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Old Sep 16, 2003, 4:13 AM   #1
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Default Looking for a great camera for Miniature photography

Hi, I've been taking quite a few pictures of wargaming miniatures with my Olmypus DC340R. I've been generally relatively happy with the quality of the shots up until recently and now I think I need a new camera. What finally made up my mind was this pic.


These is some of the detail visible but not all, the colour is washed out and it looks like its almost out of focus... but its not a focus problem.

I have had the Nikon Coolpix range recommended to me by many people over the last few years because of their ability to focus down to 2cm with the macro mode. The problem is I'm not sure what the current models are and which one to choose. Has anyone got any ideas?

Failing that what about other models? Does anyone think there is anything else I could do to improve that picture?

Any help is very welcome.

Thanks,

Yith

BTW - there are loads more pics that I've taken with the olympus at the link below. Some I'm very happy with, but many could be a whole lot better.
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Old Sep 16, 2003, 12:37 PM   #2
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Does it seem that you have this problem, only when you try to get really close up? I am not famailiar with your camera but if some of your shots are good, then would it be fair to assume that the camera is capable of good pictures? If your camera can take add on lenses via an adapter, there are macro lenses avalable to let you get closer.
Also, I an not trying to talk you out of a nikon here so don't take it that way. They are good cameras and do have very good macro capability. You are by no means limited to nikon for macro though. Pretty much any good camera that can take add on lenses can do macro, with add on lenses.
The two wider angle shots here were about the best my canon a70 could do with macro. The two closeup shots were the a70 with a reversed 50mm slr lens.
http://www.pbase.com/richardh/slr_macro
The wider angle ones are a touch blurry, but I think that was because I was trying to push what the camera can do. This is mainly just to show the diffrence in magnification.
The slr lens is suposed to be roughlly equivalent to a +27 macro lens. You can also purchase a wide variety of magnification macro lenses with +1, +2, +3, +4, +7, +8, +10 being some of the common ones. You can also stack them to some extent so a +8 and a +10 become a +18.
I hope that didn't complicate your search too much but many diffrent brands of cameras can be made to do good macros.
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Old Sep 16, 2003, 3:50 PM   #3
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The Nikon Coolpix Swivel Bodied Cameras (950, 990, 995, 4500) have the best out of the box macro capability of any digital cameras. The others are not even close.

These cameras let you "fill the frame" with an object as small as 0.7 inches, with virtually no distortion, and are able to focus from 2cm to infinity in macro mode.

Phil Askey tests macro performance in his camera reviews at dpreview.com. Here's the page showing the macro performance of the Coolpix 4500:

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

You can also get the optional SL-1 Cool-Light (which screws onto the front of the lens, illuminating your subject with a circle of white LED's. This eliminates the lighting problems you have with many other macro solutions. This light is available for well under $100.00 from most dealers.

Phil has a photo on this review page, with the SL-1 Cool-Light attached to a 4500:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/page4.asp

Also, this particular Nikon camera has less chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) compared to other cameras in it's class. Nikon finally "got it right" with the lens/ccd combination used in the CP 4500.

The list price for this camera is currently $699.00, but after the $200.00 mail in rebate (good until Sept. 30), the price would be only $499.00 (not including any discounts you may find from the dealer). Make sure that you buy from a reputable dealer, not a dealer selling "gray market" cameras (cameras not intended for the U.S. Market), which Nikon USA will not warranty.

Here is the download link for the rebate form (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader):

http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/coolpixsummerrebate.pdf

BTW, you can also buy this camera in refurbished condition, directly from Nikon for only $369.99 now. You can still place your order if it's temporarily out of stock. They will not charge your credit card until it ships, and will ship the camera out as soon as it becomes available. Here's the link:

http://www.nikonmall.com/searchresults.asp?dept_id=14&searchcat=Digital+Ima ging+Products>&searchcatid=3

BTW, I once purchased a remanufactured camera directly from Nikon. It arrived in perfect, like new condition. I was unable to tell it from a new camera in any way, even upon very close inspection.

So, I have no problems with trusting a remanufactured model from Nikon.

Also, these cameras do come with a 90 day warranty, and with most electronics, they are most likely to fail immediately (faulty components, etc.), versus later (except after heavy use of course, when switches, etc., begin to show wear).

Most of the time, a remanufactured camera comes into being, just because somebody bought a model and changed their mind. So, it's sent back to the manufacturer for testing and repackaging.

I look at it as being potentially more reliable -- since it was inspected once when manufacturered, and again (probably more thoroughly) when shipped back -- just to make sure no problems existed with it.

So, I would actually prefer a remanufactured camera from Nikon, if a model that I am interested in was available this way -- not only for the cost savings, but because I would trust it more than a brand new one.
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Old Sep 19, 2003, 10:27 AM   #4
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Thanks Jim... thats a load of really useful info... I've had a look and may just get one of those... :-)
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Old Sep 19, 2003, 4:18 PM   #5
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You are a plethora of information!
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Old Sep 22, 2003, 4:32 AM   #6
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Well my spanking brand new Nikon Coolpix 4500 is now sat at home...

Unfortunately I made a deal with my wife over it, and its going to be a Christmas present... as a result its hidden somewhere where I can't find it... aRGH! ;-)

Oh well at least I'll be enthusiastic about Christmas this year.
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Old Sep 22, 2003, 6:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yith
Well my spanking brand new Nikon Coolpix 4500 is now sat at home...

Unfortunately I made a deal with my wife over it, and its going to be a Christmas present... as a result its hidden somewhere where I can't find it... aRGH! ;-)

Oh well at least I'll be enthusiastic about Christmas this year.
So now you are not going to touch it for two and a half months? You gotta be kidding right? :roll:
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Old Sep 22, 2003, 6:39 AM   #8
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I wish I was... I wish I was... its agony!!
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Old Sep 23, 2003, 2:11 AM   #9
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Yith

Ever heard of price erosion (and inflation)? If you are not going to use a camera for 2 and a half months, you are usually better of not buying it in advance either. Of course you need to build in some ordering time, so you will have it in house by christmas time but specifically with electronics, buying stuf this early is usually costing you money. (Of course the exception to the rule is getting a good discount deal now and then).

Now I assume this issue about it being a christmas gift is a money issue so show this to your wife and check if she's willing to let you start now :P. Of course you can allow her to gift wrap it at the appropriate time :idea: Also, you may run into problems with the camera (happens now and then) and then you will have lost two and a half months of warranty time (also costing you money if the defect surfaces just after your warranty period ended).

Cheers
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Old Sep 23, 2003, 2:59 AM   #10
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Yup I know all that... unfortunately I just couldn't resist...
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