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12/08/2004: "Best Digital Camera for Shooting Artwork?"
I thought I already knew which digital camera I wanted (the Sony Mavica CD500) but then I started shopping around and reading reviews and now I'm more confused than ever. Basically I want something in the 500-600 dollar range, 5mp or higher, with more than a 3x optical zoom and some kind of image stabalization.
I need to be able to take good, high resolution images of my artwork that can be converted to slides if necessary. The place I found that will do the conversion requires the following for either a 4k or and 8k resolution slide:
4k = 4096 x 2730 pixels = 32MB RGB
8k = 8192 x 5460 pixels = 128MB RGB
In other words:
2MP = 1600x1200 pixels or 5.49MB (slides will look a bit soft but usable)
3MP = 2048x1536 pixels or 9MB (slides will look ok. Good enough for most purposes)
4MP = 2272x1704 pixels or 11.1MB (slides will look better. Again, good for most purposes)
5MP = 2592x1944 pixels or 14.4MB (Slides will look good.)
Above 5MP = Professional (slides will look great)
BUT, I also want to be able to use this camera outdoors a lot, to take photos that I'll use as source material for my paintings and I want a good optical zoom. From all the research I've done. I found this camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 that seems to meet all of my requirements except it's only 5mp. Which means it would take good slides, but not professional looking slides.
I'm not even sure how important that is anymore anyway. From what I hear Kodak is going to quit making and processing film and they already stopped making slide projectors. Everyone is moving to digital in record numbers, maybe traditional slides will become obsolete as well? Do I really need to base this decision on the slide issue when everything else is great (color, zoom, price, user reviews on ease of use, etc.)?
The only other issue I have with this camera is that there is a slight barrel distortion, meaning bowed edges, which is annoying when you're shooting objects with straight edges. Still, it was very slight.
The more I look into this the more confused I get. Has anyone recently done research on the best digital camera (consumer grade) for taking photos of artwork?