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Buying an SLR but need advice


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Im quite new to photogrammetry (SfM) and have been experimenting over the past few weeks with a non-metric camera and Agisoft Photoscan. I have a few years experience with 3D modelling (Blender) and hope to use my skills to restore monuments and create unique visualisations, Ive also just discovered Meshlab. The results have been superb and as I continue to learn and refine my skills, I am excited at the prospect of developing experience with UAVs to enhance data collection abilities, and also try my hand at RTI, I have just a burial chamber with stonecarvings in mind

I work as a stonemason within the conservation heritage sector, and a strong proponent of open-source (Having been an ubuntu user for many years). So Im looking forward to getting to grips with VSfm after my agisoft trial license expires.


I am at the stage of looking for better camera equipment, namely a DSLR along with possibly a tripod and a flash (for RTI).

Up until now I have mostly been photographing large stone structures at ground level, any help with what kind of equipment would allow me to capture at a few meters of height would be helpful too, (hence my interest in UAV equipment)

As a quick test, I tried using a 2meter scale pole with the camera attached, certainly not a reliable method of data collection but I needed to gain extra data for wall tops and ledges. I used a short timer (to enable me to position camera) and burst-mode (to mitigate blurry pics from wind sway) with limited results.


Any tips would be appreciated. What camera can you recommend for around £250-300

I am literally a complete newbie where SLRs are concerned.

More MP necessarily better?




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  • 2 weeks later...



I don't think you have a lot of camera options in that price range.  The most basic DSLRs cost about $600 USD and then you need to purchase lenses.


I think the photography site dpreview is a great place to get advice and comparisons for cameras.  They are independent and review equipment from every major manufacturer.  You can also do comparisons of specific cameras for features and price.


For photogrammetry you will want a wide angle lens - preferably a prime (non-zoom) lens between 20-50mm. Note the less expensive DSLRS use a smaller sensor and so the lenses are effectively longer.  For example Canon's APSC sensor cameras have a 1.6 crop factor, so a 50mm lens will act like an 80mm.  And you really need wider angle than that to get the proper base to height ratio in your image set for good geometry.



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