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Old Aug 13, 2012, 12:28 PM   #1
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Hello I am in the market for a new camera that takes great interior photos. I am a furniture designer and take a lot of photos of furniture and interiors some in good lighting some not in good lighting. What would be the best camera to give professional results for the non professional? Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 2:54 PM   #2
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"Professional results for the non-professional?"....
That's quite an ask...!!
With regards hardware- a wide angle lens would be a requirement,as would be decent high iso noise control if you intend using natural light as opposed to flashes- though maybe not so significant if you intend to use a tripod with long exposures. RAW capability might be useful also, as interior lighting can often give unusual results- curious colouration easily rectified when shooting RAW.
Will you be looking at a DSLR,an EVIL or a compact camera...?
What kind of budget are you thinking of...?
One thing's for sure though- good results can be obtained from very humble equipment in the right hands- and likewise,poor results from great equipment in the wrong hands..!
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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I would like to spend less than $1000 and I am not sure about DSLR, EVIL or a compact camera. I am not concerned about how compact this camera is. I took a photography class in Design School but I am no professional…
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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how non-professional are you? the best results will come from knowing how to use your camera. that being said, chances aren't too good that you can get professional results in not-so-good lighting. professionals that shoot ads and stuff use lighting - reflectors, off camera lighting, etc - to get their best results. but again, a faster lens couldn't hurt.

i'd say a dslr with the fastest lens you can afford is the way to go.

you say you took a class - do you know enough to work with older, manual lenses? that would definitely allow you to work with much faster lenses at a lower price.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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So much to choose from these days....
I'll just throw one into the ring... Sony NEX-5N with 16mm f/2.8 lens...
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 1:36 PM   #6
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I would suggest the Nikon D7000 with Sigma 10-20mm lens. Great indoor shots done HDR with little distortion. But then you threw out the less than $1000 price. Good luck finding what you need at that price.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 6:09 PM   #7
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From my perspective, a good understanding of light and the importance of it in capturing a good clean, sharp image, with the detail and clarity that's required to make a professional presentation is frankly, more important than the camera equipment you use.
Don't get me wrong, you do need a good sharp lens and a camera body that will give you enough megapixels to be able to achieve your goal. However, that's not the challenge - as there are a lot of cameras and lenses to choose from that will produce what your looking for.

Further, since your going to be photographing static subjects, you have the ability to control ISO, shutter speed, the lighting as well as the subject's position in the composition.

What you'll need is a wide angle lens a- a Sigma 10-20mm as Bynx suggested is a good choice. It's fast sharp and will give you the ability to capture a lot of interior space in one frame. You'll need a tripod to hold the camera, since
you'll be wanting to use a very low iso - say ISO100 to minimize noise. Why, because it will allow you to buy and use a less expensive camera. The Nikon D7000 is a great camera. In fact I own one and love it. But the body itself is $1000. Add the 10-20 Sigma and you're in the $1,400 range-without accessories.

You can get by very easily with a used D90 Nikon @ 600dollars + used Sigma 10-20mm for below 400dollars. a tripod less than 100bucks.

A book on interior photography is a must. And take a course on understanding interior photography & lighting.

Good luck
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 7:45 PM   #8
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(Hopefully not a dupe posting as first one crashed on upload)

I am a Realtor and also have a Real Estate photography business so I am taking interiors (and exteriors) quite a bit. I initially started with a D40 and available light as I went around to model homes for photos to initially build my web site. I still use some of those original shots. The Sigma 10-20 (approx $500) is absolutely essential and what I use 90% of the time. I upgraded the D40 to the D90 and it is an excellent camera. The only reason I further upgraded to the D7000 (other than giving up on the D400) is that I wanted to expand to video. You can do everything with the D90, but the video is a little weak. While I do primarilly prefer multi strobe off camera lighting, when not possible (i.e. mirrors reflecting light, etc) revert back to available light or a 5 exposure bracket and lightroom/enfuse plugin. Least favorite is processing the same 5 exposures with HDR as so much detail becomes harch/cold with muddy shaddows (IMO).

D90 + Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 is ideal, along with a solid tripod. You can add lighting later as you develop skills. Also, I should note that I find the ultra-wide angle lens one of the more challenging lens to use, controlling distortion and well as verticals.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 8:28 PM   #9
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Last monday I gave a talk on real estate photography to the local photo club. This is a 5 set to demonstrate various lighting techniques. (Ignore other issues such as the distorted table and verticals because the intent was to keep them as similar as possible and addressing lighting).
All shots were with the D7000 and sigma 10-20 @ f8 all in RAW. The HDR/Enfuse were 5 shots, 0 +/-1 +/-2 steps.

Available light (actually, 0 step from the sequence). Virtually no post processing an gives a good idea of the lighting ranges and challenges.


Same Available light file, heavy post processing in Photoshop - and a good reason why to shoot RAW! Added fill lighting,and even graduated above fill on the fireplace shaddows, plus recovered and brought down the exterior lighting. A LOT OF WORK!


Lightroom/Enfuse


HDR
Notice have a lot of detail, but has a cold feeling compared to the enfuse and others. Also notice how pronounced the popcrn ceiling is with distracting detail, and the muddy shaddow effect between the door and ceiling. Both Enfuse and HDR had trouble resolving the shaddows around the fireplace, but might be able to bring it out some as I did minial post beyond blending the images.

HDR handled the exterior the best of them all, and I do like to use it on exterior shots. However, you have to be careful on processing not to get the radioactive effect along the sky/tree line and roofline.


Off-camera flash. 2 used. One was behind me lighting the foreground area, the other in the living room bouncing off the wall/ceiling. Almost straight out of the camera with only post converting RAW to jpg.

Last edited by tizeye; Aug 14, 2012 at 8:34 PM.
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Old Aug 16, 2012, 7:32 PM   #10
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This has been very helpful!!! Thanks for the input. I should have left off the professional part...
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