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Good Starter Camera 2011


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#1 KAYAK45

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:16 PM

The last posts have been a pretty long time ago, for the digital world.

What now, is a pretty good camera for leather work photog? Features, lenses etc. for a beginner who wants fairly high quality.

Thanks

Kevin
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#2 WinterBear

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:43 PM

Well, it depends...I assume you want digital? What's your budget?

The really serious photo bugs are going to ask you: what exactly do you want to do, what features would be nice to have, what's the range of items you plan to photograph and how close do you want to focus on average (there are cameras with settings or lens options that will let you focus on the face of a bee and there are ones that take lousy pictures from less than 3ft, ones that take good pictures of people but won't focus on anything less than 12 ft away), what will you be photographing under (daylight, indoors, light box).... You'll want to know about picture size and speed (how fast does it store pictures before you can take the next one), what type of digital cards/storage, and what type of batteries it needs, do you want a point-and-shoot or do you want to try f-stops and aperture settings? Do you want basic video capability (you won't get high quality there unless you pay through the nose or get a video camera). Some options in there will increase the price a lot too.

Me, I just muck about with a Canon Powershot S5-IS, and it does almost everything I want it to. I can even use my old lenses with the appropriate adaptors, so what I do is just move the lenses to the new camera when I get an upgrade. The Canon I have takes regularly sized batteries (4 AA), and while it makes it heavy, it also means I can have a pocket full of rechargeables and take pictures all day long. I have an 8G SD card that I can store about 1000 pictures on at my highest resolution (8 megapixel). I sometimes will be asked to take pictures of jewelry for business cards and websites, and some magazine spreads, and can do a pretty dang good job with it if I set things up correctly (opals and mirror polished metal are hard!). I can take pretty good pictures of people and landscapes with it too, and everything in between. Not so good in dim light, but one can't have everything and most digitals have the same problem. I also haven't broken it yet, and it's been a couple of years now and I will admit I have abused it.
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#3 KAYAK45

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 06:46 PM

OK.. so a say ...nikon 6.1 is a alright camera? Buddy has a "d50 6.1mp" with a lense for say $250. OK for showing holsters and boots?
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#4 particle

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:41 PM

Any d-SLR will be perfectly fine for product photos. Get a body with the basic features you want, then spend the rest on good glass.

http://www.dpreview....views/nikond50/

Edited by particle, 12 October 2011 - 07:43 PM.


#5 WinterBear

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:07 AM

I spent some time rummaging through old emails from the time I bought my camera and found the review site I was thinking of tonight. http://www.imaging-r...e.com/WB/WB.HTM. Take a good rummage through there and you can get all kinds of information, including standard performance tests/evaluations that are standard between makes and models, which I found especially handy for making comparisons.

On the right hand side there are picks of what the reviewer though was the best out of categories for Type, User, and Resolution. The review for the Nikon D50 6.1 (body only) is here: http://www.imaging-r...DS/D50/D50A.HTM. The drop-down menu at the top has their review for the various features, and where the features were good, and maybe not so good. Check out the sample images in that drop-down menu too. The link at the bottom of the main review page will take you to the discussion by consumers.

Something to keep in mind with digitals--there is a difference between "optical" zoom and "digital" zoom in digital cameras, especially in cameras with built in lenses. Digital zoom is like blowing up a picture on your screen. Yeah, it looks bigger, but the resolution drops off rapidly, and gets pixelated even at low levels of digital zoom. You lose detail. I actually disable the digital zoom in every digital camera I've owned. Optical zoom is the zoom/closeup you get due to the lenses, and the higher the optical zoom, the more detail you can get in a picture taken from a distance and then blown up. A 12x optical zoom and an 8.0megapixel resolution with my camera will allow me to do some cropping of a picture and still have enough detail/"sharpness" to get decent prints in a 8x10 format if desired.
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