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What is an inexpensive camera with digital macro that WORKS

Tammy Black , Feb 28, 2009; 06:00 p.m.

I bought a supposedly new Canon powershot SD1100 IS, and 2 months later it has gone to crap. It sometimes digitizes images. As you look at something on the screen while you are in digital macro and possibly other modes and not yet taking a shot, the movements of people and objects you see on the screen are not smoothe. It's like if you had drawings of cartoon frames on paper and flipped through them a little too slowly. It only does this sometimes. Also, sometimes, but so far ONLY in digital macro, if you are moving either the camera or the object being photographed even slightly, the IS doesn't work and the picture looks like the thing was moving instead of being crystal clear like it was when I first got the camera. The IS works just fine in other modes (portrait, etc.). I deliberately moved my camera case rapidly back and forth while photographing it, and the picture looks like the thing was as still as a statue. I wonder if there could be one cause for both of these problems. I already had to send it in for repairs a couple of weeks ago, and they replaced the optical assembly or something like that, so it does stay in proper focus in macro now, but I don't know what is causing the other 2 things. Are these things common to this model, and should I dump it on ebay as a refurbished one and get something else new, or get another of these, or what? It was fine for a couple of months before all this happened, and a friend of mine has no problems with hers and loves it, but she may not even use the digital macro function at all.
Tammy

Responses

JDM von Weinberg , Feb 28, 2009; 06:17 p.m.

My guess is that if you reset the camera to its original default settings your problems might go away. It sounds like you've got something wrong in the settings. Do the actual pictures show these effects or is it just on the lcd on the back? Your example just seems to be out of focus and moved during the exposure.

In any case, after two months the thing is still under warranty. try again if resetting it doesn't do the job.

Of course, you hope that your camera always "digitizes" - what you are describing is often called pixelation , sometimes done on purpose to avoid showing some part of a picture.
What you describe for the IS is what it is supposed to do: eliminate motion at your end of the camera.

Tammy Black , Feb 28, 2009; 06:23 p.m.

The IS makes pictures of moving things look still, whether the camera or the thing is moving. That is how it works in other modes, and it used to do that in digital macro. This has nothing to do with the settings. The first thing Canon told me when I called them was reset it, and it still did the same things! I attached a picture to the original post. The lcd digitizes, not the pictures. The pictures look like the thing was moving when as far as I knew the thing was perfectly still. Hold your camera like you're going to take a shot and watch the screen digitize things like a cartoon with pages being flipped too slowly. It never did that at first then suddenly started occasionally doing it. One moment it will be fine and the next it will malfunction in one of the ways I mentioned. This has nothing to do with settings.

JDM von Weinberg , Feb 28, 2009; 06:55 p.m.

Since you choose to respond to an attempt to help as you do, I'll put it bluntly. I'd be more convinced of your idea that it has nothing to do with the settings, if your terminology and descriptions were in language that revealed that you were knowledgable about photography in general and your camera operation specifically.

The IS makes pictures of moving things look still, whether the camera or the thing is moving . That is how it works in other modes, and it used to do that in digital macro

This is simply not true. IS stabilizes motion on the camera end only.
Good luck to you.

Bill Tuthill , Mar 01, 2009; 12:12 p.m.

I too find it difficult or impossible to get good macro pictures with my Canon SD model. Unfortunately I cannot recommend a good macro P&S. The question comes up here often, but there is no clear-cut choice since the Coolpix 3000 or something.
IS helps but cannot work wonders. Maybe the reason the LCD does not show movement is that its refresh rate is slow.

Gil Pruitt , Mar 01, 2009; 12:50 p.m.

This guy Plonsky has been using Canon Gn series cameras for excellent macro photography. I suspect he has learned very good technique and tells the camera what to do rather than letting the camera do the thinking. http://www.mplonsky.com/photo/index.htm Good luck!

JC Uknz , Mar 01, 2009; 02:32 p.m.

It is tough but many newbies and not so newbies run around changing cameras becuase they think another 'better' camera will answer their problems when in actual fact the problem is with their lack of knowledge as to how to use the gear they already have.

The Canon G series is a completely different camera to the 1100 and far far more capable, however with knowledge of what you can do, rather than relying on the camera to do the thinking, I'm sure the 1100 is quite a capable camera within its limitations. It is similar to my s20 though with numerous extras, but I could still turn out good results with the s20 with my knowledge of photography and working within its limitations.

So take another look at the 1100 and work out what it is capable of and what it is not.

JC Uknz , Mar 03, 2009; 03:04 p.m.

The knowledge pertinent to big close-ups is how a suplimentary lens/close-up lens can help the camera to come in close. These do not have to be expensive 'photo quality' lens but can be the 'hobby' lens out of spectacles you buy at the drug store or discount warehouse. They are plastic and need to be handled with care but they can open up a whole new kind of photography for you. The camera is unfortunately somewhat limited without any control over aperture [f/stop] but working this way my wife and I got some good shots of caterpiller and subsequent crysaliss when she breed them a few years ago and used the s20. I'd try a 3 dioptre lens for starters. Set the zoom to telephoto and don't expect to come in close ... watch for sharp focus on the LCD since you only have an optical viewfinder which doesn't give you any indication of sharpness, only framing. Moving camera in and out from the subject until it is sharp. Bearing in mind that with any camera when you work close you do not have very much depth of field.

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