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What type of camera for taking WEB pictures of animals at a shelter
We do volunteer work taking WEB pictures of adoptable pets at an animal shelter. Their current camera is a SONY Mavica FLOPPY DISK Digital camera. It has a 2.5 inch LCD screen and is easy to hold with one hand. It does a fairly good job of focusing fairly fast. The camera is old and new PCs don't have 3 1/2" drives..

I'm in need of suggestions for what type of camera to replace the Mavica with?.

They need a low to medium price camera that can focus fast and can quickly capture the picture without lag. The camera needs to be easy to hold with ONE HAND while the other hand is busy with the pet. The animals don't hold still Lighting is poor at the facility and they prefer us not to use a flash so as not to put extra stress on the animals. A 3" LCD would be nice but not necessary. It also needs to be something that is easy to learn and use as more that one person will be using the camera..

There are so many cameras to select from that any and all suggestions are appreciated...

Comments (14)

It ought to be something with a viewfinder as using that will help to provide stability when held one-handed. I'd suggest one of the Canon "A" Series..

Image stabilisation will help with shaky hands but do nothing for subject movement..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #1

I would suggest the lowest cost camera from someone like Sony, Canon or Fuji etc. You sure don't need a lot of resolution. These cameras are also usually easy to learn becuase they don't have lots of extra features..

As for light, you should use shaded daylight wherever possible. If you have an area on the north side of a building where the building shades the sunlight,but you have open light otherwise, the colors will be better.Chris, Broussard, LA..

Comment #2

This is a classic example where almost the ONLY thing important is the cheapest camera with the LEAST FOCUS/SHUTTER LAG. (or Shutter Lag if it has the ability to half-press pre-focus).

For "web" use, resolution (mps) is not critical, and almost any built-in flash is sufficient since most will be a close range..

Unfortunately, I don't have the answer to which camera meets those "minimum" specs..

The new CASIO F1 would be the most spectacular since it allows a burst of many shots, and then the "best" can be selected. BUT ... that camera is very expensive for their budget..

Nandy wrote:.

We do volunteer work taking WEB pictures of adoptable pets at ananimal shelter. Their current camera is a SONY Mavica FLOPPY DISKDigital camera. It has a 2.5 inch LCD screen and is easy to holdwith one hand. It does a fairly good job of focusing fairly fast.The camera is old and new PCs don't have 3 1/2" drives..

I'm in need of suggestions for what type of camera to replace theMavica with?.

They need a low to medium price camera that can focus fast and canquickly capture the picture without lag. The camera needs to be easyto hold with ONE HAND while the other hand is busy with the pet. Theanimals don't hold still Lighting is poor at the facility and theyprefer us not to use a flash so as not to put extra stress on theanimals. A 3" LCD would be nice but not necessary. It also needs tobe something that is easy to learn and use as more that one personwill be using the camera..

There are so many cameras to select from that any and all suggestionsare appreciated..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #3

John, Thank you for the reply. I started to research the Canon "A" series...

Comment #4

Thanks for the reply. That's a good tip on the lighting. The problem with the animals is that pictures are usually taken inside their kennel with no windows near...

Comment #5

In that case, you will need to plug in fill lights or a camera that can use high ISO well..

Nandy wrote:.

Thanks for the reply. That's a good tip on the lighting. Theproblem with the animals is that pictures are usually taken insidetheir kennel with no windows near..

Chris, Broussard, LA..

Comment #6

The best camera for this is a free camera. If you had posted this a month ago, I would have sent you my old one..

Are you in the US? Post in the craigslist wanted section. Look for used cameras. They will almost all be able to do what you need..

Otherwise just buy the cheapest camera on sale at your local electronics store or amazon. Make a few tests to find the ideal pre-programmed setting, tape that info to the camera so the volunteers can remember it, and you are good to go..

Thanks for doing this work!..

Comment #7

Sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, I'm in the US. Currently they are trying to get approved for purchasing a used/new D-SLR. My boss wasn't having any luck finding a suitable camera. I'm still going to continue looking for a used or new 6 to 8 MP camera plus test the new Nikon Coolpix P80. From your suggestions I'll try to get a list of suitable used cameras then list the needed camera(s) in their newsletter..

Since so many pets go through the center, the LCD Monitor has to focus quickly with zero delay in taking the picture. The faster we can take a picture the faster the pet can be posted on the web. The web is how the animals get adopted..

Taking pictures of the animals was more difficult than expected but worthwhile...

Comment #8

If the camera is working well, and everyone who needs to use it knows how to use it and transfer the pictures from the discs, how about getting a USB floppy drive to use on any newer computers, including laptops?.

They're about $30-40...

Comment #9

Boy are you a spoil sport!.

BTW, investing in dead technology is not a wise use of money. Getting a donated camera that will do a better job makes more sense..

Ojohn wrote:.

If the camera is working well, and everyone who needs to use it knowshow to use it and transfer the pictures from the discs, how aboutgetting a USB floppy drive to use on any newer computers, includinglaptops?.

They're about $30-40..

Chris, Broussard, LA..

Comment #10

Bikinchris wrote:.

Boy are you a spoil sport!.

BTW, investing in dead technology is not a wise use of money. Gettinga donated camera that will do a better job makes more sense..

I say it all depends on how much a USB "floppy" drive costs. I am not sure; BUT .. if cheap enough, it is still the best/cheapest option..

I am also assuming the older Mavica camera still works, cause it's resolution is perfectly adequate for WEB use..

I am also assuming they still have a number of "floppy's" (with images) that they may still need to access; a USB floppy will allow them access to these older images..

Ojohn wrote:.

If the camera is working well, and everyone who needs to use it knowshow to use it and transfer the pictures from the discs, how aboutgetting a USB floppy drive to use on any newer computers, includinglaptops?.

They're about $30-40..

Chris, Broussard, LA.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #11

BTW, the Mavica is probably on it's last legs also. The thing will not last forever, nor will it show the animals in the best way possible..

I say dump the mavica dinosaur and no to the floppy idea, since you can;t even buy decent floppies anymore, so the image sof the poor dogs are probably gone anyway..

As far a cheap goes, man how much cheaper can you get below donated?.

JoePhoto wrote:.

Bikinchris wrote:.

Boy are you a spoil sport!.

BTW, investing in dead technology is not a wise use of money. Gettinga donated camera that will do a better job makes more sense..

I say it all depends on how much a USB "floppy" drive costs. I amnot sure; BUT .. if cheap enough, it is still the best/cheapestoption..

I am also assuming the older Mavica camera still works, cause it'sresolution is perfectly adequate for WEB use..

I am also assuming they still have a number of "floppy's" (withimages) that they may still need to access; a USB floppy will allowthem access to these older images..

Chris, Broussard, LA..

Comment #12

I could swear I've seen at least one other post on this forum, within the past year or so, with the same requirement..

The Canon A series suggestion is an outstanding one..

I've suggested the A720 IS to several people who are looking for an inexpensive point-and-shoot. For you, that'd be overkill (you just don't need that much zoom). Chances are the A570 IS would work splendidly..

Can you get a DSLR? Sure, would it do the job? Yes but if you're looking for indoor shelter portraits, it's overkill..

I'm a little leery about what I perceive your photo technique to be. Hold an animal (likely on a leash unless it's a cat) with one hand and shoot with another. Awkward, cumbersome and not to settling for the pet. I'd rather see you get another volunteer to steady the animal. (I don't know your logistics, so maybe that's not possible in the portrait space)..

I've seen a lot of photos on Petfinder on the web and I haven't seen too many good ones with the pets in motion (to be fair I also see a large number out of focus)..

In addition to getting a helping hand, I've got a couple other suggestions:.

1. Standardize the area where you shoot pet portraits. If you can't do it outside, ideally pick a place with uniform light and skip the windows..

2. Buy some colored gel/plastic it match the color cast of the available light (that would be yellow for incandescent and green if you have really bad florescent). Take that gel over your flash. Use the florescent or incandescent white balance on your camera (AWB may not be that great) or set the WB manually if the camera allows..

3. Don't overshoot your flash..

I know that seems like a lot of work but once it's set, you'd have nicely balanced indoor shots that can help "sell" the pets..

It is possible to go another direction and maybe get a high school or community college student with an interest in photography to do some volunteer work with the pets..

Good luck in your choices..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #13

Glad to read another person likes the Canon A series. The A720 and A570 are at an affordable price..

If a DSLR is purchased they will at least have one good camera that can be used for other photography needs..

The photo technique is made easy by using a cat wand or a doggie treat. The dog's kennel is large enough to walk in and has a sitting area. There are two of us that work together with others nearby that can help. There is always someone around who can help if taking pictures by yourself..

Thank you for your suggestions and ideas!..

Comment #14

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