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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default point n shoot camera options for a dentist

Hi - I'm new to this forum so I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the appropriate area but let's see what turns up.

I'm a dentist and need to take very clear shots of people's teeth relatively close up and using a flash.

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Here is a sample of what my photos generally look like. I am looking for a new point and shoot camera that can focus quickly and clearly and give me a nice sharp photo. The camera I currently use is old and the camera I bought to replace it has a lot of focusing issues. I thought something with a relatively wide aperture would be good in order to be fast and relatively low light - but not sure how much that matters when using a flash anyway.

Please help if you have suggestions. Looking for something not over $500.

Thanks
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:21 AM   #2
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Hmm drpeterson. You and my dentist share the same name. You don't happen to practice in NW Ohio do you?

Canon's PowerShot G12 is a possible candidate, which offers good macro focus distance and a decent built-in flash. It also has a fast f/2.8 lens at wide angle, along with a larger 1/1.7" image sensor. Since it's a bit older now (2010), you can find them for about $450 or less.

I'll let others chime in with some suggestions. Welcome to the forums, we hope you enjoy your time here.

p.s. Here's a link to Steve's PowerShot G12 review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...12-review.html
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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Yes, the G12 would be a good call... not least because the lens isn't super wide (28mm),thus getting you closer by default- plus you can adjust the flash output to suit your taste.
Nikon's P7100 is a camera in the same mould (and same sensor) and also gets close (2cm as opposed to the Canon's 1cm) with it's less than wide 28mm lens.
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 5:16 PM   #4
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G'day all

Just a thought ...
I would ponder the value of the 1x wide-angle side of things vs the 3x tele end of the lens
I wonder whether backing off a foot or so and using the lens at 3x + macro would make it easier???

I would also suggest to the honourable Dr P that s/he chase up one of those 'funny' tripods on wheels & a stalk ... used elsewhere it's a 4-wheeled base with a central stalk about 2-1/2 foot tall with the camera on top > if used, it might be able to better frame the face rather than getting in very close with the camera on 1x zoom

Regards, Phil
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Old Sep 10, 2012, 5:39 PM   #5
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Excellent recommendations Phil.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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Thank you all. I have looked into this Canon Powershot G12 and found it on Amazon for $379. Certainly within the budget. I think I will give it a try.

I used to have the Powershot G5 when it first came out. I remember having some issues with it from a dental standpoint - hope some of those closeup features will have improved from the G5 to the G12. I do remember liking the swing out viewer from time to time to take self portraits - but not for dental images.

Phil - typically I take the close up shots using a zoom of about 3-4x and backing away a bit from the subject. When you're taking photos of teeth and using a flash, the shine of teeth is way too reflective to get right up in there. So, yes, that is basically what I do in order to eliminate over exposed images. I had some success with an OLD model Olympus C3040 Zoom which had a super bright lens with f 1.8-2.6 at 7.1-21.3mm. I actually still have that camera and use it sometimes - the only problem is that it is slow as molasses to process pictures (by today's standards) and uses rechargable AA batteries - which I find need replacing often.
If I could find a camera that took as clear pictures as this old Olympus with same degree of reliability I would be happy. Add in today's speed and battery charging and that's what I need. Hopefully this Powershot G12 will fit the bill.

Thanks again for the recommendations - keep them coming if anything else seems worthy. I'll make my decision to purchase later in the week (after I smash this piece of crap Samsung WB150F that I got suckered into while watching QVC at lunchtime one day ) btw, anyone want to by a Samsung WB150F? I'm sure it's a good camera - just not for my purposes.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 6:16 PM   #7
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G'day mate

Several thoughts ...
I also use AA batteries on many items in the motorhome [my home on wheels for 300+/- days each year] > I find that a 'good brand' of battery does an excellent job. Many of mine are Aussie equivalents of Radio Shack & Sony Eneloop's. The worst batteries I have unfortunately met are Energiser branded batteries

Photo thoughts ...
If the flash is too bright & gives reflections, cut a 2"-square x 1-ply piece of tissue & loop/stick it over the flash head to break its 'power' down & make the light more gentle

Regards, Phil
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 9:16 AM   #8
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Thanks Phil - good idea on the tissue flash filter.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Another problem (with the point and shoot). . .
Hey folks - another problem I am having with the point and shoot style camera is the position of the flash on the camera body. When I diffuse the flash as suggested by the last post I am able to get closer. However, the closer I get to my subject, the more shadow I get as a result of the flash being positioned in the upper right side of the camera. To compensate, I zoom in (about 4x) and get good lighting but then my details are slightly affected (a little blur, a little noise).
My question: Do I have to go to an SLR camera with a ring flash assembly in order to achieve the balance that I want between perfect value and best clarity and detail? And if so, what kind of cost am I looking at for such a lens and flash? I have a Canon T1i at home with a standard kit lens as well as a 50mm/1.8 prime lens.
I am REALLY trying to avoid the bulk of the SLR and lens and ring flash attachment is at all possible and that's why I have been asking about point and shoot type cameras that might achieve a close and acceptable result.
Thanks.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Dr. Peterson.

The G12 (or the new G15) can use an external flash, which would help with the shadow a bit; and it's easier to diffuse the light. Even there smaller Speedlite 270 EX II would work great for your needs, and it's only an additional $150 or so (Amazon has them for $154). Or, you could spend a few more dollars on the 430EX II, which is a bit more powerful and you can always use either on your T1i.

If you want more versatility, but need the more compact package; I'd look into an EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera. They offer interchangeable lens mount systems, larger image sensors (micro Four Thirds or even APS-C sized sensors like that in your T1i), and many have built-in flash units and the ability to use external units.

You'll spend a bit more than the G12, but the increase versatility may be worth the money.
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