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Old Sep 24, 2005, 10:34 AM   #11
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JimC wrote:
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You *can* use a flash for macros (and Steve comments on how well a camera "throttles down" the flash output for closeups in each camera's review conclusion section). But, you tend to get a lot of unwanted glare and reflections using flash (or a non-diffused light source).

The "dome system" from JimC's link above is great (got anything alike in your kitchen ?? :G)

take your time for the setup for each case . this pic is with a flash directely facing to the camera with a simple paper sheet as diffuser:


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 10:38 AM   #12
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You can also tell Steve likes these models (Nikon Coolpix Swivel Bodied Cameras). In addition to the link to his comments I posted above (using them for the closeups you see in the reviews here), you can see his comments on the different models in this thread:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...p;forum_id=218

One of my favorite cameras ever was the Coolpix 990 (it's a bit more flexible than the 950 if in manual, shutter or aperture priority modes, since it has abetter iris design for controlling aperture). I wish I'd have kept it (but I did keep the 950 which is also a super camera, and it's the one I grab when I need to shoot any closeups).

Make sure to see Kcan's suggestion on checking your kitchen. ;-)



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Old Sep 24, 2005, 11:32 AM   #13
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Whoa!

You fellows are way over my head & so far above me in skills it's unreal.

These look like professional pictures, and from the looks of this site: I'mcertain there are plenty ofReal Proswho post here.

Possibly I made this too complicated: or dragged myself into a forum where newbies just need to listen.

Sure: I need decent macros, but I could never develop this level of skill just to sell junk on Ebay.

Magazine type pics would be nice, but I have to keep this in balance.

The point -->I just need to buy a beginners camera, listen & learn. That was more of the drift of this topic.

I look atthis like buying clothes: sometimes I wish I lived in a Communist Country where we only had 1 or 2 choices. That's my dilemma.

:-?

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Old Sep 24, 2005, 11:59 AM   #14
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It's really not that hard to learn how to useone of these cameras. Again, lighting is the key (regardless of the camera you choose).

As Kcan mentioned, check your kitchen forcontainers that can mimic the way the Clouddome I posted a link to diffuses the light. There are a number of ways to do this. The idea is just to provide even, diffused lighting (so that you don't get glare and reflections). Even bouncing light off of foam boards, using paper or cloth, etc.,are ways to get softer lighting.

Then, just follow the instructions in their tutorial for starters (it's using a Nikon Coolpix models' macro mode settings as an example when discussing the macro icon changing colors):

http://www.clouddome.com/html/tutorials.html

Then, you can experiment with other stuff later to improve your shots asneeded (for example, using Manual or Aperture Priority modes to increase or decrease depth of field as desired). For starters, Auto with the camera set to Macro focus is going to be just as easy to use on one of these models as it would be on simpler camera without the features it has.

The members here on the forums would be glad to give you some tips.

You'll also want to learn to do some basic stuff with an image editor (cropping your photos, resizing them for Ebay use, etc.). Again, the members here can give you lots of tips.

A good free image editor you can use for this type of thing is irfanview (it's free). Go to http://www.irfanview.com and make sure to download the free plugins, too. Anotherfree editor (that can help organize your photos, too) is Google's Picasa. You can download it from http://picasa.google.com/index.html


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:22 PM   #15
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OK, but first I have to have a camera! :?

So, you guys have gotten my thinking swung over to Nikon.

Take a peek at the simple digitals on this page. The SLR's are too expensive (I think) for what I need for beginning.

http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2

Anyone of theseon this page that rings your bell for a beginner??

Thanks so much for the time, gentlemen! I appreciate the professional advice greatly!

My real name's Steve too BTW, and I compliment everone on their samples.

I am floored by the leaf image: magnificently done!
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:30 PM   #16
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No current Nikon model will have the same macro ability as the discontinued Nikon Coolpix models like the 950, 990, 995 or 4500. They just came out with a new S4 (but it's an "ultra zoom" model and I haven't seen any reports of the macro ability). But, I do not expect it to be as good as the older models (they're hard to beat).

Knowing what I know about cameras, and given your budget (under $300), if I were you (wanting a camera just for closeups), I'd get a used Nikon Coolpix 990. You can probably pick one up in mint conditionfor about $200 on Ebay.

Now, for Ebay use, you could probably get by with almost any camera with a decent macro mode (the vast majority of digital cameras would probalby be suitable, since you cancrop a photo more for web use). Your skill (which will take some practice) and lighting (you'll need to spend time experimenting) are the biggest factors in getting good photos, regardless of the camera you choose.
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:31 PM   #17
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Look like I can pick up a Nikon Coolpix 7900 for about $300:

http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Nikon...ort_type=price

(or) I'm am a real ebayr.

If it can be had for less, or bundled with memory card, tripod, etc: I can probaby get a deal there.

Example without a whole bunch of time spent searching. Here's a completed, bundled auction I could have goteen most ofthe necessaries for $340:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKON-COOLPIX-79...QQcmdZViewItem



**********************************************

Looks like I can pick up a Cool Pix 990 for spit, comparitively:

http://search.ebay.com/Nikon-Coolpix...tZQ2d1QQsojsZ0



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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:37 PM   #18
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The7900 isprobably as good or better compared tomost cameras. But,it'snot quite in the same class as the Coolpix 950, 990, 995, or 4500 for macro use.

One the plus side, it's resolution is high enough so that you could crop a photoas needed to get rid of any soft edges (you could shoot from a bit further away and crop out the center if taking photos of very small subjects).

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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:49 PM   #19
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P.S. -- Regardless of the camera you decide on, make sure to budget for a memory card(s) and batteries. If using a model that requires AA batteries, make sure to get high capacity NiMH Rechargeable batteries.

See this page for more info on batteries and chargers:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nimh_batteries.html

If shooting for longer periods of time, you may also want to consider an external AC Adapter or battery pack. I use a belt worn battery pack with my Coolpix.

Some users also value the ability to use a TV monitor for composing macros (via the video out port on a camera). A large monitor can come in handy for this purpose (especially if you want/need to use Manual Focus, and you might with some subjects). So, if it includes the video cable, that would be a plus (although you can probably buy one separately).


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 12:58 PM   #20
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BTW, the Nikon models I mentioned (950, 990, 995, 4500) also have the ability to take lens accessories. There are some closeup lenses available for it, too (although I doubt you'd ever need one), as well as a variety of other add-on lenses (wide angle, teleconverters, etc.) from Nikon and 3rd party manufacturers.

It also supports the use of an external flash (via a PC sync port).

Many cameras don't have these features (ability to use add-on lenses and filters or an external flash).

Nikon even makes a special MacroCool-Light

But, you have to watch out or you'll see the reflections of the LED's with some subjects. So,a better solution would be something like the Clouddome (or use something of similar opacity to diffuse the light source).



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