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Chicago Rail
21st Mar 2017, 11:46 PM
I see some really great pictures of a lot the layouts here and got to wondering.

What do most of you use to take the those pictures and videos, your phones or a camera?

I have my IPad, IPhone and a Panasonic bridge camera. I find it easier to just use my phone or Ipad but I know the bridge camera takes better pictures especially in regards to depth of field.

So don't be bashful give us your input.:cool:

Metrolink
21st Mar 2017, 11:53 PM
I usually shoot my train photos with a full-frame Nikon body. I have several:

• Nikon D3s x2
• Nikon D800E
• Nikon Df

I bounce between the Nikon Df and the D800E, often shooting with the AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm macro. The D3s bodies have lower pixel-counts, and are reserved more for high-FPS, fast-paced event photography and low-light photography.

kalbert
22nd Mar 2017, 01:08 AM
I've got a 10 year old Fuji S1500, it's ok but features and function borders on obsolete. Anymore most of my photos come from my cell phone. It's not the greatest camera ever, but the simplicity of point, shoot, share is a huge plus.

JohnE
22nd Mar 2017, 01:09 AM
I have and use the following:



Canon EOS 5D Mk2
Canon EOS 50D


However, for sheer simplicity and ease of use (read LAZY)... I take most of my RR layout photos with my iPad. For the most part (for me anyway) its just simply a fool-proof, quick way to get off a shot that's almost always in focus with a pretty decent depth of field. I just make sure that I have pretty decent ambient lighting before shooting. Then its super simple to use DropBox to quickly transfer the images from the iPad to my PC.

Of course if I want the best quality images... then the DSLR is the way to go. YMMV! :-)

AND... just for @Chicago Rail (http://www.nscale.net/forums/member.php?u=8531) :-) These were all taken with my iPad3...

http://www.fototime.com/C3244DCC1D26A15/orig.jpg
http://www.fototime.com/B74493BB152F3CC/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/8C21661C4CD20C6/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/D7CDE8BA670BAC2/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/879A51E28E6BAC4/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/5E190FE3744EED4/orig.jpg

westfalen
22nd Mar 2017, 02:16 AM
I use a Canon Powershot SX720HS for my model photos and video at the moment, it has very good macro capability.

I got it last year after lugging my Nikon SLR around Japan for a couple of weeks and realising that my friend was getting just as good shots by whipping his Powershot out of his pocket and taking the photo while I was still thinking about it.

Janbouli
22nd Mar 2017, 05:29 AM
I use a Fuji Finepix S2980 , it has Macro and Super Macro settings , yes I would like an SLR with a few lenses but I'd rather spend the 1000 - 1500 euro's on my trains . I also think lighting is more important then the camera you use.

ike8120
22nd Mar 2017, 05:34 AM
Canon EOS 60D https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/dslr/eos-60d

But I still stink at taking pictures :)

zosimas
22nd Mar 2017, 05:51 AM
Canon 20D
Lumix z150 (been using this one lately)
iPad 3

Been using the Lumix because it's small, light weight, and pretty much point and shoot. It allows me just enough control to get a good DOF when used on a tripod.

Tred
22nd Mar 2017, 06:11 AM
I use a Canon T1i, a Fuji WPz and more and more my phone. The older I get the more I like simplicity... I have my phone with me about 98% of the time, the other 2 cameras, not so much.

dcswift
22nd Mar 2017, 08:30 AM
I tend to use a Canon 1D or 6D, but at the end of the day most modern cell phones take great photos as well.

kingmeow
22nd Mar 2017, 09:17 AM
Nikon D500. Due to the insane high ISO/low noise capabilities of the D500, now I shoot with no flash so no shadows. I use a variety of lenses and often set my ISO to 4000-6400. :)

pwh70
22nd Mar 2017, 09:55 AM
I use my iPhone for quick "progress pics" (of which there have been none in over a year) :mad:

I use my Nikon D7000 DSLR for quality stuff. I enjoy putting it on the tripod and fooling with shutter speed, lighting, depth of field, etc for both detailed photos and various creative(?) effects.

http://www.nscale.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=43658&d=1364763793

Paul

SP-Wolf
22nd Mar 2017, 10:41 AM
I use a Sony A100 DSLR

Some examples of my photography: (Still learning)

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/gallery/2753_18_02_17_3_11_17.jpeg
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/gallery/2753_18_02_17_3_10_53.jpeg

Thanks,
Wolf

Chicago Rail
22nd Mar 2017, 12:05 PM
You guys come up with some real funny comments.:D

You know of course that comments without pictures like what Paul did (thanks Paul) of the results is just all talk.:p

epumph
22nd Mar 2017, 12:13 PM
I use a point and shoot Sony I think.

zosimas
22nd Mar 2017, 01:32 PM
You guys come up with some real funny comments.:D

You know of course that comments without pictures like what Paul did (thanks Paul) of the results is just all talk.:p

I'm work work so..... um... .... look at me thread for pics :p

:D

Ender
22nd Mar 2017, 07:33 PM
I use the iPhone 6 for in-progress shots and tight shots in the middle of the layout. But the Canon T1i with a tripod for better quality pics, anything that needs a close-up, and for better control of the focus and depth of field.

An example showing the difference:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/475/32463899855_20063c1416_c.jpg
In-progress - iPhone 6 (f/2.2)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/255/31659337723_a65da2db74_c.jpg
Completed scene - DSLR (100mm Macro @ f/22)


Also, night shots work much better with the DSL on a tripod. There's no noise, if you keep the ISO down. But the tripod is necessary as you sometimes have exposures of 10-20 seconds.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7555/15886634431_fa82f06f39_c.jpg
Completed Mine - DSLR (31mm @ f/29)

Chicago Rail
22nd Mar 2017, 09:55 PM
Ender,, your pictures some of the ones I was referring to in my OP

zosimas
23rd Mar 2017, 08:57 AM
I use the iPhone 6 for in-progress shots and tight shots in the middle of the layout. But the Canon T1i with a tripod for better quality pics, anything that needs a close-up, and for better control of the focus and depth of field.

An example showing the difference:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/475/32463899855_20063c1416_c.jpg
In-progress - iPhone 6 (f/2.2)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/255/31659337723_a65da2db74_c.jpg
Completed scene - DSLR (100mm Macro @ f/22)


Also, night shots work much better with the DSL on a tripod. There's no noise, if you keep the ISO down. But the tripod is necessary as you sometimes have exposures of 10-20 seconds.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7555/15886634431_fa82f06f39_c.jpg
Completed Mine - DSLR (31mm @ f/29)

I dunno, but that iphone pic looks better than the DSLR pic! Although it could because of the glow...

Tred
23rd Mar 2017, 09:39 AM
But the tripod is necessary as you sometimes have exposures of 10-20 seconds.

Yep, and I use a little wireless remote to activate the shutter. Though, I haven't taken any pictures of trains OR the layout as it's a work in progress...

JohnE
23rd Mar 2017, 11:38 AM
Great night shot Ender!

Chicago Rail
23rd Mar 2017, 01:04 PM
Just like "Magic",,, all of a sudden pictures showed up in some of the previous posts.:lol:

Some really great stuff there guys.

I use my IPhone 6 and IPad Pro mostly but lately the pictures from the IPhone post 90 Deg out no matter what I do or how I edit the picture. I have heard that the new IPhone 7 has a portrait mode that displays a great DOF, maybe time for n upgrade, huh?
Like I said I have a LUMIX but like others I don't know how to use it very well.:o More practice needed.

Metrolink
23rd Mar 2017, 01:30 PM
I have heard that the new IPhone 7 has a portrait mode that display a great DOF . . .

The iPhone 7 does have a new portrait mode (though I haven't tried it myself), but the physics of light limits what its small sensor can produce. Nothing does shallow depth-of-field portraiture like a full-frame DSLR shot wide-open:

http://studio460.com/images/DOF-LA-3.jpg
Nikon D3s + AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D @ f/2.0

http://studio460.com/images/DOF-UNI-2.jpg
Nikon Df + AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2.0D @ 2.0

pbender
23rd Mar 2017, 02:11 PM
The iPhone 7 does have a new portrait mode (though I haven't tried it myself), but the physics of light limits what its small sensor can produce. Nothing does shallow depth-of-field like a full-frame DSLR shot wide-open:

And most model railroad shots need to be taken with the smallest aperture possible, which means you need good lighting and (prefeably) a tripod.

This is one taken on my Pentax K10D at F32:
http://www.nscaleintermodal.com/Free-moN/Harrisonville/IMGP7307.JPG

(I haven't invested in a Pentax full-frame body yet... That's on my "want it" list for the next year, but other items on that list are higher priority right now...)

Occasionally you will see a point and shoot camera that allows you to manually set the F-stop, but i have never seen an SLR (digital or not) that doesn't give you the option of controlling that.

Paul

Metrolink
23rd Mar 2017, 02:38 PM
This is one taken on my Pentax K10D at F32 . . .

It's generally not recommended to stop-down any further than f/22, since any smaller and you start to lose sharpness due to diffraction. The easiest way to get more stuff in focus is to use a camera with a smaller sensor, like an iPhone; though, as you decrease sensor-size, you sacrifice light-sensitivity and increase your noise-floor (an example of how clean modern full-frame sensors are, the second photo above was shot at ISO 1,600). I should actually start shooting my layout photos with a crop-frame (e.g., APS-C) camera to gain a bit more depth-of-field.

Ideally, we would want to shoot our layouts with tilt-shift lenses (i.e., perspective-correcting lenses), so that you can alter your plane-of-focus, either to the train (swing) or to the layout (tilt). However, since those are pretty expensive most resort to focus-stacking software (haven't tried that myself). The Nikon (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/545664-USA/Nikon_2168_Wide_Angle_PC_E_Nikkor.html) 24mm PC-E lens is over $2,000. The import-brand Rokinon (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/926394-REG/rokinon_tsl24m_n_24mm_f3_5_tilt_shift.html) PC lens is much less at $700, and is actually pretty well-reviewed. I've been trying to rationalize that lens purchase ever since I got back into model railroading.

mrodtoo
23rd Mar 2017, 02:42 PM
iPhone six NJ train show this past weekend.
88376

pbender
23rd Mar 2017, 03:19 PM
It's generally not recommended to stop-down any further than f/22, since any smaller and you start to lose sharpness due to diffraction.

Can you site a source for your claim? I've never seen that before.

That is counter to what I know about photographic optics, which has always stated that smaller apertures lead to larger depth of field.

(Also, the trick for years in model railroad photography has been to use a pinhole lens. Those are definitely smaller than the F32 I can shoot with. ).


The easiest way to get more stuff in focus is use a camera with a smaller sensor, like a camera phone (though you sacrifice sensitivity and increase your noise-floor).

Smaller sensors mean you can't cram as many pixels into the captured image as you can into an APSC or 35mm frame (Which is what we're talking about when we say full frame after all... the sensor is the same size as a 35mm film frame.) More pixels means you get a better representation of the analog input signal (light in this case).

From my perspective (as a computer scientist) the optics can't introduce noise into the input signal. (distortion maybe, but not noise. The difference is that distortion can be seen using analog measures, but "noise" is a purely digital concept).


Ideally, we would want to shoot our layouts with tilt-shift lenses (i.e., perspective-correcting lenses), so that you can tilt your plane-of-focus. However, since those are pretty expensive most resort to focus-stacking software (haven't tried that myself).

Yes, I've seen that.

One other thing to think about when it comes to digital cameras, you should NEVER let the camera save the image only as a JPEG. The JPEG algorithm is a lossy compression algorithm, which means it sacrifices some information in order to compress the image further. Saving the images in a raw format preserves the information from the camera sensor (yes, it takes up more space, but you start with a clean image during post processing).

Paul

Metrolink
23rd Mar 2017, 03:57 PM
Sure, Paul. A couple things. It's absolutely true, that the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth-of-field. If having more stuff in focus is more important than absolute knife-edge sharpness, then by all means, stop-down. I usually don't stop-down below f/22, but I've gone to f/32 a few times when necessary. Here's one source among many: diffraction (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/lens-diffraction-what-it-and-how-avoid-it).

Pixel-density: This is actually requires a fairly long answer, but I'll try to condense it. Generally speaking, the larger the pixels, the lower the noise-floor. My Nikon D3s' sensor is only 12MP, but spread over an area over two times the size of a crop-frame camera's sensor. Therefore, its pixels are much larger than those in crop-frame bodies like say a Canon T5 or Nikon D5500. High MP-count crop-frame/APS-C sensors have very small pixels. The Canon T5 has 18MP, and the Nikon D5500 has 24.2MP, all squished into a sensor over twice as small as a full-frame sensor.

The reasons for the higher pixel-counts is mostly marketing—often people think, the more pixels the better. However, this comes at the price of higher luma- and chroma-noise, and sometimes, reduced dynamic range. Pixels gather photons, the more the better. Larger pixels equal larger photon-collectors, or "light-buckets." It's the same principle as to why a 12" mirror-telescope has a much brighter image than an 8" mirror-telescope, where the size of the mirror is directly analogous to the size of the pixel in a DSLR's sensor.

In low-light photography, my Nikon D3s' 12MP sensor kicks the pants off my Nikon D800E's 36MP sensor. Even Nikon couldn't beat its own low-light king, the D3s, as marketing pressure forced them to increase pixel-count in successor models. The Nikon D4 is actually slightly noisier than the D3s, primarily because of its increased pixel-density. Moreover, sensor manufacturers have hit the ceiling of manufacturing technology as the quantum-efficiency of current sensors have pretty much reached their limit.

pbender
23rd Mar 2017, 04:44 PM
Sure, Paul. A couple things. If having more stuff in focus is more important than absolute knife-edge sharpness, then by all means, stop-down. I usually don't stop-down below f/22, but I've gone to f/32 a few times when necessary. Here's one source among many: diffraction (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/lens-diffraction-what-it-and-how-avoid-it).

Thanks.


Pixel-density: This is actually requires a fairly long answer, but I'll try to condense it. Generally speaking, the larger the pixels, the lower the noise-floor. My Nikon D3s' sensor is only 12MP, but spread over an area over two times the size of a crop-frame camera's sensor. Therefore, its pixels are much larger than those in crop-frame bodies like say a Canon T5 or Nikon D5500. High MP-count crop-frame/APS-C sensors have very small pixels. The Canon has 18MP, and the Nikon has 24.2MP. The reason is mostly marketing—often people think, the more pixels the better. Pixels gather photons, the more the better. Larger pixels equal larger light-buckets. It's the same principle as to why a 12" mirror-telescope has a much brighter image than an 8" mirror-telescope, where the size of the mirror is analogous to the size of the pixel in a DSLR sensor.

There isn't a one size fits all answer about sensor density.

I agree that In low light situations, larger sensors is typically better. Larger sensors certainly means more opportunity to collect what light is available.

In well lit situations, Higher sensor density is in many cases preferred. Why? because there are more photons bouncing off the subject, so there are more photons available to collect. Higher density sensors mean you can capture more of the variability of the photons bouncing off of the subject, which translates into seeing more detail in the image.

If we were talking film cameras, we would be talking about what speed film to use, and at least part of film speed is the size of the light sensitive grains embedded on the film.

Ultimately the sensor density you need is determined by the application. My primary camera is still a 10MP Pentax K10D (I also own a 16MP Pentax K01). I can get away with using the K10D because most of my photos end up being post processed for posting on the web, so the pictures I post use fewer pixels than the camera takes, and those pixels are then compressed. It's really only when you start printing your images in really large scale (or zooming in really far) that a smaller sensor density becomes truly noticeable. (At some point every image visibly pixelates.)

Incidentally, I use the word sensor above and not pixel because pixel has the connotation of being (in the color case) an RGB cluster. Most digital cameras use a Bayer Pattern sensor ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter ) which has fewer red receptors than blue and green.

Paul

Metrolink
23rd Mar 2017, 06:24 PM
There isn't a one size fits all answer about sensor density.

Certainly, different tools have their purposes, otherwise I wouldn't have spent over $3,000 on a 36MP camera! When in-studio, or for daylight exteriors, where I have all the light I need, it's my 36MP Nikon D800E. Though, when not in a studio situation, I'm largely biased toward low-light shooting in available-light situations (I'm kind of a low-light junkie and anti-noise Nazi!). In those cases, it's my Nikon D3s bodies (or Nikon Df), and f/1.4 lenses—that combo makes usable images with good colorimetry in extremely low light. Believe me, it's taking all the will-power I have not to buy the new $2,200 Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E.

Ender
23rd Mar 2017, 07:10 PM
Wow, this thread picked up some momentum!



Ender,, your pictures some of the ones I was referring to in my OP
Glad they inspire someone! More can be seen here (https://www.flickr.com/photos/enders_photos/albums). The camera & setting info is on most of the shots.



I dunno, but that iphone pic looks better than the DSLR pic! Although it could because of the glow...
Bah! You need to get outside more, you've been stuck in your basement for too long. I purposely upped the exposure on that shot to make it more "daylight."



Yep, and I use a little wireless remote to activate the shutter. Though, I haven't taken any pictures of trains OR the layout as it's a work in progress...
Still worth taking pics of stuff as you go. Makes for a fun "how far things have come" tour when you look at them after things are built. And lets you play with the equipment in your space with your lighting conditions (you can maybe figure out how to improve things.)



Great night shot @Ender (http://www.nscale.net/forums/member.php?u=4770)!
Thanks! For night shots, I usually lower the exposure by 1.5-2 stops.




One other thing to think about when it comes to digital cameras, you should NEVER let the camera save the image only as a JPEG. The JPEG algorithm is a lossy compression algorithm, which means it sacrifices some information in order to compress the image further. Saving the images in a raw format preserves the information from the camera sensor (yes, it takes up more space, but you start with a clean image during post processing).
Hey Paul. I know you're right about the higher quality of RAW, but I always take my train shots in high-quality JPEG. Just so much easier to deal with getting them saved and moved to the web. And it's not like I'm taking masterpieces here. They get shrunk even more when they get to the web anyway.

Chicago Rail
23rd Mar 2017, 07:14 PM
The iPhone 7 does have a new portrait mode (though I haven't tried it myself), but the physics of light limits what its small sensor can produce. Nothing does shallow depth-of-field portraiture like a full-frame DSLR shot wide-open:

http://studio460.com/images/DOF-LA-3.jpg
Nikon D3s + AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D @ f/2.0

http://studio460.com/images/DOF-UNI-2.jpg
Nikon Df + AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2.0D @ 2.0

Well yeah! Phones will never match up to real cameras ;)

zosimas
23rd Mar 2017, 07:24 PM
Bah! You need to get outside more, you've been stuck in your basement for too long.

this is what happens in the winter :rolleyes:

pbender
23rd Mar 2017, 09:53 PM
Hey Paul. I know you're right about the higher quality of RAW, but I always take my train shots in high-quality JPEG. Just so much easier to deal with getting them saved and moved to the web. And it's not like I'm taking masterpieces here. They get shrunk even more when they get to the web anyway.

And that shrinking even more is part of the problem.

Have you ever seen the problem of making a photocopy of a photocopy.... of a photocopy?

Basically, the more times you copy the image, the worse the result appears (photocopiers are better than they once were, but they still don't produce perfect copies, so each time you make a copy new imperfections are added)

Digitized pictures can suffer from the same problem. You start with a JPEG and save the image as a JPEG, you add new imperfections to the image ( and this is true even if you just re-save the image, without changing anything ). If you start with a raw image, you don't have to worry about the first set of imperfections.

As far as being easier to deal with JPEG images, that depends on the software you use. I actually script all of my post processing, and the scripts don't care if I start with a JPEG or a raw image. ( I use imagemagick for this scripted work). If I need to do anything else, gimp imports the raw images in basically the same way it imports JPEGs, or any there image format.

I actually have my cameras set to do raw and jpeg. I use the JPEG for quickly sharing with others. The raw images are used for my post processing.

Paul

pbender
23rd Mar 2017, 10:19 PM
Certainly, different tools have their purposes, otherwise I wouldn't have spent over $3,000 on a 36MP camera! When in-studio, or for daylight exteriors, where I have all the light I need, it's my 36MP Nikon D800E. Though, when not in a studio situation, I'm largely biased toward low-light shooting in available-light situations (I'm kind of a low-light junkie and anti-noise Nazi!). In those cases, it's my Nikon D3s bodies (or Nikon Df), and f/1.4 lenses—that combo makes usable images with good colorimetry in extremely low light.

Yes, I have some F2 and below lenses for similar reasons ( my 105mm prime is an F2, and I have a 50mm F1.7).


Believe me, it's taking all the will-power I have not to buy the new $2,200 Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/1.4E.

And this is one of the reasons I have stuck with Pentax over the years. My first K-mount camera was a Ricoh KR5 Super II, and I can still use the fully manual lenses I bought to use with it... almost 29 years ago now... I couldn't afford the collection of glass I have otherwise....

I do have one lens that I spent over $500 on, which is a Tamron 10mm to 24mm zoom. That one and a sigma 28-105 are my "walking" lenses. ( the 10-24 has become my favorite for almost everything, including model railroad shots, but occasionally I need some more reach. )

My collection also includes some occasional use lenses, like a manual focus auto aperture 400mm. At the time I bought it, a new one would have cost 3 or 4 times what I paid for it. With as little use as it gets, the price was right, and I haven't looked at long primes since.

Paul

Chicago Rail
23rd Mar 2017, 11:48 PM
Wow, this thread picked up some momentum!

Yeah I really like it.




Glad they inspire someone! More can be seen here (https://www.flickr.com/photos/enders_photos/albums). The camera & setting info is on most of the shot


I have seen all of that before and have always liked what I saw,, don't sell yourself short you do really good work. I especially like the lighting scenes you do.

wombat457
25th Feb 2018, 03:33 PM
I have a variety of camera's, mainly Canon:

EOS 5D
EOS Elan 7
EOS Elan T3
Nikon Cool Pix
Canon Vixia HRF R70 Video

Have various lenses for the 5D ranging from 24 mm to 800 mm

DaveS
14th Jun 2019, 09:04 PM
I use my android phone.

Marksomebody
16th Jun 2019, 01:25 PM
I have and use the following:



Canon EOS 5D Mk2
Canon EOS 50D


However, for sheer simplicity and ease of use (read LAZY)... I take most of my RR layout photos with my iPad. For the most part (for me anyway) its just simply a fool-proof, quick way to get off a shot that's almost always in focus with a pretty decent depth of field. I just make sure that I have pretty decent ambient lighting before shooting. Then its super simple to use DropBox to quickly transfer the images from the iPad to my PC.

Of course if I want the best quality images... then the DSLR is the way to go. YMMV! :-)

AND... just for @Chicago Rail (http://www.nscale.net/forums/member.php?u=8531) :-) These were all taken with my iPad3...

http://www.fototime.com/C3244DCC1D26A15/orig.jpg
http://www.fototime.com/B74493BB152F3CC/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/8C21661C4CD20C6/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/D7CDE8BA670BAC2/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/879A51E28E6BAC4/orig.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/5E190FE3744EED4/orig.jpg

I use my iPad Pro or my iPhone much simpler for a technology challenged senior

Rook
5th Sep 2019, 06:54 PM
Need to move into the modern age with a new camera. Something easy to manage for a novice. Opinions on Sony A6000? Will be used for train photos. Photos can help me see details better when trying to create a scene.

Thxs

NtheBasement
5th Sep 2019, 07:44 PM
There's a Lumix with built-in focus stacking but I doubt that its easy to use and I know it isn't cheap. Have you tried a cell phone?

Rook
5th Sep 2019, 08:23 PM
Using a Moto G today. Am not on the cloud and emailing from my phone to pc is getting old. Isn't there something around $300 with wifi, video and decent image quality? The size of the Lumix and A6000 appear handy. Suppose I could get a tablet if the technology of my phone is equal to a dedicated camera. Maybe I just need a tripod mount for the phone.

Not really sure what Stacking is... heard it mentions here a few times. Is this an attempt to improve the image quality to compete with a DSLR?

dwwojcik
6th Sep 2019, 12:01 AM
Taking pictures of small things up close shortens the depth of field of a photo pretty significantly, causing only a small portion of an image will be in focus, the rest will be blurry. Focus stacking solves this problem by taking the exact same picture multiple times, but at a different focal length each time, so a different part of the subject will be in focus in each image. Then you bring in focus stacking software, which harvests the in-focus parts of all the images and stitches them together to make one totally in-focus image.

For example:

Notice how in this raw image, the GP38 in the background is in focus, while the GP60 in the foreground is not. https://i.imgur.com/cpRgg3K.jpg

Now after focus stacking, both locomotives are (mostly) in focus. https://i.imgur.com/fkne4ci.jpg

I'm sure a nice camera with a built-in feature could do it more cleanly than my fumbling with the touchscreen on my phone trying to get it to focus on different areas while moving as little as possible at the same time.

I was curious so I did a bit of quick research and this is the cheapest unit I came across that could do focus stacking. https://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-and-camcorders/cameras/lumix-point-and-shoot-cameras/DC-ZS70.html?dwvar_DC-ZS70_color=Silver&Quantity=1 It's pretty pricey (that's more than I paid for my smartphone!) but if the focus stacking feature works well I could see it being worthwhile for our purposes.

pwh70
6th Sep 2019, 07:17 AM
Notice how in this raw image, the GP38 in the background is in focus, while the GP60 in the foreground is not.

That's a great example... what a difference! I noticed the "multiple" grab rails on the GP60 and was going to ask about use of a tripod, but you answered it later in your post. I haven't used focus stacking software yet, but would think that a tripod is all that photo needs to make it perfect. My son picked up an iPhone bracket for smartphone use on a tripod, shouldn't be that hard to do when you're taking the time to setup a really nice photo.

Paul

Tim R
6th Sep 2019, 08:07 AM
I use a Cannon EOS T4 digital SLR. I put this on a tripod and crank the aperture as small as it will go. This seems to do pretty well without bothering with focus stacking.

SP-Wolf
6th Sep 2019, 11:29 AM
I use a Cannon EOS T4 digital SLR. I put this on a tripod and crank the aperture as small as it will go. This seems to do pretty well without bothering with focus stacking.

This is exactly what I do with my Sony A100 DSLR -- old school, Baby!!

Wolf

Allen H.
6th Sep 2019, 11:57 AM
If you don't have a Digital SLR ( which is your best bet ), but you have a phone you can get copy of Helicon Focus lite software with a lifetime license for $115.
I just picked up a copy the other day and love it. Simple to use, it's a nice option for both camera types.

Phone, tripod, Tripod mount and software, you can get this:

https://www.nscale.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=104384&d=1565679892

Rook
6th Sep 2019, 10:10 PM
Solved my initial problem by getting a usb cable for the phone to the pc. Not sure why the virtual router installed on the pc wouldn't talk nice to the phone?


Taking pictures of small things up close shortens the depth of field of a photo pretty significantly, causing only a small portion of an image will be in focus, the rest will be blurry. Focus stacking solves this problem by taking the exact same picture multiple times, but at a different focal length each time, so a different part of the subject will be in focus in each image. Then you bring in focus stacking software, which harvests the in-focus parts of all the images and stitches them together to make one totally in-focus image.

Your explanation makes sense thxs for posting the examples. As a feature on the camera it is an automated program...or a manually programmed option correct? I've started looking at some entry level Canon DSLRs that have a Focus Bracketing operation which sounds very similar to focus stacking. Maybe most new cameras have a comparable feature. Old school meets New school hopefully.

Finally realized while I like the small form factor units the tiny buttons/controls and menus keep me from using my cameras in the past. Also realized that I was using ISO incorrectly in the past. What physical part of the camera changes with different ISO settings? I believe a higher setting makes the image lighter but with more grain. But what is actually changing?

So what are everyone's thoughts on which Canon DSLR for under $500...including at least one decent lense. Any reason not to by refurbished from the Canon store? What other accessories am I forgetting about beside an extra battery and a charger?

@Allen (https://www.nscale.net/forums/member.php?9366-Allen-H)
First you have to have "that", then you can have "this".

dwwojcik
6th Sep 2019, 10:30 PM
Your explanation makes sense thxs for posting the examples. As a feature on the camera it is an automated program...or a manually programmed option correct? I've started looking at some entry level Canon DSLRs that have a Focus Bracketing operation which sounds very similar to focus stacking. Maybe most new cameras have a comparable feature. Old school meets New school hopefully.

Focus bracketing is only half of focus stacking. Focus bracketing automatically takes the pictures with different focal lengths, but you still have to do the actual stacking with something else, unlike with the fancy new Panasonics. I actually found an app for my phone that can do focus bracketing today, which is how I know, although I have yet to try it properly. Unfortunately I don't have the layout any more so I can't recreate my previous attempt.

Ron McF
7th Jan 2020, 09:00 AM
.... the fancy new Panasonics.
This photo was taken early last year by a visitor using one of those "fancy new Panasonics" (a DC-TZ220). The distance from the foreground car to the back wall is just over 14' and Chris is about half-way to the wall. IIRC, the photographer (Derek) told me that the camera takes six photos to compile the image. There is a little blurring along the line of stock cars, and it is particularly noticeable with Chris' hand as he was moving it when the image was made. If you want a camera for photographing model trains, and you can stump up the cash, these Panasonics do a great job.
107319

Regards,
Ron

Siliconcameraguy
18th Apr 2020, 11:46 AM
Hello all....
I use for now mostly a Nikon 995, I have three of them...and they get rough use.
Just bought my 3rd one for $24 delivered via eBay.
I sold them as new, and having to show them daily, I became quite adept at their use.
In the day they sold in a package with extra batteries and flash cards for over $1000.
Today...I find them cheap, and often in like new condition.
Many people are like N Scalers...They buy this stuff, then never learn to use it.
Google Rich is a whole other reality to Northern California.
I love Collectors !
====
In 2016, my other house suffered a break-in and several of my lenses were stolen.
I made a deal with State Farm to work with their Adjusters and Under-writers to always come in under the base prices.
In this way, I was able to supplant many of my old lenses for fewer but New Digital/Auto-Focus High End Lenses.
Yes, I know that Digital photography has come a long ways since 2002.
I retired at age 50, in 2003, in order to live longer and allow my Mother to live longer too.
My Father had just died and she was having difficulty in the 21st Century.
My People don't do well in Rest Homes; but we can live to be over 100.
Siliconcameraguy

kingmeow
18th Apr 2020, 10:56 PM
The Nikon Coolpix 9xx cameras have the best macro around, focusing down to somewhere around 2 cm. I still have my Coolpix 950 though I don't use it any more. I paid $995 back in 1999.I

Oh, I also have a D70 but that too is retired. My main camera is now a D500 with a D300 as a backup.

Janbouli
19th Apr 2020, 06:51 AM
I use a Fuji Finepix S2980 , it has Macro and Super Macro settings , yes I would like an SLR with a few lenses but I'd rather spend the 1000 - 1500 euro's on my trains . I also think lighting is more important then the camera you use.

I wrote this in 2017 , I must have accumulated enough trains by now , because last year I bought a Sony A68 and in the meantime have bought several lenses including a 35mm and a 90mm Macro lens. I also have a 18-135mm that I like to take with me to trainshows and a 70-300mm I like for shooting at the zoo and nature photo's , plus a 12mm for shooting large buildings.

I love my camera bag because it doesn't stand out as being a camera bag. Think Tank Retrospective 30
https://media.teds.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/750x750/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/h/thinktank-retrospective-30-pinestone-1.jpg?cache_timestamp=1567554680

Metrolink
5th Jun 2020, 08:49 PM
. . . I love my camera bag because it doesn't stand out as being a camera bag. Think Tank Retrospective 30
https://media.teds.com.au/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/750x750/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/h/thinktank-retrospective-30-pinestone-1.jpg?cache_timestamp=1567554680
ThinkTank stuff is great. Well thought-out for pros on the move. I have a bunch of their belt-bags. I have a Domke three-lens + body bag. Domkes are also very good and have their signature strap-all-the-way-around feature they've had for decades.

Janbouli
6th Jun 2020, 03:22 AM
ThinkTank stuff is great. Well thought-out for pros on the move. I have a bunch of their belt-bags. I have a Domke three-lens + body bag. Domkes are also very good and have their signature strap-all-the-way-around feature they've had for decades.

Funny that I googled for about a month looking for exactly the right bag for me and Domke never came up , now that I googled for the Domke bag it did show and I sure like them. Love my Think Tank however because it looks a lot like my schoolbag back in the 70's.

valstewart
30th Aug 2020, 09:07 PM
Greetings. It seems we all use a lot of different cameras these days and I have a few as well that I would like to share.

Cannon XTi. This is the best one that I use to photograph my models. Its not the easiest to setup, but it takes the best photos.

Kodak Easyshare Z470. Certainly not as good as the Cannon, but its small, and easy to take to other modelers homes for quick photos.

Smartphone. It seems I too, have fallen into using the cell phone when I go on trips. Heh heh.

Samsung HyperDIS handycam. I have this one mounted over my work desk to create videos. It was low cost and easy to use.

ben_john7
11th Sep 2020, 01:37 PM
I use a Canon EOS M50 camera with EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens