View Full Version : HI! New and need help choosing a Camera

12-08-2005, 04:46 PM
Bet you don't get THAT post a lot! hahaha

okay...so checked out the "read this first" thread, and here's what I'm looking for:


I'm looking for under $1000 (<= $800 would be ideal)


Size doesn't matter. But I don't want to need a backpak or anything.


How many megapixels will suffice for you?

at least 5 but more if possible.

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)

actually...a pretty good zoom. While also being used for general use and general picture taking, the MOST important use will be taking really close up pictures of corals and fish in my reef tanks. (more on this later)

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)

10. I need really crisp, true color pictures of rather small objects.

Do you care for manual controls?

Don't mind them. Pretty good at tinkerin' with things...so manual controls don't scare me. But it would be nice if there was an "easy" or "standard" setting, so when my wife-to-be uses it, she's not freaked out.

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?

Mainly taking macro shots of corals and saltwater fish. I'll need to take macro shots (up REALLY close) of things maybe the size of an ant up to medium sized fish. They will be in motion, and I'd like to still be able to get a clear shot.

The other problem is..My reef tank has what is called actinic lighting, which is similar to a black light. My current Kodak digital camer freaks out with this light. The display flickers and shifts colors non-stop. I'll need a camera which allows me to play with settings (white-balance, etc) so that it can register the abnormal colors.

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?

maybe normal everyday photos, but more than likely, I won't be printing out many shots of the corals and stuff. Most pictures will end up cropped/edited then posted to the web.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?

indoor, with wierd lighting (similar to a blacklight). I need control over how the camera registers these colors. One that would allow me to save various settings would be a BIG plus!! as some shots are under normal lighting, some under the actinic lighting, etc.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?

once in a while, but this isn't important. More important is it's ability to take extreme close up shots of small things that might be moving.


Are there particular brands you like or hate?

not really. Whichever is better for my application.

Are there particular models you already have in mind?

No. Was looking at Canon and Fuji, but I dont' care. If the camera's had names, instead of model numbers I might be able to remember which one's I'd looked at.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

I'd like a camera that I can later purchase an underwater housing for. So if i ever go reef diving, I could take some underwater shots. But this would be a plus...not SUPER important.

I'd kind of like a unit that can be put on a tri-pod. As I don't have the steadiest of hands, no matter how hard I try to stand still. So when I take these macro shots, they tend to blur a bit.

I'd like to thank you guys in advance for any help!! It's all a little overwhelming when trying to figure things out. And when I try doing research, all "How to pick a camera" articles I've found tend to focus on the Megapixel rating. And lots of GENERAL talk about zoom, but I need extra super zoom. Zoom that retains clear focus, and doesn't just use software to make the picture larger but guess and fill in the gaps.

12-08-2005, 04:49 PM
btw...doubt anyone cares...

but if you want to see my tank, you can view it here:


I have SOME macro shots there...but as you can see, they are sub-par.

12-09-2005, 06:03 AM
Zoom range does not have a lot to do with macro shots... zoom range (and then of course meaning tele range) can bring far away abojects closer. Macro shots are different.

To me it seems you want a camera with good adjustable white balance, and a very good lens and image quality.

You do not necessarily go upto 800$ to get there, I think. Canon have cameras that are very good at realistic colours, and a camera like the PowerShot A610 or A620 will give you good white balance possibilities to cope with the lights in your fish tank. You can even buy extra lenses for it if you need to get even closer than they already can (they have good marco possibilities).

Of course a DSLR with 1:1 macro lens will do this too... a Nikon D50 or Canon XT with sigma 50mm f2.8 1:1 macro lens will keep you under 1000$ too.

But I think you may already be able to do what you want to do with a camera like the Canon A610.

12-09-2005, 06:08 AM
wow! Thanks for the detailed answer! I'll check out those models!!

Truly appreciate your time! thanks again!