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Old Mar 30, 2011, 5:39 PM   #1
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Default A dslr camera for interior shots

Hello all. After much pleading our company owner has finally agreed to buy a dslr, and now the question is what should we get. Our company is a vacation rental agency, and the vast majority of our photos are interiors. Our clunky point and shoot has a narrow field, and I'm looking for a camera/lens which will give us dramatic shots which will show the vaulted ceilings and what is usually cut off to the left and right of the shots the other camera normally cuts out.

Our budget is about $500 +/-, and since all of our shots will just be posted online we have no need for big megapixels. Also, if video were possible that would be a plus, but by far the need is for capturing wider fields than what we have now.

Thanks in advance

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Old Mar 30, 2011, 9:10 PM   #2
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The question is just not the camera, but lens and camera. For interior shots, you will probably need a wide angle lens, or you can potentially stitch shots together. You can also shoot a set of images from the center of a room, stitching them together into a 360 degree image. Depending on what you are looking to do, will determine the type of lens needed.

Wide angle lenses are not inexpensive, as they usually start around $500 (a Sigma 10-20). Kit lenses, 18-55mm can be used, but probably may not be sufficiently wide enough. It all depends on how you want to your images to look and the approach you are going to take.

Another item that comes into play in moving from a P&S to a dSLR is with the larger sensor size, depth of field becomes more important (having everything in focus). A fast lens to deal with the lower amount of interior lighting is expensive, however more important - in order to use it wide open, your result is a very thin in focus area. You are going to have to stop down the lens to obtain a reasonable depth of field, but that will require more light. So just a fast lens is not the solution.

With a stopped down lens, your exposure times will then be longer (or you will need to add light), and if you use stitching, you will need a tripod with a head that will facilitate panning - so as to assist with stitching. If you choose to use 360 stitching, you will need software to do the stitching.

Here are a few links that will probably be useful to you....
There is also a technique refereed to as HDR or High Dynamic Range. This entails taking multiple shots (over and under exposures and a normal shot) and then via software combining them all together. This helps with the lighting and reduces the blown out windows and other areas being dark. Here are a couple links there....
Here are a couple of quick links to the 360 degree interior photography.
A way to start out quickly (with practice) is body, wide angle lens and a good flash).

So the bottom line here is, just getting a dSLR is not the entire solution to your problem.... The problem is how are you going to use it, and what lens will you need, based on your approach. I also think that a more realistic budget depending on what you wish to accomplish will consist of the following:
  • Camera body - $500+
  • Wide Angle Lens - $500+
  • Tripod - $100+
  • Tripod head - $100 to $400
  • Software - $100 to $400
  • Flash - $100 to $300+
A way to start out quickly (with practice) is body, wide angle lens and a good flash). That will still run you about $1200 +/-. Going with the kit lens you are still at the $600 to $800 area.

Then you need to learn how effectively use these items in order to create a finished product, based on your needs.

Last edited by interested_observer; Mar 30, 2011 at 9:23 PM.
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