Camera to use for an online store?

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by jroos, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. jroos

    jroos New Member

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    If you were opening an online vintage clothing boutique and didn't have much money to start with, what type of camera (brand, model etc) would you use to take photos of the merchandise? TIA for any input.
     
  2. gius

    gius chat~

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    I think a lot of the digital cameras nowadays are good enough
    One important thing to think about is the lighting.. and a neutral backdrop..

    I've used matboard for a background, one for behind the product and for it stand on.
    ..Was amused to see the same thing being used at my work for their online shop.
     
  3. jroos

    jroos New Member

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    I was thinking about that also. What is a good moderately priced digital camera to buy? I have a sony cybershot and I think it's just getting old.
     
  4. Romantic Rebel

    Romantic Rebel New Member

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    I think it is better for you to browse some of the recent reviews of newly release cameras in your price range.
    Check out all the brands. Camera, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, Kodak etc. Do not buy them because of the brand.

    Also aside from the camera, the set, the lighting etc. can also affect the quality of your shots so you should take that into account when buying your camera.
     
  5. jroos

    jroos New Member

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    What kind of lighting should I have? I am so clueless...haha! Thank you so much for any input!
     
  6. Beautiful Stranger

    Beautiful Stranger New Member

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    you can get an analogue professional camera for pretty cheap on ebay, while you have to pay alot for a pro DSLR. id shoot film if i were you. if not, i use canon eos 40d, which is pretty good, i paid around 1k for body and sigma lens about six months ago.
     
  7. gius

    gius chat~

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  8. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    That thread (above) is for pro shooters only ... so it's not for someone who is new to photography. Its for someone who, at least, is very experienced as an amateur photogragpher who is ready to upgrade to professional cameras (and I'm talking thousands of dollars here, not your typical digi camera) with medium format and interchangable lenses and such. The lighting is also about big studio lights, etc. My guess is that you are not ready for any of that yet ... nor have thousands of dollars to spend on equipment that you are not trained to use.

    Here is a thread about personal digital cameras, which is probably what you will most likely end up using.
    Best Digital Camera

    And here is a thread that talks a little about lighting for non pros. You might ask more questions about lighting indoors, here:
    Photography Tips
     
    #8 BetteT, Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Feb 24, 2009
  9. jroos

    jroos New Member

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    ^^^^Thank you for all the reccomendations!!
     
  10. Blunier

    Blunier New Member

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    Normally I wouldn't reply in a photography-related thread but here we go.

    For website-only images there's no need for a high resolution, other points are far more important.

    Unless there are specific reasons to shoot at really high resolutions, like e.g when facing possible moiré problems due to high-frequency detail or if you shoot commercially, there's no real need for top resolutions. Don't get fooled by pixels, it's far more about pixel quality than quantity. A antique Nikon D1 is likely to still be better than those el-cheapo digicams made in China you get as mail-order gift even if their resolution is 3 times higher.

    I'd suggest to get a digicam with manual focusing and exposure compensation features (and/or the possibility to set manually the exposure time and/or the aperture). If you want to photography live models it becomes more tricky because many digicams have a poor autofocus, so you can merely reduce the aperture to increase the depth of field (DOF), of course you'll need to choose your background accordingly.

    In theory, color matching should be important but as only extremely few Internet users have a calibrated display (used under correct conditions as for color-critical work the enviroment and even clothing colors of the viewer can play a role) there's no mean to guarantee any correct color profiling as everyone will see (or perceive) a slightly different color on his/her monitor. That said, you should still try to shoot colors are accurately as possible.

    Most digicams don't have a very good white balance processing and as many don't allow shooting RAW you can't tweak the color balance well, even using a ColorChecker. Generally, the less evil white balance is the one with natural light but avoid too reddish light (very close to or at sunset, rater shoot at usual daylight color temperatures, i.e. around 5500 K).
    Incandescent lighting may work more or less well depending on the camera. Avoid lighting with odd spectrums, like e.g. fluorescent lights.
    Flashes (strobes) don't work very well unless using daylight balanced professional strobes (e.g. Broncolor etc.) and those are beyond typical amateur budgets. Small strobes usually don't work well and cause all sorts of problems (especially skin tone issues). On- or in-camera flashes are close to useless and often you can't set their power manually not even to mention that beside pro strobes many models vary their output power at each pop and have an inconsistent color temperature.

    Maybe you can get a used digicam, preferably from a reliable store and, very important, with a short guarantee or even a return policy. Shoot a few pics to make sure the ergonomics suit you.

    Basically I'd say that shooting still subjects for websites isn't that difficult. Shooting live models is trickier.

    I can't give specific advice about digicams because I don't use them but overall any reasonable model will do it, even if it's not the most recent one.

    I wouldn't recommend to shoot film because you'd have to scan it and overall it's a hassle with the processing, the delays and scanning isn't that easy either (or it's expensive if you don't do it yourself).

    Some basic Photoshop skills are a must as excepted for some sports and news every picture will have to be tweaked manually or even retouched more or less extensively.

    Train a lot because in most cases of bad photography there's the photographer to blame rather than the gear. It always makes me smile when people ask which camera or strobe brand was used for this or that image. Did you ever ask a painter which brand of paint and brush he or she used?

    Blunier
     

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