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Old Apr 11, 2006, 4:43 PM   #1
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Hello every one The question is is anything beating the ol nikon 990 for macro shots..........I had settled on the cannon a 610 after reading ALOT of steves reviews. Then I put in gemstones as a search(here), and after reading the posts, I am leaning more so on the nikon 990 as a deticated marco camer for gemstone sales on e-bay. Please take in account I will be doing 50-70 auctions a day as I do now with my cellphone and a loupe attached. So down load time is a concern and I would like to post what I have taken without croping and such. Thanks ahead of time for any advise.

Glen
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 5:54 PM   #2
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It's not a speed demon by current standards. But, it would be hard to beat for taking closeups for web use.

The Coolpix 4500 (newer model that's also discontinued now) would also make a good choice.

These cameras can fill the framewith an area about 2/3" across with virtually no distortion, because the "sweet spot" of the lens is at about half zoom (and it even lets you know when it's at the optimum zoom setting by changing the color of the macro icon).

It's also got an aperture priority mode so that you can get better depth of field by using a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number).

Many smaller models require you to be at their wide angle setting for capturing a smaller area (where you'll have more distortion and edge softness), and don't offer the flexibility you get for adjusting the aperture like you get with the Nikon Swivel Bodied models.

Lighting will be your biggest issue. For a "canned solution", check out http://www.clouddome.com

BTW, Steve has probably reviewed more cameras than anyone around over the years. So, when someone like Steve uses a Nikonswivel bodied camera for his own closeups, you can bet it's a pretty good tool for the job. See his response to a question about it here, when a forum member noticed how much detail there was in things like dials and buttons in the images:

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

If you want to see how detailed the closeups from one of these cameras can be,here is a photo of a cointhat Steve tookwith a 3MPNikon Coolpix 990 (straight from the camera with nomodifications or cropping). BTW, you can also get third party closeup lenses for it if that's not enough. ;-)

Withsome browsers, you'll need to use your + key to enlarge it (or click on the image again).

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nikon...2/DSCN0076.JPG

You can probably pick up a used Nikon Coolpix 990 for under $200 if you shop around on the used market and keep an eye on Ebay listings.

I've personally owned the Nikon Coolpix 950 and 990 (and I still have the 950). They're not speed demons by current standards, but they are capable of taking some nice photos, especially when it comes to macros.

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Old Apr 11, 2006, 6:23 PM   #3
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P.S.

If you need to fill the frame with something even smaller than 2/3" across, Raynox makes some closeup lenses for the Coolpix 990 if you don't want to worry about cropping as much forsmaller gemstones.

Raynox MSN200

Raynox MSN500

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Old Apr 11, 2006, 8:07 PM   #4
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Hello and thank you. May I ask if there is a difference at all between the 3, the990, 950,and 4500. With the link provided Steve is now using the 4500. Does it down load any fast. And what lenses(macro) will work with them. Thanks
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 8:24 PM   #5
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The models in this series include the Coolpix 900, 900s, 950, 990, 995, and 4500.

The models earlier than the 990 do not give you as much control over aperture. You're better off with the 990 or 4500.

The 990 is a 3 Megapixel model and the 4500 is a newer 4 Megapixel model.

There are some differences between them (battery type, optical zoom capability, features).

You'll find reviews of them here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nikon990.html

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_...nikon4500.html

As for download speed, buy a USB 2.0 CompactFlash card reader instead of directly connecting the camera, and you'll get much faster transfer speeds. If you'd rather not have the wear and tear on the CompactFlash compartment door, I don't know which one would be fastest in transferring images. But, it's not a big deal.

Both of the Raynox macro lenses I posted a link to will work with any of these models (900, 950, 990, 995, 4500).

I'd try it without a macro lens. You could probably quickly crop the images as needed for Ebay use. Cropping is very simpleusing free toolslikeIrfanview (just click on a section of the image with a mouse, drag a box open around the section you want, and select Edit, Crop).

Keep in mind that you'll have a very large image on screen from a 3 or 4 megapixel model (it wouldn't fit in an Ebay listing without downsizing anyway).



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Old Apr 12, 2006, 1:56 AM   #6
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My Coolpix 8400 has a great macro mode. It is a wide angle macro mode, though. Because this camera has a flip out display and a remote control it is very easy to make close ups with this camera. Because wide angle close ups look more spectacular, I prefer those for auctions. If you want realistic close ups, the KM A2/A200 may be the right choice, because these cameras have a 200mm macro mode, which greatly avoids the distortions of wide angle close ups, when the subject is not flat. The A200 also has a flip out display and a remote control.
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Old Apr 12, 2006, 9:21 AM   #7
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kassandro wrote:
Quote:
My Coolpix 8400 has a great macro mode. It is a wide angle macro mode, though. Because this camera has a flip out display and a remote control it is very easy to make close ups with this camera. Because wide angle close ups look more spectacular, I prefer those for auctions.
Only the Coolpix 900, 900s, 950, 990, 995, and 4500 have the better macro mode (where you can zoom in and still fill the frame with a subject less than 2/3" across). The other Nikon models don't have a macro mode this good. The older swivel bodied models will work in macro mode at any focal lengh, and can focus from less than 3/4" to infinity in macro mode (with the sweet spot of the lens at around half zoom, where you'll have virtually no distortion). You can fill the frame with a subject less than 2/3" across with them.

Quote:
f you want realistic close ups, the KM A2/A200 may be the right choice, because these cameras have a 200mm macro mode, which greatly avoids the distortions of wide angle close ups, when the subject is not flat.
There is no comparison in the macro mode from the Ax series models and a Nikon Swivel bodied model. The best the Ax series models can do is fill the frame with a subject about 2 x 1.5 inches.

Even a 2 Megapixel Nikon swivel bodied model would have more pixels representing a smaller subject compared to an 8 Megapixel KM Ax series camera if shooting something like small gemstones.

It takes 4 times the resolution to make it look like you used twice as much optical zoom (or got twice as close) after cropping, and still have the same number of pixels representing your subject. That's because resolution is computed by multiplying width x height in pixels (like you'd compute area).


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Old Apr 12, 2006, 8:50 PM   #8
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Thank you very much for the help Jim, I do appreciate it.

Glenn
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