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Kharsin

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To add to what Doug has been saying, don't try to fill the pic with your mini. Most modern cameras have enough mega-pixels that you can just crop the photo instead. This way you can be farther back with that short lens to get the DoF you need.

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Check the manual that came with the image-transferring software that came with your camera. Many models let you shoot "tethered" (while the camera is hooked up to the computer) so you can get a good large-screen preview of what your camera is shooting. It really comes handy for manual focusing and checking DoF. 

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My primary camera is a Sony A55.  I shoot images of the minis after i have base coated them so i can use that as source material for how to shade them.  My lenses are a Sony 100mm macro and a sony Carl Ziess 135mm f1.8.  The marco gets used for detail work and the 135mm get used for the head to toe shots of the minis. For my lighting i have a set of profoto acute2 1200s with three heads.  

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After 30+ years as a professional magazine photographer...using Canon cameras and lenses for both domestic and foreign magazine pictorial spreads...today I opt to use a very simple camera to photograph my miniature figure, vignette and diorama pieces. I use a Canon Power Shot A3100 IS...my lighting is a standard table lamp (right side & above the piece) and natural window light...I drape my standard blue cloth over my computer screen and place the figure in front of it...I use no light box setup...no special equipment...my lens is a Canon Zoom 4x IS that is fixed to this camera model...I am very satisfied with this camera and the images of that are recorded...All my miniature photos are hand held; I do not use a tripod.

 

Paul (Catdancer)

Edited by catdancer
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Right now I am using a galaxy S3 phone. It take good pictures but hopefully some time this year I will get a real camera. For my lights I use a standard garage hanging light to just a white back round.

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I use a Pentax K-7 camera with a Sigma 18-250mm lens.  For lighting, I use a light tent with daylight flourescent bulbs lighting each side.  After that, I crop and make whatever corrections are necessary (white balance, dust removal, etc.) in Lightroom, and then take the crops into Photoshop to create the montage.

 

I'm considering getting a K-3 for my landscape photography, but the K-7 has plenty of pixels for photographing minis, even for use in publications.

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After a year and a half of using GIMP, Lightroom has been a nice addition to the toolbox. I still use GIMP once in a while, but it gets less usage every session.

 

For free, you can't beat GIMP for power under the hood, even if the UI is a bit cryptic.

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I'm really going to have to check out Photoshop as I have access to a copy. I'm still going nuts trying to find the battery charger to our tiny Casio camera as it took really great pics back in the day, much better than what I can get with the iPhone. I'm also checking into a few more lights. I'll probably just go pick up another shop light. The main thing right now is that I really don't have a place to store this stuff. We're planning on building a new house soon with a hobby room (my wife likes to scrapbook, crochet, etc. I like to do many other things... Many...), but in the meantime I'm stuck with minimal storage. 

 

For now, I probably need to sit down with a Creative Cloud Photoshop book and learn how to use that software... Hmmm....

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Anyone have any experience with this thing? I'm looking for cheap and table top, until I manage to work a budget out for a d60 or something. I really could use a DSLR, but just don't have the budget to purchase one right now. I'm looking for something to take mini pics with and pics of the kiddos...

 

http://point-and-shoot-camera-review.toptenreviews.com/canon-powershot-a-review.html

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I haven't used it, but looking at its specs it will probably work fine for miniatures, though you may need to crop a bit. For kiddos its probably pretty good outside. Inside you'd likely need to have the flash turned on, which is pretty standard for a point and shoot. For $60 it probably won't amaze you but you probably won't find anything substantially better without spending several times that.

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Well, I ended up borrowing a charger for my Casio Exilim EX-S10 The results are pretty meh. Of course, that could be due to my mediocre lighting set up. I think I'm going to order a lighting tent, and invest in one more cheap clip on light with some good daylight bulbs. The results from the best set up I've managed can be found under my Show Off: Phoebe Sings A Song Of Blades.

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I found a Canon PowerShot S110 on sale today at Best Buy, but they have them even cheaper on Amazon. I may end up going with it over the ELPH if I do decide to get one. Here's the comparison...

 

Honestly, I'll probably get the extra clip on light and matching bulbs and use my felt sheet to see if my pics get any better before purchasing.

 

However, I think I'd still like to upgrade our little point and shoot as the S110 blows the little Casio out of the water in all areas except size. That Casio drives me nuts trying to get it to focus on the miniature. It just throws up red viewfinders at every opportunity. 

 

Pftttt... My Kindle just recommended this. I'll take two.... 

Edited by Kharsin

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I think once you get the lighting down you won't get any better results from any of those canon cameras over your casio. The new canons would be better for general purpose stuff though. But once you start looking at the $200+ stuff I think you'd be better off saving longer to get to the $400-500 range and watching for sales on 1-3 year old cameras that are being replaced soon.

 

Like this current deal for $400 http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Compact-System-14-42mm-40-150mm/dp/B00G237L8I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394142680&sr=8-2&keywords=pm2

 

or if you prefer sony one of these for $300 http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Interchangeable-Digital-20-1MP-18-55mm/dp/B00EH5UGR6/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

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The higher-end current cell phones (iPhone 5, Galaxy S4 or Note 3, whatever), are quite good for miniatures photography. I wouldn't pick up a P&S camera at this time if I had (as I do) one of them.

 

There's quite a bit of discussion right now in the photography industry about whether the entire category is on the way out. Consensus is that there's not much point in P&S cameras, especially in the cheaper price ranges.

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