Is this camera good for macro photography?


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Jan 18, 2008
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I recently bought a new camera. I was looking for something cheap with around 7 or 8 MP. I bought a Nikon Coolpix L15. I want to use this camera for shooting close-ups , doing comercial macro photography for photostocks. I use the close-up SCENE option when shooting my images and also use the zoom. All images come out blurry. Why is this? Am I not getting enough light? Or this camera is not good for such pictures. I will post here the camera`s specifications so you people can have an idea. Any ideas are appreciated.

Nikon Coolpix L15


Sensor • 1/2.5"-type Interline CCD
• 8.29 million pixels total
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 3264 x 2448
• 3072 x 1836 (16:9)
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 30fps
• 320 x 240 15/30fps
• 160 x 120 15fps
• Stop-Motion mode

File formats • JPEG EXIF 2.2
• Quick Time Motion JPEG (AVI) Lens • 5.7-17.1mm (35-105mm equiv.)
• 3x zoom
• f/2.8-4.7 maximum aperture
Optical image-stabilization Yes (Lens-shift) Conversion lenses No Digital zoom Up to 4x Focus Contrast-detect TTL AF Focus modes • Single AF
• Full-Time AF (in Macro mode)
• Face-priority AF AF area modes Center AF assist lamp Yes Focus distance • Standard: 50cm-infinity
• Macro: 15cm-infinity Metering • 256-segment matrix metering
• Matrix-pattern, Center-weight, Center-spot ISO sensitivity • Auto (ISO 64-1000) Exposure compensation -2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV Exposure bracketing No Shutter speed 4-1/1500s Modes • Still : Easy auto mode, Auto modes, scene modes, One Touch Portrait mode
• Movie : Movie with sound modes
Scene modes Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Party, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Museum, Fireworks Show, Close Up, Copy, Back Light, Panorama Assist, Voice Recording White balance • 5-mode manual (Daylight,Incandescent,Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash)
• Auto, White bal. Preset Self timer 10s Continuous shooting Single, Multi-shot 16 (Only available at image size at 2816/normal) Image parameters Standard, Vivid, Black-and-White, Sepia, Cyanotype Flash • Built-in
• Range: (W) 50cm - 6.3m (1.6 - 20.7ft), (T) 50cm - 3.7m (1.6 - 12.1ft)
• Auto, Red-eye reduction by pre-flash, Anytime flash, Flash cancel, Slow sync. Viewfinder No LCD monitor • 2.8" TFT LCD with LED backlight
• 230,000 dots
• Approx 97% coverage (record mode)
• 5-step brightness adjustment
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Full-Speed
• AV out (NTSC/PAL)
Print compliance • PictBridge
• ImageLink Other features • Time zone function
• D-Lighting
• In-camera Red-Eye Fix
• Available in silver, blue and pink
Storage • SD / SDHC card (optional)
• Approx 32MB internal memory Power • 2 x AA batteries (Energizer™ lithium AA-size batteries included)
• AC Adapter EH-65A (optional) Weight (no batt) Approx. 125g (4.4 oz.) Dimensions Approx. 91 x 60.5 x 26mm (3.6 x 2.4 x 1.0 in.)
I the one asking here because I`m a beginner , just like to hear some answers. I saw some very expensive Coolpix models why not? Isn`t Coolpix good enough? What would you recommend for a budget of 400 EURO? Thanks
Blurry in macro mode probably means you are too close. Maybe you can post an example?

I'm of the opinion that this probably isn't the best choice for commercial photography.
Neither am i :) commercial means people pay you for your work. Who in thier right mind would pay for macro work on a pos camera?

400 euro is good enough for a lens. then you need proper camera, lighting, lightbox etc etc...

But yeah, blurry means you are out of focus which in this case probably means too close. Stand back a little and then crop your image.
Thanks for the answers .. I thought I was getting to close . As far as I know I should be taking pictures at 15 cm away from the subject, but I think it has to do a lot with lightning too. Here is an example of a picture taken in a lightbox (handmade), there was plenty of light in there but the picture came out really blurry.

i dont think u should be in the photography business with a P&S camera...
I heard of DSLR cameras , but bever of P&S what are they ? I`m thinking of buying a new camera. I seen many for a budget of 400 - 450 EURO (for example 400D from Canon). What would you guys recommend in this price range
i think you can achieve very decent photos from a normal digital camera, like for example:

all the photos there were taken by a fujifilm 2mp camera and there's some pretty good ones there in my opinion (and not just saying it 'cause they're mine)

currently i own a canon 400d, obviously a big step up from my fujifilm, i highly reccoment this camera, im fairly new to photography but it doesn't take a genious to see the massive difference

definately go for it!
As far as I know I should be taking pictures at 15 cm away from the subject
Usually, the camera companies are VERY tight with their measurements. 15cm is in perfect light, shining very well, in a good atmosphere. It might not look that much of a change in a studio to the naked eye, but the camera sees it very differently.

Indoors, I'd probably focus it around 25-30cm away from the subject, just to be safe. Other than that, I'd highly recommend a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera) if you're thinking of getting into commercial photography. Cheap Nikon cameras come with a very decent starter lens that also does very good macro photography. Even if it doesn't make that much of a difference to your shots (although I expect it will), what sounds better to a potential buyer?

"Taken with a Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 lens at 1/125s exposure and F/8"
"Taken with a Nikon Coolpix [whatever], on Macro mode"

btw, to xgraphix, a P&S camera stands for Point & Shoot (AKA compacts)
Thanks TamyaGuy this really helps me. I will try to shoot from a bigger distance see what comes out. And I will definetely go for a DSLR soon. I thought about the D400 some months ago but I had no budget at that time , the camera is around 800$ here.
If budget permits get a Canon 400d or a Nikon D40x with the kit lense. Then get a macro converter. A macro convertor is a little piece of glass you screw on to the end of the lense that lets you shoot Macro with any lense. You will loose a bit of sharpness with it but you can gain that back with photoshop. This is probably the cheapest option you can go with to get decent macro for commercial use.
Commercial with COOLPIX?? :)

Neither am i :) commercial means people pay you for your work. Who in thier right mind would pay for macro work on a pos camera?

Maybe I should call the people that have bought Coolpix pictures from me and offer to give back their money :confused::lol: NOT

Each of my Coolpix have paid for themselves many times over with macro sales. I have a couple of sales pending right now :thumbup: As a matter of fact I paid for my D70s and a couple of lenses with Coolpix work.

I am not sure what the cameras are missing as mine have:
The ability to shoot RAW
ED lens (Extra-low Dispersion glass, leads to less distortion)
3:2 aspect, if desired
Minimum focusing down to 1.2 inches

I could go on here to include fully manual operation, TTL flash, D-lighting, ISO down to 50, etc.

exgrafix Welcome to the forum. I agree that you should probably move back from the subject a bit. I have found that the Coolpix seem to macro focus a little better at the zoom's wider settings.
I've seen plenty of good work from point and shoot cameras used for close-up. It's not as good as that done by larger format cameras with macro lenses, but it is often good enough. It depends on the quality you are looking for. The small sensor does have some advantages in terms of depth of field.

I agree that you should probably move back from the subject a bit. I have found that the Coolpix seem to macro focus a little better at the zoom's wider settings.

This is probably the main drawback - the lenses are often designed to give the greatest magnification at their shortest focal length, so the working distance is very small.

digital flower congrats to you for making money with you P&S. I've never had one. I've always used dslr?/slr's.

May I suggest using a tripod, move a couple cm back, and add some lighting. Can we see some examples of what you hav done already

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