Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a reasonable digital camera and was hoping to get some opinions. It will be mostly used for my tanks and wildlife pictures, but some of people as well.

Any thoughts on Pentax cameras? I'm thinking about a Optio 30, 3.2 megapixel camera with many features. Here are the specs of the camera Pentax Optio 30

Another option is the Canon A75 but that is about $50 more expensive. Money is a major limitation unfortunately.

edit: guess I should that I am a very unexperienced photographer and looking for an easy-to-use camera.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Re: Camera Advice Please

A few words of advice...

1. Spot metering with exposure locking
2. good macro capabilities
3. full manual mode, including manual focus
4. custom white balancing / on the fly white balance
5. offshoe flashes are
are absolute requirements for decent aquarium photography. Save your money and wait until you can afford these options. You cannot get good fish/tanks shots without the features I mentioned without a ton of luck, and even then its sometimes impossible. Taking photos thru a reflective piece of glass into water turns out to be one of the most challenging photographs to take. Don't bother with an intermediate camera with plans to trade up, I ended up wasting a ton of money like this :?

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jay I'm in Canada so my numbers and availability are probably different from yours in the U.S. After all costs I was hoping to be under $300 Canadian.

JLudwig I don't know what all those features are but I think the Pentax has most if not all. It has spot metering, manual focus, custom white balancing and good macro mode. Don't know what exposure locking and offshoe flashes are. I've read that the Pentax doesn't have manual shutter speed settings though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Capt. said:
JLudwig I don't know what all those features are but I think the Pentax has most if not all. It has spot metering, manual focus, custom white balancing and good macro mode. Don't know what exposure locking and offshoe flashes are. I've read that the Pentax doesn't have manual shutter speed settings though.
Hate to say it, but I think under 3 bucks you're better off waiting until you can spend a little more... I read thru the description, automatic white balance is very different than custom white balance. With custom you point the camera at a white object (piece of paper under the lights) and tell the camera "this is white". Auto white balance never quite looks right, my old camera had this I hated it. You'll definately want manual shutter speeds, if using an external flash you'll need to modify shutter speed / aperture to control exposure. With exposure locking you point at a bright part of the tank, lets say Riccia tends to get really bleached out for example and the camera can hold this exposure level so the Riccia doesn't get overexposed even tho you're no longer pointing at the Riccia. Built in flashes are no good for aquarium photography you need to be able to use a flash on the end of a 3-6 ft cord so you can place the flash over the top of tank... I would seriously think about holding off for something a little better, maybe Jay knows something is that price range that'll do the trick.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Capt.

There is not much $$ we have to play with but you can get something nice for yourself if you are willing to enjoy what you will GET :idea:

300 CAD = 253.015 USD (1-Dec-04)

Call me a Canon/Nikon sucker but I have yet to see anyone using Digital Pentax. I know they make good SLR cameras but I don't have experience with digital Point & Shoot Pentax.

Here is what we have:

#1 (my choice) Nikon Coolpix 4100 - ~230$
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...il&Q=&sku=331660&is=REG&si=spec#goto_itemInfo

Nikon 3200
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=336971&is=REG

Sony Cybershot DSC-P72
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=276494&is=REG

Canon PowerShot A75
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=317338&is=REG

Sony Cybershot DSC-P41
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=327940&is=REG

Least choice - Canon PowerShot A400
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=347917&is=REG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tips Jay but a little too late. I'm getting a Pentax Option 33LF for Christmas. Here's the camera, the swiveling LCD looks cool. Edit, looks like it has a lot of good features but I obviously won't know until late this month.

Optio 33LF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Definitely will do. Your statement on Pentax got me thinking. I went to a few places around here and hardly saw any Pentax digitals. So in your opinion they make pretty good film cameras?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Capt. said:
Definitely will do. Your statement on Pentax got me thinking. I went to a few places around here and hardly saw any Pentax digitals. So in your opinion they make pretty good film cameras?
Capt,
I know few old timers who use SLR 35mm Pentax cameras and they were able to produce top quality work. I have yet to talk to anyone about digital Pentax and its performance. You usually see Nikon, Canon and Sony users.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's a couple pics I took with the new camera. Haven't done anything to them and know there are many faults with the pics. These were taken very quickly and I've had almost no time to play around with the camera.

Gymnocoronis spilanthoides emersed, taken quickly in the dark with a flash, macro mode, manual focus.



[/list]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
Nice, I was going to offer to sell my canon powershot a40 since I got a new camera for christmas. Sony Cybershot DSC-T1 baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Re: Camera Advice Please

JLudwig said:
A few words of advice...

1. Spot metering with exposure locking
2. good macro capabilities
3. full manual mode, including manual focus
4. custom white balancing / on the fly white balance
5. offshoe flashes

are absolute requirements for decent aquarium photography.
So what cameras for under 1,000$ usd meet all these requirements?

I have started shopping for my 1st camera.
___
Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Or under $500 too. It seems like prices/capabilities have changed a lot since this thread was started.

Ah heck, let's be greedy. What about a DV video camera with still shots?

TW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Jay can maybe comment on the Canon line of products, they have a few that meet this criteria, I'm using the Sony line, the 707/717/828 all meet these criteria, I picked up the 717 for under 5 bucks when the 828 was just coming out, Circuit City had to blow out their stock to make way. The off-shoe flash requires a bit of a hack, my wife made an extension cable, its basically a 4 connector mini-jack and a little bit of solder.

Heres the 828 altho this product suffers from some birefringence problems, you can read about it on Steve's Digicams altho it seems all the 8MP prosumer cameras have this problem, and I think it only happens when using the optical zoom... it seems the CCD size and lense size are poorly matched.

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=30-150-036&depa=0

Unfortunately the 717 isn't really available new anymore, there are plenty of other cameras tho. If you want to shell out closer to $1000, the digital Rebel is definately worth a look:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=30-120-018&depa=0

The prosumer (non-SLR) cameras shuffer from auto-focus/shutter lag, I've heard the Rebels don't have this problem...

Jeff
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top