Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


17 posts

Geek


Topic # 57329 9-Feb-2010 21:14
Send private message

Hello everyone,

I need to buy a cheapish camera (under $600, and the lower the better!) to take photographs of some old documents. something above 10mp and preferably 4xzoom or above. Can anyone recommend one?

Cheers

Create new topic
3535 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 125

Trusted

  Reply # 297549 9-Feb-2010 23:03
Send private message

I have a Canon IXUS which has 4x optical zoom and is very light and compact. It cost less than $600 a couple of years back, and I'm sure you could get them cheaper now.

My one is 8Mpix, but they have a 12Mpix version out now. I have used my camera for photographing pages close up, and it worked very well.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/...







17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 297560 10-Feb-2010 00:38
Send private message

thanks!

16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 297592 10-Feb-2010 10:00
Send private message

You'll want something with a good macro mode & possibly wide angle. Canon & Panasonic have some very nice models at good prices these days.
I've got a 3 year old Panasonic DMC-TZ3 that has a very good macro mode on it & 28mm wide angle.

424 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 297603 10-Feb-2010 11:15
Send private message

How important are these documents? If it's just phone bills, bank statements etc, it really doesn't matter. The good thing is that you can whip through these quite easily, about 200 an hour. Lighting is really important, as flash can reflect back making the photo useless. Outside on a cloudy day is the ideal location. One problem is barrel distortion - the centre of the photo is closer than the edges to the lens. For this reason, if it's anything important, I'd recommend the use of a scanner. The image is far, far better.

1779 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 118


  Reply # 297803 10-Feb-2010 22:02
Send private message

If it's separate pages a scanner would be a cheaper option i would have thought. And then cheaper still would be just taking it to a copy center to get done.

If it's a tougher document to copy or delicate the camera idea is probably the easiest. In which case you want to look for something with good colour reproduction and as little distortion as possible. To counter this if you use a camera at full zoom the chance of aberrations is less than at wide angle. Softness at the corners is also less at full zoom on many cameras compared to wideangle.

The macro idea is also good if you have certain parts you want to focus on, but this will work better at wideangle on a compact camera so be aware of above if you're super anal about such things. Otherwise you might never notice.

And if you're not that anal, then a 5MP camera would be fine i'd say. So that means that any new camera with a half decent sensor will be more than adequate and easily purchased for under $600.

The Fuji Super CCD sensor is quite good as the pixels are hexagonal (or some such from memory) so are good in lower light or where colour is relatively important.

Now, in saying all of that, almost any mid range point and shoot will likely do very well for your cause and will be able to be used for many other uses as well.

I'm a fan of the Panasonic compact range due to their Leica build/glass and decent zoom lenses. I also like the Fuji and Canon compacts even though i shoot a Nikon D300 for my day to day shooting.

So lastly, if quality is important i'd be more than happy to take some images of any thing you need with the gear i have here for a humanitarian fee of nominal value due to me being a poor student again ;)

Infrastructure Geek
4056 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 195

Trusted
Microsoft NZ
Subscriber

  Reply # 297810 10-Feb-2010 22:15
Send private message

for documents i'd recommend a flatbed scanner. you wont really get good results from a hand held camera. you can pick up a decent scanner for peanuts these days




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs




17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 297814 10-Feb-2010 22:24
Send private message

Thanks for the advice guys. And Disrespective for your kind offer. Much appreciated.

I need to copy some bound historical documents for my research, so I can't use the scanner, and photocopying costs much more in the long run for the amount I need to copy...and some of them are in Auckland/Dunedin, hence the preference for a more compact version (and also I don't want to drop the damn thing while trying to balance over the document, as i did several times before).

And yeah, quality is quite important to me actually, given that some of those documents are barely legible as it is. I used a Canon A560 so far, the picture is ok, but not great.

I was vacillating between Canon Powershot SX200 IS and Panasonic ZR1. And finally decided on the Canon, which seems to have better macro mode, despite it being a fair bit over my budget. (though I didn't realise the battery life is so bloody short...sigh). Fingers crossed it works.

424 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 297853 11-Feb-2010 08:13
Send private message

Someone designed a stand for this sort of work, you place the book in a cradle, so it's not opened fully. The camera is placed above, and software does the rest, to compensate for distortion. Sorry, but I can't remember the name. It cost about $1000, plus a camera.

There is no reason why you can't make such a stand yourself (or get an engineer type retired person to do it for $100 or so) out of balsa wood, so the book isn't opened fully. The camera is positioned so it's facing the exact centre of the page and taped to the stand. Obviously portability is an issue here, everything is a trade-off I guess.

16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 298299 12-Feb-2010 10:58
Send private message

Those Canon 200IS are a very nice camera. Let us know how you get on with it



17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 298539 13-Feb-2010 01:25
Send private message

The camera isn't too bad. The picture quality is all right under macro mode, a fair bit of blurring around the edges, but that was to be expected I suppose. (Also for ordinary shooting, it doesn't cope with dim light very well, and zooming above 10 times is next to useless.)

The real problem is the battery: it only lasts for two and a half hours (round 240 photos). and almost got bored to death waiting for it to be recharged (there's only so much fun you can get out of staring at the librarian). I can't understand why they don't just stick to the AA batteries as for other canon models. Meh.

Nonetheless, I am reasonably satisfied with my shiny new plaything!

16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 298648 13-Feb-2010 15:13
Send private message

I think a with a bit of use you'll get it taking some nice snaps. Takes a little while to figure out how they work best. I know with mine it takes better photos when you hold in landscape than portrait. I got two batteries with mine when I brought it so I never end up in your situation. The guy at Hardly Normals did me a pretty good deal on a case, 2nd battery & SD card.
I find most point & shot struggle in low light, this is where DSLR really come into their own.

Here's a couple of macro shots I've taken
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4749936&l=f9f27334b0&id=613908091

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2492341&l=ce178ba153&id=613908091



17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 300540 20-Feb-2010 16:32
Send private message

very nice shots they are.

Here are a few casual snaps with my canon in macro mode.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47705760@N06/4372064520

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47705760@N06/4371314995

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47705760@N06/4371315191



3535 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 125

Trusted

  Reply # 300560 20-Feb-2010 18:16
Send private message

During a trip to England in the middle of last year, I had to take some photos of a very old book which I could not lay flat and scan. So I used a camera the same as you did, and was surprised at how well the pages came out.

The book in question was about 200 years old, so there was no way it could be laid flat without breaking the spine. A decent digital camera with macro mode saved the day for me; I'm glad to see it worked out for you as well.





Mad Scientist
18619 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2365

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 303687 2-Mar-2010 14:58
Send private message

fuji f70exr or f72exr (same thing)
RRP 699

einfo.co.nz - 348!

awesome reviews - 27-270mm zoom
least barrel distortion, best picture quality amongst competitors
AF lag 0.4s
EXR CCD
multitude of features (which is a drawback for the simple minded)
downside - crap video. no other cons!

i would have gotten this one but wife wanted HD video so i got the canon IXUS 100

Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Hawaiki Transpacific cable ready-for-service
Posted 20-Jul-2018 11:29


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central launches
Posted 10-Jul-2018 10:40


Spark completes first milestone in voice platform upgrade
Posted 10-Jul-2018 09:36


Microsoft ices heated developers
Posted 6-Jul-2018 20:16


PB Technologies charged for its extended warranties and warned for bait advertising
Posted 3-Jul-2018 15:45


Almost 20,000 people claim credits from Spark
Posted 29-Jun-2018 10:40


Cove sells NZ's first insurance policy via chatbot
Posted 25-Jun-2018 10:04


N4L helping TAKA Trust bridge the digital divide for Lower Hutt students
Posted 18-Jun-2018 13:08


Winners Announced for 2018 CIO Awards
Posted 18-Jun-2018 13:03


Logitech Rally sets new standard for USB-connected video conference cameras
Posted 18-Jun-2018 09:27


Russell Stanners steps down as Vodafone NZ CEO
Posted 12-Jun-2018 09:13


Intergen recognised as 2018 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for New Zealand
Posted 12-Jun-2018 08:00


Finalists Announced For Microsoft NZ Partner Awards
Posted 6-Jun-2018 15:12


Vocus Group and Vodafone announce joint venture to accelerate fibre innovation
Posted 5-Jun-2018 10:52


Kogan.com to launch Kogan Mobile in New Zealand
Posted 4-Jun-2018 14:34



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.