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Discussion Starter #1
What do you recommend for a budget of under $200? My old Kodak is dying a slow death and I'd like to upgrade.

90+% of my photographs are done in Marco mode; objects are usually watch-sized (ie. coins, medals). I have a tripod and generally prefer natural light.

Any suggestions, please? :-s

Tia.
 

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For that price you're not really going to get a new camera with interchangeable lens...

So you're looking at a used low-end camera with interchangeable lens e.g. a used Canon Rebel
or a bridge camera with fixed lens e.g. Olympus SH1, Samsung WB1100F

Luckily the small sensor size and large zoom range for some bridge/point and shoot can get some good macro results.

Good luck.

(N.B. I own none of the examples given and can't vouch for them - your own research is key :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For that price you're not really going to get a new camera with interchangeable lens...
Nah, don't have any need for extra lenses. I want a dedicated macro set-up.

So you're looking at a used low-end camera with interchangeable lens
or a bridge camera with fixed lens.
Still too much. I could occasionally, with much dedication, coax some really good macro images from my Kodak P&S. I'd prefer that route. Or maybe a USB microscope?
 

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If most of your images are macro or super macro, I wouldn’t buy any camera, nothing for $200 is going to come anywhere close to a Dino-lite, it’s a small hand held
digital microscope with built in LED light. Comes with a driver and connects to your PC via USB, I'd highly recommend getting a stand for it, Dinolite sells lots of logistics accessories.

This one is $100
Dino-Lite AM2111 0.3 MP Digital Microscope

However, that’s the entry level model, go to their site and look over the specifics, get the best you can afford, although you'll be surprised what an entry level one can do.

The crème de la crème, are the models offering EDOF technology (Extended Depth of Field).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5SdWb8pZfg

These are expensive ($800-$900), but the layering technology rivels that of older equipmet in my lab costing 10K.

Here is an example of Dino-lite EDOF technology, it’s the crown screw of my Damasko D36, showing Dupont’s Viton seal material in action, sealing the case from any liquid intrusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
a small hand held digital microscope with built in LED light.
You've been reading my mind, haven't you? ;) I *just* ordered one from Amazon yesterday. Not the Dino, but one with high rating as well just costing a tad less. Yes, definitely with stand.
 

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I'm ready to cry. I may have to get sponsorship from Nikon to develop an online workshop.
OK. No matter how many times I preach it, no one believes me. In fact, I'm ready to upgrade my general pro DSLM kit in the fall of 2015, but the watch shots will still have to be done with my coolpix 8800 unless someone can lead me to another coolpix.
I'm too sleepy to write a thesis here but I discovered over the past 10 years that :
1. As your subject gets smaller, choose a smaller sensor! Somewhere between 2/3 and micro43rd is ideal for watches! APSC is the largest I would dare going
2. Megapixels impact the enlargement size but you should be fine at between 8Mp and 16Mp
3. Conventional wisdom is to use a longer focal length macro so as to keep a healthy distance for lighting. This is true but I really like the perspective I get with the shorter focal length settings on my camera!
4. Then to my surprise... The CP8800 uses a CCD type sensor which is way mellower tonal scale than CMOS sensor cameras. Albeit, it likes a nice long tonal range in the lighting but that's easy to control in studio.
I hate the GUI/SUI of the coolpix but you will not find a finer watch or jewelry camera that has semi PRO manual controls and that saves in TIFF and RAW.
AQ_BS100_4Screen.jpg
 
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