Which camera for coral macro shots

Discussion in 'Aquarium Photography' started by steve wright, Dec 25, 2010.

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  1. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Travis Staut (who has sold coral photos, coral/fish cards, been on Reefkeeping, Advanced Aquarist, etc) has these recommendations;

    Turn off pumps/powerheads
    Adjust White Balance
    Use tripod
    Take LOTS of pictures
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They work for me>
     
  4. barbianj

    barbianj Hammer Head Shark

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    My favorite right now is the Canon D10 underwater camera. It won't match the quality of a DSLR, but there's something to be said for in-tank shots. No reflection of the glass to deal with, and many more options for angles. This is the first camera that I've had where almost all of the photos turn out good.
     
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  5. mulder32

    mulder32 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    As a professional wedding photographer, I can agree with the idea of getting a DSLR if you want quality macro shots, fast lens (ie wide apertures, etc). You can probably find a very good Canon or Nikon on craigslist, then get either a prime lens like a 50mm and an extension tube set, or if you want to spend a bit more money, a dedicated macro lens.

    Point and shoots have their place, but if you want some truly great macro shots a DSLR is the way to go--of course, just like this hobby, if you go cheap, you get lower quality.

    Using a tripod is a good idea for corals. If you are talking fast moving fish, you need a fast shutter speed--in that case you need a lens that lets in a lot of light and a higher ISO when you photograph. Good luck!
     
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  6. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    a big thanks to everyone that posted ideas and suggestions on this thread
    I have been googling all the options given
    but also checked out digital single lens reflex options

    as Canon come up often, I checked sales on internet sites of Canon DSLR
    this one seems good value out here - Canon EOS 500D

    Does the EOS 500D, seem like a reasonable DSLR?

    Steve

    PS - turning of the pumps and powerheads is not something I even considered before, but now I realise that I will be able to capture PE much better if they are not being wafted about in flow
    great idea, I will be trying that today
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  7. mulder32

    mulder32 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    A 500d is a very good starter camera. In pro photography circles there is a fairly well known way to spend money. Always go for quality lenses over camera bodies. A great lens on an average camera body will more often than not produce better pictures than an average lens on a great camera body. Let me know if you have any questions. Like fish tanks, photography is a great hobby, but there is alot to learn at times.
     
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  9. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you mulder32
    Canon product is on sale in a shop near where I live
    is there a better Canon option, with better quality lenses that I should consider?

    Steve
     
  10. damon

    damon Sea Dragon

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    sounds like you got some great info already and I'm sure what ever cam you get it will be great, but I thought I might as well toss in my 2 cents on shooting. I have a cannon video cam that takes stills as well, so some of this may or may not transfer to a still only cam. There is a auto white balance and a custom, set and use the custom one. Adjust your own exposure and focus for most shots. If shooting a fish you can focus on something that the fish swims by and wait for it to come to your cam rather than fallowing it with the cam. As far as I know the lens is just as important if not more important than the cam. I have also seen some pretty sweet boxes that are used to block the glare off the water from your lights to let you shoot into the tank from the top with lights on.
     
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  11. mulder32

    mulder32 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Lenses range from under $100 to close to $2000. You want a lens that is at least 2.8. Anything "slower" (ie lets in less light will be tough. I have a straight 50mm lens that is f/1.8 but is not a macro. I am looking into getting set of Kenko extension tubes, which put on a normal lens enables you to focus much closer (though most of the time you lose the ability to auto focus, so you have to manual focus--not a problem if doing non moving objects). If your goal is a macro lens, I believe Canon makes a 60mm 2.8 and a 100 2.8, which may be a little too long for photographing in a tank.

    The 500d is also a crop camera. To try to simplify this is hard, but the sensor on the camera makes a lens more telephoto. For instance, my 40d is 1.6 crop camera, so any lens I put on it I multiply the mm by 1.6 to get the actual focal length. A 50mm lens therefore acts as a 80mm. However, my 5d camera body is full frame, so when I put the same 50mm lens on it, it acts as a true 50mm. Something to keep in mind. I think the 500d is also a 1.6x so you may want something a little more wide angle, though I'm not sure what canon makes in wide angle that is also macro. Go to canon.com to see their selection of lenses.
     
  12. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    Wow nice... Now I have some nice suggestions for my new camara :p