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Old Aug 1, 2004, 4:32 PM   #1
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Would appreciate any advise on which digital camera would be best for my needs. In addition to general use (pictures at family gatherings, vacation photo's etc...), I also will be using the camera to take detailed photo's of old pocket watch movements.

For the watch movements, macro capability will be very important. I am looking to spend in $500 +/- range.



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Old Aug 1, 2004, 4:44 PM   #2
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Is 500 for just camera, or everything? How much storage do you need? Will this also be used at sporting events? Do you need more zoom or a better wide-angle, or both? We need a little more information in order to help you.
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 5:47 PM   #3
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Maybe the nikon coolpix 3700 will suit your needs and you'lll evenhave money left over

The sample pics I saw are really good.

Ed
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 6:20 PM   #4
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Take a look at the Olympus C-4000 review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/c4000.html; I own the C-4000 and the macro feature is awesome! It takes a subject as close as 0.7'' which is like taking a pic of a flower petal with waterdropletsand all the detail to show. I tried to download the pic I took but file size is too big; if youwant I can email you the picture if I can get your email. The price range for the camera is $195-$330 depending on what site you are searching.With having bothauto and manual features this camera supplements all the needs of an avid picture taker.

-Elliot
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 6:38 PM   #5
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Here is a shotI tookwith 'super' macro mode on Olympus C-4000: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...1/P5020020.jpg
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 7:39 AM   #6
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$500 would be the maximum for the base camera, batteries, etc.... I could buy storage as the need presented itself.

At this time, I dont have any real plans to use at sporting events.

Thanks for suggestions. Will look at the Olympus and Nikon's suggested.




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Old Aug 2, 2004, 8:53 AM   #7
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You could also look at the Panasonic DMC FZ10.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 10:13 AM   #8
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Take a look at the Nikon Swivel Bodied Models (for example, the Nikon Coolpix 990, 995, 4500).

These have the best macro ability in the business.

BTW, you can't go by focus distance alone when looking for a camera capable of good macros.

You need to look at the minimum area a camera can capture in macro mode, as well as the amount of distortion. You also need to consider Depth of Field in Macro Mode (some cameras allow you to stop down the aperture via aperture priority or manual modes -- some don't). A smaller aperture (higher F/Stop Number) is needed for greater depth of field (more of the image in focus) at macro distances.

The Nikon "Swivel Bodied" models (Nikon Coolpix 950, 990, 995, 4500)can "fill the frame" with an object around2/3 - 3/4"across, with virtually no distortion. This is because the macro "sweet spot" is at around half zoom (unlike most models, where it's at full wide angle). So, you'll get virtually no distortion with the Swivel Bodied Nikons. Other digicams don't even come close to their macro ability.

BTW, Steve Sanders (owner/editor of this site) has probably used more cameras than just about anyone (look at the number of reviews he performs).

You may want to look at some of his posts about the Nikon models I'm mentioning:

"The digicams that wrote the book on macro mode are Nikon Coolpix 950, 990, 995, 4500".

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=17611&forum_id=2

Here is his response to someone asking what camera was used for his product photos (since the posternoticed that they were so amazing and clear -- especially the closeups of the dials and buttons:

"I use a Coolpix 4500, before that we used a Coolpix 995, before that we used a Coolpix 990. There do have some of the best macro capability in the business."

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=17611&forum_id=2

Now, whether or not you need macro ability this good, depends on how you plan on using the images. If for web posting only, then almost any digicam will work (since you can simply crop the center portion of an image for web viewing).

However, if you want the "best macro", go with a swivel bodied Nikon.

Also, Nikon makes an optional Cool-light SL1 that attaches to the front of the lens. It's designed to illuminate your subject with a ring of white LED's:

http://www.nikonmall.com/product.asp...;searchcatid=3

Unfortunately, the latest swivel bodied Nikon (Coolpix 4500) is no longer being manufactured. However,you may be able to find one somewhere in new condition. It lists for $699. However, because it's no longer being manufactured, I've seen some pretty good deals on it recently.

You can also find this model in factory refurbished condition (Ritz Camera even had some a while back for $369 , but they sold out). It looks like there is an ebay vendor with a few of them now. He's got one at a "buy it now" price of $339.95, and a few more listed that bids have started on. Here are some examples:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...10720&rd=1

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...56646&rd=1

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...42149&rd=1
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