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Thread: Searching for camera for macro photography

  1. #1

    Searching for camera for macro photography


    What an incredible forum! I have been browsing and never knew there was so much to know about cameras.

    A bit overwhelming really.

    I am an herbalist and I take a lot of photos of plants - mostly macro.

    I am searching for a digital camera that is an upgrade from my point and shoot.

    I know I want

    • manual focus abilities - auto focus is a real drag when trying to get tiny plants
    • a free angle LCD - so I don't have to be a contortionist when taking photos close to the ground
    • as small and light as possible - I'll be hiking long distances with this camera and I take photos constantly
    • a strong battery - I easily take 500 photos in one day, I can always buy two batteries though

    My ideal price is around $500.

    Anyone out there have some suggestions?

    I've been looking at Panasonic 16 MP Digital SLR - and I am really open to any suggestions that you all have.

    I take A LOT of photos, but I am not technically knowledgable about cameras or photography, so this camera will need to be user friendly as well.

    Movie ability is a plus. I also do a lot of multi-media presentations and I currently use a Panasonic HDC-TM700 for movies (and for a lot of my photos actually). If I know that I am mainly taking photos that day and perhaps some chance videos it's nice to not have to carry around two cameras.

  2. #2
    DanK's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    New England
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    Re: Searching for camera for macro photography

    A number of top macro photographers use Canon Rebels. They are small, light, and cheap, and they some have the same sensors as more expensive models. the controls are slower to use than more expensive models, but that does not much matter with macro. In my view, the crop sensor is advantageous for macro compared to the more expensive "full frame" cameras. I don't know which ones have tilt screens or do video.

    However, if you are serious about macro, you are going to end up wanting a macro lens, and there is no way (except perhaps used) that you can get a body and a macro lens for $500. A wonderful lens for plant macros using a Canon Rebel is the Canon EF-S 60mm macro, but there are other good alternatives.

  3. #3
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Paul Melkus

    Re: Searching for camera for macro photography

    Canon EF-S 60mm FtW! Very good lens to start with and won't break the bank, pick up a Canon Rebel ( I use the T3) and you be set to go.

  4. #4
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    S, B'ham UK
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    Re: Searching for camera for macro photography

    I suspect you mean the mirror less panasonic camera. They are not dslr's. They have an electronic view and that causes manual focusing problems - as can focusing using the screen on compacts. I have been trying to use an olympus pen for macro and it doesn't work out well. The problem relates to the number of pixels in the electronic view to those on the sensor. Basically without also having a magnified view it isn't possible to ensure that the camera is focused correctly. That's why these cameras have one. The olympus ones have the additional problem that the image stabilisation doesn't function when manually focusing or even when the magnified view is just used to check the focus. Panasonic have that built into the lens so it will function. But more problems. If the subject you are photographing fills the frame of the camera not all of it can be seen when the magnified view is used so it's still hard to ensure that all of the subject is in focus. That can be rather important when taking macro shots.

    I think to make any sort of suggestions people would need to know the physical size of the subjects you want to photograph I do know exactly what you mean about auto focus. It often ignores the subject and mainly focuses on the background. The answer is to focus on something that it will focus on, lock the focus and then move the camera around to find and focus the subject.. It's not easy. Often macro on a lens just means has a shorter than normal focusing distance and little else. The distance needs relating to the magnification it gives on the sensor which may be greater or less than one. This is why it's important to consider the size of the subjects/ size of the view you want to photograph.


  5. #5

    Re: Searching for camera for macro photography

    Thanks for the input everyone! It does look like the Rebel is the way to go. What I am realizing is that the issues I think I want corrected in my point and shoot don't really apply to a DSLR - since they are two completely different systems.

    Thanks for your wisdom as well John - the size of the flowers really varies from teeny tiny to quite large. I guess I need something more all purpose.

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