July 26th, 2003

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

We're thinking of buying a digital camera, with a good optical zoom (my husband needs to be able to take clear, detailed closeups of plant leaves and stems for his work presentations), and not too pricey (we had a look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72, but it was $499 and hubby doesn't like the way it zooms). Does anybody out there have recommendations (or warnings) to share?
A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

Wow! Some unexpectedly great comments on the last post. Jennifer and Adrian, I really appreciate it!

For more detail: my husband is an agricultural biologist, and so he needs a digital camera to take pictures of blight, cysts, etc. that affect soybean crops, so that he can pop these pics into Powerpoint presentations to show to his audience while lecturing on the subject. For instance, recently he was trying to photograph some small nodules on the stem of a plant -- they were about the size of the head of a pin and therefore visible to the naked eye, but our regular film camera (which is not a professional model, but does have a macro and a super macro feature) couldn't seem to capture the detail and the pics turned out blurry. The Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera that we looked at a couple of days ago had a macro feature and 3x optical zoom which I thought would be sufficient to handle the required level of detail, but when hubby moved the camera closer than 10 cm from the object he was photographing, it began to blur and he gave up.

Personally I think that as long as you can take the picture within 10 cm distance it should be perfectly fine, because with a 3.2 megapixel camera on macro mode and using 3x optical zoom, the pic will be high-quality enough that you should be able to zero in on the detail you want later using Photoshop. Hubby is not so sure about that, however.

For me, I'd just be happy with a decent digital camera to take family photos suitable for e-mailing and making icons, and I suppose occasionally printing out if they're that good (though I'd have to have that professionally done -- our printer is an old HP LaserJet 5L and does black and white only). Neither one of us are professional photographers, and if there are any fancy things to be done with cropping, altering colours, red-eye reduction, etc., I'd rather do that in Photoshop than on the camera itself, so we don't really require a lot of bells and whistles in that area.

Anyway, if there are any more thoughts or comments on this, they'd be welcomed.