Macro pictures with common point & shoot cameras

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by atferrari, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. atferrari

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Thinking of taking macro pictures with a common point & shoot digital camera, my questions:

    A) What are your personal suggestions to get the best pictures (more details / zoom).

    B) I recall reading a suggestion combining a magnifier with the camera. Anything I could try? My attempts on this regard have always failed.

    C) Using the best daylight instead of a poor illumination inside, always works better. Can anyone say why? Shutter speed related?

    D) Been suggested to use the maximum possible of megapixels the camera can do. My tests with 2 and 8 Mp gave what I believe are equivalent results.

    Edit to add:

    My camera has macro mode.

    /Edit
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    1) Light. Lots of it.
    2) Tripod.

    Another thing I like to use in Macro mode is the timer. This way I don't actually touch anything on the camera when the picture is taken.

    Full shot.
    pic1.jpg

    Zoomed in.
    [​IMG]

    Close in Macro. P star is Spanish code for 1945, when the pistol was test fired, required by Spanish law. The other two proofs are also from the test firing.
    pic3.jpg

    Close in Macro. Spanish Airforce ownership mark.
    pic4.jpg



    All taken with old Nikon CoolPix 5400.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
    atferrari likes this.
  3. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    I'll try to remember to check the exact model I have but my answer was to get another camera. Stalking these forums I noticed a particularly good phots of a circuit, so I asked the camera. It was a Nikon or Cannon CoolPix camera, then and now obsolete but that just meant I was able to find it used for cheap; with a charger (not in the box as promised damnit) my total damage was about 30 bucks USD.

    Even holding by hand it makes incredibly detailed close ups.

    Hopefully tonight I will remember this post and edit for the exact model, and add a sample pic or two.
     
  4. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I have had very acceptable results with my Fuji S602Z FinePix with digital and optical zoom with two macro positions, my first digital camera after retiring my old Pentax SLR.
    Max.
     
  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I second the ideas of, tripod and shutter release timer. This allows you to get very clear photos. Once taken with maximum resolution, you can zoom into the area of the photo of interest and it is still clear. The low res version will start pixelating sooner.

    Make sure the camera indicates you are in the focal range. Move back and get in focus (macro mode) is better than being too close where the camera cannot focus - then crop and zoom as needed.

    If you have a stand alien camera, Nikon and Canon seem to have the best close image capability. IPhone 4 and above, Samsung galaxy 4S (only experience) have very good macro modes too.
     
  6. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    I have an older rather simple cannon digital camera, after hunting through the menus, I found the macro mode. it wasnt advertised as a camera with macro, but it works real well. a good sharp zoom.
     
  7. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Lots of light is good because camera shake is magnified in macro mode, you need to make the camera use a fast shutter speed (unless using a tripod). Ring lights are quite nice and easy enough to make like this one:
    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/t...onstant-current-led-driver.39303/#post-252081
    Don't trust the autofocus, often it will pick the wrong spot. I often press the button halfway down which locks the focus on most cameras and then move the camera until I can see on the viewfinder that the bit I'm aiming for is in focus.
    May as well use the highest resolution available - a lot of cameras don't have a good enough lens to merit the number of megapixels they have, but photoshop does at least as good a job of scaling them down as the camera itself. I've seen 16 Megapixel cameras with such bad lenses they are only capturing about 2 megapixels of detail, the rest is just noise and blur.
     
  8. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Found it. Nikon Coolpix 4200. Amazon has some used for sale. Chargers and batterys can be found cheap on EBay.

    Here's a sample, handheld camera under the lamp on my desk:


    [​IMG]
     
    debe likes this.
  9. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
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    I use the same camera ErnieM. Picked it up at a garage sale for $5, & use it for close up pics of electronic stuf using Macro.
     
  10. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    You can use CD/DVD lens for taking close up pictures of solder joints on SMD parts.Just tape it on cellphone/smartphone camera.
     
  11. djsfantasi

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    Apr 11, 2010
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    You can use lenses from laser pointers on cell phones, too.
     
  12. shteii01

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    Feb 19, 2010
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    Now you guys are getting into duct tape territory.
     
  13. shteii01

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    If I understand correctly Nikon and Fuji are pretty much the same camera, mayb a little different cosmetically. Nikon calls their's CoolPix, Fuji calls their's FinePix.
     
  14. KM Photography

    New Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    If you would like to get good pictures, here's the best thing to do. No tripod needed, no long shutter times. Set aperture to around 11 - 13, set iso 400, set shutter time to 200. Get as close to the circuit as possible with flash on, zoom as close as your camera will allow. Take picture. You'll get results like this, of course I'm using a Nikon D3300 but even the most basic point and shoot has a manual setting. DSC_0218.jpg DSC_0217.jpg DSC_0212.jpg
     
  15. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    lol
    Is your lense equal or greater in price than your camera?

    I do want to pick up a used Nikon D300 one of these days.
     
  16. KM Photography

    New Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Actually the lens is cheaper than the camera. It's the 18-55mm VR2 Nikon lens, I believe it was $200. The camera was $400. I am planning on getting me a 300mm lens that is over $400 here very soon. However, that lens isn't a very good macro lens.
     
  17. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    A hires flatbed scanner can also give good results, at least on PCBs.
     
  18. KM Photography

    New Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Just remember these things. When indoors (which when you're working on electronics you usually are indoors) ALWAYS use a flash. So there isn't over exposure you'll have to set the camera to manual or "M". Even basic point and shoot cameras have these. Each camera is different, but here are some basics, your shutter time shouldn't be any less than 120. 200 is ideal, aperture should be around 11-13 the larger the aperture number the darker the picture. ISO should be around 400, the lower the ISO number the darker the picture. You may have to play with these settings a bit to get a good picture, but this will enable you to take good pictures, without having to setup a tripod and worry about camera movement.
     
  19. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    In my opinion Fuji are nowhere near as good as Nikon for the same price camera. I've tested a lot of Fuji cameras and the low end ones are pretty terrible. Low end Nikons are not great either. By the time you get to about 150 GBP (probably $150 because we tend to pay over the odds) they are OK, but you can get a better Nikon for that price. I recently got a Pentax MX-1, and for the price the image quality and features are impressive. You can pick up a Pentax Q10 even cheaper which is a fun little camera, pretty decent quality.
    Here's one from the MX-1: For the camera nerds F2.8, ISO 100, 1/400 sec Focal length 12mm (56mm equivalent) 1/1.7 inch sensor
    You should be able to click on it to make it bigger.
    IMGP0080ed.JPG
     
  20. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I got my Fuji on sale when they first came out in 2002, I believe the street price at that time was around $800, some of the features are Macro and Super Macro, ISO sensitivity can be adjusted to as high as ISO 1,600, and the shutter speeds, depending on mode, run from 15 seconds to 1/10,000 second.
    Zoom is 6X optical and 4X digital, the CCD has 3.1-million effective pixels (which translates into 6 megapixels, due to an unusual honeycomb pattern and excellent interpolation).
    The one draw back is on the Movie feature, the zoom has to be preset before operation.
    It got good reviews at the time when I was looking, one reason why I picked it, there were some increased features in the next couple of models.
    Max.
     
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