Which Camera? Canon xti, xsi, or 40D?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dott99, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. dott99

    dott99 TPF Noob!

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    I am in the process on trying to decide what camera body and lens I should buy for taking pictures of our pianos. We are a 4th generation piano restoration company and have over 90 pianos for sale - Steinway Grand Pianos for Sale. I have been using a regular sony point and shoot but I want to make our photographs stand out that much more than our competitors. I will be mainly be using the camera I by indoors to shoot our pianos that we have for sale in our showroom. It is very important that the photos show the detail that our pianos have to offer. Many of them have carvings, exquisite veneers, etc. To really make our photos really look great, I am trying to decide what camera I should buy - 40D or XSI or XTI. Since I'll be using a tripod most the time, I'm also trying to decide whether to buy the Tamron 17-55mm lens or spend more money for the Canon 17-55mm lens. Thanks to anyone that puts their two sense in, I'd really appreciate it!

    Budget would be up to $2,000 - $3,000. Whatever is needed to have some excellent looking photos.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Either of those cameras can do the job very well. I will even go so far as to say that you need not buy the expensive lens because even the lower/mid quality lenses are pretty good when stopped down and used on a tripod.

    To make you photos stand out, lighting will be more important than the camera or the lens. Something like a piano might be quite challenging to light...if you are looking for professional quality photos.

    Have you considered saving the money on the camera and hiring a professional photographer?
     
  3. dott99

    dott99 TPF Noob!

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    I have considered have a professional photographer but this is going to be an ongoing project. We are continually having pianos come into our facility for restoration that I try to get before and after pictures. So thats why I was trying to do this myself. Maybe on our finished pianos (we only have about 10) we could have a professional come in. Do you have any recommendation on lighting?
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    That's a big question.

    Since you will be shooting inanimate objects and using a tripod...you will be able to get by with constant lighting. I normally recommend strobes (flash) lighting...which would be fine too...but it might be easier and cheaper for you to use constant lighting.

    It might even be possible for you to use natural lighting, if you have the right location like a large window or door with indirect daylight.

    Normally, you want soft light...so that might involve light modifiers like umbrellas or softboxes. A kit like THIS might be helpful.

    An important factor might be the type & color of the lights that are in your location already. You don't want to be mixing types or colors because you could get weird color shifts.

    On problem with shooting something like a piano, might be that it has many reflective surfaces, which could give you unattractive reflections from your light sources. This is where an experienced pro with a proper set up can make all the difference.

    Another thing to consider is the background and surroundings. A great photo could be ruined by a distracting or unattractive background.

    There are countless ways that you could shoot a piano, so it might just come down to how creative you can be. I don't know if there are any books that focus on large product photography, but it might be worth looking for something. That, at least, might give you a better idea of what you would need.

    But to reiterate, any of the listed cameras would be fine.
     

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