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Digital Camera Advice



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 18th 03, 06:57 PM
Gennie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Digital Camera Advice

Hi,
Would anyone mind recommending (or warning against) a digital camera that is
suitable for photographing beads and jewelry up close? I'd also like to be
able to use it for just general purpose family photos too. I've looked and
looked... in stores and online and it just gets more confusing. It would be
a heartbreaker to get one home and not be able to take good jewelry pictures
with it.
I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Thanks,
Gennie
www.heartstrungbeads.com


Ads
  #2  
Old October 18th 03, 08:09 PM
Tink
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I just spent three months researching a shopping for exactly what you
describe. A lot depends upon what your budget is.

You might want to check out the following sites:
http://www.dpreview.com
http://www.steves-digicams.com

Great reviews can be found there! As for me, I had it narrowed down to a
Nikon CoolPix 5400 and an Olympus Camedia 5050. I went with the Olympus.

--

Tink

www.blackswampglassworks.com
Sign Up Now For Fall Workshops!
Hollows, Vessels & Florals...

"Gennie" wrote in message
...
Hi,
Would anyone mind recommending (or warning against) a digital camera that

is
suitable for photographing beads and jewelry up close? I'd also like to be
able to use it for just general purpose family photos too. I've looked and
looked... in stores and online and it just gets more confusing. It would

be
a heartbreaker to get one home and not be able to take good jewelry

pictures
with it.
I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Thanks,
Gennie
www.heartstrungbeads.com




  #3  
Old October 18th 03, 08:30 PM
DRAGONSWIRE
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Gennie
I have an Olympus 3030 digital camera. It works great but, the hard part is
getting the lighting correct. I found the easiest way to get good pictures
of jewelry and beads is to use a flat bed scanner. If you check my website
that's how I took all of the pics.

Linda

http://www.dragonswire.com

"Gennie" wrote in message
...
Hi,
Would anyone mind recommending (or warning against) a digital camera that

is
suitable for photographing beads and jewelry up close? I'd also like to be
able to use it for just general purpose family photos too. I've looked and
looked... in stores and online and it just gets more confusing. It would

be
a heartbreaker to get one home and not be able to take good jewelry

pictures
with it.
I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Thanks,
Gennie
www.heartstrungbeads.com





  #4  
Old October 18th 03, 08:50 PM
Dr. Sooz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

from Bead Notes:
http://www.lampwork.net/beadnotes.html

PHOTOS
I picked up some great tips at the ISGB forum a while back: The setup consists
primarily of a couple of shop lights (I use halogens) and some vellum in front
of the lights to diffuse the light. You can also put your item to be
photographed inside a milky white translucent plastic bin or box to diffuse the
light. I recently added a VERY cool small halogen work light to act as a
teaser.

My camera is a Sony Mavica FD-91. Great macro. Digital, and it uses floppy
disks as storage. Very, very nice. It has a flash, but I never use it.

We went to a scrapbooking store to find various papers to try as backgrounds. I
plan on getting some gradient grey paper from my photo supply place the next
time I'm over that way. I want to get more of an artsy, gallery-type look to my
images.

I took some pretty good pics a couple of weeks ago. The auctions are over, but
I'm planning to move those pics to the gallery on my website soon.

Sunny days... You don't want bright direct sunlight for pics. Clean morning
or evening light is best.
---Tink 8-28-02

I have a Sony Mavica MVC FD81 I think is the model it does still and movies but
I LOVE it. It goes directly onto a floppy disc so I don't have anything extra
to add to through a computer program and it takes great pictures. I really
can't remember what the price was on it when I bought it but since it is about
3 or 4 years old I'm sure the price has gone down. I though about getting one
that records onto the small CD's but I don't think you can erase those and
reuse them.
---Carol 7/17/02

I have an Olympus Camedia Z2000 and love it. Planning on getting some of the
accessory lenses, too, once I've perfected picture taking/lighting techniques.
Got a reconditioned one off of www.overstock.com and paid much less than new
and haven't had a lick of problems with it.
--- Barbara 7/17/02

From Ingrid: yes I have posted about my photo tips. I finally got soooooo tired
of trying to figure out the photo set up thingee I made some easy modifications
to the lampshade set up.

I went to Walmart and bought two fluorescent work lamps. They are not with the
work lamps ...they keep the fluorescent separately. I decided that I didn't
need a lampshade and went for sort of a Rubbermaid bin. That way I can get
close to the beads to shoot.

I shoot about 5 or 6 inches from my beads...Mavica, I set the exposure plus .3
, white balance on hold. After that, I use Photoshop Pro 7, and all I have to
do is go to color. NO I DON'T ADJUST COLOR. The first selection on the drop
down is ..adjust...I select that and adjust the brightness. I generally have to
increase brightness between 25 to 40 percent and at the same time I increase
contrast a bit. I shoot a large file size...12something by 6something. This set
up gives me pictures like below, and I just point and shoot .......soooooooo
easy. [sorry, link no longer leads to anything.] I am sooooooo relieved to get
the photo thing straightened out...I have much more time for making beads...if
you have any more questions just ask me... and I see someone else has found the
combo of edp and silver ...really cool!!!!

I have some "secrets" but can tell everyone that I use these
softwares/equipment for my photos:
1. Epson 1240U Scanner
2. Mavica FD81 (before)
3. Nikon 995 (now)
4. Photoshop
5. MGI Suite (rarely now)
6. Photodraw

Getting a good digital camera is the first step. The Nikon 995 is one of the
best non-professional digital cameras on the market....and with a possible 2
inch focal length, it's one of the clearest closeups you will find without
spending a fortune.

For photographing jewelry, be sure what you get has an optical zoom. Digital
zoom does only what you can do later in any photo editor - it enlarges and
crops in the camera. But the resolution goes down proportionally, so I would
just ignore that as a nearly useless feature. Digital zoom might save "digital
film", the storage media that receives the pictures in the camera. But that is
not usually meaningful if you are taking pictures at home/business to
illustrate merchandise.

And the zoom will not be very helpful unless the camera has a "macro" mode -
that is very close focusing. For real photographers, "macro" means the camera
can take pictures at 1:1 or less - that is a 1 inch subject will fill 1 inch or
more on the film. You don't need real macro, which is a good thing since I
don't think any digital camera offers that. But some do, and many don't, offer
close focusing combined with a true optical zoom that lets you get as tight as
you need for a pair of earrings. If you are a purist, call it a "close-up"
mode, but be sure the camera you get has it.

In close-up mode, the normal viewfinder will not work well. That is because it
does not look through the lens, but is offset from the lens. So it does not see
what the main lens sees in close-up situations. There are some SLR digital
cameras, I understand, but those are generally considered professional - very
expensive and more difficult to use. So, the camera should offer optional
viewing of the actual picture via an LCD screen. For instance, the Olympus has
an LCD viewing screen on the back.

I recommend the PC Mag review, and any other reviews you can find. Our camera
has 3 Megapixels, which is much more than needed for an on-line illustration.
But, it captures all the details you might need, and you later process the
image to the quality that balances size and resolution for web publication. It
also blows away the simple snapshot film or digital cameras for general picture
taking. It can compete with an upscale 35mm camera for picture quality.

I would not recommend dropping below 2 Megapixels. Especially since the prices
on these older designs should be very attractive now that 4-5 Megapixels is the
"bleeding edge".

Shutterfly is a great place to upload your pictures. And if you upload the pic
on a high resolution, you can print enlargements for next to nothing
(especially when first using the service). I actually use it to share photos
with my family so we can order reprints of each other's pics. Carol Ann Hopkins


I ABSOLUTELY love my Olympus D510 2.1 Megapixel Digital zoom camera. It has a
macro feature so I can also take pictues of my beadwork. I use this camera
exclusively for all my vacation photos also. Check out my websites for pictures
taken with the camera. Note: Some of the older pictures were taken with my
first Olympus D400 digital camera that was only a 1.3 Megapixel. I have been
using Olympus digital cameras now for 5 years.

I've got an Epson 850Z, which I absolutely love. It uses standard compact flash
memory, so you don't have to buy "special" memory sticks. I use the Lexar
memory, which has a great little "JumpShot" cable for downloading from the
memory chip itself, so you don't drain down the camera batteries.

My camera is a 2.1 megapixel, but current models are trip-pixel. It has 3
shooting formats: fully automatic, fully manual, or programs for shooting
landscape, portrait, action, etc. It shoots standard, macro, 2X optical digital
zoom and panoramic. It shoots in color or black/white. One of the best things,
I think, is that it has an adapter (included), which lets you use filters and
lenses intended for regular 35mm cameras. No special proprietary things to
purchase. For example, I use a Tiffen warming filter for flash shooting and a
Tiffen polarized filter for shooting outdoors. It also has the ability to do
quick succession shots like a 35mm camera. You can add external flash, tri-pod,
etc.

I've had the camera for over two years now and love it! If you want to see any
sample photos, let me know. I'd be happy to share.

I have an Olympus Camedia Z2000 that I purchased because of its outstanding
macro abilities. I got a refurbished one off of www.overstock.com and paid
about $340 for it. It retailed for $700, so I feel that I got a heckuva deal.

I have an Olympus C2100. I also get outstanding pictures.

~ Just got an Epson Perfection 1250. About $100. Got mine at Circuit City but
you can also order directly from Epson for about the same price except you'll
have to add money for shipping. Consumer Reports gave it a high rating and we
have been very happy with it.

PRO: A scanner that is cheaper than a 'better' quality digital camera will have
problems with color values. The color correction software, if any is supplied,
is usually inferior to that of a good quality camera with decent optics and
built-in color correction. To get a scanner of high enough quality to match
colors you would need to spend in excess of $1000. Even then, you can have a
problem with reflection.

I use a mini-tripod and the remote that came with my camera along with an Ott
light for indirect lighting. I find the quality of the pictures to be very
good.

CON: No, I have to disagree. I check for color accuracy on my scans, tweak them
somewhat for brightness and contrast, rarely for color. I did spend $300 for my
scanner though. But a digital camera to do the same thing (i.e. 2-3 megapixels
with a macro setting) would have cost 400-500, and then I would have to learn
to use it.


~~
Sooz
-------
"Those in the cheaper seats clap. The rest of you rattle your jewelry." John
Lennon (1940 - 1980) Royal Varieties Performance
~ Dr. Sooz's Bead Links
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soozlinkslist.html
  #5  
Old October 18th 03, 08:58 PM
Tink
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I've always found scanned images to be somewhat flat and too "contrasty",
but it's a really good option for those without a camera. Would be hard for
the original poster to scan her family though. LOL! ;-)

--
Tink

www.blackswampglassworks.com
New auctions up, including Victorian Holly
http://snurl.com/2pun

"DRAGONSWIRE" wrote in message
m...
Gennie
I have an Olympus 3030 digital camera. It works great but, the hard part

is
getting the lighting correct. I found the easiest way to get good pictures
of jewelry and beads is to use a flat bed scanner. If you check my website
that's how I took all of the pics.



  #6  
Old October 19th 03, 12:36 AM
Gennie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for everybody's replies! This will definitely help me!
Thanks a bunch!
Gennie

"Gennie" wrote in message
...
Hi,
Would anyone mind recommending (or warning against) a digital camera that

is
suitable for photographing beads and jewelry up close? I'd also like to be
able to use it for just general purpose family photos too. I've looked and
looked... in stores and online and it just gets more confusing. It would

be
a heartbreaker to get one home and not be able to take good jewelry

pictures
with it.
I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
Thanks,
Gennie
www.heartstrungbeads.com




  #7  
Old October 19th 03, 05:14 AM
Rick Frazier
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My Sony Mavica FD-7 (which I still have) was featured with a 10-1 optical zoom
range and would focus down to less than a half of an inch. To say it was macro was
an understatement. You can easily see the detail in denim fabric with this one,
and it auto-focuses too! There are probably some around in the used market pretty
inexpensively these days, and I imagine some of the newer cousins in the Sony
Mavica line should have somewhat similar function.

Mine has been to the Sony Doctor twice to replace the floppy drive (don't drop it
on concrete and expect it to work again without a trip to the Sony Doctor...
DAMHIKT). The camera has been through the wars so to speak and has been a reliable
performer despite being mistreated fairly often. It still takes great pictures,
but is limited to 640x480 pixels, so isn't so great if you want to print large
blowups, but for web work it is still just fine (and my budget won't let me buy
another one yet anyway....)

Good luck
-- Rick


"Dr. Sooz" wrote:

from Bead Notes:
http://www.lampwork.net/beadnotes.html

PHOTOS
I picked up some great tips at the ISGB forum a while back: The setup consists
primarily of a couple of shop lights (I use halogens) and some vellum in front
of the lights to diffuse the light. You can also put your item to be
photographed inside a milky white translucent plastic bin or box to diffuse the
light. I recently added a VERY cool small halogen work light to act as a
teaser.

My camera is a Sony Mavica FD-91. Great macro. Digital, and it uses floppy
disks as storage. Very, very nice. It has a flash, but I never use it.

We went to a scrapbooking store to find various papers to try as backgrounds. I
plan on getting some gradient grey paper from my photo supply place the next
time I'm over that way. I want to get more of an artsy, gallery-type look to my
images.

I took some pretty good pics a couple of weeks ago. The auctions are over, but
I'm planning to move those pics to the gallery on my website soon.

Sunny days... You don't want bright direct sunlight for pics. Clean morning
or evening light is best.
---Tink 8-28-02

I have a Sony Mavica MVC FD81 I think is the model it does still and movies but
I LOVE it. It goes directly onto a floppy disc so I don't have anything extra
to add to through a computer program and it takes great pictures. I really
can't remember what the price was on it when I bought it but since it is about
3 or 4 years old I'm sure the price has gone down. I though about getting one
that records onto the small CD's but I don't think you can erase those and
reuse them.
---Carol 7/17/02

I have an Olympus Camedia Z2000 and love it. Planning on getting some of the
accessory lenses, too, once I've perfected picture taking/lighting techniques.
Got a reconditioned one off of www.overstock.com and paid much less than new
and haven't had a lick of problems with it.
--- Barbara 7/17/02

From Ingrid: yes I have posted about my photo tips. I finally got soooooo tired
of trying to figure out the photo set up thingee I made some easy modifications
to the lampshade set up.

I went to Walmart and bought two fluorescent work lamps. They are not with the
work lamps ...they keep the fluorescent separately. I decided that I didn't
need a lampshade and went for sort of a Rubbermaid bin. That way I can get
close to the beads to shoot.

I shoot about 5 or 6 inches from my beads...Mavica, I set the exposure plus .3
, white balance on hold. After that, I use Photoshop Pro 7, and all I have to
do is go to color. NO I DON'T ADJUST COLOR. The first selection on the drop
down is ..adjust...I select that and adjust the brightness. I generally have to
increase brightness between 25 to 40 percent and at the same time I increase
contrast a bit. I shoot a large file size...12something by 6something. This set
up gives me pictures like below, and I just point and shoot .......soooooooo
easy. [sorry, link no longer leads to anything.] I am sooooooo relieved to get
the photo thing straightened out...I have much more time for making beads...if
you have any more questions just ask me... and I see someone else has found the
combo of edp and silver ...really cool!!!!

I have some "secrets" but can tell everyone that I use these
softwares/equipment for my photos:
1. Epson 1240U Scanner
2. Mavica FD81 (before)
3. Nikon 995 (now)
4. Photoshop
5. MGI Suite (rarely now)
6. Photodraw

Getting a good digital camera is the first step. The Nikon 995 is one of the
best non-professional digital cameras on the market....and with a possible 2
inch focal length, it's one of the clearest closeups you will find without
spending a fortune.

For photographing jewelry, be sure what you get has an optical zoom. Digital
zoom does only what you can do later in any photo editor - it enlarges and
crops in the camera. But the resolution goes down proportionally, so I would
just ignore that as a nearly useless feature. Digital zoom might save "digital
film", the storage media that receives the pictures in the camera. But that is
not usually meaningful if you are taking pictures at home/business to
illustrate merchandise.

And the zoom will not be very helpful unless the camera has a "macro" mode -
that is very close focusing. For real photographers, "macro" means the camera
can take pictures at 1:1 or less - that is a 1 inch subject will fill 1 inch or
more on the film. You don't need real macro, which is a good thing since I
don't think any digital camera offers that. But some do, and many don't, offer
close focusing combined with a true optical zoom that lets you get as tight as
you need for a pair of earrings. If you are a purist, call it a "close-up"
mode, but be sure the camera you get has it.

In close-up mode, the normal viewfinder will not work well. That is because it
does not look through the lens, but is offset from the lens. So it does not see
what the main lens sees in close-up situations. There are some SLR digital
cameras, I understand, but those are generally considered professional - very
expensive and more difficult to use. So, the camera should offer optional
viewing of the actual picture via an LCD screen. For instance, the Olympus has
an LCD viewing screen on the back.

I recommend the PC Mag review, and any other reviews you can find. Our camera
has 3 Megapixels, which is much more than needed for an on-line illustration.
But, it captures all the details you might need, and you later process the
image to the quality that balances size and resolution for web publication. It
also blows away the simple snapshot film or digital cameras for general picture
taking. It can compete with an upscale 35mm camera for picture quality.

I would not recommend dropping below 2 Megapixels. Especially since the prices
on these older designs should be very attractive now that 4-5 Megapixels is the
"bleeding edge".

Shutterfly is a great place to upload your pictures. And if you upload the pic
on a high resolution, you can print enlargements for next to nothing
(especially when first using the service). I actually use it to share photos
with my family so we can order reprints of each other's pics. Carol Ann Hopkins

I ABSOLUTELY love my Olympus D510 2.1 Megapixel Digital zoom camera. It has a
macro feature so I can also take pictues of my beadwork. I use this camera
exclusively for all my vacation photos also. Check out my websites for pictures
taken with the camera. Note: Some of the older pictures were taken with my
first Olympus D400 digital camera that was only a 1.3 Megapixel. I have been
using Olympus digital cameras now for 5 years.

I've got an Epson 850Z, which I absolutely love. It uses standard compact flash
memory, so you don't have to buy "special" memory sticks. I use the Lexar
memory, which has a great little "JumpShot" cable for downloading from the
memory chip itself, so you don't drain down the camera batteries.

My camera is a 2.1 megapixel, but current models are trip-pixel. It has 3
shooting formats: fully automatic, fully manual, or programs for shooting
landscape, portrait, action, etc. It shoots standard, macro, 2X optical digital
zoom and panoramic. It shoots in color or black/white. One of the best things,
I think, is that it has an adapter (included), which lets you use filters and
lenses intended for regular 35mm cameras. No special proprietary things to
purchase. For example, I use a Tiffen warming filter for flash shooting and a
Tiffen polarized filter for shooting outdoors. It also has the ability to do
quick succession shots like a 35mm camera. You can add external flash, tri-pod,
etc.

I've had the camera for over two years now and love it! If you want to see any
sample photos, let me know. I'd be happy to share.

I have an Olympus Camedia Z2000 that I purchased because of its outstanding
macro abilities. I got a refurbished one off of www.overstock.com and paid
about $340 for it. It retailed for $700, so I feel that I got a heckuva deal.

I have an Olympus C2100. I also get outstanding pictures.

~ Just got an Epson Perfection 1250. About $100. Got mine at Circuit City but
you can also order directly from Epson for about the same price except you'll
have to add money for shipping. Consumer Reports gave it a high rating and we
have been very happy with it.

PRO: A scanner that is cheaper than a 'better' quality digital camera will have
problems with color values. The color correction software, if any is supplied,
is usually inferior to that of a good quality camera with decent optics and
built-in color correction. To get a scanner of high enough quality to match
colors you would need to spend in excess of $1000. Even then, you can have a
problem with reflection.

I use a mini-tripod and the remote that came with my camera along with an Ott
light for indirect lighting. I find the quality of the pictures to be very
good.

CON: No, I have to disagree. I check for color accuracy on my scans, tweak them
somewhat for brightness and contrast, rarely for color. I did spend $300 for my
scanner though. But a digital camera to do the same thing (i.e. 2-3 megapixels
with a macro setting) would have cost 400-500, and then I would have to learn
to use it.

~~
Sooz
-------
"Those in the cheaper seats clap. The rest of you rattle your jewelry." John
Lennon (1940 - 1980) Royal Varieties Performance
~ Dr. Sooz's Bead Links
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soozlinkslist.html


  #8  
Old October 19th 03, 02:33 PM
MaryJLind
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I found this on the web:

http://www.webphotoschool.com/wps/lessons/vault[wps]/
Mary Lind
  #9  
Old October 19th 03, 08:07 PM
Dr. Sooz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I forgot! There's a photography section in the Links List:
Links List page 5
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soozlinkslist5.html

Thanks, Mary, for the web photo school link, which will now be added ASAP.

Anthony, Jerry L.: Artist and Craft Photography
http://jerryanthonyphoto.com/

Photography Lesson: Jewelry
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...ult/index.html

Successfully Photographing Your Artwork - South Shore Guide
http://www.southshoreguide.net/tutor.../slides_01.htm

~~
Sooz
-------
"Those in the cheaper seats clap. The rest of you rattle your jewelry." John
Lennon (1940 - 1980) Royal Varieties Performance
~ Dr. Sooz's Bead Links
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soozlinkslist.html
 




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