Digital Camera for macro photography

Hi! I'm looking to buy a good digital camera, commercial or more professional, for macro photography of my samples. I'm looking at
failures and documenting welds, cracks and sample preparation techniques. What is your experience? Specifically I'm looking at something with a really good Macro lens or capabilities. Thank you for your thoughts and advice.
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How close do you need to go, and how much resolution do you need. I have found most digital cameras to be quite good at macro work. I would look for a camera that will focus to about 50-75 mm (possibly after fitting a supplementary macro lens.) Also one that can be stopped down to improve the depth of field, and which has noise reduction at slow shutter speeds. Personally I like Nikon. Go to a shop with a sample and try one.
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Thanks David, the last nikon I used was a coolpix and while dated by today's standards was quite good. What model of Nikon do you use? Your advice is very helpful.
Anyone have a bad camera? Something to avoid? The current beast we have kickin' around the lab is a 2.1 megapixel sony. It takes great pictures but takes forever to focus (not moments but minutes) and doesn't have the ability to really zoom in for up close macro work.
The other thing I've heard is that the CCD chips are of two types now. An old type with a sensor element size of ~6m and a new type which is 3.4m. Of course this is never specified on the camera box and usually the sales person looks at me doe-eyed and changes the subject when I bring it up. Anyone have any experience with these new type chips in commercial cameras?
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I use a 990, 4300, and 5700. I have also had a go with a borrowed D70. The 990 is old now, and the images are noisy at slow speed. The 4300 is cheap and is used where it might get dirty. The focus can be fixed and it has noise reduction, it will not stop down for increased depth of field. The 5700 is good if you can get it still enough to take really close up images. Plenty of scope for cropping the image for most applications. Very slow if you have to work with uncompressed file types. The D70 had better images than the 5700 in my opinion, better colour and less noise, if used with good lenses. Personally I dislike the fact that the digital SLR's all use the eye piece for image preview, I like the simplicity of using the LCD screen output to TV monitor. Faster when working with uncompressed images.
http://www.imaging-resource.com
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Hey instaed of Digital camera u can try for SEM ,it will give u good results. it ll be avilable in most of the reserch centers and all scholls which has materials science at graduate level..hope it ll help u
**Murali**
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For certain things a scanner is tough to beat.
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/6375-SFhgX.jpg (0.1 meg) Case 6375 pocketknife, sheepsfoot blade, hand-grindered;) -up close. That isn't any-where-near what it can do neither! :) Too bad I deleted my side by side fracture grain size test picture. :/ (M2 power hacksaw blade vs 8670-modified Skil-saw blade)
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/O1roughedout.jpg
O1 tool steel knife blade hand-grindered;) again. (1.2 meg)
The reason for the pictures was to show what a mess the blades are in the process of working on them.
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/6375-SFfinX.jpg
Finished but not sharpened yet.
The scanner is a mid-90's HP-4C I got at the second hand store for $5 and no tax. HP has the software on their website for free. The weird Mac-cable was given to me. PaintShop program was already on the used computer when it was given to me too.
Alvin in AZ (hobby knife maker and cheap SOB;)
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