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Old Mar 7, 2003, 7:05 AM   #1
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Default Need help for a tough situation

Hi,

I ended up buying a C-4000z for myself and thus far I'm extremly pleased with it but now I have ANOTHER problem.

My father wants to buy a camera for corporate use. It will be used to shoot corrosion (normally by pitting) in boilers from distances ranging from 20 cm-50 cm (8-20 inch) under low light (most likely) and in possible awkward positions.

He wants "state-of-the-art" (read, money is NOT a limitation) and it needs to be as simple as possible as it will be used by a lot of people with few-to-none photographic knowledge (the type of "look here and press here and it's done"). Durability would be also good (i.e. not so easily breakable).

I know I'm asking for a lot of things and some of them are going to be trade-offs, so I would like to hear some expert opinions...

THANKS!
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 7:36 AM   #2
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Carlos -

I'm no expert but I'll take a stab at an answer. "State of the Art" and "simplicity" are in many instances diametrically opposed. Often the "cost is no object" yields a very complex camera, especially in the digital world. That said, I think what your father is looking for is a PHD camera - point here dummy (and I resemble that!) There are many good cameras out there that should work well and you don't need to pay a lot of money for them. I would consider: Canon's S45 or newer version, S50, or A70; Olympus C-50, your model (C4000); or Sony's P8, P92, or P10. Unfortunately, while most digital cameras are built reasonably well and can take a bump or occasional bang here and there, they are not terribly rugged. Casio has it's "rugged" model, GV-20, but I don't know anything about it; Casio does enjoy a reasonably good reputation for it's QV-4000 (another possible good choice.)

Good luck in you hunt for another camera and enjoy your C-4000.

Regards,
Paul in NoVA
C-730 (no stickers) B-300
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 8:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help for a tough situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Duarte
... My father wants to buy a camera for corporate use. It will be used to shoot corrosion (normally by pitting) in boilers from distances ranging from 20 cm-50 cm (8-20 inch) under low light (most likely) and in possible awkward positions. ...
What is being used now? Are they getting poor/fair/good results? Assuming it is a chemical camera getting at least fair results, the f/stop, ISO, aperature, and kind of flash (if any) can be used as a guide for a digicam.

If they are not shooting pictures now, it would be worthwhile to grab just about any camera (digital or chemical) and try it. Sometimes getting pictures of that kind of thing is easy, sometimes it is very hard. Give it a whack and find out if it is easy.
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 9:01 AM   #4
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Thanks for all the help!

The problem with WANTING a digital camera is speed and cost: almost immediate results are needed for inspection and altough 1-hour labs exists, 1-5 photo films do not and ruining a whole filme for a couple of photos can get pretty expensive.

Currently no photographs are being taken because there wasn't the need to: you just trusted the field employee expertise. But now the company is taking on new employees with NO experience and we don't have enough qualified personnel with time in their hands to give a proper crash course. On top of that, we are standardizing reports given to the companies that use our services and we need photos for that report (cropped parts of the photo).

It's not easy to "default" the situations. If it was so, someone more with more knowledge in photography could go one time and "set" the parameters. But lighting changes (including direction, intensity and even reflexion), distance changes, even the subject changes (it can be a multitude of colors) so, as I said in my first post, its not easy and I'm a bit at a loss here...

Thanks again!
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 10:19 AM   #5
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I'm a newbie to all this too so can't help much, but one of the cameras I looked at recently is the new Olympus Mju 300/400 (called Stylus in USA I think?). It's supposed to be weatherproof and very rugged.

Just my two cents..... Hope it helps!

jp
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Old Mar 7, 2003, 5:26 PM   #6
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Just lost my intended post - so notes only: Delicate, handling of media, understand and trial WHOLE process from point and shoot to actual image where you want it. Battery management - bet somebody leaves cam on - 2hrs to get batts re-charged. Ruggedness - underwater housing? Need digital Polaroid but not made!

BillDrew gives good advice, without trained staff taking a personal interest and care to get a good result, things will go wrong and it'll be back to the chem-cam! Money and technology aren't the problem it's the humans and process! Try a disposable camera and 1 Hour processing first (accountants and shareholders will love this!). Train a secretary to Scan the prints and composit in output doc. and trial the backend process, before jumping to a digicam. Your white balance results will be far better!
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Old Mar 8, 2003, 4:32 PM   #7
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One consideration not yet covered. The admonition, "poor light" is a major factor here. He will need a camera which has the best possible low light focus ability coupled with good macro capabilities.

The Nikon CP4500 is probably the best macro digicam available for close work, but it's also one of the poorest in low light focus capability.

The Sonly DSC-F707 would be my choice for something like this. Once you set it to macro, you can use the red laser holographic or infrared focusing capability and get perfect autofocus in nearly any situation as long as you are within the range of the focus aid. In the case you mentioned, 8 inches to 20 inches is well within its range. The macro capabilities are excellent. This would probably be my choice of tool for doing this type photography.

It also has a swivel LCD making it possible to see what's going on without standing on your head.

Lin
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