Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 10, 2006, 1:27 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Hi All,

I need to upgrade from an unacceptable Kodak DX7590 I currently use - it was preceded by my old Sony Mavica, which I used for 5-6 years and still can't bear to part with, so it sits in the cabinet. I make a living as a professional woodturner and a large part of my income comes from turning precise scale miniatures (huge market of scale doll house/room box buyers), as well as full size artistic hollow turnings up to around 18" tall x up to 24" diameter, max. So the ability to take good, clear photos of something no taller than 1/2" is a necessity.

I have a professional table-top photo booth/lighting set up with a good ball head table top tripod, etc., and the camera will not be used for anything but my product photos - no landscape or action shots, just my table top photo booth. I have PhotoShop CS2 and am fairly proficient with it, so I want RAW/TIFF capability in a new camera.

At this time, money is an issue - I can't turn loose of $1500 for a dSLR and lenses right now, maybe in 8 to 12 months, but not now, I've got to stay around $400-$500 max, even if it means trying to buy a solid used camera.

I've read dozens of reviews over the last month or so, thought maybe I'd buy one of the Olympus E-10's and use it until I could move up to a good dSLR, macro and portrait type lenses, but then decided it would just be best to come over here and ask for advice and opinions before jumping in and buying something.

You can get an idea of just how tiny my miniature woodturnings are if you want to go over to eBay and do a seller search under my "gallerybminiatures" UID. I should point out that although my miniatures do well on eBay, downright delightfully obscene high bids at times for such tiny turnings, I don't spend as much time on the auction photos as I do on those for our gallery type web site, which I should be re-launching well before the end of March - it just wouldn't be cost efficient to spend an hour in PS CS2 editing 3-4 photos for a single auction that might bring a high bid of no more than $50-$60, so I crop and edit those pretty quickly.

One thing in an interim camera upgrade (I do want to add a good quality dSLR in no more than a year, but I can't wait that long to upgrade to something with RAW/TIFF capabilities - I want the quality of the web store photos upgraded before re-launch the site sometime next month), the quality of my still product photos has to be very, very good because the quality of my photos is the only link I have with my private commission buyers. They order, when I finish the turnings, I zip and email 3-5 TIFF photos to them for their approval, they pay, I ship. Unless they catch one of my gallery showings, they never see the artistic hollow turning in person until I ship it, they only have the quality of my TIFF photos to make a buy/no buy decision on.

TIA for your suggestions and comments.

Regards,
GalleryB
GalleryB is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 10, 2006, 12:18 PM   #2
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

GalleryB wrote:
Quote:
So the ability to take good, clear photos of something no taller than 1/2" is a necessity.
That that you would have to use use close up lens...
Few cameras have wide angle macro capable to taking photo from 1" wide area but those cause very heavy distortion, chromatic aberrations are strongly visible and corners tend to be soft. Also wide angle macro requires jamming camera's lens to side of target making lightning hard/impossible so you should look for "tele macro" capability.


Here's some cameras you might want to check:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp..._s2is&show=all
Reviews have macro test shots in Photographic test-pages.

Here's really nice site to look what kind results Raynox's close up lenses give in different cameras.
http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/egindex.htm


And TIFF is quite useless, well selected camera's best JPEG compression setting can produce equally good photos (no loss of details) in much smaller space. Also TIFF has been already processed so RAW is way better tham TIFF.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2006, 12:58 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39
Default

It looks like you already have the needed light system for your photography. So you can also consider the starting range DSLR bodies like Canon XT & NikonD50 with any used MACRO lenses.

Couple of weeks ago on BuyDig.com, Nikon body only came down to $ 498.00.
vsrinu30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2006, 1:09 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Thank you so much for the advice AND the links. I'd searched about on the Internet for the last few months off and on because I didn't want to make an expensive mistake with a new camera. I've managed to use PhotoShop to get by with the photos of my miniature woodturnings I post on eBay with the DX7590 (how did I end up with that camera last summer?). I don't feel it's adequate for my other product photos, however.

To make a long story short, when my motherboard crashed and I bought a new system, in order to practically keep using my Mavica (didn't want to buy memory for a camera that old), I'd have had to add a USB floppy drive with no other use than to process the photos from my Mavica. My beloved spouse of some years, without my knowledge, took some of my miniature turnings down to a local electronics outlet and had them take digital photos of them to show him and home he came with a gift ... the Kodak DX7590. I just didn't have the heart to return it and in the end, a lucky stroke of price matching coupled with Kodak's rebate brought the ultimate cash outlay for the DX7590 down to around $250 or so.

Thanks again for the response - I didn't know where to look on the web and had run searches, trying to find web sites which might focus heavily on macro/close-up work and camera and lens recommendation, but kept coming up short. I finally discovered the forums here and figured I'd take a shot at asking for advice and suggestions, which I can assure you are very much appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Debie
Gallery B


GalleryB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 10, 2006, 5:52 PM   #5
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

hey debbie.

you may consider the fz-30 from panasonic. i say this because they are easily fitted with a closeup lens such as the canon 250d which makes for a macro outfit that can fill the frame with very small objects and give you the ability to make use of the full 8mp of resolution. also cs2 and rawshooter both support the RAW files from it.

-dustin
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2006, 2:59 AM   #6
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

FZ30's tele macro is magnitude worser than that of KM A200 (or other cameras using that Minolta GT lens) so it would need more/"stronger" close up lenses.


Here's one shot with KM's own close up lens, height of area in photo is under 1".
http://www.pbase.com/mbjorkro/image/41889731

Here's few shots, apparently using Hoya's close up lenses:
http://www.pbase.com/ghislain/insects


Then here's some nice info about Hoya's +4 and +10 close up lenses:
http://www.pbase.com/john_down_under/macros

http://www.pbase.com/john_down_under/animals_bugs

Reversed 50mm SLR lens seem to give nice results.
http://www.pbase.com/john_down_under/bugs_flies
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2006, 4:35 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Again, thank you for all the comments, suggestions and especially the links. After thoroughly perusing a number of reviews, comparisons and related information, I think I've about reached the conclusion that the best thing for me to do may just be to accelerate my plunge into the world of dSLR.

I think I've about reasoned myself into the fact that it's probably better to get an entry level dSLR. I had hoped to do something stop-gap for this year and try to wait until it was a good time to pick and choose the dSLR I want/need (the former likely has as much to do with my decision as the later, methinks) without so much regard for the monetary aspect of it as figures into the equation right now. (Recent purchase/upgrades to Studio 8 and upgrading my standard PhotoShop to PS CS2 Premium, along with the table top photo "booth" and lighting has drained my coffer's buffer zone more than I'd prefer.)

I didn't realize the price on the Nikon D50's had dropped down so much. A little investigating turns up a package with the 24-80mm lens (I don't want the standard 18-55mm) for well under $600, much less than I thought. I can settle for the add on 2X, 3X, etc. type macros until I can manage a dedicated macro lens.

Please, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here, because if I make a mistake in this purchase I'm going to have to live with it for quite a while, but based on all the comparisons and reviews I've read here lately, it seems to me that the entry level Nikon D50 would be much improved over spending an equal amount of money on one of the prosumer cameras, yes? If I go the D50 route, I suppose I could always move up to a better Nikon dSLR body when experience AND money permit later on and of course keep the D50 body for back-up.

Thanks again so much for the willingness of all of you to offer excellent advice and suggestions! I can assure you all it is both well considered on my end and appreciated!

Kind Regards,
Debie
Gallery B
GalleryB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2006, 6:25 AM   #8
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

GalleryB wrote:
Quote:
I didn't realize the price on the Nikon D50's had dropped down so much. A little investigating turns up a package with the 24-80mm lens (I don't want the standard 18-55mm) for well under $600, much less than I thought. I can settle for the add on 2X, 3X, etc. type macros until I can manage a dedicated macro lens.
Normal SLR lenses have much worser closest focusing distances compared to non-SLRs so I don't know does adding those close up lenses help enough.
So I would suggest going to Nikon SLR forum and asking macro samples with affordable lenses.


Apparently that lense would be this: AF 28-80 f/3.3-5.6
http://www.europe-nikon.com/details....=245&catId=119
If that focusing distance is from front element of lens that's quite lot for fixing with close up lenses. (35cm vs ~13cm of KM A200)
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2006, 2:25 PM   #9
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

get the d50 and then buy the sigma 50mm 2.8 macro... since working distances are not an issue, you can still get true 1:1 macro with this lens... and it is very cheap as well and is one of the sharpest lenses out there.. here are a couple of links for you..

a well respected lens test shows what the sigma can do compared to normal 50mm lenses.. it does quite..

http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/50s


http://www.sigma4less.com/sess/utn;j...SG50F28NI%3D29

only ~200 bucks!!! for a 1:1 macro!! and since your subjects will not be scared away by your lens (i.e. bugs) 50mm willbe just as good as 100mm..

-dustin
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2006, 7:44 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Folks,

I'll respond more thoroughly a bit later - it's my Saturday evening rush, getting my photos edited and my auction descriptions input and set to upload to eBay at my usual auction start time later tonight.

I have some additional questions I'll ask when I'm done with my auctions, but in the interim I want to thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my inquiries so quickly. Your replies have been so informative, with such excellent suggestions and advice - 'tis greatly appreciated. The links are very helpful and informative as well.

'Till later, Kind Regards,
Debie
Gallery B
GalleryB is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:34 PM.