What is a good camera?

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
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Location: Okinawa

What is a good camera?

Post: # 19564Post BleedingRaindrops
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:51 am

I've decided my phone is insufficient for the pictures I want to have. I have gotten a few clear photos of Ants that sit still, but getting Ants to sit still is not easy or reliable.

I have decided to look for a macro lens setup, and hopefully one with a high shutter speed.

Any suggestions?
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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Phoenix
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Re: Inquiry

Post: # 19566Post Phoenix
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:54 am

Have you tried, to record using your phone?
'Have Fun.' - Gabe Newell

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Batspiderfish
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Location: Maine

Re: What is a good camera?

Post: # 19567Post Batspiderfish
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:14 am

So, I have some thoughts on this. You really don't need to spend a ton of money on a camera to get great macro footage. A phone camera can leave a lot to be desired, but with a little innovation, you can turn a lot of general-use cameras into impressive macro machines. My favorite method is through lens coupling, where you use something like a coupling ring ($15) to reverse an additional lens over the lens on your camera. This other lens does not have to be new -- the ones I have been using are 50+ years old, and I got most of them for $25. Admittedly, I don't understand the physics of it too well, but the lens I reverse is always a shorter focal length than the camera-mounted lens I pair it with. It helps if you already have a collection of old lenses to experiment with.You can even use this technique with all-in-one camcorders.

Shutter speed is not much of a factor for me. Depth of field will become a significant limitation, so I often leave the f-number so high that my external flash (and the duration thereof) is the only thing which contributes to the exposure of the photo. My shutter speed is usually only 1/200 of a second, with f18 - f22. Lighting is the most important part of macro -- I use an external flash which can be positioned (by hand, if need be) at the optimal distance and angle for my subject. Make sure to diffuse your lighting with a reflector and/or piece of tissue paper to get the most detail possible.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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Cale3459
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Location: Illinois

Re: What is a good camera?

Post: # 19573Post Cale3459
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:41 am

If you are dead set on buying a camera there really isn't much difference between the big names these days. I use a Nikon D300 for all my underwater photography. I use Nikon because that's what I grew up using and it's what I'm used to. Canon is just as good with the only noticeable differences being button and menu layouts. My advice is to go to a store and mess around with the different cameras to find out what you like because what I or anyone else like may not be the same as what you would like. They make cameras that are between the dSLR range and the standard point and shoots where they eliminate a lot of the features of a dSLR to simplify them but keep the changeable lenses. I bought my mom one for Christmas because she wasn't happy with her point and shoot and wanted to do more long range shooting. I think I got it from Walmart for like $150-$200 and I bought her a Nikon because all of my lenses from my camera would then fit hers and she wouldn't have to buy new ones. I don't even use my D300 for my ants as my camera on my iPhone has gotten very satisfactory results and you can see examples on the link in my signature. Like I said personal preferences are going to influence your decisions the most and you should definitely try the cameras out before making a big purchase like that.
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
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Location: Okinawa

Re: What is a good camera?

Post: # 19688Post BleedingRaindrops
Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:24 am

Batspiderfish wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:14 am
You really don't need to spend a ton of money on a camera to get great macro footage.
My favorite method is through lens coupling, where you use something like a coupling ring ($15) to reverse an additional lens over the lens on your camera.

Shutter speed is not much of a factor for me. Lighting is the most important part of macro -- I use an external flash which can be positioned (by hand, if need be) at the optimal distance and angle for my subject. Make sure to diffuse your lighting with a reflector and/or piece of tissue paper to get the most detail possible.
I only mention shutter speed because 9 out of every 10 photos I snap is blurred due to the ants moving too quickly, and is therefore useless for identification purposes. Have you had success photographing fast moving ants with that shutter speed?
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 1782
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: What is a good camera?

Post: # 19700Post Batspiderfish
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:36 am

BleedingRaindrops wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:24 am
Batspiderfish wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:14 am
You really don't need to spend a ton of money on a camera to get great macro footage.
My favorite method is through lens coupling, where you use something like a coupling ring ($15) to reverse an additional lens over the lens on your camera.

Shutter speed is not much of a factor for me. Lighting is the most important part of macro -- I use an external flash which can be positioned (by hand, if need be) at the optimal distance and angle for my subject. Make sure to diffuse your lighting with a reflector and/or piece of tissue paper to get the most detail possible.
I only mention shutter speed because 9 out of every 10 photos I snap is blurred due to the ants moving too quickly, and is therefore useless for identification purposes. Have you had success photographing fast moving ants with that shutter speed?
Yes, since the F-number makes the shot so dark that natural light is barely picked up at all by the camera, the flash determines exposure times. With fast-moving ants, the real issue is staying in focus.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

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