camera help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Photography' started by kss2801, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    firstly i know nothing about cameras. i've had a point and shoot, and that's all i have done with it. no adjusting settings or anything.
    i've been looking for a new camera (considering a DSLR). how hard is it to use a DSLR? i'm pretty good with other tech stuff. i just don't know most of the camera terminology. like ISO. what is that?

    any recommendations? i'm looking for a camera that can take great macros and has a good video cam. budget ~$800

    any thoughts on the nikon D60 or canon EOS rebel XSi?
     
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  3. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    Well, they are not hard to use. I am NOT tech savvy and had no trouble figuring out what was what. Google and the instruction manuals will be your best friends.
    The game with DSLR's are a heck of a lot different than point and shoots. And the price jumps significantly.
    The first thing I would say is VERY FEW DSLR's will do video. These are professional cameras, not all-in-one toy point and shoots. A typical professional will use a video camera for video, and a photo camera for photos ;) Neither the D60 or the EOS rebel will do video. The Canon 5D mk II and the Nikon D90 are the only two DLSR's that I know of that will do video, but they are 4-5X above your budget.
    As for macro, any DSLR can do it. But you will need a macro lens. I actually use a set of the cheap macro filters you can get on e-bay, and I think they work very well, but still not as good as a lens. A typical macro lens alone will be at the limit of your budget.
    If your really set on having video and easy switch to macro, you're going to be stuck with PAS's. If you can do without the video, either of the cameras you listed are great cameras.
    And check e-bay and go used. You can get great packages that way. I got my d70 with two batteries, 5 mem cards, and the lens for $350 like new. The lens is what you need to take in to consideration. Remember when you see the new prices at the stores and online (for the new cameras) that they are mostly body only, no lens.
     
  4. pgreef

    pgreef Fire Goby

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    ISO is basically a film speed equivalent. ISO 100 is a slow speed and 1600 is high speed for low light. In the film days ISO 100 would give you a picture with less grain. Higher ISOs would allow you to take pictures in lower light but you would get more grain in your picture.

    In digital cameras there obviously is no film. What the ISO does is change the gain of the CCD or CMOS sensor. The lower the gain the less noise. The higher the gain the more noise in the picture but you can take pictures in low light. So film vs digital still has the same tradeoff w/ respect to ISO however with digital you can change it for each picture rather than for a roll of film.

    As far as cameras go I have a Rebel XTi and love it. The problem with all DSLRs is that the lenses, especially, macros cost serious moolah. I don't think you'll be able to get an XSi and macro lens for $800.

    A point and shoot is actually easier to use because of the way the camera works. In a point and shoot the sensor is constantly running and evaluating the brightest and darkest pixels in the picture and changing settings on the fly so you get a perfectly exposed picture. A DSLR doesn't do that. It evaluates brightness by looking at only a couple of points in the picture before opening the shutter. Therefore, you are more likely to get an under or overexposed picture.

    The positive for the DSL is that it can instantaneously take a picture because the sensor is sitting in the dark behind the shutter. With a point and shoot the sensor needs to be flushed after being used to evaluate the exposure before taking the picture. That's why with a point and shoot there is always a delay after pressing the shutter button before the picture is taken.

    The other thing about the DSLR is that you have a lot of flexibility to turn the picture into a piece of art. Due to the larger sensors used in DSLRs in addition to geting better low light performance and you can also get very small depth of fields in your picture. This allows you to put your subject in focus and everything else out of focus for some great effects.

    I think the most important difference between the two is the much better low light performance of the DSLR as well as the instantaneous response when the shutter button is pressed. Also DSLRs don't do video unless you want to spend $2-3k.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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  6. anpgp

    anpgp Dragon Wrasse

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    Moving up to a DSLR isn't all that difficult. I have the Sony A350 and it's amazing. If you want some good reviews and such you should check out the Popular Photography magazine. The one thing I like about Sony cameras is that they seem a little sturdier to me, just my personal opinion though. However, they don't do video. If you wait awhile, most of the new DSLRs are coming out with excellent HD video capabilities. My advice is to wait awhile, the prices on these things will drop as they are always coming out with new, better ones. Do some research on different models and brands and find something you like. Then look around at prices and wait a couple of months and the price should drop.
     
  7. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    pgreef, that was very helpful and informative.
    just wondering, in regular light would the quality of DSLR and PAS be close or would the DSLR be much better?
     
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  9. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    anpgp, i can't really wait because my parents are going to Houston Nov 6th. so that's when they will buy the camera. buying a camera locally is going to insanely expensive. shipping is also expensive and risky.
    i still have some time for research though.
     
  10. SAABtech

    SAABtech Flamingo Tongue

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    well i have a nikon d40x and its great. (no vid feature, i use a cheapo "flip vid" for that)
    as for macro lenses there is really no way around the quality one can get from a good lens but i dont have one so i improvise with the camera settings. i set the cam to raw+b picture format/size and that is about 13mb of memory. so then i can take a pic from far away that is the size of a poster and crop the hell out of it to get a nice clean pic.
     
  11. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    i think that if i go with a DSLR i'll be doing something like that or maybe a macro filter. definitely no macro lens. i just checked the prices.
     
  12. pgreef

    pgreef Fire Goby

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