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 Post subject: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Wal-Mart's White Knight
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:21 pm
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Location: WGL/VIC/AUS
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!

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 Post subject: Re: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:05 am 
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Thinks Plants Have Feelings
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:12 am
Posts: 63
Location: Seattle
As for the camera, any older DSLR should suit your purposes fine. If you have a camera shop around your area, go visit it and ask a salesperson to find you to the right used camera. If you don't want to drop that much cash on a DSLR I'm sure a point-and-shoot would serve your purpose. I'd point you in the direction of a Canon G10. This camera can handle macro photography well. Its main weakness is handling low light, which isn't a problem for your case. Truth is, most any decent camera will turn out amazing photos with great lighting, a tripod, and little practice.

As for the lightbox, this website has great instructions on how to build one out of common materials. Most cheaper premade lightboxes aren't worth buying anyway. There are also great tutorials on photography is general and they are a joy to read:
http://diyphotography.net/


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 Post subject: Re: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Thinks Plants Have Feelings
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:12 am
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Location: Los Angel-ish
If you get a 100mm macro lens and a 24-70mm zoom lens you should be able to handle everything you describe. The 100mm macro is for the close ups. You may want to have a tripod to keep the camera steady when you are doing those shots. When you are doing macros, a little bit of movement forwards or backwards can throw your intended focal point out of focus. The 24-70 is a great all-around lens. At 24mm it provides a very wide angle, which will be good when you are shooting big things like buildings.

Lenses have varying qualities of glass, and that affects the sharpness of the photos. Like on Canon, their premium lenses are the 'L' series. It makes a huge difference. If you can, you might try renting gear to see what will work for the types of things you want to shoot and to make sure it produces the quality the client is expecting.

You can make your own lightbox. If I was going to have clients coming over to be a part of the shoots I wouldn't do that though.

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 Post subject: Re: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:28 pm 
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Thinks Plants Have Feelings
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:12 am
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Location: Seattle
Eh, I'm not sure wide angle lenses are okay for architecture though. Wouldn't it distort perspective? Maybe if he bought nice photo editing software, but that's just another expense.


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 Post subject: Re: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Wal-Mart's White Knight
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:21 pm
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Location: WGL/VIC/AUS
Architecture = exterior of a small office building, likely no further out than to show signage or whatever.

As far as photo editing software goes, I have Photoshop CS5, but did you mean something else more specifically photo-y? I can always be convinced to buy more software.

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 Post subject: Re: Photo Pholks: Talk DSLR To Me
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:21 am 
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Thinks Plants Have Feelings
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:12 am
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Location: Seattle
Oh! Well then if you own CS5 you can buy any camera your heart desires. Here is the nicest tutorial I can find to demonstrate what I meant about distortion in perspective and how to fix it with Photoshop:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/correctinglensdistortion.htm


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