Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 7, 2010, 3:56 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hebron, IN
Posts: 2
Default Fire Photographers?

Just wondering if there are any fire photographers out there. I am a photographer for my local Fire Department. This is kind of my first venture into this arena. I have done a lot of photography but not under these conditions.

Thinking of upgrading camera in the near future. Currently using a Nikon P80 and have gotten some very good shots. But the night fires get tricky and it is hard to get good photos.

Because of the conditions you don't have time to set a tripod and set up. Therefore I use automatic or usually semi-automatic using shutter as my control element. Some of my best photos I had less than 5 seconds to snap.

My major complaint is if I set the ISO above 2000 on the P80 the picture is too grainy. It looks good on the camera when you shoot it but not good full screen.

I hate to invest $2000 in a camera that might get sprayed on the next call. Same time I want to do the best I can.

Just looking for middle of the road with a lot of zoom and good night shot potential.

Another must for me is a shoe for a flash. I do not have that on the P80 or I might not be looking for another camera. The built in flash just isn't quite good enough and it has no shoe. I don't take a lot of flash photos during the fire but do after it is under control.

Thanks for any ideas.

Dwayne

Dwayne Dobson
Hebron, IN
http://www.hebronfire.net
http://www.townofhebron.com

Last edited by ddobson; Sep 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM.
ddobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 7, 2010, 4:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

Actually, Photo 5 shoots fires. He's got some posts here, and I'm sure you could PM him.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 7, 2010, 4:52 PM   #3
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Actually, Photo 5 shoots fires. He's got some posts here, and I'm sure you could PM him.
Yep, that's your best bet. Hope we get to see some of your shots as well.
__________________
[SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 7, 2010, 9:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

Well I don't shoot fires, however I would think that this would work pretty well and its less than $2k (about $1,200 for a body and 2 sealed lenses),

Pentax K7 is metal body, WR - meaning fully sealed, weather resistant (WR) (water, dust, ice, snow, mud, etc.), and has a number of WR supporting lenses (18-55 WR and 50-200 WR, the 2 kit lenses), which translates into a P&S 11x zoom factor (200/18 = 11). It has in body image stabilization, and is a rather small and rugged dSLR. It has a hot shoe, however I do not know of a fully sealed flash unit that may be available to complement the unit.
For comparison purposes here are some images ISO 100 - 6400 from the K7. There is a difference in shooting JPG and RAW. Pentax tends to keep the fine details in RAW so that with post processing noise reduction they clean up pretty well.
Pentax is on the verge of announcing its new camera models in a couple of weeks, so the price on the K7 has been coming down. The camera and the kit lens kit runs $948 and the 50-200 WR lens runs $200
The Pentax KX for ISO 3200 and 6400 is probably one of the best around, is a newer camera with a newer sensor, but it is not sealed. The ISO speed on the K7 is not quite as good, however with its larger sensor, shooting raw - should be able to do substantially better than the P80. I have a K20 (K7's predecessor) and have had very good results with ISO 3200 with some noise cleanup. Overall the combination of sealing and ISO would probably be your best bet.

There is a Pentax Russian ad that provides a pretty good picture of its weather sealing. Scroll down about half way to the embedded image.
Here are some additional threads on weather sealing. Pentax has several older models that are sealed also (K10, K20, K200 along with the K7). All the DA * Lenses are sealed also in addition to the WR lenses.
If you do not mind used, you can find K20 bodies for about $500. These too are weather sealed. You would then need to purchase the lenses separately the DA 18-55WR and DA 50-200 WR lenses.

Now after saying and linking to all of that, a camera cover would certainly help, and seals do dry out and crack over time. So all of this will certainly help, but additional protection would always assist.

There are other fully sealed dSLR cameras/lens sets out there, however they will run substantially more (well over $2K+).

hope that helps...

Last edited by interested_observer; Sep 8, 2010 at 8:09 AM.
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8, 2010, 4:21 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hebron, IN
Posts: 2
Default

Wow great replies everyone. Lots of help (well info to digest as time permits) Interested Observer. I so appreciate your time and replies. Going to check out K-7 for sure.

Thanks again for all the help. Very much appreciated!
__________________
Dwayne Dobson
Hebron, IN
http://www.hebronfire.net
http://www.townofhebron.com
ddobson is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:28 AM.