I've probably taken less 50 photos in my whole life, and they all sucked.
But I'm at the point with a couple of clients where for better or worse I think the responsibility of taking regular product shots is gonna fall in my lap come the first of the year. We own a digital camera (Canon IXUS 105), but it's just not up to the task of some of the macro shots I need.
I've pretty much resigned myself to a digital SLR since it seems like if I'm going to spend more than a couple of hundred bucks, I should just up the ante a bit and get something which allows a bit more control and flexibility than a point-and-shoot.
Thoughts and rough criteria as follows:
1) Nearly all my shots will be published strictly to the web; I don't need or care about print quality, though I know that's really only related to file size and resolution anyway
2) 80% of my shots will be of products ranging in size from, say.... a paper clip to a jacket, taken in a controlled environment with consistent lighting to suit
3) The balance will mostly be outdoor shots of buildings in natural light, and interior shots of offices, also in whatever natural light is available
4) I don't need bleeding edge, and in fact would prefer to buy used and/or slightly older if at all possible
I'll also likely need to buy or build a lightbox for some of the "pair of shoes or smaller" items. What I should be looking for, avoiding, experiences with building vs. buying, etc.? If we're being honest, I'd prefer to build if only because I'm a fool for projects which are totally out of my depth, but if a cheap consumer solution is out there which works for what I need, I'd love to hear about it.
Finally, I'd like to avoid having to buy or use more than two different lenses (one for macro and short distance work, one for... everything else); what should I be looking for? It's at this point were I'm totally, completely lost.
Thanks in advance for any help!