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Thread: Macro shots with a 4 meg camera

  1. #9
    rattler's Avatar
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    what camera yah using Jim?
    cervid serial killer
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  2. #10
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Kodak Easyshare C713

  3. #11
    rattler's Avatar
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    i pmed yah a couple tips for better photos...........
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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  4. #12
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I have never used anything other than my Nikon coolpix 990 which is only 3.2 megpixel. Which is plenty for our purposes posting photos that are 1000 x 800 or so pixels in dimension. Any modern digital camera will have way more than that now so it is no longer an issue. It really boils down to the camera's quality in lenses and ability to focus sharply in a wide range of distances. What led me to the Nikon was it's ability to focus down to about a cm. Since I don't have very powerful zoom lenses the only way to get a good shot of a very tiny subject is to get very close. Which leads to it's own set of challenges in proper lighting. Equally important is the photographers ability to control lighting and adjust primarily shutter speed and depth of field to still produce a crisp photo and have sharp focus, and as much of the subject in focus as possible. Focus itself should not really be an issue if the camera is autofocusing. Unlike a good SLR viewfinder with a split image I find the lcd on a digital camera incapable of really showing how well the subject is in focus so generally let the camera autofocus and don't mess with manual focus. It can be a challenge at times to get the camera to focus on the correct subject but this is only a minor nusance.

    Most problems I see with photos are either insuficient depth of field, focus not on the subject, or improper lighting.
    All of Steve's photos have excellent focus. IE it is focused sharply.
    They all have excellent depth of field. IE the whole subject is in focus.
    The lighting is crisp and dramatic but not overdone.

    Do you use a flash Steve? I prefer natural lighting particularly when doing macros since I don't have a ring flash and the camera flash is way overpowering. I find it will also cause alot of glare on Nep. pitchers at a distance.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #13
    rattler's Avatar
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    i agree Tony, megapixals are WAY over rated for most pictures for the web......i crop everything at 72dpi for the web so even though the cameras i use are 10MP i really dont need it for the web.....do need it for some of the other stuff i do though....

    i also firmly agree with the rest of your post......one of the things i pmed Jim about is to NEVER use the digital zoom on the camera, stick within the optical zoom range....all digital zoom is, is the cameras computer cropping the image.......you can do a much better job via Photoshop or GIMP or any of those.....and get a much crisper picture.......as for ring lights.....i dont have one....but what you can use if your on a budget and are doing indoor pictures in a controlled setting is to get a couple of book lights that are easily positionable and use those to illuminate your subject from a couple angles at once.....they will be cheaper than any true photography light setup and do just about as good of a job for up close macro pictures
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
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  6. #14
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments everybody.

    I do not know if others feel that $200-$250 is an inexpensive camera. I have to remember that I'm into photography and spending $800-$1200 for a camera every few years is common for me.

    Anyway at the $200-$250 price range you should be able to pick up a very nice camera. One thing I always look for in a "point and shoot" camera is the macro along with being able to make adjustments, ie shutter speed, f-stop, etc.

    I set the camera to macro mode. Set the camera to manual, forget the Auto setting for macros. I set the F-stop for the highest setting it will go. The higher F-stop gives you greater Depth of Field (DoF). I was surprised that the camera only went to F-8. Then I set the shutter speed and shoot the picture firing the flash.
    A lot of times shooting that close to the subject you will overexpose the picture with the flash. I had the shutter speed set to 1/5000 of a second which was the fastest I could set it. Still some shots where overexposed. So I took a piece of white paper and placed it over the flash. At times I even double the thickness. This will diffuse the flash and help so that you do not overexposed your shot.


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  7. #15
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Scott,
    Your shots are looking better.


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  8. #16
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Hmm interesting technique Steve. I will have to fiddle with some shots like that. Looks like my Nikon will go to f8.6 but only 1/1000 shutter. Some quick test shots here at the desk with the flash on and those settings look promising though. I could try a little piece of paper in front of the flash too. I think that might help reduce some of the harsh shadow you get with a flash sometimes. Something I am not a fan of. Sheridans idea of a little led booklight might be nice. Anyone know if that would affect the color balance though?

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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