Good camera for product shots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hdsalinas, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. hdsalinas macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Hi, I am a freelance graphic designer and I need to get a new camera.

    I have an Olympus C3000 (3.3MP) that served me well for about 6 years but recently gave up the ghost. I am now looking for a replacement.

    I am not a photographer but I usually find myself taking pictures of products for my clients to use in the material that I design for them. Since my old olympus died, I have been using my dad's point and shoot Panasonic Lumix that has been alright but i get a lot of distortion and noise when taking close ups of products (perfume bottles for example).

    I have been wanting to get a DSRL but I am not sure if it would be overkill for my needs (and out of my budget). I dont see myself purchasing aftermarket lenses or kits. My dad has a few lenses for an old canon AE-1 film camera that he had but I am not sure if they would fit. I just dont want to spend more than what I need.

    My budget is around $300 to $400 (maybe $500 but I dont want to spend mpre than 400). What are the advantages of camera that support RAW file formats? Any f=good websites that would give me good info on cameras?

    I have been looking at a Sony DSC-H9/B or a Canon POWERSHOT-G7. I now that these are not DSLR but they seem to fit my budget, any experience with these models?
  2. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Sound like you take pics of flat items like graphics that are on a wall? If so, a point and shoot of 6mp or more should work fine. You are not dealing with really tricky lighting, perspective, multiple shots, moving stuff, etc. Just get the lighting figured out. My wife's little Nikon S3 even has a mode for shooting flat objects.

    Realize that dslrs are superior in every way except for size and price. If your are photographing more difficult subjects, then a dslr has a lot more potential to work for you.

    You might try to rent one to see if it is worth it to you. You do not need RAW.

    I think there are refurbished D40s and such now that might fit your budget.

    You might want to use some of your budget on software like Photoshop Elements or, if you are photographing 3D subjects, then you might want to look at software that controls perspective.

    See for information on that and other cameral info.
  3. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Well I am not sure what you mean by flat objects. I usually take pictures of real life objects like perfume bottles, jewelry,

    I am really considering a Powershot G9, any advise on these cameras?
  4. npederse macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2007
    Unfortunately, I've never used the G7/G9 series Canons. I've heard good things about them though. Check out I've always liked the compact g-series; some friends have the S3/S5 (though they are superzooms and may be more than you need) and have really liked them. Really depends on what you want to use the camera for and whether you would like the options that an SLR offers.

    I'd look for a macro feature on whatever camera you're looking at -- that may address your issues with close shots.

    For your budget, I don't know that I'd recommend an SLR. A good quality SLR setup for product shots could blow your budget. Nikon's D40 is a good camera (this from a Canon fan) and you can use several of the older macro lenses, as long as you don't mind manually focusing them. None of your father's AE-1 lens would work (at least, without adaptors and they'd still be manual focus) with digital canons.

    As for RAW, there are some benefits for those who enjoy/need too spend time editing and correcting each image. The software has made it a lot easier. At the same time, I know several folks who do product shots using just jpegs and have no issues.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Raw files are not compressed either in terms of dynamic range ir spatially compressed. It is the best format to use if you are going to do a lot of post production "photoshopping".

    The best thing you could get to improve shots of small products is lighting. These can be improvised and need not cost much. You can use stuff like white ripstop nylon, white plastic milk jugs and work lamps from home depot. That and a good camera support. With enough light you can shoot at low ISO and noise is not so much a problem.

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