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Camera for close up work ~ £250

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Barbie, 1 Mar 2006.

  1. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    I'm looking for a new digital camera. Primarily for macro shots (tarantulas) so i need to be able to get as much optical zoom as possible and still focus.

    Budget is around the £250 mark (though i wont have the cash until June :( )

    Cheers
     
  2. Lostkat

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,106

    Location: Deepest Darkest Leics

    You don't need zoom for macro shots. It's not how they work :)

    You just need a relatively small focussing distance for macro shots. Even then, you'll only need it for spiderlings. Leon uses a Canon A80 (discontinued) for his Tarantula shots, and produces some fantastic results. I'd recommend something like:

    Canon Powershot A620 - 7.1 Mega Pixel. 1cm focussing distance in marco mode. £199.99.

    Read the review on Steve's Digicams and see what you think :) Seems pretty good, especially for the money:

    "The A620's Macro (close-up) capabilities are superb, allowing you to focus as close as 0.4 inches (1cm) from the lens. When shooting subjects at such a close range, it is very important that the camera controls its flash well to ensure you don't over exposure the subject. The A620 does just that, "throttling down" if flash for near perfect exposure ever time. " Sounds spot on :)
     
  3. Joe T

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2003

    Posts: 11,728

    Location: Northampton

    Lots of compacts these days have very good macro-focusing abilities. Often as low as 1cm :)
     
  4. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    Excellent. I meant to ask you what camera you used the other day Lostkat but i forgot.

    Now i just have to hope i get my bonus in June :)
     
  5. Lostkat

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,106

    Location: Deepest Darkest Leics

    Canon 300D SLR. Probably a bit fiddley for what you want, and a good macro lens will cost you a couple of hundred on its own. Best sticking to compacts. They can produce excellent results. Let me know how you get on :)
     
  6. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    Ive got to agree there, i use a cannon A80 and I'm well impressed with the macro results i get. If theres an updated model of the A80 then get that, the Canon Powershot A620 - 7.1 Mega Pixel Lostkat suggested sounds just the ticket and it should be alot better than the A80 so i can imagine you wont be disappointed.

    Mark
     
  7. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    Hi,

    I dont know if you've sorted the camera yet but Ive ordered a Canon powershot A610 the 5mp version of the A620, ill let you know what i think of it when it arrives. It was only £165 thats cheaper than my A80 was and its better spec :) , its a real bargain IMO.

    Mark
     
  8. j00ni

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Aug 2004

    Posts: 5,622

    Location: Wigan

    I have the A620, I do like it's macro function although I haven't quite got the hang of getting the flash not to overexpose close-ups yet. Here are a few example I took when I first got it, just messing around at my desk (so with a bit more knowledge/effort/etc you could probably do much better ;))

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (all the images have been considerably shrunken - they are about 1Mb in size each otherwise!)
     
  9. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    looks good mate, i cant wait to get it, ive ordered a 1GB crucial flash card as well. Is the video quality any good?, it looks good quality from a review ive seen.

    Mark
     
  10. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    I've not ordered yet. Might do it this week if i have enough disposable income.

    Best price i've seen for it is £196.00 from the rainforest peoples.
     
  11. j00ni

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Aug 2004

    Posts: 5,622

    Location: Wigan

    Haven't tried the video function yet, so can't really comment, though I've heard it's ok - will have to give it a try

    /edit: hmm not half bad for a camera
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2006
  12. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    If you dont need 7.1 MP and 5 MP is enough for you then you could get the A610, this is £165 from the "rainforest peoples" :D . Thats the one ive ordered as i only print at A4 tops, so 5 MP is easilly enough for me. I think there is a remote capture feature on the A620 though which could be usefull for taking photos of spiders, so you dont have to get too close :eek: .

    Mark
     
  13. Lostkat

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,106

    Location: Deepest Darkest Leics

    Leon bought an A620 today :eek:

    Will post some spider results when he gets here tomorrow :)
     
  14. Lopéz

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 27,841

    Location: LE9/OTK

    Only had a chance to mess around but so far, it's MUCH better than the A80 to use. The focus time has been slashed, far less shutter lag (my 2 main annoyances), the display is hugely improved, it's easier to operate, slightly smaller and Macro without flash is far superior to the A80. Not sure if I'm imagining it but it seems to have the lens "sharpness" that the A80 lacked too
     
  15. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    You've got a sale there i think :)

    Roll on June!
     
  16. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    I got the camera yesterday, i agree with everything Lopéz said about it. Its alot better than the A80 and that was a good solid camera so I'm very pleased :D . Ive only had a bit of a mess with it as i only went and ordered a 1gb compact flash card as thats what my A80 takes, much to my horror this camera uses secure digital, DOH!.

    Mark
     
  17. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    Well, i got it today, not had much chance to play with it, but here's a few spider pics that i managed.

    Still not got to grips with all the features yet, so pictures aren't perfect.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    Wow they look great, looks like its captured all the detail nicely.

    Mark
     
  19. Barbie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,255

    Location: Loughborough Town

    Thanks.

    I'll link these, as they are still original size. Just touched the balance/constrast in PS.

    One
    Two
    Three

    I think i need a tripod though, i'm having to use long exposure times without the flash in macro mode.
     
  20. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    They look smart, i like all the pictures but i like the first spider better it has loverly markings. i think i need a tripod as well. The flash is OK if you put it on f8 and iso50 and increase the shutter speed but the len's seems to block the flash creating darker areas, i don't know if you've noticed this?. So Ive been using 1/8 exposure and under and the slightest movement looses the sharpness. Ive had a look around and tripods seem to be pretty cheap but i suppose theres better quality models, ill have to do some proper research.

    Mark