I spent quite a bit of time researching cameras before I bought one. It was not a fruitful search when my search criterion was “macro.” Although it seems logical that you zoom in to capture a macro shot, macro is not the same as zoom.
Time to cut to the chase I bought a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS.
I restricted my choices by setting a dollar limit of under $200.00 and aimed for under $150.00. I was able to purchase my camera at a local big box store for a bit over that $150.00.
I visited multiple stores over a period of months and asked questions. I even visited a shop specializing in cameras. When I was ready to make my purchase I asked the young man why he was working in the camera department. He replied that he knew a lot about cameras. I followed up by telling him the camera I wanted and why and asked if he would recommend something else. He came up with one option which was pricier and told me that my choice was good.
As I hinted above I read reviews. The review that convinced me was from CNET my favorite resource for impartial reviews of tech toys. The review stated that this camera was slow and the AA batteries ran out quickly. I wasn’t worried about slow but now I am thinking I need to get some rechargeable batteries for my camera. The convincing line in the review was that this camera worked well in low light conditions. All other reviews I read of cameras in my price range said that the cameras did not do well in low light conditions. I don’t know about you but I take pictures of my jewelry inside in natural light, not quite dim light, but not bright either.
I am still at that steep learning curve with my camera, but I am quite satisfied. The three things mentioned again and again that photographers must learn are ISO, aperture priority, and shutter speed. I can set all three and white balance with my camera. I have a macro setting. I have a delay setting. I like that I can switch between fully manual and automatic. I have auto everything, including focus. This was a great choice for me and I would recommend this camera to anyone interested in photographing jewelry.
Additional resources for your reading pleasure:
Baubleicious wrote a post about her choices in photographing her beadwork. She purchased an Olympus' Stylus Tough.
Pearl at The Beading Gem was one of the first posts I read about choosing a camera. She chose a Lumix.
The review for my camera is linked above, but CNET regularly reviews cameras.
Etsy has quite a few resources, but the one I bookmarked was Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up
Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials, particularly the article on macro photography.
Life Hacker had a great series- Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide.
Photo Net is another great learning resource. I bookmarked The Missing Pages column which addresses the details left out of your user manual.
Hmm… I think I might just have to add an additional subheading on photography to my list of links.
I am off to enjoy Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday.