What a difference a proper camera makes!

Taking good photo's of your tree's can be challenging. Discuss your ideas and tips here.
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Matt S
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What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Matt S »

Since I joined ausbonsai I've always been disappointed in the photos that I've posted. I know that all bonsai are better in the flesh and few photos can do a tree justice, but I've been relying on the camera in my ipad and although the resolution is good I've always been annoyed at the fisheye effect - my trees always looked top heavy and the pot was never seen properly side on. I could improve the photos if I stood further away and zoomed in, but it never looked right. Especially frustrating was taking a photo in the hope of helping me figure out how to improve a tree but realising that the photo didn't match what I was seeing.

So I've finally bought an actual camera for the first time in over a decade and I've been playing around with it this morning. Although it's a modest camera (Panasonic Lumix DC FZ80) the difference is exactly what I was hoping for - no more fisheye and a better representation of how the tree actually looks. I know this is hardly news to most of you but I'm all excited!
gum 17Apr21 ipad.jpg

gum 17Apr21 camera.jpg

Both of these photos were taken with the lens 2 thirds the way up the tree.

Matt.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by legoman_iac »

Congrats on the camera!!! My first digital camera was a Panasonic FZ5. I just checked the specs, very impressive looking camera.

With 60x zoom you could probably also do some cool trick shots, being really far away from the tree with the moon in the background?

Nice comparison pics. Curious how close you can get for macro/close up work?

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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Watto »

Congratulations. I must admit I take nearly all my photos with the phone because it is so convenient but very occasionally I get the old Cannon out.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Pearcy001 »

G'day Matt,

Firstly great tree, also great pot - who's it by?
Do you mind photographing the tree with the iPad and posting the difference?

Also does anyone know if the new smart phones out these days are the equivalent?

Cheers,
Pearcy.

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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by melbrackstone »

Most smart phones and ipads use a wide angle because selfies tend to look a little "better" at wide angles, eyes and mouths appear larger and fuller. You only need to zoom in a little to get rid of the wide view. The exif on each image shows the focal length is wide on each, but a LOT wider on the ipad.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Matt S »

Daniel - I haven't played with the macro much but I can practically touch the lens to a well lit object and it stays in focus.

Pearcy - I don't remember the origins of the pot other than I bought in in Melbourne many years ago. There's no chop so no clues there. The two photos in the original post show the comparison between the iPad and the camera.

Matt
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by greg27 »

Thanks for the comparison shots Matt, you've encouraged me to dig out my point-and-shoot camera and have a play around with that. Every now and then I get all inspired and get the DSLR out but I'm not patient or talented enough to get decent results with that!
Pearcy001 wrote: April 18th, 2021, 9:58 am Also does anyone know if the new smart phones out these days are the equivalent?
Phone manufacturers are doing a pretty decent job at jamming a good camera into a tiny space, but there's only so much you can do with such a small sensor and lens.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by melbrackstone »

I shot all the photos on the Redlands show thread with my 3 year old Sony phone. So yes, it's quite possible to use a tablet or phone, and the cameras in them are getting better and better. In saying that, MattS has certainly produced a much better result with his new camera.

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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Beano »

melbrackstone wrote:Most smart phones and ipads use a wide angle because selfies tend to look a little "better" at wide angles, eyes and mouths appear larger and fuller. You only need to zoom in a little to get rid of the wide view. The exif on each image shows the focal length is wide on each, but a LOT wider on the ipad.
I beg to differ! I hate the bloody selfie cam... it makes my nose look huge and bulbous and exacerbates my cheekbone asymmetry (and massiveness). That’s why young people are always taking from multiple angles with duck face, because the fish eye selfie lens is really quite distorting and it’s only real purpose is to make it easier to frame your face in the centre.


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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by melbrackstone »

Well yeah, the nose thing can be a problem, lol! Nevertheless, most selfie cams are very wide because it does make eyes and lips appear bigger. I believe you're meant to take the shot from above, to lessen the bulbous nose effect... I'll be honest, I've never used my phone for a selfie...so I'm only going on info I've read.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Beano »

melbrackstone wrote:Well yeah, the nose thing can be a problem, lol! Nevertheless, most selfie cams are very wide because it does make eyes and lips appear bigger. I believe you're meant to take the shot from above, to lessen the bulbous nose effect... I'll be honest, I've never used my phone for a selfie...so I'm only going on info I've read.
selfie.jpeg
Oh I’ve never seen a comparison like that, that’s pretty much what happens.

Oh you take the selfie from above to reduce double chin. Because there’s tendency to look down at phones and it’s a bad angle for selfies if you have a double chin like me.


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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by gmartins »

Wide angles are not good for portrait photography due to their distortion. Professional photographers always use mid to long focal distances (>50 mm). 85mm is quite a well known and widely used focal length for portraits. The higher focal length also helps by blurring the background and then helping focusing on the subject. You can’t do this with phone photography. They try to imitate the bokeh effect using algorithms but more often than not it looks terrible.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by bki »

35mm lens for portrait is the equivalent of human eye in a full frame cameras (pro) and 50mm lens in cropped cameras.
you have to read the manual about adjusting the depth of field to create a nice bokeh. in my camera days i used 50mm f1.4 handheld shots to get a smooth blurred background. to eliminate distortion and add vignetting, i shot form a distance with a tripod with a 100mm f2.8.
no camera has been invented yet that reduces distortion at close range, but the software with the camera or phone does the correction with varying result. same effect of using a pair of reading glasses.
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Re: What a difference a proper camera makes!

Post by Grainer »

Cameras and after effects are very good at hiding ALOT of things... Nothing quite like a real raw shot to unveil the mask sometimes :o Like waking up with beer googles on the night before !
Alot of the time I'd love to see the before photo when I see photos so worked over they don't really represent the original tree. I think if you photograph make sure you be honest and show the real tree rather than the smoke and mirrors to please social media.
but with a bit of patience and a gopd setup you can make a lemon look truly beautiful.
The photo here looks great and true to form .. great work
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