Hi, my first time posting here, plenty of good info on this website, much of it beyond my expertise or lack thereof is more like it.
I am trying to photograph gemstones. I have a Canon Powershot A70. I use manual mode where I can do a manual focus and adjust the aperture settings. I also use the feature where you can set the white balance based on whatever the camera is pointing at.
I am also using a lightbox with compact flour. bulbs on 3 sides.
At times, the photos are not as sharp as they could be. Also, when I auto adjust levels in Photoshop, it makes the photo seem brighter and crisper, most times for the better. My bigger gripe is that the photos are lacking the details of the individual facets (cuts) on the stones. I am guessing this is because the manual focus requires the camera to be at least 10-12 inches away from the gem and therefore I am not close enough. Sometimes the camera allows me to adjust the MF down to 6 inches but that is rare. Not sure what is controlling this feature.
My question is, do I need a macro lens or a digicam with a higher optical zoom? Currently I am using the digital zoom at 6.0x. The digital zoom max is 9x+ but the picture quality is very lacking at that level.
I am thinking of either:
A) getting the Canon 250D macro lens for this camera or
B) upgrading to a new camera such as the Sony Cybershot with the Carl Zeiss optics that comes standard with an optical 10x zoom. The max. optical zoom on my current unit is 3.0x
Given these issues, which option will alleviate them? Do I need a higher optical zoom capability or a macro lens or am I talking about something that is one in the same? Thanks so much for any help you can provide.