Purchasing a camera for product shots

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by goddess_gagged, May 9, 2008.

  1. goddess_gagged

    goddess_gagged TPF Noob!

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    I'm researching to purchase a camera for the company I work for. It's main purpose will be for shooting products (specifically cast iron / bronze statues, and furniture). These will eventually make their way to print and/or a website.

    I'm not sure what to look for in a digital SLR when it comes to this type of photography. The budget will be $1000 to $2000, but less is always better if I can get something that works well.

    What I've been told to look for is something relatively easy to use (I won't be here after August so someone else will be taking over) and, if possible, stores the photos as TIFF files right off the bat. I would also imagine that a fairly high MP would be good considering these will be printed in catalogues, brochures, etc.

    I'm also not adverse to getting an extra lens if it will make a difference. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. rooky

    rooky TPF Noob!

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    if your budget is 1000-2000 and less is better... wouldnt the nikon d80 be the way to go. I just bought one. I like the camera but im too new with it to know how to use it right. lol But i will admit, if you are taking product pix...im sure it would be more than sufficient. and although it doesnt store pix as tiff's off the bat, you can easily convert them on your pc with its included software in just a couple minutes to tiff. real easy.

    I just bought a bundle with a lens for around 1000.00 here at a local photo store.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why the d80? Wouldn't the Canon 30D be the way to go? You can get body and lens for under $1000.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Anyways, is some one that knows what they're doing going to be using the camera? If these photos are for print use, then I wouldn't want crappy product photos personally. Besides, product and commercial photography is mainly about the setup and the backdrop and the lighting.
     
  5. goddess_gagged

    goddess_gagged TPF Noob!

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    I'll be using the camera for the summer (I'm on a co-op work term for school). I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm fairly good with technology and have a decent creative eye.

    A person on another forum suggested a Canon Rebel XTi. It sounds pretty good for the price...what do you guys/gals think?

    Regarding lighting: I don't know much about it. We are looking to purchase lighting equipment along with the camera, so if you have any suggestions that would be awesome. Just know that the space we have is limited, and we don't want anything too fancy/cumbersome. Just enough to make a decent-looking shot.

    Also, if I were interested in the 30D, where can it be purchased? I'm from Canada and I don't see it at Future Shop.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've recently gone through the whole upgrade adventure to shoot the furniture I make and what I've ended up with is the Olympus E-510 and the Zuiko 14-54 mm f 2.8 lens.

    Also a Velbon tripod, two Cameron light stands, 2 65w CF bulbs and a paper backdrop.

    Some sources in Canada are Don's Photo, Henry's Camera's and Vistek

    So far I have been experimenting with continuous lighting augmented with natural light on a cloudy day.

    This is a test shot with a wrinkled white sheet to determin the permanent location of my paper backdrop....

    [​IMG]

    And the CF lights in Cameron stands.... the 65w bulbs are equivalent to 200w incandescent... I had to go to a lighting wholesaler to get them that big :)

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Don
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    bhphotovideo.com

    lights - Alienbees.com

    You can get a two light 160w/s AB package with stands and umbrellas for $600. That's a fairly good price of a decent quality studio strobe setup. It should come with everything you need to fire them. I prefer flashes to hot lights. You just seem to get a better color and a brighter light out of them.
     
  8. goddess_gagged

    goddess_gagged TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the info!

    Suppose we bought a Rebel XTi. Would the stock lens be okay, or is there another lens that would be ideal for product shots? Keep in mind, this is mostly furniture so I don't think a macro lens is needed.

    Village, would you consider that $600 package to be fairly user-friendly? When I leave in August, the lady here will be left to take the photos and operate the lighting. She is very adamant about not going too complex with the lighting.

    While I'm talking about lighting, what is the purpose of the umbrellas? To soften the light? I'm not even sure how to set up a lighting system. I guess this is why simple is better for us ;)
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If it's setup, all you have to do is plug in and shoot. The complicated part comes with lighting ratios and settings. You can set everything up to where it should work, but some minor tweaking of aperture and lighting position might be necessary. That's not complicated for me, but some one that has never touched a camera in manual mode will be SOL. You really can't use auto mode either. You're going to want a static shutter speed for controlling the ambient and then adjusting the aperture will control the exposure. That's something she'll have to understand.
     
  10. goddess_gagged

    goddess_gagged TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, I think that's too complex for her. Keep in mind, the company is going to be getting their "flagship" items professionally photographed. It's all the smaller items they want to photograph for "take-away" sheets that customers can have. Is there anysimple 2-light setup to use? I can probably teach her some of the manual stuff on the camera...I just want a static setup where they can quickly take a decent-looking photo when an item gets shipped in.

    Thanks :)
     
  11. goddess_gagged

    goddess_gagged TPF Noob!

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    Okay, update on the situation.

    My boss wants to hire a photographer to create our set (lighting, backdrop, all that). So I don't need to worry about lighting.

    Regarding the camera: a photographer recommended the Nikon D80 to us. It is more expensive than the Canon Rebel XTi, with much the same specs. How do they compare against each other for product photography?

    Also, most importantly, if we were to buy the body of one of these cameras, what lens would be best for either one (remember, it's just being used for medium-range product photography...so no zooms or macros).

    Any help as soon as possible would be much appreciated :) thanks!
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Camera body makes little/no difference.
    Get better lens.
    The lens depends on what size products you are going to be shooting.
    What are the products and how big are they?
     

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