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Old Jul 29, 2009, 9:51 PM   #1
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Default Taking pictures of Coins

I am looking for a camera that will allow me to take pictures of coins for a website. I currently use an Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom. While the majority of the pictures I take come out OK, I am looking for a camera that will allow me to turn a focus ring manually rather than the electronic button which is hard to use and not very accurate. If a coin is worn down, it is essential that it be focused manually. Is a D-SLR the way to go or is there another digital camera that has a manually focus ring. Just about all the pictures are taken in Super Macro mode where the coin is a few inches or less from the lens. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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laereht
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Old Jul 30, 2009, 7:36 AM   #2
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Certainly, a dSLR will give you better results than any P&S. For one thing, you can use a lens with a longer focal length, so you can get the same shot from further away, giving you more flexibility with lighting.

But a bigger, heavier dSLR and a long lens will also require a stronger tripod.

What's your budget?

And is that all you need the camera to do?
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Old Jul 30, 2009, 4:00 PM   #3
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The Fuji S100fs and its successor, the S200 EXR (not yet available) both have manual zoom and focus rings.

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Old Jul 30, 2009, 7:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Certainly, a dSLR will give you better results than any P&S. For one thing, you can use a lens with a longer focal length, so you can get the same shot from further away, giving you more flexibility with lighting.

But a bigger, heavier dSLR and a long lens will also require a stronger tripod.

What's your budget?

And is that all you need the camera to do?
Thanks for the reply. That is all I want the camera to do. I currently have a light box and a table top studio mount but I don't know how heavy a camera it can handle. I'd like to stay under $900.00.
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Old Jul 30, 2009, 7:29 PM   #5
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The Fuji S100fs and its successor, the S200 EXR (not yet available) both have manual zoom and focus rings.

the Hun
Thank you. I will look into those models.

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Old Jul 31, 2009, 5:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laereht View Post
Thanks for the reply. That is all I want the camera to do. I currently have a light box and a table top studio mount but I don't know how heavy a camera it can handle. I'd like to stay under $900.00.
A macro lens, all by itself, will take a significant bite out of your budget. Sigma makes a 50mm f/2.8 for most dSLRs, and it costs $300. Canon makes a 60mm f/2.8 that sells for $370. Tokina makes a 100mm f/2.8 for Canon and Nikon dSLRs that sells for $400, but that may be out of your price range.

The 10MP Pentax K2000 body can be had for $450, and with the Sigma, you'll get a nice system for $750.

The 10MP Nikon D60 body is $472. With the Sigma, that's $772.

The 10MP Canon XS with the kit 18-55 IS lens is $516. With the Canon 60/2.8, that totals $886. With the Sigma, that's $816. The Canon XS has 'Live View' so you can compose your shot using the LCD display on the back of the camera body. This is something the Pentax K2000 and the Nikon D60 won't do.

Sony's 10MP A230 with the kit 18-55 kit lens sells for $550, and with the Sigma macro lens, that comes to $850.

The 12MP Canon XSi with the kit 18-55 IS lens is $600. With the Sigma macro lens, that maxes out your budget. It also has 'Live View', and it's on a 3" display instead of the 2.5" display on the Canon XS.

For what you want to do, the kit lens would be useless, but some cameras aren't available without one.

I like the longer focal length of the Canon 60/2.8 (For use in a light box, the 100mm Tokina may be too long.), plus the 'Live View' in the Canon bodies. I also like the larger screen of the XSi, but since you'd be using it to take photos for the web, the extra resolution of the XSi would be wasted.
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Last edited by TCav; Jul 31, 2009 at 6:13 AM.
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 8:20 AM   #7
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wont a canon powershot SX10 IS be really good at taking these types of pictures. I seen some samples where they take really close up pics with it. Am no expert but these looked perty good.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD.../SX10ISMAC.HTM
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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For creating images that will be posted on the web, any camera that can get the image in focus will be fine. But for a P&S, "macro" shooting is something that's just added on and is likely not to be as good as what someone can achieve with a decent dSLR and macro lens. For instance, if the OP wants to include the full size images via a link on the webpage containing the reduced resolution image, the full size image from a dSLR will be much better than the full size image from a P&S. That's because the macro lenses for dSLRs are specialized and much sharper than the high zoom lenses in P&S digicams that happen to also do "macro".
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laereht View Post
Thanks for the reply. That is all I want the camera to do. I currently have a light box and a table top studio mount but I don't know how heavy a camera it can handle. I'd like to stay under $900.00.
1) I doubt the table top studio mount is going to be of sufficient quality to handle the weight of a dslr (about 3 lbs give or take for the camera and smallish 50/60mm length macro lens)

2) All you want to do is shoot the coins? Absolutely, 100%?
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