Camera settings

Discussion in 'Aquarium Photography' started by wkbrdr1661, Sep 22, 2009.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. wkbrdr1661

    wkbrdr1661 Purple Spiny Lobster

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Since i started taking pictures of my tank i have ALOT more respect for some of the pictures ive seen posted...

    How in the world are you guys getting such good shots? are most of your using DSLR? Especially on the very macro zooms...

    I have a Kodak P850. Not the greatest but decent... Gonna get a DSLR for christmas probably.

    But until then any advice on the best settings to use?

    mods...wasn't really sure where to put this...
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,675
    Location:
    South Florida
    Volume. That's how. A digital camera allows you to mess about and take literally hundreds of photos to get that one good shot.

    As far as settings, just play with the camera. I use macro a lot. Unless you use a tripod, you'll find a good pic is hard to take with the digital zoom feature. You get more resolution, but it's nearly always fuzzy.

    Again, it's digital--so play around. Experiment. Take lots of pics, and most importantly, view them on your computer before making a decision regarding a picture's quality. The 2" LCD on the back of the camera won't allow you an accuracte assessment of what you capture. Also, play with light. Take pics with the daylights on, take pics with just the actinics. Try pics with no lights on and a flashlight, or the moonlights, you'll find out tricks on your own. Good pics aren't that hard to come by with a digital camera. And you don't even need a DSLR to attain a great shot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  4. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,716
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I use a DSLR ;D I am not sure what all you are able to adjust or what kind of lens your camera has on it, but I will try to help.

    Here are a few pointers:

    Tripods are a must for macro shots. MUST.

    Do NOT over-zoom. That is just asking for more headache and more failed shots. I never take a picture in which the subject fills in more than 1/3 of the frame. If you want it closer or to fill more, that's where the cropping and resizing comes in during editing.

    Balance of ISO and aperture is crucial. There is no set numbers for these, as its a delicate ratio and it depends on what camera you have, with what lens, the lighting, subject, etc. In general, a faster ISO will give you a clearer shot, but it's just not quite as good color or depth wise. I like to use a faster ISO for fish shots, and a fairly slow ISO for my coral shots. This is just something you will have to play with and get a feel for.

    When choosing a camera, I would always go DSLR if image quality is important to you. You can buy them used for the same price as a new, nice point and shoot.
    Do NOT get hung up over "megapixels". The mega pixel rating is, by and large, a sham by camera manufacturers in order to try to charge more, and has little to do with image quality. Image quality will come down to the quality of the lens and the photocell. Case in point, my point and shoot is rated at 12 megapixels. My DSLR is rated at 6.5. Guess which one has vastly superior image quality? ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,219
    Location:
    CT
    1 person likes this.
  6. wkbrdr1661

    wkbrdr1661 Purple Spiny Lobster

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks to all. I am going to have to fool around with it.

    I do have a tri, i just have to dig it out cause i havent seen it since i moved in June
     
  7. Triplemom

    Triplemom Pajama Cardinal

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Excellent pointers from Sparky and Pack. You don't have to invest in a really expensive camera to get great shots. I actually use a "point and shoot," granted a high end point and shoot. :) I have a Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and I don't think I've scratched the surface of what it can do. Like Sparky said, you may have to take tons of pictures to get one great shot - I do most of my tank photography on manual, playing around with the settings. I use a tripod sometimes. Another tip is when photographing corals, especially those with "wavy things," cut the power heads and pumps so everything is still.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  8. Click Here!

  9. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,675
    Location:
    South Florida
    WOW!! That ricordea shot is magazine cover material!!!! What a picture, Mom! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Triplemom

    Triplemom Pajama Cardinal

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Thanks, Sparky! That one is a favorite. It was a Saturday morning at about 6:30 or so - it was my scheduled weekend to work and I was supposed to be logging on the computer. The morning light coming through the window was just incredible, so instead of logging on, I grabbed the tripod! ;D Work had to wait just a bit....

    Here's another favorite - no, it's not in my tank (but it is at the Georgia Aquarium behind some major thick glass or acrylic) - Pacific octopus.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Triplemom

    Triplemom Pajama Cardinal

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Tennessee
    This shot is stunning. 8)
     
  12. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,675
    Location:
    South Florida
    You ought to see him after I brush his hair! :)