Cheap digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mojtaba, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Mojtaba

    Mojtaba Guest

    Hi,

    I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    (800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    with similar spec?

    Thanks

    Mojtaba
     
    Mojtaba, Aug 13, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mojtaba

    wavelength Guest

    Dangit, I just wrote a huge post and it died on me.

    short answer then.

    Canon EOS 300d w/ 18-55mm lens. This translates to 27-80mm appx because
    of the 1.5x focal length multiplier. About $800 with lens.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=359145&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    You can choose whatever lens you like though really. 50-75mm is best
    because is leaves the subject in more true lifelike form. Lower makes
    things look fatter, higher makes them look thinner. (that 10lbs TV
    effect...)

    A Konica Minolta DiMage A200 is about $550, has bad noise above 400
    ISO. But you can use lighting or flashes and a lower ISO. This camera
    is compatible with all of Konica's high end flashes.

    You really need some continuous lighting, not flashes, for indoor
    product shots.

    Photoflex starlight tungsten soft-box. $300
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=223097&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    Photoflex Multidic reflector set and holder. $200
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=241060&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    At the very least you need to get a soft-box add-on for the on camera
    flash.

    Also some good muslin backgrounds would be a boon. But a fancy table or
    setup world work also for food. Maybe a large backdrop behind the
    table.
     
    wavelength, Aug 13, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mojtaba

    wavelength Guest

    err..

    that should have read "multidisc" not dic.
     
    wavelength, Aug 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Mojtaba

    imp Guest

    Mojtaba wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    > I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    > my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    > wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    > photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    > some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    > 90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    > (800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    > a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    > with similar spec?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Mojtaba


    Have a look at a Canon A400 or A510. Either should suit your purpose,
    without costing too much. Be sure to look at the Steve's Digicams sample
    pictures; the still life/candy shots in particular. They should give you
    a good idea of what to expect for your food shots.

    A400:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_a400-review/
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a400.html
    http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/psa400/index-e.html

    A510:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_a510_a520-review/index.shtml
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/a510.html
    http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/psa510/index-e.html
     
    imp, Aug 13, 2005
    #4
  5. I do food pics for a publication...I like to use slave flashes. I have a
    couple of them that are set off by the cameras flash and they have bounce
    reflectors on them. It takes a little practice buy once you get it right
    once it is easy to repeat.

    --
    Thanks,
    Gene Palmiter
    (visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
    freebridge design group
    www.route611.com & Route 611 Magazine
    "wavelength" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Dangit, I just wrote a huge post and it died on me.
    >
    > short answer then.
    >
    > Canon EOS 300d w/ 18-55mm lens. This translates to 27-80mm appx because
    > of the 1.5x focal length multiplier. About $800 with lens.
    > http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=359145&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
    >
    > You can choose whatever lens you like though really. 50-75mm is best
    > because is leaves the subject in more true lifelike form. Lower makes
    > things look fatter, higher makes them look thinner. (that 10lbs TV
    > effect...)
    >
    > A Konica Minolta DiMage A200 is about $550, has bad noise above 400
    > ISO. But you can use lighting or flashes and a lower ISO. This camera
    > is compatible with all of Konica's high end flashes.
    >
    > You really need some continuous lighting, not flashes, for indoor
    > product shots.
    >
    > Photoflex starlight tungsten soft-box. $300
    > http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=223097&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
    >
    > Photoflex Multidic reflector set and holder. $200
    > http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=241060&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
    >
    > At the very least you need to get a soft-box add-on for the on camera
    > flash.
    >
    > Also some good muslin backgrounds would be a boon. But a fancy table or
    > setup world work also for food. Maybe a large backdrop behind the
    > table.
    >
     
    Gene Palmiter, Aug 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Mojtaba

    Guest

    On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 22:02:39 +0200, Mojtaba <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    >I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    >my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    >wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    >photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    >some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    >90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    >(800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    >a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    >with similar spec?
    >
    >Thanks
    >
    >Mojtaba
     
    , Aug 14, 2005
    #6
  7. Mojtaba

    Guest

    On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 22:02:39 +0200, Mojtaba <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    >I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    >my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    >wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    >photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    >some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    >90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    >(800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    >a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    >with similar spec?
    >
    >Thanks
    >
    >Mojtaba


    Take a look at the Fuji Finepix F10. No personal experience, but I
    have been watching info on this camera and am hearing good things. My
    main point of interest is the high ISO capability. Take a look at the
    sample shots at www.dpreview.com

    HTH
    Bill
     
    , Aug 14, 2005
    #7
  8. Mojtaba

    wilt Guest

    Is there some reason to want only a digital? Instead of paying for a
    new digital, you can shoot with a film camera and send to to a
    processor that would ordinarily develop and print for $7-8 who can give
    you CD with images for $3-4 more. You can process a lot of film and
    have it converted to CD for the price of a new digital!

    If you really need to get a digital, you need to find one which has a
    hot shoe for camera-mounted flash, you can get a hto-shot-to-PC adapter
    unit which permits you to connect directly to studio flash unit. And,
    of course, you will need to have the ability on the camera to set the
    lens aperture manually to correspond to the light output.

    The other alternative someone mentioned is to use the in-camera flash
    unit to optically trigger slave flash units that go off when the
    in-camera flash goes off.

    -Wilt
     
    wilt, Aug 14, 2005
    #8
  9. "wilt" <> writes:
    > Is there some reason to want only a digital? Instead of paying for a
    > new digital, you can shoot with a film camera and send to to a
    > processor that would ordinarily develop and print for $7-8 who can give
    > you CD with images for $3-4 more. You can process a lot of film and
    > have it converted to CD for the price of a new digital!


    1. The quality of the scans you get on those picture CDs suck big
    time, even when compared to pretty low-end digital P&S cameras.
    Those I've seen was compressed to death, and had sharpening and
    JPEG-artefacts that were clearly visible at web resolution.

    2. With film, you often need to wait a day or more (unless you live
    next door to a 1-hour photo minilab) to see if the shot came out
    OK. With digital, you check the camera LCD (or a tethered full
    size laptop if you can be bothered to set one up) - and re-shoot
    immediately if you see some ugly shadows, or other defects not
    visble pre-shot. This is very convenient if you spend some time
    staging product shots.

    3. YMMV, but savings in film and processing paid for my first digital
    camera in less than 2 months.

    For this type of project, I would say that film is a waste of time
    and money.

    The problem I see with this project is that while one doesn't need
    much of a camera - resolutionwise - to take photographs of food to put
    on the web - such a project is actually very difficult to stage and
    light in such a manner that the food look appealing and appetizing.
    A single strobe - on or off the camera - will probably not show the
    food in its best light (no pun intended).

    If this is done for marketing purposes, the OP may be better off
    spending his money hiring a pro that actually know something about
    lighting technique and food photography.
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Gisle Hannemyr, Aug 14, 2005
    #9
  10. Mojtaba

    Mojtaba Guest

    On 14 Aug 2005 12:27:52 -0700, "wilt" <> wrote:

    >Is there some reason to want only a digital? Instead of paying for a
    >new digital, you can shoot with a film camera and send to to a
    >processor that would ordinarily develop and print for $7-8 who can give
    >you CD with images for $3-4 more. You can process a lot of film and
    >have it converted to CD for the price of a new digital!
    >

    Hi,
    Gisle have already given several reasons why I am lookjing for
    digital. I ahve already a film based system. i am simply looking for
    speed. I don't live in America and here buying a film and processing
    is expensive. At the end wehn yo get the pictures you see that litle
    mistake. Normally a cheap process takes 4 days for me but digital
    gives imidiate results. that's why I am looking for something not
    expensive because I am not leaving film. Thank you for your reply.

    Mojtaba








    >If you really need to get a digital, you need to find one which has a
    >hot shoe for camera-mounted flash, you can get a hto-shot-to-PC adapter
    >unit which permits you to connect directly to studio flash unit. And,
    >of course, you will need to have the ability on the camera to set the
    >lens aperture manually to correspond to the light output.
    >
    >The other alternative someone mentioned is to use the in-camera flash
    >unit to optically trigger slave flash units that go off when the
    >in-camera flash goes off.
    >
    >-Wilt
     
    Mojtaba, Aug 14, 2005
    #10
  11. Mojtaba

    Mojtaba Guest

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 23:17:54 +0200, Gisle Hannemyr
    <> wrote:

    >"wilt" <> writes:
    >> Is there some reason to want only a digital? Instead of paying for a
    >> new digital, you can shoot with a film camera and send to to a
    >> processor that would ordinarily develop and print for $7-8 who can give
    >> you CD with images for $3-4 more. You can process a lot of film and
    >> have it converted to CD for the price of a new digital!

    >
    >1. The quality of the scans you get on those picture CDs suck big
    > time, even when compared to pretty low-end digital P&S cameras.
    > Those I've seen was compressed to death, and had sharpening and
    > JPEG-artefacts that were clearly visible at web resolution.
    >
    >2. With film, you often need to wait a day or more (unless you live
    > next door to a 1-hour photo minilab) to see if the shot came out
    > OK. With digital, you check the camera LCD (or a tethered full
    > size laptop if you can be bothered to set one up) - and re-shoot
    > immediately if you see some ugly shadows, or other defects not
    > visble pre-shot. This is very convenient if you spend some time
    > staging product shots.
    >
    >3. YMMV, but savings in film and processing paid for my first digital
    > camera in less than 2 months.
    >
    >For this type of project, I would say that film is a waste of time
    >and money.
    >
    >The problem I see with this project is that while one doesn't need
    >much of a camera - resolutionwise - to take photographs of food to put
    >on the web - such a project is actually very difficult to stage and
    >light in such a manner that the food look appealing and appetizing.
    >A single strobe - on or off the camera - will probably not show the
    >food in its best light (no pun intended).


    Thank you Gisle,
    In fact you are right but the problem is that I was not quite clear
    what is my exact goal. I don't take pictures of meals but foor items
    like a bottle of olive oil or a can of caviar. I have taken some
    pictures by my film camera and I see the result is good. Sometimes I
    use a flash off the camera and sometimes I simply go out when the
    lighting is good. If I am not mistaken you should be Norwegian. I live
    in Bergen and as you may know most of the time the weather here is
    cloudy. That makes a good lighting and as I mentioned I take picture
    for my shop and it is not very critical. You know proffesionals here
    are very expensive. lol.

    regards,

    Mojtaba







    >
    >If this is done for marketing purposes, the OP may be better off
    >spending his money hiring a pro that actually know something about
    >lighting technique and food photography.
     
    Mojtaba, Aug 14, 2005
    #11
  12. Mojtaba

    Mojtaba Guest

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 12:36:00 -0400, wrote:

    >On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 22:02:39 +0200, Mojtaba <> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi,
    >>
    >>I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    >>I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    >>my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    >>wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    >>photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    >>some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    >>90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    >>(800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    >>a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    >>with similar spec?
    >>
    >>Thanks
    >>
    >>Mojtaba

    >
    >Take a look at the Fuji Finepix F10. No personal experience, but I
    >have been watching info on this camera and am hearing good things. My
    >main point of interest is the high ISO capability. Take a look at the
    >sample shots at www.dpreview.com
    >
    >HTH
    >Bill



    thak you Bill,

    That seems to be an excellent camera only if it could get an external
    flash.

    regards,

    Mojtaba
     
    Mojtaba, Aug 14, 2005
    #12
  13. Mojtaba

    ASAAR Guest

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 00:34:11 +0200, Mojtaba wrote:

    >>> some specification which matters: the zomm should be between
    >>> 50 mm to 90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have
    >>> high ISO (800) or if not possibility to use external flash,


    >>Take a look at the Fuji Finepix F10. No personal experience, but I
    >>have been watching info on this camera and am hearing good things. My
    >>main point of interest is the high ISO capability. Take a look at the
    >>sample shots at www.dpreview.com
    >>
    >>HTH
    >>Bill


    > thak you Bill,
    >
    > That seems to be an excellent camera only if it could get an external
    > flash.


    But it meets your goal, since unlike other P&S cameras it can take
    good pictures at ISO 800. You can always add an external flash to
    almost any P&S camera. You just have to get a "smart" external
    flash that detects and ignores the camera's pre-flashes. Canon
    makes one that works with most of their Powershot cameras. Sony
    makes one for their cameras, and Metz probably has a better, cheaper
    remote flash that'll work with almost any P&S. Check out Vivitar
    too. Since these remotes don't use cables (they detect the light
    from the camera's flash) you can easily use 2 or more remote flashes
    to get more power and/or more even light distribution. If you're
    going to use flash anyway, the Canon A510 might be a better way to
    go. It has some manual ability that the Fuji F10 lacks, and also
    has a viewfinder :) B&H has Canon's remote flash, but several
    months ago it wasn't listed as an accessory for their cameras even
    though you could find it on B&H's website if you knew the model
    number to search for. Hopefully that's been corrected by now.
     
    ASAAR, Aug 15, 2005
    #13
  14. Mojtaba <> writes:
    > I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need: I
    > run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    > my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up
    > the wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have
    > f.eks. printed photos I have found on the net with good
    > results. there are however some specification which matters: the
    > zomm should be between 50 mm to 90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the
    > camera should either have high ISO (800) or if not possibility to
    > use external flash, such taht I can use a flash connected to camera
    > by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap with similar spec?


    I would say that almost any modern digital camera has the resolution
    required for your project.

    However, useable high ISO in inexpensive compacts still leaves a lot
    to be desired, so if you really think you need that, you should get an
    entry level DSLR such as Canon 350D or Nikon D50 - but these may be
    outside your price range?

    A cheaper alternative is a quality compact with a capability for
    external flash. I am a big fan of cheap radio transmitters,
    rather than cords, to control off-camera flash, so I would also
    make sure that the camera has a hot-shoe (the master unit
    of a radio slave must be hot-shoe mounted). With a radio slave
    setup, you can control several flashes, so a more complex lighting
    arrangment is possible if desired.

    DPreview has a buying guide that lets you select features and
    show you suitable cameras:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp
    The cheapest one I found there with a hot-shoe was the the
    Olympus C-5000 (5 Mpx, approx. NOK 3000). At that, price, it
    does not sound like a bargain to me - it is getting quite
    long in the tooth, and should cost less than NOK 2000 now.
    You might find a better price than me by shopping around, but
    at NOK 3000, forget it. I think maybe DPreview is not really
    into compacts - so its model database in that area is sparse.

    One possible route is to find a model in the Canon Powershot G-series.
    All these have a hot-shoe, better than average optics, and full
    manual control.

    I would say that the G2 (4 Mpx), G3 (4 Mpx), G5 (5 Mpx) and G6
    (7 Mpx) would be good cameras for your project. The current model
    (G6) is NOK 4734,-. I think it is a great camera for the price, but
    probably an overkill for your project. You may be equally well served
    with a G2 (well, maybe - it is getting old), or preferably a G3 or G5.
    All these are discontinued models. If you can find these in a shop,
    they should be available at clearout prices.

    Second hand, you should be able to find a good second-hand G-series
    Canon for less than NOK 2500 for the G3/G5, and less than NOK 1500 for
    the G2. Check out http://foto.no/bruktmarked/ (one if the best place
    to hunt for second hand cameras in Norway). Them off course there is
    eBay, where the going rate for a good quality used G3 seems to be
    US $ 240 (NOK 1600). With shipping and MOMS (VAT), that works out
    as around NOK 2300 delivered at your local psot office.

    For off-camera flash, I am a big fan of radio slaves rather than
    cords. For one thing, they let you use cheap old auto flashes such as
    the great Vivitar 283 and 285 without fear of damaging the camera.
    I have a web page on the subject, check out:
    http://folk.uio.no/gisle/photo/gt301b.html

    Best of luck with your food photography, and greetings from Oslo to
    Bergen!
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Gisle Hannemyr, Aug 15, 2005
    #14
  15. Mojtaba

    Matt Guest

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 00:34:11 +0200, Mojtaba <> wrote:

    >On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 12:36:00 -0400, wrote:
    >
    >>On Sat, 13 Aug 2005 22:02:39 +0200, Mojtaba <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Hi,
    >>>
    >>>I am looking for a the cheapest camera which can do what I need:
    >>>I run a very small food shop and I need sometimes to take picture of
    >>>my products to use on web and sometimes get a print for hanging up the
    >>>wall. The print does not need to be very great. I have f.eks. printed
    >>>photos I have found on the net with good results. there are however
    >>>some specification which matters: the zomm should be between 50 mm to
    >>>90 or 120 mm (Equivalent). the camera should either have high ISO
    >>>(800) or if not possibility to use external flash, such taht I can use
    >>>a flash connected to camera by cable. Do you know a good camera, cheap
    >>>with similar spec?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks
    >>>
    >>>Mojtaba

    >>
    >>Take a look at the Fuji Finepix F10. No personal experience, but I
    >>have been watching info on this camera and am hearing good things. My
    >>main point of interest is the high ISO capability. Take a look at the
    >>sample shots at www.dpreview.com
    >>
    >>HTH
    >>Bill

    >
    >
    >thak you Bill,
    >
    >That seems to be an excellent camera only if it could get an external
    >flash.


    Rather than use flash, there are other ways.

    The purists may frown, but I find the auto white balance does an good
    enough job of compensating for close up subjects lit by one or more
    halogen desklamps.

    Purists may frown even more, but if you can take the items to the
    computer, another option may be one of the higher resolution webcams
    using the snapshot function on a real time preview of the lighting -
    what you see is what you get! Not up to the same technical level as a
    good digital, but very effective for pictures that are going to be
    shown on a computer screen or webpage.


    --
    I may be dozzzy, but take the ZZZ's out to mail me
    http://www.junkroom.freeserve.co.uk/jvc2080.htm - 2x2x24 CD-RW troubles

    If you drop a cactus, don't try to catch it!
     
    Matt, Aug 15, 2005
    #15
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