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Good cameras


Edsterdoom
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Hi Edsterdoom;

 

Your question is a wide open topic...the first factor is the amount of money that you want to spend. Being a retired magazine photographer; I know that you can spend as little as $150 for a nice camera to take photos of your miniatures with...to $1000 to $2000 for a professional camera & single lens. It is completely up to you to decide what you are in the market and looking for.

 

If you have seen the photos I post of my miniatures, vignettes and dioramas...all are taken with a a tiny camera (Canon/Power Shot A3100 IS with a 4x zoom lens...6.2-24.8mm 1:2.7-5.6)...It cost $138.00. The wife got it for me (strictly for taking photos of my miniatures for this and other computer sites). I am very satisfied with the camera and resulting photos it produces.

 

Like I said; it is completely up to you, as to what you want and how much you want to spend...This is just my reply; I'm sure you will receive others...read them and consider what others say and make up your own mind. I hope that this has been of some help in regard to your question.

 

Paul (Catdancer)

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More so than the camera, you may want to look into a tripod and a lightbox setup. Amazon sells inexpensive light boxes complete with lights for around $35. Add in a kick for the top out of a simple desk lamp and you'll greatly improve your photos. 

 

Don't underestimate the importance of good lighting and a stable camera.

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Absolutely agree that a tripod is useful. I'll have to disagree with Kit on one thing, though: Do not get a light box unless you know exactly why you're getting it. ("To make better photos" is not exact.) Light boxes are the proximate cause of a truly impressive quantity of bad miniatures photography.

 

Two flexible desk lamps with the same type of bulb work just fine for single figures.

 

Nearly any modern camera works just fine for miniatures photography if you know how to use it. This includes the cameras in the better cell phones (recent iPhones or Galaxies, for instance). In fact, for technical reasons, short focal length cameras like those in cell phones have significant depth-of-field advantages over much more expensive cameras.

 

Really simple miniatures photography setup:

 

Medium gray background paper curved to form a seamless background.

 

Two lamps, one on either side of the line between camera and subject and pushed in until they're just outside of the field of view of the camera.

 

Tripod.

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I would add that a camera with a remote (or at least capable of accepting one) helps. After a tripod, being able to trigger the shutter without touching the camera is the best way to keep the camera stable. You can use the timer function of course, but I still prefer the remote; it allows me to keep shooting without touching the camera between shots.

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More so than the camera, you may want to look into a tripod and a lightbox setup. Amazon sells inexpensive light boxes complete with lights for around $35. Add in a kick for the top out of a simple desk lamp and you'll greatly improve your photos. 

 

Don't underestimate the importance of good lighting and a stable camera.

i'll echo this. So much money is wasted on new cameras when the old camera was fine, just not being held steady enough or given enough light.

 

And you can get a cheap 40" tripod off ebay for $10 shipped in US for free. Sometimes the dollar stores have micro tripods for $1 if your camera is not too heavy. And if your camera IS heavy, and yet you are green on the concept of tripods, then you've probably got waaay more camera than you need.

 

EDIT: for the 'smart' phones, look for something like this on ebay.

 

Universal BRACKET ADAPTER MOUNT for iPod Touch iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5 Tripod 

 

Edited by scorpio616
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Thanks for all the comments. I have been using a iPhone for quite a while and I can see that light is a key factor. Although the pics look fine I want to take other photos as well, castles etc. My wife also has a sewing business and makes handmade items, baby blankets, bags etc.

 

So we are looking at a bit of a studio setup if possible.

 

Digital SLR camers look good, but so do others.

 

I will consider the advice given I hope it helps others as well.

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For shooting things other than minis, the information I'd provide changes.

 

For serious product photography, I'd recommend at least two studio lights, with stands and soft boxes for each. Plus a trigger system (I like radio triggers and use the Cactus V5, but there are many other choices).

 

For lights, I use and recommend AlienBees studio lights, for their price/performance ratio, but I understand their prices are not as good outside the US.

 

For general landscape photography in daylight, any relatively modern camera will work fine. If you want to shoot in twilight or in the dark, you'll probably want to go to a DSLR, most of which are far better under those conditions. For action photography, especially in low light, a DSLR is just about the only choice that will provide acceptable performance, and even then you'll need to know what you're doing.

 

Finally, for portrait work, if you want shallow depth of field, a large sensor camera (mostly DSLRs) is going to give you much better results than smaller cameras. (Physics of light reasons.)

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Another thing you can look for is a camera that lets you shoot "tethered", as in with camera connected to the computer with USB and with the appropriate software to give you a "live preview" on your computer screen.  It seems to be more and more the standard for camera software these days, and is great for fine-tuning depth of field and catching flecks of dust and whatnot, saving yourself a lot of fiddling around in photo-editing software later.

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Another thing you can look for is a camera that lets you shoot "tethered", as in with camera connected to the computer with USB and with the appropriate software to give you a "live preview" on your computer screen.  It seems to be more and more the standard for camera software these days, and is great for fine-tuning depth of field and catching flecks of dust and whatnot, saving yourself a lot of fiddling around in photo-editing software later.

 

Agreed. I just got a camera that lets me do this and I love it.

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