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Va4fam

Choice of Camera for Photos and videos

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Love seeing the great vlogs, pics and videos that are posted by fellow cruisers.   

What type of camera do you use to capture both?   Any suggestions for stabilization devices to reduce shake and motion in the videos?

We have the iPhone X, GoPro, and a Sony digital camera.   Love to come home from a cruise with better pics and videos.

 

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I use either my iPhone XS Max, or my canon 6d DSLR. All are hand held. I know others have used tripods or gimbal devices. 
 

You say you want to come home with better pictures, I suggest first maybe looking into photography classes near by. A camera is as only good as the photographer behind it. You can throw all your money into expensive gear, but if you don’t know how to best utilize it, you really won’t have any improvement.

i took some classes while in college, but I too am considering more studying on digital work with post processing etc.

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Old cliché...  The best camera is the one you have with you.  

For video instead of doing a lot of walking that requires stabilization try a series of short clips with fluid movement then edit your short clips together into a video.  iPhones have some stabilization built in, some editing software can further stabilize video if you edit it on a computer.

The 13mm lens on the iPhone 11 models do great on a cruise ship where wide angle rocks but you have to be careful using ultra wide angle due to the edge distortion.  If you can find natural lines or curves in your scene the ultra wide angle can compliment the photo and work well.  

The two most important benefits of a proper digital camera is often most evident in low light and optical zoom depending on your camera.  Smartphones are great but you will usually get much better photos with a real digital camera.  On a bright sunny day a phone can do well if you need the fixed zoom.  

As far as GoPro they have a use but for general travel photography I find them lacking.

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Thanks for suggestions everyone.   The Osmo Pocket looks like it would check a lot of boxes.   And just in time for Black Friday deals!!!

@Twangster.....any tips you have on settings on a digital camera would be great.   We were at Antelope Canyon (AZ) this summer and our guide changed the settings on our camera and it made a dramatic improvement to the pictures.   

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43 minutes ago, Va4fam said:

@Twangster.....any tips you have on settings on a digital camera would be great.   We were at Antelope Canyon (AZ) this summer and our guide changed the settings on our camera and it made a dramatic improvement to the pictures.   

That's hard for me to articulate because there are many different photo scenarios on a ship. 

For sunset or sunrise stopping down a few stops will create a more round appearing sun then you can adjust the lighting later in software to brighten the image.  Most cameras overexpose the sun at sunset resulting in an irregular blob like or washed out sun.  While it may still be a beautiful sunset by stopping down a few steps in takes it up a level.  

By default the camera wants to overexpose the sun based on the rest of the scene:

Phototips-5.jpg

By stopping down a few stops the sun isn't so washed out and it's a better overall photo.

Phototips-4.jpg

For action scenes where people or objects are moving you need a higher shutter speed.  If you camera is capable of high ISO with decent noise performance a higher shutter speed will yield sharp images with motion present in challenging lighting like night or indoors.  When shooting in the theater again stopping down a few stops will correct for the camera over exposing the image based on the dark periphery of a stage.

It's generally better to underexpose slightly rather than overexpose.  Once a picture is overexposed there is no getting that lost detail back.  A slightly underexposed picture can usually be brightened later. 

A big improvement you can make to photography is going through your photos one by one and making fine adjustments to each one.  It's time consuming but once you get used to it your workflow will become more efficient and less time consuming.  To this end shooting RAW gives substantially more room to correct mistakes when shooting but requires more card space since files are a lot bigger.  You also need to plan to work on your photos in software later.  Few cameras will produce ideal JPEGs in all scenarios but shooting in RAW is more work.

Composition makes all the difference in photography.  To this end explore the concept of the "rule of thirds".  While not required for all photos it's a safe fall back when in doubt.  Search YouTube for a tutorial.

Lastly learn how to manipulate depth of field.  When you have subjects like people standing at a railing on a ship a slight blur of the background will cause your subjects to pop out of the picture.  Too much blur and you lose the idea of where they are.  Practice makes perfect.

I not not going to show people because I don't have any who have given permission to share so I'll use a beer.  Clearly the beer is the subject but it's somewhat lost in the clutter of the background:  

Phototips-2.jpg

By leveraging the concept of depth of field to blur the background you still know it's a bar but the beer stands out as the subject of the photo. 

Phototips-3.jpg

Put it all together and a mundane photo of a beer in bar can become more interesting. By taking some time to compose this I managed to get the reflection of the sign symmetrical with the sign but keeping the glass of beer as the focus of the picture by blurring the background.

Phototips-1.jpg

Learning to move beyond the automatic modes of a camera will help to raise your photography to the next level.  However it takes time and lots of wasted pictures to figure out what works best.  The more you play around the more comfortable you'll become taking manual control when you need it at that perfect moment.  

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For travel and convenience I like the Nikon Coolpix A900.

It has an automatic mode as well a manual modes. It is small and compact enough to slip into a pocket. What really makes it stand out is the built in 35x optical zoom. I have some great wild life photos taken from a safe distance. I added a 128GB SD card and you would be hard pressed to fill it up. The on screen "photo remaining" count only goes to 999. I've never seen it go lower even after having taken several hundred photos and a number of short videos.

It does have some draw backs. It does not do raw images. But as far as being handy and able to take great photos, even at some distance, its hard to beat.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, TJ! said:

are any of these water proof if you also wanted to take it into the ocean during excursions or water play?

Some are, some are not.  

Action cams are often waterproof to a specified depth.  Digital cameras often are not.  Most phones are either water resistant or better yet get a waterproof case for use near water.  The touch screen control of phones doesn't always work very well in or underwater.  

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On 11/25/2019 at 6:19 AM, Va4fam said:

Thanks for suggestions everyone.   The Osmo Pocket looks like it would check a lot of boxes.   And just in time for Black Friday deals!!!

@Twangster.....any tips you have on settings on a digital camera would be great.   We were at Antelope Canyon (AZ) this summer and our guide changed the settings on our camera and it made a dramatic improvement to the pictures.   

Just did a cruise with iPhone X ,Osmo Moble 3, DLSR and Osmo Pocket. all worked great, of course bests pic were with DLSR. I used the DLSR and iPhone the most. Osmo pocket is great  but strongly suggest you practice a lot with it before hand. other expenses to consider with the Osmo pocket are Wheel, Extension rod and lenses

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On 11/25/2019 at 3:59 PM, twangster said:

That's hard for me to articulate because there are many different photo scenarios on a ship. 

For sunset or sunrise stopping down a few stops will create a more round appearing sun then you can adjust the lighting later in software to brighten the image.  Most cameras overexpose the sun at sunset resulting in an irregular blob like or washed out sun.  While it may still be a beautiful sunset by stopping down a few steps in takes it up a level.  

By default the camera wants to overexpose the sun based on the rest of the scene:

Phototips-5.jpg

By stopping down a few stops the sun isn't so washed out and it's a better overall photo.

Phototips-4.jpg

For action scenes where people or objects are moving you need a higher shutter speed.  If you camera is capable of high ISO with decent noise performance a higher shutter speed will yield sharp images with motion present in challenging lighting like night or indoors.  When shooting in the theater again stopping down a few stops will correct for the camera over exposing the image based on the dark periphery of a stage.

It's generally better to underexpose slightly rather than overexpose.  Once a picture is overexposed there is no getting that lost detail back.  A slightly underexposed picture can usually be brightened later. 

A big improvement you can make to photography is going through your photos one by one and making fine adjustments to each one.  It's time consuming but once you get used to it your workflow will become more efficient and less time consuming.  To this end shooting RAW gives substantially more room to correct mistakes when shooting but requires more card space since files are a lot bigger.  You also need to plan to work on your photos in software later.  Few cameras will produce ideal JPEGs in all scenarios but shooting in RAW is more work.

Composition makes all the difference in photography.  To this end explore the concept of the "rule of thirds".  While not required for all photos it's a safe fall back when in doubt.  Search YouTube for a tutorial.

Lastly learn how to manipulate depth of field.  When you have subjects like people standing at a railing on a ship a slight blur of the background will cause your subjects to pop out of the picture.  Too much blur and you lose the idea of where they are.  Practice makes perfect.

I not not going to show people because I don't have any who have given permission to share so I'll use a beer.  Clearly the beer is the subject but it's somewhat lost in the clutter of the background:  

Phototips-2.jpg

By leveraging the concept of depth of field to blur the background you still know it's a bar but the beer stands out as the subject of the photo. 

Phototips-3.jpg

Put it all together and a mundane photo of a beer in bar can become more interesting. By taking some time to compose this I managed to get the reflection of the sign symmetrical with the sign but keeping the glass of beer as the focus of the picture by blurring the background.

Phototips-1.jpg

Learning to move beyond the automatic modes of a camera will help to raise your photography to the next level.  However it takes time and lots of wasted pictures to figure out what works best.  The more you play around the more comfortable you'll become taking manual control when you need it at that perfect moment.  

Hi - What camera is this? Looks incredible!!!

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