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 Post subject: Camera choices?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:10 am
Posts: 214
Location: Mesa, Az
Hey guys, I am in need of a camera that is better than the crappy one I currently have.
What I have now is a Cannon powershot A60. It is a 2.0 mega pixels. It works well for scenery shots, family shots and the like, but when I go to shoot bikes they are always either really dark, undetailed or just a bit fuzzy.

I need to purchase a camera that I can take some killer stills of my bikes. It will also have to be easy to just plug into the computer and download the pics.
Anybody a techno geek out there?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:51 am
Posts: 1940
Location: Leicester
I bought a Pentax Optio S5Z, 5mp and takes good pics. Its easy to operate and works well with my lappy. It also is just a little bit larger than a pack of cards.

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 Post subject:
Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:38 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:43 am 
I am in the same situation. I have a point and shoot pentax that can fit in an altoids tin and does a great job, but you can not take any serious photos with it, or anything high quality. I started looking and found probably the best deal is this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... Navigation


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:38 pm
Posts: 64
I understand that you make a living out of building frames. Good imagery makes you sell bikes, so I suggest that you hire a professional Photographer, having a good camera has nothing to do with having talent taking photographs.

In any case here goes camera recommendation Canon EOS 350D (even though I am a Nikon person). Is a fantastic entry level reflex, cheap for what it offers and offers a lot.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/


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 Post subject: Re: Camera choices?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:56 am
Posts: 4907
Check this great digital camera review website out: http://dpreview.com
They also have a forum which I would recommend to use for this kind of stuff instead of a cycling forum!
No offence, but I bet people don't ask advise on bike purchases on a camera forum either.


Last edited by 2 wheels on Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:52 am 
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Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 7:04 am
Posts: 691
Location: Denmark
I have Casio Exilim 7.2 MP.

Great, compact camera with a large screen.

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 Post subject: Re: Camera choices?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:55 am
Posts: 241
Location: Helsinsky Finlandia
Rue wrote:
Hey guys, I am in need of a camera that is better than the crappy one I currently have.
What I have now is a Cannon powershot A60. It is a 2.0 mega pixels. It works well for scenery shots, family shots and the like, but when I go to shoot bikes they are always either really dark, undetailed or just a bit fuzzy.

I need to purchase a camera that I can take some killer stills of my bikes. It will also have to be easy to just plug into the computer and download the pics.
Anybody a techno geek out there?


What you need, is a SLR camera (like a Canon 350D or Nikon D50 for nonprofessional purposes) and (a) good/purposeful lens(es).

In my opinion you should more or less never shoot with cameras in-build flash, so a tripod (even a cheap one) should be in your shopping list. This even, if you decide to buy a compact (non-SLR) camera.

If you need light, PM me, since it's a whole other (long) topic.

One can shoot in jpeg, and download images from the memory card easily with a card reader, or directly from the camera. The better options would of course be to shoot in lossless RAW-format, but let's take one step at the time. :lol:

For those killer shots you'll need preferably a prime lens like Canon EF 50/1,8 (a bargain) to give you some flexibility in low light situations, and controllable depth of field (DOF).

For macro shooting another lens, that serves also as a second prime lens, like Canons EF-S60/2,8 or EF100/2,8.

The good lenses are an investment, but they hold their value very well, unlike the SLR body. The second hand market for lenses is busy.

The SLRs are usually available in kits, like 350D & EF-S18-55 lens, they are not bad, but the kit lenses are somewhat limited in low light shooting.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:17 am
Posts: 3603
Location: A bigger rock in the Pacific (AUS)
If you can find discontinued SLR models, they'll probably be best bang for your buck...from memory there was a cannon SLR that got superseeded a few months ago (or was that a few months ago when I was working at the CMG, or was that something else :?)

But yeah, have used the 350D once, was great, and have seen some really impressive photos from friends who have managed to get their greasy paws on them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:09 am 
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Location: Helsinsky Finlandia
Skillgannon wrote:
If you can find discontinued SLR models, they'll probably be best bang for your buck...from memory there was a cannon SLR that got superseeded a few months ago...


That was the Canon 20D, wich was, and still is very good SLR. If you get a bargain of very little used 20D for the similar price of a new 350D, I'd personally would take the 20D - but don't forget the guarantee issues.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:22 am
Posts: 35
Location: NE Ohio USA
I have a Canon 20D and love it but you still need good light for indoor shooting. If your not interested in an interchangable lens camera try a point and shoot with a flash shoe. My last camera was a Canon G2, I added a Canon 420ex flash for indoor shooting. The Canon G6 or Pro1 will accept an outboard flash. Check out the photo forums for more ideas. Good luck on opening this new money hole!

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:55 am
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Location: Helsinsky Finlandia
LazyMike wrote:
I have a Canon 20D and love it but you still need good light for indoor shooting. If your not interested in an interchangable lens camera try a point and shoot with a flash shoe. My last camera was a Canon G2, I added a Canon 420ex flash for indoor shooting. The Canon G6 or Pro1 will accept an outboard flash. Check out the photo forums for more ideas. Good luck on opening this new money hole! Mike


I'd say again, that you'll need a tripod instead. Even in low light you can take relatively good pictures, since the tripod allows you to shoot with longer shutter times w./out handshake.

And yes, for _good_ pictures good lighting is needed, and setting of lights (planning the image before picture taking) is crucial. Unfortunately hot shoe flashes like Canons EX420/430 are not very good, even if pointed upwards (flashlight bounced via roof) or flash diffusers (like STO-FEN Omni-Bounce and similar) are used. They are not good (or perfect) because:
a) The light source is too small and uneven
b) The light source is too close of the camera.

The hot shoe flashes are good for documenting the happening, or rapid/instant shooting of objects/people. They are not ment for product shooting/non-moving objects in general.

As this slightly off-topic might interest many members, here's an ABC for good product shooting (and lighting).

1) Always shoot from a tripod. Use the self timer mode. Don't have tripod and don't want to spend the dough? Bring a chair/table and put the camera on it, and use the self timer (remote release, if you have one). Use whatever, cardboard pieces underneath the camera or a bean bag or similar to angle the camera to the object.

2) Fiat lux. Bring on the additive lighting. Digital cameras are cool, because on most of them, the cameras let you set the white balance. Different lightsources have different colours (colour temperature), even if in real life you don't see it, since human eyes are more adabtable to the lighting, than the unintelligent machine (camera). You'll notice different light colours, when the image is taken, and the picture is reddish/bluish/yellowish, etc.

Setting/adjusting the white balance gives the opportunity to use nearly all kinds of lights and have white as white, not bluish, slightly rose, etc. Floorlamps are okay, table and roof lamps too.

3) Avoid over shine/washed out images. If possible, try to avoid direct lighting of the object, when possible, when shooting bright objects, like lacquered frames, polished objects, etc. One can bounce the light using styrofoam boards, white thick sheets, white carboard and so on. This gives a softer light, without harsh shadows on the object. If you use primary light say from your right side from 45 degrees angle of the object, use another (slighlty less powerful) light from your left side, again 45 degrees from the object to counter effect the shadow from the primary light. If your room is big enough, the distance from the light to the object can be used to lessen/enhance the intensity of lighting.

4) Choose the backround. The ubiquitious garage door shouldn't be the only option. Nor should be the white canvas/sheet taped on the wall and partially over the floor. Use your imagination.

5) Perspective. The cameras/lenses can distort images badly. Try to shoot atleast one general photo of a bike from waist level, or slightly lover - from the centre of the bike frame. Take photos from other angles too.
Most cameras have zoom lenses, but don't forget that you have legs. Use your leg-zoom to make the desired crop.

6) Aperture/DOF. Want an artsy photo with the backround nicely blurred, and the object steps up nicely from the photo? You need shallow depth of field then. Learn what is depth of field (DOF) and what has aperture got to do with it. Compact cameras have deep DOF, since their image sensors are small. SLR-cameras sensors are bigger, and have the possibility to have shallower DOFs.

Good luck!

Edit: Some typos fixed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:10 am
Posts: 214
Location: Mesa, Az
My new toy! Thanks for all your help guys!!!!!


Attachments:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:08 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:55 am
Posts: 241
Location: Helsinsky Finlandia
Rue wrote:
My new toy! Thanks for all your help guys!!!!!


Now you won't have any technical excuses for bad photos.

Advices:
----------
-Take my word, and buy a tripod too for shooting non moving objects. You'll be able to shoot in lower light situations, and avoid handshake-related unsharp images.

- Forget jpeg-files. Shoot in Raw-files. Get a Raw-converter, an adequate and free one is RawShooter Essentials http://www.pixmantec.com/products/rawsh ... ntials.asp
The one delivered with the camera by Canon is not one to rave for.

- Make backups from your files. Get an additional harddrive, or an external harddrive, if your HD space is already limited.

- Read and learn the photography. The quality of the image is already decided, before you push the trigger. The effect, that you don't have a live-view LCD in your camera, can be thinked positive - you have to think before you take a picture. The camera is merely a device - you are the one taking pictures - not the Canon. "Great meal. What pots did you use?"

Dpreview has a popular forum http://www.dpreview.com/forums/ sign-in, and take part. I can also recommend Petteri Sulonens site, wich is very informative. http://www.prime-junta.net/

Good luck, and let us share some of your pictures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:25 pm
Posts: 1440
Location: Oakland CA
...looks like im too late. great choice in the camera, Ive got one too and used it for the Tour of California, it worked great after I figured out how to use.


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Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:55 am 


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