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What camera to buy... what backgrounds to use...

Discussion of photography, editing and publishing techniques

What camera to buy... what backgrounds to use...

Postby ottoatm » Thu Nov 27, 2003 4:52 am

Hola all -

After much collecting (for my dwindling budget, anyway), I think I'm ready to get a little digital camera and make small "publishing" attempts... graphical software has never been a problem, but I did have two questions for anyone kind/wise enough to answer...

1 - Any ideas about digital cameras? I'm not sure which to get in terms of megapixels, or if it would be beneficial (aka, worth the $$) to get some sort of tripod, or other accesories.

2 - Where do you all get those wonderful backgrounds (mountains, trees, hills, etc)? I've checked high and low, and always seem to get hoplessly lost when navigating "fibblesnork"?

Those are the biggest questions on my mind... I must say, the custom MOC stuff here blows this beginner away... :shock:
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Postby Christopher McCleerey » Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:46 am

Hey ottoatm!

I can't help!

Not reassuring, is it. I need similar info though so I'd like to try and help to get a response.
We are comrads Sir Ottoatm!

So, how bout it photographers? I see all you posting MOC pics. Give us a hand. :wink:

In addition to ottoatm's questions:
What kind of cameras do you guys use?
I have several cheap camers (like 3) which are each good for different things but none of them will focus and give me decent pics of small objects like minifigs.

Well here goes.
BUMP

Please forgive my bad manners but I'm pulling my hair out with these worthless camers here.
:evil:
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Postby architect » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:03 pm

Hi Guys,

I recently got a 3.3 megapixel camera but I am still learning to focus it. See my poor attempts here:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=64638

For backgrounds I suggest the back of a white poster or possible white walls. This minimizes the backgrounds and allows you to photo edit and remove the background.

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/BenjaminE/CityGate/1front.jpg

I hope that helps.

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Postby architect » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:03 pm

Hi Guys,

I recently got a 3.3 megapixel camera but I am still learning to focus it. See my poor attempts here:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=64638

For backgrounds I suggest the back of a white poster or possibly white walls. This minimizes the backgrounds and allows you to photo edit and remove the background.

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/BenjaminE/CityGate/1front.jpg

I hope that helps.

Ben E.
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Postby Bruce N H » Thu Dec 04, 2003 6:38 pm

I use an Olympus Camedia c-50 5.0 megapixel digital camera. I've never bothered to get a tripod as I just make a 4x4 stack of bricks to prop the camera on (and I can easily adjust the height of this). Some people swear by natural lighting, but I'm usually photographing at night, so I use a desk lamp, but I have to shift it around to avoide reflected glare. After photographing I use Adobe Photoshop 4.0.1 to crop, adjust contrast, sharpen, and occasionally add special effects. As a general rule I take lots more pictures than I show, so I can choose among different angles, lighting, etc. As far as backgrounds, I just use either a light blue (daytime) or dark blue (nighttime) cloth as a backdrop. I haven't tried to paste my MOC photos into a real life photograph. Kevin Hall does a great job at this:
http://www.ozbricks.com/andrastavia/03o ... xtra2.html
Michael Hopkins has a tutorial on photographing LEGO here:
http://www.baylug.org/ninja/original/Photography.html

Admins: that would be a good link to add to the "how to" section of this site.

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Postby Christopher McCleerey » Sat Dec 06, 2003 3:22 am

Hi architect,
Your pics are still way better than what I've been getting with my cameras. Guess I do need to purchace a real camera.

Hello Bruce,
Thanks for that link. It's good to see what to do once one has the right equipment.

Thankyou both for your camera specs! Good to know what's nessisary if I want any decent pics. I don't think I'll be getting one like those until after the holidays though.

Thanks again!
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Postby lemon_squeezer2 » Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:03 pm

I use my dad's 1.2 megapixel Sony Mavica camera. It's not THE best, but it works pretty well.


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Postby ottoatm » Sun Dec 07, 2003 10:01 am

Hi all -

Thanks for the feedback - a lot of tips (brick tripod, multiple shots, and all the web references, to name a few) I hadn't considered. I had seen Kevin Halls great site, but not the other, which had a lot of great info... thanks!

I'll see what I can come up w/ in the future, and agree w/ the previous poster... these links would be great additions for the "how to" area...
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:22 am

Generally speaking, if what you are primarily going to do is web graphics or printing at maybe 5x7, then a 2 megapixel camera is probably fine. The more megapixels the camera has, essentially the larger you can print - 3 megapixels is good out to about 8x11.5, 4 more like 11x14 or a little larger, and a 5 megapixel starts getting towards 16x20. More pixels also means you can crop and still retain image quality at a large print size, so you have greater control of the final image.

For Lego enthusiasts, you'll want to make sure your camera has a macro (close-up) feature so that you can get in tight. Not all macros are created equal - one camera might have a minimum focal distance of 4 inches, another over a foot.

My Minolta DImage S404 four megapixel camera takes photos at 2272 x 1704 pixels. My 17-inch monitor is set to 1024 x 768, so the actual photo displays full size considerably larger than. A 2 megapixel camera takes photos at 1600 x 1200, a 1 megapixel camera at 1280 x 960.

Of course, it isn't just a matter of megapixels - usually the smaller (megapixel-wise) cameras have lesser lenses, poorer imaging, less features, etc. Not always, but more demanding photographers generally want the greater imaging power along with the features and quality.
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Postby Christopher McCleerey » Wed Dec 10, 2003 7:05 am

Ah. Macro feature. I must look into this.

Thanks for all the other info too. Very helpful!
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Postby groovyd2001 » Tue Dec 30, 2003 3:06 am

The camera that I recomend is the one that I use it's the canon A80 it can take extreamly good quality pictures and record vedio on it to (the bigger the MB chip you have the more vedio you can record) the MP is 4.0 so thats pretty good. You really don't need any accessories for taking pictures I belive. For editing pictures what I recomend is Adobe Photoshop because of all the freedom you have in it. I hope that was of some help to you :D :D :D :D
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