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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Post

    I know this has been around, even recently, but can't nail it searching. Looking for a digi-camera for snapshots that'll also allow decent (not professional) close-ups of bees and flowers. I'm thinking under $300, would definitely consider used reconditioned, and I'm not into the megapixel arms race. This isn't to show off to the Joneses, it's for sharing snapshots, playing in the yard with the pretty little bees, and for playing around in general but we do take a good few photos and enjoy poring over them. Not likely to print many, and rarely over 4X6 at that.

    Any makes/modes/resources for researching that folks would share?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    How are you going to share your pics?? Internet?? Large files are slow to send to those not blessed with DSL.

    To me the most important factor is how the pics are stored. I love the flash card sytems. The reader by SanDisk is cheap and easily downloads to PC's via USB.

    If you have a friend with a Consumer Reports "Big Book" that will help getting one with reliability.

    I have Panasonic's and although they are dated I can't think of a reason to get rid of them.

    Factory Refurb's tend to make me think the initial product was not a good one if there are tons of refurbs available for a specific model.

    You can get one heck of a camera for $100 to $200.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Big Grin

    Personally, I’m using a Canon Power Shot A-95 it is a 5 mega pixel (more than I could ever need, and I'm a tech freak) and could not be happier. I originally bought it to take pictures under water while SCUBA diving and have been using it since. This is the third digital camera I have owned, and easily the best one yet. It seems to take great pictures and even has a special macro function for taking pictures of things close up. I’m by no means a photography expert, but it seems to have more functions than I will ever use.

    Here are a couple of examples of close up pictures I was able to take with the camera
    Feral Bee on a Peach Blossom and Orchid Mason Bee. Note that these pictures had to be severely cropped, but it gives a good idea of what can be done. Also I had to use a rater steady hand to keep the buggers in focus, though I’m sure it would help if I played with my F-Stop or whatever it is to keep things in focus.

    The camera also allows you to select multiple resolutions, create short videos, record audio and has a bunch or pre-defined scene selection methods

    I think I got mine for around $300 something new, but if you look around (like by using a price search engine like pricegrabber) you can get one for about $250, spend the extra $50 on a nice sized flash memory card)

    btw you can get nearly the same features from the power shot a-75 through a-95, minus a few here and there and loss of a mega-pixel or two.

    *I am in no way affiliated with cannon or price grabber, or even yahoo photos for that matter.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    I bought a Canon A-40 Powershot several years ago and have been quite happy with it. I think the A-70s are the latest version. They are larger than the recent batch of digital cameras. But they use conventional sized batteries and standard memory and appear more rugged than most digital cameras.

    All settings are ajustable and Canon has just about perfected the automatic modes.It's alot of camera for the money.

    I think the new A70's are selling right at $200. And used A40s should sell for about half that.

    Regards
    Dennis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I've got an old RD-175 Minolta and love the thing. A friend gave it to me. I can swap lenses and do macro shots which are sweet for bees. Only issue is the lack of a display on the camera but for free I'm not saying anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    Actually as far as the cannon power shot models are going the Powershot A-520 seems to be the latest model

    As for the Canon Power shot models of cameras the cheapest prices (ala Price Grabber) per each at the moment are:
    A10 $399
    A20 $429
    A40 $133
    A60 $149
    A70 $229
    A75 $159
    A80 $195
    A85 $207
    A95 $250
    A510 $162
    A520 $220

    You can go to the Canon website and use their little comparison utility to compare and contrast the models that they sell. Though keep in mind that model number does not really mean anything, nor does release time for each individual camera. For example the A510 came out after the A95, but the A95 is clearly better feature wise, likewise the A70 model of camera has features its older brother the A75 does not have. My advise research, research, research. As I’ve said earlier I’m real happy with my A95, but there are so many cameras on the market don’t go my advise alone.

    Also as an added benefit, most of the Powershot models have an optional water tight case that would allow you to take under water or poor weather photographs.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
    Posts
    159

    Post

    i have a optio 3 mega pixel camera which is great and very small. i protect the camera by carrying it around in a "tin" altoids can. i really like it becasue i always have it and the SD card pops out easily for transfers to my pc. you can pick up the new 5 mega pixel version from walmart.com for $270 http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3342542
    NH Beekeeper

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    I bought a Sony Mavica FD-85 back when they were "new"(read expensive). The main reason I bought the Mavica was that it used a standard 3.5" floppy to record the pictures and that made it very easy to download pictures to the computer. It also does an email-format picture for small file size sending. Problem is that it is large and slow and doesn't have good close-up capabilities without an add-on macro lens. Another problem is that it has no provision for cabling to a PCI bus or printer. When I buy another digital camera, it will have a higher megapixel rating, be pocket-sized and have a way to load into a computer or printer via cable or smartcard. My laptop has no 3.5 floppy, so I can't load anything from my camera into it without loading it into my desktop and then onto a thumbdrive or other PCI device.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    Overlooked in this discussion, for the most part, is the lens part of the equation. Good glass is important.

    A 2 MP camera with good glass will outperform a 4 MP camera with a poor quality lens.

    BubbaBob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    waco, tx
    Posts
    528

    Post

    I have a "couple of years old" Canon A200 that has been VERY satisfactory. 2.1 megapixel, focuses to 4"; fits in a shirt pocket. Bought it new for about $200 & feel you'd bee well pleased with "today's equivalent" camera.

    Lew

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,470

    Post

    I have a Canon Power Shot S330 Digital Elph. It's the only hight quality digital I've had, so I don't have any frame of reference for what would be better. It's only 2 megpixels but then I bought it to post pictures of my horses on the web and that's plenty high enough for me. It has a mode that takes a lot of pictures very quickly so I can try to catch them in motion and it has a closeup setting which I use for the bees. All the pictures on my web site were taken with it. I don't know if it's even available anymore.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Post

    Great info folks! Thanks for helping out. Looking to make the investment soon; SWMBO, earlier grumpy about the modest investment for beekeeping doodads, had an "assisted" epiphany vis-a-vis her expenditures for ski passes, bindings, gear, and gas, vividly illustrating the difference between our hobbies. My other hobby keeps us (and our friends) in beer mead and wine inexpensively too. I'm way ahead!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hiram, Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    731

    Post

    If you are still in need Ben, I've got an A70 that isn't doing anything that I'll let go for $75. My wife is a professional photographer and so I now piggyback on her beautiful Nikon D100. But the A70 is a real nice point-n-shoot. 3.2 MP

    In any event, I'd recommend cannon in this class and price range-- the digital elphs are really nice.
    It\'s people! Soylent Green is peeeeople!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Post

    Hey Darrel,
    Interested! I PM'd you.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    I looked at Digital cameras tonight. the store didn't have many Cannon's sadly. But I noticed something odd while trying them out...

    What particularly do you look for to take close up pics of bees? two models both had "close-up" settings (the cheap ones did too but were worthless) and both had 12X optical/ 10X digital zooms. But one was MUCH better at focusing and enlarging close-up things. I focused on the lables taped to the sales counter. The good one was a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 and was $100 cheaper than the other.

    The Cannon website doesn't go into too much detail on macro- capabilities. And the Consumer Report's isn't very uptodate since things change so quickly.

    I don't want to order something from Price grabber without trying it out inhand.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    hidalgo county texas
    Posts
    303

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lee Center, NY
    Posts
    150

    Post

    Beegee wrote I bought a Sony Mavica FD-85 back when they were "new"(read expensive). The main reason I bought the Mavica was that it used a standard 3.5" floppy to record the pictures and that made it very easy to download pictures to the computer. It also does an email-format picture for small file size sending. Problem is that it is large and slow and doesn't have good close-up capabilities without an add-on macro lens. Another problem is that it has no provision for cabling to a PCI bus or printer. When I buy another digital camera, it will have a higher megapixel rating, be pocket-sized and have a way to load into a computer or printer via cable or smartcard. My laptop has no 3.5 floppy, so I can't load anything from my camera into it without loading it into my desktop and then onto a thumbdrive or other PCI device.
    You need to take a peek at your owners manual. The F-85 uses memory cards in an optional floppy adapter, it has a video out port at the lower left side looking at the back of the camera and it takes great macro shots when set to macro using the wide angle bar. get your bee in focus, depress the shutter button half way to lock the focus and at the green light press it all the way down. Probably not as good as a 10 megapixle but surely as good as most 5s I've seen.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I bought a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1, 5.1 Megapixel, 12x Optical/2x Digital Zoom back in early January. It was too expensive, about $350 after rebate, but then I bought a 1/2 gig of ram for it so the price came back up to around $400.

    It takes nice pictures and has lots of features, some of which I even use such as cropping and resizing of existing pictures, complete over ride of shutter and aperature settings, etc. It also has manual focus down to 2 cm for crying out loud. I've actually gotten some of my best close ups without zooming, at a range of about 3 feet:

    http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/pics/crocus_3-22-06.jpg

    I had such a good time with my old camera last year, I figured it was worth investing in something higher end. I really didn't want to spend that much.
    Dulcius ex asperis

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