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New Camera for Macro Recommendations


Janel

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A new camera with a larger 4 megs capacity is a need in my future. My work and my interests need the best macro features. Landscape and people are secondary but are also of interest to me.

 

A few years ago a professional photographer guided me towards the Nikon CoolPix 4500. It has been fun to use with its articulating sides. Great for pictures down at ground level or any level that would be awkward when trying to see on the screen what the lens is aimed at. I think that it is time for me to have a camera that will take images with greater file sizes for future use.

 

What are your opinions for a camera that is great with macro and a larger capacity for image size?

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Guest DFogg

It depends on your budget. Rik was getting great macros with that Canon Power Shot. I forget what the model was. The price of the new 35's that allow you to change lens is very reasonable and the control and quality is right up there with the film 35's.

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Good question Janel,

I've been using an auto focus digital camera, and using my nikon film camera as backup. I usually get better control with the nikon where I can focus manually and look through the lens. I don't like using the little lcd screen on my digital camera, because I can't tell if the object is in focus. At close range, You can't use the viewfinder if you don't have a single lens reflex camera.

So, I'm thinking about a nikon slr digital camera ( Ithink it's the D70) with interchangeable lenses. I can use my lenses for my film camera with it. The only drawback is that the lens wont have the same effective focal length. In ohter words, my 50mm lens will be effectively about 100mm, and my 105mm macro lens will be about 200mm. I think it will work though.

If you're thinking about buying a camera, go to bhphotovideo.com. They are based in NY, and I've dealt with them before. They have great selection, and very competitive prices.

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Good question Janel,

I've been using an auto focus digital camera, and using my nikon film camera as backup. I usually get better control with the nikon where I can focus manually and look through the lens. I don't like using the little lcd screen on my digital camera, because I can't tell if the object is in focus. At close range, You can't use the viewfinder if you don't have a single lens reflex camera.

So, I'm thinking about a nikon slr digital camera ( Ithink it's the D70) with interchangeable lenses. I can use my lenses for my film camera with it. The only drawback is that the lens wont have the same effective focal length. In ohter words, my 50mm lens will be effectively about 100mm, and my 105mm macro lens will be about 200mm. I think it will work though.

If you're thinking about buying a camera, go to bhphotovideo.com. They are based in NY, and I've dealt with them before. They have great selection, and very competitive prices.

 

When I was shopping for a camera last year I was looking to get a digital that would auto focus acuratly for macro. I also wanted it to beable to confirm that I achieved proper focus without downloading. Two things my previous camera did poorly. The camera that I found does this with flying colors out of the box was the Sony 828. It has little problem focusing even at distances of less than an inch. The screen on the camera has very good definition showing the crispness of a given photo and you can zoom in on the image(easily) to check for quality and focus in the different depths of field. It takes me about 20 seconds to take a shot review it zoom it and confirm that it is worth saving or not. No confusion or waiting I know if it worked or not right then and there. I am sure that there are other cameras that can do this, but I settled on the 828 for a number of other reasons including the massive (rechargable) battery life. It is good for 4 hours of review and edit time or three hours of continous shooting. It comes with battery and charger/AC adaptor. So you can use it all day in the mini studio. It has mutiple memory bays and can store over 3 gigs combined worth of shots without changing media. I have a 1 gig memory stick to go with it and that gives me about 100 shots at maximum quality. Being able really check for quality on the spot makes that 100 shots go a long long way on a trip where I dont have access to a comp. The 7 X optical zoom is very handy for taking macro like shots from 5 to 8 feet. The image is so large that you can crop it and it looks like you were right in there inches away. I was looking at SLR digitals too and I really didnt find anything at the time with the versitility and user friendlness right out of the box. The cannon rebels looked nice but to get the same versitility I would have had to buy job specific lenses and they add significantly to the total expenditure. My only complaint is under certian circumstances there is a tendancy for a purple blue halo to show up. It does not show up much in my photos, but in one out of a hundred shots I take its there. I am told that a "polarizing" or "neutral density" filter will correct this. I have been very pleased with the camera so far and have got some great shots with it. Technology gets better all the time, my camera being a year old is probably way behind now, but that just makes it more affordable ;)

 

I just need to take care of the lighting for my work shots, Learn some higher end editing software like photoshop, and I should be doing allot better with my work shots.

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Hi Patrick,

 

Does the purple halo show up when a black or dark background is being used? I have notice a halo now and then and have spent time removing it when there was no other image without it.

 

Thanks to the rest for the ideas. If there are more suggestions, please keep them coming.

 

Janel

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Hi Patrick,

 

Does the purple halo show up when a black or dark background is being used?  I have notice a halo now and then and have spent time removing it when there was no other image without it.

 

Thanks to the rest for the ideas.  If there are more suggestions, please keep them coming.

 

Janel

 

I just spent 20 minutes looking for an example, couldn't find one hehe. I can't make it happen either. It comes out with bluish purple glow around an area that has extreme highlights from light being reflected directly into the camera from a strong source like the sun. I took a family shot during thanksgiving dinner and the hanging light over the table was high and centered in the frame. the shot of the people turned out great, but this eletric blue translucent ribbon ran down the center of the table. I took ten shots all under the same circumstances and only one had the blue spectre.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

MacWorld magazine just did a review of digital SLR with the top three cameras recommended. I haven't held a digital SLR yet so don't know much about them. What I did not see on the illustration was a viewing screen to check the shots once taken. Is there a way to see if the shot was successful or totally bad before downloading the data to the computer?

 

Janel

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Hi,

 

MacWorld magazine just did a review of digital SLR with the top three cameras recommended.  I haven't held a digital SLR yet so don't know much about them.  What I did not see on the illustration was a viewing screen to check the shots once taken.  Is there a way to see if the shot was successful or totally bad before downloading the data to the computer?

 

Janel

 

If they actually did not have an external screen you likly can review via the veiw finder. My sony has a switch to go back and fourth between the view finder and the screen. Both work identical, but the external screen looks better and is easier on my eyes.

The new 8 megapixel Cannon is looking very temping. What were the top three in your magazine?

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Janel, I saw that review and was disappointed they didn't include the Nikon D70(new version is

D70s) which I am leaning toward. I would recommend checking out any cameras you are interested in at:

Digital Photography Review

 

They have exhaustive specs and reviews of probably any camera you can think of.(and a lot more. Some people balk at doing research like this, but I would guess that most of us can't afford to shell out a thousand bucks for something we might not be as happy as possible with.

 

The cameras in MacWorld were 1. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT(came out with 4.5 stars out od 5)

2. Olympus Evoly E-300(4 stars)

3. Pentax ist DS

 

Obviously one of the main concerns for us is the macro capability, which is why I chose my little

Nikon 4300 as a starter camera.

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Hi,

 

Thanks Jim for providing the MacWorld short list for Patrick.* The article did mention a fourth camera just released but not in time for the article review. Was it the Nikon D70? I do like my 4500, haven't learned all of its tricks even yet, but there are times when I think that a greater than 4M image might be advantageous. I'll take a long look at the Digital Photography Review site. Thanks for the link

 

*I am away from home this morning, cut off from returning last night by wild and stormy weather. It is good to have family members to stay with in the city when I venture into the asphalt jungle to risk life and limb with civilization. Tornadic potential and hail were a greater threat.

 

Janel

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Guest DFogg

Janel,

 

I bought the Nikon D70 this winter and love it. You can change lens for almost any job you want. It has a viewfinder for image review and menuing, but you use this one through the view finder like a regular 35mm. I had a 5700 before and really got use to using the tilt and swivel viewfinder to take ground level pictures, but don't miss it at all. The D70 and the other digital 35's are what we have been waiting for.

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Guest DFogg

The advantage is that you can buy a lens just for macro work. Here is a handheld photo of a screw driver bit shot with a 60mm Nikkor.

 

post-1-1118781854.jpg

 

I cropped the photo and reduced the size, but it could be blown up to 17"x24" no problem.

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Don, Thanks for the review and photo. Could you do another with a deeper Depth of Field to show us how much DOF there might be within the macro range? This one shows a rather shallow area of focus.

 

I know, picky-picky I am, but that is part of the macro world needs.

 

Thanks

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Guest DFogg

The depth of field is directly related to the lens. For this lens f3.2 gives the greatest depth of field.

 

19561771_8d84317d4c_o.jpg

 

The thing to keep in mind with the digital 35's is that you can get the shot you want just by buying the appropriate lens. This image is not cropped and full frame would be 3008x2000 pixels.

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That is way better! How pricey are the lenses?

 

Thank you for the extra effort. As I was going to sleep last night, I realized that I, too, should try a few shots with my camera for illustration, and to be sure I am getting what I was asking you for! Sorry for asking for the extra work from you.

 

I have been trying to figure out what the first screwdriver tip was sitting on. It looks like fog over sand. What is it?

 

Janel

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Guest DFogg

B&H Photo Prices

 

It comes in at just under $400. The kit lens that they bundle with the camera is a good snapshot lens, but you can buy the body alone and pick up the lens that you need. I am saving for a 17-55mm Nikkor, but it costs more than the camera.

 

We can justify, if not afford a good camera because a good photograph is the first introduction most will have to your work. I had most of my early work professionally photographed, but that becomes very expensive over the long run and so I started doing my own. I spent over $800 in one year just on film and photographs so the digital is a bargain by comparison.

 

To answer your question about the sandy fog background, that is the result of shortened depth of field from hand holding and not setting up on a tripod. The camera will auto adjust the iso, shutter speed and aperture when you put it on auto. I am going to have to play around with that effect.

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I am still learning all the bells and whistles on my Konica Minolta 7D, the 35mm type body and thru the lens focus make a big difference.

I had to buy the 50macro lens for it, cost $500cdn , it's an expensive camera, over $2000cdn for the body alone...

But when one has a couple of thousand dollars worth of lenses that only fit that camera body, nice camera and I suspect the price will come down in time..

Only recomended for those with deep pockets or lots of lenses ..Or like myself has a generous brother..

Ray

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Hi Ray,

 

It's good to read that you are still learning the bells and whistles. I am still learning about the little Nikon Cookpix 4500, having figured out one way of working with it for macro and stills of the work. I am not very good with people pictures indoors with it, which is very frustrating. People don't have much patience with be part of the learning curve. It is not as simple as point and shoot, unless I try "auto", and that has variables as well.

 

It is nice to have a brother like yours!

 

Janel

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Patrick,

 

As I reread your comment about the purple halo around some things, I recalled learning a little more about ISO settings. Too late I learned that I could have raised the ISO to a higher number which might have enabled indoor people pictures with late afternoon indoor lighting from big windows to be taken without flash or blurry animate people. The higher ISO setting brings more noise into the picture, which may or may not be a problem with day time busy photos, but when I am shooting against a black background, the black gets very noisey with lots of rim around the object and stars in the all black backdrop. When the ISO is lowered to 100 (as I recall), with the camera on a tripod and the timer is used to shoot the picture, the shots are much cleaner.

 

Could the purple be an ISO setting situation?

 

Janel

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  • 4 years later...

i Could the purple be an ISO setting situation?

 

Yes, Janel. Resolutions above about ISO400 with a digital compact are likely to result in noise.

 

I know this thread is old, and you probably know the answer by now, but maybe the thread needs updates 4 years on because the camera market changes so rapidly these days. I've just bought a Canon PowerShot SX110 IS, which is a year old now, but the recent SX210 didn't have enough new features to justify the extra expenditure. Of its kind, it seems to be performing well, though I'm still playing with different set-ups and lightings for the macro shots, but even macro shots with no special lighting conditions have turned out reasonably sharp so far - with a tripod! It has the addition of being able to use manual settings and I'm more used to those on my old film manual/auto SLR, so I'll probably be using those settings more than the auto function on the digital. It struggles in low light on auto (I gather that most compacts do this), but that's why I wanted the manual control.

 

No digital performs as well as an SLR with interchangeable lenses, but as a next step up will be a digital SLR plus a couple of lenses, I'm not, at this point willing to pay out £3-400 for a body and the same for each new lens. I might just stick with the old SLR and perhaps a new Pentax macro lens (if I can find one that's suitable) and this new digital for a few years.

 

What are other people's recent experiences?

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Hi Freda,

 

Last year I bought a Pentax K200D. Really nice camera. One of the reasons I bought it is that I've used Pentax film cameras since the 70s and so have a few lenses. Pentax claims you can use every lens they ever made on their digital SLRs, even the screw mounts(with proper adapter). The K-mount bayonets click right in. Of course, automatic features will be limited, depending on the lens age and features, but I enjoy going manual. I've had fine results with the older lenses.

 

Pentax has long been known for the fine quality of their lenses.

 

Jim

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Jim,

I have a K1000 that I've used for years. I'm now in the market for a better digital than the one I have. I've been looking at a Sony HX1. It is a 9.1 MP and has a 20X zoom. It also does macro. Cost $499.00. Now I have the K1000 and an 18-56 lens, a 2X converter, a 70-200 zoom but no macro. Hmm, buy the Sony or get another Pentax? Decisions, decisions. Macro lens will run about $399.00

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