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Monday, July 8, 2019

Cryptid Investigators: Why You Might Need A Better Camera

By Dorraine Fisher

There are many debates among cryptid and paranormal investigators about the equipment they think is best for their work in the field. But one thing they can agree on is that it’s important to get good clear footage of what they’re chasing.  But the thing I see a lot is that they’ll spend a lot of money on night vision and sound equipment, but they’ll still insist on using their phone or a simple digital zoom camera to take pictures and video. And they’ll think that’s enough...and it is...until they actually see something important in the distance that they need to photograph. Then it becomes a problem and here’s why.
I have been sent more than a few photographs people claim are a cryptid. And for all I know they might be. But many of these photos have been taken from great distances and often with a phone or substandard camera. And when I try to examine the photo and zoom in on the supposed subject of the photo, it has often already lost its integrity by the time I’ve zoomed in enough. In fact, the more I try to zoom in, the more the subject fades into the background. And this means that the supposed “cryptid” is nothing more than light and shadows OR the quality of the photo is low due to many varying factors. One major one of which is digital zoom.

 As a wildlife photographer myself, I understand all too well the subtleties of camera equipment. A big enough difference is that it could make or break your “money shot” of the elusive creature you’ve been trying to capture for months or maybe even years. And when you finally get the chance to get that shot, your less-than-adequate camera could fail you at a very important moment. So it’s important to have just a little information about your equipment and it all comes down to one basic principle: the type of zoom your camera employs.

There are two kinds of zooming capabilities in the camera world: digital and optical. In a modern digital photograph, the picture depends on pixelation for its clarity and sharpness. The digital zoom cameras that most people use compromise this pixelation because the “zoom” feature they utilize digitally magnifies the subject which is essentially the same thing as simply cropping the photo. And if you’ve ever cropped a digital photo, you know that you can only crop it so much before you lose the sharpness and integrity of the photo. But optical zoom, also known as telephoto, employs a glass magnifier that enlarges the subject in the viewfinder. And it maintains that image quality at all focal lengths ensuring that your cryptid money-shot photo is as sharp as it can possibly be even if you had to take the photo from quite a distance.

Regular workaday cameras with digital zoom are okay for snapshots and family pictures, but if you want to take serious distance photos of important subjects, you’ll need something with optical zoom.  There are many options available these days and every investigator’s needs are different, but just be sure the camera description states “optical zoom” and the camera employs a good old-fashioned glass magnifier to enlarge the subject. It’s really that simple. If you spend a lot of time in the field, take photographs of wildlife and other things while you’re out there in order to get a feel for the capabilities of your equipment and when that “money shot” comes, you’ll be as prepared as anyone can be.


This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, photographer, a nature, wildlife and Bigfoot enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Dorraine conducts research, special interviews and more for The Crypto Crew. Get Dorraine's book The Bigfoot Research Journal

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1 comment:

  1. Very good advice, I always cringe when someone claims they have proof and it turns out to be a picture taken with a "potato Camera" as I've heard the quality of cheap cameras/cell phone cameras called in some photography circle. I personally use a Canon EOS Rebel T6i with 70-300mm zoom lens. I want the shot to be clear.


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