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Old Mar 14, 2006, 7:59 PM   #1
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What are the best non SLR for taking macro shots? Would like to stay around or under $500. Any thoughts about the Fuji s9000? I like the option of a manual focus but realize that in that price range that may not be available.

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 12:08 AM   #2
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There are not a whole lot of things the Fuji S-9000 does well. However, one thing the Fuji S-9000 does do well is macro or close-up photos. Several people I know do macro photos for catalogs using the S-9000.

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 1:29 AM   #3
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@mt: I have seen so much excellent pics taken with a S9500. Why do you think the cam isn't a good one (compared to other fixed lens cams)?

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Old Mar 15, 2006, 6:56 AM   #4
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S9000/9500 does have manual focus, the "fly-by-wire" type, which is actually quiteusable and activated byanon-the-lens ring. The camera's macro and super-macro modes are very good IMO.
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 8:47 AM   #5
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It is just a personal opinion only, but I was expecting the S-9000/S-9500 to exceed the image output of the Fuji S-7000, and it does not. Least there be any confusion, I actually do own a S-9000, and have hands on experience with it. I also have the impression, that perhaps it was a bit over hyped during its introduction as well. But, again that may be a personal thing.

I purchased the S-9000, thinking that it would fill my needs better than a dSLR camera, and it did not. Less than three months after buying the S-9000, I was looking at and bought a dSLR.

The result was, IMHO, much better images shot in a much wider variety of shooting conditions.

BTW, the Fuji S-9000 does very well in the macro mode.


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Old Mar 15, 2006, 9:20 AM   #6
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A used Nikon Coolpix 4500 would be a good one to look for.

Or, a used Coolpix 990 if you don't need to print anything at much over 8x10".

They are not "speed demons" by current standards. But, their macro performance is superb.

You can fill the frame with a subject about 2/3" across with virtually no distortion, because the "sweet spot" of the lens in macro focus mode is at around half zoom (no barrel distortion, no pincushion distortion). The camera even has a macro icon that changes colors when you're at the optimum zoom position.

You can also shoot from a bit further away than some models that require you to shoot at their wide angle position for capturing a smaller subject (which usually means soft edges, barrel distortion and problems with shadows cast by the lens).

In addition, these models also have Av (Aperture Priority) available to let you stop down the aperture for greater depth of field when needed (but make sure to use a tripod for best results if you do that in less than optimum lighting, since smaller apertures require slower shutter speeds).

These models also have a feature known as BSS (Best Shot Selector), that allows you to hold the shutter button down while they take multiple photos rapidly. When you release the shutter button, the camera automatically saves only the sharpest one. If you can't use a tripod, that feature comes in handy.

Steve has probably reviewed more cameras than anyone around over the years. So, when someone like Steve uses one for his own closeups, you can bet it's a pretty good tool for the job. See his response to a question about it here, when a forum member noticed how much detail there was in things like dials and buttons in the images:


If you want to see how detailed the closeups from one of these cameras can be,here is a photo of a cointhat Steve tookwith a 3MPNikon Coolpix 990 (straight from the camera with nomodifications or cropping). BTW, you can also get third party closeup lenses for it if that's not enough. ;-)

With most browsers, you'll need to use your + key to enlarge it.


You can probably pick up a used Nikon Coolpix 990 for under $200 if you shop around on the used market and keep an eye on Ebay listings.

I've personally owned the Nikon Coolpix 950 and 990 (and I still have the 950). They're not speed demons by current standards, but they are capable of taking some nice photos, especially when it comes to macros.


As others have already mentioned, the Fuji S9000 does seem to be a good performer, depending on what you're shooting (but, I'd probably avoid the super macro modes where you'll have some distortion and possible shadows cast by the lens).

What size subjects are you shooting, in what conditions, and what are the images going to be used for?

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