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Discussion Starter #1
I don't think Mini DV camcorders have any super macro zooms like digital cameras, but you can take still shots on them, and they are somewhat comparable on the MP level. The Mini DV can record sound and movement too, although there are some digital cameras that can also take movies too, they aren't as good a quality. What about the big optical zoom on those camcorders? Some Mini DVs cost as much or less than super high-end digital cameras.

What would you get and why?
 

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IMO, both :wink:

The DV for taking baby movies and the digital camera for photos. The lenses are pretty much comparable, nothing affordable nowadays has particularly super lenses. Macro rings and other accessories are availbale for both, optical zoom is about the only thing that stands out today when comparing lenses on such units. If I were to consider a DV to take photos I'd be looking at features such as manual settings (manual focus, flash, white balance, shutter speed.....) all the things you normally look for in a digital camera. Many DVs are limited in this field, but if you find one that has it all then a single unit may be really nice!

It won't be long before DVs and digital cameras become a single unit, last time I looked however, DVs were strong for video and poor for photos, digital cameras the other way around... :?

Giancarlo Podio
 

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I read about people on here buying some inexpensive lenses or rings (what are those exactly) on eBay to put onto their digital camera to get those super close zoomed shots. Are all Mini DVs and digital cameras able to fit with those rings and lenses? What ones should I buy though? All I have is a point and shoot digital camera. I can't tweak any settings like the F-Stop or Aperture.
 

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Your camera needs to have a threaded lens to accept filters and other accessories, or have an optional adapter available for it that will allow you to do the same. Once you have this, and you know the diameter of the filters it takes, you can buy many accessories such as fisheye, zoom, wide angle, macro lenses, close up rings, filters and so on.

To see some examples on ebay, search for the following item numbers:
3809864313
3810402226

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Giancarlo,

Thanks for the help thus far. My Kodak 2.2MP says on the front 38mm (Equiv) F4.5 EKTANAR Lens. I did an eBay search on 38mm lenses and I didn't come up with much. Maybe 38mm is an unpopular number? I saw some rings or adapters or lenses (I'm not even sure what I saw) but the F number was smaller than 4.5 and I'm going to be needing a higher number to take the fast pics of zippy fish like Zebra Danios, right? Also is there like a FAQ that explain all of those things you were talking about? Like the Fisheye, Wide Angle, Close-up Rings, Filters, etc?
 

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Mike the 38mm refers to the focal length of the lens, not the diameter of the threaded accessories it takes. They usually indicate this using an O with a diagonal line through it and a number. Look closely at your lens and see if the tip is threaded or not, otherwise look up your camera model to see if it can take accessories. Macro shots are rarely done on moving fish, the depth of field is so shallow using macro lenses that a moving object would require active auto focus, something that most of our cameras don't have.

What's your camera model?

If I come by some good links I'll post them.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea, it's got a threaded front. I can make out at least three lines where you could screw some sort of attachment on there. It's a Kodak DX3500 2.2MP. The only thing that you can really do with it is use a zoom, but it's not that great a zoom for close-ups like a macro zoom, more like a faraway type zoom.
 

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Here you go:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Kodak/kodak_dx3500.asp

It takes 27mm accessories.

Search for 27mm in the camera category of ebay and you should find many accessories. 27mm is not the most popular size so if you can't find what you are looking for, you can buy a 27mm-37mm step-up ring allowing you to use the more popular 37mm accessories. Using a larger close-up ring than the lens is actually better anyway, but make sure the extra diamater will not get in the way of the autofocus "eye" or flash.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Giancarlo,

Do you know of any online guide or FAQ that explains all the technical terms and gadgets that you can add to your camera to take better shots? Like what kind of rings, filters, lens, +1, +2, +4, etc. to get for certain kinds of shots. What kinds of settings like F-Stop, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Wide Angle, Telephoto, Fisheye, etc. to use for certain kinds of shots. Thanks.

I found this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=15218&item=3810988240&rd=1 but I'm not sure what those lenses do, and those look too big to fit on my camera, even though it says 27mm on the listing title.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Any advice on how much money I should spend on these close-up lenses? Some people on eBay sure love to gouge you on shipping. How much do they sell these lenses for in stores?
 

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Not all glasses are the same, however most of my digital shots are taken using those cheap close-up rings on ebay, I think I paid around $10 for the set of three. But a good set can run you over a $100. Get whatever you are willing to spend on them. A set with coated lenses is probably a good basic choice. Seeing you are just starting out, it may be worth while buying some cheap lenses at first until you know what you are going to use the most. It would be a shame to spend $100s on something you end up not using much.

Giancarlo Podio
 
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