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Old Oct 27, 2009, 3:25 PM   #1
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Default What can replace my 9 yr old CoolPix's macro/close-up zoom & focus?

My venerable Nikon CoolPix 990 is sliding down the dead-pixel hill, and I need a camera to replace it.

This camera spends 90% of its life on a tripod, aimed at a light-tent/light-table, and I've yet to find a con/pro-sumer camera that rivals it's ability to stand back 12"+, zoom in tight, and still get focus.

I've tried (and returned) a Canon Powershot XS20, and now have a Canon Powershot G11 which still isn't as good as the CoolPix990. The XS20 macro (whups, I mean "close-up") mode was terrible. I had to hover the camera over the subject only a few inches away, casting terrible shadows.

The G11 is better, but can still only do 75% of what my old Nikon could. I can set up 18"~ away with the Nikon, zoom in to a nice crop (and see the detail I'm trying to pick up). The G11's increased resolution lets me cheat by staying zoomed out, but then I can't see the detail on the tilt-screen (which is a must-have) of what I'm trying to shoot.

Online reviews that sounded promising haven't proven to be practical, as not many reviews spec what the focus range is vs. the zoom range.

Isn't there a similar camera out there that can match the macro performance of my 9-year old CoolPix without resorting to a $1500+ DSLR/Macro lense solution?

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Old Oct 27, 2009, 4:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums Dave.

I've owned both the Nikon Coolpix 950 and 990, and I still have the 950 (kept mostly for closeups). They're great because of the better depth of field you have with a non-dSLR model for a given framing and aperture, and that series of Coolpix models was designed so that you zoomed in a bit to get the "sweet spot" (when the macro icon lights up), for less distortion and more detail. They were hard to beat for closeup purposes for years (and many of the product shots in Steve's reviews when these camera were being manufactured were taken with them).

But, you may be better served with a newer camera now. For better responses, I'd give a bit more info. For example:

What is your total budget?

What are you taking photos of (be as specific as possible) and what are you using the photos for (including print/viewing sizes desired)?
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 4:04 PM   #3
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You can get software to map out hot pixels for some of the earlier Nikon models if that's your main problem (updating the bad pixel map in the camera so that it automatically replaces them with data from adjacent pixels). I can try to dig up a link to the software if desired (and I may have a copy on another PC). Let me know and I'll look around for it if you want to try to correct the issue.
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Old Nov 1, 2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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Sometimes solutions turn up in the strangest places. When I was browsing over at www.pbase.com, I found out that the Kodak Z-890 camera takes beautiful macro shots.

You might give it a look.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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