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  • #16
    Originally posted by Ned View Post
    Product shots tend to involve a lot of macro detail (depending on the product of course), and I simply wouldn't consider a digicam for that. Digicams aren't meant for close-up work and besides which, the only advantages to a digicam include pocketability and long zoom ranges without a lot of bulk.
    Ned brings up a good point here. Depending on what product you're shooting and what kind of catalog you're trying to produce, you may just need to go for broke and get the best camera you can for the money, even if it means not getting all the lenses right away.

    If your product is food and you're printing a catalog on nice coated paper, you'll be doing yourself an injustice by using a simple point-and-shoot camera. You'll want the detail that a good quality lens can provide to give the food you're photographing the detail that makes readers drool like Pavlov's dogs and immediately want to order your products.

    If on the other hand your catalog is boring and features various kinds of screws and nuts and bolts and wall anchors and is being printed in black and white on lower quality uncoated paper, then something more simple may be fine for your needs.
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    • #17
      If you want a good camera, but don't want to take the step up to DSLR, I would have a look at the Canon PowerShot G10:



      - 14.7 MP
      - Image Stabilizer
      - 5x optical zoom lens (with wide angle)
      - RAW-mode
      - Flash hot shoe

      I see the price is $499 at B&H Photo Video:
      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

      The product manager for Canon here in Norway said that if he had to choose between a PowerShot G10 and a EOS 1000D DSLR with the kit lens (18-55mm), he would go for the G10.

      Of course, the advantage of DSLR is that you can swap lenses, and get better pictures instantly - but it costs.

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      • #18
        +1 for the G10. The ability to shoot in RAW is worth the price of admission alone.

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        • #19
          wow they have a g10 now. i had a powershot g1 like 9 years ago

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          • #20
            What Ned said

            Hal, I am a professional product photographer. What Ned said a few posts earlier is great advice. Do not get a P&S. You want to get a DSLR. Canon has a few in your price range. Which ever brand DSLR you go with do not get the cheap "kit" lens. Depending on how small your products are you want to get a lens somewhere around 50mm to 85mm. Get one with a macro feature if your products are small. Do not use the pop-up flash. Read what Ned posted. Lighting is the most important part of what you are about to do. Tell me what your products are and I can suggest more accurately. Alan

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            • #21
              with Ned and Al...Most manufacturers have entry level DSLR's with exceptional kit lenses with great packages for close up and telephoto work for not much more than 500bucks.Macro work is very limited but are you shooting within 6inches of your subject? Olympus,which I shoot, offers kits with image stabilization and great lens kits that are exceptional. The nikon bodies are great too. There is a learning curve on the manual settings but you can master the auto settings with ease. The expansion possibilities are endless once you move to manual settings.
              http://billsoz.blogspot.com/

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              • #22
                Thanks folks.

                And Ned, I also agree with the whole lighting issue. Our lighting here at work is awful if one were to simply use the overhead fluorescents. We have one of those tiny little photo studios but even then it didn't product the best results, mainly due to the two light sources it came with. I'm not sure what type of bulbs they are offhand but they are not anywhere near a true spectrum type of light. More on this later....

                As for the camera, here's what I'm focusing on currently:

                Nikon - 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera
                http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1200703005185

                or

                Nikon - 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera
                http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1158323379076

                It appears at the Best Buy links that both are pretty highly rated, for what that's worth. Both are in my price range, both are DSLR's (you got me convinced on one of those ) and at least the 10.2MP version has optical zoom, rather than digital. Can't really tell what that 6.1 has....didn't say specifically in the specs. Does it have an optical or digital zoom??

                What do you think? Recommended, or not so much?

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                • #23
                  Digital SLR's are optical zooms. The zoom itself will depend on the lens that comes with them. Generally the lenses that come with the body is an 18mm - 55mm. But you can interchange them to go to a Macro if you need it for really close up detailed shots.

                  The D60 is a good Camera. My mom has one and she used to do professional photography. I don't know much about the D40.
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                  • #24
                    I personally am not too excited about neither. Both the D40 and D60 lack in body focusing motors, making them only capable to autofocus AF-S lenses of the Nikkor range. This means that you will be missing out of many AF lenses in terms of autofocusing if you ever wanted to expand deeper into photography or invest in better optics.

                    Although a biased opinion, I would look into entry Canon/Sony systems. Especially Sony as they've launched a newly designed set of entry level bodies, making their entries bodies with the older design considerably cheaper while being identical feature-wise. The highlight of the Sony system is their In-Body stabilization, meaning any lens you use is stabilized in contrast to the IS/VR lenses of Canon/Nikon that go for a substantially higher price. Because Sony bought the SLR business from Minolta in 2006, the entire Minolta lens legacy is usable on Sony bodies.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by hal yankovic View Post
                      Thanks folks.

                      And Ned, I also agree with the whole lighting issue. Our lighting here at work is awful if one were to simply use the overhead fluorescents. We have one of those tiny little photo studios but even then it didn't product the best results, mainly due to the two light sources it came with. I'm not sure what type of bulbs they are offhand but they are not anywhere near a true spectrum type of light. More on this later....

                      As for the camera, here's what I'm focusing on currently:

                      Nikon - 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera
                      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1200703005185

                      or

                      Nikon - 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera
                      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1158323379076

                      It appears at the Best Buy links that both are pretty highly rated, for what that's worth. Both are in my price range, both are DSLR's (you got me convinced on one of those ) and at least the 10.2MP version has optical zoom, rather than digital. Can't really tell what that 6.1 has....didn't say specifically in the specs. Does it have an optical or digital zoom??

                      What do you think? Recommended, or not so much?
                      The D40 is very old. So is the D60, but the D40 is ancient. I would pay the extra $100 for the D60, myself. However, before you even go that far I would look at the cheapest body-only price, and see if you can budget a decent lens with the savings, instead of getting the kit. A prime lens, maybe a 50mm particularly if it has macro capabilities, should be good for your product shoots and won't cost you an arm and a leg. It'll be a lot more than a kit though (like say double your body price), but well worth the investment if you can make the budget for it, and will save you hundreds down the road 'cause when you upgrade you won't have paid for a kit lens that'll end up going to waste. If not then the kit will get you started, and I would suggest getting the D60 in that case. It's a good camera which will start you in a good system (meaning the Nikon system, of course).

                      Since you're probably unfamiliar, a prime lens has a fixed focal length with no zoom range. This was of course the standard type of lens on all cameras back in the day (even if you never used an SLR before I'm sure you remember the zoom-less function of your first 35mm compact). Under the same manufacturing quality, a prime lens will be smaller, sharper, and faster than a zoom lens (by faster I'm talking about lens speed, or how wide an aperture you can use to gain a faster shutter speed from your camera). Their disadvantage is of course that you need to physically walk in closer or back off further to frame your shot. For studio-type work like your product shots, this is usually a perfectly fine way to work. Many studio photographers prefer primes, but zooms are better suited to field photography.
                      Last edited by Ned; 06-22-2009, 08:16 PM.
                      Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
                      mediamainline.com
                      cyclopsphoto.ca

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                      • #26
                        D60 isn't exactly a step up from the D40. The main difference is the megapixels. If you don't plan on printing photos at 11x14 without upsampling, and want the best bang for the buck if you're adamant on Nikons, the D40 is perfectly capable.

                        To be honest, I don't exactly see a point in the D60. Nikon recycled their D40 and added more Megapixels and some under-the-hood innovations and what not, and out comes the D60, fresh out of the oven and into the consumer market to rival the Canon bodies...

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Sublimity View Post
                          D60 isn't exactly a step up from the D40. The main difference is the megapixels. If you don't plan on printing photos at 11x14 without upsampling, and want the best bang for the buck if you're adamant on Nikons, the D40 is perfectly capable.

                          To be honest, I don't exactly see a point in the D60. Nikon recycled their D40 and added more Megapixels and some under-the-hood innovations and what not, and out comes the D60, fresh out of the oven and into the consumer market to rival the Canon bodies...
                          Actually, it was the D40X which was nothing more than a megapixel upgrade. The D60 is a significantly newer camera, though still pretty ancient. But that's okay... The fact that these cameras are still being sold so many years down the road is testament to their ageless quality.

                          It's the lenses that matter to the performance of your camera, not the body. The lens determines most of your image quality, your camera speed, your reach, your macro capabilities, and everything. The body only matters in sensor-related issues like ISO noise and frame rate.

                          If you like the Nikon lens line, then get a Nikon body and don't worry so much about what kind. Your lenses can last you decades, while your body will be outdated in a couple years.

                          That's why I shoot Olympus, because Zuiko glass can't be beat.
                          Last edited by Ned; 06-22-2009, 08:24 PM.
                          Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
                          mediamainline.com
                          cyclopsphoto.ca

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Ned View Post
                            Actually, it was the D40X which was nothing more than a megapixel upgrade. The D60 is a significantly newer camera, though still pretty ancient.
                            I know that, and D60 is a repeat of the D40x. The only real difference is their added anti-dust system and the slightly faster FPS of D40(x) at 2.5 vs. D60 at 3. In all other respects, they are identical, all the way down to the weight.

                            Sources cited.

                            http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...n_d60&show=all

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                            • #29
                              Yup, the whole basic line underwent very few changes over many many years. But they continued to sell like hotcakes through all those years, which to some people is a good sign that they had a solid system going which didn't need to change. The fact that something as ancient as the D40 can still be bought new in the box from a store shelf really says a lot in this age of digital photography.

                              Some people will complain that they aren't "keeping up with the competition", but a traditionalist like myself would prefer to see that my old camera is still as capable and relevant in today's world as it always was.

                              You can pour over spec sheets all day long, and all you'll see is more and more fluff added. True advancements are rare, and to be overtly blunt they rarely come from either of the "big two" camera makers - you know which I mean. I'm talking about in this day and age, of course... They made their big leaps and bounds in the past, but now they're stagnant and only borrow from other people's R&D. Take for instance the Nikon anti-dust system you mentioned in the D60... Everybody has one now, but when Panasonic and Olympus first introduced it, all the other brands said it was unnecessary. Nobody else has yet made a "working" system besides the original SSWF developed by Olympus and Panasonic's joint efforts, yet they all tout this as a "major feature" now, nonetheless (for the record, the tests do show that Nikon is ahead of the all the rest in dust-reduction, but still nowhere in the same class as Olympus' and Panasonic's SSWF).

                              So what I'm saying is not to expect breakthrough revelations when new models are released. Camera makers have to release a new model to each line every couple few years just to show that they're doing something with it, or that line will die off. If there's few changes from the last model which was selling and performing well, that just means they did it right the first time.

                              Photography is an age old profession, after all.
                              Last edited by Ned; 06-22-2009, 08:50 PM.
                              Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
                              mediamainline.com
                              cyclopsphoto.ca

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                              • #30
                                I understand where you are coming from, but I think he'd like the best bang for the buck, to which like you said, the money saved can be used to buy a nice prime. So my suggestion is that if he really wanted something that will suffice his needs at the moment, a D40 is surly acceptable, without the consumer gimmicks to get more money (Antidust, MP, live view, etc).

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