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Old Oct 26, 2006, 6:48 AM   #1
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We are looking for something to replace our aging Sony Mavica FD95. I work in an aerospace machine shop, requiring us to take photos of the parts we are working on, below is a summary of what we need to be able to do. I've been searching forums and sites for a few months to find what works best for this, to no avail.

1. We are taking photos of metal parts, up to about 3' diameter

2.I work in a machine shop, so we don't have the best lighting in the world, it's flourescent overhead lights, with portable flourescents available.

3.Need to be able to shoot both the entire part at close range (3-10 foot) and macro shots of nicks and dents in these parts, these could be really small, around 1/20 of an inch in size, this is more imporatant than the complete pics.

4.The hardest part, we've got 11 engineers who may be using said equipment, and not all are photo-savvy, so this can't be insanely tough to do.

5.most pics are used in ms word docs or e-mailed, so 4 or 5 megapixel min is okay.

So, I'm looking for recommendations on what we might use to best suit our needs. Can we accomplish this with another P&S, and what might a few cameras be that would suit our needs. Heck, just an idea of what to look for in a camera /support gearwould be greatly appreciated. Also, I'm guessing a tripod wouldn't hurt for the low light, and any other gear that might help.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 7:25 AM   #2
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I work for a telecom hardware company and I'm always tasked with taking product pictures.

First I'll tell you that our in-house camera is an Olympus C-4000 zoom. It's a few years old, and you can get it for a good deal on ebay. Its macro pictures are great for when we have to show our fabricators problems via email or for documentation. The colors are good too (there's a setting on almost all cameras to compensate for the spectrum of flourescent light - although when i cart equipment to the window, by far those shots are the best).

The only problem is that when you take pictures of larger objects, the lens will distort the lines, there is software to fix this, but it's often not a problem. I can go into deeper detail if you want.

Here's what I'd suggest to make it easy for you and your engineers.
  1. Buy a cheap tripod for the camera ($20-$30)
  2. Mount the camera on the tripod[/*]
  3. Set the camera to macro or super-macro (not all cameras have super macro, but the olympus does).[/*]
  4. Turn off the flash and make sure there's good light.[/*]
  5. Set the camera for a timed picture - i.e. press the shutter, walk a few feet away, and it will snap in 10-15 seconds.[/*]
  6. *CLICK*[/*]
Here's an example of a picture taken by an engineer without any real set-up..

good luck.

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Old Oct 27, 2006, 6:31 AM   #3
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Thanks Digraph, i'll take a look at this camera, and thanks for the hints on how to get good shots.
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