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Cameras for modelling and the real world.

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There has been some discussion on here about aspects of layout and model photography. It might be an idea to exchange information about the subject. For many years, my only digital camera was a Nikon Coolpix S4. I didn't really realise how useful it was, especially for recording exhibition layouts, until it failed on me. I got it largely for the 10X optical zoom, which was unusual in those far-off days. This meant that it has a swivelling lens assembly, for practical purposes, due to the size of the zoom assembly, and this makes it very useful for "arm's length" pictures, as the screen can be seen from odd angles, as well. My original one eventually failed, and I used a DSLR solely for a while, this was much less useful for use at exhibitions and I finally found a replacement on eBay.


The lens can be swung through 270 degrees (backwards, upwards, forwards, downwards and anywhere in between) and is therefore also handy in the 'real' world for taking pictures over walls, fences, crowds of people, other obstructions, etc, in the manner of a periscope. It is also a genuine 'pocket' camera, for when a DSLR is too bulky. There is a (rather delicate) hinged plastic lens cap that is not shown on that picture above.

The DSLR is an old Nikon D3000, which seems quite OK to me and is more controllable, if you feel like taking control. Just rather awkward to use in model railway situations, I find.


Obviously, I'm not going to get drawn into the whole "how to make sure all your pictures are the right way up" scenario.

Now that we seem to have the uploading issues resolved, it might be worth exchanging experiences of different equipment and techniques.


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  • 1 year later...

Someone gave me an old Samsung Galaxy S5830 phone, which I've never got around to unlocking and just use as a "Minox spy camera", in situations where a bigger device might be awkward - music events, etc.

I experimented with it on close subjects and found it to be quite good, so I used it for a lot of the recent pictures of the Sleaford show.

And, the size of the construction means that the depth of field is quite large, too, which is useful.

It did, however, receive undue criticism from @Mike 84C for producing rather too detailed views of some of the board joints...

I also took it to the DEMU event, but I was unable to use it there as I had broken one of my Golden Rules - never shut the memory card door with the memory card out - Doh!

It was still in the adaptor from uploading the Sleaford pictures the previous night.


It is very 'pocketable', but it's easy to get fingermarks on the lens.

Related image

It will accept up to a 32G card, which is thousands of pictures and I'll probably never fill it up.

Another thing that I have failed to do with this camera, now that I think about it, though it has been done with the other two, is to take an initial picture containing enough detail to get it back to me if I was to lose the entire camera, or just the card - a mobile phone number is enough.

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45 minutes ago, Mike 84C said:

 one of those Kodak shirt pocket Instamatics.. Who remembers  them? best forgotten!

Ah, the old 110 system - not perfect, but useful at the time. 

Kodak Star 110 - Camera-wiki.org - The free camera encyclopedia


You could get really minimalist arrangements.

Vintage Micro 110 Camera Keychain | eBay


And Minolta even did a somewhat larger version with a zoom lens...

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR - Wikipedia


...and an SLR...

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR MKII review - Photo Jottings

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