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Old May 4, 2004, 4:58 PM   #1
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I work with a local jeweller and am starting up a trade of selling quality watches on Ebay but need to buy a good quality digital camera. I already have a 2.1 megapixels Mercury camera and it simply cannot get the small detail on the watches in close up shots. I need a camera that can produce excellent crisp images of the watches and the engravings. Please could anyone recommend a quality camera for this purpose. I personally was looking at the FUJI S5000 but i only picked it because it looked pretty good. Also i would like the camera to be able to take the pictures with ease. I dont have a steady hand and so would prefer it to have some sort of auto focus. Also would prefer one that uses rechargeable batteries as my friends have told me that the batteries do run out very quickly. Any advice will be much appreciated!

Many thanks

Billy
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Old May 4, 2004, 9:12 PM   #2
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Post a couple of pictures to let us see what you are trying to do.
y2j01 wrote:
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...I dont have a steady hand and so would prefer it to have some sort of auto focus. ...
Before looking for a different camera, I strongly suggest that you get a tripod. Use it with a remote shutter release if your camera has one, use the self timer if it does not. That will get rid of all shake.

I suggest that you spend a bunch of time reading and experimenting with lighting. That is more likely to do more to improve your pictures than anything to do with the camera.

Spending some time learning how to use a good photo editor will also do a great deal to improve the pictures.

Getting good photos of jewlery is difficult, and the choice of camera is probably the smallest part of it for the low resolution needed for ebay.
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Old May 4, 2004, 9:49 PM   #3
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I agree with BillDrew on this one completely. I use an older Sony MavicaMVC-FD91 that'snot even a full megapixel for my ebay auctions. You don't really need the extra resolution, just lots of experimenting with lighting and lotsa practice. I don't have any knowledge of the camera you are currently using, but the tripod suggestion is a good one, regardless of the camera you use.
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Old May 4, 2004, 11:26 PM   #4
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Lighting is key to all good jewelry shots. And has been said already - a tripod is absolutely essential as is using either the camera's self-timer or a remote control to trip the shutter. The slightest camera movement when working in macro focus mode will blur the image because of the magnification involved. The older Nikon Coolpix cameras (Coolpix 990, 995, 4500) are perfect for this kind of work as you can swivel the lens and body independantly of each other. Using the color LCD is also essential for framing at close range. For power I suggest the use of an AC power adapter and you might also find it handy to plug the video out into a nearby color TV and use that for your viewfinder -- staring at a tiny LCD will make you near-sighted, believe me, I have spent way too many hours doing this while taking all of the product photos you see in our camera reviews.

There is a gizmo that takes care of both the lighting and keeping the camera steady. It isn't essential as you can make your own light tent but I'll think you'll find it was designed for exactly what you're doing. Check it out here:

http://www.clouddome.com

And you should check out Dennis Curtin's book Digital Desktop Studio Photography

http://www.cartserver.com/afl.cgi?c=...m&a=steves


-Steve



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Old May 5, 2004, 3:51 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for the advice. Just one final question - Is there a good "quick-learn" website where i can learn how totake "perfect pictures" and make the best use of lighting. Also I am definately replacing my old camera so could you please suggest a quality camera for my purpose. I am looking at the range of $200 - $400.

Many thanks

Billy
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Old May 5, 2004, 4:09 AM   #6
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Here is what i am aiming for - see attachments. These are from aother Ebay trader. I tried to add some pictures from my own camera but all the images are above 200K in size which i cannot add. Please help with any suggestions.

Thanks

Billy
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Old May 5, 2004, 4:10 AM   #7
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another pic of what i am aiming for
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Old May 5, 2004, 4:14 AM   #8
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A sample of my camera - totally useless!
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Old May 5, 2004, 4:14 AM   #9
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A sample of my camera - totally useless!
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Old May 5, 2004, 9:17 AM   #10
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As Steve already mentioned, the Nikon Coolpix Swivel Bodied Models (950, 990, 995, 4500) are perfect for this type of photography.

They have the best "straight from the box" macro mode in the business, and can "fill the frame" with an object as small as 3/4" across, with virtually no distortion.

The Nikon Coolpix 950 is 2 megapixels; the 990 and 995 are both 3 megapixels, and the newer model (4500) is 4 megapixels. I'd probably go with the 990 (it offers finer control of aperture, compared to the 950). It's 3 megapixels is much more than you'd need for Ebay use, but the 990 is a very nice cam (and you can find 'em at decent prices on the used market).

You should be able to find a used or refurbished one on Ebay if you look. Here is a current auction (I can't believe that one is actually listed with a 1 year warranty, since this model was discontinued a LONG time ago):

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=30009&item =3814031102&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

You may also want to consider the Nikon SL-1 Cool-Light. It attaches to the camera's lens, and is designed specifically to illuminate small objects. Note that they used a watch in their example:

http://www.nikonmall.com/product.asp...;searchcatid=3




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