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Old Oct 30, 2010, 5:11 PM   #1
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Default Camera for Jewelry

Hello,

I need to buy a camera to photograph Jewelry, lots of reflections.
I need great focusing, stabilization and I would like a large LCD Screen or Articulating.

What can I get for $300?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 7:40 PM   #2
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If you could get a canon g10 (bigger screen) g11 (articulating lcd) that would be about the best you could do. It's $450 new but they have a g12 out so you may be able to get it cheap.
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Old Oct 30, 2010, 10:07 PM   #3
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If you have good lighting already available the ZS7 is excellent for Macros...if lighting is a challenge then you are looking at the FZ35...I would buy a used FZ35 as it is very good at Macros and add on a LC55 Close Up Lens with a small Tripod and you could really make your jewelry shine....
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Old Oct 31, 2010, 2:07 PM   #4
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I am going to suggest a slightly different direction here for several reasons.

A compact camera will not be able to give you the finesse of focus and depth of field that a dSLR camera can provide. The compace P&S cameras will lack a lot of the user controls and with their much smaller sensors, will not be able to deliver the amount of clarity you may want.

Buy a used dSLR with tethering capabilities (Canon, Nikon and some Pentax) - used = lower cost. Tethering means using a USB cable to connect the camera to your PC, so that you can use the PC's monitor as a screen to focus on and control the camera. The software is free with the canon etc. A 2 to 4 year old camera will be perfect and it will be down in your price range.
Buy a macro lens or a 50/f1.8 - a macro lens lets you get much closer and provides finer focusing. Also a faster lens with a larger aperture (lower f number) will provide much better depth of field (DoF) control. Canon has a relatively cheap 50mm f1.8 lens for about $100 new. Pentax has some A 50/f1.7 lenses for about $50 (they are wonderful - 20 years old but great).
So using the lens as the key, then go backwards looking for a dSLR cannon body in the $200 range. This can be done - it would be about 2 years old and an entry level model.

I would call Adorama or KEH as they do used cameras [and used lenses] (plus they warranty the camera for a period of time and will take returns). Describe what you want, your price range - they are experts and will help you. Also, folks here will help. I am not that familiar will all the Canon and Nikon models - Pentax models I can help with (K10 and K20 have the tethering capabilities). You can also look for a refurbished camera.
Buy a tripod - use Craigslist to start off. You can probably get something for under $50 (maybe something for $5). You are going to be inside, so just about anything will do.

Buy or build a light box - to put your jewelery in to light it up for photographing.
Here are some links to folks who have put everything together and executed to a very high standard...


Last edited by interested_observer; Oct 31, 2010 at 2:21 PM.
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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THANKS ALL,
Great Info, I will consider the options...
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Old Nov 1, 2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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The Sony a200 is about as good as current entry level cameras (well, not the d3100), and you could get it for cheap since it is a few years old.
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