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Old Sep 9, 2004, 12:56 AM   #1
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I am trying to decide which camera to choose.

I have only a few criteria:

1) Must have a Macro mode

2) Must have a self-timer

3) Must be tripod mountable

4) Must be around or under $250

Basically, the most important functionthat I want to use it for is to take good-quality pictures of very small objects (between 1"-4" in height), up close.

I don't plan to print pictures at all, so how good the pics acutally print is not important to me.

I've read so much the past week or so my head feels like it's going to explode. I've been recommended to look at the Canon A75/A80/A85 and Nikon CoolPix4100 for starters. Are these what I should be looking at? Are these "too much" camera for my needs?

Do I NEED 4+ MP for what I want to do? Some people say yes, some say no.

I see plenty of excellent looking units in the 3 MP range for around $200. When it comes to what I want to do, is there REALLY much difference between 3MP and 4MP?

Thanks so much for any input and opinions you're willing to offer! :-)

Tim
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Old Sep 9, 2004, 3:04 AM   #2
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Tim,

I've only really used the macro mode on my camera for fun but it's my impression your needs will be easily met by a good range of cameras within budget. In some ways your choice will be broader because it seems you may not be so worried by factors we argue over here (size, start-up time, large print qualityand many more things).

What you need to do it look at all the reviews here, and on other sites, deleting cameras from the list as soon as they do not meet one of your stated essential criteria. You are really looking at one that is reviewed as being at least good and possibly excellent in the macro mode.

One thing I would ask. do you expect to view these images full size on the PC monitor or is it for web, e-mail use or EBay? Will you be cropping the images at all and will you want to zoom into the images at any time to look at detail?

I ask in particular because as long as you are going to just view these "as taken" or even compress for web/mail use then anything over 2MP may well suit you. In any case 3MP is likely to be more than sufficient. In my opinion you only need 4MP if you want to zoom into detail or crop heavily.

The image below is one I took on a 3MP Sony set to 1.3MP, and sinceit has been cropped on the PC. It was hand held, quickly take on a family holiday and was never meant to be the ultimate Macro. But is it the sort of result you want or are you looking for much muchbetter? (I won't be insulted!)

Edit: BTW the butterfly in the image was about 4" across the wings.

One thing to consider you don't mention...flash! Are you going to be using flash all the while? Many cameras that may otherwise have good macro results may struggle to give a decent flash result so close.

This is outside my area of experience but what about one of the digicams that have larger lenses than current compacts, and one with a flash shoe or socket so you could get a ring flash to go with it.

Perhaps you could consider some permanent macro lighting setup that didn't involve flash.

Hope those thoughts help.

David



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Old Sep 9, 2004, 9:20 AM   #3
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David,

Thank you for the reply!

My plan is to use the close-up images mainly for web-display. I do plan on some minimal cropping when necessary, but not excessive. I do not need to zoom-in on the photo, at least I don't think I will need to.

I have plenty of lighthing (several sources) externally, so I did not necessarily require a built-in flash.

That image of the butterfly is extremely nice!

I honestly am not REAL picky, to be honest, but I would follow other users' recommendations usually before relying on a sales-flyer or something.

Thanks again David!

Tim
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Old Sep 9, 2004, 10:42 AM   #4
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OK then you possibly have a choice of about 30 cameras!!

For starters have a look at some of these...

Panasonic DMC-LC50.

Nikon Coolpix 3200

Fuji A330

Canon A400

My gut feeling pick is the Canon then the Panasonic.

They should be Ok for macro but you'll have to check the specs to see that they all have 100% of your required features like self-timer etc.

David


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Old Sep 10, 2004, 12:12 AM   #5
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consider olympus c5000.(230 refurbished on buydig)It's super macro mode would really amaze you. (remote control as well as self timer) Full manual control, and can save pictures in Tiff. (really important) Image quality is great. (really is an advanced camera)

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Just perfect for macro shots at this price range.
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