[Photography] Sony Mavica

A short while back there was much discussion about digital
cameras and which ones many of the Orchid members used. I have
read them all and have even seen one or two cameras, and have
decided to look further into the Sony Mavica. Would any of you
Mavica users be willing to email some of your jewelry pictures
to me off list so I might see the clarity and resolution in
order to help with my buying decision? I would appreciate it
very much.


Hi Trudy,

I’m still new to orchid and missed the discussion on digital
cameras. I would of course loved to have been there, as I am a
professional photographer who questions the value of digital
photography as a tool for artists. The resolution and flexibility
aren’t there yet. Unless you are producing volumes of catalogue
shots or posting images directly on the net (which has yet to
prove itself a viable venue for selling art) why not just shoot
slides and buy a good slide scanner? Even the cost of having
slides (transparencies) scanned professionally is so cheap
compared to the converse of having digital images turned into
slides. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value in the
immediacy of the image making, as well as the ability to directly
download and manipulate images and when the time comes that my
clients needs are best served with digital images, that’s what
I’ll produce. However, the craft industry for the time being,
anyway, still seems geared to traditional imaging materials,
slides (for juried competitions, exhibitions, gallery and
workshop presentations) along with black and white prints for
local press releases. I talk to a lot of artists about marketing
and promotional materials and have yet to hear of fortunes being
made on the internet and very few do catalogues. So, my question,
out of curiosity, is why digital over conventional, at this

Just curious, no agenda.

Hap Sakwa


I used to own a fine/custom jewelry store and have some old
stock I am preparing to offer on e-Bay. I am telling you this
because my brother-in-law recently took some pics for me with
his Sony Mavica. I will be happy to forward a couple of shots
to you for your viewing. It will be some time next week before
I can get to it.


Trudy, Hi, I have been using my Sony Mavica to photograph each
item in our store since November of last year. I take the
diskette full of photo files, touch them up a little on
Photoshop, and copy them over to THE Jewele program from IBIS.
Just recently I started developing my web site for the store, and
have decided that I just don’t like the detail of the Sony. Its
low resolution is ideal for inventory control, and also the
internet in general, but not for Jewelry display on the
internet. Luckily Sony has come out with a new Mavica with better
resolution. If it’s for E-bay and you can solve the flash
reflection problem on high polish, well I say go for it. If your
use was for a website and your company image was at stake (sorry
about the pun) then I would go a different route. The great
benefit of the Mavica is the ease of the Diskette from camera to
A Drive. Good luck with E-bay I have sold many items and think
it is a great sales vehicle.

Harley Groff
GIA Diamonds and Diamond Grading Certificate
Working towards Graduated Gemologist Status

Barbara’s Treasure Chest
Fine Custom Jewelry
5005 Colleyville Blvd.
Suite 180
Colleyville, Texas 76034

Hi Trudy.

You will find two pictures taken with the Mavica FD91 at
artsights.com - artsights Resources and Information. . In fact all of the
pictures taken on that web page were taken with the FD91. But,
you need to ask yourself what you intend to do with the images.
If they are for the web then I believe the FD91 is your best
choice. For me the FD91 is great because I design web pages for
myself, other jewelers and businesses. I don’t need to shoot a
whole roll of film and wait for it to be developed. The FD91
will also produce short movies for the web.

If you plan to spend less than $1000.00 on a digital camera and
you need good quality prints larger than 4" x 3" then the FD91
is not for you. You might want to consider the Nikon CoolPix 950
which will produce up to 6.25" x 4.7" good quality prints.

If you need large prints and also require images for the web but
don’t have a scanner you might consider using a print film
camera and have the processor copy the images to a Kodak or
Flash Pix CD.

George Hebner

hi hap, i can take very good photos of everything but my silver
jewelry, i have bought a closeup lens, and still the pictures do
not come out. i have tried all the suggestions in books and on
line and bad bad pics., in the long run i can take great pictures
with a digital camera, and delete the ones that i do not like,
also time and money in the long run is less. jill

Andrew and Jill Morrison
2197 N. Allen Avenue
Altadena, California 91001

ph (626)798-6588
FAX (626)791-0263
e’mail @A_J_Morrison

Hi Hap,

I think you answered the question yourself. In my book, one of
the main reasons the digital camera is used is the convenience
of the thing. There’s no need to take the film for developing &
finishing. A number of different shot set ups can be made & the
results can be seen immediately. Also, many times the results
are going to be used on the net or with some other computer
application & the reproduction qualities aren’t as rigorous as
those required for photo work.

I suppose it also has some appeal because it’s the latest &
greatest (?) techno toy.


Hap, I’m very glad to see you on this list!

As a big Sony Mavica fan, I think I can answer your question as
to why people are exploring digital vs. traditional cameras.

I still advise people who wish to use images in print or slide
format to use film. Why then to use digital cameras?

In two words: cost and time.

I can take hundreds of images digitally in the time it would take
to shoot and process a roll of film, and it will cost far less.
I’ve seen digital cameras used with a great deal of success by ad
agencies who can now mock up a layout quickly, and only shoot
what is approved by the client.

Photo-diaries. Using a digital camera gives one the freedom to
take more pictures than one might with a film camera, and opens
possibilities to taking more pictures.

I like my Mavica a great deal. Actually, I love it. The macro
setting on it allows me to get within 1/2 inch! With the
resulting images (using the FD7) at 640x480 pixels, it gives me
enough leeway to reduce the image size sufficiently to give the
illusion of good resolution.



I agree with most of your post however,  the net is becoming a

venue for selling craft items and some people are starting to
make good money from it. While no craft artist is doing business
like a Amazon.com or other Etailer there are some of us who are
using it to successfully sell our work. I am making more this
year selling my work on the net than I ever did in any two years
selling at ACE and Rosen shows. Many of the low end digital
cameras are toys but in the middle to upper end consumer cameras
there are some good ones. I use a Nikon 900S digital camera to
make images to post on my site. For this kind of thing I think
the digital camera is invaluable. Being able to take an image
and put it on my site in less than an hour is impossible to
match with a conventional camera.

I would not take my own jury slides or slides for catalog or

other advertising work but for the net I think my digital photos
are good enough to to do what is needed. Film, processing and
scanning costs will pay for a $1000 digital camera in only 33
rolls of slide film. As for a slide scanner good ones cost
twice as much as a reasonably good digital camera and you still
have to pay for the film processing.


James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601

HI: I do silver and find many problems with the reflections, to
solve this I built a box of white diffuse plastic and made an
adjustable table inside to raise and lower the object into
proper size in the photo. If I still have problems I then freeze
the object after setting the shot and place it in the box and
snap quick! I have heard there is a spray that reduces glare but
have been unable to find a source yet! you can control the light
outside the box for the best photo. Have a nice day and God
Bless. Ringman John Henry

PS>I still have agate for sale and am almost ready to start the
process of organising the mass.

someone could probably do a great thesis on the motivation
behind the names corporations give their products: mavica (at
least it wasn’t ‘monica’! or maybe it was …?) this is about
trial & error of photographing silver on different backgrounds:
white just about reduces the glare to nothing. i drop the
exposure back a couple of notches before shooting everything &,
if necessary, beef it back up a little with enhancing. works for
me - even though the dark backgrounds are more dramatic it’s a
lot better that the viewers see the subject than just be
impressed with the dramatic contrast of ‘something glarey on
something black.’ but we are shopping for a monic -uh, for a
mavica because while the fuji digi-cam is perfect for colors
(especially spectrolite & labradorite!!!) it doesn’t have the
right stuff for close-ups needed for gemstones & my work; so
pretty soon the only fuji here will be my bike. the major
drawback with the mavica is the lack of an ac/dc adapter. ive

Nikon Coolpix 950 Everybody is talking about the Mavica, but my
research leads me to the Nikon Coolpix 950. It has 2.1
megapixels, 1600x1200 and lots of features. It is more pricey,
but gets good reviews from users. I want something for both web
and print uses and this seems to be the best for under $1500. I
am told that for photos that are printed at 300 dpi, up to about
4 inches, this will do the job. Any feedback?


Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street . Suite 900
San Francisco . California . 94960 . USA
tel: 415 . 391 . 4179
fax: 415 . 391 . 7570
email: alan@revereacademy.com
web site: http://www. revereacademy.com


I wound up on the fence between the Coolpix and the
Olympus C-2000 Zoom 2.1MP Digital Camera, and after wavering
back and forth for a while, I finally bought the C2000 last week. I’m going to be in your design class
in August, so I’ll bring the camera with me and we can compare
notes. Have you actually bought the Nikon yet?

I’m pretty impressed with the C2000; the only down side is it’s
a skimpy “kit” as purchased – I needed to add an ac adapter,
close-up lens kit, batteries and charger, more memory cards, etc.
I’m mostly using it for pictures of stones at the moment, and
found I needed the close-up lens to make stones fill the image.
For jewelry, I think the built-in macro mode would do fine. That
was the toughest call between it and the Nikon; IIRC the Nikon
close-focus is about 3 cm? The Olympus won’t get closer than 8
cm. in macro. But with the close-up kit (I got the Raynox with
2X and 4X multi-element lenses), it works great. I can run the
main lens in telephoto mode and get enough working distance to
make lighting easier than if I was right on top of the subject.

See you in August–


Bob Edwards
Chromis Designs

Hi Alan.

As far as I can find the Nikon COOLPIX P950 is rated head and
shoulders above all other digital cameras that sell for under
$1000.00 and some that cost a great deal more. Like anything else
in the digital world, wait a few days and there will be a
something better. There is a good review of 14 cameras in the
latest Macworld. Go to http://www.macworld.com and select
“reviews” The “Mavica” is not one of those 14. The Mavica does
have some strong points but mega pixels is not one of them. The
Mavica will allow you to change the white balance under different
lighting conditions and you can set the camera for aperture or
shutter priority. Great for tungsten lighting conditions. Also,
the Mavica will produce an uncompressed BMP image and will record
sound as well as movies. The movie feature might come in handy if
you wanted to explain some metal technique on your web sight. The
Mavica manual does describe an AC adapter slot on the camera but
I have found no mention of an AC adapter in their accessory list.
A feature that would save money if you were doing a lot of studio
picture taking. I’m not pushing the Mavica. In fact, if the
Coolpix was around when I purchased my Mavica my decision might
have been different. What I am trying to point out is that there
are more things to consider than mega pixels. It would be nice if
there was a matrix of capabilities verse cameras so that a buyer
could determine the best camera for his or her needs.

George Hebner

I just finished extensive research on digital cameras and the
Nikon Cool pix 950 came our firmly on top. In addition to high
resolution, it has one of the best macro settings on the market
(that’s for doing extreme close-ups) I just bought one for
about $810 over the net. Look at the following websites for
more info.


Tom Kruskal

Has anyone on the list used the Nikon E3/E3s, Nikon’s
professional digital camera? With all the talk about the Sony
Mavica, I’m ust curious. The E3/E3s is a TTL camera with
interchangable lenses. It is expensive. I’m hoping the this
technology gets better and less expensive soon.

I shoot slides and scan them with a Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart Scanner.
This has been working well. I can get a much higher
resolution than possible at this time with a digital camera.
About 25 megs compared to about 1.4 megs per image.

Timothy A. Hansen

TAH Handcrafted Jewelry

The Mavica FD91 has a few features that make it very attractive.
Has a fast lens, image stabilizer, Super wide optical zoom, very
close macro focus, and floppy storage. It has a small charge
coupled array chip by competative standards today which restricts
the maximum resolution compared to comptetive systems without the
other features. For internet use it is unsurpassed at the price. I
think it will be upgraded shortly with a bigger chip to keep the
market advantage. They seem to be selling everyone they make
with backorders so there is no immediate market pressure on them
but they can upgrade the model and they probably will or
discontinue it totaly.

They have upgraded the smaller version to the FD88 at almost the
same price with 1.3 meg resolution and a wider zoom range. Some
of the digitals are awkward to hold steady due to the light
weight viewfinder position and shutter release. The image
stabilizer in the FD91 helps with this problem. The best ones are
expensive. Think how difficult it is to come up with a product
name that is original, catchy, short, not someone elses property,
prononcible in most languages, And presentable in all languages.

Hi Alan and all,

At the beginning of this exchange I jumped right in made a few
points, asked a few questions and got a lot of answers.

Timing is everything! Well, OK maybe not everything, but in this
instance something.

What I learned most importantly was that digital cameras are one
of the useful tools artists have for promoting their work
effectively in certain situations. Thanks to all for the
feedback. And Trudi, I hope you got something out of this too.

As for the timing part. On news stands, at this very moment, is
a very good article in the current issue of Popular Photography
on the subject of digital cameras. Not exactly a camera by camera
review but, it does go into some detail, the pros and cons and
features one might look for in a digital camera producing high
resolution print quality images.

I read the entire article in Safeway, while my brick-hard quart
of ice cream had a chance to thaw.


 I talk to a lot of artists about marketing and promotional
materials and have yet to hear of fortunes being made on the
internet and very few do catalogues. So, my question, out of
curiosity, is why digital over conventional, at this time? .

My two cents:

Aside from the technical aspects of a good slide versus digital
(which you can adjust the image electronically both during the
photo shoot as well as after (on the computer) and the immediacy
of digital), the real question brought out by Hap is why bother
with the internet and can you make a fortune there?

I don’t know about making a fortune but the internet does
provide the potential for any retailer, or artist, to have the
equivalent of a store located on Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills,
Park Avenue in Manhattan, as well as Main Street in Anytown,
Anywhere in the World.

Maybe the reason most people don’t make a lot of money on the
internet is that they are buried with all the other sites on the
internet. Anyone who does a search for anything and has seen
1,234,675 hits returned knows exactly what I am talking about.

I think you need to find a marketing combine… just like
farmers used to do, and maybe still do, with their co-ops to get
better deals and better prices.

Bill Freda

anyone have opinion about the olympus d400z versus the COOLPIX 900 ? Andrew and Jill Morrison 2197 N. Allen Avenue Altadena,
California 91001

ph (626)798-6588
FAX (626)791-0263
e’mail @A_J_Morrison