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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author New camera
daveb

Joined: 31/05/2010

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New camera
Posted: 04/05/2018 16:23:59
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My present camera is not as good as it used to be so I'm looking for a new one for underground use as weel as normal photos. I thought it might be good to ask you chaps for opinions. I would like a compact, non SLR with a good flash. My present one is not so good for the flash. Dave Baines IP: 79.74.5.210
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Posted: 04/05/2018 16:47:51
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I have just bought a Sony DSC H400 of eBay. It was a manufacturers refurb, buy it now, for £150.
I am well pleased. It has manual exposure with up to 10 seconds shutter speed, full range of F stops, and 10 second self timer. Plus the pro expected shutter priority and F priority programs.
It great for outdoors as well. The tele lens is like powerful binoculars and takes clear pictures.
There is a cheaper H300 but it takes AAs, I want to steer clear of this, the H400 is Li Ion.

I have tried a waterproof compact Fujifilm XP 120 but its program only. I tried it with the 32,000 lumen Imolent DX80 torch but limited success. I am on lookout for a Lumix FT5 which is waterproof compact with manual setting option, but they like hens teeth.

When I get hold of an FT5 I will do a full write up of a shoot out with all 3, but I know the winner before I start. Only issue is to keep the Sony away from water.

EDIT
I have just notes your reference to the flash. You need to get light sources away from the camera. I use LED lamps or LED torches with diffusers.

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IP: 88.105.99.89 Edited: 04/05/2018 16:49:10 by royfellows
royfellows

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Posted: 04/05/2018 18:23:23
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Ref my above, some useful threads:

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=13064

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=13128

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=13127

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=12903

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sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
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Posted: 04/05/2018 19:49:33
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royfellows wrote:



I am on lookout for a Lumix FT5 which is waterproof compact with manual setting option, but they like hens teeth.



I have just bought a "new old stock" FT5 from the states (to replace the one I lost whilst out climbing 2 years ago Angry ) and they are now super-rare but they do EVERYTHING that you need a camera to do above and below ground. Absolutely brilliant. That's my recommendation. Thumb Up



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NewStuff

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Posted: 04/05/2018 21:56:21
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As Roy says, no onboard flash. It'll make for dull, lifeless, flat pictures.

I'm going to throw an oddball out there. Sony NEX. nice and compact especially with the 16mm pancake lens, not an SLR, but as capable and with removable lenses, so expandable if you decide to take things further. Older models will be cheap enough, newer ones drop the NEX branding and take on the Alpha branding it's bigger SLR brothers use.

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IP: 88.97.32.83
Hattlebags

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Posted: 04/05/2018 21:57:06
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Olympus TG5 is superb for below ground. The Live Composite mode is awesome. IP: 213.205.242.201
colin567

Joined: 06/06/2008
Location: Ouston

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Posted: 04/05/2018 22:48:01
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Fuji XQ1, so good I bought a second one. Small compact camera, with a low light mode that takes several frames and then stacks them together, allowing hand held underground photographs with a decent multi LED torch, plus diffuser, poundland carrier bag works well.
Torch and camera fit inside oversuit allowing quick pictures as well as using more light sources and time.
Above ground makes a really good pocket camera, I like the colour of fuji, always have since velvia 35mm slides.
Got mine from ebay, around £100, there is now an XQ2 which seems to be very similar.
IP: 79.70.186.193
royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 11:23:33
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I have done some tests underground with multiple light sources, same composition, but the two different cameras I have already described.
This brings home the desirability of being open minded and being prepared to re access anything in the light of new technology.
Comparing pictures taken on the Sony on manual settings and the Fuji XP120 tested both on full auto and program with a forced ASA 400 setting, not a tad of difference between them!
And this is viewed on a 24 monitor.

So now I am undergoing a rather major rethink on my photography. I have to leave behind the world of 9 megapixels as in my old Fujifilm S9600 some 10 years old and move into the world of 16 and 20. I took some photos at the karate club with the old camera and had to set it on ASA 800 due to the lighting etc. The pictures came out grainy. Double up the megapixels and everything changes.

I had an interesting moment with the Sony when I tried to play back and it could not read the file format. Obviously, I had inadvertently edited photos from my Windows computer direct to the camera, had this before. Although the pictures are saved OK and can be downloaded, you just cant view them on the camera. I took out the memory chip to use the on board memory and it worked OK until the space was full, then it 'helpfully' asked me if I would like to delete all my pictures!

Beware of being prompted to disaster by all this stuff.

Anyway all worked out OK.

I tried the little Fuji XP120 out with some surface pictures round about, and they were just as good as I would get off the Sony. Only issue is lack of viewfinder caused me to have to mess about with reading glasses.

My conclusions are that one modern camera is possibly as good underground as another. Main factors being the skill of the person using it. Composition, lighting etc, same as way back in film camera days. I think that if you are buying a pocket camera for underground you might as well choose a waterproof one as any other and have a rider against wrecking it.

Also, I would say to avoid the temptation of buying something SH with out of date specifications because its going cheap. The new stuff is cheap enough if you a wise shopper.

One thing that has come out of all this for me anyway, is the usefulness of diffusers for powerful torches. I think the big underground challenge is a group photo where everyone is on the move, and this is possibly where the powerful DX800 could come into things.

Just as another little experiment I tried a hand held 'happy snap' with the XP120 using that torch with a diffuser as a single light source and just placed on a rock down on the right.

This is it. I think not bad.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

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AdM Michael

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Posted: 07/05/2018 19:41:33
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You'll need want a Lumix FT5 as it's discontinued. This leaves the Olympus TG5 as only option for waterproof and manual settings. Unless you've got enough money for a Leica.

You could still tweak cameras like the Lumix FT30 to long exposure times and get reasonable results:


(click image to open full size image in new window)
But you'll need some decent light. I'll tend to use a large number of small lights rather than one big one.

I prefer waterproof cameras unless I know the condition are ok for anything with open mechanical parts. It's always amazing how and where all the dirt can end up inside a compact camera.

This photo was taken with a Lumix FT5:


(click image to open full size image in new window)

And same location but slightly different view taken with a Lumix LF1:


(click image to open full size image in new window)

None of the above is straight of the camera. The photos are all processed.

Big advantage of the FT5 & TG5 is the remote control. Wifi will get you up to 30 metres range with full preview and you can change your settings without walking back to the camera. All you need is a suitable mobile to run the app for the camera.
IP: 37.81.217.49 Edited: 07/05/2018 19:46:38 by AdM Michael
royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 19:57:50
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Agree completely, but TG does not have a manual setting, I checked all the specs. While I am on, the XP 120 is stated as having a 4 second shutter speed on all modes bar Auto. This is garbage, all mine does is 1/4.

The XP 120 though is giving results far better than I anticipated, so now I am unsure what to do.

There are FT5s available but very infrequent. A couple just went on eBay.

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AdM Michael

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Posted: 07/05/2018 20:23:22
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You're right. There's only the A-mode on the TG5 which is sort of semi-manual. You can set the aperture but not the speed which is a bit disappointing as it's even more limited than the options of the FT5 which offers 2 apertures and speeds down to 4 seconds. Slower speeds of 15" and 30" are only possible with the starry sky mode.
The FT4 had a much better range down to 60" in manual mode but was missing some of the special night modes which came back with the FT5.

You're probably using too much light for the XP 120. I used the following proceedure for cameras like the XP 120:
night mode
10" selftimer
Spotlight for autofocus on object in frame
half press shutter release for focus
Spotlight and all other lights off
full press shutter release to start countdown
start light painting when shutter opens

This usually got me 4 seconds on older Fuji and Pentax/Ricoh waterproof cameras. Panasonics are a lot easier to handle.

The Ricoh WG50 is an options if you don't want or need manual settings, but I wasn't really pleased with the image quality of some of the older Pentax in the end and switched to Panasonic .


IP: 37.81.217.49 Edited: 07/05/2018 20:37:30 by AdM Michael
royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 20:47:59
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I think I might grab the next FT5 I see going, manufacturer refurb or whatever. I can see me doing more with it than the XP120. There is an FT6 you know, but not much different to the 5.

Thing with photography, we all have different views on what makes a good picture. Personally, I am out to please myself rather than others.
Some of the best underground mine photographs in my view are still those taken by Dickie Bird on B and W film many years ago.



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royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 20:59:59
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This is one off the Sony on manual



(click image to open full size image in new window)

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AdM Michael

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:04:28
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Panasonic uses different names for the same camera depending on where it is sold. You'll find FT or FS 5 and 6. There's no difference between 5 and 6 except for the lable. IP: 109.41.67.10
sinker

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:25:44
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AdM Michael wrote:

Panasonic uses different names for the same camera depending on where it is sold. You'll find FT or FS 5 and 6. There's no difference between 5 and 6 except for the lable.


My FT5 goes to 60" exposure on manual AND 'Starry Sky'.
There are a few different versions around, depending on software. My new one is 'new old stock' but from the US. Maybe they got a different spec to the European models. Dunno. The old FT5 that I lost around 2 years ago only went to 60" on 'Starry Sky', not on manual.... Blink



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royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:32:44
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About the FT5. I note that its has a GPS, but studying the downloaded manual it appears that you are stuck with latitude and longitude with no OSGB option. So on the face of it chocolate fireguard territory. Obviously cant relate this to a map but I suppose you could write it down and convert back at home.

Any comments?

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sinker

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:37:58
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royfellows wrote:

About the FT5. I note that its has a GPS, but studying the downloaded manual it appears that you are stuck with latitude and longitude with no OSGB option. So on the face of it chocolate fireguard territory. Obviously cant relate this to a map but I suppose you could write it down and convert back at home.

Any comments?


There's an app available for smart phones that can convert lat/long to OSGB 36 and presumably other projections too.....I've seen it but never used it.



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royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:44:03
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The OS website does it.

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AdM Michael

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Posted: 07/05/2018 21:53:13
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I wasn't really bothered about the GPS for underground but was more concerned about the altimeter not working sub sealevel.
GPS and altimeter will also drain the battery a lot quicker.
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royfellows

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Posted: 07/05/2018 22:09:50
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The GPS wont work underground but as a little camera that slips into a pocket would be likely to be carried everywhere I would find a GPS useful. I dont use a mobile device. Bought an android a while back just for GPS and memory maps and opened a thread on it. But went belly up after 6 months so that was that.

I suppose its odd nowadays someone without a mobile but at home all the week next to a computer and no family. Only friends I see at the martial arts clubs at evenings, and weekends doing my mining thing.

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