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Digital Cameras for Food Photography


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#31 heidihi

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 10:03 PM

Thanks Behemoth,

The Rebel on RAW setting gets me 16-bit 36MB files. Which I think is acceptable for many stock photo agencies in terms of quality and size.

In terms of shooting for publishers. I just finished up my first book with Stewart, Tabori, and Chang -- and they actually requested that I shoot slide film (which they then scanned). I shot simultaneously with the Canon Rebel (as back-up), and I think they could have conceivably used those shots as well (they may have ended up using one or two of these shots in the book, but I'm not positive).....

I think I may eventually jump to a medium format/digital back combo -- but for everyday ease of use and flexibility, and file sizes that are (semi) managable the Rebel was a good choice for me, even if I hate the cheesy silver body on it. The Nikon D70 is comperable, but wasn't yet on the market when I purchased the Canon.

As far as shooting food for online forums or blogs -- I see people make the same simple mistakes OVER and over again. They shoot at night, use flash, shoot under artificial lights (that is why you see that orange cast to many food shots), and the choice of composition could often be improved by doing a couple simple things.


-h
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#32 Louisa Chu

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 01:35 AM

And those couple of simple things might be?? :biggrin: But really - what would you suggest since a lot of shots are taken in restaurants - at night, under artificial lighting? Please share your expertise - evident from your incredible artistry. Heidi - your photos are gorgeous. Congratulations and best wishes on your book - I can't wait to see it.

Can I get some advice from all please? I need an ultra compact, point and shoot that can survive a professional kitchen. I've generally narrowed it down to one from the afore-mentioned Olympus Stylus series - but what do you think about this Sony DSC-U60?

Thanks for any help.

#33 bleudauvergne

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 05:13 AM

Heidi, your photos are really simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them, yes please share your advice. When people do the blog they do take a lot of photos in the kitchen, where light can be problematic, at the dinner table, in the evening, at night, and the light is inevitably dim, artificial, etc. I think that's the nature of the blog situation in general. When you're working on site, what kind of things do you normally do to improve composition, and lighting conditions? Any stories to share? Do you have extra equipment that you carry? :smile:

edited to add questions and a link to the Canon Powershot A70. It looks like a much more powerful version of the camera I use, which is a Canon Powershot A30, 1.2Mpix, 3x digital zoom, looks like the same body, apparently no longer manufactured. This camera is light, compact, easy to use, not very powerful but good enough for me, sluggish on the shutter, but the good thing is that it's been put through 3 years of daily greasy use and knocked around in my purse fo all of that time and I don't know what I'd do without it. :laugh:

Edited by bleudauvergne, 10 June 2004 - 05:48 AM.


#34 Varmint

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 05:30 AM

First, I must admit that I'm a pretty mediocre photographer, as I don't know what the hell I'm really doing. However, I do like my camera, the Sony DSC-V1, because it is fairly compact, has great optics (Zeiss lens), and it allows me to take total control of all settings: Film speed, aperture, and shutter speed. These are important (particularly the aperture) when trying to get stylized shots that Heidi produces, with a narrow depth of field. This camera is a Sony, meaning it uses the stupid memory stick, but those prices are finally coming down. However, this is my bread and butter camera for food, friends, family, flora and fauna.
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#35 Behemoth

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 07:42 AM

Photographing food indoors --

I know at least one very basic thing -- I change the setting to incandescent when shooting under indoor lighting, to get rid of the orange cast. Most digital cameras have "white balance" options, which is where you will find this. Very useful.

#36 heidihi

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 09:21 AM

So, I have some pretty strict rules for myself when shooting food. And since I started following them my photography has (visually) improved alot. I realize it may not be realistic for people to follow all of these -- but in terms of getting the best "looking" shots -- this is what has worked for me.

1. Whenever possible shoot in natural light. Find a window or a place with nice indirect light, and shoot there. If I make something at night, I carefully try to reserve a portion of it for later and shoot the next morning. If this isn't an option, and you are shooting under flourescent or incandescent lighting -- just make sure you go back to your camera manual and learn to white balance properly.

2. No Flash. Ever. It makes everything look greasy or sweaty.

3. Pay attention to your backgrounds. Clear out any unnecessary visual "noise" from a shot, so the focus is on the food. Same applies to non-food related shots.

Now I can already hear people complaining that it just isn't realistic to not shoot at night, and not use flash, and white balancing makes their head hurt.....but when I take my camera out at night, I still never use the flash and I just make sure I'm whitebalanced (push a button). I end up with a different look, but still one I like (examples below) --

Since alot of people do seem to shoot late here, there are a couple other things you should at least think about as you move forward with your photography and camera choices.--

Fast lenses: This is where a "fast" lens really helps. This means the lens can open wide and let in alot of light. From what I've seen the lenses on many of the point and shoots aren't super fast, ranging from 2.8-3.5, etc. My fastest lens for my SLR is 1.4, and this is one of the biggest benefits to having the Digital SLR (I can use a fast lens like this). You can open your lens wide open (let in a lot of light), and slow down the shutter speed (this happens automatically when you use a camera with aperture-priority mode), and you can get some nice shots with lots of atmosphere. Here are a couple shots that I took using this method at a birthday party at an Indian Restaurant. The camera was the Canon Digital Rebel, I had a wide-angle lens on it that wasn't particularly fast, 2.8, and my ISO was set at 800. Still a bit of an orange cast, it is tough to get a perfect white balance in a mixed lighting environment even if you use the right white-balance button.

ISO range: If you are shooting at night or in dark environments, then you need to consider the ISO range on the camera as well when purchasing -- this is just the digital equivalent of film speed. My camera goes to 1600, which is the equiv. of having 1600 speed film in it -- match that up with a pretty fast lens, and you are going to have more to work with and you wont have to rely on flash as much.

I'm sure there are "flash" advocates out there that can tell you all the things you can do to get great results, but it's not me ;)

The learning curve of photography can be a bit steep and over whelming. I used to pick out one problem in my shots at a time, and then concentrate of fixing that. I would clip pictures from magazines of the type of shots I liked, and then try to figure out how to move more in that direction while still maintaining my own personal style.

Hope this helps! -h
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#37 robyn

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 10:37 AM

I was planning to post some pictures I took in London when I write about the restaurants - but I didn't know how to do it. Thought I'd take advantage of this thread to learn. This is my first effort (actually it's about my 10th effort - but it's my first successful effort :smile: ). Guess the first time is the hardest.

Posted Image

By the way - this is sweetbreads and monkfish - the chef's signature dish at 140 Park Lane. Yummy. And the camera is a Kodak Easyshare DX6340. I think the chef will be happy with these pictures. Robyn

#38 phaelon56

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 10:40 AM

edited to add questions and a link to the Canon Powershot A70. It looks like a much more powerful version of the camera I use, which is a Canon Powershot A30, 1.2Mpix, 3x digital zoom, looks like the same body, apparently no longer manufactured.


My Olympus D-520 two megapixel digital bit the dust after about 18 months of use - the lens would no longer extend or retract. Due to the complexity of repairs and dropping prices, repair was not an option. I replaced it with a Canon Powershot A-70 three megapixel model and I'm loving it. It appears to take as good or better a picture than the Olympus under routine conditiosn and hte macro feature is definitely superior. I found the manual override menus (intentional over and under exposure etc) on the Olympus to be a bit more intuitive but the canon is easy enough to use. The Olympus D series consumer cameras are apparently prone to probelms - it appears that my experience was far from unusual.

The pocket size nature of these is crucial for me - if I can't slip it in a shirt or pants pocket I'm far less likely to use it. I have a Nikon F2 Photomic with two prism heads, a couple different focusing screens and three or four lenses - it sits gathering dust because spontaneity is my main criteria at this point in time.

Lucy - I would suggest that you look for a model that includes or has available (at a reasonable price) a remote control. I use the self timer feature for tripod shots but it gets to be a bit tiresome after awhile.

One negative on the Canon - uses four AA batteries rather than two and although using niMh rechargeables mnimizes the cost factor of power supply, it seems to drain the charge from a full set of four faster than the Olympus went through a set of two.

#39 wnissen

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 11:28 AM

I have the Minolta Dimage X20, which is basically the 2MP version of the Dimage XT. I regard it as a near-perfect pocket camera. Since the optical zoom lens is inside, you get a super-fast startup time and no worries about breaking it. This camera allows a 3" / 8cm focal length for macro shooting. My big complaint about it for food photography is that it doesn't do well in low light. In general, tiny pocket cameras will not do well at this because their objective (main) lenses are tiny as well. Luckily with digital images it is easier to bump the contrast on an underexposed shot. In general, I prefer AA batteries as a power source, because, for the Dimage X20 at least, 4 NiMH AAs will last for a few hundred exposures. Also, when on vacation, I don't need to worry about a charger or a spare battery, because I can just buy more AAs.

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#40 Behemoth

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 11:42 AM

Another trick -- for slow shutter speeds w/out flash is to rest the camera on the back of a chair or something, on top of a thick piece of cloth (in my case, an ugly felt purse). That way you avoid camera shake and the resulting blurry picture.

#41 robyn

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 04:20 PM

Here's one of the first pictures I took with a flash. I'd appreciate any constructive criticism (I think the picture is a bit out of focus - I forgot to use the close up setting). Robyn

Posted Image

#42 esperanza

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 09:50 PM

I've been shopping for a new digital camera for a few months and it's great to find this thread with all of your experiences and recommendations. I'd be interested to know if anyone uses or has used the Konica Minolta Dimage A1, which is, at the moment, the camera at the top of my list. Thanks...
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#43 andiesenji

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 12:18 AM

I've been shopping for a new digital camera for a few months and it's great to find this thread with all of your experiences and recommendations. I'd be interested to know if anyone uses or has used the Konica Minolta Dimage A1, which is, at the moment, the camera at the top of my list. Thanks...

This site has some excellent reviews of newer cameras.
http://www.ephotozine.com/
The new Digital Photo magazine also has several new reviews.

This site also has some excellent reviews.
http://www.megapixel...dex.php?lang=en

I have subscribed to PEI magazine for several years. They always have excellent step-by-step tutorials on how to get certain effects. If you subscribe to the magazine you can access all the previous years tutorials on line. For twenty bucks for a year's subscription, it is a good deal.

http://www.peimag.com/tutorial.htm
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#44 bleudauvergne

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 01:33 AM

Another trick -- for slow shutter speeds w/out flash is to rest the camera on the back of a chair or something, on top of a thick piece of cloth (in my case, an ugly felt purse). That way you avoid camera shake and the resulting blurry picture.

This is a really good tip. I take a lot of night time ambient light photos in dim conditions, too, and I can't avoid it. I have found that a very simple rule makes a huge difference in avoiding the slow shutter speed blur: Always have your body grounded by something still. Lean against a wall or a piece of furniture and hold your breath while you are shooting, it makes a difference.

Another thing is that with a digital camera, especially a cheap one, get the biggest memory card available, and take the same exact shot 4 or 6 times whenever you take it. You're not wasting film, that's for sure! Then when you have a chance to look carefully at them on the computer, choose the best one and delete the ones that don't look as good as the others.

#45 bleudauvergne

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:01 AM

I was planning to post some pictures I took in London when I write about the restaurants - but I didn't know how to do it.  Thought I'd take advantage of this thread to learn.  This is my first effort (actually it's about my 10th effort - but it's my first successful effort  :smile: ).  Guess the first time is the hardest.

Posted Image

By the way - this is sweetbreads and monkfish - the chef's signature dish at 140 Park Lane.  Yummy.  And the camera is a Kodak Easyshare DX6340.  I think the chef will be happy with these pictures.  Robyn


Robyn, the detail in the pot looks really wonderful. One thing I might have done is try a few more shots while I was at it, adjusting the camera position to see if I could eliminate the reflection of the flourescent light. If I could not, I would have slightly rotated the handle to follow the same line as the reflection, to give the whole a formal continuity. But really the food looks simply amazing, a great shot. I'm sure he'll be pleased with that too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------


Posted Image

For this one, using the close up setting is really key because it affects the depth of field. The edge of the glass was in focus, but the food was not. Turn off the flash, if you can, it just does not add to a close up photo because the light meter that reads for intensity in your camera isn't sensitive enough. If it's just too dark, you might try putting a napkin over the flash or taping over it to soften the glare and reflections. Compositionally, the crease of the tablecloth is distracting in this photo. It is a detail you can try and eliminate by positioning the dish. If your plate had a regular shape, the sharp crease of the cloth might not be as much as an issue, or even add to the overall composition. But that dish is all about the shape of the plate in that photo. You might as well cut the noise as much as possible.

Hope that helps for next time.

Edited by bleudauvergne, 11 June 2004 - 02:02 AM.


#46 mongo_jones

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:42 AM

Robyn, the detail in the pot looks really wonderful. One thing I might have done is try a few more shots while I was at it, adjusting the camera position to see if I could eliminate the reflection of the flourescent light.

is that nae what photoshop is for?

#47 FaustianBargain

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 11:38 AM

So, I have some pretty strict rules for myself when shooting food. And since I started following them my photography has (visually) improved alot. I realize it may not be realistic for people to follow all of these -- but in terms of getting the best "looking" shots -- this is what has worked for me.

1. Whenever possible shoot in natural light. Find a window or a place with nice indirect light, and shoot there. If I make something at night, I carefully try to reserve a portion of it for later and shoot the next morning. If this isn't an option, and you are shooting under flourescent or incandescent lighting -- just make sure you go back to your camera manual and learn to white balance properly.

2. No Flash. Ever. It makes everything look greasy or sweaty.

3. Pay attention to your backgrounds. Clear out any unnecessary visual "noise" from a shot, so the focus is on the food. Same applies to non-food related shots.

Now I can already hear people complaining that it just isn't realistic to not shoot at night, and not use flash, and white balancing makes their head hurt.....but when I take my camera out at night, I still never use the flash and I just make sure I'm whitebalanced (push a button). I end up with a different look, but still one I like (examples below) --

Since alot of people do seem to shoot late here, there are a couple other things you should at least think about as you move forward with your photography and camera choices.--

Fast lenses: This is where a "fast" lens really helps. This means the lens can open wide and let in alot of light. From what I've seen the lenses on many of the point and shoots aren't super fast, ranging from 2.8-3.5, etc. My fastest lens for my SLR is 1.4, and this is one of the biggest benefits to having the Digital SLR (I can use a fast lens like this). You can open your lens wide open (let in a lot of light), and slow down the shutter speed (this happens automatically when you use a camera with aperture-priority mode), and you can get some nice shots with lots of atmosphere. Here are a couple shots that I took using this method at a birthday party at an Indian Restaurant. The camera was the Canon Digital Rebel, I had a wide-angle lens on it that wasn't particularly fast, 2.8, and my ISO was set at 800. Still a bit of an orange cast, it is tough to get a perfect white balance in a mixed lighting environment even if you use the right white-balance button.

ISO range: If you are shooting at night or in dark environments, then you need to consider the ISO range on the camera as well when purchasing -- this is just the digital equivalent of film speed. My camera goes to 1600, which is the equiv. of having 1600 speed film in it -- match that up with a pretty fast lens, and you are going to have more to work with and you wont have to rely on flash as much.

I'm sure there are "flash" advocates out there that can tell you all the things you can do to get great results, but it's not me ;)

The learning curve of photography can be a bit steep and over whelming. I used to pick out one problem in my shots at a time, and then concentrate of fixing that. I would clip pictures from magazines of the type of shots I liked, and then try to figure out how to move more in that direction while still maintaining my own personal style.

Hope this helps! -h

hey heidihi....love the pictures...agree TOTALLY re 'flash'...have you any experience photographing food with light tents? i am dismayed by the lack of good lighting and affordability of fast lens(i have a d60 and canon macro @f2.8...i am not terribly pleased)...and seriously considering a light tent...

#48 balmagowry

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 12:00 PM

Another trick -- for slow shutter speeds w/out flash is to rest the camera on the back of a chair or something, on top of a thick piece of cloth (in my case, an ugly felt purse). That way you avoid camera shake and the resulting blurry picture.

This is a really good tip. I take a lot of night time ambient light photos in dim conditions, too, and I can't avoid it. I have found that a very simple rule makes a huge difference in avoiding the slow shutter speed blur: Always have your body grounded by something still. Lean against a wall or a piece of furniture and hold your breath while you are shooting, it makes a difference.

Another thing is that with a digital camera, especially a cheap one, get the biggest memory card available, and take the same exact shot 4 or 6 times whenever you take it. You're not wasting film, that's for sure! Then when you have a chance to look carefully at them on the computer, choose the best one and delete the ones that don't look as good as the others.

Yup. Concur completely. I'm a fine one to talk, of course, because of my all-too-well-documented color-balance problems at the monitor end! but if I'm shooting digital in a low-light situation I bracket like mad. I hate flash, but if I'm in a place where it won't bother the people around me I'll take a couple of shots with flash just in case, then take several without. The more of the latter I take, the better chance that one of them will be, ahem, usable. The flash ones are my better-than-nothing backup for the worst-case scenario in which I utterly flub the others - and until such time as I can afford to replace my Canon with a model that offers fill control, toning down the harshness of the flash is one of many reasons to love PhotoShop. Steadying against something solid does help - so would one of those mini-tripods that fold up to fit in the palm of your hand, if I ever remembered to use mine....

#49 Behemoth

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 12:08 PM

This is a really good tip.  I take a lot of night time ambient light photos in dim conditions, too, and I can't avoid it.  I have found that a very simple rule makes a huge difference in avoiding the slow shutter speed blur:  Always have your body grounded by something still. Lean against a wall or a piece of furniture and hold your breath while you are shooting, it makes a difference.

Another thing is that with a digital camera, especially a cheap one, get the biggest memory card available, and take the same exact shot 4 or 6 times whenever you take it.  You're not wasting film, that's for sure!  Then when you have a chance to look carefully at them on the computer, choose the best one and delete the ones that don't look as good as the others.

Another thing you can try is to set the camera to shoot on timer. That way you avoid the camera shake you get from pressing the button.

As far as getting lots of memory, I couldn't agree more. The wonderful thing about digital is that you can try the same shot in with all sorts of different lighting and WB options, and then compare to see what works in each situation -- without feeling guilty about wasting film. It's like a DIY intensive photography course.

Edited by Behemoth, 11 June 2004 - 12:10 PM.


#50 esperanza

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 02:51 PM

Andiesenji, thanks very much for the links you provided. I'd looked at some others (DCresource.com, which I find to be very helpful) but I hadn't seen Megapixel.net. In that one I found a link to Imaging Resource, which turned out to have some of the best features of the bunch, including a side-by-side comparison of photos which REALLY helped me out.

I'd still like to hear from anyone who's used (or even knows anyone who's used) the Konika Minolta Dimage A1. Unfortunately I'm not in a location where I can test drive any of these cameras, but I am going to the United States in a few weeks and would like to order one shipped to my destination so that I can pick it up there when I arrive. My current camera is an Olympus D-340L, an old war horse that is about to bite the dust, and I'm ready to do a big upgrade.

Heidihi, are you familiar with the A1?

Thanks again...
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#51 bleudauvergne

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 12:49 AM

My current camera is an Olympus D-340L, an old war horse that is about to bite the dust, and I'm ready to do a big upgrade.

I hope my old warhorse doesn't bite the dust any time soon, but I am in the same school as esperanza, when I do get a new one, I want a big upgrade. I have been a canon person since I was a teenager when my dad got me one of the last manual focus mainstream SLRs, a T70. I knew that camera inside and out, and it never let me down for the 20 years I used it. It died just before I got my digital camera (Canon Powershop A30).

What I miss is not being able to exactly control my focus and depth of field, even though the digital Canon I have does a really good job in following the Canon logic with the various programmed settings. But that lack of full control is enough for me to want to get a camera that resembles more a manual SLR.

My only problem with this is the weight and bulk issue. It has been a few years since I have lugged around a larger, bulkier camera, and yes, it was heavy and big enough not to be able to carry it around all the time. But now that I'd be more likely to have my camera in my purse than a lipstick, I will have to upgrade my purse as well as my camera, and worry a bit about the weight and bulk, and being able to be discreet. One of my main requirements is being able to see a shot, and quickly and unobtrusively take it while I have the chance.

For those who use larger setups, do you carry it everywhere? Have you been more apt, due to weight and buk issues, to leave your camera at home? Or do you have your SLR for special events and carry a small discreet pocket type for ease of use in daily situations?

Edited by bleudauvergne, 12 June 2004 - 01:03 PM.


#52 FaustianBargain

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 06:26 AM

bleudauvergne: For those who use larger setups, do you carry it everywhere? Have you been more apt, due to weight and buk issues, to leave your camera at home? Or do you have your SLR for special events and carry a small discreet pocket type for ease of use in daily situations?

I have a canon d60 slr and its four lenses accompany it everywhere. its heavy, but i dont believe a 'multipurpose' lens exists...i dont recall the last time i used my film slr...but i do use it for special films like IR, ilfords, techpan etc...but very rarely..my 'light' digital is a canon powershot g1..the very first of the powershot series..which i think is superior to all the other later avatars of the powershots..even with their higher resolutions...3mp is high enough and RAW works beautifully..i have printed upto 20x30 inches with my 3mp...i use it with an assortment of very specialised filters that works just fine and dandy...i also have a medium format tlr that i very rarely use...my tripod is a monfrotto that weighs a ton....but imo no camera is worth anything without a sturdy tripod...its not the camera thats heavy for me..usually, its the tripod...but its soooo worth it..

#53 heidihi

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 08:43 AM

Sorry esperanza, I don't have any experience with the a1.

Lalitha, I actually have thought about trying a light tent -- but haven't really seen the need for it (just because the light in my house is really nice)....I also have the canon macro 2.8, and use it alot, with good results. Stick with it, it is a good lens.
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#54 balmagowry

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 11:19 AM

What I miss is not being able to exactly control my focus and depth of field, even though the digital Canon I have does a really good job in following the Canon logic with the various programmed settings.  But that lack of full control is enough for me to want to get a camera that resembles more a manual SLR.


Which Canon do you have? I'm in much the same boat as you - the lack of control does make me miss my old Olympus SLR. OTOH, as an ex-dancer with severe dance-bag syndrome, I'm obsessed with form factor (as you may have guessed, this was also one of my chief criteria in buying Shtinky!). So buying a digital camera is inevitably a compromise. Although the Olympus has been out of commission for some years, it could be repaired, I'm pretty sure; so I sort of play a mental trick on myself. When I got the digital camera I told myself that because I wasn't ever going to use it for "serious" work, for convenience's sake I could afford to live without the manual features I was used to. The idea was that if I ever wanted to do anything really "serious" I still had the Olympus. Actually, The Boy™ has a collection of cameras, both digital and film, that could make you weep - everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. So if I wanted to do anything "serious" I could borrow from him as I did in Morocco. OTOH, with one really serious photographer in the family I also figured I could get lazy and fall back into being an official point-&-shoot hack. Nonetheless, the thought of features and control is always seductive.

Anyway, when I took the digital plunge I surprised myself by compromising on form factor: the S-20, though compact, isn't as adorably portably tiny as the Elph line, but at the time it sported higher resolution and a better lens and was in every way superior.

Now, of course, form factor has caught up with technology: the newer cameras in the Elph line have the good optical zoom lens and the higher resolution and the one thing I keep ranting about, much better flash control. In fact, IIRC, there's even some manual aperture control. For me there's no point in upgrading to a proper (i.e. big, clunky) digital SLR - as above, if I ever need to get that serious I can borrow from The perpetually state-of-the-art Boy™ - so now for day-to-day use the tiny form factor is more tempting than ever, and those Canon S400s have me drooling. Shooting mostly for the web, I can't see where I'd need more than the 4MP it boasts - as it is, 3.2 has been plenty adequate. A little more depth of field would be awfully nice, though.

A little more money would be nice, too. Of course, then I might actually have to make this decision, whereas now I can dither and drool without having to commit. So maybe it's just as well.

#55 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 11:40 AM

I ended up with a Pentax Optio with 4mp and 3x optical zoom. The 3 1/2 X 2 1/4 size allows me to carry it in a shirt pocket or wear it not too bulkily in a pouch on my belt. It has sufficient macro (flea's whiskers?) and is easy to use. I chose it partly because of the end results, but also because I will actually take it with me more often. I still have not made full use of it's features, but here are my first posted shots.

I have a 35mm, too, but it is going to continue to not get much use. The cost savings in (not) processing are no small potatoes. Actually, not processing film and printing contact sheets for a couple of years would probably pay for a Nikon or Canon slr digital and a few lens if you were shooting only 72 frames a week on average. It makes a $1,000 digital body a disposable camera if you shoot enough.

#56 balmagowry

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 11:58 AM

Sigh. I do wish you hadn't mentioned that.

#57 bleudauvergne

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 01:03 PM

Actually, not processing film and printing contact sheets for a couple of years would probably pay for a Nikon or Canon slr digital and a few lens if you were shooting only 72 frames a week on average. It makes a $1,000 digital body a disposable camera if you shoot enough.

Oh-oh. Trouble ahead. :cool:

#58 Barb48

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 01:08 PM

I have the predecessor to that Canon PowerShot S series camera and I'm quite happy with it. The next series up in cameras, which my dad has (A80 I believe), has many more features if you want to play around with the manual features a lot. But the PowerShot S series is small, it's reliable, the compact flash cards it uses are easy to find and the readers for them are cheap. (I recommend a 128 or 256 MB card...I have one of each and a reader for those cards instead of plugging your camera into the computer--much much better uploading, especially on a Mac.)

SML

I second your nomination sml311...it's a great camera and couldn't be happier with it...we will upgrade to another Canon in a year or so I'm sure.
Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique."-Anon

#59 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 01:19 PM

In general a 256 card is a good idea, because it will encourage you to shoot without worrying about conserving images. I got a slow charger (overnight) and a faster charger (two to three hours) with an auto adapter to cover all situations. My understanding is that the long charge is better, but I could see that I would be in some situations where waiting overnight would not be useful. I end up with three sets of AA batteries this way, so the camera and two sets of spares fit in a very small Lowe's belt case, with the charging equipment in a second somewhat larger bag. I also added a fourth tripod to my equipment, thinking it's small size will be useful for tabletop, as well as other shooting --- on the premise that the best tripod is the one you will actually carry.

#60 Behemoth

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 01:27 PM

For those who use larger setups, do you carry it everywhere? Have you been more apt, due to weight and buk issues, to leave your camera at home? Or do you have your SLR for special events and carry a small discreet pocket type for ease of use in daily situations?

Since I only just got mine, I am not sure how that will pan out. It's not all that heavy for me (I usually carry around a messenger bag full o' books anyway) but when you pull it out people definitely notice. I think when I travel, if I am wandering around by myself and don't want too much attention, I would take my husband's sony cybershot somethingorother. Pretty good little camera, great for photographing little personal vignettes, and unobtrusive so long as you don't need the (very annoying!) flash. For anything I really care about though, I will probably take the SLR. (e.g., this July we have a major birthday party and a wedding in a beautiful part of northern Germany -- definitely SLR time. We will also be in Seoul for a while -- SLR for the fish market, temples, and trip to the DMZ w/ my husband, and the little camera for when I'm walking around town by myself.)