Digital Camera Recommendation

Main purpose for camera will be to take pictures of machinists tools and storage boxes that I have for sale. What do I need to spend for a
quality camera with good zoom capabilities? I'm not a photographer and have no desire to be one. I'd like something that is easy and reliable.
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On 12/06/2012 06:14 PM, jon_banquer wrote:

About $80 at the low end.
My old Nikon Coolpix L18 has been good, so I just got the same-but-updated L26 model for a friend.
<http://www.staples.com/Nikon-COOLPIX-L26-Digital-Camera-Red/product_464358&cmArea=CIRCULAR
Uses common AA batteries, a plus for me. Doesn't come with rechargeables, or a memory card, though. So there's a few more bucks to spend.
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On 12/06/2012 08:00 PM, jon_banquer wrote:

I guess 5X optical is well. 5X is common now. The older L18 is 4X and I'm happy with that.
I've had two cameras that suffered early deaths. A 4 MegaPixel Canon died of motorized lens failure. That used to be a common issue with Canon. And a chunky old 3 MP Nikon started shutting itself off within a few seconds of being turned on.
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On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 20:25:09 -0800, the renowned Falstaff

I'v got a Lumix ZS7(?) and a very similar Nikon S8100. Over a year old, so probably both unavailable now. Both were $200-300 range, and much more convenient than a real DSLR. The Nikon is 10x optical, IIRC the Lumix is a more. The Lumix is a bit better in some ways (built-in GPS, more sturdy access flaps), but they're both quite good (big irritation with the Lumix is that it won't charge from the USB cord.. maybe they've changed that on newer units). Don't overlook the possiblity of doing video clips to demo stuff. You can stick it up on Flickr or Youtube.
Easiest way to take good photos is to take the stuff outside on an overcast day and use a decent tripod and set the camera to use the timer or remote shutter release to keep the photo razor-sharp. You get lots of diffuse light under those conditions. Inside it's harder- you need light boxes or umbrellas, and diffusers on flashes if you must use them (and key lights if you want to be an artiste). Don't forget to set the color temperature to match the light if colors are at all important. B&H sells a pocket color/gray card and software for color correction for < $100.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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    [ ... ]

    Note that depending on what you are doing, built in GPS may be a disadvantage. If you're photographing for publication (on the web, where the image file can be accessed) something particularly desirable to the light-fingered crowd -- or taking photos to show that you have a kidnap victim still alive, having your location built into the photo may not be desirable. :-)
    If you're processing it with something like PhotoShop or "the GIMP", you can probably suppress exif data which you don't want.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Ha! I remember seeing within the last few weeks where some thug led cops to his door by posting photos with EXIF files containing GPS info.
BTW, I edit images on occasion for a neighbor who shoots them with an iPhone. All the shots include very precise GPS data. You can easily discern not only what room of his house they were taken, but what area of the room. (The image viewing Mac app 'Preview' allows you to read EXIF data, and if GPS data is present, produces a button to instantly plot it on a Google Map.)
Erik
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On 8 Dec 2012 01:35:37 GMT, the renowned "DoN. Nichols"

Good point. On Photoshop, "Save for Web and Devices" strips all that stuff, and makes the file a bit smaller.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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On Thu, 06 Dec 2012 20:00:00 -0800, jon_banquer wrote:

For zoom / macro / macro zoom, one of the highest-recommended cameras at the moment is the Canon PowerShot SX50 H, mid-$400's. I've been told by a friend that macro was easier to use on this camera than on all his other cameras.
Link 1: Fairly complete and detailed review Links 2 & 3: Macro video with zoom Link 4: Another review, with some macro photos & comments in it. Link 5: Amazon sales page Link 6: 58mm add-on lens sets for even more magnification Link 7: A page from another review, with some macro photos & comments 1. <http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS-Digital-Camera-Review.htm 2. <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFLial_fXdo
3. <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqRqqx8fcd4
4. <http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/6014/canon-powershot-sx50-hs-50x-zoom-camera-review 5. <(Amazon.com product link shortened)> 6. <http://www.ebay.com/itm/4PC-CLOSE-UP-MACRO-LENS-SET-CANON-POWERSHOT-SX50-HS-/400330766061 7. <http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/cameras-and-camcorders/cameras/compact-cameras/canon-powershot-sx50-hs-1098217/review/6
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jiw

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On Thu, 6 Dec 2012 18:14:19 -0800 (PST), jon_banquer

==========Here is what I got for exactly this use, and it has been very satisfactory, and is a good general purpose camera.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/FujiFilm-FinePix-S4250-24x-Optical-Zoom-Digital-Camera-with-Bonus-8GB-Memory-Card/21997676
If you don't have one, an adapter to directly read the SDHC memory cards through a USB port can be very helpful. There are several available for about the same price. One example is http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sabrent-External-All-In-One-Card-Reader/15819364
Closeup adapters and a polarizing filter can also be helpful to allow closeups of fine details and cut sheen or glare. Example (Amazon.com product link shortened) {check size}
As some one else mentioned, good lighting is more than half the battle.
A word of warning -- if you let it, photography will become an end in itself and not just a tool to help move the merchandize.
--
Unka' George

"Gold is the money of kings,
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Common photography for ebay stuff lead me into high resolution hummingbird, insect, and close-up flower photography. It might wake up one of the cave men within you.
And damn nice hobby, with no film costs now with digital.
Steve
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In article

Others have given good advise...
Might I also suggest:
A Tripod. Doesn't need to be fancy/expensive... but if not really solid, use it along with the camera's self timer to absolutely eliminate camera movement. A Tripod will allow sharp shots in much lower light conditions.
Read up on how light meters work, and their 18% gray 'fetish', and when to compensate for it with your camera's exposure compensation controlwhen shooting unusually light or dark subjects. This alone can make a dramatic difference. (An example...ever notice how most all point &shoot snow shots come out with the snow looking grey & dreary? But in magazines and the like it's brilliant white as in real life?) Most camera's, even low end point & shoot's usually have exposure compensation controls... if the camera your considering doesn't, or if it's buried andhard to access, I suggest looking at another. (Note, I'm not suggesting you buy a separate light meter.) It's going to sound 'wrong', but basically you tell the camera to override the light meter and increase the exposure in shooting light/bright subjects, and decrease it for dark subjects.
Also a basic copy of Photoshop they used to call it Photoshop Elements, but I'm not sure about that anymore. Learn about using it to crop and set the 'levels'. It's also great for dealing with file size management. (Look for the 'Save For Web' item in the File menu.) You don't need the fullblown $$$ version of PS, and their are other applications that'll do all the same things...
This site has a pretty good write up on basic image corrections:
http://www.scantips.com/
(Yea yea, it's a scanning site I know, but this part pertains to most, if not all digital images.)
In particular note the Simple Way To Get Better Scans under Scanning 201. It goes on for 10 or 12 pages, and'll take a few hours to absorb... but you'll forever be rewarded with remarkably better results... no matter what camera you get; fancy megabuck DSLR to bottom end point &shoot.
Good Luck!
Erik
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Damn fine idea. Get the one that have the lever locks instead of the threaded ones. And rubber feet that screw down to let metal spikes come out so you can change it for surface. A crank up base is nice, too. Not expensive, even new, and really cheap at yard sales, or similar venues.
And a shutter release cable. I made a little box around my camera so I could put one on my camera, which was not equipped from the factory with that capability. Allowed me to get 25' from the hummingbird feeder. But closer, it takes the shake out of pushing the button and holding it for as long as it takes for a low light exposure photograph.
Steve
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Panasonic Lumix, or Sony DSCH*. Sony has 13/16" focal length in macro mode, and I have taken some fantastic insect and flower parts pictures in that mode. Either a good camera.
I have a Sony DSCH1, and had it so long I had to send it in for rebuild after tens of thousands of real estate pictures. Wife dropped her Olympus, and needed another. Got a like new DSCH1 on ebay for $60. No, not like new, looked like first time out of box. Box, papers, and all. Panasonic Lumix good, too.
Go to Steve's Digicams for reviews of him plus users. Don't know what Lumix would be on ebay, but probably similar. My friend has one, and has some fantastic pictures with fantastic depth of field focus of horse racing. Lead horse in perfect focus, as well as through the pack, and dirt and flying turds all in focus, too.
Read a bit and learn about depth of focus, and use it, and UNDERSTAND it. Then put the camera in manual mode, or speed or aperture priority, and take professional quality pictures in a very short time, and with repetitive reliability.
Steve
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On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 16:00:12 -0800 (PST), the renowned jon_banquer

$263 from Amazon for the ZS-20, which has a few more features such as GPS. I predict you'll not be sorry with either one. They are _so_ good.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:50:16 -0800 (PST), the renowned jon_banquer

Same as the ZS20, but without GPS. For the price ($170), looks like a very good deal.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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If no one has any legitimate objections I'm going to buy the Lumix DMC- ZS19K at Best Buy tomorrow. This gives me over thirty days to decide if I made a good decision or not.
********
Read up on depth of field, and take some test shots. My friend's are absolutely fantastic, and he just happened to take the first ones accidentally, then started adjusting for them. I think it would go good with the macro setting, giving you a longer depth of focus.
Nice camera choice. I think you'll like it. But it's just like a computer. It will do more than you think. I still carry my instruction manual (quite large) in my camera bag, and it is quite dog-eared.
Steve
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I came to the conclusion years ago that getting complex modern day point & shoot camera's to do what I want, is much more trouble than just using a DSLR in plain old fashioned manual mode... with just shutter speed, f/stop, focus & ISO to worry about, as opposed to the P&S's menus galore. (TheDSLR's preview feature with histogram is a godsend!)
With a DSLR and tripod, there's little I can't shoot. However, it does require a fairly deep understanding of photography fundamentals.
If I'm just after quick pot shots, it quickly converts to P&S by activating program mode, and turning auto focus back on... results are still several orders over a P&S.
Yes, it's larger/heavier & more expensive[1], and I do have a P&S for when thats a factor... but it sees little use. (Actually, my phone camera gets more use than the P&S anymore, as it's always with me... and for what it is, returns good results!)
Just my .02 worth, YMMV.
Erik
[1] Actually, the older 6 megapixel DSLR Inowhave, a Pentax K100D wasn't all that expensive... a little over $500 IIRC and included a 18-55mm zoom. As Imostlyshoot on tabletop 'sets', I also bought an A/C adapter to eliminate at home battery consumption
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K100D
The 18-55mm zoom is slow, but suits my needs. I have a set of extension tubes for macro shots... not flashy, but they work well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extension_tube
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Had a Canon AE-1, and spent alot of money on film. Then got a Canon SureShot, film, and it was a great P&S. But still film. But I got back far less bad pictures. Then I got my first digital, an Epson 480x640 (?). My current cell phone has more megapixels than that one did. Anyway, after the Epson, I never took another film picture, and have grown in digital photography. Still don't have a big honking camera that I want, but the one I do have, I understand, and can take good pictures consistently. That's the key. A good photographer can take good pictures with most any camera, as composition, balance, position, etc, have more of an effect on taking good pictures than the camera itself. As in cutting off heads.
Steve
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wrote:

Ive got a couple spare 4x5 cut film cameras if you want a big camera
<VBG>
Gunner, camera collector
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I had a nice Kodak 2.5x2.5 Rolleiflex? when I was doing black and white. Quite a nice camera, actually. The Hassleblad was the Nikon of the day in the 2.x" square camera. You just had to use a light meter, and set all the settings, but back then, the negative being 4x the size of a 35mm was nice. Had an old BIG honking Speed Graphic, too. Boy, think of a press person dragging one of those around all day. Like carrying a bowling ball.
Steve
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