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Old Nov 30, 2004, 8:32 AM   #1
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Well, I'd like to keep my investment as low as possible, but I need to be able to get crisp photos of very small object and jewelry, to add to my catalog and post for online selling. What does anyone suggest? And I am TOTALLLY green about digital cams:?:
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 8:43 AM   #2
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Denise, if it were me, I'd invest in a used Nikon Coolpix 990 (which will have more resolution thanyou'll need for your online images, so it could be used for other purposes, too -- for example, still giving you plenty of resolution for your printedcatalog images). These are fine cameras (I've owned two of the Nikon Swivel bodied models, and still have an olderCoolpix 950).

You may also be able to find a good deal on one of the other swivel bodied Nikons on Ebay (you may even see some new or refurbished Coolpix 4500's listed from time to time)

The Nikon swivel bodied models (Coolpix 950, 990, 995, 4500) have excellent macro ability. They are able to "fill the frame" with an object around 2/3" across with virtually no distortion (since the macro "sweet spot" is at around half zoom).

You can also set it to use a smaller aperture (represented by a larger f/stop number) in aperture priority mode. This helps to get more of an object in focus (many entry level models don't have this ability). This can be important at very close ranges, since Depth of Field (how much of an object is in focus as you get further away from your focus point) is very shallow at closer ranges. Using a smaller aperture improves depth of field.

These cameras (swivel bodied Nikons) are all discontinued now though.

You may also want to want to invest in a good way to light your subjects (the lighting is thehard partto getting good closeups, especially when dealing with reflective subjects). I've seen the Cloud Dome products recommended in the past by the site owner here, and their tutorials assume you're using a Swivel Bodied Nikon:


Added: I see one reputable vendor in the price search engines that shows a Nikon Coolpix 4500 in stock (http://www.digitalfotoclub.com) for only $299.95, if you can't find a good deal on a usedolder model like the Coolpix 990. Personally, I'd avoid the other vendors in the list, since they don't have the amount of good customer feedback this one does (and there are a lot of scam artists around):


The Coolpix 4500isNikon's newest swivel bodied model (it has 4 Megapixels, with a little longer zoom than you'll find on the older 990). Note that the list price on this model when introduced was $699.95

If you decide to go this route, you may want to verify that they really have it in stock, and that it is a U.S. Model. Nikon USA won'tservice gray market cameras (models that were intended for sale in other countries). Importing non-U.S. cameras is a common practice, so you can't be too careful if you want to be able to get it serviced if something goes wrong.
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 2:08 AM   #3
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Nikons do have excellent macro capabilities. If you want a nice one that's not too expensive, the pictures taken by the 3200/4100/5200 series are very sharp and good for most purposes.

Big-lens Fujis also have a very good macro mode. I work at a camera shop, and someone who makes jewelery tried a bunch of our cameras and ended up taking a Fuji S7000. It's a nice big camera, kinda expensive, but it takes extremely sharp pictures.

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Old Dec 3, 2004, 8:14 PM   #4
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It depends on your budget.

I have a C770UZ and the Super Macro mode is able to focus on objects up to 3cm from the lens, which is good for very very small objects.

The Canon A-series works pretty well too in this regard without breaking the bank.

The main thing about the camera would be the final quality that you require. For online use, the Canon A-series would be more than sufficient, especially the A80/A95 with the swivel LCD which makes framing easier in awkward positions. And I'd say the prints would be fine up to 8x10 for your catalog.
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