What Are the Best Cameras for Shooting Your Gold and Precious Metal Discoveries?

Whether you go hunting for precious metals in open fields or at estate sales, a small digital camera belongs in your toolbox. Your shots can help you keep track of discoveries that merit further investigation. Plus, the shots you take can help you get a better idea of their value. You can call us at 800-426-2344, email them to us, and we can give you a preliminary opinion about the value of your discoveries.

What Features Do Treasure Hunters Need in a Digital Camera?

 Portable cameras have come a long way! Credit: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net

Portable cameras have come a long way! Credit: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net

Here are some features that make cameras a good choice for precious metal hunters.

  • Macro focusing. In other words, the camera you choose should allow you to focus down closely and capture clear images of very small, easy-to-find gold items. Note that smartphones generally cannot do this, even though some apps are available that allow them to simulate macro focusing.
  • Compact size and light weight. Since you probably don’t want to carry around a big digital SLR, consider a smaller point-and-shoot camera that fits in a pocket or tote bag.
  • Toughness. If you will take your shots in outdoor settings or near water, consider one of the new “tough” cameras that resist moisture and rough treatment. They’re described below.
  • Specialized flashes and/or light sources. If you’ll be taking shots in dark places – like down in the drawers of old dressers you find at antique sales – you’ll want to either get a camera that has the right kind of flash, or invest in a light ring that lets you focus light directly on the treasure you are shooting. We’ll explain those below.

There are dozens and dozens of cameras that are great for gold and precious metal hunters. Here are just a few that merit consideration.

Great choice: The Ricoh WG Line of tough cameras

This entire line it’s a top choice for treasure hunters, especially the WG-30, which lists for about $400. Here’s what it has to offer...

  • Waterproof and dust-proof
  • Macro focusing
  • A unique ring of bright LCD lights around the lens focuses light directly onto the little objects you are photographing
  • Advanced image stabilization that brings home clear shots in adverse conditions
  • A compact size of only 1.2 x 4.8 x 2.4 inches makes it an easy carry

I don’t own one of these, but I played with one at my local camera store. It will be my next sidekick camera.

The Olympus TG-4 waterproof digital camera

This very tough little Olympus, which retails for about $400, replicates many of the features of the Ricoh WG. You can even go swimming with it. However, it does lack the specialized LCDs around the lens, which could affect the quality of your macro shots of tiny items.

The Canon PowerShot G series

I’ve got an older one of these, though I would recommend spending about $700 for the latest model, the G7. Though these cameras lack the tough waterproof features of the cameras I describe above, mine has seen me through some muddy outdoor treks – and its superior optics and macro-focusing ability get clear shots of the tiniest items.

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100III and the Canon PowerShot S-120

These two models are pretty similar. The Sony lists for about $850.00, while the Canon will run you close to $600.00. They look a lot like cheaper little point-and-shoot cameras that you’d like to take with you on vacation or give your kid for Christmas. And they are not too weather-resistant. Why the extra cost? Simply put, they both offer high pixel counts, terrific lenses, and excellent macro capabilities. And like the other cameras I’m writing about today, they will fit in your pocket.

An important accessory for treasure hunters who own digital SLRs

If you already own a good digital SLR from any maker, you’ve already got a good tool – even though it might be bigger than you would like. All digital SLRs have the ability to focus down for close macro shots. To get the most of those shots, however, consider adding an LED light ring that clips on around your lens. You’ll love the immediate boost in the clarity of all your macro shots. One inexpensive model, the Chromo Macro Ring Power Light, sells for only about $30.00. A must-have for treasure hunters.

There are more choices too...

If you have a good old-fashioned camera shop near you – one where the salespeople know something about the products they sell – I’d encourage you to stop in to ask for recommendations and advice. They could you show you cameras from makers like FujiFilm, Lumix, Samsung, and more. Play with the cameras, ask questions, and look for the features and capabilities that you’ve read about in today’s post.

Send Your Snaps to Us

Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today at 800-426-2344 and email your pictures to us. We’re here to help you understand your discoveries and refine the gold and other precious metals they contain for maximum value.

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