We dropped in to London Drugs this afternoon, hoping to pick up a pack of TP, and a cheap new phone for the entrance intercom. But we had to stop at the camera counter, and attracted the attention of our friendly salesperson. He had a camera he'd given his brother-in-law for Christmas, he said. His b-i-l loved it, and he was positive it was perfect for us. (I have to admit that my answer to, "How are you doing today?", which was, "Drooling," -- I was looking at the shelf of DSLRs -- may have encouraged him.)
It was a cheap Sony CyberShot, on sale, because a new lot is coming in. What he had to tell us, and show us, was how good it was at macros. He knows my weakness. It has a minimum of other functions; can't handle kids running, or sports, can't handle rough treatment, can't handle dust, or cold, or heat. But it switched to macro automatically when he pointed it at Laurie's sleeve from a couple of inches away, and took a photo that showed the texture of the individual threads, more accurately than my big old Olympus would.
What sold it, though, was that he held it flat against scratched, dusty glass, and took a photo through it. That's what I'm doing all the time with my aquarium; no matter how I clean the outside of the glass, there's always algae and other specks on the inside. The photo he took had no flaws, even zoomed in to its maximum. Wow!
Before I'd finished checking it over, Laurie said he'd buy it for me, for next year's Christmas. He's done that before. I think his calendar is off.
I brought it home and headed to the aquarium without even reading the manual. Here's the first shot I took, directly through the glass, on automatic everything.
|Backside of a hermit, and the shrimp in the background.|
This photo is as shot; cropped, resized for the blog, and sharpened, as usual, but not adjusted any other way. No need to fix the colour balance, nor the exposure, nor clone out the spots. Nothing to brag about, and the hermit wasn't co-operating, but better than I have been getting.
After a bit of experimentation, figuring out the optimal distances, I got the clearest photo of my big shrimp yet.
|Coonstripe, now showing his stripes.|
The pump was going for this photo, so the water was full of moving bubbles, and the sea lettuce he's sitting on was waving about. It still came out fairly clear, and with much more detail than I have gotten before, even in ideal conditions. Again, the camera was pressed flat against the glass. And the only adjustments I have made are the cropping, resizing, a slight increase in the contrast, and sharpening.
And I had never seen, before, that my shrimp has a toothed "sawblade" along the top of the rostrum. (From just behind the eyes to almost the tip of the front apppendages.) Right-click on the photo (open link, not image, in new tab) to see it full-size.
After all that, I went on to start reading the manual. I'm barely through the first part, and finding ways to improve already.
So, so far, I am pleased with the camera. I don't think it's going to the beach with me (sand and cold), nor will it be shoved in my purse (banging about), but except for extreme close-ups, it probably will replace the old Olympus, my preferred macro camera. I'll still use that for 1 mm. bugs, though. This one has a range of 2 inches or more; with the Olympus 55, I can get as close as 1/2 an inch away.