SUPPORT US. If is important to you, click here to donate to our Fall 2019 fundraiser!
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat ArticlesThe ElementsBooks & Magazines
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsUsersMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day GalleryMineral Photography

Mineral PhotographyCamera body vs "Point-and-Shoot"

22nd Dec 2017 16:04 GMTRobert Wilken

I purchased a Canon t3i about three years ago for use on a Nikon SMZ-2t. My first photography effort had consisted of an early generation digital Coolpix 4500 mounted on a binocular AO microscope. The major transition was going from a low pixel closed, point-and-shoot to a more highly pixelated one using just the camera body. And, of course, I would hate to give up conveniences such as "live view," custom white balance and AC capability.

Nevertheless, I have come to appreciate the virtues of using a sealed point-and-shoot because it’s an endless battle keeping the t3i sensor clean. And, it takes hours of photo editing to clone out the dotted lines created by photo stacking. The higher the magnification, the worse the problem is. In spite of a professional cleaning at a highly touted Nikon store in Tucson and another through the Nikon service center in Virginia, I have literally had no respite from dirt issues. The “cleanings” literally helped not one iota. I will shortly be attempting my own cleanings with air blower, sensor loupe and swabs. In case one might suggest that the microscope could be the problem, I would say, I eventually thought so too. But, after purchasing a refurbished Olympus SZ60, I found the dust pattern to be identical to that which I got using the Nikon 2t.

I am now considering a switch back to a sealed point-and-shoot camera. They have cheap reputation due to the name and mass market availability, but there are many very (high quality?) high priced ones on the market too. Do any of you share the experience I have had? Are any of you long-term users of a non-interchangeable lens type camera…a point-and-shoot…on a scope? Have any of you done the reverse switch I am contemplating?

Thank you!

3rd Jan 2018 16:07 GMTVolker Betz Expert

Hi Robert,

The optical best results you get with a Camera Body where the picture of the objective ist direct projected to the sensor.

With a point and shot camera you need an ocular and adapter and lens of the camera. Technlogy over 10 years back.

Get your sensor cleaned and remount it to the camera. Never remove it, have it dedicated to the SMZ-2t so this minimizes dust.

If you wait some time , possibly also Canon and Nikkon will have a electronic curtains, like Olympus and Panasonic this aleady have on their MFT´s. Mirrorles cameras with Electronic shutter ist the way to go.. Unfortunatly control software like for Canon and Nikon is still missing.

In Germany most do not use steromicroscopes, typical lens bellows ore tubes and camera some also .mcroscopes.

Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: August 25, 2019 06:19:05
Go to top of page