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Old Nov 14, 2003, 4:39 PM   #1
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Default Macro

Can anyone advise the best high resolution camera with the BEST macro ability? Thanks
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 5:09 PM   #2
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Yes. The Nikon Coolpix 4500 can "fill the frame" with an object as small as 0.7 inches across, with virtually no distortion (since the lens "sweet spot" is at about half zoom).

The older swivel bodied Nikons also have this capability (Nikon 950, 990, 995).

No other digital cameras (directly "from the box") can even come close to the macro performance of the swivel bodied Nikons (Coolpix 950, 990, 995, 4500) - not even other Nikons.

Scroll down on this page in the Coolpix 4500's review to see it's macro performance:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/page15.asp

Note that Phil Askey (editor/owner of dpreview.com, and the most thorough reviewer in the business), uses the phrase "well beyond any other prosumer digital camera" when discussing the macro capability.

If you don't need this good of macro capability, then there are other cameras that we can add (some other models have macro capability about half as good -- some can "fill the frame" with objects as small as 1.4 inches across -- about twice as large as the Coolpix swivel bodied models).

Most are much worse, though.

A lot depends on the size of the object you are trying to photograph. Most digital cameras do well enough for most purposes.

My latest camera, the Konica Revio KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta DiMAGE G500) can "fill the frame" with an object around 2 inches across (much worse than the Nikons, but perfectly sufficient for my needs).
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Old Nov 14, 2003, 8:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan
Can anyone advise the best high resolution camera with the BEST macro ability?
Any higher end Nikon Coolpix cameras can be a good choice. The best, of course, is the 950/990/995/4500 series. However, due to its longer focal length, the 5700 has an edge to be used with other close-up accessories. In general, the 4500 is capable of 0.3X+ magnification (i.e., 1 inch subject appears to be < 1/3 in on the sensor) and has the most supported accessories. Here are the posts for various Coolpix models and their macro capabilioties:

4500:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=4936523
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=4940566
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=5021937
The above posts use the tube size (available in the user manual) for calculating the magnification of the 4500, which is slightly off the actually one. The following is a more accurate calculation of the magnification of the 4500:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6501640

5700:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=4967574
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6042907
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=6009969
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=15584

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide
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Old Nov 15, 2003, 5:31 AM   #4
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Don't ignore the possibility of adding lenses to the camera to really improve its closeup ability...I recently got into closeup diopters and they are much more powerful compared to any consumer camera's macro, http://www.photobucket.com/albums/08...up/uspenny.jpg Note that picture is NOT cropped or sharpened...only reduced in size for posting.
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 1:12 PM   #5
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Default Macro

Thanks so much for all the info. I'm not sure if I like the feel of the 4500... I'm trying to decide between the Coolpix 5400 and the 5700?? Any advice??
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 1:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan
Thanks so much for all the info. I'm not sure if I like the feel of the 4500... I'm trying to decide between the Coolpix 5400 and the 5700?? Any advice??
Forget them both and buy the vastly superior and now much cheaper Sony717. It can get as close as 0.8 inches from the subject, though when so close, how you light the subject is another matter. The Sony 717 is in a different class and the price has dropped dramatically with the announcement of the 828. Have a look at www.bestfoto.com and see which camera wins the most pictures of the day. Not necessarily a way to judge the best camera, but an indicator of some sorts. The Sony 717 is way out in front, followed by the 2 mpixel Oly2100. And that tells you something about pixel count too!
cheers
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 2:03 PM   #7
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Well -- the macro ability of the 4500 is superior to the 5700 (you were looking for the model with the best macro).

Although the macro mode on the 5700 is still better than models from other manufacturers, it is nowhere near as good as the 4500. The smallest frame coverage you'll be able to get with the 5700 is around 30mm (1.2 inches), and corners will be soft at the focal length required to "fill the frame" with an object this small.

If you are willing to sacrifice some of the frame coverage, then you can pick a focal length with sharper corners using the 5700.

In contrast, the Nikon 4500 can "fill the frame" with an object as small as 17mm (2/3 inch), with virtually no distortion.

Macro Tests of Coolpix 5700:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp5700/page17.asp

Macro Tests of Coolpix 4500:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/page15.asp

As for the Coolpix 5400, it's the worst of the three (but still better than the macro performance from other manufacturers):

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp5400/page14.asp

I guess it depends on what you are looking to take photos of. If you don't need to "fill the frame" with very small objects, then you may not need a macro as good as a camera like the Coolpix 4500 provides.

There are pros and cons to both choices. For example: the 5700 provides greater focal range (zoom ability) with a 35-280mm equivalent zoom.

The 5400 is a great choice for someone needing a "wider" wide angle, with it's focal range of 28 - 116mm equivalent.

However, the 4500 provides pretty good focal range (38-155mm equvalent), compared to most models, without the need of resorting to an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder, as in the 5700). I personally prefer the 4500's Optical Viewfinder over the EVF's used on longer zoom models.

The lens/ccd combination used in the 4500 is better from a Chromatic Aberrations perspective, too (based on Phil's tests at dpreview.com).

I also prefer the "split body" of the Nikon 4500 better, personally. But, I'm biased (having owned the Nikon Coolpix 950 and 990, I really love this design). It really "grows on you"!

BTW, you can also buy the 4500 in factory reburfished conditioned, directly from Nikon, for only $369.99. They are temporarily out of stock, but they will still accept an order, and won't bill your credit card until it ships. See this link:

http://www.nikonmall.com/product.asp...&searchcatid=3
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 2:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcemb
Forget them both and buy the vastly superior and now much cheaper Sony717. It can get as close as 0.8 inches from the subject, though when so close, how you light the subject is another matter.
Here is a macro test of the Sony DSC-F717. As you can see, ANY Nikon model will have better macro performance (frame coverage, distortion, etc.). The very best you can hope for with the Sony, is a frame coverage of around 4cm (1.56 inches), without excessive distortion (and even then, some will remain).

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscf717/page14.asp

The Sony DSC-F717 is one of the finest cameras made (able to resolve more detail on resolution charts, compared to other models using the same 2/3" 5MP Sensor, very nice and fast (F2.0/F2.4) Carl Zeiss designed lens, etc.

However, for macros, it would not be my camera of choice.
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 2:26 PM   #9
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Bottom Line:

If you really want the "best" macro capability, with the least distortion, forget the other models (including the other Nikons), and buy a Nikon Coolpix 950, 990, 995, or 4500.

No other cameras can come close to their macro performance. Also, because they are using a smaller sensor (compared to a model like the Coolpix 5700 or Sony DSC-F717), you'll have better depth of field, at the same aperture settings for your macro shots.

If you don't need macro capability this good, then there are many models that will work.
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