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Thread: What Camera Do You Use?

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    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?

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    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?

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    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-a...ver&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.
    Last edited by dwwojcik; 6th Sep 2019 at 01:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwojcik View Post
    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

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    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.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim R View Post
    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

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    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:


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    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwwojcik View Post
    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
    First you have to have "that", then you can have "this".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwojcik View Post
    .... 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.
    z_100_P1022991_C.jpg

    Regards,
    Ron

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    Default Nikon 995 and D-70 for now but many lenses.

    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

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    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
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    . . . 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/cata...amp=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.

    Southern Pacific | Santa Fe | SPSF | BNSF | Metrolink | CalTrain | Chicago Metra | TGV Lyria

    railways by Kato Unitrack + Unitram | electric light-rail by Tomix | construction by Kato Diotown & Tomytec Co., Ltd. | vehicles by Busch GmbH & Co. KG
    ambient sound design by Fantasonics | digital command control by Dynamis Ultima | layout automation by RailController

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metrolink View Post
    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.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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