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Old August 21, 2014, 01:25 PM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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The Camera

I buy sell face local to private individuals for the majority of my addiction.
For some reason, people always want photos. Not a dozen photos truly documenting condition, but a few. Almost as if they can't look up the gun on google to see what it actually looks like. I have used my cell phone to take these photos, but the results are pitiful. Any blemish on the gun almost certainly will not show up anyways. Which might sound good, but it really just wastes a trip. I did have someone refuse a purchase once saying the photos were not representative. I'd like to have something I could take a dozen photos with, including close-ups of any blemishes.
I have an Ipad with a camera that would work, but I do not wish to use it as it stores location information in the photo. As that is becoming more and more common with multi-use devices I would also like to avoid using anything with a cell or internet connection rather than trying to figure out what does and does not store GPS location. I really don't need to post coordinates to my house online with a picture of what can be found there. I need a dedicated camera.

The last camera I picked out was mickey mouse themed and had to be wound after each shot. Since I carry a cell phone with a camera that seems to do fine for informal outdoor/distance shots I really only need this for photographing firearms or other things I sell on-line. I do not want to spend a lot of money. I do not want a proprietary battery. A standard USB mini like used to charge androids would be super convenient to upload the photos.

I know some of you take incredible photos with perfect lighting using thousand dollar plus cameras so I assume you know what your doing. Could you give me an idea what features I need to look for in a camera to take these short range medium detail indoor photos well enough that they are representative? I usually put a solid color sheet or blanket on a table or the floor as a back drop.

I know some nice cameras come up on craigslist fairly cheap. Is there anything specific I should worry about with a used camera?

I know there is another thread running that sort of brushed on the subject of poor photo quality with cell phones, so I'm not the only one with the problem.
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Old August 21, 2014, 01:54 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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You can turn off geotagging on your ipad:

http://www.imore.com/how-to-turn-off...cy-iphone-ipad

If you want to buy a camera, buy anything you care to spend money on. Even the crappiest cameras today are light-years ahead of some of the best from as few as 5 years ago and certainly 10 years ago. Your needs are simple, don't make it complicated.

That said, this is more than slightly marginal on the "gun related" but we'll let it run for a few replies.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 21, 2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Old August 21, 2014, 02:11 PM   #3
DaleA
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I can add just a little here...I toss out a couple 'important' concepts and let the guys that really understand them and are good at explaining them run with the topics.

MACRO - make sure the camera has a macro feature so you can take very very close pictures of tiny parts on the gun.

Light - light, light light...this is what photography is all about. Getting the light into the right places..just enough light, not too much light, the right kind of light. What the blank am I talking about??? Some guys with just cardboard boxes and white towels have made 'light boxes' they put their guns in for photos and in their photos (these are the guys that understand light) you can read the inscriptions on the gun, appreciate the finish, check out the checkering on the wood grips...etc etc etc. And the best part is this is pretty cheap, doesn't need much equipment. There are threads right here about light boxes. Best part is with ANY kind of digital camera you can take a couple hundred pictures messing around with the lights, see the results immediately and erase them and about all it costs is battery life. (Get rechargeable batteries)

Good Luck
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Old August 21, 2014, 04:08 PM   #4
g.willikers
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^^^
Just like our guns, successful camera work is more about the camera operator than the camera.
There's plenty of books and web sites that explain how to make really good pictures of guns and other similar things.
Do a web search of "how to take good pictures of gun" and there's pages of info.
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Old August 21, 2014, 04:46 PM   #5
DavidAGO
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I have a used Nikon DX40, it is about 5 years old, takes great pics with the standard lens even in the macro mode.

David
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Old August 21, 2014, 06:53 PM   #6
Ridge_Runner_5
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Pick up a cheap digital camera from a pawn shop for ~$30 and go to town. If your computer doesn't have one built in, you can get a USB memory card reader, or just plug the camera directly into the computer.
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Old August 21, 2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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What helps for great photos is to build yourself a light box. Google that for the how-to - it will eliminate all background (unless you add something to the box for contrast). My wife uses one for her jewelry making and it makes the jewelry look like it is just floating in a sea of white
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Old Yesterday, 02:24 AM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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Light box...
I've go a shower insert cardboard box, a few 1X2s, some leftover white paint, and a few halogen work lights.
Can't be that hard to duct tape it all together.

MACRO feature.

Quote:
That said, this is more than slightly marginal on the "gun related" but we'll let it run for a few replies.
I printed that out to give to my wife when she asks why we suddenly have a rifle sized white box sitting on the kitchen table and I come home with a new camera.
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Old Yesterday, 11:25 AM   #9
Smokey Joe
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Good, cheap, camera...

John Williamson--Forgive me if I'm wrong; my impression is you're not well experienced in photography. That being the case, I would recommend that you NOT go to a pawn shop to get a camera.

The pawn shop guy will probably also know little about photography, and therefore can't advise you. (To get a good deal in a pawn shop, you just about HAVE to know what you're doing.)

Likewise on line--A clear, technical (and honest) description of the camera in question may or may not tell you what you need to know about it--How would you know?

So my suggestion is, to go to a local, well-established, bricks-and-mortar camera store (NOT the photo department of Wally World!) and get the advice of a knowledgeable human sales person. And you can handle and compare the camera(s) under discussion.

It'll cost you a bit more up front (though a good point-and-shoot camera nowadays can be quite reasonable!) but you will know that you got what you need, and will be told how to use it to get what you want for results. don't be afraid to ask questions--That's what the camera salesman is there for.

The above suggestions re: a cheap light box and rechargeable batteries are good, IMX. Likewise to get a card reader--NEVER plug your camera directly into your computer nor your printer. And you are right on with your plain blanket background for photographing firearms (that's what I use, too.)

Best of all, you won't be likely to become dissatisfied, and have to spend more time & $$ running around searching up what you need because what you got doesn't do what you want. Good knowledgeable advice is like gold.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; Yesterday at 11:50 AM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM   #10
johnwilliamson062
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I already use rechargeable batteries for everything except backpacking/hunting. Too much trouble with them not holding their charge as well as I thought they would to use them places where I don't have electric.

I can make 3-4 craigslist mistakes in order to get a good one before the advice I get at that camera store is worth it.

I think the macro function was really the key to my question. I will have to find out a bit more about that, but then I think I will started hunting in the craigslist clasiffieds.
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Old Yesterday, 12:41 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Go to WalMart and find the Canon or Nikon camera that meets your budget. Buy that one. You don't need an expensive camera. Heck, I've got one that I'd sell you. It was about $350 a few years back. I replaced it last year with one that has far more zoom and 2x the MP rating along with a far, far better sensor... for about $295. I think the old one is 8MP and 12x zoom? I'd have to check. I'm guessing it might be worth $50. It would be over-kill in the extreme for taking pictures of guns.
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-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
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