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Old Sep 26, 2010, 10:52 AM   #1
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Hi there,

New and in a position of absolute ignorance regarding photgraphy. I have recently been doing quite a bit of pastel painting and getting the more successful efforts framed. The person I go to for framing, herself a professional artist also, reckons I should be getting my stuff into galleries and that I need good photographs of my works before framing, then being able to send these off to relavant galleries, etc.

I am, I imagine, under no illusions as to what a total novice can achieve with photographs but bearing in mind that my works tend to be fairly limited in colour range & 'abstract' for lack of a more accurate word, I would like advice as to what camera to get. If it is something I learn with and keep using for years to come, with growing seriousness, should I be looking at something like the Fujifilm Finepix s2000, or be reaching up to things like Panasonic Lumix fz38?

Thanks in advance, & apologies for depth of my ignorance, despite having spent brain tiring day investigating camera models & various would-be-relevant blind alleys.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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Some tips here (Part I and then read Part II):

http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring...gPaintings.asp

The use of a circular polarizer filter and polarizer gels at 90 is the standard to get good paintings pictures. Not a piece of cake, really.

Last edited by Ordo; Sep 26, 2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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Andrew-

Welcome to the Forum. We're please that you dropped by.

Thus far, some of the best photographs of art have been done with an Olympus EPL-1. You can see some examples of the photos in the Olympus m4/3 folder.

As Ordo has noted, photographing art is an exacting process.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 12:31 PM   #4
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You ask what camera to use. You say your purpose is to send images to galleries etc. The controlling factor is final image size, which drives what resolution you'll need. If the medium of display of these images is a computer screen, hi-res isn't important. My old 5 mpx (megapixel) P&S (point-and-shoot) with Zeiss optics outputs images about 1950 x 2600 pixels, which fills all but the largest screens. A newer low-noise P&S in the 10 mpx range should do fine for such 'audition' shots. I'll let those familiar with current P&S's suggest specific models.

If you'll print those images to send to galleries, and possibly to publishers, resolution CAN matter, as do the printer, the paper, etc. I've shot artwork with an ancient 1.1 mpx P&S, pictures sized 912 x 1216 pixels, and printed them rather large, as poster art. But those certainly aren't faithful copies of detailed art. High resolution implies great dynamic range as well as fine rendition of detail. If your images will be enlarged and scrutinized, whether printed or on-screen, something more than a P&S is needed.

Digital cameras can generally be classed according to sensor size and pixel density. Small sensors with lotsa megapickles squished together often produce noisy images. This can be photojournalistically dramatic, but not what you're looking for. Somewhat bigger and not-so-dense sensors as on the Olympus that Sarah suggested are better, often MUCH better. Big new full-frame (FF) dSLRs (digital single-lens-reflex cameras) are best, but also quite expensive. Current or older half-frame dSLRs using sensors in the APS-C size range are excellent. Any interchangeable-lens camera gives you great control over the captured image. Sometimes, you DO get what you pay for.

And as mentioned, photographing artwork WELL is a non-trivial procedure. You can gain the expertise without undue pain -- just study, and practice practice practice. Welcome aboard, and good luck, and have fun!
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, Ordo first of all - that's just the kind of info I need. & thanks Sarah & Rio. Under pressure at this very moment with a demanding child so will delve into the Olympusfor starters when the heat is off. To add thanks very much for now for that involved response, Rio.

Last edited by Andrew Kenneally; Sep 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM.
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Old Sep 27, 2010, 4:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
You ask what camera to use. You say your purpose is to send images to galleries etc. The controlling factor is final image size, which drives what resolution you'll need. If the medium of display of these images is a computer screen, hi-res isn't important. My old 5 mpx (megapixel) P&S (point-and-shoot) with Zeiss optics outputs images about 1950 x 2600 pixels, which fills all but the largest screens. A newer low-noise P&S in the 10 mpx range should do fine for such 'audition' shots. I'll let those familiar with current P&S's suggest specific models.

If you'll print those images to send to galleries, and possibly to publishers, resolution CAN matter, as do the printer, the paper, etc. I've shot artwork with an ancient 1.1 mpx P&S, pictures sized 912 x 1216 pixels, and printed them rather large, as poster art. But those certainly aren't faithful copies of detailed art. High resolution implies great dynamic range as well as fine rendition of detail. If your images will be enlarged and scrutinized, whether printed or on-screen, something more than a P&S is needed.

Digital cameras can generally be classed according to sensor size and pixel density. Small sensors with lotsa megapickles squished together often produce noisy images. This can be photojournalistically dramatic, but not what you're looking for. Somewhat bigger and not-so-dense sensors as on the Olympus that Sarah suggested are better, often MUCH better. Big new full-frame (FF) dSLRs (digital single-lens-reflex cameras) are best, but also quite expensive. Current or older half-frame dSLRs using sensors in the APS-C size range are excellent. Any interchangeable-lens camera gives you great control over the captured image. Sometimes, you DO get what you pay for.

And as mentioned, photographing artwork WELL is a non-trivial procedure. You can gain the expertise without undue pain -- just study, and practice practice practice. Welcome aboard, and good luck, and have fun!
I'll probably go to my framer later & ask her for some more advice but following up on the Olympus Pen tip & the interchangeable lens - I see it comes in at least starter options of 14-42 mm lens or 17mm Pancake lens as on the page below.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_2?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=olympus+pen&sprefix=ol

Again wading thru the treacle of my ignorance, my pictures thus far tend to be fairly compact, just say 40 cm square though that likely to expand at times . . . & with my needs what is the more suitable lens?

Do I take it you're saying if I am going the higher-end route rather than P & S, that the all in one bridge cameras are covering so many bases needs that I must be losing out on what are specific to my needs & so even things like the Panasonic FZ38 are not where I should be looking? Though I think I've understood this to be the case already with the point about the sensors. I'm particularly wary I suppose of what seems like the frighteningly complex fields of the DSLR.

*************************
Little later having talked to my framer, her partner does photographs of high-end quality for print-runs etc for, once one is getting several pictures done at once, reasonable enough rates. For the immediate term at least that seems the better option in terms of the more ambitious aspirations regarding picture quality. However it does still leave me with the immediate necessity of covering the 'audition shots' - from what I can gather where I would be shooting the pictures outside in natural light - a good P& S, as you say. With video of zero priority, any suggestions from anyone?

Last edited by Andrew Kenneally; Sep 27, 2010 at 5:58 AM.
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 4:48 AM   #7
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Here's hoping. . . . Given that I'll just get an 'ordinary' camera & leave any higher needs to the professionals, would people in my position choose a Panasonic Lumix FS30 or a Canon PowerShot A1100? They're both selling at about 130 pounds sterling, whatever that is in dollars- 170?
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Old Sep 28, 2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Andrew-

If you can purchase a point and shoot camera that you could test with return privileges, that may be an option. However, the Olympus EPL-1 which is acknowledged to have one of the best .jpeg engines on the market, is most probably the better choice for color accuracy, providing the lighting is correct.

Sarah Joyce
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