Need suggestion on camera for publishing magazine articles

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sandy, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. sandy

    sandy Guest

    I'm a newbie writer who would love to have some magazine articles
    published. I was speaking with a publisher at a recent Writer's
    Workshop and he asked me to, along with my article, submit photos of a
    minimum 300 dpi at the published size (bigger the file, the better).

    I do have several cameras but they are all older and of minimal
    quality. My digital camera is just over 3 megapixels and I'm guessing
    that it is entirely inadequate.

    I'd love to get a new, higher resolution digital camera for this
    purpose but have no clue as to what I should get or even if a digital
    camera is the way to go. I also have not yet figured out how dpi and
    megapixels relate to each other.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions including specific
    cameras to consider.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sandy
     
    sandy, Sep 30, 2008
    #1
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  2. sandy

    DavidM Guest

    Your 3MP camera will produce images roughly 2000x1500 pixels. Going by
    the publishers request for 300 dpi in the publication, that translates
    to a published image of 6.66"x5". If that's too small for your articles,
    then you need a better camera :)
    Of course those dimensions are the maximum, and any cropping will reduce it.
     
    DavidM, Sep 30, 2008
    #2
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  3. Depends on the maximum published image size. A 3 MP camera is roughly
    1500 x 2000 effective pixels (1500 * 2000 = 3,000,000), divided by 300
    pixels per inch, that gives you a maximum possible published size of
    about 5 x 6 inches. Allowing for some cropping by the editor, say about
    4 x 5 max. or less. If you won't need images any larger, then 3
    megapixels is adequate. However, whether the camera produces images with
    sufficient quality--sharpness, contrast range, color, etc.--to be
    acceptable by the editor is another matter all together.
    For a camera recommendation, it would help if you gave us a better idea
    of what type of pictures you need to accompany your articles, and whether
    you are expecting them to be on the cover, full page interior, 2-page
    spread or just a small single or two column. And your photographic
    experience: novice, beginner, advance, etc.

    Stef
     
    Stefan Patric, Sep 30, 2008
    #3
  4. sandy

    Pat Guest

    The more interesting question should be "I'm a newby writer AND
    photographer and does anyone know where I can get article published
    that will take my work". My decent magazines want really good
    photos. That's why they get photographers. It's sort of like saying
    "I'm an experienced photographer who wants to break into writing, what
    kind of computer should I buy?"

    On the serious side, maybe you ought to research and write an article
    on selecting the perfect camera.
     
    Pat, Sep 30, 2008
    #4
  5. sandy

    sandy Guest

    Thanks for your help. I've been around cameras all my life (my father
    was a small town photographer) but I never really took a serious
    interest until now. I've usually had "point and shoot" type
    cameras.

    The magazine that I'm currently interested in writing for is a small
    giveaway one and the pictures they use range from fairly small to
    8X10. I doubt that any articles I write will even pay for the camera
    but that isn't really important. Like to learn more about both
    writing and photography and I think I'd enjoy both.

    I'm not really sure what the difference between "point and shoot" and
    "SLR" cameras are. Will I need a light meter or anything else with
    the SLR camera? What exactly is its advantage. I gather that they
    can take a variety of lenses.

    Is there any reason for or again getting the digital camera versus a
    regular camera. I much prefer the digital one just for its
    convenience.

    Thanks again...

    Sandy
     
    sandy, Sep 30, 2008
    #5
  6. sandy

    Roy G Guest

    The more interesting question should be "I'm a newby writer AND
    photographer and does anyone know where I can get article published
    that will take my work". My decent magazines want really good
    photos. That's why they get photographers. It's sort of like saying
    "I'm an experienced photographer who wants to break into writing, what
    kind of computer should I buy?"

    On the serious side, maybe you ought to research and write an article
    on selecting the perfect camera.


    My own thoughts were also along those sort of lines. It would seem unlikely
    that the OP will have the ability to produce publishing quality photos with
    the level of knowledge he/she seems to have.

    I think it would be more sensible for them to seek a good photographer,
    rather than buy a camera.

    Roy G
     
    Roy G, Sep 30, 2008
    #6
  7. sandy

    ray Guest

    3mp = 1500x2000 which yields about 5x7 at 300 dpi - how large do your
    photos need to be?
     
    ray, Oct 1, 2008
    #7
  8. sandy

    ray Guest

    That would be the major difference. There are EVF long zoom cameras which
    give you most of that flexibility and will perform most of the functions
    that a DSLR will. It can be argued that the quality is not as good, but
    for publishing in a magazine, it is probably adequate.
     
    ray, Oct 1, 2008
    #8
  9. sandy

    Pat Guest

    Start with a bottom level digital SLR. I use the Canon line and they
    are pretty good. The Nikon is just as good. But talking to the
    people I know, I think I'd recommend a Pentax. People who own them
    seem particularly passionate about them. The only other thing's
    you'll need are a card reader and a flash. As for the flash, get the
    best one you can afford. There will be situations where you'll need
    the extra light.

    Sounds weird, but go with cheap camera and expensive flash. Then your
    next investment should be a decent middle of the road lens. But for a
    give-away magazine, the kit lens will be fine because the printing
    resolution for the magazine is probably pretty low.
     
    Pat, Oct 1, 2008
    #9
  10. sandy

    J. Clarke Guest

    Variety of lenses is one advantage--my 30D with the lenses I have goes
    from 16mm equivalent to 480mm equivalent. Low light performance is
    another--I've gotten usable images out of the 30D up to the equivalent
    of ISO 20,000 and recognizable ones at an exposure index corresponding
    to ISO 400,000. This may or may not be an issue for you depending on
    what you are doing. Few point-and-shoots have lenses as fast as
    f/2.0. The cheap 50mm for Canon or Nikon is f/1.8. At a given ISO, a
    DSLR will generally have lower noise than a point-and-shoot due to the
    larger sensor.

    DSLRs are generally auto-everything--no need for a meter.

    Another benefit is rapid shutter response--the DSLR can be configured
    so that when you push the shutter it fires _now_, where most
    point-and-shoots have a lag. No viewfinder lag either. These may or
    may not be issues for you depending on what sort of subjects you are
    shooting.

    A good modern point-and-shoot is a remarkable piece of kit, but for
    someone who grew up with film, what a good DSLR can do is nothing
    short of amazing.
    In 35mm and smaller format film is pretty much dead unless you have
    some sort of special situation. However most lenses for DSLRs work
    with film cameras as well, and film bodies are dirt cheap.
     
    J. Clarke, Oct 1, 2008
    #10
  11. sandy

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Unfortunately, many publishers and editors do not
    have the technical knowledge to actually talk
    intelligently on this subject. Those who do
    suggest 5mp or better (8 is better yet). So for
    magazine use it is mainly about the resolution in
    terms of pixels. The page makeup folks can play
    with the ppi and size of image, as long as there
    are enough pixels. And yes, a digital is the way
    to go.

    One publisher I work with actually pays more per
    article for completely digital submissions (both
    text and images).
     
    Don Stauffer, Oct 1, 2008
    #11
  12. sandy

    sandy Guest

    Thanks everybody! You've been a lot of help. I'll be going shopping
    for a SLR camera (probably Cannon, Nikon or Pentax). Looking forward
    to having a new toy to play with and learning how to use.

    Thanks again.

    Sandy
     
    sandy, Oct 1, 2008
    #12
  13. sandy

    Paul Furman Guest

    It needs to be capable or writing 500 word essays...

    :)

    I'd second the entry level or used DSLR suggestion. Too broad a topic to
    answer though.

    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 4, 2008
    #13
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