Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   Questions about cameras (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/photo-month/475-questions-about-cameras.html)

trout lily 01-05-2009 11:30 AM

Questions about cameras
Hi, I'm curious about what digital cameras that others are using. My knowledge is little, but I get such enjoyment from reliving moments outside, that I use my camera a lot. Aim, shoot, download to computer, and edit with Picassa 3 is where I am at. What do (or don't) you like about your camera? What features do you like the best? At what level (and how did you decide that level) did you decide to buy a more complex camera? What software do you use for editing? I have a PC vs. Mac. Does the computer make a difference? Thank you for any ideas or suggestions!

Sage 01-05-2009 05:20 PM

;) You just made "lungwort" too! ;)

I love my Panasonic Lumix FZ18. Taking shots of moving targets, especially those who perch quite a distance away, this camera has a good reach with 18x optical zoom. Without getting into the expense, weight and necessity of multiple lenses, and having something I can have ready-to-shoot, this is the best camera at the moment and the price is alot less than DSLRs. :)



trout lily 01-05-2009 10:49 PM

from 1 lungwort to another
Hey, thanks for noticing. And, lungwort, despite the ugly name, is one of my favorite perennialsI :)'ll check out the camera links. I am having a lot of trouble taking pictures when there is snow. The white with all the shadows it casts makes definition difficult. I'd like to take pictures of animal tracks, but my camera can't focus on details like claws. if I use the flash, then the tracks look like puddles of black. What would you do with your camera in that situation?

Sage 01-06-2009 12:55 AM

It actually has a "Snow" setting! ;)

Dave Stiles 01-06-2009 01:11 AM


Originally Posted by trout lily (Post 3919)
What do (or don't) you like about your camera?

That the lens can be swapped out - not that I ever take off my primary lens which is a Canon 100-400. That's why I kept my older digital rebel body ... I also use a Canon G6 point and shoot, mainly for scenery. For video work I use a Canon XL2 (3 chip broadcast quality) camcorder with an external hard-drive attached instead of using tapes.


What features do you like the best?
Burst shots - 4 per second and the fact I can change the ISO as needed - think of it like having multiple film strips loaded and being able to switch film speed as needed. Also the lenses between the still camera and the XL2 interchange.


At what level (and how did you decide that level) did you decide to buy a more complex camera?
I upgraded bodies when I got deeper into wildlife photography and felt that having more burst capability was necessary. I pays off when wolves and other carnivores are on the hunt...


What software do you use for editing?
Photoshop CS2 and Lightbox. Photoshop for editing and Lightbox for reviewing my shots before editing.


I have a PC vs. Mac. Does the computer make a difference?
Not as much any more - I have a Mac and it allows for multiple programs to run in the background (like video rendering) while I do other stuff like photo editing or on-line posting. The only benefit to a Mac is if a program freezes up, you don't have to restart the computer (think "blue screen of death" with Windows...), with the MAc I just restart the program that is acting up.

Sage 01-06-2009 03:41 PM

My FZ18 has burst mode too and it's invaluable for wildlife photography, especially avian. The FZ18 is not a DSLR though and does not have interchangeable lenses. DSLRs are wonderful, but heavier and more expensive. Those are areas of consideration before buying. Do you want to get into photography in a big way? I'd consider the FZ18 as the step before a DSLR.

Someday, I'd love to have a DSLR, but not til they get lighter as my hand shakes and I can't handle a hand-held heavier camera. My FZ18 had double shake-control which I need. My husband and I have matching FZ18s!

Lumix has a new G1 which is worth checking out. http://www.dpreview.com/previews/PanasonicG1/


Im4dabirds 02-09-2009 09:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I use a Sony A200 dslr and a Fuji S5100 point & shoot. I've had the Fuji for 8 years and love it for quick and easy to carry anywhere. But I love the Sony for its 10 mp allowing me to blow up to pretty much whatever size I want with no loss of clarity, the ability to change lenses, the ISO capabilities, among other things. I do use a monopod or tripod for a lot of the shots with the Sony because it is heavier. But it also has a super steady shot stabilization setting which does work well when you're hand holding it. I usually keep a 70-300mm lens on it and will buy an even better one one of these days, when I save enough pennies. :D
Overall, if I were recommending a camera for someone to carry anywhere though, I'd recommend the Fuji. It's been a great camera, takes great photos even with only 4 mp, and it's old. I'm sure their newer versions are even better. Photos I post here will be a mix and if you didn't know which one I used, you probably couldn't tell the difference most times.

Sage 02-09-2009 11:50 PM

  • Go to Flickr
  • Look around, find the type of pix you'd like to shoot
  • In the lower right, click on the camera pic was taken with
  • Keep looking
  • Decide whether you'd like a simple compact; a bigger point and shoot; or a heavier, more complicated DSLR. Depends on
  • how much photography you want to do
  • how much experience you already have
  • how simple or complicated you want to deal with
  • how big or small you'd like the camera to be - carry it in a bag with accessories or in your pocket
  • your budget
  • check review sites like dpreview
Who knows, maybe you'll switch from gardening to photography! :D

Dave Stiles 02-10-2009 12:14 AM


Originally Posted by Sage (Post 8499)
  • Go to Flickr
  • Look around, find the type of pix you'd like to shoot
  • In the lower right, click on the camera pic was taken with

FYI - Camera info only comes up if you download from the camera, so if you find someone whose images you like, you may need to contact them to ask what camera they use...

I use a Canon 20D, but the info does not show up with my images as I use a card reader to download images instead of plugging the camera into my computer.


suunto 02-10-2009 08:22 AM

I'm still migrating from film to digital, as I am reluctant to abandon 40+ years of accumulated film equipment, including three 35mm Minolta bodies a Mimiya RB67 Pro-S, and a Hasselblad 500C. I keep hoping for a DSLR body that could take my manual focus Minolta/Rokkor lenses, but that is a pipe dream at best...
I also have three point-and-shoot digitals; two Kodaks and a Nikon S50 Coolpix. One of the Kodaks has 12x optical zoom, and the Nikon has excellent macro capability, focusing to 4 cm; I hope to use it for photographing insects. My main difficulty so far is in understanding and using all the onscreen menu guides - sometimes I feel like just going back to film, period!

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