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Digital cameras

John, Your request is to have the sent to you directly. I
am, as I’m sure others are, interested in this Technology
is increasing while prices are lowering. I have been going through the
archives and there is/was much interest in transferring our artwork
into electronic images. The use of cameras and scanners has been
brought up. Detail doesn’t seem to be a problem but accuracy of color

I am casting my vote [no I don’t live in Florida] to have the
shared via Orchid. If that is not practical, are you
willing to compile what you receive so we might obtain the results

Karla in So. California

I also would like to jump in and listen to this discussion. I
followed it the last time but was not ready to make a purchase. Now
all the cameras have changed with a lot more choices to make. How
important is macro capability? If you buy a higher end camera can
you get jury pictures with them? thanks Cass

All, I’m using the Nikon Coolpix 990. Great camera. I use it for gem
and jewelry photography. I uploaded a sample of my work to the Orchid
FTP site. There was no further digital retouching on this gemstone

Your Host

All, I’m not qualified to evaluate digital cameras, but I think you
might do well to look at the article in the current issue of PC
magazine ( Dec.) It evaluates the high end digitals and points out
that if you want the same versatility that conventional cameras have
( reflex view finding and lens interchangeability ) you are going to
have to pay several thousand dollars…Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA

It will be interesting to see how soon digital images and on line
applications for craft shows becomes the norm. Slides seem to still be
necessary- digital applications could open the door for virtual
designs to win show space- but the applicant would still have to
produce samples of pieces to sell at the show. Grain in photographic
film continues to get finer, so it continues to compete with digital
images. Some of the people who judge applicant material might be
biased in their view of virtual representations of crafts.
Who knows…

G’day you lot; I expected around 5 or so replies to my question about
recommendations for a digital camera - I have had 52 so far! So in
response to several folk who have asked to be informed about the
replies, I have arranged with Hanuman to be allowed to dump the lot
on Orchid (but I will edit out the personal stuff!) So, courage mes
enfants; le diable est morte! When the last is in. And I sayeth unto
thee, despite going almost clean round the bend, (Called Harpic here
and England) Cheers!

	John Burgess;   @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ 

Wow! Great picture; great stone. What are it’s dimensions? On my
screen is looks like about 4" by 1.5".

Hi All, I’ve been using a Mavica FD-88 for about a year now for
stones and jewelry and I love it. I have found the two most important
camera features for digital jewelry photography is macro capability
and manual focus.

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry

Hanuman, beautiful photo and gemstone! I am curious if the macro
capability of the 990 is sufficient for shooting smaller gemstones
and jewelry pieces which are finger ring size. How much of the normal
frame will a ring fill? Also, can you use a cable release with the 990
without any special attachments? Thanks, Bill Navran

** Hanuman’s Response **

I am using the Nikon Coolpix 990 without any add-ons. I can easily
teake a macro picture od a 3-4 mm stone. Follow Charles’ articles on
How to set up the lights etc. All the info is available on ganoksin.


Hi, The Nikon Coolpix 990 camera has a time delay feature. You set
everything up, set the 10 second timer and hold your breath until the
picture is taken. No need for a cable release! Karen

Hello John Burgess, I’m looking forward to your announcement of the
compilation and posting of all your responses about digital cameras.
Thank you for editing, etc. and thanks also to Hanuman/Dr. Aspler for
this wonderful forum. Judy in Kansas


I am assuming that all the photos at your web site were shot with the
FD-88. Is that correct? They appear to be quite good. You are very
satisfied with the camera? Any thing you dislike?

Thanks for the info.

Tim Glotzbach
Eastern Kentucky University

I have been using the 990 since September and really love it. The
autofocus is incredible and I use the time release for my macros -
press shutter once for 10 second delay and twice for a 3 second delay.
Can’t begin to say how great this camera is and I had a 900 before!

Pam Chott

Hi All I’m totally blown away by the clarity & crispness of this
digital picture. How many mega pixels does this camera have? What
were your lighting conditions? I have a Olympus 2020 zoom, 2.1 mega
pixels & have never gotten such clarity. Sorry I haven’t been
following this thread so I apologize in advance if you all have
already discussed this. Thanks Debbie

All, I just received my weekly edition of PC Magazine with an article
saying the 4 megapixel cameras have arrived! Obviously, these are all
pro level kits and the prices prove it. But these are SLRs with
interchangeable lenses and all and prices in the $3000 to $4000 level.
Point is…now that the 4’s are out…the older 3’s will get cheaper
over the next year! Guess I’ll just bide my time a bit longer to go

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegence IS fine jewelry!

Wow! Now that is an image, Hanuman - beautiful.

Okay y’all . . . question here. . . Has anyone had experience yet in
turning digital images into slides . . . how are the results? Are
they jurying quality?

At the time I picked a camera, I read through all the Orchid digital
info in the archives this past summer and did a major quick research
project. Used the comparison chart a LOT at the imaging resouce site: Read through their forum on feedback.
Read whatever I could manage to find online. And visited my neighbor
who is in advertising and uses the camera I ended up buying.

So, I settled for an Olympus c3000z - because of it’s lightness and
versatility for travel (am always thinking about that one!:slight_smile: and it’s
ease of operation. The newer model is the c3030z and so the 3000z was
coming down in price very quickly. It has high enough resolution and
I like the Olympus lens. I am premature in knowing how this Olympus
does on the close up very fine jewelry shots - but am going to dive
into a light box set up this December and could let you know later.
It has manual settings and lighting adjustments and the resolution is
definitely high enough for our needs. One thing I like is the
lightweight portability and the batteries last pretty decently. BUT -
I must warn you - I haven’t even read the manual and am NOT a
photographer. My husband used this camera for the Nov LJ "how
to"images for my article on the Ginkgo earrings. LJ said they were
great. I didn’t “tweak” them at all . . . because I didn’t know how
and also didn’t have time . . . they were due a few days after I got
the camera! All I did was quickly crop them in photoshop to a uniform
size and actually size down the resolution to email them to the
publication. The larger images in the article of my 2 pieces were by
a professional and they were also digital. He somehow added a digital
attachment to his giant workhorse camera that he has worked with for
many years - to convert it.

If anyone has any interest in this Olympus camera - I could look up
some info. My daughter is also using it to create a digital animated
movie for her university class and it also has the capacity to take
panoramic images . . . so, I love the versatility. My primary
interest was to document jewelry for a website and document work.
I’ll be extremely happy if I can get “professional” results after
building a light box for jewelry. That remains to be seen.
Otherwise, I will happily leave those images to the professionals!
But the “how to” images were shot with a tripod and a spotlight - a
very easy set up and I think there is great potential for decent
images of jewelry with the right lighting. Oh, one thing, we did set
up a monitor in the studio to view the “how to” images on a larger
screen at the time of the shoot - because the little viewfinder on the
camera did not give enough of an indication of the clarity of the
results. That helped a lot in adjusting the angle of the light etc.
at the time. And you can have instant replay to do the retake right
then and there . . . really amazing!

As far as the technology changing when we blink - I feel that if we
settle for a resolution and speed and ease of use that is plenty
adequate - then I don’t see any reason not to stay with that camera
for a good length of time - even as the newer and better technology
hits the market.

Have fun . . . it is a whole new world of photography - no
chemicals! I like dragging this camera around for documenting nature
forms and also to the kids recitals - it is great! This Olympus has a
short video feature that is fun for the more techie types in the
family (not me!).

The next in the running for purchase (from our research) was the
Nikon 950 - that was also coming down in price with the intro of the
990. I was moderately partial to the Olympus because I have had that
company’s cameras in the past and have had great longevity of use.
The Nikon and Sony Mavica are also excellent choices for sure. It is
also possible to add lenses to the Olympus c3000z down the line. I
did buy a UV lens filter protector - and leave that on permanently to
protect the glass lens from scratching.

It was a hard decision - but was really worth it in our case to pick
one that was so versatile and easy to use - not just a camera for
jewelry images. Anyone else have an Olympus digital? There has been
no mention of it in the Orchid archives that I could find.

Thanks ahead - I’m glad to see the digital discussion surface again.

I have had great success turning digital images into slides. I can’t
reme mber how the pictures were originally taken, but we took some of
the ima ges we had worked on in photoshop and burned them on a CD,
then sent them to an outfit in I think Salt Lake City that did an
excellent job rather quickly turning the files into 35mm slides.

    Okay y'all . . . question here. . . Has anyone had experience
yet in turning digital images into slides . . . how are the results?
 Are they jurying quality? 

Ok, here’s the deal on slides from digital. I have an Olympus D-400
Zoom which we bought so I could get decent pictures/slides for my
shows BUT what has ended up happening is that I use my HP scanner to
take pictures of my jewelry, then fix the picture with Adobe Photo
Delux Business Edition. Save it to a floppy disc and take it to a
photo place in Kalamazoo called Creative Visuals. They create the
slide from the floppy and the quality is like first generation.

Instead of physically taking them a floppy disk, they say I could
also send then the pic through email but I haven’t tried it yet. They
also have a website I’ve been quite happy with
their work and even did some long distance stuff with them when I was
in Quartzsite.

If I had it to do over, I would forget the camera and just go with
the scanner.


Cynthia, Glad to hear you are enjoying your new Olympus. I noticed
all of the notes about digital cameras yesterday but I haven’t read
through them all as I just subscribed to this forum the day before
yesterday & was quite suprised to get 65 e-mails yesterday! Although
I’m quite pleased I joined, this looks like a great forum. And not
having to be on-line while reading & replying is especially nice since
I have to pay per minute to be on-line (not in the US).

Anyway, I have an Olympus Camedia digital that I got last Christmas &
I am totally in love with it. We take it on vacations with us, as
it takes easy & great pics indoors & at night, and it’s invaluable for
my jewelry pics.

I am curious, though, what the lightbox setup is? I am always
searching for a better setup for taking my pictures. I currently have
a setup that someone suggested where my pieces are in sort of a tent,
done with a white sheet, where the light shines through the sheet to
give a soft lighting without glare, and the camera peeks through a
hole (set up on a tripod, using a remote release) in the front to
minimize reflections of you & your camera in the piece. It’s nice
because I have it set up on a moveable cart thing, so it’s out of the
way in a corner when I’m not using it, and the camera lives on the
tripod most of the time, also off in the corner, so it’s ready to go.
I had also heard of setting the piece on a piece of glass with the
light below, but then I get reflections on the glass that are
confusing in the picture. I like to use navy blue as my background,
and it looked terrible with a light below it when I put it on top of
the glass. Suggestions?

I would also be interested in learning about turning digital pics
into slides.

Designs by Lisa Gallagher

Lisa, I have found that the best background for silver jewelry - or
maybe even gold for that matter - is to use a neutral density grey -
if you want to get some really nice effects, put the neutral density
grey on the bottom and top it with a piece of plexi-glass (I set mine
up on wooden thread spools) and then put the jewelry on top of the
plexi-glass. This allows you to do two things - either photograph in
the tent or to light from underneath which can be very dramatic. But
the neutral density grey paper does not reflect light back. You can
use the paper alone without putting plexi-glass on top of it, but the
plexi-glass does not reflect light as intensely as glass will. But it
will mirror the jewelry somewhat adding a neat touch to your photos.
Something to play with.