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Digital cameras

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Digital cameras
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 25, 2003 1:17 AM
I have just bought my first digital camera, and am wondering if they are any good for up-close shots of HO scale models. Mine is a 2.0 megapixel,E-vision megapro, that I got online.
Curious to hear from anybody who has tried using a digital camera for detail pictures like this.
Thanks, Todd C.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 25, 2003 9:32 AM
Hello, i have a Sony Mavica, it has a Macro setting for the close ups, use an editing format to crop and format your pictures, you can also sharpen, size and other interesting things with them.
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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Monday, January 27, 2003 12:43 PM
Meanwhile, back on the topic...

I have a Kodak DX4330, and mostly use 2.0 MP (it'll do 3.1) - 2.0 is fine when you're not enlarging. The Macro setting works well, but I've had issues with depth of field. I think the pitfall is the focal point. Most digital cameras have a 2-stage shutter button, so you may have to aim for focus and set it (1st click), then adjust your aim for composition (2nd click). Sort of like shooting indoors in front of a window, but you're adjusting your aim to get the right focus instead of exposure.

Hope all this nattering helps!

B-Dubya
B-Dubya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inside every GE is an Alco trying to get out...apparently, through the exhaust stack!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 3:32 AM
B W, Thanks for that insight. I'm still learning how to use this thing, but it seems to have good detail.
Todd C.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 8:39 AM
Todd,

It sounds like you are looking for depth of field information. I recently bought a Canon D60 digital camera to support a video production business I have been dabbling with for a while. The digital capability of the camera effects the quality of your pictures, while the lens effects the depth of field which you will need for sharp in focus close ups of your models.

I believe the particular point of interest here will be the F stop setting of your camera lense. You may want to check out the topic of pin hole aperture. There are several forums elsewhere that address this in detail. I'm still trying to get a handle on closeup, depth of field as well.

Ken, D&J Railroad, Stafford, VA
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 3:25 AM
Thanks Ken, sounds like I need to re-think my photo "expertise", and get some new material on these new cameras. I do know how to make a "jerry-rigged" pinhole lens, But not sure how to properly use it with a digital camera. My E-vision has no adjustments for F.stop, etc. But I'll just experiment a bit and see what works. That's the nice thing about digital cameras, you can take really lousey shots, and if you don't like them, no big deal. Just erase the chip. Not like you have to pay for film developing.
Todd C.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 11:27 AM
Todd C
I have two digital cameras, one is a 2.0 MP Cannon and it works well. Recently, I bought a Kodak DX4330, a 3.1 MP and it works even better. Both work quite well for colseups, but depth of field can be a problem, do not use the digital zoom for this purpose. Samples of my cammera work can be seen on www.windowworks.the shop.com. (This is a program we market for interior window detail, which includes digital pictures and other treatments for all scales of model railroading)

dostuff
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 30, 2003 2:01 AM
Thanks. I'll check out your site.
Todd C.
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Posted by Seamonster on Thursday, January 30, 2003 3:16 PM
I've got a Kodak DC215 which is over 3 years old and has a resolution of only 1.2 megapixels, but it does me well. It has "exposure compensation" which would be the equivalent of f-stops. I find it lacking in closeups as the only choices are either a 2X zoom or macro, whereas a variable zoom lens would be nice, but that's big bucks. However, with good photo editing software one can work wonders with digital pictures. If you want information on using a digital camera (as well as SLR cameras), you might want to check out www.acdsystems.com. Click on "community" then click on "newsletters." I subscribe to a couple of their newsletters and find them quite informative. You can also dig through their newsletter archives. Of course, their main purpose is to try to sell you their products, image viewing programs, but the newsletters may be worth the advertising. Good luck with your new camera, and just keep experimenting. "Film" is cheap.
.....Bob

..... Bob

Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here. (Captain Kirk)

I reject your reality and substitute my own. (Adam Savage)

Resistance is not futile--it is voltage divided by current.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 1:29 PM
Well just like with Model RRing the more you spend the more options you get. The Higher priced Digital camera's work much better for close-in pic's. You have more fine tuning features with the camera. If all else fails having a 3 or more megapixel camera allows you to zoom in a lot closer and still retain HQ resolution. Tiff is the best format to work with instead of jpg. I started out with a cheap no name brand camera that was just over 1 mega pixel and got what I paid for, but I learned a lot about digital camera's from it.

Good luck,

Chad
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Posted by nfmisso on Thursday, February 20, 2003 9:16 AM
Regarding TIFF. There are a rather large number of TIFF formats, many not compatible with others. Keep this in mind when sharing pictures, and make sure that your software can write the TIFF files in the format that your receiver can view.

JPG format has no such compatibility issues.

Nigel
Nigel N&W in HO scale, 1950 - 1955 (..and some a bit newer too) Now in San Jose, California
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Posted by nfmisso on Thursday, February 20, 2003 9:18 AM
Todd;

If you want close ups of a particular car or loco, just put it on a flatbed scanner. Great resolution, and over 1" depth of field.

I learned this from Jim Six.

Nigel
Nigel N&W in HO scale, 1950 - 1955 (..and some a bit newer too) Now in San Jose, California
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 22, 2003 12:54 AM
Sounds pretty wild, but I'll give it a try. That would be a great way of documenting my rolling stock for insurance purposes. Thanks for the idea!
Todd C.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 1:36 AM
Nigel, I tried the scanner trick and didn't have any luck. (terrible images). Do you have any tips?
Todd C.
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Posted by mnwestern on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 4:07 PM
Todd:
I'm just learning about digital after years of film work, much of it slide for prototype rail shooting for magazines and books. Haven't tried any model macro shooting yet, though I think it depends on the capability of your camera and its lens — just like film.
One factor not to overlook is what you plan to do with the images. A 2 MP camera is limited in the size of quality print it can produce. It probably has a pixel resolution of about 1700 or less horizontal and 1300 or less vertical. The maximum photo quality print size at 200 dpi is likely about 8 inches by 6 inches, or 5.3 inches by 4 inches at 300 dpi. So, 8 x 10s are probably not an option. That's okay, as long as you know that.
If you are mainly shooting for e-mail exchange, computer display, etc., it should be fine.
The minimum for a good 8 x 10 is probably a 3.1 MP or more camera at 200 dpi. You might need about a 6.1 MP camera for higher quality 300 dpi photo quality prints at 8 x 10.
I have a 6.3 MP Canon D60 on order (really the newspaper I work for is buying it, but I'll use it will my roster of EOS autofocus lenses I already have. It saves them the cost of buying lenses.) It will after about 3072 pix by 2048 pixel and do a 15.1 inch by 10.1 inch photo quality print at 200 dpi and about 10.2 inch by 7 inch at 300 dpi. It should produce images suitable for magazine reproduction according to what the magazines are saying they need for quality digital images, and will be good for newsprint, which can't match the repo quality of good glossy mag. paper.
Good luck.
T.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 3:39 AM
Holy Cow! I didn't know they even made DC's with that much resolution. That must be one H*&L of a camera! But yea, mainly I'd be using it for E-mail purposes. I have found that using the flash ruins the image, I'm going with spot lighting.
Have fun with that D-60! Gee whiz, modern technology, huh? Sounds better than good old 35 mm.
Todd C.
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Posted by mnwestern on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 11:37 AM
Todd,
Canon is out with an 11.0 MP camera, capable of shooting up to 8 fps, but it is priced at about $9,000. The Canon D-60 at 6.3 MP is coming down, too, from about $2,100 a few months ago to as low as $1,500-$1,600 in some ads in Popular Photography. It basically looks like a regular film EOS and uses EOS interchangeable lenses and EX flashes.
Nikon has a D100 with 6.1 MP at roughly $2,000, while their older 2.7 MP models based on a 35mm body is still priced at about $3,500. They will use Nikon's regular autofocus lenses.
T
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 5:39 PM
I am currently using a 2.0 MP Kodak DC 280 to photo my "in construction" layout. I've used it with all three modes, good, better and best in high resolution and printed out 8" x 10" photo quality pics on standard and photo paper with no issues in any resolution. Even in black and white and sepia. Also remember that the higher the MP and quality the larger the file(pic) and email. In high resolution and best quality the average size jpg is 650 to 800 kb. If you want me to send you some pics to see what I'm getting send me an email to smithbr@erols.com. I have some closeups of different items that would be equivalent of your HO scale and even N scale. One thing that's nice about digital is you can take as many pics as you want and it doesn't cost you anything. If they're no good you can delete them and use it as a learning experience.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 13, 2003 2:35 PM
I thought 5 megapixels and above was photo quality.

Ken, D&J Railroad, Stafford, VA

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