Chasing Photography

Hello,

What are some cameras that are good for taking chase pictures, of the storms, I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about. A cmaera that chasers use to take pictures of storms. Also what are some good video cameras. Thanks for any help! I already have a Nikon Coolpix 4800, is this good for taking storm chasing pictures?
 
When it comes to taking digital stills... Nothing can beat the Canon EOS Rebel. I have been using it for a year now and it's been awesome...
 
I've heard that was great camera for almost anything...Nick, what is the learning Curve on it, is it pretty tough to learn to use, or is it pretty user friendly? I saw one of your Videos Nick, what Camcorder do you use?
 
Canon 10 D will beat the Canon DR, but not by a whole lot and certainly not price wise. Although when the 20 D came out, I suspect it might.
 
Yes, i've heard very good things about the Cannon Rebel... but i have yet to save up the money to buy one...

In terms of video i'd be assuming youre looking for a digital instead of analog or tape camera...

Im also to poor for those lol... but u've heard a few good things about the higher end Sony stuff...

But yes as Mr. Grillo said definatley the Cannon Rebel...
 
Canon 10 D will beat the Canon DR, but not by a whole lot and certainly not price wise. Although when the 20 D came out, I suspect it might.

Is the Canon 10 D more or less expensive that the digital rebel?
 
Where did you buy yours at, retail stores, or online, or something, lol. What is a the kit your speaking of? So, you do post picture tweaking, like what? It isn't anything that changes the actual image?
 
I have the Canon Digital Rebel XT (D350). I've been extremely pleased with it and really love the camera. This was my first pro-quality SLR...stepping up from a 3mp point-n-shoot. So, I can speak first hand about the learning curve. :) The manual that comes with it is pretty good and the packaged software was better than I expected...pretty decent.

What worked for me is a "graduated" learning scale. I started out with the basics and take a few shots then look at them on the computer. I'd step up to the next section in the manual and repeat. The great thing is that learning is cheap...no film! :) Fortunately with the DR, you can start taking pictures right out of the box with the automatic setting in jpeg format. Of course, it also helps if you know a couple of experienced photographers. If not, then there is alot of info on the internet...and I'd also check out the local camera store and there are even community college classes.

As for the DR, I saved $100 by getting it without the kit lens (body only). I used the $100 towards getting a Canon 17-40mm "L" lens. I have to extend some thanks to Mike Hollingshead for his great webpage detailing the difference in quality between the "L" lens and the kit lens. I can't find that on his site though. But, it certainly sold me on getting the better quality lens. HOWEVER....I'll also add that the kit lens will still do a good job. So, don't sweat it if you don't want to fork over the extra $600 or so.

I strongly recommend getting a good haze filter and leave it on all the time....even with lightning shots. It serves an additional important function of protecting the lens..something to think about considering how expensive they are. I'm always getting the filter dirty and cleaning it too, so if I screw up and scratch it, it's alot easier and cheaper to replace than the lens.

In addition to filters, by all means get a circular polarizer. It's excellent for sunny days or filming clouds or storm structures in bright conditions. I get better detail in the cloud elements as well as bringing out the blue skies much better. It's the same as putting on a good pair of sunshades. :) Stay away from the cheap stuff. I personally use Hoya "Super Quality" filters which are towards the high end, but not outrageously priced.

Other than that, if you are using it for stormchasing, get at least 1gb of card memory. You can burn through 1gb of images pretty quickly on an active chase day and shooting in RAW mode. Myself, I've got 3 1gb cards. However, if you only want to shoot mainly jpeg, a 1gb card will hold LOTS of photos. One more thing...get an extra battery! Nothing like having a battery go dead in the middle of a tornado.

That's a pretty good shopping list. LOL!! But, you can add as you go along. Like I said, you can start taking great photos right out of the box with a very small learning curve. Then you can proceed at your own pace.

To see some of the shots I'm getting, check out: http://texastailchaser.com/2005blog and http://stevemillergalleries.com
 
what about the Canon D60? I've heard you can do super long exposures without any purple fringing, and I think I read on Nguyen's bio page on his website that he uses that.. hmm.. oh yeah, wasn't Mike Hollingshead talking about how they screw around with the colours some? (The Rebel that is). Anyway, I'll let them speak for themselves. :wink:
 
I just got a Nikon D70 about a month ago, and I have completely fallen in love with it. I've learned so much about photograhy just by playing around with settings and taking lots of pictures. The 18-70mm included lens is very fun to use; in addition, I picked up a 70-300mm Nikkor lens fairly cheaply (some pincushion, but for 450mm equivalent on 35mm format I'll take it!).

I can tell you right now that if you were to get a Nikon D70, D70s, or even a D50 that you would not be disappointed.
 
The Canon 10D is most likely discontinued (I don't know this for sure) in favor of the Canon 20D. In the case of the 10D you can probably pick one up for the price of a new Canon DR. They both use the same sensor, the 10/20D will have a few more options available than the DR but essentially the same camera.

Don't get me wrong, with the right glass, the DR is a great camera. I do a few other things with mine that require the 'extra' options the 10D provides though. If you're using it for storm photography and family snaps, the DT is the way to go. It's worth every penny that you pay and with all the lens options, you won't go wrong with it.
 
The Digi-Reb XT looks like a great camera on paper, but i'll never be able to use it. It is simply too small for my hands! It feels uncomfortable while I hold it, and the controls are more of a hassle than on the 20D. That said, it would make a great camera for those with smaller hands. My wife wants one.... and I'd gladly get it for her if I had the $$$.

Aaron
 
As for Aaron's comments, I've seen this mentioned in several discussions wrt the XT cam. A suggestion is trying it with the battery grip added on, as this makes it a large size more easily held, and gives you a much longer battery life between charges. Something to consider at least if you can't afford the 20D.

Glen
 
I can vouch for the 20D. It is a very nice camera. The kit lens is not the best, but it still works very well. The 10D would be a good cheaper version, and you can find them used for a great price, just make sure to see how the camera has been used/how much it has bene used.

As for something that works for less then 1599$ retail, the digital rebel is not a bad camera for 799$ retail. You can find them for less online, just be careful where you shop.
 
I had a good experience with buydig.com You can get the 20d(without lens) for $1279.... then there is an additional $100 rebate.

Aaron
 
I also have the Canon Digital Rebel and I also had a great experience with buydig.com. I did A LOT of research on www.resellerratings.com to find out what other peoples' experiences were with stores that were offering a "too good to be true" price on cameras and accessories. Do your homework and you will be satisfied in the end. :)
 
Seems like the camera part is covered well already. If you are still wondering about a video camera I'd mention a couple short things. I'm not sure I'd even bother reading the lux ratings as I'm not sure how some come to the numbers they do with various cams. It has just seemed like a fairly silly thing from what I've seen so far. What I'd look for is if it has 3 ccds as you'll get much more life-like images. The colors will be much better. I'd also look at the ccd size....the bigger the better. Sony went with 1/6 inch on all their newer cheaper cams and I think really killed their low light abilities. The older 1/4 ones I've seen always seem to look better. I'm tempted to buy a larger cam closer to full size just for some of the much larger ccds like 2/3 inch ones. I'd be more concerned about ccd size than if there are 3 of them as you can find cams around $1000 with big big ccds if you look. 3 chippers get you up there in price quickly. Other than those two things I guess you might want to look into the lens that is on it. I don't think these tiny finger sized lenses are going to do much, especially in lower light. I say all this and still am using my sony trv-19, lol. It has the worst of everything and does an ok job in some situations, but generally sucks.
 
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