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Old Sep 24, 2005, 1:53 PM   #21
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Here is a macro taken with an EX-Z750 all auto. Below is a thumbnail of the image.

Click on the followinglink to see a larger, but still reduced quality, example of this image. http://img351.imageshack.us/img351/834/quarter3ra.jpg

The only thing tricky here is I placed a translucent container over the camera's flash to cut down on the glare.



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Old Sep 24, 2005, 2:15 PM   #22
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It was viewable from Firefox but not IE.

I think it's just a bit too large and wide.

I'd downsize it to around 600 to 800 pixels on the wide side, and make sure it's a little smaller file size, too (if memory serves, it was a bit over 240,000 bytes). I know theforum softwareis supposed to support up to 250,400 bytes, so the width of the image was the most likely problem.




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Old Sep 24, 2005, 2:35 PM   #23
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It was just under 250400 bytes. I don't know why it didn't work. So I just uploaded it to a free hosting site. Thanks.
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 2:40 PM   #24
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If an image is too wide, it sometimes won't display correctly. I usually try to go for no more than about800 pixels wide.


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 3:11 PM   #25
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You can get the 7900 delivered for $314 from a trusted store: http://www50.shopping.com/xPC-Coolpix_7900~S-P~OR-0 You have no need for a case and what appears to be a tabletop tripod isn't very useful for product photography. Pick up an Ultrapod for under $10 and you can use many household items as a tripod. http://www.pedcopods.com/instru01.htm For not much more you can get a full sized tripod, which is what you really want. It doesn't have to be of that great a quality if you aren't going to carry it around and use it in the field.

I don't think you have absorbed everything Jim has told you because you feel it represents advanced photography. I hope Jim doesn't mind that I expand on a couple of his points.

Depth of field (DOF) becomes a big problem in macro photography – especially if you can't control your aperture or have limited choices. Take a look at the spiders in this thread: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...hlight=ladybug Notice that in the first shot the body of the spider is in perfect focus but the ladybug and the tips of some of the spider's legs are blurred. That is because the depth of focus is narrowed due to using a wide aperture (f3.3). The second shot was taken with the lens stopped down to f8 and the depth of focus is obviously increased.

The easiest way to increase your DOF is with aperture priority mode. Aperture priority isn't rocket science. It is an automatic mode, so all you have to do is set the largest number (smallest aperture) and it automatically sets your shutter speed for the available light.

Just having an aperture priority mode doesn't necessarily help that much unless you have a good choice of apertures available. The Nikon 990 is exceptional in that it goes to a very small aperture. That gives you a wider DOF and you have a better chance getting everything in focus.

Most cameras have their closest focus at full wide angle. Another way of saying that is that you can get the largest area in the picture using wide angle in macro mode. The problem is that the lens is so close to the subject you can't use the flash without a shadow from the lens, and you have to use external lighting at a flat angle to avoid shadows. The Nikon swivel cameras with their optimum macro zoomed out a little is a big help. For things like a serial number you can just use the flash, and for things you want to look good it is easier to use external lighting effectively if the lens is a little further from the subject.

I have run across a couple of cameras that maintain their closest focus distance throughout the entire zoom range. But I don't think there are any in your price range. Maybe someone else knows of one.

Of the cameras you listed the Canon A520 is probably your best bet. It focuses closer and gives sharper images in macro mode than the W5. The flash throttles down better than the W5 for close-ups as well. The Fuji is point and shoot and doesn't have a good macro mode.

Your best choice is probably a used Nikon 990 as Jim suggested. It isn't that hard to select aperture priority and set f9.8. You can crop more with higher Mp, but for the size images you are looking for you have plenty of cropping ability with 3Mp. It takes AA batteries but you would probably do best to pick up a charger and NiMH batteries – Wal-Mart I think has a complete set for under $20. CF cards are the cheapest available, but you might do fine with one that comes with a used camera if it is included. You probably don't need a large card. Office Max has a 256Mb Lexar CF card for $10 after a $10 rebate this week. It ends today but there will be more next week. You don't have to skimp with prices like that.


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Old Sep 24, 2005, 5:06 PM   #26
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
I don't think you have absorbed everything Jim has told you because you feel it represents advanced photography. I hope Jim doesn't mind that I expand on a couple of his points.

Depth of field (DOF) becomes a big problem in macro photography – especially if you can't control your aperture or have limited choices.
Not at all. Thanks for expanding on this issue and mentioning it's importance.

GratefulFred:

If you look at closeups directly from a camera, you'll often see one part in focus and another that's not (as Slipe was mentioning in the thread with the Spider photos). A compact model will have greater depth of field for any given aperture compared to a DSLR, but for small subjects, Depth of Field can still be ahuge problem.

If you use a larger Aperture (smaller f/stop numbers), less of your subject will be in focus. This can hurt you for some subjects (since Depth of Field becomes very shallow as you get closer to your subject, as you do with closeups).

That means with many cameras you may be trying to photograph a small object and can onlly get the front part in focus (when you need more of the subject to be in focus).

Unfortunately,mostmodels will automatically use the widest aperture in low light (which results in faster shutter speeds). But, that also means the shallowest depth of field (less of the image in focus as you get further away or closer to the camera from the point you focused on).

Cameras like the Nikon Coolpix Swivel Bodied models I mentionedallow you to use a smaller aperture for greater depth of field (more of the subject in focus as you get further away from your focus point) via an Aperture Priority Mode (something missing on many models).

As Slipe mentioned, it's not hard to do. The most difficult part to getting good closeups is going to be learning tolight your subjects,finding appropriate backgrounds and compositions to help the items look better (something you'll need to practice at with any camera you choose).

If you have a relatively flat subject, and can get the camera parallel to it, most cameras do OK (other than barrel distortion and edge softness), provided you don't have too many lighting problems like Slipe mentioned (and you could shoot from a bit further away and crop to help get around a camera's limitations for Ebay use).

But, if it were me, and I wanted a camera dedicated to taking closeups of items for Ebay, I'd go for a used Nikon Coolpix 990. I ambiased (as I have owned and used one of these cameras). But, most professional reviewers agree that these cameras (swivel bodied Nikon models)have the best macro mode in the business.
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 6:18 AM   #27
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Back at his again today.

Found that link to the Poor Mans way for inexpensive lighting for ebay pics, just to help the next guy:

http://pages.ebay.com/community/chat...me=CMDV:IC0158

That price on the 7900 is very reasonable slipe, Thanks!

You reckon it's worth waiting until the release of the Nikon S-4 on 10/20, or going with the 7900?


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Old Sep 25, 2005, 6:49 AM   #28
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I checked the specs on the new S4, and it's not even going to have an aperture priority mode. I seriously doubt the macro ability will be anywhere near as good as the older Nikon Coolpix Swivel Bodied Models.


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Old Oct 1, 2005, 10:22 PM   #29
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Sorry for all the help everyone & not keeping it going.

Work is getting overbearing.

What a great thread.

I looked closey at a Nikon 7900 tonite.

I was impressed even though it is slightly out of my budget.

I can't say enough to Thank the professional people who assisted me.

I'll let you all know what I end up with: and how it works. :?

Any other comments still welcome & noticed!!

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Old Oct 1, 2005, 10:49 PM   #30
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just a quick note on lighting for small items (coins) cut the top and bottem out of a gallon milk jug. shoot through the top
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