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Old Dec 30, 2009, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Sony Cybershot HX1: macro; manual (user) white balance

I'm planning on upgrading from my old Minolta Dimage A1 to something more modern, but not DSLR. I've come down to the Nikon Coolpix P90 and the Sony Cybershot HX1.



One of the primary uses I will initially have for it that I can't accomplish with my old A1 is to digitize my very large 35 mm slide collection. I have explored other methods, but have come down to using a camera to achieve moderate quality but high throughput at a relatively low cost. Both cameras I'm considering have macro focus adequate to fill the digital format with a 35 mm slide format. However, the Nikon reviews are lukewarm or worse relative to sharpness and distortion, but it has a closer macro focus giving some leeway to underfill the format to avoid edge effects. The Sony still has adequate macro focus, but it's not clear if there is a manual white balance setting, and it's not clear if, at the closest macro setting, the edge sharpness, vignetting and distortion are going to be acceptable.
Any comments from users who are doing macro work, and/or needing to adjust to non-standard white balance?
Thanks!
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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Optiker-

I do not own the Sony HX-1 currently. I had one in the early summer and then returned it as I moved to a DSLR camera. However, I was very impressed with the HX-1's macro capabilities during the time that I did have it.

I have a friend who uses a Nikon P-90 and have seen some very impressive macro photo from that camera as well. Perhaps some of the HX-1 user here will chime in with the needed information.

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Old Dec 31, 2009, 4:46 PM   #3
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Thanks Sarah!

I did find from other sources that the HX1 has a manual white balance setting. Regarding ther HX1 and macro, if one looks long enough and hard enough, one can always find what one doesn't want to find - in this case, a review and test images showing bad distortion at maximum macro for the HX1 - worse than for the P90. That's to be expected, but since the HX1 almost exactly covers a 35 mm format at its max, and the P90 has a much smaller area covered at maximum, the P90 will allow backing off some from max and still fillng the digital format with a 35 mm format, so hopefully will have better image quality at that magnifcation than the HX1 for covering the same FOV.

I bought the Nikon P90 this morning, just long enough ago to have charged the battery and taken a first few pics. No macro yet, but I will work at that this weekend. Nikon has always been the best for macro. Since I bought it locally at Costco for $349 (including rebate), so can return it easily, it was a no-brainer to not do that before buying the Sony from a mail order house for about $60 more, with no guarantee that I could return it once it was opened and tested. So far, I mostly like the Nikon, but I'm not impressed with the image stabilization at maximum zoom, nor with the JPEG artifacts in pics taken with the default settings out of the box. I'll be playing with settings, so may improve on that. 12 MP is a waste if the image can't be cleaner than what I've seen so far.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 6:18 PM   #4
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I am delighted to hear that you have worked out a solution. Have a very Happy New Year! Best of Luck!

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Old Dec 31, 2009, 7:15 PM   #5
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Yup! Have tried playing with macro. Looks like a keeper. There's a little noticeable distortion, but not enough to be a problem for my purposes. I also switched from the default NORMAL quality to FINE and will use that for all of my shots. Everything looking good.

Happy New Year to you and yours as well.

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