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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally bought a digital camera (only a P&S) and did some macro test shots, what do you guys think?

Amano Shrimp


Cherry Shrimp


Ramshorn Snail
 

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I thought I'd be slick and save money again ($175). The manual focus on the s5200 isn't the best thing ever and the detail on macros seems too soft and never as huge as everyone else's. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, it took me quite a few pictures to these shots.

Canon SD 800IS. :)
Almost! It's actually the SD700IS... even though it has lower resolution than the SD800IS, i think the image quality is better.

Bah! I just bought a finepix s5200 to try better macros and still can't even touch these, I hate you right now. Great job!
I did seriously consider the Finepix F30, definitely better for aquarium photography. But my friends, ie the girls, said the camera was ugly :icon_roll so I ended up getting the SD700. I'm really glad it worked out though :icon_smil .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL :p was that a mistype?
Nope.... a quote from DPReview which I agree with after looking through many samples from different sources.

The SD 700 IS was perhaps my favorite point and shoot camera of last year, ticking all the right boxes (small, stylish, reliable, good output, easy to use) and showing that, for all the grumbling about Canon's dominance of this market, when they get things right they really get things right.

Its new stablemate, the SD800 IS is - on paper - a dream come true for anyone who appreciates the significant advantages offered by a zoom that starts at 28mm rather than 35 or 38mm. I've said it before and I'll say it again; there are so many practical and creative advantages to the extra field of view offered by a 28mm over even a 35mm wideangle that it's hard to move back to the 'tunnel vision' of a 'normal' 3x zoom. From landscapes to interiors to group shots the added versatility and creative possibilities of the wider lens cannot be overstated.

Of course nothing in life comes for free, and there have obviously been some compromises involved in designing and manufacturing a 28-105mm equiv. lens in such a small form factor - and in squeezing even more pixels onto a 1/2.5-inch CCD. The excellent edge-to-edge sharpness we saw with the SD700 IS has gone; the SD800's more ambitious lens range means that there is a slight, but noticeable drop off in sharpness towards the edges and corners in some circumstances. It's not bad enough to mar most everyday shots (and is barely visible at all in a 5x7 inch print), but pixel peepers will need to take a close look at the gallery samples and make their own minds up.

I was also disappointed to see the new DIGIC III processor's heavy noise reduction blurring away fine, low contrast detail at ISO 200 and 400. This is the curse of modern compacts (for the more serious user), but it's unusual for a Canon to exhibit noticeable NR artefacts. I wouldn't use anything other than ISO 80 for any shot with lots of fine detail (such as landscapes), but again, the typical casual/social snap shooter simply won't have an issue with it, particularly in prints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those look pretty good! Just clean your glass inside and out to get rid of a few spots that you have in your photos
Thanks, but what spots? :icon_roll .. it definitely needs some cleaning, i haven't cleaned the glass since i set that tank up :tongue: .
 

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Thanks, but what spots? :icon_roll .. it definitely needs some cleaning, i haven't cleaned the glass since i set that tank up :tongue: .
There are water spots on the snail pic, to the right and looks like algae spots on the second shrimp photo, just over its head. Still nice photos just offering some suggestions
 

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One thing, not related, that I noticed immediately... that substrate in the first picture looks very familiar... is that really what I think it is??? :biggrin:

That snail image is great! The cherry one has some blown out highlights, and the amano trouble with focus, but the snail turned out lovely, goes to show that even P&S cameras are very capable of macros.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are water spots on the snail pic, to the right and looks like algae spots on the second shrimp photo, just over its head. Still nice photos just offering some suggestions
Thanks for pointing them out, the glass will be cleaned before I start snapping pictures next time :).

One thing, not related, that I noticed immediately... that substrate in the first picture looks very familiar... is that really what I think it is??? :biggrin:
It's exactly what you think it is :icon_mrgr

That snail image is great! The cherry one has some blown out highlights, and the amano trouble with focus, but the snail turned out lovely, goes to show that even P&S cameras are very capable of macros.
Any suggestions on how to go about fixing that?
 

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It's exactly what you think it is :icon_mrgr

Great stuff!! At $2.50/25lb, it is even cheaper than topsoil. Love it!

Any suggestions on how to go about fixing that?

You will learn how to avoid these things, just keep on snapping. If you notice blown highlights, see if you can manually reduce exposure by maybe -1 step. Another good option is exposure bracketing, where your camera takes 3 images in quick sequence, one with regular exposure, one under- and one overexposed. Then you can pick the best one, or even combine them for the ultimate enhancement.

Focus is mainly just experience, you don't want to focus exactly in the center of the animal, but a bit in front. For example, in your shrimp image, you want the plane of focus at or just slightly behind the eye, not in the middle of the shrimp body. (Don't worry about that, it's a good shot, I am just overly critical).
 

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Something I like to do for that focus issue is take three shots, one where I think focus is, one slightly closer (by physically moving the camera closer but leave the focus where it is) and one slightly farther. LCDs aren't always great for seeing if you're focused, and that's almost a sure fire way to get a good shot, because usually when you're off it's by a few millimeters or so.
 
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