Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 4, 2003, 8:43 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8
Default Need recommendations for good digital camera for closeups

Hello,
I am a newbie to this board and I would like to pick everyone's brain for a minute or two for my first camera. Here is the situation that I am in: We have constructed a website to sell automotive car locks. Although the site is almost done we will be adding pics of each lock. This means that over the next two months I will need to take about 5000 pictures (Yeah, keep my feet from dancing) of car locks. I need suggestions for a camera that is good for taking closeups of relatively small items. Some other features that are important to me are:
Ease of use
Use common NiMH batteries, so I don't have to buy a special charger
Storage medium of Smart Media card with USB connection also
My budget is around $800
My boss reccommended a 4MP or 5MP Nikon Coolpics, but I am open to suggestions. Any help with this is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
pfrancis365 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 4, 2003, 8:57 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default Re: Need recommendations for good digital camera for closeup

[quote="pfrancis365"]Hello,
Some other features that are important to me are:
Ease of use
Use common NiMH batteries, so I don't have to buy a special charger
Storage medium of Smart Media card with USB connection also
My budget is around $800
My boss reccommended a 4MP or 5MP Nikon Coolpics, but I am open to suggestions. ]

The best on the market for macro is Nikon's Coolpix 4500. However, it does not use NiMH. If the battery issue is so important to you, the old Coolpix 990 is perhaps the way to go. Note that Coolpix cameras only support CF card rather than Smart Media. Since the price of memory cards is falling fast, I do not believe switching from Smart Media to CF card is a big issue. If you choose Coolpix 4500 ($650), you might want to buy one more battery ($35) and a 128mb CF card (Sandisk $50). A larger and faster Lexar 24x 256mb card costs you about $100. Thus, the total, excluding shipping, is around $800. If you choose a used Coolpix 990, it is even cheaper. Since you only take images of car locks for web use, resolution is not that important and the 990 should be very adequate. By the way, a CF card reader is much mor faster and reliable than a USB connection.

Hope this helps.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide
shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 4, 2003, 9:03 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
Default

I recommend either Olympus C-4000Z or Fuji S602. According to Steve's reviews, the CoolPix 4500 can focus as close as 0.75 inch--the C-4000 does 0.78 inch, and the S602 beats them all at 0.4 inch.

The C-4000 and S602 use SmartMedia cards. They both also can use the standard AA-sized batteries, including NiMHs. The Nikon uses proprietary lithium battery.

The C-4000 sells for under $400 via mail order, and the S602 goes for around $500-550.

All three digital cameras can connect via USB to the computer. At least with SmartMedia and my card reader (a cheapo Dazzle reader), I've found that the reader is only about 10% faster than downloading from the camera directly.

I have the C-4000, and am very pleased with it. If you want to see some sample pics of macro shooting, check out:

www.pbase.com/hyunyu/closeups

Good luck!
Hyun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 2003, 3:20 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
digcamfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,422
Default

If you can afford a little more, you might want to consider
a Coolpix 5700.

This is why:

It has a super macro mode that will allow you w/n about
1 cm object. You should also have a tripod.

No need for added lenses.

Software version for camera ("Firmware") is widely quoted
as 1.0. Some users on this forum have reported version 1.1.

Good luck.

You can find the camera for about $900 to 1000 if you shop
around. Be sure to check resellersratings.com before you
buy online.

Two cents
digcamfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 2003, 3:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
Default

While I definitely agree with Digicamfan that the Nikon CoolPix 5700 is a superior camera in just about every aspect to something like Olympus C-4000, the price difference would be the deciding factor for me. Around $350-400 for the C-4000 vs. almost $1000 for CoolPix 5700!

Then again, since you stated that your budget is around $800, maybe CoolPix 5700 is within your reach.

Don't forget to factor in memory cards, card reader, rechargeable batteries and recharger, all of which can add $100-150 to the camera price.
Hyun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 2003, 11:41 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by digcamfan
It has a super macro mode that will allow you w/n about 1 cm object.
This is a little inaccurate. The minimum focus distance of the 5700 in its macro mode is 3cm covering an area of approximately 3.5cm x 2.6 cm. On the other hand, the 4500 has a minimum focus distance of 2cm covering an area of 1.6cm x 1.2cm. Therefore, in terms of macro capability, the 4500 has a clear edge. Keep in mind that macro photography is not about how close a camera can be placed from the subject being photographed. It is about magnification: the image length divided by actual length. Thus, the 4500 has higher magnification than that of the 5700. Please also keep in mind that lenses of different focal length may produce the same magnification. For example, Nikon's SLR lenses 60mm F2.8, 105mm F2.8 and 200mm F4.0 can produce 1:1 magnification (image length = actual subject length). However, a lens with longer focal length yields a larger working distance (the distance between the front of the lens and the subject). A larger working distance can make lighting, composition, and the use of other accessories easier than with a shorter focal length. In summary, in terms of macro capability, the 4500 provides a set of much better features than 5700 and any other cameras.

For a basic discussion of magnification and closeup lenses, please refer to the close up page of my 2500 user guide.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide
shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 2003, 6:52 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
BillDrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512
Default

You would do well to spend most of your budget on a tripod, AC power adapter, electronic shutter release, and some good books/training on lighting. If you are planning on shooting 5000 hand-held macros in ambient lighting, you better go back and rethink - unless no one cares what the results look like. Your odds of success will make the lottery look like a sure thing.

Getting good shots of reflective objects is not easy. Getting good macro shots is not easy. Getting 5000 shots that look like they belong together needs some planning and carefull set-up.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 2003, 11:53 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,139
Default

I would think that the CP4500 would be good, and still leave you some budget room for other necessities.

The camera comes with a charger - for what that's worth - and the battery lasts longer than my NmH batteries in my 950 and 990.

Depending on the size of the objects to be photographed, you may need a Macro tabletop photo setup. Several years ago, a really nice inexpensive one was available called the Happenstance stand. Unfortunately, the young fellow who made it decided to go back to college (unfortunate for we photographers).

There is a very nice macro rig available from a manufacturer in Colorado, but it's a good bit more expensive than the Happenstance stand. It's also a good bit more versatile in that it accepts many different camera types. It's called a "Cloud Dome" and you can see it at:

http://www.clouddome.com/

Which ever camera you end up with - if the items you decide to photograph are less than 20 inches across, you might want to look at the above.

Lin
Lin Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:06 AM.