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Which camera to buy?


Ishil
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I'm thinking of buying a digital camera in the sales, for photographing miniatures primarily, and anything else that captures my eye. There are so many to choose from... I have a few possibles though:

 

Nikon P2 Digital

Olympus FE-120

Olympus MJU600

Pentax OPT60

Kodak 2740

Fuji F460

 

Does anyone knew anything about the good/bad points of these? Thanks...

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If you can't afford one like a canon rebel where you can change lenses, then you need to look at the macro modes. Go to a store like Best Buy where you can turn in on and touch it and see how good it does up close (take a mini with you if you have to). some DIgital cameras Like my Finepix have the option to screw on a macro lense for taking detailed upclose pictures.

 

Unfortunatly not all digital cameras are the same, and after you fork over a couple hundred dollars (Pounds, Euros Whatever) is not the time to realize you make a mistake...

 

Wes Bland

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If you can't afford one like a canon rebel where you can change lenses, then you need to look at the macro modes. Go to a store like Best Buy where you can turn in on and touch it and see how good it does up close (take a mini with you if you have to). some DIgital cameras Like my Finepix have the option to screw on a macro lense for taking detailed upclose pictures.

 

Unfortunatly not all digital cameras are the same, and after you fork over a couple hundred dollars (Pounds, Euros Whatever) is not the time to realize you make a mistake...

 

Wes Bland

One of the better places to go too is Wolf (Ritz) Camera they have a larger selection I think then does Best Buy or Circuit City. You can check them out there for the Macro lenses plus they know alot more about the cameras as well. They are not as likely to push you into something you do not need nor want, not to mention they have less customers to deal with :). If the prices are higher there I think that they do price matching so do some shopping around once you do find the camera you like. that way you can get the best price :) Good luck! :)

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I have the Kodak easy share DX6490. Once you figure out the Portrait and Macro modes you can take a good picture. It won't focus on a small mini enough to fill the screen but you don't need that. I can easily get a single mini to fill a 600 pixel wide picture after cropping which is the standard for most places where you would want to put a mini. That resolution is by far significantly greater than my current painting capability.

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I should remind you that you need to have a camera that allows you to control the aperture. Called "Aperture Priority," this allows you to control the depth of field. If you cannot control this, then portions of your image will be clear while the rest is fuzzy due to the automatic exposure controls set by the camera. It is assumed by the camera makers, in general, that people using the macro function want a shallow depth of field and most auto-macros, even in film cameras, will not allow you to control the depth of field. This, again, is covered in the above referenced pdf.

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I really like my Cannon A65 (A85/A90 are the new versions). It takes awesome shots and I am able to do everything Aryanun says to do with it. For photos taken with it, refer to the following links:

 

Hill troll

 

Thornback Troll

 

Narthalisk

 

I hope this helps.

 

Beyond the camera, I find a tripod, diffusion light box (let me know if you want tips on making one really cheap), and Photoshop Elements to be indespensible in getting the on screen shots to look great.

 

TS

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Yep..do what Wes Blend says and visit a store where you can actually handle the camera and try it out.

 

Also when buying, I HIGHLY recommend getting something with removable memory so you can keep multiple memory cards for taking lots of high-resolution pics, and that you get a camera with a lithium battery. A friend of mine bought one that took standard AA cell..and he says it goes through a new round of batteries in about two hours.

 

If you can find a model with a remote control shutter button, do so. When taking up-close photos, even the slightest vibration caused by pressing the shutter button can cause a blurry pic.

 

And you'll need a tripod if you don't already have one. Trust me.

 

Good luck hunting. I hope you find one that works well for you.

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Also when buying, I HIGHLY recommend getting something with removable memory so you can keep multiple memory cards for taking lots of high-resolution pics,

 

Very good advice. And you will need at least a 128 MB card, preferably higher.

 

and that you get a camera with a lithium battery. A friend of mine bought one that took standard AA cell..and he says it goes through a new round of batteries in about two hours.

 

I've had the opposite experience with our old work camera, where the lithium batteries died within the first 2 years and cost 60 bucks each to replace. My camera takes 4 AA's and they typically go a month or so between charges (and I have little kids so I am snapping pictures regularily). With our new camera at work it takes 2 AA's and I have noticed that the battery life is diminished. For 30 bucks though we bought a high-speed charger that charges the batteries in 15 minutes. The system works great. The other nice thing about AA's is portability. If you take a camera with a dedecated lithium battery on vacation you will also need to pack your charger and find a place to recharge every night (difficult if you are a camper). With AA's, just pack a few extras, and, if you need more, any convienence store will carry replacements for a few bucks.

 

If you can find a model with a remote control shutter button, do so. When taking up-close photos, even the slightest vibration caused by pressing the shutter button can cause a blurry pic.

 

If the camera you like doesn't have a remote option, ensure that it does have a timer function. When I take mini pictures, I set the timer to 2 seconds, lineup the shot, press the button and then go totally hands off. This accomplishes the same thing as the remote button, only a little more putsy.

 

And you'll need a tripod if you don't already have one. Trust me.

 

Yep, an absolute must. For minis, I use a small table top version that cost less than $20, so you can get by fairly cheeply here. Just ensure that the camera you buy has the threaded tripod mount hole in the bottom of it. Some of the compact cameras don't have this and then you would be stuck.

 

TS

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Excellent advice, all. ::D: You are learning, young Padwans.

 

Take a mini with you, and go to a Camera Store. Not Best Buy, not Wal-Mart, but a store that sells nothing but cameras and equipment. These people should know their stuff. Show them the mini and say "I want to take pictures of this that are clear, so I need a camera with a good macro that can get close enough to do what I want, and that gives me control of the depth of field." Tell them your price range, and give them a good idea of what you are using the camera for, and they should help you find just the right camera.

 

You want a tripod, even a small tabletop. I got mine at Target for $10. You have to watch out for some of them, however. There are some that have legs that make it taller, but they only slide out and don't lock, so if your camera is heavy, it will slow lower one or two legs and throw things off.

 

You want to be able to turn the flash off. This is important for mini-macro photography. Remember, you're basically taking macro-portraits. You want your setup to be as if you're taking portraits.

 

Get some of those daylight style bulbs, such as Reveal. They'll help with color. Every light bulb has a different color (read the pdf for more info).

 

The time and shutter release help, so keep those in mind.

 

You will want to be able to manually change the white balance, or set it somehow, so talk about that.

 

You do not have to buy from the camera store, but by shopping there you can find the camera that is going to fit you best and then look for it elsewhere (online, other stores, etc). Shopping around will get you the best deal, going to a camera store will help you find the best fit. :;):

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Thanks to everyone for the help. Unfortunately, I wasn't in fulltime work before Christmas, and I will probably have even less after, so there's a good chance I can't afford to buy a digital camera. I might even have to cut back on the buying of the miniatures ::o:::o: !

 

Ishil

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Don't worry about it. I can't afford one either, and I do work full time. :blink:

 

It's really amusing to try and instruct a class on using a digital camera when you've never even owned one. :lol: (PS: Thanks, Spike and Frosch, for all your input!)

 

Seriously, though, just spend the time you currently have until you can afford one to research and find which camera you feel will fit you most (a lot of research can be done on the web) and then, when you are ready to buy, you will be well versed and prepped. You'll also know exactly what you want and need and won't be suckered into buying all the little "extras" the salesmen try and push on you. :;):

 

I will say this, however. If you buy a camera that can accept screw-on type filters, get a UV filter. It helps filter out some of those rays, but mostly it protects your lens from dust and scratches. If you're going to make that kind of investment, protect it! :upside:

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I prefer to take pictures with an "analog" camera. I have an OLD Canon AE-1 camera and the pictures I take on it are better than my digital camera and even better than my newer Canon Rebel.

 

however, getting those photos into my PC are not as easy as with my digital camera....

 

Cheaper, Faster, Better. You can only pick two ;)

 

Wes Bland

 

Thanks to everyone for the help. Unfortunately, I wasn't in fulltime work before Christmas, and I will probably have even less after, so there's a good chance I can't afford to buy a digital camera. I might even have to cut back on the buying of the miniatures ::o:::o: !

 

Ishil

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