Hello! Newbie Alert!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MrStitch, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. MrStitch

    MrStitch TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys (and gal's),

    Thought I'd join the forum, as I'm going to need all the help I can get here in the future. ;)

    Presently, I work for a fishing tackle company, doing marketing, sales, web development, and now I'll be doing product photography (as if I didn't already have a full plate!)

    Usually, when we needed our products photo'ed, we hire a local. But now the company is expanding so rapidly, that the photo bill is getting quite high. So the boss, in his infinite wisdom, figured I'd be the perfect guy to pick up a new skill.

    So far, the typical products we photo are small metal objects with many curves. I've done a few of these myself with a light tent, and a crappy Wal-Mart standard digital camera. They really don't turn out all that bad.... until you get involved with catalog creation. Low resolution compressed photos can be such a pain in the butt to deal with. It's like trying to turn crap into gold. :lol:

    Anyways, since I'll be trying to learn photography, I figure the first thing I need to do is figure out what kind of camera I should get. Here's some data....

    1) The boss is willing to spend somewhere around $1,000... give or take a little. Obviously, LESS is better.... but we all know where that leads too.

    2) The objects I'll be shooting, for the most part, will be small metal objects (some painted of course), and small 'hair-like' objects. The hair stuff is going to be a total pain in wazoo.

    3) Since the objects are usually small, I'll need something that can zoom in real close. Perhaps something with a Macro setting? ALL suggestions in that department are welcome!

    4) Digital is a must. I must be able to edit these things in the computer, on the fly, for various reasons.

    5) High resolution... duh. Kind of a no brainer there. hahahh. However, I don't know what kinds of formats work best. Isn't there different versions of high res like TIFF or RAW... er something? (yup, my uber-newbieness is kicking in full swing now!)

    6) Don't know if this makes a difference or not, but I work on a PC.... please, no hate mail from the Mac fans. ;)

    I think that about covers it. There is a slim chance that photo's may be taken outside too... but that's a long shot, and very seldom does that situation ever arrive.

    Thanks for any product advice you can send, and I look forward to posting all my crappy first photo's so everyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong. :lol:
     
  2. Freedbaby

    Freedbaby TPF Noob!

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    Welcome....I think you will find lots of good advice for your situation that may have a more knowledgable brain behind it, but here is my advice since I also shoot macro at work

    Buy yourself a Cannon Rebel XT or some other entry level DSLR body and get a good macro lens....that should put you around the 1000 range or under. The macro ability is all in the lens. If you buy a point and shoot of some sort I think you will just be too limited even though the price may be a bit cheaper up front.

    I use a Rebel XT along with a Tamron 17-50 F2.8 and am very happy. Although what I have is not a true 1-1 macro lens, I am able to use it for just about everything.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I almost always recommend a DSLR...but in this case, a good 'point & shoot' might work well enough.

    Firstly, you can use a tripod and your own lighting...so the image quality from a good P&S should be OK. I doubt you need to print the images any bigger than a magazine cover size...probably much smaller most of the time. 6 to 8 mega pixels is probably enough...more isn't necessarily better.

    Sure, a DSLR would be a better camera in almost all aspects...and you will probably want a good quality lens to go with it...perhaps a Macro lens.

    Either way, the quality of the finished product will largely be a result of good technique, lighting and good post processing...not necessarily the camera itself.
     
  4. MrStitch

    MrStitch TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys.... Wasn't getting a response for a while, so I was gettin' worried. hahaha

    Anyways, I've been reading a bunch of reviews online, and it looks like I might be suited for a Canon Rebel XT or XTi.

    Which do you think is better?

    Also, you mentioned DSLR and Point 'n Shoot.... separately. Whats the difference?

    I was leaning towards getting a macro lens too, but when I was looking around (not a whole lot tho), it seems that these lens are drastically expensive! Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place?

    Would I really benefit from a Macro lens, vs. just 'zooming in'??

    Wow... sorry for all the questions folks. But if I buy $1,000 worth of stuff and it doesn't do all things I need, correctly.... then I could be looking for another job. :lol:

    I'm sure it's simpler than I'm making it tho....
     
  5. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Here is a good site for camera reviews:

    http://www.dpreview.com/

    If you go here, there is a summary of changes from the XT to XTi:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/

    The main differences between a DSLR and a P&S is that with a DSLR you have full control over the aperture and shutter speed and you can change lenses. With a P&S, you're stuck with the lens it comes with.

    A lot of P&S cameras have many settings that allow for a wide variety of settings and you can get fairly good quality images, especially for small prints.

    As is often-repeated on these forums, you should check out the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. He explains aperture and shutter speed pretty well; it's a good beginner's book. He also mentions that P&S cameras often do great macro photography.
     
  6. That One Guy

    That One Guy TPF Noob!

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    Welcome!! This is a good place to be. Lots of info here and this is home to some very helpful folks. Don't be afraid to ask questions. That's what this forum is for......no such thing as a stupid question :)
     
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can get a good range yet inexpensive zoom for any of the cameras. They would allow you to move in closer as long as you are not closer than the minimum distance. You should also have a tripod. You can crop an imge as well to make the subject larger as, long as the image will take it.
    You might look at the lower end Pentax as well as the Canon. Im a Nikon owner but, I dont like Nikons entry level Dslr myself. Some people love it though.
     
  8. MrStitch

    MrStitch TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys. Do the Point and Shoot camera's take images in RAW format? I really need the high resolution as a lot of what I'm doing is going into product catalogs.

    Judging by what I've read in reviews from various places, so far, it seems that my best option for now AND for future growth with this skill, is going to be a Canon XTi.

    I'll probably be stumbling a bit at first, but once I get the hang of things, I think I'll have much more options for doing any surprise situations.

    I'd really like to know about the zoom feature tho - Has anyone taken high quality photos of smaller objects by just zooming in.... or do I absolutely have to have a Macro lens?

    Also... One thing that I can't seem to find is 'storage capabilities'. I can find all the specs on the camera, but it sounds like you can buy memory cards. Does the camera come with built in memory? If so, how many pictures can I take in large RAW format?
     
  9. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Hello

    Some of the newer ones do. Most don't.


    But shooting in RAW does not affect the resolution. Just gives you an unprocessed image, allowing more freedom in PP and free of jpg compression.

    Here is more info, if you care to read it.

    Actually, by zooming in you only get a bigger image of the subject if you stay within the minimum focusing distance. As a general rule, longer lenses cannot focus close. That's where the macro lenses come in play.


    I only know of some sony point andshoot cameras with built in memory. Most dSLRs require a memory card. The Canon XTi requires a card, for sure (Compact flash)
     
  10. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    1 RAW file from the XTi is almost 10 MB. So a 2 GB card will store around 200 RAW images.

    Another thing to consider: if you think you need a macro lens, take a look at Sigma and Tamron brands. Some are as good as Canon and most of the times less expensive. Like this one.

    I'm not recommending that particular lens, for I haven't used it. I just put it as an example of a non expensive macro lens.
     
  11. MrStitch

    MrStitch TPF Noob!

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    That link you posted, didn't have anything about 'Macro'. Said it was some sort of Zoom Normal-Telephoto lens... unless I'm missing something (entirely possible).

    Is that e-store a good online source for this type of stuff? We don't have a retailer in our area that can get all the necessary camera supplies.

    I just realized that the camera doesn't come with a flash.... stinks.

    So, what I'll need is -

    Canon XTi
    Regular 18-55mm lens (usually find a bundle package somewhere)
    Macro Lens (still need a good suggestion for this)
    Flash Card
    Flash Attachment (or whatever you call it)

    That sound about right? Got all my bases covered?
     
  12. MrStitch

    MrStitch TPF Noob!

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    Found this lens at that same store..... sounds like it would do what I need. Thoughts?
     

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