Digital camera advice?

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by spitfire, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi guys

    I'm looking to buy a digital camera. Have about $300 (US) to spend. Since I'm going to be using it for model photography it would need to have macro (close-up) capabilities. Also I want high enough resolution to be able to print 8x10s (for my other interests).

    Any suggestions?

  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    The C700 I just bought cost me $430. A big reason to buy one is Shamus can and will help you with it!

  4. Digital File Sizes and Prints

    Hi, Spitfire,

    If you're wanting to print 8X10's from a digital camera, and you have a "photo quality" inkjet printer but aren't sure what camera settings, i.e., file sizes, will produce the best prints, here are some guidelines. The file sizes are given as pixel counts; the print size should be considered the maximum not the minimum size that will look good.

    640 X 480 (or smaller) = wallet size (This is also the recommended file size for uploading/online viewing)

    768 X 512 = 4 X 5 prints

    1152 X 768 = 5 X 7 prints

    1536 X 1024 = 8 X 10

    2650 X 1920 = 11 X 14 up to 16 X 20

    Obviously, the final quality of the print will be determined by a number of factors. For example, if your digital has a glass lens rather than a plastic lens (many of the early digitals shipped with fixed-focus plastic lenses), the resolution will/should be better. Also, if your printer can print at, say, 1750 or 2400 dpi, rather than 1440 dpi, the overall print quality will be better.

    So, if you're using a digital camera to take pictures of your newest model or of your layout, and you want to make good prints, follow these general guidelines:

    1. If your camera has adjustable file size/image quality settings, set it for the largest file size and highest level quality.

    2. Set your printer's software to print at the highest quality setting, e.g., 1440 dpi. (And if your printer will accept an optional "photo" ink cartridge - they usually replace the black tank - get one and use it. Most Lexmark printers, for example, will print in 6 colors with a photo cart.)

    3. Use a high quality photo inkjet paper, such as that make by Kodak or Ilford.

    Now that the big name camera manufacturers - Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, etc - have gotten on the digital bandwagon, the quality of digitals has improved dramatically. Most come packed with a whole slew of features.

    I use a Minolta DiMage 7, and I really like it. It's been on the market for about 10 months now, so I imagine the price has really dropped from what it was originally selling for. It's capable of 5.24 mp.

    Hope all of this helps. Good luck with your decision.
  5. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I don't disagree with anything said here but I might add one thing. You won't get as much use out of a close-up or macro lens as you would think, reason being is it kills the depth of field. My digital has 3 macro settings and I use them for about 2 or 3% of my shots. For the record it is a Kodak DX3700 and was $245 American.
  6. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Wow, Casey, that's some pretty comprehensive data. Thanks!

    Tyson, tell me more about not using the macro... I've done some detailed interiors I want to shoot (HO scale) and that was my main reason for needing it. I used to make jewelry once upon a time, and I'm familiar with depth of field issues from using a macro lens on a 35mm SLR. Could I just use the zoom to get my interiors, or what?

    inquiring minds want to know......
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    spitfire I have the best results if I want a close up of something that is more than a few inches from front to back by backing up the camera and using the regular lens, taking the pic then cropping down to what I wanted in the first place, which then enlarges that section of the picture. If your digital has manual focus, then focus in the middle of the focal range of what you want. And if it has manual shutter speeds set it for the slowest. Hope this helps.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Yeah that does help. A lot. +[:)]

    In summary I think you're saying I need a camera with:
    - 2 megapixel resolution (okay you didn't say that but I'm implying...)
    - manual focus
    - manual exposure

    Anything else?
    :) :) :)
  9. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    spitfire I assume you have seen some of the pics I have posted here. They are not as clear as some others here because of the resolution. The more megapixels the better, mine is 3.1, I would not go any lower so IMHO 2 is not enough, this is probably more important than manual focus or manual shutter speeds and does not increase the cost factor of the camera that much. The shutter speeds and manual focus is what will crank up the $$$$$$ of the camera. If you can afford it go for it, and if you get a 4 or 5 megapixel with manual focus and manual shutter speeds and macro and zoom, can I borrow it sometime?????? :D :D :D
  10. I took this interior shot of my OVT&L machine shop at f9.5 in macro mode with my DiMage7. The front element of the lens was approximately 3.5 inches from the workbenches/wall.

    Attached Files:

  11. RI541

    RI541 Member


    Is the C700 also a video camera/cam corder?

    And just how easy is it to use? I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed (not the dullest either) But when it comes to electrical devises it pretty much has to be 1 2 3 or A B C.
  12. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Yes! That is exactly what I am hoping to achieve. Awesome detail. Who makes this excellent DiMage7 of which you speak?
  13. RI541

    RI541 Member

    and how would it work for N-Scale?
  14. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Casey while that shot is awesome even more impressive is your modeling! That's some incredible detail!!!! While I know I can't afford it :D :D :D what DOES a camera like that cost??? On the other hand no better that my modeling is I don't know if I want that much clarity! :D :eek: :D :p :D
  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I second Tysons reaction: that detail is incredible!

  16. Spitfire: As I said in an earlier post, Minolta makes the DiMage7. There is a newer version available now. Canon, Olympus, Nikon, and Sony make equivalent models.

    Everyone else: thank you for the compliments.

    RI541: It will work as well in N as in any other scale. The advantage of 5.2 mp over 3.1 or 2 mp comes into play mainly when making prints. For online/onscreen viewing, even a 1 mp camera is plenty adequate.

    Tyson: I don't know what the camera costs now. It originally retailed for $1500. The last time I checked mailorder prices on my model, it was around $700. I'm sure it's much less than that now because the camera is 10 months old. Like computers, these things have a "planned obsolescence," which means they're out of date less than six months after they're released.

    I'm very happy with my camera and the results I get with it.
  17. shamus

    shamus Registered Member


    I used macro for this HO shot of my little people from 1-1/2" away.


    Attached Files:

  18. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Forgot to say "Yes the C700 will do a 16 second movie"

  19. I had forgotten all about the movie mode, Shamus. The DiMage7 will create 20 or 30-second movies (I don't remember which; I'd have to get the manual out). I have never tried it because I'm not sure what I'd do with one afterwards. (Probably wait for the Oscar nominations to come rolling in :D :D :D :rolleyes: )
  20. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Sorry Casey, you did tell me that the DiMage was a Minolta camera. I just didn't put 2 and 2 together. Your model is amazing BTW. Are those Sierra West shelves I see against the wall?

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