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Old May 17, 2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default Camera for product photography

Hi this is my first ever post in a forum of any kind. I am/was an US Air Force trained photographer. Non combat. I was with base photo. We shot anything and everything that happened on base as well as studio portraits. I was trained on and used a Nikon F3. I've been out of the workforce for 17 years raising a family. Just recently I was presented with the opportunity to do product photography for the estate department of a local chain of jewelry stores.
I remember how to shoot film, but they need digital. I've been using P&S digital cameras to do family stuff for the last few years, since my Minolta X-9 was stolen. I'm looking for a dSLR because I'd like to turn this opportunity into a business shooting jewelry and maybe some child & animal portraits.
I need camera recommendations. Should I put my money into a lower end new camera or go for a high end used camera that's a older but in good condition?

Thanks
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Old May 17, 2010, 12:25 AM   #2
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I just bought the big brother to the F3, the F5

I would recommend an dslr and a soft box for the jewlery shots. there are many online how-to's to make a light box for product photography.

The lighting and setup in itself is a main portion of product photography.

with that aside, how much are looking at spending on a camera? it really helps us decide what you may want to look into.

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Old May 17, 2010, 12:25 AM   #3
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With a dslr, I would go with a new camera, there are more that can go wrong with them vs older film slr's. And if something breaks with a used body. The repair is out of pocket, while with a new one, you have a 1 year factory warranty. And you know how much abuse you put on it. I just switch over a year ago from film slr. And with the digital I have been putting it through it's paces.

I would go with a mid grade dslr. Something along the lines of a canon 50D, nikon D90, or pentax k-7 or sony A700. All do the job nicely, and since this it a business investment, you will want to go a bit better then entry level. But the big investment will be a very good macro lens. Something along the line of 90-105mm would be a good range. A sigma 105 or Tamron 90, or the 100mm form canon, nikon, pentax or sony for their bodies. And a macro ring flash for jewelry is a big help.
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Old May 17, 2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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Also get a good editing program and shoot in RAW, you will want the most control for editing to get the shots you customer will want.
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Old May 17, 2010, 12:54 AM   #5
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Unfortunately my starting budget is really low...around $500 with minimal wiggle room. I plan to upgrade after I've shot my first few sessions and have more funds. I'm planning to invest in a tabletop studio setup as well as a macro lens.
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:01 AM   #6
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This may be a tough one then....
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:02 AM   #7
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Is the 500 for just the body, and additional funds for the macro. Or are you looking for a dslr with a kit lens for that price?
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:04 AM   #8
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well i would start off with the lighting, that is the most important part. Go make a DIY light box.


http://forums.steves-digicams.com/cl...y-watches.html

That thread has was taken with a sub $200 P&S, so its all about the lighting, What camera do you have now?
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:15 AM   #9
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That shot looks like there was a decent amount of photoshop to help it also. So besides a good camera and light box set up. Editing software will help out also.

The bad news it it will get a bit pricey to start off with.

But for around 500 for just a kit lens and body. The pentax or canon xsi new.

But there is another option, you can get a canon factory refurbished camera from adorama, very good company to deal with. And it carries a 1 year return to adorama warranty. I've read members have gotten canon T1i and XSi referbs off of adorama's ebay store at great savings. All other brands only carry a 90 day warranty.
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:18 AM   #10
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The $500 is just for the body. I have additional funds set aside for the lens and lighting setup. The camera I have now is a Canon Power Shot S5 IS which my husband rushed out and bought in a rush while I was in labor with our son. I'm looking at buying a tabletop studio kit from tabletopstudio.com.
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