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Old Mar 13, 2014, 6:00 AM   #1
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Default Which camera? Help!

I'm an amateur photographer. I don't know very well about choosing a camera. I love editing in photoshop though. I had Canon EOS D300 back in the day and took some normal-decent photos .After editing they became pretty good.

Now Im designing brochures etc for my new job. My manager says he hired me because of my photography portfolio while not knowing I edited all of them considerably. Now he asks me to choose a good camera under 2500$ budget (cheaper appreciated) to photograph our products for brochures and catalogue.

He even recommended Nikon D5300.

He knows about cameras he even has an old camera collection. As a photographer he is againist editting. He thinks it should kept in minimum. Well, normally as a photoshop lover I would argue with that but I don't want to get fired as soon as being hired. :/ Plus, I don't want to put photoshopped products to catalogue. It would give a bad impressions to educated eyes like having bad products which needs editting.

Can you give me few alternatives and explain why you would choose that camera?

Thank you in advance.
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 7:19 AM   #2
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I presume that you're job entails taking product photos. If that's wrong, or there are other types of photos you need to take, please say so.

The Nikon D5300 is a fine camera, but there are other choices both up and down the price scale. A significant alternative is the D7100, which has a shutter speed of 1/8000, while the other offerings from Nikon max out at 1/4000. In addition, the D7100 has an optional battery pack/vertical grip that Nikon's lesser models don't. If all your shots will be taken inside a studio, neither of those matters much, but if you need to go outdoors, need to capture fast action, or need to be away from your battery chargers for a while, you might want to step up to the D7100. The D7100 also supports High Speed Sync flash while the lesser models don't. If you don't need the extra features and capabilities in the D7100, then the D530 your boss suggested, will be fine. (Certainly you can bump up your bosses suggestion if you can justify it, but you shouldn't drop down very much unless you can back it up. The D5300 is very nice, but the difference between it and the D5200 isn't very much for your purposes, and the difference in price is $150, which is money better spent on lenses, lighting, and other accessories like a good tripod and extra batteries and chargers.)

As for lenses, based on what you've said so far, I'd suggest a Nikon 16-85 which is a very good general purpose/event lens, plus a few good macro lenses (depending on the size of the products you'll be photographing.) Nikon's AF-S VR 85/3.5 and AF-S VR 105/2.8 lenses, as well as Sigma's 70/2.8 and Tamron's 60/2.0, and many others, are good choices depending on what you need to shoot. Nikon also has a line of "Perspective Control" lenses you might find useful, but any of them would put a significant dent in your budget.

You need to get at least one good flash. Nikon's SB-910 is their current top-of-the-line, and you certainly couldn't go wrong there. But you might want to determine whether you want to stick with flash for all your shots, or you want to also look at supplemental/studio lights.
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 8:10 AM   #3
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What types of products? In what environment? The camera/lens is a lot less important than lighting, tripod and environment. Having an idea of the types of products you need to photograph can help people recommend a setup that will work.
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 8:29 AM   #4
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Thank you for your fast answer. I was stressing over it for a while.

The camera is for all purposes of company but I think %95 of the time it will be in my responsibilty and will be used to take product photos for brochures.

It's an agricultural seed company so we will be on farms and fields taking big field photos or happy farmers portraits. We don't have a studio but I'm planing to make a simple DIY studio to take photo's of our products (seeds and fully grown corns etc...) one by one or in a basket like naturmort paintings.
And after sometime if I can succeed that, we can buy actual studio supplies. I only have a decent tripod for now.

I mentioned D7100 to my manager and he agreed. Appeantly he made his own research and liked Nikon D610 too. It looks like D610 is over our budget, we may not be able to buy lenses or other accesories if we buy that.

Plus, I don't want to waste money on my basic skills. D610 can be awesome as it gets but I may not be able to use that awesomeness effectively. I'm trying to learn as fast as I can, but there is a lot to learn...
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 8:30 AM   #5
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If you are talking about doing product shots in a studio environment, the lighting and staging are much more important than the camera. I would say that this is one of the least demanding types of photography, camera wise.
Since your boss made a suggestion, you will probably be doing yourself a favor to follow it.
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 5:12 PM   #6
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Forget the D610. In general, 'Full Frame' bodies only have a few real advantages over APS-C bodies, and even those aren't very significant, especially for what you want to do.

The 16-85 will probably work well for about half of what you want to do, and a good macro lens or two will probably work well for the other half. I think you should get a good flash and a good light box, something like these: http://www.adorama.com/l/Lighting-an...-Tent-Shooting

Does your employer have a website that we can use to see what kinds of shots he's using now?
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Old Mar 14, 2014, 1:40 AM   #7
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There is not much photos on the site its mostly writing, I made a screenshot of the images for you to see.
And as a product photos there is a lot of corn photos, for example. I added one of them to the images. There are 50 different kinds of corns all of them look like each other if you are not a farmer or trained biologist... As a photography, it looks like they put it on a scanner and scanned the image of an image...
In the end there is nothing.
The photos I want to take is not only for informative purpouses like these. If I put it in calendar , for example, I don't want to give only "we have very good quality product" massage. I also want to design a calender I would put in my home. I want to make it ...you know...artistic...like the last 3 photos...

New and better camera's coming to market all the time. We want to buy something which we can use for years before buying new one.
That's why my manager is wavering between APSC or full format. From what he says...
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Old Mar 14, 2014, 4:10 AM   #8
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True MACRO lenses have a magnification ratio of 1:1. That is, the subject is projected full size onto the camera's image sensor. APS-C bodies have image sensors that are roughly 24x18mm, so a object that is 1 inch across will just slightly fill the frame (25.4mm = 1 inch.) Some MACRO lenses stretch this a bit and provide a magnification ratio of 1:2, meaning that the projected image is half the size of the object.

A number of lenses are marketed as "Macro" that have lesser magnification ratios, and it seems to me from the images you've provided, that you might be able to get by with one of those. Sigma sells a 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 lens that has a magnification ratio of 1:2.9. The Nikon 16-85 that I've been mentioning has a magnification ratio of 1:4.5, so the Sigma might actually be a better choice. The Nikon is better in some respects, but I think the Sigma may actually be a better fit for what you want to do.
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