The camera I have has a 14x OPTICAL zoom. I have found that the less
you zoom in, the better the quality of the photo. I’ve seen this in
more than one camera. Digital zoom has always given me disappointing
results…like those you speak of.
I get better pictures when I don’t zoom in and just get closer to
the object iself. With a macro lense, you can really get close
without zooming. Most of the cameras do an excellent job with auto
focus, so I always use that.
Lighting is going to be the other biggie. I like to take diamonds in
daylight…outdoors. The very best would be midday with cloud cover
so there is diffused, indirect, natural light. You can set up a photo
shoot with reflectors (foamcore) to reduce shadows and concentrate
the light for the best color. Move your shooting platform around to
get the sparkle you want. Platinum or white gold is going to come out
best because digital cams seem to be most happy when they shoot grey
tones. Gold will tend to want to shift the color balance to more red
or green. If you are shooting gold, try putting a small card of photo
grey paper off to the side so the camera can balance itself on that.
You can crop it out later. When I process the photo, I can highlight
just the stone and reduce the saturation to almost nill to remove the
unwanted colors in the stone and make it look more like it does in
The other trick I do is to always reduce the shot at least 20%. That
makes the pictures look much crisper in every case (for me).
I could give you some tips on indoor shots if you tell me what your
use for lighting and set up.