Someday a DSLR

I miss my SLR. I miss manual focus.

I currently have a Canon PowerShot. It's okay for everyday photography, but not for trying to focus on distant insects and tiny flowers. I am at the mercy of autofocus on my camera and also my cell phone. It's so frustrating to watch my target appear in focus only to quickly become a blur. Forget trying to focus on a tiny spider in a web. Fortunately, I am usually able to get at least a pretty good image from both devices.

I am hoping that by next summer, I can purchase a new camera. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but I'd love something that helps me take better photos.

Posted by kellyfuerstenberg kellyfuerstenberg, July 17, 2015 01:49 AM

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Kelly, I have a few comments. First and foremost, focusing on distant insects and tiny flowers is a challenge for all of us! Personally I don't think that I could live with only manual focus anymore - I would miss too many shots. I got a new DSLR in December to replace one that rolled down a hill into a lake. I resolved to learn how to use all of its features, which I had utterly failed to do with the previous camera. Once I learned how to 1) quickly change ISO to get sharp pictures in all lighting conditions, 2) effectively use spot autofocus to pick out my main subject, and 3) quickly change aperture and shutter speed (I usually shoot in manual mode), my pictures improved.

Some things to keep in mind for both tiny flowers and insects is that you will need a lens (or lenses) that can focus close enough to have a decent sized image in the frame, but also allow you adequate working distance. For instance I have noticed that many dragonflies seem to have a "comfort distance," and will not let you approach any closer without taking flight. So a lens shorter than 100mm will likely not work well for dragonflies (or smaller insects) simply because you would have to get too close to get a decent sized image in the frame.

Frankly any of the name DSLRs, especially Canon and Nikon, will have enough lens choices available to help you make fine nature images. But it is the combination of equipment and knowing how to use it that is key.

Posted by sanguinaria33 about 7 years ago (Flag)

Thank you for your comments. I was not familiar with spot autofocus, and that sounds like it might solve at least some of my focusing issues. I do love autofocus most of the time, but sometimes trying to focus on that dragonfly perched on a branch makes me wish for manual focus. Of course, part of my problem is making sure I'm at least aiming at the right branch. :)

Posted by kellyfuerstenberg about 7 years ago (Flag)

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