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Old Apr 19, 2007, 5:33 PM   #1
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Hello,

Ineed to sell a large amount of inventory on ebayfrom my boutique that has closed. I would need to photograph things such as cosmetics and jewelry. I have very little cameraexperience and was wondering if there was anyone out there that may be able to help me. I do not need to take professional quality close up images, but would like to take pretty decent ones that depict details of what I am selling. I have a budget of only $600 and have no idea of what to buy. If I could buy a basic digital camera for less, even better. I have seen people use basic digital cameras and get decent photos, but there are so many out there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I was wondering if anyone had any experience with using a portable photo studio like the one here... http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/30...dio-light-kits Is this a good buy or is it a waste of money?

Thanks!!!
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Old Apr 19, 2007, 5:37 PM   #2
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I am SOOO sorry for posting this in the wrong forum!!! I got so excited to be able to ask a question that I posted it here. Please accept my apologies!!!!
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 7:53 AM   #3
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Tough call.

First, you'll need a tripod. Nothing big. Just a small rigid tabletop tripod. There are lots of them around, but you should talk to someone in a local camera shop.

Second, what you're talking about is macrophotography. I'm sure that you can locate a decent P&S digicam with reasonable macro capabilities. Steves-Digicams.com has a great list of the best cameras in most categories, buut I don't think he's got them segregated by their macro capabilities.

Lastly, you'll need a flash that you can use for close-ups. This one is going to be tricky. You might be able to use the built-in flash on most digicams, but that might just wash out the subject. An off-camera flash might work best, but now we're probably talking more than your budget.

Hope this helps narrow down the mountain of info out there.
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 8:18 AM   #4
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Here is a cheap solution for shooting small objects: DIY - Build Your Own Mini Macro Studio for Less than $0.02

You can use a desk lamp instead of an external flash. You just have to remember to set the white balance to incandescent or take a custom white balance before shooting.

The tent diffuses the light and reduces hot spots on reflective objects.


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Old Apr 21, 2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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On second thought, you could probably do without the flash if you could set up a well lit display for your products, but you'll need to spend some time setting the white balance.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 4:00 PM   #6
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If this really is the only job for the camera, many UltraZoom models have pretty good macro capabilities right out of the box. Going this route would prevent you from having to buy a DSLR and a macro lens (something quite expensive). I would suggest you look at the Panasonic line of UltraZooms, and they have incredible value.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 7:44 PM   #7
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My wife has an old 4mp Kodak Easyshare DX4900. Its a nothing special point and shoot, but what is attractive about it is that she can take good close ups of her guinea pigs (it has a close up mode), and the software that came with it is drop dead easy to use.

She takes the lamps from the dining room, sets them on the kitchen table. Takes a box and puts that on the table to serve as a backdrop. Then uses a blue grey wool type blanket (with some texture to it) and drapes it over the box and the table. Turns on the lamps - one on either side of the shooting area. Puts the subject down, turns on the camera, puts it in to "flower" mode (the close up mode has a little flower icon). Then uses her hands to set up the camera shot, looking through the lcd frame on the back of the camera to set up the shot. Takes the picture.

After taking all the pictures she needs, she plugs the camera into the PC, the Kodak software program automatically downloads the images in to the folder. She crops the images and puts them on her website or where ever.

You basically want a simple camera that is simple to work, with software that is easy to use. I do not think that you need to spend a lot of money to get this. I would think that since it is for ebay, that a 4mp camera would be more than adequate, since your going to have to slim down the image file size anyway. I would think that you could find a KodaK digital camera for around $100 including the software. A couple of hours of practice and you should be on your way. You can probably find a discontinued model around. You might call some local camera shops and see what they have.

You might also want to expirement with the type of light bulbs that are best for the camera you wind up with, if the initial picture colors do not look right.

Here is a sample - nothing fancy, but effective.

Hope this helps.



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Old Apr 21, 2007, 7:58 PM   #8
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Meph wrote:
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If this really is the only job for the camera, many UltraZoom models have pretty good macro capabilities right out of the box. Going this route would prevent you from having to buy a DSLR and a macro lens (something quite expensive). I would suggest you look at the Panasonic line of UltraZooms, and they have incredible value.
I agree, most of the super-zooms have good macro capabilities and are well within your price limits. However, almost all (maybe all) the cameras in Steve's Best Cameras list have good macro capability. Shooting with enough detail forweb catalogs isn'tdemanding if you get the lighting right. I shot some macro comparison shots using my KodakZ612 and my son's C533. Without going into the EXIF no one will be able to tell which was the more expensive camera.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 8:00 PM   #9
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This salt shaker is 2.75" tall. I was not as close as either camera can get.
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