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dan
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Suggestions for Camera
Feb 19th, 2011 at 8:34pm
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I am totally new to photographing specimens.  Up until now I have just collected and admired those that I have in my cabinet. I also want to learn how to photograph fluorescent specimens.  How do you furnish enough light to have an image?

Do you folks have a camera that you would suggest?  What $$ are we talking?  Thanks for any info.  Dan
  
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Dennis
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #1 - Feb 20th, 2011 at 8:46am
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Hi Dan,

I have been using my wife's Canon PowerShot SX130 IS (12.1 megapixels; 12X Zoom; Image Stabilization) for a few months now.  We bought it last September for around $250, but it has come down in price, because cameras, like computers, are always out of style in a year.  If I had the $$ I would buy a camera like Scott's.  But, for the price, the one I am using does pretty well for macro shots.

Here are some photos I took last week of a Fluorapatite specimen from the Foote Mine in Kings Mountain.  The specimen is 2.0" (51.0 mm) long and the largest crystal is 0.23" (5.8 mm).  I did not use a tripod, so the closeups would have been sharper if I had.












I used the same camera to photograph some of my fluorescent specimens just to see what results I could get.  The pics came out better than I thought. I hand held the camera (one hand) while holding the portable UV lamp with the other, and a dim light source near the table so the camera would focus on the specimen.  It was a juggling act to say the least.  You can view some of those photos in the Glowhounds forum on Dirty Rockhounds.  I posted photos of NC and other areas specimens.

My recommendations (which I am planning to do) are to build a mount for the UV lamp so it is hanging over the specimen, use a tripod, use a small flashlight to shine on the specimens until the camera is focused, then move it away, and snap the picture.  At least I will try this before I attempt to do more UV photos.

Good luck with your photographic endeavors.

Dennis
  
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dan
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #2 - Feb 20th, 2011 at 12:13pm
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Dennis,
Thanks, I have looked at your pics on dirtyrockhounds.  Look good to me! I was the dan that asked where all the glowhounds had gone to.  Bammer came back with a very good response-where are your pics?   He meant mine of course.  Take it easy, Dan
  
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dirtslanger
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #3 - Sep 20th, 2015 at 12:19am
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Well the wifey wants to get me a new camera for my birthday and I ended up choosing the Olympus Tough TG-4.  It seems to be a good choice for focus stacking specimens extreme closeups and outdoor use and abuse which are what I am mainly interested in.  Does anyone have any better suggestions that are right at 300 bucks?
  

Hi my name is John and I'm a rockoholic..
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dirtslanger
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #4 - Oct 5th, 2015 at 11:04pm
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OK what camera do you all recommend as best for both rugged outdoor and staged interior macrophotography?  Do you think the TG 4 is a solid choice?
  

Hi my name is John and I'm a rockoholic..
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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #5 - Oct 6th, 2015 at 10:41am
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dirtslanger wrote on Oct 5th, 2015 at 11:04pm:
OK what camera do you all recommend as best for both rugged outdoor and staged interior macrophotography?  Do you think the TG 4 is a solid choice?


As the cliche goes, "it's the operator not the tool".  This phrase works up to a point.  You'll be able to take excellent photos with your TG 4, and possibly many as good or better than my best.  Lighting, and setup are almost everything. You'll only find your limitations with that camera if or when you decide to really get serious into photography. Whether it be macro quality, or sensor color rendering, or how much noise in the ISO settings, etc., etc.  I have no experience or knowledge of the TG 4 so I can't speak for the camera itself. I can confidently say you'll be able to take stunning photographs and that whatever limitations there may be are pretty much insignificant for you right now.  Unless you want to completely take it to the next level, this camera will be perfect for honing your abilities, teaching you a lot about photography, and allow you to decide if you want to invest in more professional equipment later on.  It can be a very rewarding hobby, but it's not cheap.
  

Scott LaBorde
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dirtslanger
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #6 - Oct 13th, 2015 at 1:27pm
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Thanks Scott!
Any recommendations for alternatives that are a little closer to professional.  I am willing to buy an older used camera?
  

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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Suggestions for Camera
Reply #7 - Nov 6th, 2015 at 12:30pm
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I started with a cannon rebel -- pretty much the lowest end of the cannon DSLR's.  I took fantastic pictures with it, and still own it.  So I would suggest that one, but I don't know what your budget is.
  

Scott LaBorde
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