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Old Aug 11, 2005, 12:05 PM   #1
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I run a retail store, and we recently opened an online store. To put our products online, I can either hire a photographer who charges me some amount to take pictures of my products with his very nice setup (external flashes, slr camera), or I can take pictures myself.

Given that the pictures are not going to be very large (no more than 30 kb), and that I'm looking for the most cost effective solution, I need to find a camera that I can use to take pictures.

I guess the things that are important to me are:

- image quality
- flash quality
- NOT size, battery life, etc...

I'd like to take the pictures indoors with a white drape behind it, but I would probably try to use a room with good lighting in the first place.

I'd like to find a decent camera that is around $200 (or even cheaper if possible), but I'm willing to look at any options you might be able to present.

I've read through a few pages of the forums, but I couldn't figure out what to search to single down what I'm looking for.

Hopefully someone can help! Thanks in advance!!
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 8:35 PM   #2
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I think the problem is that you are going to need something with an external flash to get good product images. You could go with a slave flash that fires when the main one does, but that can have mixed results as to exposure. It would be tough to find anything new for that price range. Granted you don't need a lot of resolution, but what you need is excellent exposure control. Manual for sure and bracketing would be very helpful as well. For the kind of control you need you should be looking into at least a prosumer style camera. Then you will need to look into external lighting sources and perhaps a light dome or other device to help you get good shots. It also depends on the size of the products. One thing that can really kill a website or Ebay auction is poor photos. If it sounds like to much perhaps find an inexpensive camera on clearance for around 200 to 250 and do some experimenting, if you don't like it at least you have something to carry around on family outings and what not. Or you may be better off with a professional.
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 10:05 PM   #3
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I agree with last post that lighting will be more important than the camera for your purpose.Any modern 2mp camera will do the work.You could use flash or studio lighting.
The color of the light is important.
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Old Aug 11, 2005, 11:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help thus far. So in your opinions, if I got a camera with a pop-up flash (I was looking at the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z1 ), that would not be sufficient lighting for taking good photography?What about the

The items I'm taking pictures of are sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, etc... I work at a college bookstore.

What cameras / external flashes would you recommend? Again, cost is kind of an issue for me, so I'd like to find something affordable.

Thanks so much!
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