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camera for bee, wasp and hoverfly id?
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Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 3191
Location: Doha. Is hot.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 19 4:26 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Add a tripod to the list - pretty essential if you want sharp images, especially with a macro lens. No need to push the boat out with the budget unless you want the latest carbon fibre must-have tripod that weighs the same as your little finger - you'll be able to get a sturdy enough tripod for around the 30 - 40 quid mark, I'd have thought.

Be careful with the range of a lens - there's a reason that Canon/Nikon limit the ratio to around 3- or 4-to-1 for their high-end lenses. 20 to 200mm is a 10:1 ratio, and you'll not get quality images at either end of the range, although there will probably be a sweet spot in the middle somewhere. My 80D came with the 18 - 135mm lens, which is okay for general snapping, but for the longer-range stuff I use an L-spec 70-300mm (much, much sharper images than the kit lens) and for wide angle stuff I have a Tokina 11-16mm (bought second-hand off a neighbour). Before the 18 - 135mm, I had their 18 - 200mm lens (on a 60D) and it was nowhere near as good.

Also worth looking at a 50mm lens when you're ready to expand your collection, as they are great in lower light conditions. Canon do a reasonably priced 50mm f/1.8 lens (I've got one) and a more expensive 50mm f/1.4 lens (I want one).


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 3191
Location: Doha. Is hot.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 19 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
This one's cheap

Yep, but you get what you pay for. Transfer speed is half that of the Samsung. My philosophy when buying/building a PC is to spend a little extra for a lot more performance, as it can postpone the inevitable obsolescence date by a few years - works out cheaper in the long run.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 19 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

im fine for tripods, umbrella lights etc etc.

i have loads of fixed lenses that will go on with a ring ( no auto focus, etc is not always an issue ) but i do like a one lens can do most jobs fairly well rig as a snapping camera.
perhaps i just dont like dragging a bag about in many ways a fixed lens f8 and move till it fills the frame was rather nice

i have a well used canon 35 to 85 usm lens which is ok but only really as a spare cos i would not put my old bike tyres on a new ferrari.

the 20 200 i was looking at is a sigma
most of the time it would be in the mid range but having both ends ( even if a fixed or tighter range lens might be a slightly higher quality image ) snapping without changing lenses is better than still be unzipping the bag as the snap ambles off.

the macro might be a canon own brand or very top end if i can find a good SH one

i have looked at good tele lenses and i cannot justify the price for the quality i would want, a good un is the same sort of price as a pretty decent new car.
with the long stuff it is not the magnification that is expensive it is needing the huge hole at the front to make it useful for moving stuff and in less than nuclear lighting and it needs high build quality to avoid optical aberrations between the big hole and the sensor/film .

last time i worked out what i needed for a kingfisher flying through the triangle of rod,line and river the lens was about £15k. the 30 body was up to it but it might have taken quite a bit of film.
i didnt take the snap, never mind

the main reason for the big range is for id snaps, i need to cover from bug to bird over maybe 20 meters, from on the lens to the "horizon " is a pretty small jungle and i can move around the part of it i want to record in detail but even then a decent range of focal length will be handy for the counting and behaviour stuff where speed is more important that super high res.
i will have to try such a combo for balance etc but i recon i can probably still pap with a brick there are some pretty good handhold mounts as well, have a few.

duh note to self what about the handling duh,

i recon i will look at weather proof covers but improvise can be fairly effective to keep the world out of the works.
as one fixed tripod shot is my line of sight from here in a box on the window sill or just in front and lower than the sill on a tripod outside and controlled by smart phone or pooter from the comfort of a uncomfy chair inside seems ideal and far better than trail cam.
as the sparrows often stand there and look in at me it would need a decent set of body armour and a brolly, a hapeth of tar saves getting the wetwipes or something.

it would be ace to have an unlimited budget and camera the yard like springwatch meets bigbrother but i will need to be bold and sensible, keep it simple and adaptable and be creative to get the tasks done with what i can justify getting and make beg and borrow as needs be,

getting used to the camera/new pootering stuff might take a little while so if i have the basic kit soonish i can play about and be ready for a planned day by day thing from new year perhaps.
i need to work out where to set achievable parameters and method that produce at least some useful data rather than just pretty anecdote and snaps of cute wildlife.

cute/funny/awesome/interesting etc is where the money is, that would be nice but it is not built in yet.
technicals first


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 19 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i have been reading and trying to work out what i want /can do

putting aside posh camera issues i have been a fan of low res digital imaging for ages, i have form and kit for using £5 cameras and posh pooting power

a few webcams in plastic bags or a super cheap security system would be ideal for behavioural stuff re the sparrows, so long as it is good enough to id them and what they are doing it creates data at low cost.

is that plausible?

if it is i can concentrate on the paperazzi stuff with a strap or tripod for " who is it?" pretty snaps/video and "what is it ,what is it doing?" ones etc and run 24/7 multi cam really cheaply for the sparrow behavioural stuff and fast forward to the interesting bits etc the movement detect catches, cunning if i can make it work

what do you think?

it changes the kit parameters a bit but might be better and easier than trying to get behaviour data in hi res unless it has been planned to show a single something

re the high res this is a urban environment with good reflections and assorted opportunities to get a direct sunshot by carelessness or design.

how robust to sun are decent dig cameras?

my compact is fairly robust, i' ve had it ten years but it has a tiny ish hole and a different system. i have killed a few sensors, killing an expensive one would be upsetting.

i can think of mirror up situations where the camera might not be able to protect itself, 20 min video fixed shot and the sun moves onto a window uggghhh.
i need to find out about that sort of thing.


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 3191
Location: Doha. Is hot.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 19 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Direct sunlight will toast the sensor on most digital cameras, so you'd need to avoid a situation where it's pointing directly at the sun.

They can also overheat if left standing in direct sunlight - unlikely to cause any damage, but will probably cause the camera to shutdown to protect itself.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 19 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ta , i thought it might be an issue, i will add sunhats for the lenses and be aware .

not doing deliberately will help as will using a box for some things but i do need to consider angles on sunny days especially the death ray reflections from several different places at different times of day ( and the window that does a sweeping beam if they open it at the right time )


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 19 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

having done some online research, talked to a couple of folk and done a fair bit of thinking about exactly what i need it to do i might have narrowed it down quite a lot..

the 5 mk1 won't do the job even if it was a prime example at a SH bargain price.
no wifi/bluetooth,

that left/leaves an 5 mk4 or something else.

i had a look at canon's latest mirrorless full frame as SD had mentioned mirrorless had improved a lot recently.

it has a few downsides compared to a 5.4 but the advantages are ace.

as i am starting from ( non ) scratch with glass the new configuration of lens management is no problem (and the converter ring is factory kit if i go for older lenses at some point)

it might use leccy faster but it can be usb charged rather than using an " odd " voltage from it's own charger and i assume reliable 240v to power that.
that one is a biggy for me.

it handles so nicely, very light,good balance , i found the buttons instinctively ( tis a canon ) and with a decent multipurpose and macro it would be a simple kit rather than " i should have brought a wheelbarrow to lug this pile of horror and i need a merlin to mount it on "

the r is better at video which is nice and is silent and jump free, even the best mirror swing has issues with those

i spose i have been mirrorless since i retired the 30 and have not had a mirrored digital so it does not seem like a step back in tech which probably makes sense

better in low light as well

price is similar for either route

gulp , in the past i have just got an interesting camera to play with or the best i can somehow afford to use for taking snaps, trying to spec for wildlife within 10 metres ( and get the best snapping camera i can ) has taken a bit of work .

thanks folks , it has been handy to bounce ideas about and i am going to be asking questions that baffle me but will be obvious to others.

if i have got that bit as a cunning plan which seems plausible i next need to work out a decent pootering system for editing and tweaking and find a decent monitor.

i know this stuff isnt very downsizery on the surface but i want to show the world how bio diverse one can make a small rather sterile set of micro climates and habitats as well as record what is there and try to sort out sparrow dynamics.

it might involve high tech and enough cash to put a lot of meals in tums but drawing the beasts on a cave wall and putting a calender next to it has been done and had a pretty small audience

this way i might get to persuade enough folk to use wherever they have to make the best of the space they have to create biodiverse habitats in urban areas.
as far as pollinators go an urban low pesticide landscape is far better than a toxic field that looked yummy.
i half suspect that until we change industrial food production practice the best bet for " arks " will be enough urban micro spaces, retaining diversity of pollinators seems sensible. the other wee beasts are nice as well and then there are the predators to protect one's " crops "

it can work big as well if folk learn how


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 19 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

eos r, 35mm 1.8 macro and iirc 35 to 105 gp lens + a ring for non native lenses are heading to a shop near me

i have discount and freebies built in but as yet not fully unspecified

the pooter thing i recon i can get a decent box with the right sort of bits for less than a might cope lappy. no brainer
it is going to require some more study but i have a few ideas for the right sort of specs

a 4k but not too huge in size monitor needs a bit of work.

something i think might matter for the minibeasts is although the camera will do 4k it will do hd+ awesomely well which might be very handy for macro insect behaviour.

and a comfy chair:lol:


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 19 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

oh , shhhh , im in love.

so far we are very cautiously flirting but a few test snaps on auto plus are pretty good considering the lack of skill and what would be bad light for most auto.

a click a bat might miss, no jump, ace feel with perfect balance in the 40 to 85 range of the 24/105 lens.

so far after reading the christmas morning guide and skimming the 644 page real one it is pretty simple and instinctive to follow the instructions with the mind or fingers if you are a canon user.
i had not got to the bit about turn it back on and look at the snaps, the button was just by my thumb and nicely marked.
they do seem to have thought this one through rather well.

if you like cameras don't play with one of these they are very seductive.
unless you can justify what you will do next in a refreshingly believable way to any who may be concerned

more reading and a proper play tomorrow seems wise. a mannered courtship seem appropriate


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 19 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i just realised that in 1999 as a student with a student pittance i spent almost the same amount this camera cost on film , processing and printing.

pound for pound and not adjusted for 20 yrs on. wow.

having thought that i went back a bit and a top end tv studio camera by ikegami was about £3/4 mill and the size of a chair in the early 1980's
even a decent beta cam was a couple of years average wage,
top end then was well under even non hd broadcast quality now, nice lenses but the sensors were of their time.

lenses are better now for far less as well

how times change for the better

not any sort of performance review and i might be biased toward canon ergnomics but i handled a few things during the process and some felt less than natural to hold.

balance really matters for hand held and reaction snapping

ps i still like the £5 keyring, ten snaps , pixels in thousands, blob of plastic lens etc as very low fi sort of kit


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 19 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the learning curve is slow and steep and a bit funny at times.

i had not looked at video in the manual when the red button made it's purpose clear

it was today before i realised the screen is not only multi angle but is also reversible ready to clip back to the body.

best one was " why cant i adjust anything? oh it is in full super auto pilot mode "

tis nice though and even if it has a 645 page manual before you get to the software which no dought has it's own manuals i recon i can learn to fly it if i put the time in.

it does rather remind me of the first time i tried the f16 falcon sim, not only in the complexity but also in the multiple ways to do the same thing and more things it can do than one might expect.
that took a while to get the basics and the subtleties take a lot longer

i am still working on basic settings , what does this button do? etc etc
not even tried the macro lens yet.

not a toy for the impatient, it is not just learn it but it is also learn it often enough for it to be instinctive as the snap is the important bit rather than the technicals .

tis good i decided a 6th month learning curve might be about right to get the basics


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 19 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i have not got beyond fumbling basics yet, 50 or so pages on assorted auto focus methods made my head spin

however i have managed to grasp enough to pap an invertebrate in enough detail to make id pretty easy even just using the camera screen to zoom and sweep the photo.

a couple of mins from snap to knowing i am hosting at least one grey dagger caterpillar, acronita psi, i have seen a few hints of stealth moth in the darkness so it seems they might be among the regular fauna.
( i dont know how they avoid the bats, tis pippistrelle territory although there only seem to be 3 this year, they have a shape and surface that might be hard to find by sonar )

this is good as papping invs. and bird pattern with a manageable gp lens for id is part of the plan,

just now a couple of mins papping a cloud of sparrows from a couple of meters away does not seem to bother them and i got snaps good enough for detailed feather pattern, ie give a bird a name and know it again
they were not great snaps and i can improve on them a lot once i work out how to fly this thing but at least it works in principle.

re the steep learning curve
the first couple of time i was trying to adjust something and failing in multiple ways and then camera stops doing what i ask and provided a handy hint as to what i should be doing was a bit spooky but i now now the dustbin has multi functions , i should have guessed but i am only up to page 150 something

at first it was very spooky but when it asked me to give it a name so it could connect to wifi i started to warm to it's personality.

that stuff will come later, i recon pooter, phone,camera need to be synced at the same time.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 19 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re the charging thing, it does need mains/charger and battery/ies but spare batteries are not too expensive so unless i'm off grid for more than a while the holiday can be snapped etc etc.
one in and a couple of spares would be a well over a thousand snaps even if the screen got used for reviews etc.

i recon i can live with that as it is mostly intended for urban use at at the mo

at last simple boresight aiming and af lock is within my feeble grasp of flying the thing.

the similarities of between the af on this sort of kit and the electronics of a block 50 f16 are remarkable.
very similar principles , put the thingy on the thingy and press the button , lots of ways to do it cleverly and well and all tricky to learn
my last film one had a system where you could define the point of interest by looking at it through the view finder, that seems to have been dropped from camera tech, i wonder if that is because in a helmet that is really advanced tech and the electronics do not care if they activate a camera or weapons system.
i recon that circuit has definitely got dual use.
pity that it is has gone but perhaps i can see why


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 19 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i think i might have found a pooter.

not easy, video and photo need slightly different things to get both in the same machine is ...

a ; daft expensive see macs and microsoft pro kit

b; it is ace for .... but it needs extras /improvise for other stuff ( £ n )

c; or it is a lenovo yoga all in one ( also about £ n )

took a while but hooves crossed i have a model and a supplier , i will see how it goes

build or have it built would cost as much or more ( i have been known to over engineer ) so a plausible off the shelf makes sense

ps whatever camera you have or want if it has a screw fixing for a tripod or whatever that is where the single point swivel sling goes unless it is on a tripod.

it is so much nicer than a tops attached strap , more discrete and secure, easier to swap from in use to a tidy dangle behind and close and you don't have a glass codpiece sticking out the front between snaps

pps the 30 mm macro will hand held pap for insects down to pinhead size and have enough detail for id , owt bee size you can count the hairs on it's bum.
it seems that plan works
in my rather tight space 30 mm is perhaps better than a longer one as it is easy to be close but wide and close is handy

tis still a steep learning curve and i a'm at the base of it but some is instinctive after decades and tech is tech.
i'm keeping it simple til i grasp each stage, tis an odd process migrating to a new set of tech even if it does the same basic jobs as old friends.

ahh after a few years of happy linux use i am going to have to remember microsoft style and learn win 10
slide into old codger mode, win 98 sp2 was the best OP bill's crew ever made

i will keep the linux steampunk server with studio quality sound cos it is nice to leave few footprints and rattle the walls sometimes

iirc i can partition a bit of a disk on the new one and have linux as an OS option

tech , pffff love it and hate it


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 37538
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 19 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

pooter sorted gulp

tis sorted though , if it arrives working and complete

see comment in it matters

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