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[Again] Digital camera

Hi everyone, I plan to finally buy a digital camera. My birthday is
coming up in May & I am tired of paying for film when I am an awful
photographer. I have been using a scanner to record my jewelry, but
that has serious limitations. I do not intend to do my own shooting
for slides or show quality work but do want a good, clear
representation for myself. I know I will still need to go to a
professional for special work. I have some requirements/limitations
about what I want and am asking for some succinct advice (I get
overwhelmed pretty easily about stuff like this) about your

easy to use, little fussing
for photos of jewelry AND for vacation snapshots
good battery life & storage medium
easy upload to computer
relatively lightweight
good zoom
around 5 megapixels
can do good closeup (macro) shots for recording and possibly show
have already ruled out Nikon; can get special pricing on Sony,
Panasonic, & Pioneer but an not limiting myself to them
under $500

You can respond offline to or online if you

Thanks for all the advice and conversation I hear in the group. I
post sometimes but lurk a lot.

Esta Jo Schifter
Shifting Metal
Phila PA

Is this a thinly veiled hint for everyone to pitch in and get you a
camera for your birthday?

I’ve seen many posts about using a professional and digital cameras.
In 1997, I started to sell cloches (glass) on eBay. I am not a
photographer. However, when it comes to digital photos, a tripod,
and placing items in different types of light until I found what
worked best made my photos wonderful.

I recently had a professional photographer take photos of my
jewelry, it was a friend, and it was free. I had to retake
everything. I’m still a horrible traditional photographer, but if I
can us a tripod to position the and keep the camera still, and find
a place that gives me the light I want, I can take digital photos
that look great on the Internet.

Hello fellow orchidians! For anyone wanting to buy a new or used
digital camera, there is an essential web site to consult on the
subject: . You will find reviews on every
single camera existing on the market (or that once existed), pros and
cons on digital cameras vs “standard” cameras, how-tos for buyers and
users, tutorials, a unique “Comparometer” that allows you to compare
different cameras (alas the name), etc. To make a long story short,
it’s the Ganoksin for digital cameras. Have fun!

Benoit Hamel, still waiting for spring to show up…

I have been thrilled with my Canon EOS digital, bought second hand
for $600. SLR (look through the lens) , changeable lenses, all the
settings to keep an amateur happy (auto focus, exposure and F stop)
or manually set all of the previous and ASA film speed (yes the
digital mimics ASA) and much more. Since its standard lenses fancy
filters are easy. Some of these have been published in Professional
Jeweler, AJM and on the cover of the new MJSA safety book and our
website photography is now mostly from the Canon. Takes all the EOS
lenses including close up Macro. Could not be happier re-awoke my
photographic tendencies.

Daniel Ballard


My first post to the list. :slight_smile:

Two very, very good sites on digital camera’s: They also have links
to find the best prices.

I bought the Olympus 5060 widezoom. I think it qualifies for all
your wishes. It retails for around $900, but I found it online for
under $500. I’m very impressed with it. I’ve had other digital
camera’s and this one is the best so far. A quick test on my jewelry,
just hand-held wielded quite acceptable photo’s. I imagine tri-pod,
good background and good lighting will be even better.

Quick tests:

Good Luck,
Leslie Nicole

My eyes are blurry from reading ganoksin postings regarding digital
cameras. I have also been researching digital camera sites.
Because of the overwhelming support from the Nikon Coolpix users, I
think I am going to take the plunge. I want to shoot my jewelry and
have my images made into slides for jurying into craft shows and
national metalsmithing shows. My question is - is it worth it to
buy the top of line coolpix 8700 or will the 4500 allow for the
clarity needed to get into shows? (There is a $500 difference in
price, which is why I ask) I am willing to spend the money if there
is significant difference in slide quality. As I have never had
slides made from digital images, I am also interested in companies
with good reps for slide production. has been
recommended to me. I’m going to wait to purchase until I hear from
you all-thanks in advance! Chelsea Stone

Try the Nikon Coolpix 5400. Available from J&R in NY for under
$425–does a great job and doesn’t have all of the sophisticated
features of the 8700 if you don’t need them.



I definitely recommend the Nikon coolpix 8700 (I own it myself) It
will give you much better images, especially up close. If you go to
a website called <> you should be able to find the
8700 for only $650.00 or so. It’s a great price for this camera,
and I got it in the mail in only two days.

Best of luck,

If you want to get on digital cameras, the place to go
is <> they are not sellers - they test and
review digital cameras - there are hundreds of them tested and

Glenn Vaughn

Another link - try

Awesome website. You can learn a lot from it whether pro or rank

I have bought two digicams both after reading reviews on this
website and I have had no problem with either!!


hello all, I plan on opening a web page and selling small jewelry
items on e-bay. I have an old “1 megapixel, no focus, dig camera”,
which I am retiring because closeup shots of small items to show
detail cannot be obtained. I need some advice on minimum
requirments of megapixel and zoom capabilities to assist in new
purchase of digital camera. 2.0 megs with a 3x zoom can be had for
under $100.00 nowdays. I don’t want to waste my money on something
that won’t do me or my customers justice. I need input on what will
do a very nice job…thanx

If you can find a Nikon Coolpix 950 on ebay you will be very
satisfied with your images. I have seen them sell for about $150.

If you want your images to be accessible to people who have a dial
up connection to the internet, you will use only a fraction of 2
megapixels. You will need to resample the camera’s image to make it
small enough to download quickly. The thing you really need in a
camera is a macro lens capability.

Download and learn Gimp 2 (google for it, it’s free.) to message your
images. For webpages it’s as powerful as photoshop. Expect to
spend a few hours getting up to speed. Download the docs!

I have a couple of articles on my site that may be of some help:


The resolution (Megapixels) in a digital camera count far less than
its’ optics do. For web pages, anything more than 72 DPI is wasted

My first digital camera was a Nikon Coolpix 900, back when they were
$999 US. The macro capabilities were simply incredible. When it fell
off a coffee table and broke, I replaced it with a Kodak DC4800 with
3.2 Megapixels, a higher resolution than the old Coolpix 900. That
was a big mistake.

The Kodak makes decent photos, but close-up macro (necessary for
jewelry and gem photos) is somewhat lacking. It’ll take decent
photos, but the sharpness just isn’t as good as the old Nikon.

I noticed in last Sunday’s newspapers that the going price for a
Nikon Coolpix 4800 (at 4 Megapixels) is $399, or around $200 less
than I paid for the Kodak two years ago. On-line deals are probably
even better. This camera’s optics are about the best you can find at
the price and is probably the best buy for the money. I wonder how
much the price tag will drop here in the US after Thanksgiving?

Another consideration could be a used Coolpix, but I wouldn’t trust
eBay for used electronics. Some camera stores may have used
digitals. If you have pawn shops in your area, those can also be

James in SoFl

I second James McMurray on the Nikon Coolpix 950. A nice little
workhorse for macros with white balancing that works well and good
to excellent optics.

Judy in Kansas

Ebay has the coolpix 950 for less than 150.00 it is a great price.
I paid almost 1000.00 for mine years ago and I still love it. Here are
a few links.

Ebay links removed

James McMurray

A couple of years ago I was reading that the Nikon Coolpix 900 was a
very good digital camera for taking close up jewelry photos. I’m
looking for a used camera at a reasonable price and what I’m seeing
listed are Nikon Coolpix 950 and also many other Nikon Coolpix with
numbers like 3100, 3200, 4100 etc. I don’t see a 900. Any advice you
can give me would be appreciated. I don’t need a high priced camera
to take beautiful quality pictures, just something capable of good
quality jewelry close ups. I’ve read here that Canon makes
acceptable quality cameras. I’m asking for any specifics you can
give me to guide me. Thank you!!



I use a Nikon Coolpix 4500 which a purchased about 3 years ago. I
used to take pictures with a Camedia before that. If memory serves
me it is a Cannon. Both are good, as long as you have a good macro
lens. The Nikon does a lot more. But what I really found out is
that the lighting used is almost as important as the camera itself.
After much trial and error, I found this website: The lighting they sell is fantastic. I
am not affiliated with them in any way. Just a happy customer.
They are very helpful and the products are great. Actually, I found
them through Their books are
really good too. Again, not affiliated, just a happy customer.

Hope this helps you at least as much as it helped me!

Best wishes,
Vera Battemarco

Hi Annette,

I have a Nikon Coolpix 995 which I use to take photos of my beadwork
jewelry, and I’m very happy with it. At the time I bought it, which
was about three years ago +/- it was the top of the line Coolpix -
and I think it replaced the 900. So it may be that the 900 is no
longer available - you can probably check it out at Nikon’s website.
Nikon makes the best optics (IMHO) in cameras - and has been the
leader in that area for a long time. As with everything else the
technology changes quickly and what’s available today at a lesser
price is often as good as what was available in the recent past for
more money.

In regard to buying a used camera - be careful. I would only buy from
a reliable source - preferably a dealer who will stand behind the
camera. Cameras are easily abused, they are relatively delicate
instruments and expensive to repair. Beware of buying a “pig in a
poke” , if it turns out to be a lemon - you will have spent your
money and end up with something that won’t serve you - which could be
a very expensive lesson. Your money might better be spent paying a
photographer to take the pictures - or buying a new camera and taking
care of it.

There are two types of cameras: Single Lens Reflex (SLR’s) which are
the best - when you look through the viewer of a SLR you seen what
you are going to get because you are actually looking through the
lens. These are the most expensive. The other type are view-finder
cameras in which the view-finder is a separate entity from the lens
and with these cameras the view finder is off center from the lens so
that what you see is slightly offset from what you get as is the
resulting picture. These cameras are less expensive than the SLR’s.
You can get what you want with a view-finder camera if you understand
this offsetting problem which is called parallax, and learn to
compensate for it.

That said - it would pay to educate yourself - go to camera shops and
ask which models will serve your needs. and fit your pocketbook. Take
a piece of jewelry with you and try them out if you can - although
for photographing jewelry it’s best to use a tripod and it may be
asking a lot to set it up in a store. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Also if you buy from a reliable camera shop they should be willing to
help you learn how to get the most out of your equipment. You’ll pay
a little more - but the education and service may be well worth it.

Good luck!

Any digital camera that you buy new now probably wasn’t even
available a few months ago. I bought a Nikon D70 last fall, it is a
wonderful SLR, it is being replaced by the D70s. We still use 35mm
film cameras in the studio. Until the purchase of the D70, I was
convinced digital cameras still had a ways to go to produce images
that compare to tight grained film. While the coolpix cameras are
very nice, an SLR is much more adaptable, due to interchangeable
lenses. I still use the viewfinder more than the LCD screen.

While on the camera subject, I switched from a typical tripod to the
Benbow because it is much more versatile. The legs adjust in a very
different way from a standard tripod, allowing the camera to be above
the subject.

Rick Hamilton