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Adam444 May 2, 2012 1:49 PM

Part of my job is to take pictures of vehicles for car dealerships. Right now I use a Sony DSC-H50 because that's why I had when I got the job. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the camera but it does have a problem, time to time, with accurate color "reproduction" (I'm not sure that's the right word), especially with interior shots. For example, I will take three photographs from the back seat across the dash of the vehicle. Sometimes one of the three photos (taken seconds apart) will have vastly different colors than the other two. So I've been thinking about another camera for a while now, plus there seems to be a speck of dust inside the lens of the H50.

Unfortunately the nature of the work requires me to take pictures in all kinds conditions outdoors where I can not control lighting. It would be nice to add, for example, a polarizing lens to cut down on glare at times I'm forced to take pictures in full sun. I'd also like to play around a bit with f-stops to adjust the depth of field and blur the background a bit.

I'm leaning towards a dSLR but am certainly willing to listen to other opinions. I should say that an actual viewfinder is a MUST. Trying to take pictures with a screen just isn't for me.

Price is important here too. I have to pay for the camera out of my pocket.

gjtoth May 2, 2012 2:08 PM

There are several other really good bridge cameras that will work just fine for you. IE - you can pick up a Fujifilm HS-20 on Amazon right now for under $300. It does all that you'd require of it AND it has a threaded lens barrel to accommodate filters AND it has a EVF. You can check it out here ==>

shoturtle May 2, 2012 3:15 PM

You can do more with a dslr, if that is the route you want to go. You can use ultra wide angles lenses to get very unique views. But it is a much larger investment. And you get much greater control of your photos.

There are bridge cameras that allow you to us a cpl as well. They cost less, and unless you are taking photos indoor and in poor lighting they work well. You will have much less dof control vs a dslr when playing around with the F-stop due to the small sensor.

It really comes down to how much you want to invest in the camera system and how much control you want over your photos.

Ozzie_Traveller May 2, 2012 6:13 PM

G'day Adam

While Shoturtle is right in saying
"You can do more with a dslr ..... You can use ultra wide angles lenses to get very unique views.... it is a much larger investment.... and you get much greater control of your photos."
The cost of the camera + a 1/2-decent wide-angle lens will set you back well over $1000 if not $1500

With your budget, Gary's suggestion of the Fuji HS20 is the 'only' way to go at the moment

For you to be able to 'fiddle' with things, I would also get the CPL filter + an "ND8" filter to assist with long exposures in daylight > thus allowing people movement around the cars to become a bit blurred rather than being sharp. You want to cars to be sharp!!

Hope this helps a bit
Regards, Phil

JimC May 2, 2012 8:49 PM


Originally Posted by Adam444 (Post 1298971)
...Overall I'm pretty pleased with the camera but it does have a problem, time to time, with accurate color "reproduction" (I'm not sure that's the right word), especially with interior shots...

Auto White Balance can get it wrong, depending on the colors in the image and lighting you're shooting in, as it tries to "guess" the temperature of the lighting and if it doesn't find something white or neutral and/or the image has the wrong combo of colors in it, it may not guess correctly.

Shoot in Programmed Auto versus Auto and try using a preset for White Balance instead. You can set your H50 White Balance it to Cloudy or Sunny instead of Auto, and one of those should look close in daylight lighting (with the "cloudy" setting probably giving you slightly warmer colors); and you can tweak the color using software later to get it even closer -- usually using the same settings tweaks for all of the photos taken in the same conditions.

You can also set a custom white balance (Sony refers to that setting as "One Push" White balance), where you can set it and have it available for any photos taken in the same lighting temperature. Basically, you can use a neutral gray card or white card and the camera measures the temperature of the lighting from it and sets the white balance correctly. Almost anything white can work in a pinch. I often use a piece of Matte Photo Paper to set White Balance, since a reflective surface can cause issues and higher quality Photo Paper is closer to pure white.

See pages 69 and 70 of the H50 manual for instructions on setting White Balance:

Using a Preset versus Auto White Balance makes sure it's not varying the White Balance between photos because of something changing in the frame.

As for the spec of dust in the lens, chances are, it's not going to show up in images. You can have a pretty dusty lens and still not impact photo quality.

If you mean you're seeing a spec on the images themselves, then you may have a spec of dust on the sensor causing it (and there is no easy way to get to it with a non removable lens, so you'd need to send it back to the manufacturer).

As for glare, are you using the included lens hood to help block any direct sunlight from hitting the front element of the lens? You'll want to try and shade the front lens elements from direct sunlight to help prevent glare and flare related problems using the lens hood, holding something over the lens, or shooting from shade.

If you need a polarizer to cut down on reflections from surfaces, it looks like the adapter ring included with the H50 is threaded for 74mm filters. That's an odd size. Sony made one for it, and it looks like Adorama has it for $75.99:

But, you may be better off buying a step up or step down ring and using a different size filter to give you more options from more filter manufacturers.

Adam444 May 11, 2012 9:22 PM

I wanted to take a quick second to thank everyone for their replies. I do have some questions but I have been incredibly busy and haven't had the opportunity to write a complete message.

As somebody said, "I'll be back." With some questions!


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