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Photography: So which Nikon?


#1

Ok, you all have broken me down with the great pictures. I have to
relagate my Kodak DC210 to family and friends and buy a Nikon. Even
with a very good light box, I’m not getting near the sharpness/clarity
that y’all are getting. There seems to be less than a couple hundred
dollars difference between 950, 880, and 990 so, is there a clear
choice for closeup jewelry use? The 880 gets to 1.8" while the 900’s
get to 0.8". I haven’t seen any 880 jewelry examples yet. The only
advantage(?) that I see between the 950 & 990 is USB interface to PC
and that has nothing to do with jewelry.

Your comments appreciated.
Regis
@Regis_G


#2

Ok, you all have broken me down with the great pictures. I have to
relagate my Kodak DC210 to family and friends and buy a Nikon. Even
with a very good light box, I’m not getting near the
sharpness/clarity that y’all are getting. There seems to be less than
a couple hundred dollars difference between 950, 880, and 990 so, is
there a clear choice for closeup jewelry use? The 880 gets to 1.8"
while the 900’s get to 0.8". I haven’t seen any 880 jewelry examples
yet. The only advantage(?) that I see between the 950 & 990 is USB
interface to PC and that has nothing to do with jewelry.

Your comments appreciated.
Regis
@Regis_G


#3

Hi Regis. I use the Nikon 950. I had one photographer tell me that,
for close ups, the 950 was actually better than the 990. I don’t
remember why however. From my experience, don’t fall into the trap of
looking at how close does the camera focus. If you get down to an
eighth of an inch from your subject, you have a whole issue of how to
properly light the subject.

I wound up utilizing the macro focus and zoom capabilities. I keep
the camera 6 to 10 inches from the subject, use the built in flash,
and leave everything on automatic.

You can see samples at www.worldwidegemstones.net.

Lee LeFaivre
Worldwide Gemstones.


#4

I ended up getting the 950 totally because of my buget, though I
looked closely at the 990. Basically the differences are… The 990
can get you 3.1 mega pixals compared to the 2.1 of the 950. this
will translate in to your ability of printing a physically larger
image and keeping high resolution. I believe that the 950 can print
an 8x10 inch image at high res. ( which is fine for me at this time).
The 990 can also produce a short video. I think 30 seconds, which
the 950 can not. The major difference in improved design is in basic
functional utility is on the 990 nikon moved the power supply
attachment to to front of the camera. Still a bit awkward, but
nearly as clumbsy as the placement of the 950. Also, with the 990,
they moved the location of the flash card to the side. the location
of the 950 is on the bottom of the camera. Not a big deal if you are
hand holding the camera, but for product work using a tripod you have
to remove the camera from the tripod to remove the flash card. this
is time consuming and simply a stupid design element for a
prfessionally functional camera. One thing else to note is that I
have picked up on a PCI adapter for the flash card which is inserted
directly into my laptop and is read just like a hard drive and is
very quick to work with as compressed quicktime images.

good luck
jim


#5
    that y'all are getting. There seems to be less than a couple
hundred dollars difference between 950, 880, and 990 so, is there a
clear choice for closeup jewelry use?   The 880 gets to 1.8" while
the 900's get to 0.8".   I haven't seen any 880 jewelry examples
yet.   The only advantage(?) that I see between the 950 & 990 is USB
interface to PC and that has nothing to do with jewelry. 

If they are all in the same price range I would go with the 990. I
got a 950 in December because it was $300 cheaper than the 990. The
main difference is that the 990 is a 3.x megapixal and the 950 is a
2.x megapixel. The USB is a nice addition, but I do all my transfers
through a PCMCIA card or an external USB adapter. Both the 900’s
have more advanced features than the 800’s. I have found that the
spot metering on the 950 is the best for my images.

Some more info:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/ is one of the best resources I have
found. They have detailed reviews on most cameras and accessories.

I got four accessories at CKC Power http://ckcpower.com/ that I think
are a must.

  1. AC adapter (about $25) more than pays for itself. Works great in
    studio setup giving constant power without worrying about batteries
    running down.

  2. Battery charger - MH-C204F - charger, 4 1550 AA and car adapter
    for just $33.80. If you don’t always use AC power then get these.
    Most new cameras will eat alkaline batteries in a few hours.

  3. A remote shutter release cable bracket. This was needed for the
    900’s because there is no way to fit a remote release cable to the
    camera and for some stupid reason Nikon designed the macro function
    and timer on the same control. When shooting macro work on a tripod
    you really need to use a time delay or a remote release cable to
    avoid camera shake when you press the shutter release button. Many
    cameras have a time delay that is independent of other vital
    functions so you may not need a shutter release cable.

  4. 64MB Memory card. You will need at least a 32MB card to store a
    reasonable number of images. A full resolution TIFF file from a 2.x
    Megapixal camera is 6+ MB and most cameras only ship with a 8MB card.
    I use the next quality down and the images range from 700KB to 1MB
    each.

You will probably also want to get an adapter to help transfer the
card contents to your computer. Compact Flash cards can be inserted
into a PCMCIA or PC Card adapter ($10-$15) that can be read by
laptops and some desktops. This is what I use. I place the card
into my laptop and it is recognized as a removable hard drive. The
30-40MB of images transfer in under a minute. There are also Serial,
Parallel, and USB readers for Compact Flash cards. These would hook
up to a spare port on your computer and you can transfer the files
from the card. I recommend using USB if you have it available.

You can also use a cable to transfer directly from the camera to your
computer. A camera with USB built in is much quicker than a serial
connection. Direct transfers also drain batteries quickly. I don’t
like this method because I would have to bring the camera and AC
adapter in from the studio and plug it in to do the transfer instead
of just carrying the card. Dropping was the killer of my last
camera. I keep my new one securely on the tripod in the studio.

Cheers,

Paul Ewing
Shining Moon Creations
http://www.shiningmoon.com