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Macro Camera Recommendations
Ohio, United States
Joined: June 03, 2011
KitMaker: 163 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 05:05 PM UTC
I plan on buying a new digital camera whose sole purpose will be to photograph my models for around 200-250$...Does anyone have any recommendations on a close-up picture taking camera? What type of features are important when looking for a macro camera (close up)? Best brands?
Vendee, France
Joined: December 22, 2006
KitMaker: 1,437 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 11:30 AM UTC

Well, I have used three cameras till today. The first (and most of my build logs were photographed with) was an ordinary Sony DSCW -120. Than I chose to buy (like you do) a camera only for taking pics of my models. I wanted a really "pro" bridge for a little money (mow budget of around 100EUR = 130USD). If you take a look on the Puma in the gallery on the homepage you'll see the results. I wasn't quite happy as bigger (longer) models were not so sharp as I would like to. Than... I saw a brilliant photos over ML. I asked what camera they were taken with. I thought of some stuff for several hundred of EUR but... the answer was... Nikon D50 wwith 18-55 mm objectif got the same one (for around 140EUR) over ebay and .. the life is not the same ever since. I'm not a photographer so I can't say why but a old DSLR camera gives great results often much better than a newer generation compact or bridge).


Queensland, Australia
Joined: July 10, 2011
KitMaker: 653 posts
Historicus Forma: 54 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 11:56 AM UTC
Cameras are getting to be pretty much of a muchness nowadays, I have seen some stunning results out of really cheap pocket cameras.

For my money it is a DSLR all the way. Interchangeable lenses and full manual modes are the only way to go.

To take a good photo of a model you need a camera that will allow you to directly control the aperture setting or f number, Big number = small aperture = good depth of field.

If you're not going for a DSLR then you need to think long and hard about how you're going to set up to photograph you models. The simple cameras are designed to take "perfect" photos every time so you need to understand what the camera is doing so you can generate that set up to get a good photo.

The biggest trap is "Macro" of usually shown as a flower setting on your camera. This setting is actually the worst setting you can use for shooting a model. Why? well it is set up to take the "classic" close up shot where the subject is in focus and the background all blurry. If you do this on a model you'll get a pic that focuses over a very small area so with a tank you'll see the turret great but the back is out of focus and if you have the barrel pointing at the camera well you'll hardly see it at all. You need to maximise you depth of field.

I'd use the landscape mode and make sure the model is well lit with 2 or even 3 good strong light sources, above and from either side. Natural light is great but does give very harsh shadows so if you can in fill with other lights all well and good. That should get the aperture closed down and give good DoF.

Don't worry about getting too close, with a good camera you can shoot from a bit farther away and crop it down later.

As for brands, I have used Canon for years and never had a drama.

The perfect set up is:

Light box, you can get them of eBay really cheap, gives a good background and easy to control and diffuse light.

Camera on a tripod so the aperture can be small, DoF large, and shutter speed low.

Camera can shoot "RAW" mode pictures so you can fiddle with it later.

Hope that helps.