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New Camera to take Digital Photos of watches "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I am looking at purchasing a small digital camera to photograph watches etc. And I have to say that I'm so impressed with the pics I see on this site (Adam Dubin, comes to mind) you are the obvious starting point.

I've read some previous threads but when I went into the shop today with my ideas they said that these models are no longer stocked.

Here is the spec.

I'm not wanting to pay a fortune but I want something thats up to the job and it would be handy if I could carry it around in my suit pocket without me being lop sided.

I'd rather pay a bit more and have something decent.

I also don't want to be taking forever getting it in focus (And get just one good photo out of 10) I'd like to get it right first second or third time.

Finally I don't want to do anything really clever with it like manual override etc it just needs to take good photos of watch dials and movements, the more detail the better.

Am I asking the impossible?

Grateful for any steers from you experts out there, who are doing it already.
 
Posts: 264 | Location: Westbrook, United Kingdom | Registered: June 15, 2007
posted
Clive,

There are many newer models out there that will do what you want, but many times, the setting and lighting is just as important as the camera.

Among the newer models, which are remarkably inexpensive compared to just a few years ago, the features you want are a macro focus capability (preferably with a short (1.5 inch or so) minimum distance), an optical zoom - most have 3x, but more is better, and a high ISO rating, which improves low light performance and speed of focus. Most models have at least 800 ISO, I have a year-old Nikon which has 1600, and I've recently seen some advertised with 3200.

Almost all of the name brand pocket models will have some combination of these features. I would just use this as a starting point to find the ones that best suit your needs.

My two cents,

Cary
 
Posts: 267 | Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA | Registered: December 12, 2005
posted
Once you start using a macro mode for pictures, the camera will shake a bit when you squeeze the shutter. I'd also recommend a small investment in a tabletop tripod.

Use this and your cameras autotimer feature and you can take very detailed photographs.

Even the cell phone cameras are getting better. Inspired by your questions, I just snapped this one a few minutes ago on the cell phone at uploaded to the computer.



Phone is an AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes). I normally use a Nikon Coolpix 3700. Really small camera with a lot of features.

Hope this helps,
gatorcpa
 
Posts: 19 | Location: Miami, Florida USA | Registered: September 07, 2006
Picture of Adam M. Dubin
posted
I use a 3-year-old Canon PowerShot S410 Digital Elph (4 megapixel); it's compact enough to fit in one's pocket (the primary reason I bought it).

The trick with the moderate macro shots I've posted is to use natural lighting (i.e. no flash), and to use the largest file size, then crop the image down. I don't use a tripod, and sometimes have to retake a shot several times before one is completely in focus. One can magnify the image immediately on my camera (probably on most others as well) to judge the success of the photo.
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Chicago, Illinois USA | Registered: June 01, 2006
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
I do the same as Adam, my Canon Powershot S400 does quite well, and while it can do 4 meg, it will download through the lo-cal microsoft program into low res photios that are small enough to use in chap 185 postings.(ex flash picture of my cheap watch below) Natural sunlight is the best source, but indoors at Macro, flash can be used, but it takes some experimentation. (Note for our professional stuff At the office we use a Macro-Zoom video camera, and that is fantastic because you can take exceptional micro photos at a distance of 3 - 4 feet away from the subject, giving you virtual infinite depth of field.

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
Picture of Adam M. Dubin
posted
I find that abundant room incandescent light is enough for my macro shots. Flash always looks unnatural to me, and adds excessive glare...
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Chicago, Illinois USA | Registered: June 01, 2006
posted
Thanks guys - I've taken notes, much appreciated. Once I have something sorted out I'll start posting pics on the forum.
 
Posts: 264 | Location: Westbrook, United Kingdom | Registered: June 15, 2007
IHC Member 751
Picture of Nathan Semel
posted
Clive.....I suggest that you check out this website: Ken Rockwell - Click on the What's New link, and scroll down to the Holiday Recommendations link. Better yet, simply click on the Recommended Cameras link on the top left of the page. There you will find his opinions about lots of cameras, including a few consumer point and shoot digitals. You can also search his site to see what other cameras that might interest you that he has written about.

There is lots of info contained on his site, so be prepared to spend some time reading. I know Ken (he is a neighbor), and we belong to the same photo club. I like him, and respect his opinions. See if you like what he says, and if his reviews make sense to you. He takes no free equipment from manufacturers, so he is not beholden to anyone. He makes money off donations people make thru Paypal on his website, so he says what he thinks, without worrying about offending any manufacturers.

I usually use professional Nikon digital equipment, but sometimes, I like the ease of a simple piece of equipment, like the Sony DSC-F717 that I purchased about 5 years ago. Took the shot of the Pinehurst with the Sony.....

Good luck!

Nathan

 
Posts: 50 | Location: Vista, Calfornia USA | Registered: June 01, 2006
Site Administrator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Phillip Sanchez
posted
Great site Nathan. Thanks for sharing. Smile
 
Posts: 4975 | Location: North Georgia Mountains in the U.S.A. | Registered: March 31, 2006
posted
Great site Nathan... I really appreciate your
sharing!

bernie levine
 
Posts: 43 | Location: Cincinnati, Ohio USA | Registered: October 04, 2005
IHC Life Member
posted
I use a Fuji S9600 - which will focus very close indeed, to about 1 cm - at which point it is impossible to take a picture because the camera casts a shadow on the subject !

Anyway a good versatile camera which can use cheap Compact Flash memory cards and regular size AA batteries.

Dan.
 
Posts: 423 | Location: West Walton, United Kingdom | Registered: November 16, 2005
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The Canon S400 should be available "used" for under $100.00 and (again) is very easy to download into this site's very restricted picture density. It works best (as all do) with natural sunlight. These pics I took (hand-held, but minitripod helps in macro w no flash) right next to my computer minutes ago in Flourescent lighting. Most important is that each image is well below 100k bytes, and therefore easily loadable to Chap. 185 stie

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
A large Elgin Pocket

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
An older Waltham Gilded

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The Seiko Movement at 28 kBytes (I accidently "mirror imaged it while cropping this one) Roll Eyes

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
Picture of Donald Evans
posted
There is no bad advice given here. The web sites are great with plenty of good clues. I have been trying to take pictures that just come near some I have seen posted. I have made a discovery that will help after you decide which camera to get. After being spurred to look into which camera I should trade for to get good macros, I decided to get my Canon SD300 Digital ELPH book out. No matter what camera you get, you'll never get the most out of it unless you take the time to "READ THE MANUAL"! I honestly feel I have a new camera. Thanks for starting this thread. It's just another good thing about 185.

Don Evans
 
Posts: 18 | Location: Willis, Texas in the USA | Registered: April 05, 2008
IHC Life Member
Moderator
Picture of Donald Trumble
posted
All these are excellent points, maybe the best one of all being when Donald Evans realized he did not need a new camera but only needed to "READ THE MANUAL" for his existing camera! Smile Most digital cameras have a macro setting, often a little flower on the screen, but it must be selected in order to function.

There is an IHC185 Forum titled "How to Photograph Your Watches and Clocks" with helpful information and related links. So, look into that and yes "READ THE MANUAL" for your camera!

Don
 
Posts: 504 | Location: Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: April 02, 2005
IHC Member 179
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Harold Visser
posted
I've been using an old, now obsolete Nikon Cool Pix 995, it's only 4.2 pixels, but has a great macro setting, I can go as close as 3/4 inch. here is a shot of an Accutron I just sold on Ebay
Harold

 
Posts: 352 | Location: Scottsdale, Arizona USA | Registered: November 25, 2002
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