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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:55 pm
Posts: 1
I am looking for a tough camera for forensic photography. I need the following capabilities:

Sharp, crisp photos
Handles low light situations well
Good close-up ability (scars, small defects etc must be documented clearly)
Must use SD cards (employer's requirement)
Can be sanitized of blood easily (no I am not a mass murderer, but I photograph deaths and I often end up with blood on my gloves that transfers to the camera. I prefer not to damage my camera while wiping it clean)
Not sensitive to being used in poor weather conditions...rain, snow, etc
Light enough to not be burdensome hiking up mountains along with all my other equipment

My employer has furnished a Nikon Coolpix but I am not happy with the crispness of photos even in perfect lighting conditions.

I am considering a lightweight SLR but a compact digital is at least smaller. I used to have a little Pentax Si4 that I loved. It got stolen and it wouldn't have enough megapixels for my current need. One of the things I miss about it was the small view finder. It doesn't seem to matter how larger the viewing screen is...in bright sunlight it is difficult to seen what you are aiming at and being able to put your eye to a view finder for framing was sure nice.

Would appreciate any and all suggestions.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Location: NW England
Hopefully someone can help you out. RexGig (poster on here) also shoots crime scenes, I believe.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 850
Location: SE Texas
Welcome to the forum! :)

I shoot evidentiary images, but my Canon 7D cameras use CF cards. My wife shoots death scene images for the Medical Examiner for one of the largest counties (by population) in the USA, and she uses a Nikon D7000 that I bought for her when her employer started allowing the use of personally-owned cameras. The D7000 has two SD card slots, and does have a degree of environmental sealing. She favors a third-party zoom lens that is not weather-sealed, however, so she tries to prevent exposure to liquids. I have offered to buy her a better lens, but sealed zoom lenses tend to be heavier, and she favors lighter weight.

The lab photographers, for the Medical Examiner, use D300s cameras, which they do sanitize with an alcohol-based liquid. The investigators, who shoot photos at the death scenes, use a mix of Nikon D200, D300, and D300s cameras, though the county is quite cheap when purchasing lenses; I think they are all Tamron zooms. The aging of the county-owned cameras is probably what prompted the authorization to use personal Nikon cameras.

Notably, Nikon states that the D7100 is sealed as well as the D300s. I cannot say if the D7000 is equivalent, but Nikon themselves would best be able to answer that question.

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

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Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, pre-II 50mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S; Tokina 17mm & 100mm 2.8 Macro


Last edited by RexGig on Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
The Olympus E-M5 is weatherproof, as is its kit lens - the 12-50mm. This lens also has good macro capability for close-ups, and the best image stabilization available for slower shutter speeds for use indoors -such as static crime scenes. The lens is also wider than most kit lenses for indoor use. The camera also has a viewfinder and it's very small and lightweight.

You could always add Panasonic's excellent and tiny 20mm pancake which weighs only 100g and will allow you to take photos handheld in near darkness if you need to.

I'd say it's almost custom-made for your requirements.

An Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm zoom is $1200 and weighs around 625g including full weather sealing and macro mode.

A Nikon D7100 body only is the same price but weighs a little more.... Then you'd have to add a lens - preferably a weather-sealed one and with some macro ability (or an additional macro lens).

Pentax makes some good weather sealed cameras, and I believe Canon do too - but you'd always be paying more, carrying a much heavier kit, and you'd be unable to notice any benefits in image quality for your purposes.

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Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1815
Well it has to be a Nikon, obviously, if CSI is anything to go by...


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 8:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 661
kimchi wrote:
The Olympus E-M5 ...

You could always add Panasonic's excellent and tiny 20mm pancake

Note that that particular combo exhibits banding at high ISO, and since one of the OP's requirements is: "Handles low light situations well"...

Personally, I'd go with either the Oly 17mm f1.8 or Pany 25mm f1.4 instead. Not as small, but no banding.

Mark


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:48 am 
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 7:35 am
Posts: 5
Location: 445 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
My mind jammed. Can't decide, whether I buy Canon 7D or Nikon D200?


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:01 pm
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Location: NW England
RihhanaNZ wrote:
My mind jammed. Can't decide, whether I buy Canon 7D or Nikon D200?


These aren't really comparable. Do you mean Nikon D700, or even D600?

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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