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Uncle Uncool

What digital camera have you got?

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For quite a lifetime I've had this crappy 7.0 Mega Pixel Sanyo VPC-T700 digital camera which is a tad limited to take good piccies.

sanyo_vpc-t700.jpg

Main problem I have while takin' piccies with this camera is that I can't seem to get good resolution piccies when shootin' at subjects which are standin' too close. Camera just seems to focus on just a small portion of the whole subject I want to photograph, while all the sorroundin' areas come all blurry. This has always kinda been whut put me off from postin' piccies on here.

I've seen on this forum chaps post awfully clear piccies of subjects which seem to be even closer than those I wanted to shoot at, so most obvious enquire would be to see whut ya guys recommend.

Bad news is I've only got $2000 to burn... :crying2: One other thing to bear in mind is that most prolly I'll use this camera to just shoot at my models (meanin' the styrene-injected ones, not the female ones ;) ).

Thanks in advance, fellas!

Cheers,

Unc²

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I have Nikon 3200 with two zoom lens that came in a kit . I bought a 35 mm 1.8 f prime lens . Love that Lens . I will look into a 50 mm prime and 40 mm micro

After getting the 35 prime lens , i never use the other two lens from kit .

I learned Lens are what cost .

Enjoy

Rick

Also If i had to do it over .

I would get a camera body only . One prime lens . start out with . Then go from there ..

Some lens , The focus you need to be a distance away .

My 35 mm prime lens I think The minimum focusing distance of just 12 inches

Edited by infofrog

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I have two Canon DSLRs : a Canon Rebel T3i and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I use the full-frame 5D only for nature and vacation photography, and for most daily tasks requiring an SLR the T3i is just fine. I also have way too many EF and EF-S mount lenses (from Canon, Sigma and Tamron) than any reasonable amateur photographer should have. A Sigma 18-200mm lens mounted on my Rebel T3i meets most of my needs; though.

For your budget, I would highly recommend getting the current entry-level Canon DSLR (which is the Rebel T5i if I am not mistaken) with a lens kit, and a Tamron or Sigma 18-200 lens. You should be able to get these on only half of your budget.

I also have a Canon PowerShot SX160IS point-and-shoot which accepts AA batteries (very rare these days) and comes with a reasonable zoom lens. Canon occasionally sells refurbished SX160IS for less than $50 : they say they are refurbished, but I think they are just unsold cameras they are unloading in plain boxes. This camera is an absolute steal at that price, and would be a very nice complement for a smartphone in almost any case that does not justify carrying a DSLR around.

Edited by KursadA

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I shoot Sony DSLR's because I started with Minolta and all of my old Minolta lenses fit the Sony bodies. If I had to do it all over again, I would probably go with Nikon, but the Sony is very nice. One advantage of the Sony over the Nikon is the Sony body has image stabilization, so any lens you put on the camera has it. With Nikon and Canon, you have to buy a lens with the image stabilization on it.

My biggest advice, buy the most expensive LENS you can afford and get a cheaper body to go along with it. If you get into photography as a hobby, you will swap out bodies every few years, but the lenses always stay. If you want to take pictures of plastic models, or anything close up, make sure you get a lens that is for MACRO shooting. Otherwise, you won't be able to focus on anything closer than 2-3 ft. There are other guys on here that know a whole lot more about it than I do, but those are my basic recommendations for you.

-Dave

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Nikon D3200 with18-55 mm and 55-300 mm. I've had it for a few years now and I think it's the nicest package I've had. I had a n old Canon Rebel before and when I upgraded I could see a big difference in the pics. When I look through my files I can instantly tell which camera I used. I was price shopping at the time and a local outlet had this package for a great price.Cheers Paul

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The Samsung ES75 I had at work was a pretty good camera as far as macro was concerned.

My current camera is a Sony DSC-HX20V.

Macro:

16115973260_f1e8ffa76b_k_d.jpg

In low light:

15680934574_5cd291d346_k_d.jpg

Same lighting as the previous picture, up close and personal with the Blenheim on the shelf, no flash:

16303341065_12da14f5f5_k_d.jpg

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Camera just seems to focus on just a small portion of the whole subject I want to photograph, while all the sorroundin' areas come all blurry.

You don't need a SLR to do this. You just need a camera that allows you to set its aperture, lots of light, and maybe a tripod.

Look at the Canon PowerShot G16 or older Canon cameras of that type. They all have excellent macro performance and you won't break the bank.

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in addition to what was said above. learn to set the autofocus to manually select the focus point. this will keep it from focusing on the wrong thing. a remote shutter release and tripod will go a long way to getting better shots.

also good lighting is really important, I use 4 150watt 6500k CFL bulbs in cheap ikea lamps. they run cool and will not melt your models.

if you decide to go the dslr route DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!

this guy

has a great bunch of reviews on his site. he has specs and comparisons out the wazoo. just beware, his opinions are to be taken as tongue in cheek. just about everything he reviews is the best thing ever, in his opinion.

if I was to recommend any camera it would be the N!kon D7100

D7100

the 18-55 is AMAZING for close up shots of your models.

18-55

this will leave you enough for a cheap little tripod and cable release.

tripod

cable release

and of course SD cards

SD cards

all of which will run around $1250, leaving you $$ for the second lens you will want when the photography bug bites you hard.

the 50 1.8D is an amazingly sharp lens.

50 1.8

as is the 35 1.8

35 1.8

hth

Dylan

Edited by dylan

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You don't need a SLR to do this. You just need a camera that allows you to set its aperture, lots of light, and maybe a tripod.

Look at the Canon PowerShot G16 or older Canon cameras of that type. They all have excellent macro performance and you won't break the bank.

I have been wondering about this for a loooong time. First, similar to Uncle Uncool, I am not happy with my pics. I have a Canon Powershot A620. Here are some examples:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=279141

I have three of these on my desk for lighting:

k2-_cdb06ee3-d324-41b5-9bb7-311019a53937.v1.jpg

I am still not sure what the problem is. I don't want to invest in a DSLR if my primary issue is lighting or some non-camera related problem. So I am seeking your help:

I use the macro setting on the A620, I use aperture first, I use a tripod, no flash, 2 sec. shutter delay, max f-stop (8.0 on A620) for greater depth of view, center-weighted or spot exposure. I also use photoediting SW (GIMP, Irfan View, iPhoto) so that is not a problem either. However, I am looking at so many others' pics and they look great. Check out Chucks great pics:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=280156&view=findpost&p=2669567

What is wrong with my pictures? Camera, lighting, background, everything? I can't put a finger on it but in my pics I don't like the hard shadows and the frequent saturation I get due to overexposure. I think these have to do with not using a proper background color or not having good lighting (too strong spot lighting, not enough diffuse light etc.).

Since I have so many unknowns here, I am hesitant to get a new camera. Those who have experience with these issues (or can decipher what's going on in my pics), I could really use some help. I want perfect pictures! :)

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What is wrong with my pictures? Camera, lighting, background, everything? I can't put a finger on it but in my pics I don't like the hard shadows and the frequent saturation I get due to overexposure. I think these have to do with not using a proper background color or not having good lighting (too strong spot lighting, not enough diffuse light etc.).

I think you already have a good idea of the problems in your photos. You just need to experiment some. You capture the detail well and actually have a larger depth of focus than the photos you compare yourself to. You need a background that offers high contrast to the model while not having any distracting details (shiny spots, paint splatter, so forth).

I usually have a hand held lamp when I take pictures, and then take pictures with that lamp in various locations. I then pick the picture with the best contrast and least reflections.

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Spejic, Rick, thank you for the ideas. If I understand you correctly, you do think that I can get more milage with my current camera (which I hope).

Spejic, I do exactly the same thing you do: I keep one of the lights in my hand, and in fact wave it around quite rapidly and broadly as I am taking the picture! With aperture first setting, the shutter is usually open for a good second or two giving me the opportunity to get more of a broader coverage of my light source over the model. This is in fact one way I am trying to soften the hard shadows. The idea is similar to the way how car lights turn into strings of light when taking night pictures (long exposure). It's as if the light source is at many different locations (not sure if I was explain what I do). Even then I am not satisfied with my pics.

Rick, I in fact use a photo tent of this sort:

k2-_43bc9bc0-51f0-4f5f-8adb-055f78132e76.v1.jpg

But I tend to use this only for my final 'studio' pics of my models. The time to set it up (I use reflective silver paper inside it too) and the space it takes on the bench prevents me from using it for WIP pics. So whatever solution I come up with, I hope to not use a tent for WIP. But if that is what it takes, that would be great to know as well.

I see that a lot of people use home-made diffusers around their work lights (wax paper, milk jugs, etc.) but I just did not put in the time to try this option. So maybe I am just ignoring my general laziness and blaming the camera (ummm, yes, that's what I do) thinking a good camera would solve all the problems. I think I need more light sources and need these to be sufficiently diffuse. Please raise your hand if you agree :)/>

Uncle Uncool, sorry for hijacking your thread this way, I hope the info we get here would be useful for you and others reading this.

Edited by Janissary

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:wacko: Well, that's a helluva lota info! The more I learn 'bout this whole matter, the less I get it, in all honesty. But first is first; thanks to all of ye blokes who were kind as to have left a reply on this thread to try 'n' help me with it.

Uncle Uncool, sorry for hijacking your thread this way, I hope the info we get here would be useful for you and others reading this.

Ne'er mind Jay, be my guest, as yer contribution will be in everyone's interest. Incidentally, lemme tell ya that yer piccies look good enough to me. It's a good thing I ne'er actually durst postin' mine! :woot.gif:

Havin' read the first replies on this thread, yesterday I went to a (Canon) photography store, carryin' some model parts with me. Told the vendor behind counter whut I was lookin' for (as well as whut I wanted to shoot at), 'n' he first suggested buyin' the Canon EOS 1000D along with the EF 50mm f/2.5USM Macro lens, as mate 2qwik4u advised.

I asked the vendor we shot some piccies at a 1/48th scale BAe Lightnin' F.2 fuselage I'm currently buildin.' I was startin' to look at the piccies we took, when I realised the background was still all blurry :blink: Told the bloke that I'd rather want both the subject 'n' the background to stay sharp, so he answered that I needed another kind of lens, like a 18-55, as Dylan suggested above, but then I neither need to get a Macro lens nor to get THAT close to the subject I wanted to shoot at. Also, he said that I needed a different focal depth settin' if I wanted the background to remain sharp.

So that was where I called it a day; bloke was talkin' things which grasp obviously went WAY beyond my skull, all the more so when I saw that the EOS 1000D, an already expensive camera, brought a EF 50mm 1:1.4 kit lens. Say whuuut...???!!! :lol:

Hence, I decided to do my research 'n' learn a lil' bit more before takin' a decision.

Whut is this thing 'bout focal length/depth (as in f/?), 'n' whut it's got to do with the background appearance? Do I real need a Macro lens to take good close-up piccies at my models? Also, whut with the difference in mm between one lens 'n' the other?

Me skull is already steamin,' but I'll keep on readin' just anythin' ya fellas post.

Thanks everyone!

Cheers,

Unc²

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Here's what you have to do...just what I did. I had a 7 page article published in TMMI a few years ago. I got very nice, in focus photos, of everything from the entire car to just the steering wheel using this set up.

I have the Nikon 3200 with the kit lenses 18-55 and 55-300mm Or get the equivalent Canon set up. You really need only the 18-55 for model work, but the kit is so cheap you might as well get both lenses

Get a set of diopter rings (screw in magnifiers). They are usually sold in a 3 pack of +1, +2 and +4 diopters.

You MUST have some kind of tripod.... doesn't have to be expensive.

The above set up will do everything you want to do with a camera.

For the time being that's all you need to worry about. Get the set up first and then go from there.

HTH

Bob

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Just checked some prices. Not sure where you are located, but USA prices for the 2 lens kits are running about 500-600 USD.

The 3 diopter sets might be 30-50 USD.

Throw in another 100USD for the tripod and a few bucks for some lights. You then have everything you need.

You do NOT need a 1.4 lens!!!!

Bob

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I bought a Canon Powershot SX240 HS a few years back and am quite happy with it in the value for money department.

It falls into the "travel zoom" category so it's compact enough to put in your pocket, but has a lens with 20x optical zoom power. It has a good variety of settings including a macro function that works very well with a bit of practice.

If you can't, or don't wish to put out the funds for a DSLR; it's certainly worth taking a look at

Here's a good review of it that represents the product fairly:

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/canon_powershot_sx240_hs_review/

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I find there is a general lack of understanding exposure. How your camera "sees" things. Many of us spent years learning how to build models but yet don't spend far enough time trying to learn basic photography. Aperture, shutter, white balance, ISO....Which every make of digital camera has and their manuals clearly explains. Before anyone goes out a spend a ton of cash on a DSLR thinking better gear will make my photos better.... it won't. Not without an understanding of exposure. If your improperly exposing images now with a point and shoot, you will do the same thing with a DSLR. If your shooting Jpeg or RAW, a poorly exposed image is still a poor image. One is easier to edit than the other but you should not have to. Get the exposure right in the camera. Shoot, evaluate, change setting, reshoot. Digital cameras make seeing your work easy. Take some time and read your manual, use what you learn, your photos will get better. Remember, photographers from armatures to pros takes great images not cameras. And use a tripod!

Happy shooting and modeling!

Steven :wave:

Edited by FAR148

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Many of us spent years learning how to build models but yet don't spend far enough time trying to learn basic photography.

Amen! Although I do recognise this as my biggest fault, it wasn't 'til I started dwellin' the many modellin' forums online that I did realise 'bout this. Be that as it may, the camera I own is indeed limited; I thought an in-progress thread deserves to have good quality piccies in order to be interestin' to the onlookers.

Before anyone goes out a spend a ton of cash on a DSLR thinking better gear will make my photos better.... it won't. Not without an understanding of exposure.

This is kinda whut that vendor told me at the photography store. Perhaps I'd better understand the basics of photography before makin' up my mind on whut camera to purchase. I still admit not to understand the least 'bout aperture or shutter. Ya might understand it wasn't any comfortable for me to go to a photography store to buy an expensive camera without even knowin' how to use it! :rolleyes:

And use a tripod!

I wish it were just 'bout that, but the camera I have is nuthin' but a sorry piece of crap.

Thanks for yer words, Steven. They real made a lot of sense to me.

Cheers,

Unc²

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I had Nikon point and shoot camera, tell I upgraded to nikon 3200 .

It was a good camera . The lighting I found out is the main area for good photo's .. No matter what camera you have , Lighting is the main source for good photo's.

If you have a manual on your camera start with that ..

This lady on you tube has great starter videos .

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCchFM6wXty2IJXA9SiTVN4w

Rick

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A fairly inexpensive Nikon D3100 as far as DSLR's go, and it's very versatile with an anti vibration feature, it was a packaged deal Camera body/ 55mm lens. I got mine from overstock.com .

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I shoot with a Nikon D90 and a 18-70mm as my primary lens. I also have their 55-200mm kit lens which is ok, but nothing great. I bought for close up work a set of Kenko extension tubes. I have two different size tripods, a remote cable release, and a Nikon DR-6 Right angle view finder which really is a life saver on yuor back for close up and macro work. I shoot only in RAW so I have max control of the editing process. For a editing program I opted for Nikon's Capture NX 2 over Lightroom or Photoshop, as both are more then what I'll ever need.

Lighting is the key to model photography. Using the camera flash is the easy but wrong way to go. I'm working with a two light setup, but am adding a 3rd light to help control the background shadows. I do use homemade diffusors to soften the light.

If you're on a budget, the major camera stores in NYC all have used and shop worn equipment at excellent prices. I bought my D90 slightly used (less then 1,000 actuations) several years ago, and have never had an issue with it.

Joel

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