Speaking of pictures. . .


Fudgie Ghost
January 13, 2003, 06:36 PM
As many of you (us?) post pics from time to time, (Of guns of course, just to keep this on-topic), and as I am thinking of purchasing a digital camera, please help educate me:

Many of you post wonderfully clear, high resolution pictures here. What is the minimum qty of pixel resolution that I would want for such pics? An associate at work showed me a picture he took of his son with a 2M camera, and it seemed quite clear. But for macro style pics of detail, would 3M be better?

Enquiring minds want to know.

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Ron L
January 13, 2003, 07:11 PM
Of course, the more the pixels, the better the datail, butit'll also burn up memory and lead to much higher file sizes. aving said that, you can always scale back a large file to a smaller one and lose some detail, but you can't go in the opposite direction.

Also consider the flash and how close you can get. My current camera (Olympus) will not really get close enough to clearly read some serial numbers that are stamped on my guns (topic :p ). If you're really looking to be able to record serial numbers for insurance purposes, make sure that the camera will do that. It also helps to have a camera that you can turn off the flash. Glare will often make blued guns almost look chrome and cause hot spots on shiny metal or wood.

I'm sure some of the folks here that have and use digital cameras in taking pics of their guns can give you some models to look into.

Fudgie Ghost
January 13, 2003, 07:30 PM
Thanks Ron. Yeah, I definitely want the macro feature. As far as getting more advice-- I dunno, at last look there were, like 45 views, and only you replied.

What am I? Chopped liver?

January 13, 2003, 07:40 PM
I have an older HP 618 with 2 mp technology. It does, however, have all the "bells and whistles" such as the macro feature, black and white, sound, etc. It cost me about $300.00 which, at the time, was about right. My experience has been that, except for printing hi res pictures, the 2 mp technology has been enough. As for posting pictures on the web it has been my experience that most sites have some fairly severe limitations on the size of the file that can be posted. So make sure that your camera has the capability of taking pictures at lower resolutions so that you can post pictures should you wish to. I really can't recommend a brand or a camera. My HP, although I think it is far from the top of the line, has been just excellent and the price was right. Hope this helps. Good shooting:)

January 13, 2003, 07:47 PM
Also, consider getting a $6 clip-on utility light and a 100-watt soft white bulb from the hardware store. Put parchment paper over the end to diffuse the light and secure with rubber bands or tape (do not leave on and unattended as the paper may get too hot). This will allow you to take pictures of your guns (on topic again ;) ) without the flash which is harsh at times, especially for close up shots. The whole set up can be done for well under $10.


January 13, 2003, 08:38 PM
my nikon cp 950 shoots a very nice image
they are ~500-800k on disk as jpegs but open up to 5.5 megs
(1600x1200 pixel images)

this is a 5.4 x 3, 300 dpi image

i severely downsample these for web posting.
Since yer average webjoe has a 56 k modem and a 640x480, 14 inch monitor
i usually make a 450 pixel wide image

the base file jpeged at normal size is gonna take 40 seconds to dl on a 56k modem and be almost 3 times wider than joes monitor

the 450 pixel wide image is gona dl in 4 seconds

now heres the cool part

this camera is 3 years old
and available on ebay used for 200 bucks

Standing Wolf
January 13, 2003, 09:17 PM
Here's a very useful Photoshop trick. When you reduce the size and/or resolution of an image, use the Unsharp Mask function. It's under Filters, then Sharpen. It's a good idea to refer to the manual, then practice, practice, practice before you start posting your photographs. Most reduced images need a little unsharp masking; too much unsharp masking, however, makes your image look as though it had been taken with a $29.95 camera. If you're using an LCD (lap top) screen, be careful not to pump up the contrast, since your screen already has excess contrast built into it.

January 13, 2003, 10:10 PM
If you just want to post to the internet a low res. camera will do just fine. The pics will still look good and will upload quicker. But if you want to print pics too then get the best resolution you can afford. These have come down greatly in price so you should be able to get one fairly cheap. If you can get one that you can put an external flash on as the flash on most of these sucks. If you get the high res, one you can then use a pic program to change the res. to a lower number for uploading and still have your high res, pic for printing. Good hunting and have fun.!:p

Fudgie Ghost
January 13, 2003, 10:21 PM
Alright, that's more like it.

Now, gun-fucious, I guess what your're trying to tell me is, uh. . . . that. . . well, --I'm not quite sure what you're trying to tell me.

Nice snow on the VW though!

January 13, 2003, 10:50 PM
what i recommend is to buy a high end camera from 3 years ago

the quality is more than good enough
and the price is right


January 13, 2003, 11:43 PM
1. Monitors only have so many pixels, and Internet resolution on Windows machines is only 72 dpi. Correct?

2. The advantage of a 2-5 MP camera is that you can back off far enough to get a great macro shot without strange lighting by cropping everything you don't want in PhotoShop. That will leave a nice, tight shot of your subject at the resolution you want. Correct?

3. A problem with macros is that you have to use such a short focal length that the depth of field is so shallow that the detail is out of focus on "deep" mechanisms. Consequently a "macro" shot from 2-3 feet and cut out from the middle of the image will not only have the detail you want but be in focus. Correct?

I'm not saying, I'm asking! :D

January 14, 2003, 01:20 PM
most monitors are 72 dpi

so a 1600 pixel wide image is going to be:
1600/72 or 22.22 inches wide

this is why some posted images

A) take a long time to download
B) are wider than your screen

another thing to look at is the width of the lens

wider lens gather more light and also tend to have better depth of field

a good site to look at digital camera reviews is:

Ron L
January 14, 2003, 02:07 PM
Blackhawk, I'm not saying, I'm asking!

You're right. Playing with depth of field versus focal length, a zoomed-in further away shot will show more depth of field than a close-up macro shot.

Another tip for shooting pics of serial numbers or detail. Don't put a light directly on top or behind the camera. Move the light source slightly to the side, which will create shadows in the lower areas and the numbers or lines will show up better.

January 14, 2003, 02:14 PM
Thanks, Ron. Digital photography has a much steeper learning curve than I imagined, and I once imagined that I understood film photography pretty well! :D

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