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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Answering only in rec.crafts.metalworking -- I'm not sure that it belongs in either newsgroup (other than the subject matter), but certainly not in *both*.
    You're in my killfile, so I did not see the original question, and will likely not see your replies either, unless someone quotes you as they did here.

    A question occurs. Does this include shots of the tools in individual drawers? If so, a lens with good macro capability is called for.
    My preference (well out of the price range you are probably looking at) is currently the Nikon D300s (actually, one without the 's' suffix would suffice for what you want). For the lens -- skip the ones which are often sold with that body, and go for the 28-105mm zoom (f:3.5 to f:4.5 depending on where in the zoom range you are). It has a switch which allows you to go to a good macro mode, and the zoom range is plenty for most things unless you are caught against a wall and can't back away far enough for a larger tool). But it is going to add up to well over $1000.00.
    If you look at the somewhat lower priced ones in the two-digit series (I had a D70 which I liked and which is now obsolete) -- be careful to look at what lenses it will work with. Some of them may not work with the lens I suggested.
    That lens is the one I carry on my camera most of the time, and in the macro mode it can take good shots a bit larger than your thumbnail.

    The D70, the D300s, and others in those series use a special Li-Ion battery which has a good charge life (and because it uses a true eye-level viewfinder instead of using the display as a viewfinder, it does not pull the battery down nearly as fast. Also, not that it matters for your stated needs, you get quick response to a shutter press, unlike the ones which use the display as a viewfinder, because they need to jump through more hoops to do it properly.
    Granted, I've been using interchangeable lens SLRs (film, and then digital) since about 1964, and I like the way they feel.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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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
--
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

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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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On Friday, December 7, 2012 12:57:35 AM UTC-8, Erik wrote:

Bingo! The use of a tripod will get best results (some of the better cameras have 'image stabilization', but tripods are still the best you can do).
On still photography, don't worry about 18x zooms; just position the camera to frame the shot, and don't be afraid to crop afterward. A cheapo with no zoom, or 3x zoom, will work for this application.
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Yes indeed!
Far as tripods go, you don't even have to have an actual tripod... just anything that'll (safely) hold the camera still, and allow you to position it for the shot. You can even use your imagination & cobble up something... camera tripod sockets are 1/4-20. Go easy on the torque, especially if said socket is plastic.
Erik
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On 12/8/2012 4:38 PM, Erik wrote:

Like leaning against a door frame or wall...
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I could sometimes get an unblurred picture at 1/15 Second by holding the camera upside down against my forehead. jsw
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On Sun, 9 Dec 2012 08:35:42 -0500, the renowned "Jim Wilkins"

If you want to splurge on tripods and ball heads that will outlast several digital cameras, these guys have the 'right stuff':
http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fcD
Made in USA (San Luis Obispo), sold all over the globe and very, very nice (silky-smooth ball head action, beautiful finish etc.)
(FWIW, there was a controversy in '08 regarding the owner's personal political contributions to oppose same-sex marriage Prop 8, which I guess might be considered a plus or a minus)
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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wrote:

Nice if you can travel that well-equipped.
My photographic duties included taking pix of suspected tangos without appearing to have a camera. To do that I learned to estimate exposure setting and distance by eye and a few memorized rules, which turned out to be very useful in other settings such as publicity shots where I could tell where the light was good enough to ask the actor to spare a minute, and industrial photography.
The very knowledgeable German photo shop owner who supplied and advised me was later uncovered as a Soviet spy.
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On 12/8/2012 3:04 PM, whit3rd wrote:

Beyond zoom, most of the modern camera can "crop" in the view finder. On my Fuji it's called "enlarging" or "instant zoom" with options at 1.4x and 2x (shows a framing rectangle in the viewfinder). The results can be stunning.
Jon, I shoot at a higher resolution than I need and post process. I used to try to conserve memory by shooting at the resolution I thought would be ok. But too many times I've wanted to crop a frame and found the resulting pixelization ruined what I had.
A good tripod is very handy.
So are fill lights, reflectors, and a piece of Kleenex over the strobe for those ultra close ups. But all that will come when the time is right.
Enjoy. This is fun stuff.
Richard
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