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Old Nov 23, 2005, 1:09 AM   #1
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WHAT IS MACRO



I am looking at the H-1 and the P850 - do either of these have the macro???

If not what does - as compared to the the type of cameras I'm looking at and its relative price range.



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Old Nov 23, 2005, 2:39 AM   #2
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MACRO is "True too life" That is, it equal too or better in size than the subject. For example a ratio of 1:1 or better. When it started getting popular, camera lens makers jumped on the band wagon and started calling their zoom lens`s MACRO. When really theyare only close up lens. example 1:2 or worse. There are plenty of true macro lens`s on the market, usually 50mm to 135mm. The longer the focal length the further you can be from the subject.
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Old Nov 23, 2005, 1:41 PM   #3
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I don't think that definition applies to digital images. Since there is no negative there isn't anything to relate the 1:1 to. If you view the image 100% it is still dependent on your screen size and resolution. If you print it is dependent on the print size. A pixel doesn't have a size.

I guess you could revert to 35mm equivalence and say that a true macro would allow you to get close enough to have the image 1:1 by filling a 35mm negative, but I think that is a little unrealistic. Some prosumer digital cameras will actually do that. The Nikon 5600 for example will fill the screen with a 22 X 29mm target and a 35mm negative is 24 X 36mm.

Your reference to longer lenses might apply to some DSLR lenses, but most digital cameras with small sensors work just the opposite. You generally get the largest macro image in the frame at the widest angle. As you zoom out your closest focus distance increases faster than the zoom. There are exceptions like the KM A2/A200, the Kodak P850 and the old swivel body Nikons, but almost all the others get the smallest image in the frame at wide angle. Even the cameras mentioned give about the same macro area in tele as in wide angle.

Macro generally defines as large, and a macro lens allows you to get a large image of a small object.

This is what Imaging Resource said about the macro on the H1:
"A very small macro area with good detail, though soft corners. Flash had trouble up close. The DSC-H1 captured a very small macro area, measuring 1.68 x 1.26 inches (43 x 32 millimeters). Resolution is high, with good detail throughout the frame, though the corners were soft. (Most digital cameras produce soft corners in their macro modes.) The H1's flash was partially blocked by the lens, resulting in overexposure in the very top of the frame and a shadow over the rest of the frame. - Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots."

The P850 only focuses to 10cm or about 3.9 inches in wide, so it doesn't get anywhere near the macro area of the H1. In macro in full telephoto it focuses to 35.4 inches giving it about the same macro area as at wide. I'm assuming the Kodak specs refer to the full 12X zoom when they say 35.4 at telephoto. Either way it isn't a very good macro if you are into watch movements or such. Being able to shoot macro with some zoom improves your lighting ability though. With big lenses that focus right down close to the object you can only use nearly horizontal lighting, but if you can get further away you can use almost any lighting including the camera flash.


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Old Nov 23, 2005, 6:20 PM   #4
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Most excellent answers - for college students...

Iam a novice point and shoot 35 mm owner and only know what I have read the last few days on this site.

I got the jest of what you said (slightly) on some of the stuff. As for the other stuff. Well... it sounds pretty darn impressive.

I guess I want to know if I want macro or if it is really relevant to each camera in question, or relevant these days or huh???

I am really trying to learn, but I think I need a book to learn what you have taught:?


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Old Nov 23, 2005, 6:39 PM   #5
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In short, macro photography is close up photography. Coins, flowers, insects, critters, etc. The idea is to make a very small object look large, or show details that may otherwise be hidden. Traditional SLR's(and DSLR's) typically have lenses designed specifically for this type of photography. These lenses allow th subject to fill the entire image frame and appear very large. P&S cameras often have settings to replicate this although they typically do not do it as well. If you won't be doing this sort of photography, then I wouldn't worry about it. If you're really into this type of photography, Nikon P&S camera's are well known for this ability. Otherwise, you're better off with a DSLR.
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Old Nov 23, 2005, 9:37 PM   #6
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If you are into close up photography like small insects, stamps, watch movements etc you should consider a camera capable of focusing very close.

All current digital cameras have a macro mode unless they are made to fit on a keychain or fit in a phone. Some just shoot closer than others. If you are really interested in macro work, narrow your choices down based on other qualities, price and size you want and then check the review at Imaging Resource. They always have a good section on the close-up capability of the camera: http://www.imaging-resource.com/MFR1.HTM

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