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Photography newbie needs advice please


scat35

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Hi guys, am new to this particular forum and have been browsing through the photography forum alot.

Am wanting to get into photgraphing my fish but as far as photography goes i know bugga all :B

I currently have a sony cybershot 4mp and is very limited in what settings you can do.

So these are my questions.

1.I would like some advice on what camera would be ideal for aquarium photography (bearing in mind i am a novice) I keep seeing the canon eos 350d crop up in these forums and harvey norman have it on sale atm

they also have the nikon d50 twin lens on sale also so what do you guys think about those cameras?

2.Macro is all i read about!! yet i dont fully understand it,e.g with the canon is it built in or is it a seperate lens?

So what direction should i go,what camera is more user friendly?

Thanks for all your help :):)

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Scat

Welcome to the forum. The move from "point and shoot" cameras to digital SLR is quite big. Whilst most dSLR's can be set on "auto" or "program" mode (where they behave just like your compact camera), the big advantage of dSLR is their flexibility and versatility. On the downside, there is a big learning curve involved, which means you really need to understand a bit about photography to use them to their full potential.

Don't think that the camera is going to do all the work for you. Give a top quality dSLR to a novice, and the chances are that the photos won't be much better than your "point and shoot". However, over time as the novice learns to use the camera, the quality of the photos improve and exceed those capable to be taken on a point and shoot.

Having said that, what else will you be using the camera for? The big versatility of dSLR is the ability to change lenses according to your shooting protocol. Macro lenses are good for taking close-ups of small objects. A proper macro lens is better than most of the zoom lenses that have "macro" written on them. If you want to take photos of wildlife (birds etc), then you'll need a long telephoto lens. If you want to take scenery, then a wide angle lens is essential. Fish tank photos are best done with a macro or short zoom lens.

Both the Canon 350D and Nikon 5D are good cameras. Sony have just announced their first DSLR, the A100 - it's getting great reviews. If you want to take good tank photos, you'll need a slave flash setup. A decent wireless slave flash costs at least $400. Will the camera you buy control flashes via wireless? The Nikon 5D won't without buying an adapter (need the Nikon 7D), don't know about the Canon 350D, but I do know the Sony A100 will.

Don't rush into buying just because there's a sale on. I've been watching the prices fall. Every time a sale ends, a new one comes out with chaeaper prices! Just be aware that the Canon and Nikon "kit" lenses aren't as well regarded as their mid-level lens models (meaning you'll need to pay MORE, much MORE). A single good lens can cost more than the camera body itself. If you really get into photography, don't be surprised if you end up spending more on "accessories" than you did on the original purchase. It's so easy to do. Is this what you want?

I'm not trying to put you off. I'm just giving you all the facts. However, before you decide, do some REAL research. Go to a proper photographic shop and get REAL advice. I've spoken to sales people at some chain stores that knew NOTHING about photography, yet they're flogging the stuff! Most times the specialist camera stores will match advertised prices anyway.

There are a few good websites that discuss the relative merits of different cameras and systems. PM me if you want URL's.

Cheers, Frank

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The 350D will require either a hotshoe cord or wireless trigger (ST-E2, 580EX) to fire a remote flash common in aquatic photography. But apart from that I fully endorse Frank's comment about this :clap Definitely some great advice that should help you make a well-informed decision.

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I currently have a sony cybershot 4mp

i use this camera to take my photos with.i also know nothing of photography ive found my photos sometimes come out a bit dark and i dont have a slave flash so(and take all my photos without the flash)i just put more lights above the tank.crude but effective.dont be discouraged because you dont have the best camera as frank said its often the persons experience behind the camera that makes the difference

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Thanks heaps guys for your help.On reflection now after taking on board the advice you guys have given me maybe it isnt such a good idea me rushing out to get one of the cameras just yet.

Yellow i keep hearing ppl say that even their cheaps cameras have a macro function of some sort which still helps and the cybershot doesnt have that at all.Dont get me wrong i think its a great camera but i still feel it cant do the job i want it to do at the moment.

Can you guys suggest a good middle of that road camera for me the (maybe something of a higher standard point and click for a newbie like me :) )

Once again i appreciate all the advice you guys have given me so far

Cheers :lol1::lol1:

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Compact digital cameras have smaller sensors than dSLR's. This gives them two BIG advantages. Firstly, they can take good macros without the need for the expensive dSLR lenses. (It's all got to do with the size of the image on the sensor.)

The second "advantage" that the smaller sensor offers is greater depth of field. If you want a shot to be sharp at a range of points away from the focal point, compacts are excellent. Of course this could be a disadvantage, if you want to blur the background in order to isolate the subject.

I have an old Olympus C4000Z, and it takes very nice macros. Most of the mid to upper level compacts are very sharp, have nice macro and give good control over exposure etc. I'm sure that some more of the compact camera users will chime in and help (e.g. Panasonic FZ30, Panasonic FZ20 and Fuji S9500 - there are a lot more but I can't remember them).

Cheers, Frank

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently bought an Olympus 5 megapixel camera for $198. It has macro and super macro for close up shooting and you can get lucky and get the occasional great photo. It also has a 'sports mode' for photographing fast moving objects, but I think the macro is much better, just got to get the fish to stay still!! So I guess what I am saying is, you can get very cheap digital camera's that will work fine. I think there is a fairly big gap though between a standard digital camera and a digital slr, and I would prefer to spend the extra money on more tanks and fish!!

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  • 5 weeks later...

ViS has this camera and has posted some good results with it.

Although, Have you checked out the panasonic FZ20 ?

It has a faster lens and slighty longer telephoto capabilities then the FZ30, its cheaper and more compact as well. Although its 5mp compared to the FZ30's 8mp its a good contender for a P&S camera. :)

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i have a canon 350D and i use 2 flashes -- 580EX on board the camera and a slave or remote 550EX. They both communicate with each other via infrared and u do not require a horse shoe or wireless trigger! However, getting 2 flashes will set u back ~$1000.

if u r really serious, i would invest in a good macro lens. For me i got the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, made famous by the infamous enigma!!! However this will set u back aroun $800!

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