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Old Jan 4, 2009, 11:55 PM   #1
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I'm a Chassidic artist ( w/ a long white beard ) in Brooklyn, NY, a husband and father devoted to my family whose goal is to make my art my living. [/b]

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My immediate goal is to make giclees from my original paintings, which are as large as 4 ft. by 6 ft. I read online that I need a camera with a certain # of megapixels (8mp ?) in order to produce photos of my work that are at least 250-300 pixel resolution to create giclees that are the same size & clarity as the original pieces.[/b]

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I am on a very limited budget. Can you possibly suggest a suitable camera? The choices I have seen advertised in the newspapers and online are mind-boggling. Can you please advise me.[/b]
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 1:00 AM   #2
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There are a number of decent, inexpensive 12 megapixel digital cameras. I have one, a Fuji F50fd, which is now available for between $150 and $200 online. Its top resolution images are 4000 X 3000 pixels. But you won't get 250 dpi on a 4 foot by 6 foot print.
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 4:41 AM   #3
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Hi,

I believe that there will be a bit more to this than just a 8-12MP digicam. There will be some software requirements as well. There are image enlargement software packages that allow you to enlarge the print size without diminishing the detail of the image. One that comes to mind is Genuine Fractals. Here is a link that explains what the software is capable of:

http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2

you stated that your on a very limited budget. So, I'm guessing that you're going to submit the digital file of your work to a printer that has the capability to reproduce a giclee print in that size. Chances are that the printer would have theimage enlargement software necessary to achieve the sizes you would like.

Before investing in any camera, I would first look into contacting a printer that has the capabilities you're looking for and then work with him to see what he would require from you in the way of a digital file with the appropriate resolution.


Not to make this more complicated, but in addition to a camera, you will need some studio lighting and an external flash to ensure that the digital image is extremely sharp, reproduces your art without shadows, and in the appropriate colors.


Just my .02 cents.

Good luck

Zig

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Old Jan 5, 2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Moishe/RedPaint-

Zig has given you some very good advice. This is a two phased problem. (a) creating the digital image and (2) working with a commercial printer who is experienced with this type of reproduction.

Will you be taking the photo yourself to create the digital image? If so then a suitable camera on a strong, firm, tripod with the proper lighting is essential. Tell us a bit about your photographic experience, please? It might be cheaper to get somebody else to assume the photo responsibility.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 5:30 PM   #5
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First of all, I must say I greatly appreciate the responses I have received and the time span within which they came. Thank you.

Yes, I have an experienced commercial printer and that's how I became aware of what is considered the appropriateresolution for a digital file. I will be taking the photos myself and my experience is….well, I've had a camera in my hands and I have also had the opportunity to press down on the shoot button on a number of occasions ie. birthday parties, social outings etc…..But that's about it. However, I am in no way naïve when it comes to aesthetic experiences and creative endeavors. Please check out my blog moishemichaelkampin.blogspot.com , which will give you an idea of the way I perceive visual space. At this point, I find myself between a rock and a hard place. As I have stated previously, I am dealing with limited funds and I have no other recourse but to take the photos myself. If at all possible I would like to be able to purchase a camera that is under $500 dollars. As far as lighting goes and any extras… I wholeheartedly embrace all the info I can get.

Once again, I sincerely thank you for your prompt and articulate replies.

Moishe
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 6:02 PM   #6
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Moishe-

I went to your blog spot and I must say that you have done fairly well with your photographic efforts. Congratulations!

Does your printer connection have Genuine Fractals, because that is the software required to get your dpi up to the 300 dpi level?

As an accomplished artist, you no doubt have access to some good northern light. I would suggest that you use some thing like the Nikon D-40 at 6mp (if you like the Nikon D-40's color pallette), or better yet the Olympus E-410 at 10mp. Both are in your price range (the bottom of the DSLR camera prices) and B&H and Adorama have the E-410 two lens kit on sale at $(US) 399.95, which is a hard price to beat.

You will also need a good and sturdy tripod to achieve the very best sharpness. Using that glorious north light start by taking your photos in natural light as that will simplify the WB problems. And with some time and experience I'll bet you will do quite well. I have attached an E-410 photo sample for you. Good Luck!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 6, 2009, 6:48 AM   #7
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Good morning Moishe,

You have some pretty unique artwork posted on your site. Thanks for sharing. It makes it easier to picture what your trying to photograph.

While I have reservations that you will be satisfied with theresults that you'll get from an 8-10 MP digital camera, sounds like you're going to go ahead anyway so this is what I would concentrate if I were in your place:

Image Quality is paramount and the 1st thingI would look at is the lens as opposed to the camera body. I would be looking for a prime lens as opposed to a zoom lens since zoom lenses introduce barrel distortion. With the largest of your requirements being 4ft by 6ft, that will become a factor. In your budget, Sarah's already mentioned Olympus and Nikon as a possible choices. Based on your budget, I would opt for the Olympus system since Olympus makes an extremely sharp 50mm ZD f2.0 lens. It is as close to technically perfect as is currently available on the market.

As for the body,, Sarah's' E-410 suggestion is fine. It provides 10MP resolution. The E-410 also has live view, which is definitely an advantage, sinceyoucan use itto fine tune the focus. This is something you'll appreciate when you begin photographing your artwork. The camera is also able to provide image filles saved in RAW, an important consideration since you don't want to lose any of the image due to file compression.

Unfortunately, the lens sell for around 400 dollars and the E-410 sells for 399 dollars new. I would look at the used market for both lens and camera body. Since you live in New York,I would vist B&H Photo. They currently have a used E-410 at 279.00 listed on their website.

A tripod and home made lighting will definitely be required. Google photograpghy lighting tutorials and you'll come up with a bunch of information how to properly use lighting to get the best results.

Good Luck

Zig


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Old Jan 6, 2009, 9:21 AM   #8
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Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!



Canon G10?
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Old Jan 6, 2009, 10:25 AM   #9
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Moishe-

I would be very hesitant to recommend the Canon G-10 for this task. I believe that Zig's suggestion of the used E-410 body with the Zuiko 50mm lens offers the very best potential.

Sarah Joyce
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