Digital cameras forum: Canon PowerShot A510 Macro settings

by: bartbrown September 22, 2009 12:28 PM PDT

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Canon PowerShot A510 Macro settings

by bartbrown - 9/22/09 12:28 PM

I know this doesn't quite fit in with the high-zoot SLR digitals usually discussed here, but I hope someone can help me. I do a lot of closeup shots for auction listings (so these images end up at screen resolution). My problem is depth-of-field while in Macro mode. As an example, I shoot a lot of diecast and slot cars, from 1/43d scale (pretty small -- 2" or less) to 1/12th scale (12" or more). If I shoot a 3/4-view in Macro mode (these things are small, with small details that need to be seen), sometimes the front of the item is perfectly focused, while the rear drops off in sharpnness. I'm trying to find a combination of shooting parameters that will keep everything in focus -- I've been using a very small aperture (like f/8) in Av mode, shooting strictly from a tripod (and delayed shutter release) into a light tent, which generally receives a combination of natural shaded sunlight and small halogen spots through the scrim of the lightbox (I never use the onboard flash for this kind of shot). I've tried auto white balance, measured (by the camera) light balance, adaptive focus, autofocus (but not manual focus... yet), AiAF off and on, full-auto mode with Macro mode selected, and have experimented with different ISO settings. Sometimes the results are OK, more often not, with the front-to-rear focus problems mentioned above. I've found the manual less than informative, to say the least. I'm hoping someone here can give me some ideas of a starting point for these Macro shots, including:

Shooting Mode (set with the Shooting Mode dial)
Macro Mode (set with the Macro/MF button)
White balance
Metering Mode
Aperture Setting
Resolution
ISO Speed
Whatever else helps.

I thought I knew what I was doing -- my old Nikon Coolpix didn't have all these variables to mess around with, and I'm trying to get used to the Canon.

Thanks!

Bart

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