Simple camera for macro photography (bees)


TPF Noob!
Dec 25, 2007
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Hi all,

I don't know much about digital photography, so I figured I'd come here for buying advice :)

I want to buy a camera for my dad. He has a new hobby, bee keeping, so I figured he could document his hives with photos.

What I'm looking for: very simple to use (point and click, he won't fiddle with settings etc - he has a hard time navigating around Windows, he is very technology-challenged!), good macro functionality (to take pictures of individual bees or bee frames), easy to put into a pocket and operate - if need be with gloves on. Shock- and water proof would be nice since he'll have to take it 'into the field', but that's not a hard requirement I think.

I'd prefer a not too expensive one (150 - 300 dollar range maybe?), he won't use it a lot and it would be better to buy a new one in two years than spendings hundrends of dollars and feeling bad about replacing it in 3 years because it 'hasn't paid for itself yet'.

I also like cameras powered with normal AA or AAA batteries, I don't want to be dependent on the manufacturer when the battery dies.

So I was thinking: 6 megapixel or more, 3x (or 5x?) optical zoom, ultra thin form factor, ... Any suggestions in what models are good? A salesman in a shop I went to suggested an Olympus (830 I think?) but reviewers say the quality is not great in low light conditions. My dad usually does his 'bee maintenance' early in the morning or around sunset, that's when bees are less active - so I think performance under low light conditions is of some importance.

Thanks in advance!
The Cannon S5 IS has pretty cool macro and super macro capabilities, and standard batteries. Just over your price range though, but I've got one as a gift for $340. (US) at Office Depot. I imagine several units out there would meet your needs.


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