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[again] Sony vs Nikon


All, I just re read the thread on Sony Mavica vs. Nikon coolpix. Iam
about to buy one or the other.The one feature that is holding me back
is the flash card wich seems to be a pain.They have on the info sheet
@ buy .com 4,8 and 64meg cards at different prices. Iam interested in
any info the flash cards.Are they as easy to use as a floppy?When you
are out and about are you limited by the amount of flash cards you
own?I picture myself on a trip abroad running around looking for a
place to buy new flash cards.I like the cool pix resolution and
intend to use it for photographing my work but would also use it for
trips and other shots.Also,I just got back from the Denver Gem and
Mineral show.Would like to hear what others who went thought of the
show and hear about what treasures were found.

(in drizzly Colorado)
J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio


My advise is to go with the Nikon coolpix 950. I used the Sony Mavica
88 its macro has a lot to be desired. To get specs about the Nikon
go to . This camera
was editors choice in the September issue of Mac world and was
compared to a $14,500.00 camera. After trying digital cameras from
several company’s I too found the Coolpic was the right choice for
me. …Hope this helps

Robert Grey Kaylor
R. Grey Jewelry Gallery Inc.
818 W. Idaho St.
Boise Idaho 83702
(208) 385-9337


I have been a photographer for about 35 years and owned a lot of
different cameras. For the purpose of shooting small objects for
reproduction on the net or in printed publications, I do not believe
there is a better camera then the Sony mvc-fd91, for two basic reasons
the use of the floppy drive is nice, but most importantly is the
ability to shoot in any light and get color balance. There are ways to
balance the light to the camera, but it is infinitely easier to let
the camera do that for you and you can concentrate on more important
items. I love the resolution of the Nikon but don’t think that out
ways the advantages of the Sony for the purpose which I use it. If you
plan to print large reproduction photos from it you may want to
consider another system. Ernie Phelps


We have owned a coolpix 900 for over a year. The camera is provided
with a 4M flashcard which permits immediate use but is admittedly of
small capacity.

We have purchased a 40M flashcard and have no difficulty with memory
on weekend trip or more. On a recent session of shooting my work in
fine resolution, I had more than 70 images before filling the card.
And if necessary, you can delete “less than hoped for” images and free
up memory.

The capacity at normal resolution (more than adequate for scenery,
people, etc.) saves substantial memory and the basic mode (which may
be adequate for some situations – not reproduction or printing) uses
approximately 1/4 the capacity that the same image in fine mode
requires. Normal is the default mode. Changing the quality at which
you record a picture affects the amount of data compression but
doesn’t change the image resolution (1280 x 960 pixels)

As for the floppies, we have no experience beyond hearing from others
(a brother and work associates) that the storage per disk is small
which translates into a lot of disks for a lot of pictures.

We kept the 4M card for backup but having never needed it, gave it to
our son who bought a coolpix after seeing how neat ours is.



Robert, Re the Coolpix- do you find that you can get as close as you
need with the basic lens, or do you use close-up lenses (filters)
attached? Thanks, Brian Charles


Dear Friends, I have heard from another jeweler, that the use of a
flat bed scanner can produce an image of very high quality, which
then can be printed by a high dpi printer through a commercial
source. I haven’t been able to get any more specifics than that.
Can anyone add to this thread? Any is more than I
presently have! I very much like the idea of not having to learn
photography in order to compile documentation of my work! Susan in


The coolpix 950 will pull in to .08" so I find it to be more than I
need for photos at Macro range.


Hi Susan I use a Flat Bed Scanner for all of the Pictures of my
jewelry. The scanner I use is Hewlett Packard 4100c and I print the
image with my Deskjet 722c The pichures are better than anything that
you will get with a camera. The resolution is much higher. You can
also use your magnifiying glass on your computer to get a really good
look. You can also e-mail the scans to customers (I will e-mail you
one of my scans) I made my own catalog like this using Word97. It
looks really great. If you have any more questions about this I am at Best Regards
Susan Chastain


Susan, I commonly use an ordinary xerox copier to document special
pieces or make a record of work sent to a gallery. If you have
access to a color copier, the results are almost photographic! I
place the pieces on the glass (where the paper original would go) and
cover (surround) them with a doubled piece of white flannel to block
out extraneous light. (The gentle folds of fabric make an attractive
background too.) Lower the cover if necessary and make your copy.
Of course, you now have a picture on paper, not in your computer’s
memory. It seems reasonable that using the same technique on a
scanner would make that transition to electronic memory. Take some
jewelry and the white cloth to an electronics store selling scanners
and experiment. You won’t even kill a tree for paper. Good luck

Judy M. Willingham, Consumer Pollution Prevention Specialist 237
Seaton Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506
(785)532-5418 FAX (785) 532-6944



If you are thinking of using a flat bed scanner as a substitute for a
camera, DON’T. The results will be less than desirable at best. I
have tried it. First you will be limited to placing your jewelry
upside down on the bed of the scanner. Since most jewelry is three
dimensional this is a problem. Imagine trying to balance a piece of
jewelry in a desired position and close the scanner cover. You then
need to keep light from getting in around the jewelry to facilitate an
even scan. This can be done, somewhat, using a white cloth as a
backing. Years ago I worked for a small jewelry company that made
their catalog using a similar process with a black and white photo
copier. Trust me on this one, don’t do it.

I would recommend that you learn how to use a camera or have someone
else do it for you.

I normally take 35 mm slides and scan them with a slide scanner for
my on-line catalog. My logic for using slides is that I need them
anyway for applying to art shows. If I had a digital camera, I would
still need to take slides.

Sometimes I use the flat bed scanner to scan a print.

Timothy A. Hansen

TAH Handcrafted Jewelry
E-Mail: @Timothy_A_Hansen

 Dear Friends, I have heard from another jeweler, that the use of a
flat bed scanner can produce an image of very high quality, which
then can be printed by a high dpi printer through a commercial
source.  I haven't been able to get any more specifics than that.
Can anyone add to this thread? Any is more than I
presently have! I very much like the idea of not having to learn
photography in order to compile documentation of my work! Susan in

I’ve been using a flatbed scanner while I decide what to do about a
digital camera. It works very well for some things, not as well for
others. The light source is linear and directional, sweeping from top
to bottom of the image, and that can create some problems with
highlights and reflections, especially on pieces with flat shiny
surfaces. The best results I’ve had are with cast, dimensional
pieces, with lots of texture.

The pieces must be placed face down on the scanner and covered with a
suitable background. Often the best way to do this is to adhere the
piece to a sheet of card stock or heavy paper with tacky putty. Rings
are a real problem, and I usually support them with “schmoos” of the
same tacky putty. The schmoos can be retouched out in Photoshop.

All in all, it works quite well, but I’d still rather have a digital


Yes, this is true but a flatbed scanner being flat and very
inflexible (and not very portable either), you will soon see that many
items won’t work well with it such as a ring with stones that stick
out or most anything that is not very flat.


Dear Susan: In addition to my Sony MVC-FD91 I have a HP 6200C flat bed
scanner, which I have used to produce a lot of pictures for the net
and other publications. What I found with the scanner while it will
scan jewelry objects fine you will have an uncontrollable shadow from
the light source. If you can live with that you will get good results.


being new on this group I hesitate to jump in, but I read this to my
husband. His suggestion is instead of regular photos, or putting on
flatbed, use a video camera. Use tripod, and with lighting, and what
ever background you want to put jewelry pieces on

Initial required equipment:
video camera
video capture card: (will explain later)
and a computer.

Video capture card: gives you the capability to input video signal
directly to computer. Can buy at compusa or other computer store, and
they will install it, and ask to put in software too. Need just simple
card, not fancy stuff. About 100.00 for capture card, most come with
simple software. Talk to techs at the store.

If you want specific info, husband will give more specifics… (joe Casalino)

concept would be this: (he is dictating this to me) video tape the
object for about 3-5 secs in each view you desire. Then you play tape
into computer using the software that comes with the capture card, to
input the video. Each second = 30 frames of video. Using the software
you choose the frame or frames that best depict the object. Save the
choice as a Jpeg file on your hard drive. Then use the jpgs for the
photos…just like if you scanned the object.

That’s all folks…according to husband. I have just used the object
on flat bed scan for now. He hasn’t taught me how to do it yet.

Hope this is not a stupid post to the group.

miki casalino


Don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble but video cameras do great for
pictures in motion but when you isolate a still image you’re going to
get a very low quality image. That is unless you have one of those new
expensive digital video cameras…Dave

Crystalguy Jewelry, the first art jewelry site on the net
Featured in Lapidary Journal this month September!
Art jewelry with a mystic touch / Now accepting credit cards
Paddle Jewelry for River Addicts


If you have a late model video in regular Vhs, or the sony Hi C, the
resolution is quite acceptable. No, it is not as good as a slide made
into a photo. But even on a computer, there are only so many lines
that are available, and so doing a high tech resolution photo, will
not be as good as it is in person, when on a web site, or emailed. If
one is building a portfolio of work as a regular book. Then regular
photography would be the way to go. If you are putting things on a
website, or email, there is no need for such a high resolution


Dave and all, I actually have a digital video camera and wouldn’t
trade it for the world… I have the Gesswein Picture Perfect imaging
system… Yes a bit bit expensive but well worth the results… Not only
did I get the camera but a very powerful cataloguing and editing
software package… This system is well worth the money, not to
mention I don’t have to mess with any lighting aspects which means I
rarely get hot spots due to lighting… This system has its own light
box, specifically designed for jewelry photos… give it a look , well
worth the money…
Marc Williams


Hello Susan,

Flat bed scanners, much like cameras, are not created equally. There
are many different makes and not all are suitable for 3 dimensional
objects, in fact many of the really high priced ones are completely
useless for this purpose. Try out prospective models with a test
piece. I suggest something as simple as a ruler leaned against a 2 or
3 cm block to see how well focus/resolution is maintained with
distance from the bed.

Good looking pictures are not difficult to achieve but you will need
various props and holding devices such as beeswax, soldering tweezers
and third hand type holders, try to avoid laying any piece flat on the
bed, at best you will get a poor representation of your piece and at
worst you will get incorrect colours and spectrum flashing off
polished surfaces. In setting up your piece you can get a good idea of
your probable results by looking at the reflection in the glass bed.
Try to get no more than one corner of your piece touching the bed and
satisfying 3D representations can be achieved.

Always scan at the highest resolution your computer can comfortably
handle, and then reduce your finished picture to fit your
requirements. This will eliminate artifacting problems that occur
with low resolution scans. A variety of background drop cloths of
different colours and textures can be chosen to compliment your
design but I don’t recommend dark hues. This backdrop hides your
holding apparatus.

HTH Tony
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