Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 3, 2004, 4:40 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Default

Hello. I work on historical resaearch and I am wiiling to buy a camera to take photos of old newspapers. So i need they can be readable. I am considering between Minolta Z2, Kodak DX6490 and Canon G3. What would you suggest me??

I thank you.
bacata55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 3, 2004, 5:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
bradg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 819
Default

bacata55 wrote:
Quote:
What would you suggest me??



a scaner
bradg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 3, 2004, 7:13 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

A scanner would be good IF you are allowed to take the documents and flatten them like that. It all depends on what you want to do with the documents, and how much detail you want/need to capture.

The cameras you've mentioned are toys for this kind of work (unless you are doing this for your own personal use rather than professional). You'll probably want a medium or large format camera with a scanning back (at least 12mp), on a camera stand above, as well you'll want camera lights to light up the document. Again it depends on how serious this is, what the documents are, and what is the purpose of the capture. Depending on the document, you may also want different light wavelengths like UV lighting.

If you are serious about this, suggest you get in contact with a museum to see if they can teach you the basics. Maybe they get by with less, but that's the setup I would use if I want to capture every nuance of a document. In any case, the camera you choose should have a RAW mode (this means the information comes straight from the CCD without any in-camera processing).
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 4, 2004, 8:12 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

I wanted to emphasise something that Mikefellhsaid. Lighting will be very important. You'll want very consistant bright lighting. This is necessary because if the document isn't flat, you'll want a reasonable Depth Of Field to make sure everything is in focus. To do that you'll have to decrease the aperture, which means you'll need more light. Multiple light sources will also be required to reduce shadows (if the newspaper isn't flat.) And you'll have to worry that the lights you use might produce a color cast to the pictures that you won't want. So you'll want to pick the lamps carefully.

Doing document photography is not trivial, if you're trying to take it seriously.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2004, 4:04 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default


I agree the thing most likely to give excellent results is a good lighting setup. The internal flash is decent in most cameras and most let you adjust the flash intensity. I think you would have the opposite problem from redeye in wanting the flash as close to the lens as possible to avoid shadows. But you will get much better results with a good lighting setup and tripod if you can take that to the documents being photographed.

I don't understand your choice of cameras. You have two superzooms and a camera with a good f stop. I don't see that you need 10X zoom range. Even if you want to photograph individual articles you don't need to be that far away. Does the Kodak even have manual focus? And I would choose a G5 over a G3 for your use. You should be able to shoot at ISO 50 so noise isn't a problem with either, but more pixels gives more resolution. If you plan to use a flash at relatively close distance the extra f stop shouldn't be significant either.
slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 2004, 6:28 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Default

slipe wrote:
Quote:

I don't understand your choice of cameras. You have two superzooms and a camera with a good f stop. I don't see that you need 10X zoom range. Even if you want to photograph individual articles you don't need to be that far away. Does the Kodak even have manual focus? And I would choose a G5 over a G3 for your use. You should be able to shoot at ISO 50 so noise isn't a problem with either, but more pixels gives more resolution. If you plan to use a flash at relatively close distance the extra f stop shouldn't be significant either.

I am certainly what you might call a newbie. What is f stop? low numbers here would be better for me? I thank you if you could explain this to me.
bacata55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 2004, 10:29 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

The lens has an aperture, which is the size of the opening in the lens. It controls, among other things, how much light get into the sensor. This effects many things (the size of the area in focus in the picture, how faster the shutter speed can be are the big ones I can think of.) Since lenses are of different sizes (the front element differs) you can't talk about how large the aperture really is. So instead you talk about the f stop (or f-stop.)

This lets you say things in a way which is lens independent. Every camera with any lens will meter (basically) the same way and very similar if not the same picture at the same settings. So if I say "take the picture at 1/60th f 5.6, ISO 100", that means a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and the f-stop is 5.6, at ISO setting 100. And every picture taken at those settings will be basically the same (I say basically because the magnification power of the lens effects the picture, but not the metering... the light that gets to the sensor. So all those pictures will have the same "brightness" but they might have different depths of field or distortion depending on the mm of the lens.

For more info, check out:

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glos...perture_01.htm

Does that help? If not, please ask more questions.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 2004, 9:35 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

If you're that new to photography, first you should learn some basics...check out http://209.196.177.41/

After that, you may want to talk to a museum or reference library that photographs documents regularly to see what they do. If you do this professionally, you should really learn the right way of doing it, and that's not asking on a board like this.
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:13 AM.