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#1 Dr.Marie

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 09:24 AM

I'm going to make a purchase of a good digital camera so I can take good quality pictures (and possibly video) for content on my site. Any recommendations?

#2 EGOL

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:23 AM

It depends what you want to take photos of.... If you are taking photos of items about the size of a coffee cup or larger and don't need to show fine detail then almost any digital camera costing $200 to $300 will work fine.

However, if you are going to take photos of tiny objects (such as seeds) or you want to show close-ups of larger objects (such as the threads in fabric) then a really good camera and a tripod will work a lot better. We bought a Canon Rebel XTi with a macro lens (about $1000) and are getting great results.
http://www.usa.canon...lxti/index.html

From our experience the greater challenge is lighting, especially if you are taking photos of reflective objects that are made from glass or metal. To solve that we bought four OttLites which work well for getting rid of all shadows when taking photos of small items.
http://www.ottlite.c...-desk-lamp.aspx

#3 cre8pc

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

I had a very nice smaller digital camera but switched to the Canon Rebel, got a telephoto lens and WOW, what a difference! I love it. I needed something that captured fast action at night time (son's football games). Nothing did the job until I got my Rebel :)

I use my FLIP for videos because I can edit and add music, share with ease and the FLIP is affordable. Only negative is distance. I have two Flips (original and last year's newbie) and neither could manage distance very well, like parents sitting in stands filming sports.

#4 EGOL

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

There you go... two votes for Canon Rebel. One for ultra close and one for telephoto. Lots of different lenses, filters, etc. to take photos of whatever you want.

#5 Dr.Marie

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:37 PM

Well it's decided then...I'm going to get a Canon Rebel. Does anyone have the T2i or T1i that also shoots video?

I have a flip that we bought for taking quick videos of our little girl. For $100 it is pretty neat...but the quality is not great.

I have lots of opportunity to shoot good video at my work which would make great content for my site. The video Canon Rebels are only about $100 or so more expensive than the ones without so I think that's what I'll do.

#6 iamlost

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:49 AM

I have lots of opportunity to shoot good video at my work which would make great content for my site.

Please be aware that pets are legally considered chattel, the personal property of their owner. As such I strongly urge that you have the owners of the pets you photograph sign a model release form.

Note: in the above 'model' means that the photo is a representation of the subject(s).
Note: in the above 'release' means released from liability.

Given that your business and your professional status are, at least, implied authority behind both your site(s) and thus the reason for the photos, and that at least some may be taken or requested on the business premises proper releases may well be critical.

Please note that you need to consider not only the laws and regulations of where you live and work but also that of where your site is hosted. So, a model release is a real simple solution to what could be a complex problem.

Edited by iamlost, 24 January 2011 - 03:51 AM.


#7 Dr.Marie

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 08:54 AM

Ah, thank you.

I think I kind of knew this in the back of my head the whole time, but didn't want to acknowledge it.

I suppose it makes no difference whether or not the pet is identified? For example, if I wanted to take a picture of a lump on a dog's paw, but the face of the dog isn't identified, would I still need to get permission for this?

I can see myself getting verbal permission from clients, but a release is going to be more difficult (or perhaps just awkward).

#8 tam

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:08 PM

I think there is an exclusion for editorial use which would presumably apply as long as you were just using the images to illustrate advice/articles? Might be worth reading the terms on how that applies.

Is so would ask permission out of courtesy, maybe add a note to their notes that you took a photo with permission, and use cropped images showing the issue so it wasn't identifiable.

#9 jsteele823

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:06 PM

I had a Canon once. Only kept it less than a week. Could have just been a bad experience, but I didn't care for the quality of the pictures it was taking.

That was 6 years ago.

We now have a Nikon D3100 that we simply love. Just ordered a SB600 lens that I can't wait to get.

#10 iamlost

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:17 PM

I am neither an attorney nor a professional photographer. :)

Personally, given certain vagaries when I did get advice years ago and the potential problems of multiple jurisdictions I have always acquired a model release for photos I took or a copyright release when the picture was by another.
1. it minimises liability.
Note: while a photo can be taken in public without permission that does not hold with pictures taken in private, i.e. your office. Further, even when taken in public, jurisdictions differ as to publication rights; yes, they do differentiate between photography and publication.
Note: while there is substantive difference between editorial use (as tam mentions) and commercial use you would be walking a fine line - a case might be made either way.

2. it maximises ownership, i.e. DMCA.

3. it maximises emotive impact, where desired.
By this I mean that while 'dog with ringworm' is an adequate caption it does not engage the viewer as does 'Yorkshire Terrier displaying signs of ringworm', which is not as powerfully personal as 'Dotty, a Yorkshire Terrier, loved by Mrs. J. Doe of Guelph, Ontario, displaying signs of ringworm'.

Of course adding personal identification raises inherent risk if working without a release.

Releases are actually quite simple. I suggest checking with a local professional photographer (most lawyers are untutored in this area, as with copyright). The following is a simple basic example:

MODEL RELEASE

For consideration received, I hereby grant to _____ ("photographer'), and his or her legal representatives and assigns, the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of me or of my pets, or in which I or my pets may be included, for editorial trade, advertising, and any other purpose and in any manner or medium; and to alter same without restriction. I hereby release photographer and his or her legal representatives and assigns from all claims and liability relating to said photographs.

Name:
Date:
Mailing Address:
Phone:
Email:

Parent or Guardian (if Model is under 18):
Signature:
Date:

I note that just as people do the silliest things to 'be on TV' they are often willing to sign a release if their name might be used. :)

We each get to assess risk and act accordingly.


<<<added>>>

I suppose it makes no difference whether or not the pet is identified? For example, if I wanted to take a picture of a lump on a dog's paw, but the face of the dog isn't identified, would I still need to get permission for this?

Yes.

Edited by iamlost, 24 January 2011 - 01:23 PM.


#11 Ron Carnell

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

I've had a Rebel since 2005, and have used Canon cameras in general going back several decades (I had a professional studio in the mid-Seventies, and even after selling that, I kept a private studio until 1996). The Rebel is really hard to beat, except maybe by the next generation of Rebel; it just keeps getting better.

However, having said that, I bought a Canon Powershot SD780 last year, one of those tiny things you can slip into a shirt pocket, and use it CONSTANTLY. It doesn't have the range (micro or macro) of the Rebel, but the pictures are almost as good and it's a whole lot more convenient to carry around. Video is decent, too, though I've recently started looking at the Canon VIXIA HF M32 camcorder.

Kim, the speed and low-light capabilities depend less on the camera than on the lens. Canon has some lenses you'd probably hate for action shots. Of course, that's why an SLR, with interchangeable lenses, is such a great idea.

Egol, you might want look into a light tent for your close-up work? Here's a quick example I found via Google in case you've never seen one? It's typically much easier to eliminate unwanted shadows and the diffused light is very complimentary.

Marie . . . always get a release before publishing. Always. The good news is that you'll find it's a lot easier than you might think. People are almost always flattered when you ask. I personally would NOT ask for anything except name, date, and signature on the release. People who wouldn't think twice about giving permission are sometimes much more hesitant to share personal information. Of course, if you are already privy to such information it's obviously not an issue.

#12 EGOL

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:51 PM

Ron,

Thank you VERY much. That light tent looks great. Shadows and bulb reflections make me cuss a lot. I think that the light tent will eliminate both. The price is not bad too.

I appreciate the help.

E

#13 JPRoss

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:10 PM

I have a Canon PowerShot S3 IS and love it. I'm a hobbyist level photographer. Have blown images up and printed them 18x24 and they're beautiful.

#14 Stephen

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:43 AM

Hi -

Just wanted to chime in about the value of a light tent. At Stowe Craft Gallery we take photos of art, crafts made in every material and jewelry. After many years a several different cameras, I have found that a light tent is many times more important than which camera is used.

We have 2 sizes of light tents and a set of fluorescent lights on stands. These new lights are daylight balanced. You can leave them on and adjust them all day long without them getting hot. So much easier to use than the old, hot photo lamps. Take a look at this site. It is full of tips, instructions and inexpensive extras that will make you feel like a pro.

Best to all in this wonderful forum

Stephen

#15 Dr.Marie

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:44 PM

Well, I just bought a Canon Rebel T2i today and I love it! It's very easy to use and takes good photos. Here's my cat Sally:

Posted Image

#16 tommr

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:38 PM

Ansel Adams said the most important part of a camera is the 12" directly behind it.

A camera used for pictures on a web site does not need to be very expensive at all.

I used a olympus 2000z for the photos of ornaments on my site and this camera can be bought on ebay for $20.00. A good photo is more about composition and light control.

When I bought a DSLR I went with Nikon as I have lenses from my film cameras.

I like the light tent approach and this can be made up with any light diffusing material and enough lights.

One of the important issues for proper imaging is white balance. Modern DSLR cameras have settings that allow the user to set the options for sunlight, incandescent, florescent and much more.

Here is a good site for camera reviews and how to information.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

#17 hqjohnst

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:14 PM

I like the Rebel too. Good choice!

#18 Dr.Marie

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:55 PM

I have no regrets in my purchase! I'm taking really good pictures. In fact, we're going to buy a wide angle lens (which costs as much as the camera did) and use it for our real estate photos as well. My photos were almost as good as the professional photographer's photos...and it's not because I'm super awesome at photography. The camera makes it easy!



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