Digital SLR Camera for product photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Turando, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. Turando

    Turando TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm new to this place but it seems like the perfect place for me to ask since I'm a total newbie!

    I'm new to photography (still trying to get my head around alot of the photography terms and numbers).

    I want to get a digital SLR camera which is of decent enough quality so I can do the following with it

    - take photos of products for our online business. I figure it will be worth learning this since our business is growing and we need to take photos of products now regularly. We sell electronics and currently our products are quite small so I need to be able to zoom in and take detailed shots of things like phones, pdas, mp4 players etc. I'm sure the product range will grow a bit bigger in size but that should give you a fair idea of what kind of products I need to photograph.

    - I'd also like to be able to take photos outside for my own pleasure such as landscapes etc. We travel a fair bit and come across beautiful scenery / landscapes / nature that I would love to able to capture for memories sake.

    - Normal family photos of kids etc.

    I'm guessing I am going to need specific lenses for them?

    And what would I need for the product photography in terms of lighting / extra equipment. I saw some mention of light tents/ softboxes? which seem useful.

    Also if there is any specific links that deal with product photography or nature photography for a beginner they would be highly appreciated! :)

    Sorry for the long post. I'm still reading through the forum but thought I'd post to get a specific answer for my needs.

    Thankyou in advance!
     
  2. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    The body won't matter much, you'll want to look at this checklist for what you want.

    Your products for business- A macro light(or a macro studio, esentially a box with whit tansparent walls, you put lights outside the walls and they shine in, the picture will show the product with a white bakcground), and a macro lens

    Landscapes (and family pics when inside a room and you need to backup to fit everyone in the frame)- wide angle lens

    Family photos- a zoom lens in the mid range (35-150). 50mm(after cropping) is about the same as a human eye so it'd be easy to "size up" your shots.

    Nature shots- telephoto zooms with the high end around 300 or 400 maybe even with a teleconverter.

    Sounds like you want the whole package which would sadly, cost you a ton, but I'd go with you business above all, then your family. Get a good macro lens, a good macro light, and then a consumer zoom for you and your family.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Shooting low res JPEG's for the web doesn't require much. You need the ability to fire an external flash head (every DSLR does that) and you need manual control of exposure (every DSLR does that) and finally you need to be able to focus on the subject to bring it to full frame (close focusing lens.) Personally, I do product photography about six days per week. I use a Nikon D50 with a cheap "kit" lens. That is all that is required. I keep a D80 and some high end lenses in the camera bag for personal photography.
     
  4. Turando

    Turando TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Thanks for both your recommendations. Greatly appreciated.

    To start off with I am going to focus on the product photography since that will be the main reason I'm getting the camera and learning. So I will need a macro lens.

    I am thinking to get the Canon Rebel Xti - what macro lens would go good with it?
     
  5. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Well like said above, you could use the kit lens for the products, I only say macro if you want the detail when you shoot cell phone keypads and etc. The beauty of a macro lens is that a picture of a bug, or flower can become so exciting, and they can be used for regular photography too. canon has an array of macro lenses, I just got started with my canon so I can't give you specific names. the only one I can think of, isn't so great because it is such a short focal length and that is Canon's 50mm 1:1 f/2.8 Macro. I'd hate for you to go out and spend $400+ on a lens because of my recommendation alone. Take a pic with the cheapo kit lens when you first get the camera and see if it is plenty for your pics or if you want more detail in menus, buttons, and textures (like a macro would pick up if the little lines machined onto the Motorola Razor's keypad). But for the web, you don't need amazing artistic shots, just to the point product shots. Although I still say a good macro light or macro studio will help.
     

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