I worked my way up to a little knowledge...


New member
Ok I have posted a few times in this forum and am now looking to bonce ideas off the experts.

My Goal:
I am looking for a new digital camera to take Macro shots. The kind of "what kinda pod is that" close ups. I pretty much will only be using the camera to post picture on the forums and everything gets compress by photobucket anyway.

I read some stuff, posted some stuff, and came up with some guidelines.

The "pro-sumer" models I had looking at various cameras high end P+S models. Since my goal is macro shots I am still un sure these are up to snuff. How good are the high end point and shoots at shooting macros?

I also noticed that some of these cameras you can mount other lens on which I was unawear of until recintily. Could someone explain how well these work and how you know if there compatable or not.

I was looking and a couple cameras but am COMPLETELY open to suggestions. They included:
and off beerguy suggestion "Find a used Canon G5 on eBay"
was impressive as well.

What do these types of cameras have over DSLRs?

That brings me to DSLR. I can afford a new one but really don't need a 12MP camera(compress by photobucket) but they seem to be the best at macro shots. I was thinking and I was wondering if anyone knew a vendor that carried out of date new DSLRs?

I would really only need one that was no more than 5MP so I was think they would be out of date and cheaper. The used thing on e-bay freaks me out as I some how know I get the camera that the sideline photographer got tackled using.

Also if I got a DSLR what lenses and other stuff would I need to get to take macro shots?

I am a little bit better informed but know enough to know I don't what I am doing..

Any help welcome.
I had a Kodak P850 and returned it after it would error out and lock up. I also had the Kodak DX7590 and really liked the camera. I have switched to a Canon Rebel XT and won't look at another non-DLSR. And you don't need a specific macro lens to take macro's, it just makes it easier. I took these with the kit (18-55mm) lens with a $30 close-up kit. That being said, I still purchased the 100mm F/2.8 lens and really like it, but the lens was like $500 alone.



Very nice. I guess I will throw this out too it looks as though the Nikon D50 comes in close to my price range. Could spend $500 if I really thought I would be getting something good but wanted it more in the $300-$400 range.
I would personally hold out and try to find a used DSLR rather than a high-zoom P&S. I think you will be much more happy in the long run and the flexibility that it will give you.
Like Blazer said- holding out for a dslr makes the most sense in the long run but only if you want to get more advanced in your photography. If you just want the benefits of a point and shoot (small size, small price etc) you can still get one that will take great macros- really great macros, but you won't get the flexibility, speed and image quality that an slr would allow you.
Some [most] point and shoots have threads on the end of the lenses- or you can adapters with a threaded end. Those threads allow you to attach filters onto the built-in lens. You'll hear people say you can add a lens to the camera but really you are just using filters or wide angle/telephoto adapters. How well do they work? Fairly well since the filters/adapters are not that expensive. Some are more powerful (yield more magnification) than others. To be compatible all they [the filters] need is to be of the same diameter [filter size] as the threaded end of the built-in lens or adapter. Take a look at this page- they sell adapters for a lot of cameras- you can get an idea of how the adapter works and what kind of boost you can expect from the different close-up filters they sell.
What do these types of cameras have over DSLRs?
Cost and size for starters. In some ways they are easier to use but slr's are not that hard to use- you just need to learn the basics. The G5 has a tilt/swivel lcd which is awesomely useful. Another benefit, depending on how you look at it, is the small sensor size of the point and shoots. The small sensor means much greater depth of field, which ultimately means better close-ups because the closer you get to the subject the lesser the depth of field will be. With slr's, when you get super close to the subject you have to use tiny apertures to get decent depth of field and that generally means very long shutter speeds. Point and shoots get more depth of field at larger apertures allowing the use of faster shutter speeds.
If you get a dslr you'll need a macro lens for the super close close-ups you're talking about. The 105mm macro lens from Nikon is a great choice at $660. They also have the same lens with vibration reduction for $830. Their 60mm macro lens is a good too and costs $395. Canon's 100mm macro is $470.
You're going to need a decent tripod as well as a flash. You might want an off-shoe chord so you can hold the flash off to the side, or get a bracket that holds the flash off the side. Or you can get a twin macro flash set-up-- both manufacturers make excellent macro flash units (around $700). To go beyond true macro (1:1, or "lifesize") you can get close-up filters like the ones you use on a point and shoot, and or extension tubes and teleconverters. Or you can get a little adapter that allows you to attach two lenses together- the first one attaches to the camera normally and the second one screws onto the first lens backwards. With that combo you can get massive magnification. Canon also makes a 65mm macro lens that will get you 5x mag.
Lots of options with the slr system, plus some other benefits. Because the sensors are bigger the image quality is going to be better overall. Start-up times and image processing is faster and the biggie- shutter lag- is much reduced with slr's. Shutter lag on some point and shoots can really be a drag. The glaring downside of the slr system is the cost- as you can see from some of the prices I mentioned...
Hope this helps,
If you can afford it the D80 will be more camera for the $. It has a lot more growth potential. It's a lifetime investment, especially if you're willing to invest your time in learning the basics, the rewards are incredible. I'm an old film shooter, but in 3 years I've shot over 12,000 images on my D70, that's about $0.09 per image, that beats the cost of film alone.
Covey - I did recommend a G5 or G6 but you have to look at the context that I did it in. They poster was looking for a good camera for cheap. I like those because they produce good images, give you pretty much full control over exposure and are available for cheap.

I use a DSLR and love it. The part to consider is your long term investment. I was very unhappy with the lens that comes stock with the Rebel XT. If you want flexibility and good macro capability you're going to need to spend some $$ on glass (photographer talk for crack cocaine). I'm pretty happy with my setup now but to get there I've spent nearly 5 times what the camera body costs in lenses. Add the photo backpack, software, tripods, ballhead, monopod, filters and batteries and it's closer to 6 or 7 times.

Granted you don't have to spend that but considering you already have a SW aquarium addiction you're likely to have the same personality flaw that most of us have: hobbyicus snowballicus I started out with a P&S so I could take better tank pictures....

The DSLR is a slippery slope. :D
Same here. Started with a Nikon Coolpix 5700 and now have a 30D+several mortgage payments worth of lenses and accessories. :)
Like to ride mountain bikes ended up racing them $1600 bike for that. Let see started paintballing, with a $200 equipment cap that all my friends agreed to, 2 summers later I had a $1200 paint ball set up. I started reefkeeping two years ago this month with 29G softie tank. Two years later I have a 150G full blown SPS reef.

hobbyicus snowballicus

I think my picture is in the medical journal for that. What was that some one one posted about 25MP camera....

Anyway back to reality. Thought I wanted a DSLR I think you guys talked me into it.

Something like this for the camera.

When ordering a DSLR body only what would be a decent affordable lens to start with?
Take a look at this page for a side by side comparison of specs. Then click on the D50's in depth review and you'll see that the D-50 is better than the competition in a lot of important categories (except image quality- the Rebel will produce images with more detail and less noise- smoother overall).
The thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go with an slr you're buying into a 'system'. So try to go to a camera store and play with each body (try out the Pentax *ist too while you're at it) and see which one you like the feel of the most, and which one has the menu system you're most comfortable with. Also take a look at the lenses you think you might get down the road. You can compare the price and quality of the lenses too; www.photodo.com is a good site for lens test scores.
I well took gregr's advice and when thr the local camera store to play with the camera first hand.
Seem to be a decent store. I did know we had one local and the prices where pretty in line with mailorder.

After a whole lot of reading on dpreview.com I came up with my revised short list for camera I wanted to check out.

1) Canon PowerShot S3
Like what I saw on DPreview. If I go P&S this will probably be it.

2) PENTAX *ist DL
Cheapest decent DSLR I could find new and the pics on dp looked good.

3) Nikon D50
The first dslr I liked. I been doing the "what camera, what lense" question to a few people here on RC and I always like the results from the nikon crowd. This is my high end pick.
The problem is the Camera Corner only carried the PowerShot of the cameras I had picked. Again I liked the PowerShot. The point and shot still does still have some apeal to me being a novice. The camera store guy didn't think highly of it Macro ability but it was also the cheapiest camera I was looking at( not that much of a rube;) ). I didn't like the that that it didn't come with a rechargable battery for the money but at this point I am a pretty big fan.

I brought up the Pentax *ist and he said he had them but sold out of them rather quickly. He started in on the something about the gobal economy and said the Pentax made these for Samsung.
And that this was the same camera with a different name. It looks and reads the same on paper but can anyone comfirm this?

That begin said this is the first DSLR I got to play with. First off my god theses things are huge! I can get over it and my hand are huge as is. Anyway getting to play with the gx/ *ist it came off as kinda of cheaply built. The camera store guy said the kit lense was better rated than most of other kit lense on the budget DSLR. He also said he would cut me a deal if I got the body only and got a larger Promaster lense that they had a group buy on. He said he only had 2 left. I mail order most of my stuff so it would be no really loss to me.

He didn't carry the D50 and the lowest price Nikon DSLR was like the D80 or something anyway $999 body only. So that all the farther that went. See the Samsung/Pentax first hand the D50 is still my top pic but it would be nice to see it first hand.

He also pointed out I could get a macro filter for my kit lense alot cheaper than a whole new lense.

Any insight is welcome.

Again more info and again more questions....
Two weeks till D-day.
The Pentax is a decent camera. The only thing that you should keep in mind is that Canon and Nikon own about 90% of the DSLR market. Since you're buying a system (with a DSLR) not just a camera you need to think about options down the road. Those two brands will give you greater flexibility as you expand your system.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8082793#post8082793 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Covey

He also pointed out I could get a macro filter for my kit lense alot cheaper than a whole new lense.

The pictures I posted above were with my Canon kit lens on my Rebel XT. While the results with my 100mm F/2.8 macro are much better, using a close-up kit would suffice for most people. I was sitting on a fence between DSLR or a high-zoom P&S, I tried both and am much happier with the results with the DSLR. I was only considering Canon or Nikon because of the availability of lenses/accessories. And the Rebel XT is rather small when comared to the D50 or D70, which is why I purchased that over Nikon. Here are a few shots from my 100mm macro lens...a close-up lens on the kit lens wouldn't be able to come close to these.


Not that I see any but I am pretty sure I could pick out a red bug with that lens.:D

So I was checking out this thread:

The "Camera -> Lens Adapter -> Add on Lens"
idea seem to be a way a I could sew this all up for around $400. The macro he posted in that thread are quite sharp as well and he go to them cheaper than what I am coming up with.

It's basically the D50 or the PowerShot at this point.
Red bugs? Below is a macro from another piece of SPS that I have. And one thing I noticed about non-DSLR cameras is they can take great macro's, but you have to be like less than a few inches away. This pic was taken from 18" away. Nothing is going to beat the versatility of a DSLR and good macro lens.

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