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Old Aug 12, 2013, 7:17 PM   #1
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Default Looking for a bit of info. Not just on a camera..

Howdy!

I followed the white rabbit down this crazy rabbit hole a few days ago. I started out looking for someone to tell me what camera I needed and ended up changing my view completely and am now looking for a bit of insight to some tools to be had to help to continue learning HOW to take a picture.

I will start with a hare of background info. There is a very limited amount of items I enjoy photographing. They are all vintage shaving gear related. Most of them are for personal enjoyment but some are also for a straight razor restoration company I own. After REALLY looking at some of my photo's I am using to represent my work I could see that I was not meeting my own needs. I think like many I had just assumed it was the gear I was using but have since found out it is HOW I use the light with the gear I am using.

Here are some of the photos I have taken to date:
http://www.shopvictoria.ca/thevintag...ction=products


I was turned onto "Light - Science and Magic" and it has opened my eyes to an entire new world. In just a few shorts days many of my frustrations now have a name and a way to cure them. Lighting is by far my biggest issue! My hope is that in removing the frustration of failed pictures my interest will grow in many new directions.

In short I guess I am looking for a bit of info on where is a good place to START (I already tried starting in the middle and that got me no where!). I opted to post in this forum as I will also be getting around to asking on camera input.

My needs at this point are minimal yet maybe not simple.

I need to gain more knowledge in the art of basic photography itself. I am enrolled in a class that is based around taking pictures of jewelry that starts a short time down the road. At this point I really have very little interest in landscape, portrait, sporting event or other photography. I am of the mindset however that having a good base working knowledge will round out my abilities with what I do enjoy photographing. I don't wish to become entrenched in it however. As a neophyte ease of use is more important than toy's and gadgets.

I guess a list of what I have and have on the way would also help. Up to this point I have been using a very old canon P&S that was was replaced by taking pic's with my HTC cel phone as it had better quality than the canon. I do have a small 20" light tent on it's way as well as 4 lights with 5500k bulbs in them. As my wife and I are astronomers I have some very heavy duty Manfrotto tripod's that I use with my 30x120 astronomy bino's. As well I have a copy of "Light - Science and Magic".

I guess I am looking for personal insight's on what book/information/tools is a "must have" that the bigger photographer that wants to move out of the P&S line of camera's and into something a bit more customization.

As I stated I am a novice in all respects so a bit of insight on camera selection is also needed. I think to me features that meet my needs are more important that most anything. those being a camera with a friendly user interface that I wont get "too lost" in while keeping quality of product. As far as budget goes I am holding somewhere in the $400-$800 range. As I wont really be travelling with it size really is not of importance. One feature I think I really like is the ability to control my my PC or phone as I have large shaky farmer hands that that tend to use more pressure snapping the pic then they should! I am hoping to find a camera solution that works for my needs BEFORE I start the class as I am very sure my cel phone wont cut the proverbial mustard...

On an aside but not a must the ability to take 30 second images of the night sky would be a plus. Not to connect to any of my telescopes but just for taking shots for the milky way and such.

Sorry for the meaty post. I hope I covered most everything. I do understand no one can "tell" me what I need and what to do but there are so many places and views that it really becomes over whelming. To the point that I start to just recycle over the same camera/site and not actually consuming anything.

Thanks much! I hope I made scenece in my rambling!!

Last edited by Zerandise; Aug 12, 2013 at 7:24 PM.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 7:28 PM   #2
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Here are a few of the camera's I have been researching. I am not opposed to mirrorless or dSLR as long as the the user interface and ease of use are there. Just trying to figure out IF they fit my needs and then if they fit the quality level that I can grow into:

Samsung NX300
Sony Alpha NEX-6
Sony Alpha NEX-5R
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR
Olympus PEN E-PL5
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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G'day mate

From your 'rambling' I'd reckon that you'll get 1001 replies from various sources

I use a light tent for jewellry & small items - with 2x small 12v lights on either side it gives me virtually shadowless lighting inside a 20inch cube

Here's a typical advert for the one I use - I'm sure that there are other sellers as well
http://compare.ebay.com.au/like/4002...d=400298093933

As to a camera for the other side of things, I would suggest any of the Panasonic or Olympus in your list above - use a 'reasonable' amount of zoom to establish a half-decent camera-to-subject distance. I use the Panny G2 with the 45-200 lens for much of my stuff


Regards, Phil
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 6:15 AM   #4
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For what you want to do, I'd say that the Sony NEX models would not be good choices. The small size of the camera paired with the large image sensor results in vignetting, chromatic aberration and field curvature.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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Phil if they are useful replies with a quantified point I would be jazzed about 1001 replies!!
That is very much like the light tent I have on the way to meI have two extra light stands as well.

I have been looking pretty serious at both the DMC-GF6 and the PEN E-PL5.

Thanks for that TCav! I must the the nex 6 was very close to the top of my list. The DMC-GF6 was very close because of the wifi abilities.

What about an entry level dSLR? I dont mind the size at all as I wont be moving around much and my tripod is more than would be needed regardless of how heavy it is.

Also really hoping on some leads on must read site's and or book's on basic photography. After lighting should be what composition? Really wish to build a foundation of good habit's early on.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 2:40 PM   #6
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An entry level dSLR would be the best choice. You'd have the greatest resolution, and the greatest lens selection. Resolution shouldn't a big priority since your images will be posted on-line, but a good quality macro lens will make everything else a lot easier.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 5:18 PM   #7
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G'day mate

Books etc - geez mate ... there's hundreds of 'em
Pop into your local newsagent and pick up a $20 Focal Press mag / book on 'how-to' and it'll all be there

You say that most of your end-pics will end up as on-line images for review on computer. Every computer screen is about 1mpx in resolution - some are about 1-1/2mpx, so chasing the camera megapixels is a waste of space for everyone around the world who 'just' views their pics on the computer or TV

You can achieve a very clear and sharp 8" x 12" print from a 3mpx camera image, so again, large pixel cameras may not be needed for your stuff

Maybe chase up TCs thoughts for a dSLR - maybe you can find a pre-loved one in a local shop - and of the old 6mpx cameras would do your stuff easily

Phil
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 6:30 PM   #8
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yeah I ahve not given any thought to megapixel's at all. there is a chance I might be given a canon 5d. No idea what version. It most likely would be body only. I will know more tonight. A client has one sitting in his closet that he has not touched in some time. From looking around a bit it is a good camera. My fear is that it would be too much camera for my needs.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 7:18 PM   #9
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The 5D is a fine camera. It's big, so make sure you have a substantial tripod.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 8:18 PM   #10
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I am sort of looking at this deal from the local FS. Watching some reviews and it seems to be liked. Any input may?
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...rchPageIndex=2

Also looking at Canon Rebel T3i and Nikon D3200
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