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> What Camera Should I Buy For Weather/Lightning Photos?, Post All Reviews & Advice Here
snowmonster123
post Dec 6 2008, 09:00 AM
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What camera should I use to shoot weather photos? I don't want to spend much money but I would like to buy a camera that shoots detailed pictures. Thanks in advance for info. I have never really taken that many photos in my life but I have just acquired an interest in weather photography since I am a weather enthusiast. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

This post has been edited by WeatherMatrix: Oct 12 2009, 07:22 AM


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WeatherMatrix
post Dec 6 2008, 12:14 PM
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QUOTE(snowmonster123 @ Dec 6 2008, 10:00 AM) *
What camera should I use to shoot weather photos? I don't want to spend much money but I would like to buy a camera that shoots detailed pictures. Thanks in advance for info. I have never really taken that many photos in my life but I have just acquired an interest in weather photography since I am a weather enthusiast. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


You want something with at least 5 Megapixels and 5x *Optical* zoom.

I bought a Kodak Z650 (6 MP, 10x Optical Zoom) a couple years ago and it has served me well. You can read my review of it and see pics from it on my blog. It was $250 at the time but is probably half that now.

The only complaint I have is that you have to force it to use manual infinity focus for sky/cloud shots and still 10-20% of the time they turn out blurry. That may be a problem across the board however with lower end point and shoot cameras.


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snowmonster123
post Dec 7 2008, 08:12 AM
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Thanks! This helps alot. I thought I would have to spend over 1000 bucks for one but for only a couple hundred and with that quality I think that it will fit my taste and budget.


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ForensicMeteoBoy
post Dec 9 2008, 10:35 AM
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I hate to go against Jesse here, but I personally do NOT like Kodak cameras at all. They're cheap and seem good, but I know people who've had not so good experiences with them. Your mileage may vary.

I use a Nikon D40. It retails for about $450, though you can find it for $500 with an extra lense and bag. Buy from a place like Ritz or your local camera shop. They can usually give you the best deal (better than Best Buy) and if you have any problems, you can go to them for help.

As far the actual camera: I LOVE it. I've never taken a bad picture. Every photo I take is stunning. And I know I'm not the best photographer, either.

For a lower price point, any Cannon is a great choice. Or Nikon. They're just about equal in my book. Check your local electronics store or Newegg.com- you can find great deals there.

Hope you enjoy your new camera whatever you get!


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magnumlady
post Dec 17 2008, 04:02 PM
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I've used Fuji's and panasonic, very pleased with both.
I was told once it doesn't matter what camera you have, its the way you take the photos and I have to say I agree.
You can have the best camera going and still take rubbish photos.


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Jeena
post Mar 18 2009, 12:31 AM
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Hello,

Whats the best camera to have when its mainly going to be for weather? Especially lightning. Doing stuff like leaving the shutter open and getting a bunch of strikes in one picture, what camera would be best for that?

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This post has been edited by Jeena: Mar 18 2009, 07:18 AM


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skip searcher
post Jun 7 2009, 08:00 AM
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hello all newbie here on the forum im interested in in a new camera one that has a good record in lightning storms. but at the same time i dont wish to spend lots of money does anyone have any suggestion's on any cameras mid budget range
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skip searcher
post Jun 8 2009, 09:46 AM
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QUOTE(skip searcher @ Jun 7 2009, 03:00 PM) *
hello all newbie here on the forum im interested in in a new camera one that has a good record in lightning storms. but at the same time i dont wish to spend lots of money does anyone have any suggestion's on any cameras mid budget range
does anyone have any thought's on the canon powershot A2100 Is digital camera 6x optical zoom 12.1 megapixel im looking at a camera that will be good to photograph lightning
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q-vector
post Jun 11 2009, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE(skip searcher @ Jun 8 2009, 11:46 AM) *
does anyone have any thought's on the canon powershot A2100 Is digital camera 6x optical zoom 12.1 megapixel im looking at a camera that will be good to photograph lightning

I can't comment on that specific model, but I have a Canon Powershot A620 (I believe that's the model) that is a few years old that I love. It's taken 1000's of pictures (not all lightning/clouds) and has a lot of settings that I can configure. I researched digital camera's extensively when before I purchased that camera and everything I read said that Canon made great digital camera's that were affordable.
Are there better camera's, probably, but they likely cost a lot more.

Just my 2 cents.


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q-vector
post Jun 24 2009, 09:44 AM
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For those that have taken pictures of lightning (successfully or not), what kind of settings do/have you use(d), in particular how long do you keep the shutter open? I saw a recent picture in the accuweather photo gallery where the author commented that he was leaving the shutter open 30 secs. I typically have been keeping the shutter open 3-4 seconds, but sometimes around a second, and then taking many, many photos and deleting the ones that don't turn out later. It had never occurred to me to leave it open that long.
Also, for those who have taken lightning pictures during the day, what settings do you use because if you leave the shutter open longer than normal too much ambient light results in the picture.

Thanks,
Chris


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WeatherMatrix
post Jul 5 2009, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE(q-vector @ Jun 24 2009, 10:44 AM) *
For those that have taken pictures of lightning (successfully or not), what kind of settings do/have you use(d), in particular how long do you keep the shutter open? I saw a recent picture in the accuweather photo gallery where the author commented that he was leaving the shutter open 30 secs. I typically have been keeping the shutter open 3-4 seconds, but sometimes around a second, and then taking many, many photos and deleting the ones that don't turn out later. It had never occurred to me to leave it open that long.
Also, for those who have taken lightning pictures during the day, what settings do you use because if you leave the shutter open longer than normal too much ambient light results in the picture.

Thanks,
Chris


I'll have Ron (wildfire) weigh in here, he keeps his shutter open for at least 30 seconds I think, the longer the better at night, otherwise you end up with a bunch of blank pics. How long you can leave it open depends on the camera though.

Daytime lightning photography is much more tricky.

I don't have a camera that allows you to leave the shutter open for more than 8 seconds so I usually take videos with my Kodak Z650 and cut out the frames. This won't get you anything larger than 640x480 but it can look decent:



On the other hand, if the strikes are far away, the video method will get you nothing more than a blurry, tiny strike.


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Chris_m
post Aug 21 2009, 02:22 PM
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As to how you set up your camera for lightning shots...

I am sure there are many ways, but to take this shot



the camera (nikon D80) was set to 25 seconds in Manual mode and the iso was set to 800. The 15 secs was sufficiently long enough to get one strike (as at this point they were occuring somewhat regularly) in many of the shots. I set the iso at a higher value to try and absord as much light as possible especially from the reflection in the clouds without it being too noisy (although its still possible to see noise in the original photo - this is a lower resolution). I would like to get a D300 which is much better at low light photos (read expensive).

This was my very first lightning shot (on flickr) .. 10 sec / 800 iso

first lightning shot

Naturally, the camera was rock steady on a flat fence post (didnt have a tripod with me but would have been better).

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futureweatherman...
post Aug 22 2009, 10:42 AM
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Alright, since I can't afford $800 cameras, I found a few interesting things yesterday. There is a device online that you can buy, it's $329, but what it does is takes a picture when a lightning strike goes onto the screen. From what I read, it's very good, but the price is a little high. I'm also considering trying to build one with the help of a very smart Uncle, or Science teacher, but we'll see. It says it takes 5 hours to build. I am having problems finding the parts, but still looks like a fun time:


Attached Image


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QUOTE(SEMIweather @ Oct 17 2010, 02:10 AM) *
i was lclicking on it going pelasejk not nicki minaj m-please not micni minaj hughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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aaastinkie
post Aug 23 2009, 03:54 PM
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I just ordered a new camera for my wife, a Canon PowerShot S1 IS (or some name like that...lol) hope to have some nice pictures to post in the future. Has a 20X zoom, want to get some bird pictures at camp and the ocean in September when on vacation, and a friend of mine feeds Bald Eagles in the winter, that was what got me interested in a camera that could zoom out.


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LADY LIGHTING
post Aug 24 2009, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE(aaastinkie @ Aug 23 2009, 05:54 PM) *
I just ordered a new camera for my wife, a Canon PowerShot S1 IS (or some name like that...lol) hope to have some nice pictures to post in the future. Has a 20X zoom, want to get some bird pictures at camp and the ocean in September when on vacation, and a friend of mine feeds Bald Eagles in the winter, that was what got me interested in a camera that could zoom out.

Well I will be looking forward to any photos of the weather.
All are welcome here.
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futureweatherman...
post Aug 25 2009, 03:40 PM
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QUOTE(futureweatherman12 @ Aug 22 2009, 11:42 AM) *
Alright, since I can't afford $800 cameras, I found a few interesting things yesterday. There is a device online that you can buy, it's $329, but what it does is takes a picture when a lightning strike goes onto the screen. From what I read, it's very good, but the price is a little high. I'm also considering trying to build one with the help of a very smart Uncle, or Science teacher, but we'll see. It says it takes 5 hours to build. I am having problems finding the parts, but still looks like a fun time:


Attached Image

it's official, as soon as I get all the parts, I am going to be building this. The Tech expert that I live near and also see at school everday called it a "piece of Cake" to build. Should take a few hours. I'll post the pictures of construction soon.


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QUOTE(SEMIweather @ Oct 17 2010, 02:10 AM) *
i was lclicking on it going pelasejk not nicki minaj m-please not micni minaj hughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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aaastinkie
post Aug 25 2009, 10:25 PM
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I ordered my wifes camera Friday at noon, it was delivered today, Tuesday, now that's SERVICE!!


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Raligard
post Oct 14 2009, 10:37 AM
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I use a Pentax K200D to take my lightning shots. I typically use the 18-55mm lens, and 80% of the time it is zoomed all the way out at 18mm. If you start trying to zoom in you lose a lot of potential lightning shots unless you know for darn sure that the lightning strikes are going to occur in a very narrow field of view (such as under a distant cell or such). Here's a couple of examples of what I've caught with this camera and lens:

Both images were taken using long exposure at 18mm.





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skip searcher
post Oct 22 2009, 05:04 AM
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im in a similar situation at present as i want to upgrade my camera im using a fuji filmA330 fine pix 3.2 megapixels 3xoptical zoom im considering a canon powershot A2100 S has anyone had any luck with a canaon
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futureweatherman...
post Oct 23 2009, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE(skip searcher @ Oct 22 2009, 06:04 AM) *
im in a similar situation at present as i want to upgrade my camera im using a fuji filmA330 fine pix 3.2 megapixels 3xoptical zoom im considering a canon powershot A2100 S has anyone had any luck with a canaon

The Olympus E-410 or 420 is better IMO. 10MP and fairly cheap if you get it used. It's pretty high quality but you'd have to buy a lens for it.


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QUOTE(SEMIweather @ Oct 17 2010, 02:10 AM) *
i was lclicking on it going pelasejk not nicki minaj m-please not micni minaj hughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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