Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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saulat 07-31-2009 09:48 PM

Optimum settings for Powershot A610

Just looking for advice on taking pics of my aquarium. My ISO setting goes from 50 to 400. There are different settings I can pick for Sunny, Cloudy, Auto, Tungsten, Flourescent, Flourescent H, Underwater, and Custom where it says evaluate white balance. I have some kind of drive mode, maybe a timer? Effects for Vivid, Neutral, Low sharpening, sepia, and black/white. Flash output, Fine grade, and resolution settings as well. My pics seem relatively ok when not zoomed in, but often blurry. When zoomed in all I geet is blurry undefined pics. I like way the piics come out with my lights on better than wiith the flash so that isn't my issue currrently. Can anyone knowledgable give me some suggestions? Thanks.

saulat 08-04-2009 11:38 AM

I got a few decent shots just now. Check them out on my aquarium profile if you want. I had it set to auto and resolution and fineness just set to worst setting so I can take more pics and the only issues I had were close ups. I know it can take decent ones because I saw some, must be an auto focus feature.

aunt kymmie 08-04-2009 11:47 AM

I think you got some good pics. :-)
I have trouble with my camera also, even when its settings are where they need to be for close ups. There's a certain skill & art to taking pics that I simply don't have! :lol:

saulat 08-04-2009 10:13 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here is another one I just took during feeding :)
(with the twig cat on the rock in the 2nd)

aunt kymmie 08-05-2009 12:06 AM

Nice shots. I love the twig catfish, cool looking fish :-)

RogueGypsy 08-05-2009 12:23 PM

I use an A550 so maybe I can help a little. I have 'live view' on my cam and yours should have it too, so as you change the light settings (tungsten, fluorescent ........) you should be able to see how it will effect the photo on the view finder. Tungsten will give you more of a blue tone, while the fluorescent settings lean toward yellow, adjust to your liking or change for effect.

Since fish rarely hold still for a photo op, HI ISO or a LO ISO w/flash is usually you best bet. I usually go with a lower ISO 80-200 with the flash. The flash tends to freeze everything in place and gives you foreground fill light. When shooting with the flash, shoot at an angle to the glass, straight on will give you a big white spot in the middle of the pic.

Use a tripod to steady the cam and use burst mode (cam continues to take pictures as long as the button is held down), you'll get 5-10 shots and 1 0r 2 will be good. NOTE: Burst mode does not work with the flash, because it can't recharge fast enough.

If you want close ups, use the MACRO setting (the flower button) for sharp pics. Macro works great for anything 3 feet and closer, which is where most aquarium shot will range. It works far better than trying to zoom from across the room.

Here is what I usually do: Try setting the camera up just far enough away so the that the aquarium fills the frame in the view finder with no zoom and at a slight angle. Depending on the size of the tank, you may still be able to use the macro setting (if you are within 3 feet) and shoot pics of the full tank with the flash and lowest ISO possible (80) is best, if the tank lights are bright enough turn off the flash and use burst mode. Then use a photo editor to cut the section of the pic you want to keep and/or post.
Doing it this way has many advantages; sometimes you get great shots you would miss if you were 'trying' to get them, photo editing on the computer renders much better results than using the software built into the camera, by shooting the whole tank sometimes you can get 2 or 3 great shots from a single picture.

Remember, the full resolution of the pic is 3000+ pixels X 2000+ pixels and you usually post pics in the 800 to 1200 pixel range. That breaks down to 3 full size photos in every frame without zooming or degrading quality. Using software on your computer it's easy to double the size from their with very little change in quality when you shoot the picture with no zoom.

And don't forget to shoot some video, I was surprised at the quality of the vid from mine. and IrfanView are two very simple and powerful FREE photo editors that you can download. If you really want to do some trick stuff try GIMP, it's free too and rivals any commercial photo editor you can buy.



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