Best digital camera setting for taking sludge/engine photos ??

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Sep 12, 2004
Central Florida
Whats the best setting for a digital camera for taking photos of an engine with the valve cover off ?? I want to take close up photos of the rocker arms, valve springs, valve cover, sludge....etc. Should I just leave it in 'Auto' or should I play with the settings (ISO shutter speed, image quality VGA/5MP, EV compensation, white balance, etc....?? [I dont know]
One last question. When I 'zoom in' to take a photo, how much should I zoom in so that the picture doesn't get distorted ?? Thanks
I don't know which camera you own, so its hard to say. But I think you should leave the camera on Auto, and it should have a macro mode/button you can press for close-up's. As far as zooming, I think that as long as you have digital zoom disabled, distortion shouldn't be a problem as long as there a good amount of light. I wouldn't exceed 75% zoom though. One advantage to using zoom is that when you get really close to a subject, the flash can overexpose the image. So that's usually when i use the zoom, so that the camera is farther away and the flash doesn't mess up the image.
Originally posted by LT4 Vette: One last question. When I 'zoom in' to take a photo, how much should I zoom in so that the picture doesn't get distorted ?? Thanks
Use light sources other than flash. That way you get agood idea what you picture is going to look like through your viewfinder screen. You can also place the lights to reduce glare and highlight the areas you want highlighted. Take most pictures from about the distance you would be lloking at the engine for a general look-see, about 2 or 3 feet. That gives your picture a better perspective. Use you optical zoom from that distance to frame the picture the way your want it. Use the highest resolution and picture quality your camera has. You can always reduce detail later, but you can't add it.
Hmm...I would *start* with the camera on auto, shoot a few, see what they look like. As a rough guide: If you have the camera inside arm's length of your subject, try setting it on Macro mode- should be a little icon that looks like a tulip. If distance is a bit farther, maybe Portrait or Auto. If very close & flash "washes out"/overexposes the picture, try turning the flash off. You may need a camera support(tripod, etc) to keep from blurring the picture with flash off. Or if your camera allows, reduce exposure. Some cameras limit zooming when in Macro mode. Check your owners manual. [Cheers!]
You leave out a lot of details in what camera you have. I have both Fuji S9000 (9 megapixel) and Nikon D50 6 megapixel. Both take excellent pictures, but both are different in the way you would approach this project. Auto might give you general results but some cameras have macro modes on them and if you really want to capture detail, you will want to try with and without flash. Remember, it's digital. Take all the pictures you want. Delete the ones that are no good and work on the rest. [Big Grin]
Thanks for all the info. [Smile] I will set in in the Macro mode and take a few pics, then adjust the settings to see how good the detail gets. I am very old school and not really into electronic gadgets, this is my first digital camera.
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