View Full Version : Photo/Camera Question - what to buy

02-20-2008, 07:51 PM
I am new here (obviously). I am looking for a camera that will fit my needs, but know next to nothing about cameras.

I do volunteer work at a local animal shelter. Basically, my partner and I update the website. We do this by checking files (on which animals are present and which ones have been adopted) and taking pictures. The ones that have been adopted, we remove from the website. The new arrivals then have to be put on the web. In order to do this, we read their files and take a picture of the animal. Then, upload their information plus a picture of the animal on the web.

I have a digital camera but taking pictures of cats and dogs is quite a challenge. My camera is what I call a "cheese" camera - one where the person poses, says "cheese" and a picture is clicked. With animals, I don't have that kind of time. There are many times when I go to take a picture and the animal has already moved or they are in perfect position but I cannot take the picture because the last one taken is still in the viewfinder. I have taken pictures before while there is the last photo taken present in the viewfinder, but I end up taking pictures of tails, half-heads, or just paws. It's frustrating to say the least. I have maybe an hour or hour and a half to get three "good" pictures each of about a dozen animals.

Can you recommend a camera that will do the job? One where I can take multiple pictures in seconds and not have to wait for past photos in the viewfinder to load and disappear?

(BTW, my current camera is a Kodak CX7525.)

Any advise you have would be greatly appreciated.

02-21-2008, 11:00 AM
Hi there, Shooter. Welcome to the forum!
I'd like to recommend to you a Digital SLR. I use a Cannon Rebel, but any brand would work equally well. The reason I suggest this type of camera is because it will give you a range of shooting modes and is a great camera to grow with in photography. You must have more than an average interest in photography on some level since you signed on with the forum, and an SLR is just the thing to learn more about it. You do get continuous shooting with this camera, which is the feature you seem most interested in.

Also, don't forget to change your angle of shooting when photographing pets (you can find a lot more tips on this site also). It will give the animals moe personality in the photos, thus making them more adoptable. Try getting on their level (on your knees at least) or try an extreme angle (directly over them) for more creative shots. Remember that, like people, pets have their own personalities and physical traits that are unique- if you can capture that something in a photo, you can present them at their best! It sounds like you're often in a hurry to get the photo because of their movements, but be just a bit more patient and if you wait long enough you can really surprise yourself with the results.

...just a couple of thoughts from a fellow amateur. Good luck to ya! :)

02-21-2008, 11:04 AM
This might be the simplest answer on the planet but i actually have a bit of experience taking picture of shelter animals.

and the short answer is get a second person to help hold the dog or a cat and maybe bribe it with some treats while you shoot. Get anyone in the shelter to help hold the pets if possible. Someone there should be able to help.

In terms of a good first starter DSLR - we have a thread on this exact topic here: http://www.photography.ca/Forums/showthread.php?t=343

Hope it helps


02-22-2008, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the tips! I am not sure about treats. Since it's a shelter and I know they've had problems with keeping the animals healthy, I am not sure if it would be allowed. It's worth asking, though. Once the cats are in the observation room (a very small closet-sized room) for a moment or two, all of their exploration is done and they are pressed up against the glass watching whatever is happening outside the room. I've used my keys before to distract them and lure them away from the glass. But, that usually only works with kittens. I hadn't thought of bringing some treats. I will ask and see if that will be possible.

Can you please explain what SLR means? Sorry, I am just very new to all of this.

02-24-2008, 07:49 PM
SLR means that the viewfinder is really looking through the lens to take the shot. Lens can be changed and changing the lenses changes what you see in the viewfinder and changes the resulting shot.


02-25-2008, 11:14 AM
Here's a visual as well just in case.

an SLR is the camera on the bottom (and a DSLR is a digital version of the same thing). On an SLR, you can change lenses, manually focus the lens, have full control over aperture, shutter speed and film speed.

Hope that helps,


02-26-2008, 03:37 PM
SLR stands for 'single lens reflex', and DSLR just means its digital.

heres a good info link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-lens_reflex_camera