You don't need a better camera!

Discuss cameras, settings, composition, or anything related to photography - cactus or other subjects.
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by jerrytheplater »

bartab wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:35 am I think I would have gone with silver fever. But I really just wanted to say the Rebutia is beautiful.
I saw Silver Fever first too.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by jerrytheplater »

So, I am looking at purchasing a new camera. I started with a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic 35mm film camera in 1970, which I still have, but have not used since at least 1995. Never got into digital cameras except for point and shoot. I just removed the battery from my Spotmatic yesterday after I dug the camera out of storage. No leakage. I'm going to sell it all and apply the little I'll get towards a mirrorless camera. I'm just going to keep my filters.

What do I use the point and shoot for? Taking videos of plants, fish, hikes, cooking. I've been taking a lot of Macro photos of plants for years. Sometimes I want to take a photo of a scene. This is what I told the salesman at the store I went to.

He showed me a Canon M50 Mark II body https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/cata ... rk-ii-body

with a EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens. https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/cata ... macro-Lens

Any comments?
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Hi Jerry

These days many seem to be just shooting on smartphones which have virtually killed off the compact digital camera market. Really the first smartphones were rather like early zoom lenses which were nowhere as good as a fixed focus lens and early smartphones were not as good the larger sensored digital cameras.

However they gradually improved so people could no longer see the difference with say pictures on the web, even though you could still show a fixed lens or larger sensored camera was better in laboratory tests and on very large prints. It then becomes a case of if you can't see the difference with the human eye and how you want to show the image don't bother about one theoretically being better than the other, it's results that count.

Often Post Processing with digital can make more difference than a higher megapixel camera for the web. I am still using a 10 megapixel camera for web use and as a computer screen has only the resolution of around a 5 megapixel camera, 5 megapixel resolution is all you will get on screen, even if you use the highest megapixel pro camera available.

The old saying "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link applies" and at the moment that is your Computer Screen. That is not to say a higher megapixel camera will allow you to crop more drastically yet still retain enough megapixels for a good image. However framing the picture properly when you take it is always preferable to drastic cropping.

The change from film to digital?, I would never want to go back to film. I used to pay around £8 for a 36 exposure roll of Kodachrome including processing in the UK. I never liked processing my own films in the darkroom and of course with colour film, unlike monochrome, you can't even use a safelight much of the time.

When I went to Chile one memory card in my camera contained I think it was 1,020 images shooting RAW and after transferring those images to the computer the card could be used again and again. Think of how many rolls of £8 Kodachrome that replaced, no wonder digital nearly bankrupted Kodak. Now A 16GB memory card can hold approximately 4,400 photos. Also instead of waiting until you get home and get them processed "to see if the y have come out" you can check instantly on the camera or smartphone screen and take another if not.

How much more civilised these days processing your digital images on your computer screen in the light than the old darkroom work was, and you can usually do them yourself rather than have to send them away.

Canon make great cameras as now do some of the upstart electronics firms that got into photography like Sony, however I believe they did buy Minolta for the lenses? Many of the old camera firms of the film days either had to combine with or use electronics firms to produce their sensors anyway. Nikon used Sony to produce theirs.

Apart from extreme closeups if you have a smartphone these days it may do all you need, plus be less bulky to carry. If you want to get really close though, a camera that takes a dedicated macro lens may be best.

My old Nikon D200, 10 megapixel camera using Photoshop Elements to adjust and sharpen. Most amateurs don't need Photoshop and that has now gone on the Cloud anyway as a subscription service.

Gumnocalycium  stellatum.jpg
Gumnocalycium stellatum.jpg (81.61 KiB) Viewed 1624 times

The biggest destroyer of sharpness is hand holding at lower speeds, which are often needed to stop down for depth of field in closeups. The camera on a tripod makes a big difference to shaky human hands.
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by jerrytheplater »

Thanks Dave. I am such a dinosaur. We still don't have smartphones. But we are about to make the jump. One thing I noticed today again: people with smartphones with tons of photos have to scroll and scroll until they find what they want to show you. That for me is a huge deal breaker. I hate to be so disorganized.

I know the camera I'm looking at is 24 mega pixel and that it is overkill, but I really want the Macro feature. I love closeups and using microscopes.

I will have to learn about photo editing. Right now I only crop to make my pictures bigger. I just use whatever is free and do remember having that Elements at one time. Is it still available? This Euphorbia ambovombensis was taken with the point and shoot on a tripod and cropped drastically. I was probably about 4 feet away from the plant in order to get the camera to focus.
rsz 2021-7-7 E. ambovombensis 2.jpg
rsz 2021-7-7 E. ambovombensis 2.jpg (67.6 KiB) Viewed 1606 times
I have been using my tripod with the Panasonic Lumix point and shoot I've been using for the past few years. Some of the photos end up being taken at 1/6 second or so. But, there is a "hair" that has fallen across the sensor internally and it shows up in videos and photos. Time to replace it. I may try fixing it myself after I replace it. I won't have anything to lose then.

Here's a video with the hair: https://youtu.be/8KNhdlKb5Zs
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Yes Elements is still available and I think the last version of Photoshop is, but all upgrades to Photoshop will be on the Cloud in future as a pay for licenced service. Personally I like all my pictures stored on my computer since if you don't keep up the annual licence payments you cannot get at them on the Cloud.

Adobe has a few questionable marketing tactics. If you want its latest RAW converter for new cameras the update will only work with the latest version of their Elements or Photoshop as I understand it? I gather they code it so only the new versions will recognise it even though the new RAW Converter contains all the previous cameras. Otherwise for what we need virtually all the older versions of Elements will do.

Of course if you shoot in camera JPEG's instead of RAW Adobe's RAW Converter will not matter as all versions will process JPEG's. Also you can always use a free online RAW Converter then just transfer the image to Elements/Photoshop.

I use very simple sharpening and don't use layers. However to retain my original image I transfer the finished sharpened image to a new file and then when Elements asks "save image" on closing I click "no" and my original image remains unaltered, but the sharpened and worked on one is there in another file, usually Documents with me.

Unsharp mask sounds peculiar, but it is simply a hangover from film days when two masks were made, one shar and one unsharp and then printed together to sharpen edges. Now "Unsharp Mask" with digital produces a similar effect electronically therefore illogically unsharp = sharpen. The settings I used for my pictures as a starting point were:-

Unsharp Mask

Amount 80%
Radius 2
Threshold 5

Sometimes Adjust Sharpness produces a better result so I used these as starting points

Amount 100%
Radius 1.0

Others have more complicated sharpening regimes and use different settings. Its what suits you, but I like to keep things simple and so don't use layers but make sure I move the modified image to a new file then don't save the altered one so my original is also retained. Maybe some have better methods?

https://www.digitalphotographyformoms.c ... high-pass/

https://www.essential-photoshop-element ... -mask.html
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by 7george »

jerrytheplater wrote: Wed Aug 11, 2021 3:00 am ===
What do I use the point and shoot for? Taking videos of plants, fish, hikes, cooking. I've been taking a lot of Macro photos of plants for years. Sometimes I want to take a photo of a scene. This is what I told the salesman at the store I went to.

He showed me a Canon M50 Mark II body https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/cata ... rk-ii-body

with a EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens. https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/cata ... macro-Lens

Any comments?
Well, Canon cameras are #1, that one is a good point to start maybe. Changing lenses possibility is also positive and usable thing because one set of those never works for all situations you will need at home, field, macro, etc. So if you can afford that one, go ahead.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

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I ended up buying the M 50 Canon with the 28 mm f/3.5 Macro, 15-45 mm f/3.5-6.3, and 55-200 mm f/4.5-6.3. Waiting for shipping. All equipment is refurbished. I may need to buy lens caps and filter adapters. I have a good collection of 49 mm filters I want to use. My sister gave me some cash for helping her out and I spent a portion on a new to me camera.

I have not read your links yet Dave, but fully intend to as I really do want to understand more.

Question of a Novice: Why do digital photos need to be sharpened? Do you have a before and after shot? If its already posted in this thread, or elsewhere, please forgive my lack to research to find it.

Another question: I was reading something about old school (as in film days) polarizing filters for auto focus cameras interfering with focusing such that you need "circular polarization" filters for the multiple hundreds of dollars. Correct? If so, why?
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Digital photos needed sharpening in the past due to the way the sensors worked. They were either sharpened automatically in camera if you used in camera JPEG's, or you sharpened them yourself in post processing if shooting RAW. However either can be further sharpened in post processing if required, but don't overdo it or you get what is called sharpening halo's with visible lines around the image

Up until recently the sensors on digital cameras had an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor which softened the image to prevent moiré patterning, as seen in some shots you used to get on some TV pictures when say somebody wore a striped tie and the pattern strobed.

https://flickr.com/photos/david_fl/14998325

https://photographylife.com/what-is-moire

Now some of the newer cameras are leaving off the anti-aliasing filter, therefore in theory moiré patens are more likely. However I believe they can now correct them in post processing instead?

Unlike film cameras, where you got what the film saw on the negative or slide, most digital cameras softened the image to stop these moiré patterns. They then have to be sharpened again, either automatically in camera, or in post processing to bring back the appearance of sharpness. I say appearance of sharpness since nothing can actually replace the detail lost in softening the image, you can only fool the human eye into thinking it is sharp again. Therefore they use the equivalent of the old film photography trick of acutance developers. As I understand it where there was a transition between light and darker areas these slightly darkened the junction of the two tones (a pixel or so each side in digital) on the darker side and lightened it on the lighter side and this to our human eyes appears a sharper division between the two tomes, therefore the picture looks sharper.

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutor ... correction.

Is that faking an image? Well all photographic images have been faked ever since the start of photography because no film or sensor sees things exactually as the human eye does. Therefore they were either manipulated in the chemistry of the film in the past, or in its processing to try and produce something similar to what we actually see.

Re polarising filters. As I recall when autofocus was introduced the light was diverted by a semi silvered mirror between the film and the sensor. Unfortunately that can also polarise light so either the camera film/sensor or the autofocus/metering sensor receives proportionately more or less light than normal so upsets it. As said it can also upset the metering and you may get over or under exposed pictures.

Therefore for all autofocus and internal metered cameras (film or digital) a circular polariser is needed. However if you have a linear polariser and use manual focus and a separate hand held meter you could use a linear polariser on a digital camera. Basically a linear polariser just upsets the autofocus and metering sensors.

Anyway for a better explanation than mine see:-

https://photo.stackexchange.com/questio ... -ps-camera

As you are no doubt aware Jerry "circular polariser" means the way it affects light and not its shape. Some novices in the past mistakenly thought it meant a polariser in a normal type circular screw in lens type mount. You can get both linear and circular polarisers in circular mounts or as square filters to use in some of those filter systems. Actually a circular polariser is simply a linear polariser with a quarter wave plate bound behind it to after the light again after polariser has done its job in removing glare and convert the image back to normal randomly polarised light the cameras automation and light meter can use.

I would not think that these days Jerry a circular polariser would be much more expensive than a linear one if you shop around on the Web. The old dealers trick used to be to sell the camera cheap and then bump it up on the lenses and accessories. Remember with all detachable lens cameras you can buy the body only at the best price from one dealer and the lens you want from another, or even each lens from a different dealer ,plus all the other accessories if you shop around.
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

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Polarizers: I guess I will have to experiment to see if my camera will be affected by them. Or ask Canon. Thanks Dave. The link was helpful. And I was not so sure what a circular polarizer was, but didn't think it hinged on its physical shape! I was thinking it was some sort of Fresnel lens.

I once used two polarizers to see the stress patterns on plastic. I used my slide projector to illuminate the plastic with the polarizer in its beam. The other was on my camera. I forget how I did it, but was able to see rainbow colors in stressed areas. It was pretty neat. Still have them.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
DaveW
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

Your camera, or any modern cameras film or digital, that have inbuilt light meters or autofocussing will not be upset by circular polarisers Jerry, only simple linear ones, probably the ones you used for stressed patterns were linear ones?

Yes we also used crossed polarisers for stressed plastic pictures in night school photography. As I remember it is one on the light source and one on the camera. I think it still works with a linear on the light source and a circular polariser on the camera? In fact they can be used in industry for detecting where most stress is. For instance if a miniature plastic replica of a crane hook is put under load under polarised light it can show the point of maximum stress where it may break and so the metal can be thickened or strengthened up in the real hook.

https://www.alamy.com/science-physics-s ... 13464.html

A Fresnal lens is often called "a collapsed lens" since it is rather like a normal lens cut in slices and compressed or "concertinaed" so it does not take up as much thickness. Problem is you can often see the rings in the picture therefore they are seldom used for imaging purposes. They were sometimes used in camera viewfinders as a magnifier I think. The best known use is in lighthouses as magnifiers for the light beam. Fresnel was a French chap so I believe it is correctly pronounced as "Frenel" without pronouncing the "S".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresnel_lens
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jerrytheplater
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by jerrytheplater »

Yes my polarizers are linear. Never heard of circular polarizers until I was looking for filter adapters/ step up rings for my camera. The Fresnel lens was what came to mind because of the concentric rings on it. I didn't Google it. There's my problem. Or should I say, I didn't Dave it! Ha Ha.
Jerry Smith
Bloomingdale, NJ
45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by DaveW »

I doubt there are any modern cameras now that don't need circular polarisers due to autofocus and built in through the lens metering. Simplistically its just the quarter wave plate behind the polariser converting the light back to normal so as not upset the autofocus and metering after the polariser has done its job of removing glare from the subject.

https://www.shutterbug.com/content/what ... hotography
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by leland »

During this year's trip to the US I picked up one new lens , a 28mm 2.8 IS for indoor and video. I have 2 camera bodies that are adequate (18 mb and digic 5 censor) so I am holding off on a new body till the prices go down-- gotta keep your GAS in line! My hit list include the M50, SL2 or SL3 ,or the 80d or 77d for a bigger camera for when I use bigger lenses. On the used market now in the US these represent the most new technology now for the least money. However, for anyone looking for new bodies, most of the new bodies are upgraded for video and convenience, such as wifi connections. If you are a still photographer many old cameras work just fine. Incredible deals on "old" full frame cameras that people are phasing out for mirrorless.

The kit you bought should be all things for all occasions, especially travel and casual use. Get some tutorials on You Tube and you should be all set. It is amazing how much info is available now. Just type in "circular polarizer" or "M50 tutorial" and you will get incredible info.
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by jerrytheplater »

Thanks Leland. I still haven't charged the battery!! Life is busy. But I really need to get to it. I have a bloom on a carnivorous bladderwort that will be opening soon and I want to try out my Macro lens.
Jerry Smith
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45 inches (114 cm) rain equivalent per year, approx. evenly spread per month
2012 USDA Hardiness Zone 6b: -5F to OF (-20C to -18C) min.
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Re: You don't need a better camera!

Post by SnowFella »

Circular vs Linear mostly mattered with the DSLR focusing system as far as I know. Phase detect systems as was (and still is) used in DSLR's couldn't handle the old linear filters hence the circular filters, most mirrorless cameras can focus with either mounted.
Mind you though, age old linear polarizers are unlikely to be as good as a modern circular filter.
And there's only really 2 types of filters needed anymore for things that can't be replicated in post, polarizers and ND filters (though you can replicate the effect of an ND filter in post by combining a set of shots).

As for camera's, 99% of current camera's can and will take better photos than we ever need for web use and not much can beat a smartphone for casual video work.
That does come from a nutter who's upgraded cameras twice in the last 2 years, first from a 24Mp APS-C camera to 43Mp full frame camera and the latest a system swap to mirrorless with a 61Mp Sony A7R4.
Mind you I tend to hunt little darn fast things with feathers so to me Mp isn't all that important...it all comes down to how fast and reliable the AF system is.
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