View Full Version : Just bought a digital camera

10-13-2003, 11:45 PM
I just bought a Fuji S5000 camera for $338. I feel pretty good about it because I was researching the best auction price for a long time. Even today the best price was above $350 so when I saw a "buy it now" that was below the best going price I snapped on it. It looks to be a wonderful camera.

Any comments on what you like or dislike about your digital cameras would be very much appreciated.

Thank you all,


10-13-2003, 11:53 PM
I have a Nikon Coolpix 4300. It almost totally replaces film in my life. It is frekin amazing. The new cameras now are really good!

10-13-2003, 11:55 PM
Dunno, but I have a question....

I want one that can zoom in and get a good pic of something the size of a quarter, i,e, make a quarter mostly fill the picture.

NOT "digital zoom", though, that looks crummy in most cases.

Does yours fit the bill? You see any that did?

I find the sales people give me the "oh no, I got stuck with one of THEM" looks when I start asking.

10-14-2003, 12:08 AM
I do a lot of ebay so close focusing is important. It is really hard to find out about a cameras ability to do closeups as few people do that.

The best camera I have seen for doing closeups is the Sony Mavica series. I often take pictures of small proofmarks that I can't read so that I can look at the pictures and figure out what they are. It also isn't as sensative to movement as my Olmypus The ones that use 3.5 floppies can be had used on ebay for decent prices but the storage on a 3.5 is pretty small.

I also have an Olympuc little digital I just got for $60 on sale at office max and it is really pretty good although not as good as the Mavica. If I don't use a tripod while doing closeups, the image really suffers. However, being able to take 270 some pictures on a 135meg card is GREAT!

Digital cameras are awesome!


10-14-2003, 01:59 AM

Is this what you had in mind? It's a nickel (Canadian). As I said, the Nikon Coolpix is awesome, although a bit expensive. You get what you pay for and Nikon knows how to build cameras.


10-14-2003, 07:12 AM
I've also found the Sony Mavica to be really good for close-up work. We have one at work that I use, I don't own a digital yet.

I just bought a Consumer Reports that has an article on digitals. Their readers report repair history rates Sony number one for reliability. They rate the Fugifilm FinePix A303 ( 3 megapixel ) as their best buy, however the Nikon Coolpix and Olympus Camedia series are also rated as excellent.

They state,"Ignore any information about a camera's digital zoom - it's a gimmick."


10-14-2003, 08:32 AM
I use a casio CV-10 that cost me $35 for my ebay pictures, it has a macro switch on it for close ups.. Resolution is poor so I don't take family pictures.

One thing to note..

I had a program that would import pcx's to autocad. I took a picture of a 4 wheeler frame, took a picture of the 900 kawasaki frame. (1990) them imported it into AUtocad and set the proper scale.

With overlay I was able to cut and splice the tubing and add gussets to make it strong. I made all the tubing cuts, and measured the tubing splices. It worked to the 1/16th inch.

BUT... Around the edges of the camera lens, there is distortion as I found out later with another project. Measurements can not be trusted via camera lens. Possible the non-perfect aspect ratio of the lens cut?

I was experimenting with robotic positioning back then. I had a VIA camera input board in my computer. It was so slow processing the information It was useless. (AT computer)

I am sure someone will explain this to me about the non-perfect lens fish-eyeing the edges.

10-14-2003, 11:04 AM

All lenses have some distortion at the edge of field compared to the center of field. It is an unavoidable optical effect and the wider the angle of view the worse it is. Essentially, you are mapping a sphere (the field of view) to a flat surface (the film). The narrower the field of view the less distortion.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 10-14-2003).]

10-14-2003, 12:16 PM
Even if your camera doesn't do good macro shots, you can make it do so with a cheap trick: zoom it out as far as it will go, and hold one of those eye loupes (magnifiers) against the lens. You have to get close to the subject for proper focusing.

Even the cheap ($2) eye loupes from harbor fright work well. You can also use an old 50mm lens from a film camera.

I use this trick to take pictures of watch parts and movements; works great.

10-14-2003, 01:01 PM
Evan, that is just exactly what I mean.

Thank you

10-14-2003, 02:50 PM
I think "digital zoom" is another marketing ploy and another is a claim of 5 or 6 mega pixel when the CCD only is 3.2 MP. Interpolation of pixels can't be the same as having a high resolution CCD. One thing I was looking for is a camera with different lens attachments. Another was external memory. The Fuji S5000 has some other fast frame rate features that I think will be nice for action shots. It can take 6 quick shots when the trigger is pressed or 6 quick shots when the trigger is released. My primary purpose is for macro photography for Ebay. It is at the low end of the professional product, line but at the high end of the consumer product line. Now to collect all the neat accessories.

10-14-2003, 02:56 PM
if you own a camera with a detachable lens, just flip the lens around on the camera body.
this will get you incredible magnification.
the longer the lens, the more magnification, but the shallower the depthoffield. and the closer the focal point. (you have to physically move in and out to adjust focus. the focus ring is useless when the lens is reversed)

most name brands sell "reversing rings" but
i've always either held the lens to the body by hand.. or used duct tape if on a tripod.

focusing is tricky.. and only the center, say 70%, will be in focus, at best. but i tell ya, i could get some incredible pictures
of scratches on a bug's a**.


ps.. for most digital point-shoots, they sell "lens kits" that are basically a little set of snap-on platic modifiers. one of these is usually a "macro" or "closeup" .. not the best quality, but gets the job done.

10-14-2003, 04:21 PM
Hey guys,

Taking pictures is alot like machining right? Take a course or spend alot of time blamming your machine. You want to do close-ups? Be close to your subject. Use the maximum setting. Don't try to get 100 pictures on a card and then expect the close-ups to be great.

Make sure the subject is well lit. A co-worker of mine used to take catologue pictures for sears. After an hour or two with him, just talking, i learned so much.

I think the cheap digital cameras do a great job. Sure a 10x zoom would be great, but you can just walk up a little closer. Wide angles, that is a whole other subject!!

http://www.magma.ca/~idjs/machining pictures/locks.jpg


[This message has been edited by spkrman15 (edited 10-14-2003).]

10-14-2003, 06:55 PM
I have a digital as well as 35s and I can tell you now the 35s are collecting dust. Disadvatages for the digitals are the delay between pressing the shutter and when the actual photo is taken. Sort of like a muzzel loader. Ya gotta follow through or lead the birdie. I have a Sony mcd1000. Biggest mistake I made was using the first cd untill it was full. 1140 photos later and just try and find the one you are looking for. Now I remove the disc once a month religiously and put in a new one. There cheape, on ebay by the dozens for 10.00 per doz. Digital zoom . No problem, beautiful and clear and great to play with in photo programs. Close ups (macro) just fantastic. And I no longer wait at the drug store for developing. Photograpy is like machining. Take a course or two or three. The better educated you are on the subject the better your photos will be. Some people are naturals and others like me need the spoken and written word so to school I go again this fall as well.

10-14-2003, 08:56 PM
I swear by sony cameras - started with a Mavica shooting 640x480 on floppies.

I Love my CD-1000 too - takes GREAT closeups. I just got a Sony DSC-F717 5 Mpixels. Fantastic camera -

You can get a good close up kit (3 stackable lenses) for under $50 at Ritz - check the web. I use that all the time for closeups of pc boards for documentation.

check out Steves-Digicams for COMPLETE reviews and comparisons of darn near any camera you can think of - its a great resource.


10-14-2003, 11:47 PM

With many cameras you CANNOT walk up closer, as the minimum focus distance is too far away.

Digi-zoom often looks like garp to me, when it is used to the max, for instance at the max zoom as advertised.

Evan's pic above is a tad bit different to just walking up closer..............

10-15-2003, 01:11 AM
Digital zoom isn't zoom at all. It is cropping followed by resampling. You can do that in any good graphics program with far more control. The "digital zoom" feature on any camera is useless.

Bruce Griffing
10-15-2003, 12:30 PM
What kind of guy would post about his new camera and not show us some pictures of this shop - particularly his cnc mill?

10-15-2003, 02:26 PM
If My shop were much of anything to show off I would gladly do it. I will probably post some carefully posed pictures with all my junk carefully shoved just out of the camera view. Or maybe I could crop it! What I want to see is Ibewgypsies shop and especially some pictures of some of those strippers getting a "flower" tatoo! It must be hard to concentrate on the work.

My new camera has not arrived yet, so I'm anxiously awaiting, and hoping I've spent my money well (because there isn't as much around as there used to be.)

I'll proudly show you my Bridgeport. It's in my friends auto shop so that will make for some great pictures. There are some total restorations underway and a beautiful silver Bentley in his shop. He specializes in British sports cars. We are both learning CNC programming a few hours each night after work.


[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 10-15-2003).]

10-16-2003, 06:18 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SJorgensen:
I just bought a Fuji S5000 camera for $338...Any comments on what you like or dislike about your digital cameras would be very much appreciated...Spence</font>

I see the Fuji S5000 uses AA batteries, like my Olympus C-5050Z. I've found that batteries run down very quicky - especially if downloading to a computer or leaving the LCD screen on. Maybe your first assessory ought to be a good microprocessor-controlled battery charger - along with a set of 2100mAh batteries or better. Consensus right now is that the Maha MH-C401FS charger is best. I'd buy a set of Lithium CR-V3, because unless you keep the NiMH batteries charged, they tend to self-discharge at a high rate and the camera may not be available at the exact moment you want to take a once in a lifetime shot - you run across Elvis impersonating Bigfoot, for example.

Another must-have accessory might be a short tripod with secure 90 degree downward pointing for macro shots. I like my Slik Mini-Pro III.

Bruce Griffing
10-16-2003, 06:16 PM
I was amazed at the current these cameras draw when focusing or zooming. For my Olympus, I tried using a 1 amp 6v power supply pluged into the ac adapter socket. No dice. It couldn't carry the camera load. I then tried a 1.8 amp supply and it just works. Seems to strain a bit when the display is on and the camera is zooming, but it works. That explains why the batteries don't live very long.

10-17-2003, 12:59 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bruce Griffing:
I was amazed at the current these cameras draw when focusing or zooming. For my Olympus, I tried using a 1 amp 6v power supply pluged into the ac adapter socket. No dice. It couldn't carry the camera load. I then tried a 1.8 amp supply and it just works...That explains why the batteries don't live very long. </font>

When close to a wall plug, I use a generic switching power supply. Samsonite Model SAC11 seems to works well and is much cheaper than the Olympus-branded wallwart. The SAC11 is rated 6.5V/2.5A, and is universal from 100-240Vac and 47-63Hz.

Bruce Griffing
10-17-2003, 01:05 AM
My power supply came from Radio Shack - its a small switcher. They also had the right adapter to fit the camera power jack.

10-17-2003, 09:51 PM
I can vouch for the Fuji Finepix A303 model. It's a helluva camera. Helps a "photo challenged" guy like me take pics that impress the wife. It is a fine piece of equipment. I would have liked a Mavica, but they cost a bit more green than I could shell out.

My method around eating batteries is to us Fuji's wallwart for downloading to the PC or when taking lots of shots in one stationary place. (Birthday parties for example.) Still good ole Duracells seem to offer long life when taking pictures as long as I use the small screen rather than the large one. That was one feature I liked in the Fuji. You have to LCD screens to choose from. A large one and a small one mounted where a veiwfinder would be on a 35mm. The digital video capability rocks too...

Weston Bye
10-18-2003, 09:34 AM
I have a Sony FD-75, works well and I am very happy with it. Recently, the place where I work bought a new Sony FD-100. Has solid state memory as well as floppy disk, can record short movies as well as stills,but has electronic zoom rather than the optical zoom of the older FD-75. Can't do macros - really what they needed it for the most.

Stick with the optical zoom if you can get it.


[This message has been edited by Wes1 (edited 10-18-2003).]

10-19-2003, 12:44 AM
Thanks for all the input. The S5000 has a 10x optical zoom so that should work out well. I'm not so sure about the macro photography yet. I still have to wait a few more days to get my camera.


10-23-2003, 09:17 PM
Just an example of close ups taken with the Sony MVC - FD100. It's a 1.2 mega pixel camera and uses a 3.5 inch disk.



10-23-2003, 11:43 PM
That looks like a great test. I'll try to post the same as soon as I can with the Fuji S5000. Did you have any accessory lenses?


10-24-2003, 05:47 AM

No I don't have any special lenses for it. It claims to have a 6x digital zoom. I just used the macro feature and normal room lighting, nothing special.


Weston Bye
10-24-2003, 09:41 AM
Here is a closeup using the Sony FD-75 10X optical zoom.


10-24-2003, 11:36 PM
I'm just learning how to take photos with this camera so there might be some fine-tuning possible. This is the Fuji S5000 with the stock lenses. There is a 4X Macro lenses available that I think I'll get as soon as I can.

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 10-24-2003).]

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 10-26-2003).]

Bruce Griffing
10-25-2003, 01:34 AM
Ok Spence - you have thrown down the gauntlet. Here are a closeup and a closerup of 5 cents. I think the first one is called the mintmark, but I am not sure.

[This message has been edited by Bruce Griffing (edited 10-25-2003).]

10-25-2003, 02:40 AM
I'll have to get back to you after I buy that 4X adapter.
That can't be an off the shelf digital camera.

Great shot!


10-25-2003, 04:58 PM

I'm sure that by now you know that around here, you have to be very careful when you throw down the gauntlet.
We all know that Thrud will just brush the dust off of his Electron Tunneling Microscope and win the challenge just like he always does.
These guys(and you among them)are very hard to beat!


10-26-2003, 12:14 AM
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


10-26-2003, 12:39 AM
Im going to have to write to the Detroit Mint. Their stampings are starting to look a little rough when you get up close!

What kind of equipment are you using? A microscope?


Bruce Griffing
10-26-2003, 01:10 AM
I had this photo in reserve - somehow I suspected Evan rise to the bait. My guess is that Evan and I have similar "cameras".

10-26-2003, 01:27 AM

That's Denver Mint.

40X stereo microscope, with camera close coupled.

Bruce Griffing
10-26-2003, 09:42 AM
I took mine with my Intel QX3 microscope camera. I find it quite useful. It is a dead end product as Intel dropped the line, but they are still available new on the bay. I don't expect any improvements to the clunky software, but for the price it is fine. When I bought mine I think they were going for about $35.