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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm after a digital camera with a good Macro but I don't know what exactly "macro-ness" is measured in. For example I took this two years old with my Dad's (now) three year old camera which really was a case of "point and let the machine do all the thinking". The quality is really stunning (It's the General model from a wargames army BTW)



But as can be seen in the TR4 thread in Scratchbuilding I borrowed a camera from a friend that also had a macro function and the results were frankly rubbish. The ones I posted were only the best and had to be shrunk and seriously messed about with on the PC to be even frankly legible. Certainly you could never do some of the pics on SF whereby small details of chassis and body detail is on display.

So, my question is, is there a scale of macro quality? And if so what sort of rating would I want for work similar to the wargames picture and preferably for sub £200. IIRC My Dads cost around £350 three years ago so I'd assume that that level of tech shouldn't be expensive at the tailend of 2004. I might be wrong though.

Coop
 

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i have a sony dsc-85 which is a couple years old but has a very good macro function...and takes excellent normal pictures
i'm no photographer but the most important part of any camera (especially digital) is more the lens and to a lesser extent the amount of pixels it captures...
what you are looking for really when you get into digital macro photgraphy is exactly the same for analog photography... a quality lens that will offer you as small an aperture ( for sharp focus) as possible and admit as much light (for highest shutter speed) as possible..
if the camera has the ability to set your aperture independent of your shutter speed then all the better as the best macro images are taken using a tripod under controlled lighting conditions or in bright light ..and the aperture required to capture the image sharply oftens requires a slow shutter speed.. that combination means a tripod is necessary to avoid camera shake...
roughly speaking..any shutter speed below 1/60 second (not using flash) while using the camera hand held will begin to show blurring unless you have a steady hand...you can get an acceptable sharp image down to even 1/30 in bright light but you're better off using a tripod at this speed if you want really sharp images...
a tripod is also a very good tool as you can compose the elements in your photo then play around with a few spot lights and ambient lights to light the object or parts of the object to the greatest effect and it leaves your hands free...then when you are happy with the image in the viewfinder..using the timer to take the image practically ensures your camera is capturing the sharpest image it can...
the essence of good macro photogrpahy is related to something called "depth of field"...the smaller an aperture you can use the greater the zone of focus will be both in front and behind the "plane" that you focus on...
for example...if you focus on a part of an object say 100 cm away from the lens ..say the windscreen of your slot car..at a small aperture (also known as F-stop) there will an area of focus that will extend roughly 1/3 in front of the windscreen to include the bonnet..and 2/3 behind the windscreen to include the rest of the car...the whole car should be in "acceptable focus"...the same principle applies to any image you take but is more pronoucnced when using macro (magnified) photography because the object of the photo is much closer to the lens...
i hope it doesn't sound too confusing...
my best advice is to soend a few hours looking at the macro photographer section in any basic photgraphy handbook...to see what an analog camera is trying to do when it is used in macro mode...have a look at exposure settings that macro images are taken at ( a combination of shutter speed & aperture )...then see what the specs of the digicam camera are...
a more general advice to to stick to the manufacturers that made good analog cameras when it comes to choosing digital... canon, minolta, olympus, (sony didn't make any analog cameras i'm aware of that were popular..but they DO use carl zeiss lens..which are extremely good)..and dont let the compact nature of some cameras fool you...for hand held photography sometimes a weighty camera does just as well at helping you capture a sharp image in low light as does 10 billion megapixels...( the heavier the object the less it shakes in the hand )..
...regarding depth of field..the good news is digital cameras have something like3- 4 times the shaprness per aperture setting as an analog camera...so an f=setting like f-8 equates to something like f 32 on an analog lens which give you a good working depth for macro (close up photography)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help Meshers.

By a strange co-incidence I was reading Tropi's post about the Canon A95 cropped in there as a good camera. I then spoke to a workmate who said "next camera I'm buying is the Canon A95". Believing in omens I thought this made the A95 a good choice.

Anyway I saw the next model down, the A85 on Amazon for £171 so have ordered that. I found an online review which had JPGs taken with the macro and it looks exactly what I need.

Cheers,

Coop
 

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if you are looking for a user friendly camera get a kodak easyshare 4 meg or higher. they are great quality and ssssooooooo easy to use
 
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a quality lens that will offer you as small an aperture ( for sharp focus) as possible and admit as much light (for highest shutter speed) as possible..

A small aperture will not affect the focus, it does however alter the depth of field, which mean more or less will be in focus in the final image, but at some point of the image something should be in focus.

Macro is a mis- used word by a lot of Non photographers, anything life size or larger on the film it was taken on, is considered to be Macro, anything smaller than lifesize is classed as close up photography.
 
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