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lstormhammer

Camera investments

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So it seems up to me to make the first posting:

 

Digital or 35mm camera. Which should I do?

 

I know one of the major things I'll be using it for is photographing minis to put up here and other places. But my question becomes: Do I get a 35mm and a micro lens, or do I get a digital that can do micro?

 

--there it is, let the debating begin.

 

--lstormhammer

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Well, knowing absoutely nothing about photography, and if you have the money at hand, I'd say go digital.  I got those close up filters, and quickly zapped off a roll of film.  Now the waiting to see if "my experiment" worked or not, is killing me!

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I would say go digital if you can afford it and if you do, do not get anything with less that a 2.0 megapixel resolution and stay away from digital zooms always try to get the one with an optical zoom way better quality.

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If the bulk of your pictures are strictly for online use, then go digital.

 

If you want to be able to pass pictures down to your kids or have something you can enlarge to 8x10 or more, then go film.

 

The difference is pixel vs film grain. There is currently no way the pixel can get any smaller, and the grain in film is so small that with larger pictures the grain doesn't take away from the clarity of the picture as much as a pixel does. With pixels it's still easy to tell because the larger the image goes, the more pixelated it becomes.

 

Also, even though computer printers are really high tech and give great quality these days, they still can not match the color resolution of photographic paper and film. Film can capture more colors more naturally. Yes, the problem arises with having to wait for film to be developed, however that shouldn't take more than an hour in most places with the One Hour Photo places. Even the place I trust the most with my film does it all in an hour and I get high quality photos from them.

 

You also end up with an endless supply of hardcopy backups in case your hard drive crashes or the memory of the camera is blown.

 

However, if everything you're doing is going to be strictly online and you won't be looking to make enlargements or anything from your photos, then go digital. It's faster for uploading pictures and you don't waste film if there's a picture you don't like. You can also instantly tell as soon as you take the picture if it's blurred, underexposed, overexposed, or whatever so you can take it again until it looks the way you want it.

 

Price-wise there isn't much of a comparison. Of course, the more you shell out the better the camera, but that goes for both types. If you figure about $400 for a good quality camera, then you'll get a good quality camera of either kind. Personally, for digital, I like the Sony Mavica. You can get the one that writes to a mini-cd and/or a memory chip for around $4-5 hundred or so, which IMO is much better than to just a memory chip. This way if you run out of memory, just switch disks like you would a roll of film.

 

Also, you can get close-up filters for digital cameras. I've seen them at Circuit City and Best Buy.

 

You need to decide what you're going to be using the camera for in the long run. Me? I already have two film cameras. I want a digital now so I can get pics online faster for things such as minis and other stuff. But I like to have my film camera for things such as weddings, parties, Christmas, or when I got the bug to go shooting outside. Then again, I've been known to enlarge my photos from 8x10's up to 24x36 in size.

 

Does that help, lstorm?

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I have a sister-in-law and a mother-in-law who are both professional photographers and they are both 100% digital, for what it's worth.  And they print 8x10 or larger regularly.

 

kit

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So it seems up to me to make the first posting:

 

Digital or 35mm camera. Which should I do?

 

I know one of the major things I'll be using it for is photographing minis to put up here and other places. But my question becomes: Do I get a 35mm and a micro lens, or do I get a digital that can do micro?

 

--there it is, let the debating begin.

 

--lstormhammer

I hadn't forgotten that you'd asked for the Reaper camera info, but I've just now gotten a chance to do the second part of what you asked... provide links where you can find it online.

 

I can't recommend any particular retailer, but amazon.com has a nice listing for the C-4000. This is a step up from the C-3000 (ie. current technology.... I think they've had the C-3000 for at least a year, perhaps more), but is the camera that I would likely purchase TODAY if I was shopping for a camera to shoot minis with. It has a 3X optical zoom (as I've said before, I try NOT to let the camera go into the digital zoom mode, although I shoot with it on), macro, as well as "super-macro" mode that lets you shoot as close as 1 in. away.

Olympus Camedia C-4000 @ amazon.com

 

But look! a quick search at Froogle (Google's beta shopping comparison engine) with a search delimiter of between $300-$400 yields that you can find this same camera that amazon has listed for as low as $317 and change (yes, that is new), and plenty in that price range ($100+ under what amazon.com has it listed for).

 

Olympus C-4000 @ froogle.com between $300-$400

 

This is the Froogle search for the Olympus Camedia C-3000... the very same camera that I shoot minis with at Reaper. :-) Anything you've seen in Casketworks and/or online was likely shot with this camera. Anything in the last 3 months that I've done since I've been at Reaper has definitely been shot with the C-3000. Once I figured out the standard color correction adjustment for our set up there, I haven't had problems, and have had compliments on the pictures that have been shot with it. If you need help getting the set up for minis with this camera, give me a shout.

 

Olympus C-3000 search results @froogle.com

 

Personally, I'm on my second Sony Mavica (initially the FD-75, currently the FD-92), but you get more mega-pixels for your bucks with other digitals. I probably wouldn't buy a Mavica again, for what it's worth. I shoot mainly outdoors with it (ie. Ren Faires), but it's very bulky, and it's difficult to get enough resolution out of it to do much other than internet swaps. ;-) I have done one freelance print project with a Mavica (the FD-87). Project came out nicely, but there was much fighting with the color balance of ANYTHING shot indoors.

 

I have more hands on experience with digital photography than film cameras, so there you have my inherant bias.

 

ReaperIvy

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You can also instantly tell as soon as you take the picture if it's blurred, underexposed, overexposed, or whatever so you can take it again until it looks the way you want it.

When I was rolling off my first roll of film the other day, I expected the view through the camera to "adjust & reflect" what the settings on the camera were.  Thus, when I was adjusting/foolin' with the apeture settings and such, I sort of expected the depth of field to change in the veiw finder as well as on the film.

 

This didn't happen though (foreground & background remained out of focus.)  I haven't got the film back yet, so I don't know how they came out or not.

 

Basically, is it always by guess and by golly (like driving a submarine!!) or did I do something wrong?

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True, there are professionals who have gone strictly digital, and the higher priced digitals are good cameras, but I'll still stand by what I said. With a film camera and the versitality it offers for special effects, you really can't beat it. For weddings and such, sure, a digital will work fine, however, I don't do weddings (too stressful) and tend towards more artistic. I push, pull, and do weird things with my film and camera that you really can't do with a digital as far as I've seen. I like both digital and film for they each have their uses, but my first love will always be the film.

 

There are some cameras out there that do both, but they are pretty pricey. I'm trying to stay within the 300-400 price range.

 

As for the Sony Mavica, I was looking at them at Best Buy today, and with what's being offered they seem a little behind the times now for the price. I hadn't really taken a good look at them in a while. As for the size, I like having a hefty camera in my hand. I can steady it better. Those small little pocket cameras don't fit in my hands and my fingers end up getting in the way.

 

As for the depth of field, you're not going to see it through the lens. As long as you follow the rules under Crisp and Clear you should be fine, even if you can't see it through the lens.

 

My Nikon N65 actually has a button I can push that will kind of show me what my depth of field is, while my older Nikon EM doesn't.

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IN the words of Skull the Troll from PVP:

 

DING! Pies are up!

 

Sorry, gang. You gave me waaaay too much info in to little a time.  I like taking pictures, but don't know the ins and outs of the profession.

 

My goals are to a: take pictures of my minis, as simply as possible and to get the most detail I can, and b: to have a camera I can take with me to photograph anything else that comes in my reach.

 

A scanner's not a bad thing, either.

 

--lstormhammer

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Well, you want macro capability.  This was the main selling point when my wife and I were camera shopping a year ago.  We were interested in snapshots, mostly, with some kind of zoom, but had not been seriously checking out cameras in years.

 

Then the guy in Best Buy showed us what Sony's DSC-F707 could do.  He put the lens flush against the little price display, so that no light got in, switched to night shot mode, and let us see that the camera could focus at effectively zero distance in the dark.  Although we weren't considering photographing minis, that is the thought that leaped into our minds, and is why we settled on that model.  It's what I've used for every post to the

Show Off forum.

 

I'd recommend taking a mini with you when you shop, and trying out the resolution in the store.  Don't buy from a store which isn't equipped to load up the resulting image to let you see it on a good monitor.  Finally, remember that it will take you only a little while to try out your purchase at home, and that you can return the camera if it's not up to snuff.

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IN the words of Skull the Troll from PVP:

 

DING! Pies are up!

 

Sorry, gang. You gave me waaaay too much info in to little a time.  I like taking pictures, but don't know the ins and outs of the profession.

 

My goals are to a: take pictures of my minis, as simply as possible and to get the most detail I can, and b: to have a camera I can take with me to photograph anything else that comes in my reach.

 

A scanner's not a bad thing, either.

 

--lstormhammer

lstorm, honestly... go to a local camera store. Not a Walmart, or a Best Buy, but and honest to goodness place that deals in nothing but cameras and camera equipment. Talk to the salespeople, tell them exactly what you're going to be using it for, and what the bulk of the use is going to be. Also, talk to the people who repair cameras (any decent camera store will have a repair shop) and see if the camera you're looking at is something that is prone to breakage or constant maintenance. That's the best idea I can give you. Everyone has their own preference, be it digital or film, and trying to get an unbiased opinion is hard, even when I try to be unbiased. Talking to those people who deal with it day in and day out is a good place to start. Also, checking with trade magazines, Consumer Reports, etcetera, might also give you a good idea. Shopping for a good camera is tough. I love Nikon and Canon (except the Canon Sureshot... never saw so many of a single camera come through for repairs in my life). Minolta is also a good brand. Ziess is one of the best lenses/optics that can be found, but you also tend to pay for it.

 

Sorry, I'm doing it again. I tend to ramble sometimes.  :O

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ReaperIvy:

 

Professional digital photorigs are about $5000 a piece. At say 5-7 megapixel, you can do great looking 8x10 prints... <:)

 

I don't have 5k to blow. The entry level DX100 by Nikon can take Nikkor lenses ( a big PLUS ), is multi megapixel ( 4 m I think ). It's also ONLY $1000... ;)

 

Digital wise, the problem is that unless you pay big bucks, they can't take lenses or use flashes that would make them useful in more areas.

 

Camera that can take scads of Nikkor lenses, and other goodies, $299 for body...

 

Digital camera that is okay if you shoot in only well lit rooms, with decent zoom/etc that can't take filters, or anything else. $400. Mind you, the coolshot is nice...

 

http://daniel.a.joyce.home.att.net/images/FirstPlace.jpg

 

This photo was shot on Fuji 800 speed film with a Nikkor macro lens on a N65 body...

 

-Daniel

 

That said, I just got a BEEG christmas check, and that DX100 is looking nice now..... >.<

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Jeez you guys are talking about some big money Cameras, I doin't want to make a living doing it I just want decent pics of my mini's, do you guys have any suggestions for a Camera in the 200-300 range?

 

thanks.

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Jeez you guys are talking about some big money Cameras, I doin't want to make a living doing it I just want decent pics of my mini's, do you guys have any suggestions for a Camera in the 200-300 range?

 

thanks.

Sure, I'll check around. The cameras I mentioned can be found under $350 (a matter of shopping around), and have been fabulous for the large format print work that I do, as well as for web stuff.

 

I'll check out what looks good in your price range. :)

 

ReaperIvy

(probably tonight, after work)

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I will be shopping for a camera soon, as well.  I can find the camera specs, I just don't know what I need to look for.  What would be most helpful is a "specs wish list", that would list the minimum specs for mini photographing.  I could take these minimums and find a camera to match my price range.

 

For example, to shoot minis for the web:

 

25 megapixels

variable depth of field

automatic touchup of poor painting techniques

 

Okay, so my example went a LITTLE overboard, but a list like that with realistic requirements would be great.

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