Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

Thread: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

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  1. #1
    Member Timewaster's Avatar
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    Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    Hi photogs! I've been collecting timepieces for a long time, but have never had a decent camera to take shots of them. I'd like to change that in the near future. So I need some advice on a decent digital camera. Here's kind of what I'm looking for:

    ~Something decent; not cheap, but not break-the-bank expensive either. If it comes down to a choice one way or the other, I'd rather go more in the direction of inexpensive than expensive.

    ~The main purpose will be for the hobby (watches), so taking "micro shots" (or whatever you call them) of watches will be my primary intended use.

    ~I would like to use it for other things too (e.g., photos of kids, vacations, holidays, traveling, etc.), so I don't want it to be great for micro shots, but worthless for anything else.

    ~It needs to be fairly user friendly. I know NOTHING about photography. Nothing. I am a fairly technically inclined person, but a photography noob nonetheless. So it doesn't need to be idiot-proof, but does need to be something that I can work with without the need to call people who are experts for advice all the time.

    ~I would give a price range, but since I have no idea how that even factors in, I'll just stick with what I said above. I want a good balance between cost and quality (don't we all?!).

    Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

    Regards,
    -Jeff
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  2. #2
    Member Konrad's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    Given what you state in your post, I'd begin here

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/howto.htm

    before you buy any camera.

    Then I'd look for "Canon's point-and-shoot Digital ELPH Cameras" at Canon USA

    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...categoryid=113

    and check prices at amazon or a local store. Several choices under 300.USD

    The setting you refer to is "macro", I use it for my watch images along with "auto" exposure settings, but I shoot for illustration rather than perfect images. Look up my name and you'll find images I've posted on WUS, most all are images from a three year old Canon SD700IS. Processing is via iPhoto '08.

    Konrad.



    Quote Originally Posted by Timewaster View Post
    Hi photogs! I've been collecting timepieces for a long time, but have never had a decent camera to take shots of them. I'd like to change that in the near future. So I need some advice on a decent digital camera. Here's kind of what I'm looking for:

    ~Something decent; not cheap, but not break-the-bank expensive either. If it comes down to a choice one way or the other, I'd rather go more in the direction of inexpensive than expensive.

    ~The main purpose will be for the hobby (watches), so taking "micro shots" (or whatever you call them) of watches will be my primary intended use.

    ~I would like to use it for other things too (e.g., photos of kids, vacations, holidays, traveling, etc.), so I don't want it to be great for micro shots, but worthless for anything else.

    ~It needs to be fairly user friendly. I know NOTHING about photography. Nothing. I am a fairly technically inclined person, but a photography noob nonetheless. So it doesn't need to be idiot-proof, but does need to be something that I can work with without the need to call people who are experts for advice all the time.

    ~I would give a price range, but since I have no idea how that even factors in, I'll just stick with what I said above. I want a good balance between cost and quality (don't we all?!).

    Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

    Regards,
    -Jeff
    .

    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions."

    -- GK Chesterton

  3. #3

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    Re: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    For an all around camera including shots of your collection, the more megapixels you can afford the better quality the pictures will be. There are several companies that provide this criteria, but two of the most popular are Canon and Nikon. Depending on what you calssify as "for other use" will depend on what features you consider more important to you.

    Currently I have a Canon PowerShot, can't remember model number, 8 MP with 4x zoom. The higher the zoom the better, but to some people it's not that important. If you're wanting to take pics of your children at a park, or you want to take some landscape pictures of your vacation, the higher zoom will come in handy.

    Bottom line is, it's what you prefer. Some people like Fords, some like Chevys. There is no right or wrong answer. Do research first to find out what your needs are before shelling out your money. This wil lsave you time and money.

    Good luck in your search and be sure to share your pics with us!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    This is my first post on these forums; I'm a pro photographer and new to watch collecting. I answer the 'what camera should I get?' question a few times a month from family and friends.

    As mentioned above, Ken Rockwell has a pretty good site. Another informative site with vast user forums is http://www.dpreview.com/ Camera people often break into brand camps so you can expect the usual verbal back and forth between the Nikon and Canon fanboys and others.

    As to specific cameras, I shoot Nikon DSLRs and have invested a small fortune in lenses, camera bodies, tripods and lighting. When I want a good point and shoot I use the Canon G10 and Panasonic LX3. Unless you plan to spend over $1500 I would recommend the Canon G10 or soon-to-be released G11. They are very robust units in the point and shoot class and the image quality is excellent. The G10 is a full featured camera with good optics, user friendly menus, simple control layout and a camera you won't soon outgrow as you become a better photographer and want to start moving the mode dial away from the 'Auto' setting. It has more than 14mega-pixels so the images have excellent resolution.

    If you want a DSLR then Canon or Nikon will give you the best options for expanding your lens collection. One of the primary reasons for choosing a DSLR is the ability to change lenses. Good lenses are not cheap; they can cost as much or exceed the DSLR body. There are a few good inexpensive lenses for macro, such as the Tamron 90mm f2.8 but even that is over $450 on Amazon.

    My recommendation would be to start with a good point and shoot. You will always get good use from it even if in the future you decide to go the DSLR route. Read the reviews on DP review and avoid online dealers whose prices are far under the average of Amazon, Adorama or B&H photo (all three are reputable)

    Regards, Graham

  6. #5
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    Re: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    For the affordable but reliable and good features, I'd recommend the higher end Canon point-and-shoot cameras. If you were looking for a DSLR there'd be more considerations, but the compact camera market is definitely dominated by Canon.

  7. #6
    Member boswell's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on a decent camera for watches and general use

    I have a few different cameras, but at the moment I'm using the Panasonic Lumix FZ30 and an FZ50 - excellent all round cameras I've found.
    Very easy to use - press the shutter on "auto" most of the time. Good size screen on the back which can swivel etc. Huge optical zoom of 430mm (there is only one lens for this and it's built in to the camera) and the FZ50 (newer model) can focus pretty close without attachments or extra lenses etc. It is also tough as old boots - doesn't need a case, simply click off the lens hood, turn it around, click it back on - it protects the lens then stick a lens cap on and there you have it. Costs around the £200 mark - now I imagine possibly cheaper.

    This is the FZ50 - taken with the FZ30 as it happens.



    This shot was taken with the older FZ30 -



    And I used a simple very cheap light tent as shown for this watch picture -



    Available on Ebay at very cheap prices - and I mean cheap.

    Have fun.... Oh the camera is used heavily on holiday for wildlife, general use etc - never go anywhere without it.

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