Camera and lighting advice needed for newbie - please help!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by angelkelly, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. angelkelly

    angelkelly TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys,
    I know you get asked for advice alot but I would really appreciate any replys!

    I am setting up a jewellery website and will need a camera and lighting kit. Most of my photos will be stock photos from suppliers but about 10% just arent good enough to use and I also want to get a good level of consistency throughout my site. Bearing in mind that I wont need to take alot of pics I need a budget option for now - I can always upgrade later when I re-coup some of the money I've spent out.

    I know that I will need a light tent, 2 lights for the sides, a dazzler light at the front, acrylic bases and a tripod.
    1. For a budget option could I buy a couple of desk lights and fit a decent daylight bulb - would this have the same effect as a proper lighting rig?
    2. What do you think of this light tent? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/50CM-Photo-St...50QQihZ007QQcategoryZ3860QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    3. Know of anywhere to get affordable acrylic bases from? I need a white, a clear and a black one.

    OK the tricky bit - the camera....
    I am ashamed to say that I currently own a Vivitar Vivicam 3760, which I hardly ever use, so I think a new camera is an essential bit of kit. I need to take detailed pics at close range, and be able to capture the sparkle and sheen of gemstones. This camera will only be used for this kind of work and wont be needed for portraits, landscapes etc. I would buy second hand - most likely from ebay because for the amount of use it will get I cant afford to buy a new one.
    4. Can you name some cameras that would fit this purpose? ie cheap as possible just for good quality jewellery pics?

    I would really appreciate any replys,
    Thank you, Kel.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Don't forget that you will need a tripod or at least something to support the camera. Any type of lighting will probably be OK, as long as you keep it consistent. You will probably need to have a basic understanding of post processing with an image editing software.

    As these images will be for web viewing..lots of mega pixels won't be needed. It might be useful to a have a bit of zoom, so that you can zoom in on the subject from outside of the light tent. I don't know much about those cheaper digi-cams...they are seem pretty similar. I don't know if any specific one will be best for your situation.
     
  3. angelkelly

    angelkelly TPF Noob!

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    Hi Mike,
    thanks for the reply!

    I have a tripod and am pretty nifty on ulead and photoshop - so the editing is not a problem.

    Just the camera bit.

    Cheap means different things to everyone so just to clarify for anyone who can recommend me a specific camera - £70 tops. I'd like it a little less really but if thats what it takes then so be it.

    I will be quite honest and say I dont know my ... from my elbow when it comes to technical stuff about cameras. So knowing that I need zoom and not neccessarily a lot if mega pixels is a great start!
    I read about something called ISO - which (correct me if I'm wrong) is needed to take shots close up - or to single out an item from the background. Do I need high or low ISO - whats the sort of numbers on the technical gunk I am looking for? Or is it either present or not? Confused by it all.

    Thanks to Mike and to anyone who replys - I really appreciate it!
    Kel
     
  4. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    ISO is sensitivity to light for the sensor of a digital camera. The higher the ISO the less light is needed to register on the sensor. This comes at the expense of digital grain, or noise, which is basically just distortion from increasing the gain on the sensor. Low ISO gives clearer shots and with a tripod, you really wont need a high ISO.
     
  5. angelkelly

    angelkelly TPF Noob!

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    Super reply - thank you!

    I have a pretty good basis to start searching now.
    Very much appreciated!

    Any one any thoughts on the light tent?
    Is it better to buy a more expensive one or doesnt it make that much of a difference? Apart from ease of use that is.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know a lot about light tents...but that one looks as good as any other cheap one I've seen.
     

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