Jewelry photography camera under $350

can someone name a decent, inexpensive (under 350.00) camera with
the right macro and white balance features for good jewelry photos
with a light box?

You may not need a light box but I have a “Dyno-lite” micro camera I
got from ebay and it’s Very Cool! I believe Stuller setting carries
them also but try ebay 1st. You can zoom in up to 200 X’s and you
can capture pictures on your computer with it. You can also run video
on it it and store it also!

Check it out!
Steve Cowan Arista Designs

can someone name a decent, inexpensive (under 350.00) camera with
the right macro and white balance features for good jewelry photos
with a light box? 

Many find that the Dinolite USB microscope cameras fit the bill very
well. Not only for general jewery photgraphy but for quick and easy
documentation of broken prongs, chipped stones, diamond inclusions,
etc at the reapir take-in counter.


Hi Steve,

I’ve been selling the Dinolite cameras for almost three years, with
a 100% success rate! I am also the ONLY re-seller offering
accessories specifically for jewelers, based on my 2 decades of
experience in jewelry retail.

I also offer special pricing to Orchid Members that cannot be
advertised due to agreements with the North American distributor. I
have the lowest prices, period, and still give a further discount to
Orchid members but they have to tell me they are a member!

Not only that, but every purchaser gets free lifetime support from
me, including photography help based on 45 years of small product
photography experience. No other vendor can match that!

Wayne Emery
The Gemcutter

I don’t have a camera recommendation, but (assuming you’re going
digital) there’s one accessory I can’t live without, the Eye-Fi
card. It replaces the sd card in the camera, and transmits your
pictures, within seconds, over a wireless network to your computer
and/or internet site. If you don’t already have a wireless network in
your house, you can add a wireless router for under $30, and the
Eye-Fi cards start at about $50. is their website, and
they’re sold through a bunch of major retailers.

The reason I love it is that I can’t really see if the picture is
website-quality on the tiny little screen on my camera, I need to
look at it blown up on my computer screen, and I don’t want to
unscrew the camera from the CloudDome, trek to the other end of the
house, and fire up the upload utility, for every single shot, not
when I can park the netbook next to the CloudDome and find out right
away if I need to change the lights, or pick off another cat hair,
LOL, and try again.

Usual disclaimers, although I am planning to find out if I can buy
stock in the company!

1 Like

Hey Wayne,

I have a few questions about the 411T.

Will it work on a Mac? I have several photo editing software

What is your pricing for Orchid members?

Russo Urban Design

My company just purchased a Canon G10, specifically for macro
shooting jewelry in a light box. For “set it and forget it” macro and
WB, it is pretty great. You can probably find a used one on Ebay for
about that price. Canon no longer makes this model, so you will have
to buy it used/refurbished somewhere. My understanding is that the
macro feature on this camera is pretty good for a point and shoot.
Otherwise, you get into SLR’s and changing lenses. Lots of stuff in
the archives about this, lots of jewelers seem to like the Nikon
Coolpix for macro capabilities.

Holly Sabia
American Medical ID

1 Like
can someone name a decent, inexpensive (under 350.00) camera with
the right macro and white balance features for good jewelry photos
with a light box? 

I have been using my camera for at least 5 years, and I love it–
and you can still buy it, for FAR less than I paid! It is a Nikon
Coolpix 995, and you can get it for a couple hundred now.

If you want to see the pictures, look at any of my articles for Art
Jewelry or Lapidary Journal. I take all my process shots with it. It
takes beautiful shots with great resolution (they can be blown up
large) and I use all the automatic settings.

Disadvantages-- it is heavy and large, so you cannot put it in a
shirt pocket. The battery doesn’t hold a charge long, whether in use
or not, so I have two, plus a cord that allows me to power it from an
outlet. You cannot recharge the battery in the camera.

Advantages, other than the beautiful pictures-- the rotating
split-body design allows me to see the screen from any angle, so the
camera can be above or below me. I can even rotate the body 180
degrees so I can do self-portraits. The screen is hard to see in
sunshine (but it also has a view finder, though it is less accurate).

It has a good zoom, and can focus up close enough to shoot rings and
individual stones.

I love it!

I have one of these from Wayne, works great and very easy to use…
Get it, you will be pleased.


Noel, I have an earlier version the 950. I think the only difference
is that mine doesn’t have a timer.

It’s a great camera. It was about $900 when I bought it. I also have
a Canon SD 870 IS. If I want quality I go to the Nikon 950.

Camera makers have found ways to reduce the price of their products
to the detriment of quality.

For those trying to decide on a camera, ask yourself how are they
able to make camera for so much less.


I’m wondering how these work for larger pieces like necklaces, cuff
bracelets, etc.


same questions, same platform… (although i don’t think OS matters).

i also use nikon gear…the 950 is great for macro…i use a milk
glass lamp shade for light dispersion. i also have a close-up kit for
a d200.

I have an earlier version the 950. I think the only difference is
that mine doesn't have a timer. 

I also have the 950 since 2000. Also cost me a purse and a tooth back
then. But is has taken in excess of 30,000 pictures. I also don’t
treat it very nicely, but it just does not stop. Lies on my
workbench, got overspray from a spray tin, scuff marks and all Quite
amazing, I must say.

Cheers, Hans Meevis

I second Noels comments on the Nikon coolpix 950. I have this one
also the Nikon coolpix 4500 is great also. Both are a little scarce
to find now as most people who use them purely for macro hang on to
them as they are a quality camera with a great lens and very true to
color images. Even has video / movie on the 4500.

I keep both of mine even though I have a Nikon coolpix 8800 which is
also great but its lens gets in the way when you want to get up
really close for small stones.

That is when the 950 and the 4500 comes into their own.

If you are buying one second hand, get the seller to send you an
image taken with the lense cap on and then you can see if there are
any dead pixels in it.

If you get the image back blow it up in your photo software and
check for any red or green or clear spots, they are sometimes called
hots spots. If it has one or two and they aren’t in the centre of the
screen you can use it regardless as you most likely will crop the
image anyway.

There are a lot of professional photographers out there who love
these cameras and will recommend them to people as a quality and very
reasonable priced camera.

The only other thing that can go wrong with them is the focus motor
that sometimes fails.

There are quite a few of the Nikon coolpix series for sale on ebay
but try and get the seller to send you an image of the camera
switched on and the lense extended by the telescopic button.

Good luck if you get one of these you will love it. Great for taking
close ups of flowers and insects, the close ups of flowers is great
to use if you are a carver or making wax carvings for jewellery.

Christine in the Ridge. Lovely autumn days.

Living outside the U.S. is a problem for someone who would want to
try or buy this camera. Its an older style and available used in the
U.S. but certainly not elsewhere. Does any one know which of the more
recent Nikons have good close up properties?

Sharron who hopes to buy a new camera this summer in Singapore but
doesn’t know which one is best


You may not need a light box but I have a "Dyno-lite" micro camera
I got from ebay and it's Very Cool! I believe Stuller setting
carries them also but try ebay 1st.

You are correct we do carry. If you like to see some images. Let me
know and I can e-mail them to you…

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
800-877-7777 Ext. 4194 or 4191

I don’t know about $350 American. I bought a Cannon G10 18 months
ago and have found it excellent for jewellery photography. It has now
been superseded by the G11, fewer MPS. but with a swivel screen. I
should imagine you could get a G10 second hand, it has white
balance, day / tungsten and everything you will need. +RAW See my
website. No company connections just a happy snapper!


I’ve used a Nikon Coolpix 4300 for jewelry photography for several
years, and recently bought a 10 megapixil Olympus 1010, in part
because of the good reviews about its macro capabilities. I was not
impressed. It’s fine for general photography, but the Nikon’s lens
and macro focusing system are far superior, even several years old.
Its only problem is the very small viewscreen. Given it to do over
again, I’d stick with Nikon.

Janet Kofoed

I use a Nikon D70 with either a 105 or 60 mm micro Nikkor lens for
my jewelry photography. The body can be found on E-bay at a
reasonable price, about 1/10 of its original list price. For any web
images 6.1 MP is fine. The DX size sensor is much larger than the
sensor in point and shoot digital cameras.

To all that answered the jewelry photography question - thank you. I
did not post the orginal question buthave been frustrated with this
for 2 years and asking myself why is this so hard. I had a decent
camera with super macro setting 12mp and the picture would be in
focus but have a lot of other problems (color mostly.)Saturday I
bougt a Nixon L110 Coolpix brand new from BestBuy for 259$. I did
not want to buy it fromebay (could have some $$) because if I had the
same results I was having for the past 2 years with my old carmera I
was going to return it the same day. Had beautiful pictures right
out of the box in a couple minutes. I did not spend hours trying to
fix them up on my computer. Theyare just good right from the camera.
I took 430 photos yesterday. All without banging my head against the
wall. None of these picturesare posted to my website yet. Some are
on my etsy site if you care to look. They photos with the new camera
have white background and will be new listings from after 4/18 (the
first pictures that come up anyway.)So Thanks. I was doing a happy
happy joy joy dance!! Finally.:slight_smile: