Pick a camera for me
December 8, 2008 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a digital camera to copy books and such for onscreen presentations. Not spending a lot would be nice.

I know I could get a Nikon D-40 and a macro, but there must be a miore cost-effective alternative.
Needs a macro lens of reasonable quality . Resolution doesn't need to be very high. Manual white balance a must.
posted by cccorlew to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check out the Canon PowerShot A590.
posted by JohnR at 10:28 AM on December 8, 2008

Take a look at the Ricoh GR Digital. It's small, relatively inexpensive and it has a mode that's specifically for taking pictures of text. In this mode it renders everything as black and white with no grays.
posted by bshort at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2008

Here is an example of what my years-old Canon A80 can achieve can achieve with a +3 close up filter.

You probably won't be able to find a camera as old as mine, but the A590 is worth looking at, as JohnR says.
posted by Mike1024 at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2008

If books, even smallish paperbacks, are what you'll be shooting, you likely don't need a macro lens if you go the DSLR route. A 50mm f/1.8 ought to do it with sufficient minimum focusing distance and a minimal amount of rectilinear distortion.

If you can stand a little barrel or pincushion distortion, the almost any p&s camera which focuses close enough ought to do it for you.

One could make the case that you should handle prospective cameras either in a brick and mortar store or perhaps by trying a friend's prior to making this purchase. I'd start with the low cost Canon A series products and go from there if necessary.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:10 PM on December 8, 2008

Thanks all.
I guess I wasn't clear enough. I'm shooting images in books, not text. It's for art lectures.

I ended up ordering a Nikon D40 and packaged lens with macro capabilities. The lens got pretty good marks for a non-dedicated macro. Not having to buy the Macro (another $400) made it not-too-painfully-expensive (considering our budget)

I looked at the suggestions, but was concerned that the P/S cameras controls might be more cumbersome than a DSLR.
posted by cccorlew at 7:11 PM on December 8, 2008

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