Beginner Equipment Questions.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by CK Studios, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. CK Studios

    CK Studios TPF Noob!

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    Hello. I am a beginner just getting into using a camera for photographing Miniatures to post online .
    I’ve read a lot about setting up a DSLR Camera for macro photography.
    I currently own a Sony A300 with the stock lens set up .
    I’m looking at buying a new camera with the Black Friday deals .
    For macro photography of Miniatures ( approx 3” tall ) would I benefit by buying either the Cannon T6i or the Nikon 3400 over the A300 I have now ?
    If so which camera should I purchase . I read that the Nikon has an updated processor system over the T6i . But I’m not sure how that will affect what I’m using it for .
    Any help is greatly Appreciated.


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Umm, what don't you like about your A300 ? ... or why do you want to upgrade ?
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe the Nikon D3400 to have the better sensor. Either Nikon or Canon has good Macro lenses. And many feel the the third party makers have good macros as well. Should look at button positions. Some don't like Nikon layouts. And of course some don't like Canon. Both being entry level they don't have as many direct controls as the more expensive cameras. I have better more expensive camera bodies. But still carry a D3300 for my light weight kit for my work backpack.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  4. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My old D200 with the kit lens (18-70mm) will focus down to show about 3.3" x 5" at the 70mm setting. For online posting I usually use a low resolution so starting with 10mp is usually not a problem. I find that good lighting is what helps the most.

    In the Nikon line another model to consider is the D5500 or D5600, it has the swing out screen that some people like when using the camera down low or above the head. I think the D5500 (a year older than the D3400) is less expensive than the D3400 while the new D5600 is more expensive than the D3400.

    For small subjects like Miniatures I usually use my 60mm macro lens, camera on a tripod and a couple lights, self-timer or remote shutter release, shoot in Raw and post process in LightRoom and Export for Web. With a newer camera I would shoot Tethered.

    The newer cameras give you greater dynamic range.
     
  5. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It ain't all in the camera. Most of a photograph comes from the lens and the abilities and knowledge of the person behind the camera. I don't know anything about Sony bodies but before you scrap it you might want to look into what lenses are available and then learn to use what you have. Changing systems isn't necessarily the way to better photographs.
     
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  6. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    For the record, I have nothing against buying a Canon or Nikon for this purpose, but I think it might be worth putting this in perspective. There is very little that is "special" about Macro photography in the size range that you have stated. Except for the resolution limit of your camera (about 10MP) you could do as well simply by buying a Macro lens.

    I am uploading a couple of images I took this afternoon on the spur of the moment using my Yi-M1 with its 42.5mm short tele/Macro lens, which, if you can find one (they are sold out at B&H, where I bought mine) costs about $400 US including the lens.

    [added 2017-11-27]
    I forgot to mention that the Yi-M1 I used for the above photos is a "Micro 4:3" camera with a smaller sensor than your A300. You have an APS-C sensor. The equivalent lens (to give the same angle of view) would be about 50-55mm. See below for some added comments.

    As cheap as this setup is, I can assure you that no camera with a sensor up to around 24MP is going to do better. Other photographers might do a better job, and produce a better picture, but most DSLRs and Mirror-less cameras should be able to handle the task.

    Aside from what you are considering, you might consider buying another Sony, so you can keep the old camera and share lenses. If you buy a Sony mirror-less, then you can buy an adapter and use any lenses that might have for the A300 on the Mirror-less too. The auto-focus version lens adapter is pricey though, so I would buy the adapter that only supports manual focus. Right now, there seem to be a lot of used lenses around for the A300 and those series cameras.

    But again, there is nothing wrong with buying a Canon or Nikon. . . .

    Images:

    Most of the images were re-edited from the stock JPEG files with NO adjustments (except cropping or resizing).

    I also included 1 "detail" crop from from the RAW file which has been modified. Actually, the edited JPEGs are better in this case because I did not spend that much time on the RAW.


    "PB240006.JPG"

    Partial EXIF
    Width 5184
    Height 3888
    Bit depth 24
    Color Representation [AdobeRGB]
    F-stop f/7.1
    Exposure 1/320 sec.
    ISO: 200
    Exposure bias: 0 step
    Focal length 43mm (42.5)
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode "Center Weighted Average"
    35mm focal length 86
    Size 6,337,767 bytes

    "PB240006-jpg-rs1640-C1.jpg"
    Resized from camera generated JPEG image. "Color representation" has been converted from "AdobeRGB" to "sRGB" by Corel Paintshop Pro, but no other alternations were made to the image.

    "PB240006-jpg-Crop01-C1.jpg"
    A full resolution detail crop from the original JPEG file of the above image.

    "PB240006 -1b-DetailCrop01-C1.jpg"
    A full resolution detail crop from the DNG file for the same image. This file has been altered to match the colours and appearance of the JPEG files.

    "PB240016.JPG"

    Partial EXIF
    Width 5184
    Height 3888
    Bit depth 24
    Color Representation [AdobeRGB]
    F-stop f/7.1
    Exposure 1/400 sec.
    ISO: 200
    Exposure bias: 0 step
    Focal length 43mm (42.5)
    Max aperture 3.65
    Metering mode "Center Weighted Average"
    35mm focal length 86
    Size 6,607,326 bytes

    "PB240016-jpg-rs1640-C1.jpg"
    Same subject but different lighting and background.

    "PB240016-jpg-Crop01-C1.jpg"
    Detail crop of the above image.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  7. RowdyRay

    RowdyRay No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with SCraig. To be honest, your A300 is a decent camera. Look into a dedicated Macro lens. Learn how to use it. Lot less spent...same result.
     
  8. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    3" Tall figures is not macro at all, merely close up.
    There are numerous ways you can get your existing camera to take excellent shots of these subjects - a new camera is unlikely to give you any real improvement & will need you to learn a new set of controls...
    A simple Raynox 150 that clips to the front of your existing lens should be quite sufficient - This may be enough to get you to true macro at your kit lenses longest focal length so you can capture details on the figures as well as the overall shot.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used to do product photography with a 1 mp sensor. It was fine for web photography. Your camera is overkill for your stated purpose. Since you don't need a new camera then apparently you just want one. Choose the one that makes you happy.
     
  10. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention that the Yi-M1 I used for the above photos is a "Micro 4:3" camera with a smaller sensor than your A300. You have an APS-C sensor. The equivalent lens (to give the same angle of view) would be about 50-55mm. A lens that is about 50mm that does not focus close enough for this picture can be adapted with a "close-up" lens adapter in front of the lens, or "extension tubes" between the lens and the camera body. If extension tubes are bought, special tubes which support the electrical control signals would be easier to use, but more expensive. I do not know the "Raynox 150" that "petrochemist" mentioned, but it sounds about right. . . .

    If these ideas save you some money, you can put it towards some lighting equipment and perhaps a "background" or "props" which would add to a picture.

    This discussion has a lot of tips for lighting and such.
    "Product Photography Advice"
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

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