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Old Jun 1, 2010, 7:02 AM   #1
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Default Taking pictures of illuminated artwork.

I want to take pro grade pictures of my for purchase illuminated artwork for my website. Videos will be nice.

So, I am nearly totally a newbie, I only used P&S cameras, even then they were kind of low end, except a sony cybershot (2.1MP). I asked around and no one I know owns a DSLR, all I can do is go to bestbuy with mem card and play around then check the quality at home.

I don't want to buy too much camera nor do I want to be unhappy with the results. I was looking at the Nikon D5000. The video function appeals to me because I don't have a camcorder nor know anyone with one which will shoot HD vids. There are a few good deals on eBay for the D5000 around $550ish with a 16-55mm VR lense. I don't want to spend any more than that 'cause I still need to make a booth and all.

Can I use a stock 18-55mm VR lense for the type of pictures I want?

Thanks
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 7:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Propaganda View Post
Can I use a stock 18-55mm VR lense for the type of pictures I want?
If the illumination is bright enough, sure. If not, you'll need a tripod too.

Depending on the size of the artwork, the 18-55 may not work well for you. Can you elaborate on the subjects you'll be shooting?

BTW, recording video with a dSLR is tougher than with a camcorder. If you've never even used a camcorder, you'll have your hands full with a dSLR.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 1:35 PM   #3
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...sure


An example of one piece: a star, 23" wide/tall, semigloss black, 2D, 3/4" thick, with LED lit speckles. The LEDs glow and are not directly facing the viewer.

Videos will be shot still.

The price difference for a say D40 and a D5000 is around $200ish, should I go with a D40 and look into spending that $200 into a camcorder?

Using the vid feature for other things would be involved 'cause no autofocus and that is unappealing for sure.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 2:38 PM   #4
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The D40 is only 6MP, while the D5000 is 12MP. The lower resolution would diminish the portrayal of your artwork, and I don't think you wnat ot do that. The D5000 also has a greater dynamic range than the D40, which give a more accurate rendering of colors. I think that, especially for what you want to do, going with the D40 would be a mistake.

And, btw, you can take a still photo and make a video from it, albeit at a lower resolution. I presume you know that the resolution of even best HD video doesn't compare to the resolution of even the D40.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 3:16 AM   #5
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have you checked out the pentax k-x? i've seen it at reputable ebay dealers for just under $500. it's got stabilization, shoots video, has good low light performance.

whether you can use a kit lens depends on the lens - not all kit lenses are equal. my canon kit lens gets meh results where my gf1 kit lens is nice and sharp.

btw, you wouldn't want a $200 camcorder. that's close to the bottom of the barrel, so we're talking about low video quality and poor low light performance. my experience is that even inexpensive digicams shoot better video than really low cost camcorders, albeit with less control. and even higher priced consumer camcorders videos take pretty blurry screencaps.

Last edited by pcake; Jun 2, 2010 at 3:19 AM.
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