Help me pick a camera for ebay/forum sales.

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cameronh779

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First I would like to say, I am new to the forums and am happy to be a part of it.

I am looking for a fairly cheap camera to use for taking pictures of products to sell on forums. ebay, etc. I'm hoping to get some experience with backgrounds and things of that nature and want to have some decent looking photographs of my merchandise. I'm hoping to spend around 100 dollars.

I just simply want a cheap camera that takes decent pictures. I don't need anything too special. Hopefully its a model with some reviews that I can check out and samples of photographs would be almost a necessity for me.

I found an interesting read with a list of cameras for under or around my budget. LINK

Thanks everyone.
cameronh779
 

cameronh779

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First, thank you so much for responding. I am a member on other forums and this is one of the first informative posts I have received. If I may ask, why do you think the Nikon is the right pick? I have little to no experience with digital cameras and would like to know. I have also been told that it would be a good idea to get a tripod. One member actually said to spend the majority of my budget on a tripod and spend 25$ on a camera.

What is the difference in a 75$ tripod and one I can get for 10$? Is the Nikon something that I might be unsatisfied with in the future as far as the quality of my photos are?

Thank you again. I hope you can help me out.

cameronh779
 

Ubrales

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Why Nikon? Because Nikons are a cut above other good brands! I have used Nikon bodies and lenses (body + lens = camera) for over 30 years and I still have lenses that are over 25 years old and in perfect condition! These features are applicable to high end cameras for professionals, and the quality is reflected throughout the entire Nikon line. That's why I choose Nikon for my use.

A tripod is nice and is like incing on the cake. You do not need to start out with a tripod. I use my tripod less than 2% of the time, and that too when I shoot panoramic scenes (sunsets or skylines) in low light conditions at Chicago's lakefront. For this type of photography a tripod is a must and exposure times are too long for hand-holding the camera.

I suggest you start out with a good digital camera (Nikon) and then take several pictures on a daily basis until you get comfortable with the capability of your camera. Thank God that there is no 'film' to be wasted in today's digital cameras.

When you take pictures in moderate to bright light (not direct sunlight) the camera will set the exposure to a short exposure and hand holding the camera will work very well. Avoid direct sunlight (between 10 AM and 3 PM) as this will create dark shadows; under the subject's eyes for example. Surprisingly, this is when a 'fill-in flash' is required, but that is an advanced topic and I do not want to muddy the waters.

Here is some great reading: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
http://petapixel.com/2014/01/24/40-tips-take-better-photos/
http://www.wikihow.com/Take-Better-Photographs

Good luck, and don't hesitate to contact us!
 

Ubrales

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The difference between a $75 tripod and a $10 tripod is $65 - sorry, I couldn't help this!

Seriously, the $10 tripod might work for setting up the camera indoors on a table top for instance; and the tripod will be a short one when extended.

The $75 tripod will be rugged and strong enough to hold a heavy camera (or camcorder) outdoors. The tripod will be well built and will offer a good working height for the camera.

At this point you do not need either of these.

What I highly recommend and is a 'must' is a good neck strap (not shoulder sling) for any camera. Too many cameras end up in shallow water near tourist spots; cell phones too!
 

cameronh779

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I can't thank you enough! You truly helped me spend 100$ with those posts. I have spent two days trying to get a simple response from someone who knows more than I do and have had ZERO luck at all. If I can think of anything else I need I hope you don't mind if I send you a PM.

Thanks again! :)
cameronh779


EDIT: I do have one thing which I can take a simple ''no thats a not a good idea'' type answer. I had someone recommend that I buy a camera that was considered a proffesional use camera a year or two ago. The specific one he recommended was a Nikon Coolpix 5000. I'm not sure if this was a good idea because he was the one recommended that I spend 75$ on a tripod and 25$ on a camera.

Just to clarify one thing. I shop on ebay a lot and can find older cameras like this and I can find 100$ cameras for 40-50$. The Nikon I plan on getting I can find for 40$.

EDIT 2: I keep coming up with simple questions that I believe are so incredibly simple that research just doesn't answer them. Do I have to worry about tripod compatibility?

 

USAFRet

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For that level camera, I'd be wary of buying used from ebay. There are many good cameras in the $80-$100 range. Nikon/Canon/Fuji/etc.

True, buying the same thing used for $50 is a savings, but you lose the warranty, etc.

I recently I got my wife an $80 Fuji, and it takes pictures better than 80% of what you see on ebay.
A large part of picture taking is familiarity with the camera, and the eye and brain behind it.
 

cameronh779

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Familiarity with the camera is something I would have never considered being I have no experience with this. I'm glad you and Ubrales mentioned this as it seems to be a big part of taking quality pictures.

I understand the loss of the warranty but I am not seeing much else I am losing when buying used. I am seeing them for 20$ less brand new still in the box. I am glad you mentioned warranty because it is something I don't check out when purchasing used considering I have never had to use a warranty. What else am I losing buying used?

Thanks for the response!
cameronh779

 

Ubrales

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Two things come to mind.

1. I personally have not shopped eBay. I know others at who have with mixed results. Caveat Emptor!

2. Tripods are universal and there are no compatibility issues. The threads are 1/4-20 TPI. There is one other industrial quality tripod with different threads that is strong enough to support a car, but that is for professional movie (Hollywood) use. Those things cost hundreds of dollars.

One area where I recommend a good tripod is for video cameras and camcorders. Hand holding those will produce jerky videos. And a tripod for video should also have a 'fluid head' for smooth transitions and panning.

Come back here as often as you like. We are glad to help you!
 

cameronh779

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Thank you for the response.

I have only recently started shopping on Ebay because honestly I used to be afraid too. I have heard about scams and fraud so much it was only natural to be afraid but I have gotten used to it and learned how to protect myself when shopping on there and it has become an asset which I can enjoy and save money.

Thanks for confirming that I don't have to worry about tripod compatibility.

Do you guys know of a way to set up a cheap white background for capturing items? I'm thinking of two white posterboards set up in a 90 degree angle would be the simplest or a folded box with a white sheet over it. These are just the first things that come to mind. Any ideas?

cameronh779
 

Ubrales

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The possible pitfalls of buying used have been mentioned.

There is one major pitfall of buying 'New' from online merchants. And that is "USA" Vs "Imported".

For camera purposes "USA" means that it comes with a full manufacturer's warranty. "Imported" means that it is from the 'Grey Market' and does not come with any warranty. The product is the same (at least that's what they claim).

"USA" is the one I recommend and this is what I buy from B&H Photo..
 

USAFRet

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Familiarity with the camera is something I would have never considered being I have no experience with this. I'm glad you and Ubrales mentioned this as it seems to be a big part of taking quality pictures
Which exposure settings work right in your particular lighting condition, what setting is best for combat camera shake, which macro setting is best for your chosen distance....

You need to take a BUNCH of pictures to see what works best. And as digital only takes 'time' and not 'money', practice, practice, practice.
Every camera is a little different.

I have a good Fuji bridge camera (moving up to a DSLR soon), that takes quite good macro pics. But only after I took several hundred shots to see what settings worked best. If I handed it to my wife, it would be a few months before she could get those same results.

What else am I losing buying used?
Did the last guy drop it? and maybe not notice some function isn't quite right...
 

cameronh779

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Its definitely worth considering. I will see if I can find something used with still at least a year of warranty left although I am not sure what kind of warranty they come with new. I'll shop around a little for my options. I'll give myself a few days to mull it over. I have to thank you a lot for helping me come to a decision so I can be at the point of checking out options of buying instead of options of WHAT to buy.

What do you think about the ''white background'' ideas on my post above?

cameronh779
 

Ubrales

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A white background will be too bright. Try an off-white (almond) or light pastel colors to give you the desired effect. Shoot some pictures and check them out.

A great editing program is Photoshop; requires quite a bit of learning. A free program almost as good is GIMP (Graphical Image Manipulation Program). This too has a learning curve but it is a free program. There are other free editing programs too.
 

cameronh779

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You bring up good points about buying used. I will have to really think about my options.

Thanks for talking a little more about the practice that is actually involved with taking photos. I would have never guessed that it takes any sort of practice except with deciding what is a good picture not how to take it.

cameronh779
 

cameronh779

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I have used GIMP before back in the myspace days, haha! What do you think that this can add to my pictures of items that I want to post? Can this change the entire color of a background setting whenever I use a solid color? Did you think my poster board idea sounds applicable?

cameronh779
 

cameronh779

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See I try to focus on the % im saving rather than the dollar amount. That is only a 7% difference between the 1000$ savings and the 40$ savings. I don't know if this is a good habit of mine or a bad one. My financial instincts says good but I still feel the same as you that its 40$ not 1000$.

cameronh779
 

USAFRet

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Unless this is a serious moneymaking operation, you don't need Photoshop.
Another good, free option is Paint.net.

Just as with the camera, the software takes practice...:wahoo:

Currently, I use Adobe Lightroom. Under $100.

I also have a lightbox. Just a wooden box, painted white on the inside, with 4 bright light sources.
You can make one from foam posterboard.
 

Ubrales

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Yes your poster-board idea will work and will work well. You can always change the color if desired. Pastels will look easier on the eyes.

The photography guides I posted will help with taking better pictures.
 
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