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Old Sep 25, 2005, 5:41 PM   #1
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First of all THANK YOU for creating such an amazing web site…I am sure you will get this type of question 6 more times by next week…I have been an avid visitor to this website over several months/years…based on a lot of advice I have been taking in on your and other websites like it …I have been looking (and buying for that matter) the best digital camera for my application…I have owned a canon sd500, rebel, 10D, and am waiting now for the Sony R-1…because I hear it is supposed to take amazing shots

Quite simply I am not educated enough on all the intricacies of dig cams…so here goes the million dollar question…I am sure you can handle it…

I am a luxury/exotic car dealer…I purchase expensive exotics and sell them on the web (autotrader, ebay, etc)…so my success depends on me taking and displaying amazing shots of my inventory …I am looking for a camera that will give me shots of my stock…crystal clear every time…no fuss…no muss…just real clean photos…preferably when the camera is in auto mode

Ireally don't care how much it costs (within reason of course sub 2k would be nice)…I don't tinker with all the different types of shots…I will have the sun to my back with a nice flower bed background and a beautiful car in front on me…every time…every car…I will be approx 10-20 ft away…then some interior shots….PLEASE advise me as to which camera/s you believe will give me awesome clean, vibrant shots

Once the shots are taken… lets say at 5-7 mp…then I usually pop them into photoshop elements and choose the save for web option and lower the pixel size to make them manageable for the web

I am eagerly awaiting your advice…and thanks in advance for your consideration


A quick story…after spending over 2k on canon digital slr I took and posted several shots of a new Porsche that I bought with this cam…in auto mode I thought the shots looked real good…then I was on ebay and a competitor of mine located in Miami Beach had a similar car…color…shooting conditions, etc…and his shots looked unbelievable…so as I know this competitor…I asked him what camera he used and he said he swears by his Sony Cybershot DSC-T3…and also swears by the Carl Zeiss lenses…and then started to tell me how much he liked and how easy the T-5 and T-7 are to use….and here I just dropped over 2k…well anyways what do you think of these cams for my application

Thanks again so much for reading (hopefully) and answering this desperate email

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Old Sep 27, 2005, 10:57 AM   #2
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With a steady tripod and the proper lighting setup, even a Kodak Brownie should work for web shots.

My suggestion would be to skip the equipment for now and hire a local professional photographer to do the first few cars. Look for someone who would be willing to show you how to make the standard shots yourself with a minimum set of equipment (especially studio lights). If he is smart, he'll realize that helping you out this way will probably generate future business when you need something different.

Education costs, no matter how you pay for it. Plan carefully and pay for it only once.

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Old Sep 27, 2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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thanks...good advice
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 1:01 PM   #4
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You have more than sufficient cameras now. A T3 would be low on my list for critical photography. If you really want point and shoot your SD500 will take any picture the T3 will take at least as well and probably better. If you want to go to the trouble to learn to use it the Rebel will blow both out of the water.

As mgipe suggests your first priority is lighting. Your competitor might have gotten the shot in the afternoon with light being bounced from a cloud or something of the sort. I doubt that someone who considers the T3 a good professional instrument is getting those shots consistently unless he has an excellent sense of ambient light and when to take the shots. Or is maybe using supplemental strobes or reflectors. Or is maybe just pulling your chain.

This is pretty simplistic, but he recommends shooting with the sun low and using fill flash. Your competitor didn't get any fill flash effect with his T3 because it has probably the weakest flash ever put on a camera. Your SD500 has an excellent flash for a small camera. http://www.cobracountry.com/fototips/home.html If you get the sun too low you start running into color problems. I don't get the feeling you want to mess with setting custom white balances to try to get the right combination for your daylight flash and reddened low sun.

If I were doing it I would use the Rebel. I would get a neutral density filter for it so I could open the lens all the way to blur the background. The car grabs more attention and the shot looks much more professional with the background blurred. I would have a nice Florida background but make sure everything but the pavement was far enough away to get some blur with distance. I would remove any distractions from the pavement in an image editor and probably soften the pavement some.

I would also get a strong flash attachment with a diffuser. Dragging 5000k studio lights and extension cords is probably a bit much, but a remote strobe might help highlight the cars. They are cheap and fun to play with.

If you want perfection you might want to learn to use a good image editor. Paint Shop Pro is a good alternative if you don't want to spend the big bucks for Photoshop. There are gobs of tutorials online for just about anything you might want to do. Post your best Porsche photo in the Critiques and Techniques forum – you will be amazed what some of the gurus can probably do with it. The higher the compression and smaller the image the less they will be able to do.

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Old Sep 28, 2005, 1:26 AM   #5
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thanks..that was very helpful...looks like im going to wind up buying a 20D

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