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JungleMan Jan 25, 2004 12:27 PM

Camera for good macro shots (And all around good use)
Hey folks...I'm in the market for a new camera. Need some help deciding :D

I write reviews for a computer hardware review website, and a lot of the work I do includes taking close up shots of buttons, computer chips, or connectors (sometimes 2-3 inches away). The Kodak DC3400 I have now is good, but it's not good at focusing in low-light conditions. Often the room I test in does not have great lighting, and I find that low light macro shots end up blurry.

I WILL use the camera for other stuff, like general use, but mostly for the site.

So here's what I'm looking for in order of priority
- takes excellent macro shots, but also excellent regular shots
- can focus well even in low-light conditions
- at least 3MP...higher would be nice, but not to sacrifice other features, the largest print shots I'd be doing with this cam is 5x7
- takes CF if possible, would live with SD too or even MS.. I want to avoid xD though as my reader doesn't support it, and it's expensive.
- I'd prefer AA batteries if possible, and a somewhat decent battery life...something where I can take photos while hooked up to the AC would be VERY nice, not sure if it exists, I could afford extra on an AC adapter if it'd let me do this...
- size not really an issue, but I don't want something gargantuan

My range is preferably under $350, but if it's really really good I might consider $400.

Thanks :)

JungleMan Jan 25, 2004 3:06 PM

I'm looking long and hard at the Nikon Coolpix 4300. Found it for just under $300 brand new on eBay with several accessories I could use, and it seems to do everything I listed except take AA batteries. I hear Steve uses the Nikon 4500 for product shots (is this true?) but I can't afford that model...

What do you all think? Or any other suggestions welcome...

JungleMan Jan 26, 2004 9:49 AM


How about the Coolpix 3700? I can sacrifice the extra 0.7mp, the CF slot, and another $30 or so for the small size and the AF assist lamp. 8) But is it a good camera?

gibsonpd3620 Jan 26, 2004 9:57 AM

The 4300 is a very nice camera that should serve your intended purpsoses. The 4500 uses the swivel lens and has 4X optical zoom. Both cameras use En-EL1 battery which should last about 200 shots. I purchased extra batteries off Ebay for about $10 each. They last as long as the one that came with my 5700.

JungleMan Jan 26, 2004 10:07 PM

Thanks for the info...surely more than one of the 14,000 forum members has an opinion, so give me what you think!!

Leaning towards the 3700 at the moment despite the SD

JimC Jan 28, 2004 9:35 AM

From the reviews I've seen, the 3700 has an outstanding macro mode (for a point and shoot camera). However, you won't be able to get macros anywhere near as good as the "swivel bodied Nikons" like the Nikon Coolpix 950, 990, 995, and 4500.

A point and shoot camera is very limited in your ability to control things like depth of field. So, your area in focus (depth of field) is likely to be very shallow with this model (3700).

In contrast, the swivel bodied Nikons give you very fine control over Aperture, so you can increase Depth of Field as needed. They also have an available Cool-Light SL-1 that can illuminate your subject with a ring of white LED's. This is not available on a camera like the Coolpix 3700.

JungleMan Jan 28, 2004 8:35 PM

I can't afford the 4500 but I can probably afford the 995 if I grab it on eBay...only problem is its SO UGLY!! But I guess I can sacrifice that for great photos...;)

Does it have an AF lamp built in? (I'm not really up for buying extra attachments)

JimC Jan 29, 2004 12:33 PM

The Coolpix 995 does not have an autofocus assist lamp (none of the "swivel bodied" Nikons have this feature). However, it does have manual focus ability, which may be useful in low light.

BTW, you can buy a factory reconditioned Coolpix 4500, directly from Nikon for $369.99. Here is the link:

JungleMan Jan 29, 2004 6:25 PM

Well, no AF lamp, and I shoot in a lot of low-light conditions, but I can do without it if it provides the extra awesome features :D and WHAT A NICE PRICE!!

Is there a way I can add on such a feature in the future?

JimC Jan 29, 2004 8:09 PM

Sorry, there is no way to add a focus assist lamp to the 4500.

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