Advice needed on camera purchase

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by edot3, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. edot3

    edot3 TPF Noob!

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    I am the marketing director of a Concrete Polishing Company in North Carolina. We are looking into purchasing a camera that will allow us to take high quality pictures of the commercial, industrial and residential floors that we polish. They need to be digital so that they can be easily used for print and web advertising, but need to be of a high resolution so that they can be used for posters, banners, and graphics for our trade show booth. We are really looking to capture the reflectivity of the floor as well as any penetrating dyes that have been applied. What camera would be the best option for us?
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    a film camera. If you're gonna be doing huge posters, billboards, and large print graphics, you probably won't be able to do it with a digital worth its price. Get a mid-end film camera with a nice lens. You can have them enlarged and digitized later. It's just not likely to get great quality from a digital.

    (anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Do you have a particular brand you are looking at and budget?
    I use mostly Canon so can only advise you as such. Having done graphics for large output, i.e. banners, billboards, murals, fleet graphics and booth designs, I can tell you the higher resolution doesn't hurt. If you plan on going digital, look at the mid to higher end models for the resolution factor. Not for the megapixels, but more for ISO sensitivity and "pixel size". Makes it easier to enlarge with out too much loss of image quality. It does come with a price though, but not too bad. I borrowed a full-frame digital DSLR, the Canon 5D, for a job recently and was sold on it. Will upgrade soon from my current set-up. Was able to print 48"x96" prints with great results. The 20/30D is a great camera, but the 40D is about to be released so if you want to wait, everyone is drooling over that one. It has a 1.6x cropped sensor, but can print enlargements up to 36x48 with ease. Really depends on the level of image quality you need in the larger output. For display purposes, I doubt the printer will use anything higher than 360dpi.
    The other aspect you have to look into is the lens and lighting. That is where the difference will be had. You can use the kit lenses that are bundled with the camera, but they are probably too slow for what you need and image quality will not be as good. You will probably want a decent wide-angle lens to capture the space, detail, color and contrast. There are plenty to choose from so just decide on the range and speed you require. For indoor with limited light, the prevailing opinion is to go with a fast prime or zoom. The EF 24-70 f/2.8 L is an excellent example if it's not too pricey for you. There is also the new EF 16-35 f/2.8 L. On a crop sensor, the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS is another option. The larger aperature will really help indoor shots. I have the 24-105 f/4L IS that is bundled with the 5D, and it's just too slow in low-light.
    As far as lighting, you will probably need to use a bouncer of some sort so you do not get too much glare off of the surface, yet light it sufficiently. I do not have too much experience using softboxes, strobes, etc. so cannnot really help you there. I have used my flash unit with the off-shoe cord and a simple bouncer to reflect light indirectly. Works for me so far.
     
  4. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Canon EOS 5D with a Canon 28-70 1:4 L lens
     
  5. airgunr

    airgunr TPF Noob!

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    How big of a poster or print will you want to go? I would think you would be able to go with most cameras that have 10megpix. There are many good Point and Shoot ones that can do that. I would suggest just going to a camera store and trying a few out to see if they fit your needs.

    If you are going to need to control Depth of Field (DOF) or other more advanced functions than you will probably want to get a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) like the Canon EOS 5 or possibly a Nikon D40x. I personally use the Nikons but Canons are good cameras as well.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey Noob.... Is there something your not sharing with the rest of us here. Didn't know that Canon made a 24-70 f1.4L.:confused:

    Mine says f2.8L.:mrgreen:
     
  7. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    oops I meant 2.8 probably. And I said 1 (COLON) 4 not (DOT). The ":" is Canon's way to name lenses I think, I'm not sure, I don't have the money for those. I think I was thinking of the 17-40 or 17-35 or something......
     
  8. dangergoinoff

    dangergoinoff TPF Noob!

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    It would probably make more sense to find a photographer to do this professionally for you.
    While you might be able to get the equipment to take some photos for about $500-$750 are you going to get the results?
     

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