Digital cameras

Are there any digital cameras in the under $200 range that are especially good at taking close-up pictures, such as completed models? I
would also be using it for prototype photos too, so it needs to take clear, detailed photos of big things too. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
--
Joe of Castle Jefferson
http://www.mindspring.com/~jjstrshp
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Afraid not at that price. You need a high optical zoom (e.g., 8:1) with a macro capability. I'm especially happy with my Olympus 750 for taking models. The high optical zoom allows me to stand back and take pictures of models in museum cases. And also extreme close-ups of details, etc. Most of the under $200 cameras have at best 3:1 optical zoom and limited macro capabilties. For the big photos, you need the equivalent of a wide-angle lens -- e.g., the 35mmm equivalent of a 30 or 35mm lens. Again, not the sort of stuff you find on low-end cameras. Tiger-direct www.tigerdirect.com is showing several Fuji's (5500, S3000) and minoltas (Dimage Z1) for around 300 that will probably do the job -- but check the macro. None of the catalogs seem to specify macro range. There are several excellent sites (sorry, can't recall the URL) that allow you to specify the features and price you want and then displays all the cameras that satisfy. I went through this last year when I bought my camera, with exactly the same sort of issues in mind. BTW -- forget the so-called "digital zoom." It isn't. You can accomplish the same thing by cropping and expanding the picture in your computer afterwards. It costs you resolution.
Boris
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Joe,
While not wishing to cause friction, Boris is wrong in stating you cannot get a digital camera under $200 for very good close-up photos of models.
See the link below for the Nikon Coolpix 2100 for $148.99, for which you add on the cost of a larger Compact Flash memory card (that's the cheapest around and I'd start with at least a 64mb or 128mb), and I believe also a AA recharchable NiMH charger and batteries. http://www.buy.com/retail/product_jump.asp?sku 127276&SearchEngine=Froogle &SearchTerm127276&Type=PE&Category=Elec&dcaid379
I live in the UK and the camera's supplied with the charger but the US version is'nt I believe. It has a 3x optical zoom and in macro will focus down to 4cm. The main tip I would give is not to use flash as in close-ups the lens casts a shadow by being too close.
The Olympus C-750 that Boris mentions is a great camera, but it has more things on top of close macro that you may or may not need such as the 8x zoom, ideal for airshows, and full control as found on SLR's with manual, aperture and shutter priority.
For more answers look at digital magazines and also a great website www.dpreview.com where you can look up the specs of each model and read owners comments. Its also worthwhile asking in rec.photo.digital newsgroup.
Until recently I worked in a camera store and if you have any further queries just contact me.
One last thing, the more pixels the bigger printable image you can have and with the example given, at home no bigger than 5x7 for great detail, but certainly up to 10x8 from a digital photo lab. So, if you do more searching on google you may get its bigger brother 3100, for a good deal.
Cheers, Stephen

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have no experienc with a C-750, but I do have a C-740 (or is it 730). I find its a great camera, if you have time to take the shot. Time is something I don't have at airshows. When I press the button, I want that picture taken right there and then. The Olympus, and just about any computer controlled camera, be it chemical or digital, takes something like half a second for final adjustments before responding, and that's just simpy too late. Also, with the memory I have on it at this time, it takes about 2 seconds (if not longer) to get the results stored, and the seeker cleared of the previous shot (I shoot at full resolution, maximum quality). Now, I realise I could go for the machinegun approach, and set the camera to take several shots in rapid succession when I press the button. Athough this might very wel produce the desired result, it just doesn't feel right. I want those pictures to be good (or bad) because I had the settings just right, and pulled the trigger at just the right moment, not because I carpet bombed the timeframe and got a lucky hit. When I go to Duxford next month, I take the digital camera for use on anything static, but I'll also bring my ancient OM-1 for the fast work.
Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (Rob van Riel) wrote:

I've the same one as you (C-740) and I've concluded that either the rapid-fire technique you allude to will work, or else I will have to anticipate when the fast-moving object is going to show up in my field of exposure. Because it is so easy to delete bad shots (unlike with chemical films), I'm not really distressed by the likelihood of taking four bad pix to get one good one; the problem is with missing the unique opportunity. And there is the setting for fast-moving objects, though so far I have not found it completely effective (I've been practicing on my rabbit as he runs around the yard.)
Mark Schynert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Rob,
If I remember correctly your C-740 takes smart-media, but I could/probably be wrong, and have always fancied one but the time-lag issue always put me off and waiting on more funds (ie. loan ;) to get a Canon 10D as I believe it still has the edge over others.
I hope you enjoy Duxford and advise to get the 2-day Gold Pass as that marque is great for getting in the shade. Last year was my first time and I now use a camcorder (Canon MV-400) for the flying display, with the saddest thing being the Firefly loss, both aircrew and plane, and have yet to see any findings as to the cause. Anyone heard?
Anyway, enjoy the weekend as I thoroughly did and in this months Aeroplane (June) there is a bit about Duxford's Secret Compound on p.17 where for 55ea on Saturday 12 June, your day includes:
Behind-the-scenes guided tours of the ARC & HFL hangers; Spit undercarriage-retraction demo; Mini air display, with new Spit Tr.9 & Spit XIV; Blenheim restoration tour with engineer John "Smudge" Smith; Tea & coffee on arrival with canapes for lunch; and time to talk to restorers, pilots and ww2 veterans. Check the web (www.aeroplanemonthly.com ) for ticket availability though.
Cheers, Stephen.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It does.

That's where the better (usually more expensive) cameras have the advantage. I don't mean the really expensive cameras that start at $2,000 and use high-end Nikon interchangeable lenses -- I mean the better cameras under $1,000. The C740 (and 750) give you excellent controls if you don't use the dummy mode. For outdoor action shots I set it to aperature priority, set the f stop as high as I can to get a good depth of field, and focus someplace out at infinity. Then there's no time lag for the first shot. You can also take a burst of shots that's about as fast as a film camera, but you may lose pixels doing so. Storage occurs only after the burst.. as mentioned below.

Different objectives -- can't argue with yours. You want to take good pictures -- maybe even artistic or exciting ones -- with the photography an end in itself. I'm only interested in recording persons, places, and things.

That's funny. I sold my OM-1/3/4 (three bodies) with winder, data backs, flash units , and a dozen lenses, macro tubes, close-up lenses, filters, etc. etc. etc. and used the proceeds to buy my OM740 with all the trimmings. Granted that there are some things I can't do now, or not do as conveniently, but for an amateur like me, the advantages far outway the disadvantages:
1. Under 1 kilo all up weight as compared to my previous bad that weighed in loaded at about 15 kilos.
2. No more worries about getting my film fogged at the airport X ray station. 3. No more film costs, processing costs, or delays. 4. I now take five or six pictures where I previously took one. Maybe even a higher ratio. And it doesn't matter if some are not too good -- just delete them. Changes ones entire approach to amateur photography.
A few word of (minor) warning about the OM700 line. They advertise a co-called wide-angle adapter that screws on like a filter -- similar to what you find on video cameras for about $10. It takes the lens up from a nomical 35mm equivalent of a 38 mm lens to about a 28mm lens equivalent. They want $175 to $200 for the thing. According to my photo dealer, it is a deliberate over-price because they don't want to sell them -- they want you to go up to the next rank of +$1000 cameras. That's the thing I miss the most with this camera. Not being able to get really good wide angle shots like my 28mm and 18mm lenses on my OM. Oh well, can't have it all.
Boris
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Boris,
On the wide-angle convertor that Olypus have for the C-700 series, not sure if its the same as I now forget the details but I organised one for a customers Olympus C-5050, and while it suited his purposes perfectly it took ages not only in getting the lens itself but the adapter was quite a hassle as it requires a specific type.
Anyone with a bit of sense you would package both together as a kit but not Olympus, though I don't expect they are the only company to do this. Your mention of lower kit to carry is good as well, but now that I have a Pentax 67+90mm, I'm going in the opposite direction and adding weight!
Cheers, Stephen ,>

a
a
you
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All I can say is my Olympus C-2100UZ has served me well until recently, I'm finding I need either film (just got a decent SLR) or 6 megapixels for publication.
Stephen Leslie wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't really know the prices where you are, but I have used 4 different Cannon Powershot cameras (My own now is an A-40 2 Mpix) and they do resonably pictures. I have also worked with HP pocket size cameras, and they are pretty good allround, but can't compete with the Canon in Macro. Also I use a Canon Eos 10D witch is the number one, and the 300D is a little cheaper version and sells for some where in the region of 1250 US over here. - I know it's off the range uoy asked for, but try to have a shop let you try one or two Canon Powershot models or Nikons in the same price range.
--


Claus Gustafsen
Strandby Denmark
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would say, no. If you are using closeup lenses or a macro lens, the depth of field is very small, and so focusing is critical. You need a true SLR. Digital SLRs are very expensive, cheapest is just under $1000. While I have a digital camera (not an SLR), for modeling I use my film camera (a Canon SLR) and scan the prints (see the modeling page of my web site).
Some people say, just use the LCD screen on the camera to focus. Not good enough. These screens have far less resolution than the camera chip, and do not allow really sharp focusing, even with a magnifier.
Now, the term 'close up' is a bit fuzzy. Yes, I have shot models with my digicam, but not really what I consider closeups. If you want the model to fill the frame, or to more than fill frame (focusing on a detail of model) then you really need the SLR.
Joe Jefferson wrote:

--
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe Jefferson wrote:

Canon A80.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.