mid-range DSLRs) or 300,000 (professional DSLRs). Most shutters last well beyond their rated life (indeed no Camera Jungle DSLR has yet worn out).
1029690


kind of "If I was in college eating Raman but wanted to dabble in photography" what I'd consider.
There are dozens of other choices and maybe even a phone camera or p/s to consider but it is a starting point.


Tutorial.. done.
 

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Everything @jeffkrol mentioned is good advice. I will add that photography is one of my hobbies. While not every picture I post here is one I spent some amount of time on, there are some that stand out as ones I put a little more effort into.

With the newt tank, most (not all) of the full tank shots were done with my phone (google pixel 4). Most (not al) of the macro shots were done with my real camera (Sony A7III - a 2000 dollar camera, and a 'cheapy' macro lens - 280 dollars).

Additionally some of the pictures (mostly the ones from my real camera) got a little extra TLC in post production with photoshop for things like contrast and to enhance details.

Some macro shots are just done with my phone's 'portrait' mode which uses software to fake bokeh. Meaning the subject is in focus and the background is turned blurry (the bokeh effect). This works really well for images that are viewed on a phone or internet browser but if I were to blow up one of those images to 8x10 size its immediately obvious which is from my real camera vs my phone.

So where does this leave you? Well basically its hard to replicate what I've done with 150 dollar budget if starting from scratch.

The easiest thing to do is to upgrade your phone to one of the multiple camera models (latest pixel, iphone, or galaxy). This might be more justifiable to you since you can use it for more then just photos even though it will blow your budget. (This assumes you don't already have such a phone).

After that I'd counsel waiting and saving more for a camera. Can you buy a camera for 150 dollars? Yes, yes you can. BUT the resulting images from that camera are not going to be a lot better then what a typical phone can take (when viewed on computer screens or phone screens). Ideally you will spend around 500 dollars on a camera. This is enough to get you a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses of one system or another (1", 3/4, aps-c, etc). This is one area where buying the latest and greatest tech is definitely beneficial. You can certainly get very very very nice photos using older gear but new compact mirrorless cameras are getting substantially better each year and buying a camera that is 1 generation old is going to produce much better results then one 7 or 8 generations old. That said, I'd only pursue this if you are planning to take pictures of more things then just your fish. If just doing your fish, I'd just use a phone as its hard to justify a fish camera for 500 dollars.

And finally... consider post production as well. Using some software filters you can change a picture that looks 'ok' into one that looks absolutely stunning in just a few minutes. I use the "nik collection" but there are many out there for a variety of software platforms but free and paid.

This is a lot of info.. sorry about that, you touched on one of my other hobbies so I tend to a get a bit verbose.
 

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Lol and this would be why I gave up on photography as a hobby before I even started. My high school sweetheart was big time into visual arts and photography. He told me how much he saved up for his first "real camera" and I nearly fainted. You can sometimes find some steals at estate sales- that's a statement that holds true for just about every expensive hobby, though. Good luck with this endeavor!!
 

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I agree with minorhero and jeffkrol. I use a d40x, while outdated it still takes decent images. It's the lenses that get pretty steep. Honestly I think my wife's phone takes better images sometimes. Your challenge, like jeffkrol said, usually ends up being lighting. Taking images through glass isn't easy. That and getting the little buggers in your tank to "pose" or just hold still long enough for a god shot :)
 
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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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I paid almost a grand for my Canon 80D and I don't want to add up the amount I have in lenses. I do have 2 really nice, but outdated, used lenses that are perfectly fine. I used to go out taking photos several times a week. Since COVID, I've been less active outside my immediate neighborhood, but I still still stalk the birds in front yard. LOL!

1029699
 

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Yeah, that's tough... photography has been my primary hobby since I was a teenager, so I definitely appreciate wanting to get gear cheap! Unfortunately, cameras and lenses are just inherently expensive.

In the context of photo gear, cheap but good translates closer to $500, and that still means used. As @jeffkrol pointed out, KEH is an option for used gear. I set myself up with a whole Hasselblad kit on there years ago without breaking the bank, but I'm not sure how good they are these days, and I've never used them for digital bodies and newer lenses.
 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone I think I will save up a little more..... mebbe alot more..... I breed guppies and rare ramshorn snails to sell I probably get $20 a month. how much do yall make from selling fish? and what types do you find get you more money?
 

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Thanks everyone I think I will save up a little more..... mebbe alot more..... I breed guppies and rare ramshorn snails to sell I probably get $20 a month. how much do yall make from selling fish? and what types do you find get you more money?
I don't sell fish, but the fish I have purchased online are ricefish and blue ramshorn snails. Ricefish live and breed absurdly easily outside and seem annoying to breed indoors (at least for yours truly). In that I tried for 2 years to get my ricefish to successfully breed indoors and this year have a small patio pond outside and already I am seeing eggs on fish I just purchased a month ago. Judging by the rarity of certain species of ricefish on aquabid there is a market there for some of the rarer strains out of japan/china if you can get your hands on them.
 

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Rare betta breeding can net a pretty penny, cichlids are always a relatively easy one to make a few bucks here and there. If you have the means (and space) a lot of the rarer L pleco are absurdly priced. If you're willing to go reef fragging nets a crap load of $. Problem is factoring in how much you're spending on it as well. Say you're living in a temperate zone and breeding tropicals- your electric bills from heating your tank is going to knock you on your butt. Vice versa- you're breeding cooler water fish and it's summer- you're going to pay in electric for ac or a chiller. Plus there's the food and testing and so on and so forth lol. Aaaaahhhhh I'm retired 😂😂😂😂
 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Gandalf: Lord of the Rings
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you think I could keep ricefish In a bucket? Or would I need a proper patiopond?

Sent from my KFONWI using Tapatalk
 

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find out what you can do with what you have(for phone camera, may need some accessories), and learn how to control light, you will be amazed how well the pictures look even with a phone camera.

Most cell phone cameras today are much better than the "advanced" DSLR 10 to 15 years ago, but most people who kindly give you suggestion here, can still take amazing pictures with an old canon 10D or 20D, because they master the photograph skill and know how to control light.

If you go with DSLR, there will be far more work to do ahead before you getting good pictures, but hey, why not?

 

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Do you think I could keep ricefish In a bucket? Or would I need a proper patiopond?

Sent from my KFONWI using Tapatalk
They are kept in japan pretty commonly in a bucket or clay pot with floaters like water hyacinth. This latter is required as they breed in the plants and they are going to be doing the filtering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok where did you get ricefish?e---? or aquabid? How many should you start out with? I have an extra cycled filter that I could use. Looks like its about 80 bucks for 6?
 

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I used to get mine through a co op, but the person that bred them moved. I've recently found another local hobbyist that typically has water lettuce that are egg laden, one hatched in my cube. I lost the other 2 fry because of one of my cats and "the bucket incident". I'd say keep an eye out on hot days that they don't get much reprieve over night to make sure they aren't gasping/ over heating, but I've had some in patio pond set ups do fine in heat waves of 100° with evap water being replaced with cooler water daily. Granted if you're using a 5 gallon bucket there may be some issues, I've never attempted in less than 30 gallons outdoors.
 

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Also I live in texas so summer is up to 96f at miday....
This is my first year keeping mine outdoors. It gets to be high 90s to low 100s here in Maryland. Mine have a bit of a waterfall in their tank so that should help cool them a bit. I know its not uncommon to get high 90s in parts of japan and they are very very commonly kept outdoors there. Here is a video for more information from someone who lives part time in japan:

 
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