recommendations for a digital camera that excels at closeups?

I just shot the bottom two pictures at
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with my trusted Canon S400 a few minutes ago, from a distance of about 4". They are not great, because they were shot quickly and hand held. Take a look.
The following pictures were all taken with the same camera, with the help of a tripod. And I could not shoot them from very close. I shot at about 12 - 24" distance and zoomed in. the images were then cropped.
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I love that little camera, but as with all cameras it has it's pluses and minuses.
It's a great point and shoot camera, that I can take with me everywhere I go, because I can hang it on my belt in it's own pouch. The newer ones are even smaller.
One of the down sides is, that I cannot set aperture or exposure priority. It's mostly automatic, with only minor exposure adjustment possibilities. I have been able to work around that, but it is rather clumsy. And the flash, like with all digital cameras this size, sucks.
My three main priorities at the time I bought the camera, were: small, small, small. I really wanted a very small camera that I can take with me at all times. At the time, this was one of the smallest and best cameras around.
Your choices today are much broader. I still think Canon has great little cameras. They continue to be top rated.
If close up is really important though, you are most likely going to have to get a decent SLR camera, either with a fixed lens or replaceable ones.
I know you don't like reviews, but I do suggest you check out dpreview.com. He has fantastic in depth reviews as well as great forums.
Also check in rec.photo.digital and/or rec.photo.digital.point+shoot and/or rec.photo.digital.slr-systems
Good luck
Abrasha
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Reply to
Abrasha
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Or less, even. For most web stuff pics of 800 x 600 are more than enough for most stuff and thats about .5 MP.
Pity the poor dial-up surfers.
Reply to
xray
You can probably rig up some method for using regular photographic closeup lenses on just about any cheap camera, this being a metalworking group and all. Just don't cheap-out on the closeup lenses.
I've got a Canon G3, myself. The G-series has a macro mode that gets down to 2 in, plus a manual focussing mode. An f2.0 lens makes it a little faster than most of the competition. Has an external flash shoe and you can get accessory bayonet snoots for using regular screw-in filters and close-up lenses. I've been happy with it. Was about $200 or so as a factory refurb a couple of years back. You might be able to find a good deal on the net looking for refurbs or the usual places for used gear. The latest G6 has exactly the same glass as my G3, just more features and a higher pixel-count sensor. At the time I got my G3, Canon's G series had the most bang for my buck for the features I was looking for.
One thing I know that Canon does have is remote control via USB cable through the PC, not sure if anyone else has that. You can use your computer monitor for composing and focussing that way instead of that dinky LCD panel. Might make macro shooting a little easier. That program is on the web site. They also have an SDK available for making up camera interface software, if you want to customize the PC side.
Stan
Reply to
stans4
I would think that even poor dial-up surfers would prefer to be able to see very detailed, highest quality pictures of the items that they are buying.
Sellers (like myself) can include clickable thumbnails in their auctions. That lets users see things at a glance and, at the same time, see great detail by clicking on thumbnails.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus22094
I the real world, I rarely see a picture over 1 MP in size that is taken well enough to justify the extra bits. Usually, I can just tell in great detail that the picture is out of focus or poorly lighted. I much prefer a good picture to a big picture.
Reply to
xray
Do you think that these pictures are excessively large? Or do you think that they do the best job at describing the item's visual condition?
Mind you, the buyers see 5 times smaller thumbnails and can expand them by clicking on them.
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Reply to
Ignoramus22094
For closeup work with a tripod a camera with a good LCD screen (2 inches or more) may be better than a consumer grade SLR as these don't show 100% of the frame in the eyepeice and it may be easier to view the LCD. I find I can't look thru the optical finder half the time when it's positioned where I want it in the tripod.
I guess some cameras have always-on LCD displays which would make setup and positioning nice. dSLRs don't do this. I've never played with one and I expect they suck batteries.
Reply to
Al Dykes
Bill:
Perhaps you could post some pics to the Dropbox
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so the rest of us could see you work.
Just a thought.
Errol Groff
Errol Groff
Instructor, Manufacturing Technology H.H. Ellis Technical High School 613 Upper Maple Street Danielson, CT 06239
New England Model Engineering Society
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Reply to
Errol Groff
Sure would be nice to adapt a bayonet lense mount to a moderately-priced digital. I'd love to use my old Pentax-mount SLR lenses on a digital body. Anybody here tried that?
Reply to
Rex B
Ok, let's talk about the first one. It appears to be a 10 dB APC-7 18 GHz attenuator. At 136 KB and about 1 MP its not excessively large, so I'd have no real problem with it, but...
Here's the same picture shrunk to the size I was talking about:
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Since you took a good picture, a little of the detail is lost in shrinking it, but I can still read all the same details from the original that I might care about.
It has a Cal label that was current about 5 years ago. Ironically, the cal label is placed on top of the original calibration chart which contained more useful information than the stupid tech who "calibrated" it has now provided us.
The thing that would be useful to see is the condition of the mating surfaces of the two connectors. Maybe you had them in the listing.
So your picture is fine, but a smaller version would have been ok too, and two more pictures would be needed to fully give me an idea if it is in good shape.
Reply to
xray
True but it's hard to find a good camera that doesn't have a rather large MP size now days. I usually shrink my images to half there size before posting to my home page. Even then I get a few who complain about size.
The last is definitely to large. Even with DSL it took time to load.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
I'm using a Kodak Easyshare DX6490 currently. It does a good job. It's a older model now. The new ones have even more pixels which is a waste for posted photos IMHO. I have to shrink my images in half to get a pic that's decently viewable in a web browser. The main reason I bought it was for the 10x optical zoom which based on my old cameras performance was absolutely essential for a all around camera. The nice thing was that it came with all the manual modes allowing full control when needed. I take some pretty good macros with it and I don't even have to be close with that much zoom available (like 24" away and still fill the screen with a 3" object).
Looking on ebay it seems that they're going for $225-250 range new and less used. Slightly over your budget but well worth it IMHO.
As others have stated the real key is a tripod and use external light (no flash) for macros.
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
I usually crop and optimize the imagie a little bit. That shrinks them a great deal.
Yes, but on the other hand, the buyer woud only see a thumbnail on the auction page.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus22094
I'd much rather see five 100kbyte photos taken from five different angles, views, and distances than one 500kbyte photo. Always crop and resize the originals and then use an appropriate level of Jpeg compression. An excellent and very popular freeware tool for preparing photos is available here;
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Reply to
Dave
No, it is an HP8492A, but good guess.
But it is harder to see if it is scratched a lot or not a lot.
These are very sensible comments. I try to provide multiple pictures, at least when I am not too tired. i
Reply to
Ignoramus22094
The jpg you post is a product of the PeeCee software you use to crop and resize the shot from the camera. Any camera.
You shoot at the highest quality setting the camera allows, which produces the biggest file. Copy it to the computer any way you can and start up the software that came with the camera.
Pick the desired use for the picture. Most computer screens are 75dpi (aka pixels/inch). A fancy screen is 100dpi. Good printing is 200dpi-300dpi. With that in mind you crop and then resize the picture to the size, in pixels.
You can do a bunch of stuff after that but finally you want to save you work. Look for a "save for web" command and you can pick a quality level, lower quality producing a fuzzier picture of smaller size. You have to experiment.
One tip; Never when working with jpg files, never save-open-edit-save on the same filename. You will get "compression artifiacts" due to the decompression/recompression.. Always save on a new file name. Always work from the original. TIFF and RAW formats are not compressed but yoiur camera probably doesn't produce those.
If you have no software look for irfanview (free)
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It can do most or all of what you need. If you want a step up, buy Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Reply to
Al Dykes
That is not true. I can dig up references.
My auctions have SMALL thumbnails. If you are interested, you can click on them to see the detailed pictures.
Here's a thumbnail picture in my auction:
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Here's the picture that you would see by clicking:
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That is false on many levels. Not as many dialup users, as well as the fact that big pictures are optional.
I agree that including large pictures into an auction itself is poor taste.
I had video clips for some of my auctions, like this one:
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Again, if you do not want to see you, you do not have to click on the video link.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus22094
I used to own a sony mavica, don't recall which model.
I photographed a hook rule, with the rim around the lens touching the rule.
That's fairly close-up
:)
Reply to
Jon Grimm
Sheesh. What makes you think I was guessing?
I KNOW it is an HP8492A. The name in your link title was a good clue, if I didn't. I described what it IS, not what it's manufacturer called it. See here, for example:
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That version is 20 dB, whereas yours was 10 dB. Given that, I think I nailed its characteristics pretty well in one sentence. Description: Coaxial Fixed Attenuator Input Connector Type: APC-7 Output Connector Type: APC-7 Frequency Range: DC to 18GHz
Proves, I guess, that sellers don't really have to know what they are selling.
Reply to
xray
Hi Grant. In another thread I posted a link to a series of shots I took on some lathe and mill work:
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These were all taken with a Pentax Optio S50, (5Mp), which is in your ballpark for price. Most were flash, some were not. Most in macro mode. Auto exposure - and very satisfactory at that. Your points on autofocus noted, and agreed. Ditto the multiple shots
I reckon the results are pretty passable. I have all the SLR stuff, but choose to use this little Pentax in the workshop. I can hold it with one hand, while I feed the tool with the other. The flash works remarkably well at 12-24" range.
This isn't a "Pentax rocks" post - I use many brands (loved the Mavica, but time marches on), but this little point&shoot is a beauty. The S50 has been superceded by a 6Mp model, which I believe is similar in price.
HTH
-- Jeff R.
Reply to
Jeff R

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