We are using the following equipment for our nature outings, and back at home to process our nature photos and samples. If you already own some of this equipment, or are interested in purchasing equipment and want advice, please feel free to send us an e-mail. Recent changes have been listed in blue.
Where available, you can click on a company name to go to the manufacturers website info on that product.
Camera Equipment - Our main camera is a Canon EOS A2 with various accessories including 4 lenses; a 28-80mm zoom, a 75-300mm zoom, a 90mm 1:1 macro lens, and a 2X lens. The camera is capable of both automatic and fully manual modes, and can take high-speed (up to 1/8000 second exposures), multiple exposures (up to 9 per frame), and includes various custom functions such as mirror lock-up (very useful for astro-photography). We use both a tripod and mono-pod when required. Flashes: 430EZ Speedlite and we just purchased a Vivitar Macro Ring Flash for closeup work with insects and plants. Filters (58mm): Skylight 1A filters to protect lenses, and just puchased a circular polarizing filter for outdoor use. We use Kodak film almost exclusively, but will be trying some other colour films shortly. Any suggestions?
Telescope Equipment- All astrophotos have been taken with a Meade8 inch (2000mm) f/10 SCT (Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope), which can connect via adapter to the Canon EOS camera above. This scope allows for good viewing and picture taking of both deep sky objects and the moon and planets. We are currently using the following eye-pieces with the scope: 20mm (100X), 10.5mm (190X), and 6.4mm (310X). The scope uses batteries or DC power from car to accurately counter-act the motion of earth, moon, and planets. We have a number of accessories including full-size 8" solar filter, and well as various eyepiece filters; nebula, sklylight, and various colour filters for planetary viewing.
Global Positioning System (GPS) - We purchased a Garmin 12 GPS to provide us with enhanced location and tracking capabilities (to go along with our maps and compasses). This company and model had very high recommendations from both friends and reviewers. The unit measures both position and altitude (using up to 12 satelite links) to a regular accuracy of 4 metres! This GPS works with the computer and topographic map software package we recently purchased.
Computer Equipment - We are using a Dell Dimension 4100 series PC at 933Mhz with CD R/W and Windows Me. We also use a HP Deskjet 932C colour printer (with HP PhotoSmart Photo Printing software), and a Canon Canoscan N650U scanner (1200 x 2400 dpi). We are using ArcSoft's Photostudio 2000 image software. We also just purchased SoftMap's "Ontario topo50" topographic map software for Ontario, Canada. It lets us plan trips, print maps, and interface with our GPS!
Video Equipment - We are using a Sony TRV525 Digital8 handycam. This video camera also doubles as a digital camera and uses a 4Mb Memory Stick (which can store approximately 60 standard pictures or 40 fine pictures). It can also take photo snapshots from existing footage on tape (standard 8mm video tapes). We have two batteries (NP-F330 good for 1.5 hours, and NP-F550 good for 3.25 hours). This camera is capable of recording in complete dark using infrared mode, and has 250X digital zoom (25X optical). We use the camera in Digital8 mode, which records in new HDTV with 500 lines of horizontal resolution (which records 1 hour of footage on a standard 2-hour 8-mm tape.