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Thread: Camera Shopping... looking for advice

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Camera Shopping... looking for advice

    I've been borrowing cameras for the past 4 years but would really like to get a decent one of my own. It doesn't have to be the top of the line thing, that comes with a user manual 2" thick. I just want to be able to take clear, crisp pictures of something along the lines of pygmy sundew.

    Question 1: What is the difference between 'zoom' and macros?

    Question 2: If given a choice between emphasizing zoom and macros, which would be best for small, rosetted sundews?

    Question 3: What's a decent megapixel for capturing small sundews?

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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    Question 1: What is the difference between 'zoom' and macros?
    Zoom is just used to take pictures of things far away in the distance, but not very good for close up shots. Macro is only really good for close up shots, but many cameras have a "macro" feature with a zoom lens. For example, I have a camera with about 8x zoom, but also a macro mode. In this case, you can only zoom a little for the macro to be efficient, but the zoom has a much longer range.

    But, if you're looking for like a digital SLR, a macro lens will be a much better choice than a zoom lens for taking pictures of smaller plants. Although, since these cameras are digital, they will often have a macro mode anyways.

    Question 2: If given a choice between emphasizing zoom and macros, which would be best for small, rosetted sundews?
    Definitely macro.

    Question 3: What's a decent megapixel for capturing small sundews?
    Megapixels don't have much to do with what you're wanting to photograph; it has more to do with how you want the quality of your picture to be. So, a 4 megapixel camera will still have good quality, but a 12 megapixel will have even better. It just makes the pictures clearer and show more detail. But I mean nowadays most cameras have around 10 megapixels, but anywhere from 5-10 is pretty dang good. The more megapixels your camera has, though, the larger the picture will be.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Jim, for your purposes, I'd recommend that you look in to the Canon Powershot series. They vary in price, and a good number of them include Image Stabilization which can be very handy.
    Furthermore, these have been pretty extensively worked on by the community and can be easily modified by putting a file on to the memory card, allowing you to unlock certain features normally only reserved for more expensive cameras.

    1) Ben explained this, but I'd like to add in a few things. When looking at cameras you may find that they mention Optical zoom and Digital zoom. Digital zoom is garbage and should be ignored, it's the Optical zoom that matters.

    2) Ben got it. The macro option will be your best option (unless someone made a really wacky camera.)

    3) Note that megapixel number alone is not a good way to determine if a camera takes good pictures. Find reviews online (very easy to do via google.) You want a camera that'll give you sharp pictures and doesn't have any problems with the macro feature.

    The pixel number is the number of dots that make up an image. While more is better, less isn't necessarily worse. The number of megapixels isn't realy a big deal, we've gotten to the point where you can get very large pictures on any given new digicam. So now the factors you really need to consider are sharpness, focal-length, and aperture size (a camera that was a wide "f-stop" range is what you want.)

    It sounds a bit technical, but it's real easy after you've had it explained and used it a bit. To avoid confusion, it would be good to post the cameras that you're interested in, and we'll give you some pointers.
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    Capensis Killer upper's Avatar
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    1.true macro is 1:1 or more.
    zoom is how far you can go.
    macro makes the pic life size or bigger.
    look at this
    http://www.slrphotographyguide.com/c...ns/macro.shtml
    macro

    true macro



    2. Definitely Macro
    3. Megapixel....... much is not needed unless you want to print poster size or bigger.
    i'd say 8MP is good enough for everything. but the more the better, just not a big requirement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    I've been borrowing cameras for the past 4 years but would really like to get a decent one of my own. It doesn't have to be the top of the line thing, that comes with a user manual 2" thick. I just want to be able to take clear, crisp pictures of something along the lines of pygmy sundew.

    Question 1: What is the difference between 'zoom' and macros?

    Question 2: If given a choice between emphasizing zoom and macros, which would be best for small, rosetted sundews?

    Question 3: What's a decent megapixel for capturing small sundews?

    I personally would go the Nikon route, whether it's a point and shoot or SLR. I have been using them for years and the lenses are simply great, bar non. Splurge on a decent tripod. You won't regret it . . .

    As others have mentioned, 5-10 megapixels is fine (my first digital was a 5 mp and I often still use it, even with a D2x); most have discreet macro settings and zoom lenses and reasonably low f-stops (= fast lenses) to capture images in low light situations . . .
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    Capensis Killer upper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    I personally would go the Nikon route, whether it's a point and shoot or SLR. I have been using them for years and the lenses are simply great, bar non. Splurge on a decent tripod. You won't regret it . . .

    As others have mentioned, 5-10 megapixels is fine (my first digital was a 5 mp and I often still use it, even with a D2x); most have discreet macro settings and zoom lenses and reasonably low f-stops (= fast lenses) to capture images in low light situations . . .
    canon's better jk jk, just because i have a canon
    Happy Holiday

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I want to thank you all for your help. I'm going to print the advice and walk in there (presumably Walmart) and speak with them about macros, small plants, and brand names. Having worked at Home Depot I also realize that not everybody in a given department truly knows what they are working with. I've already been told to stay away from Polaroid by one person in the department.

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    If you're getting the small point and shoots, you don't really need anything larger than a 6 megapixel. The problem with larger megapixels is that they don't increase the size of the sensor. So the more megapixels they pack into that tiny amount of space, the more noise your pictures will have. 6 megapixels seems like a good compromise between picture size and image noise.
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