Digital cam for gem pics

I’m looking to move to using a digital cam for taking pictures of
mounted and unmounted jewelry for advertising and web use. Any
sugestions on models/features to look for? I have a Redwing light
tent that I’ve used with my non digital SLR, so I just need to figure
out the cam.

I also need to be able to give a reasonable view of the clarity of
the stone over the web.

Thanks for any advice.

    I'm looking to move to using a digital cam for taking pictures
of mounted and unmounted jewelry for advertising and web use.  

G’day; you need a camera which will allow you make close-ups within
6 inches from the work. The camera should be capable of reasonably
high definition; not less than 3 megapixels, and you take the picture
at the highest definition. This will give you a huge picture on the
screen at ‘normal viewing’, so that you can crop it as necessary,
then resize it to whatever you want, and do what enhancement is
REALLY necessary. The Nikon Coolpix is excellent. For making prints
buy the best glossy photo printing paper you can get, (“Celcast”
brand is good) and use the highest print definition of which your
printer is capable. Store your image in a loss-less format; I find
PNG is good ; JPEG is ‘lossy’ But if sending pictures by email, make
a copy in JPEG format, and resize. Save a copy to your desktop.
Single RIGHT click will give a dialogue box; click on ‘properties’;
You will find the size in Kbytes. Anything over 150 Kb’s will annoy
the recipient by taking a while to download. Especially after 3.30
in the afternoon when the kids are home and firing up the computer
games, searching for porn and otherwise overloading the servers and
phone connections. – Cheers for now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ

You may want to consider the Nikon Coolpix series. We use the 995,
however there is a new one called the 5000 out that you might want
to check into.

We are in the process of rephotographing all of our faceted stones
with the 995 and are happy with the results. We were also very
happy with the way the Holley Blue and Blue chalcedony pictures
turned out as those cabochon colors had been very difficult to

Diane Sadel

jeff! i recently purchased a Canon S330 on amazon for $400. it is
FABULOUS! it takes great pictures, is small and handy, and relatively
inexspensive. i did fins after driving all over town price comparing,
that had the best prices, including rebates on some
cameras and special deals. like i got a free picture card that holds
50 pics instead of the regular card that holds 12 that comes with the
camera. good luck and have fun when you get a camera! you will love
it! joanna gollberg

Just bought a Nikon 775 it is 2 megapixels and has an excellent
macro feature, from memory down to about an inch. Picture quality is
excellent worth looking at. Huge battery life as well. Regards Alan

I borrowed a Sony DSC-505 over the past year and was VERY impressed.
It has a Carl Zeiss lens and macro ability that is awesome! On a
splurge, I just bought the newest model of it, the Sony DSC-F707 and
it has an additive macro lens; pics are 5 megs but it is amazing.
This camera is $1000 at BestBuy but I got it from for $800 (but with memory sticks, extra
battery, macro lens, uv filter, I spent $1200 – chose not to deal
with “gray” market places that sell the camera for $600 but an
additional $200 gets you the accessories and warranty that come with
it from Sony – down with scammers!). It’s a lot of money but it
will last me a long time – I can’t imagine justifying a new camera
purchase over the next 3 years. I’ve found that retouching/cropping
pictures is so time consuming that it’s worth my time to do whatever
it takes to be able to take “perfect” pictures that don’t need
cropping and lighting adjustment. To reduce the resolution for the
web, I created a PhotoShop macro to handle it – I just point to the
directory and it does all the work. I have a non-jewelry full-time
job (UI design) and want to spend my “jewelry time” making stuff!

Good luck!


You may want to take a few other things into consideration. What do
you want to do with the pictures? Are they for print and
enlarging? Then you need a higher mega pixel camera. If you are
going to post to the web, then a lower mega pixel camera will do.
The more mega pixel the image, the longer it takes to load in email
or web page. Remember us poor folks that use dial up access to the
web that is soooo slow.

You may also want to spend some money on software to improve your
pictures. There are plenty of options in this area. You can get
programs from almost free to several hundred dollars. Many of the
computer magazines do comparisons and they can be accessed from
their website archives. PC Computing has a monthly top ten guide
and includes cameras. I have no affiliation with any of these

Steve Ramsdell

Hi. I have been using a Sony Mavica FD91 for a couple years now. It
is the closest thing to my 35mm that I could find at the time I
bought it and that I could afford. It has a great lens system, and
will accept 52mm filters and in my case, close-up screw on lens. I
like the floppy disk storage, It makes for a cheep media and is
fairly fast on uploading to the system. The resolution is not the
best for printed photos, but for web work, it gives you all you need
and then some.

It does have one draw back though. They didn’t see fit to allow for
a cable release. I haven’t found any repair shop willing to tackle
the task of installing one either. So, the shooting goes a little
slower, I have to use the timer to get the shots shake free. One
other thing that would be nice is to have a viedo out to the
computer so you could actually snap the shot from the PC vs the
camera. My first digital, a Cannon Power shot had this feature and
I liked it other than all of the print garbage around the edges,
You could still get a good clean shot of your object though and with
using the PC screen to focus, you got a much better focus, the first


Elizabeth -

I too bought the Sony DSC-F707 about 6 months ago, and after some
time learning how to use it - I can say that I am really impressed
with the quality of the photos - especially when I got to using the
additional lenses (although I still haven’t figured out the panoramic
thing). I’m sure the quality of my photos will get even better as I
continue to learn the all of its capabilities. It is definitely as
close to the quality of a “regular” camera as you can get in the
"reasonably priced" digital world. Way overkill for the 'net, but
great resolution for printed material.

Ivy in Oakland.