We are going to be upfront here, we aren't suppliers of Camera and accessories, but we can help point you in the right direction. We've been asked many times:
"Which is the best camera for taking pictures of Diamond Core Samples in Core Trays?"
So let's try to answer this for you...
First thing to for you to note is that within our Innovation Hub, we are always playing with cameras. Sometimes it's the Entry Level models and other times the Premium models. So from our experience we have been able to work out which 3 options could work for your needs and budget, whilst still getting the job done. Canon has got a good reputation so we tend to stick with that...but if you have another personal preference, such as Nikon, go for it.
Option 1 – Entry Level (Spend under $1000)(To suit Exploration Companies that want to stretch the dollars...as it means survival...but still need to get the meaningful value from the core photographs)
Canon EOS 200D SLR Camera (APS-C or Crop Sensor)
In Aussie, the EOS 200D typically comes which a 18-55mm Lens Kit, which does the trick just fine. This model can be updated every few years so use this timeline to check this is the latest...if we haven't already changed our website! Note: This will create some 'Barrel Distortion' where along the length of the core tray the sides appear to bulge out in the image. Move to Option 2 if this isn't for you, a lot of explorers don't let this worry them!
This is most likely the sort of camera you are going to be using in a Portal Core Photography Frame at 18mm Zoom.
Option 2 - Middle Level (Spend between $2000 - $2500)
(To suit Exploration Companies that believe in extracting the most out of their core photography, or Miners that don't want to break the bank but certainly want to get a good job done)
Canon EOS 80D SLR Camera (APS-C or Crop Sensor)
This camera typically is purchased as a Camera Body Only, and you add the lens to do the job. The lens we recommend to eliminate 'barrel distortion' (where the along the length of the core tray the sides appear to bulge out in the image), is the SIGMA AF 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM (Canon) Lens.
Option 3 - Premium Level (Spend between $4000 - $5000)
(To suit Mining Companies that want the best results and extract the most detailed and meaningful value from their core photography process)
Canon EOS 5DS SLR Camera (Full Frame)
In Aussie, these two camera are supplied as Body Only, and you will need to purchase a lens to suit. The one we've found works well with both cameras is the Sigma 35mm Art Lens. This camera model also can be updated every few years so use this timeline to check this is the latest...if we haven't already changed our website!
This is most likely the sort of camera you are going to be using in a Fixed Core Photography Frame.
Tether cable: Personally we don't believe you need a tether cable. In all our test environments, over a few 100 hours, we've always used the Canon Camera Connect App which you can get on iTunes or Google Play - it's free and not really that difficult to navigate. However, if your personal preference is to NEVER lose connectivity then go ahead and grab the Canon RS-60E3 Remote Switch which is a compact wired remote switch with a 60cm cable which replicates all functions of the camera's shutter release button.
Extra battery: When using your camera constantly out in the field, we'd recommend grabbing a spare battery, so when one's on charge that doesn't stop your progress. Again, if your budget conscious you can get away with a single battery, just do something else whilst it's on charge.
Microsoft Surface Go Tablet or Samsung Galaxy Tab A: If you decide to go down the route of using Canon Camera Connect App then grab yourself a basic tablet like either of these, and this can be the simplest way of checking your image is good to go before moving onto the next core tray.
Important for you to Know!
Again we'd like to stress to you that we aren't a supplier for all things Camera's. We can tell you what we recommend from our hours of testing in the mining and exploration applications you require, but invite you to do your own research if you'd like. We are able to procure these camera's on your behalf, however it's not our expertise, so we'd highly recommend for the sake of warranty claims, expert advice and generally all round better service for your Camera requirements talk to our partners, Midland Camera House. Russell Payne, the owner, is a top bloke, and we have the confident he'll look after you every time.