camera questions

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Kevinkrey, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I got a new computer:rolleyes:, well at least I did at christmas, so its probably already seems ancient. Well anyway, I would like to post pictures on the internet of my train layout, I have the computer but no camera. In order to post pictures what equipment will I need? What kind of camera would work best for taking layout pictures?

    Oh yeah,how do I post pictures after I have everything?
    No need to ask, the answer is yes, I do feel stupid.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Look in the photo forum for instructions on how to post. As for a camera, prety much anything is doable... i.e. there are lots of different approaches.

    If you are (not so) old school, you can take film images, and have them put on CD or scan the prints.

    But if you are looking for digital imaging, anything from a cell phone camera up to the latest top of the line $10,000+ camera will work.

    Regardless of the camera, the quality of image you will need for posting on the web is far less than almost all cameras are capable of these days (even cellphone cameras are now measured in megapixels). At most, you will need an image of 800x600 or less at about 72dpi resolution (which is the screen resolution). More than that, and the image either gets really big, or you are capturing quality that is not visible. If you want to print, you will need about 300 dpi resolution minimum.

    For good layout pictures, a few things to think about:

    - a macro function for getting really close
    - no digital zoom (or turn it off)
    - a tripod is always useful
    - a way to compensate for the lighting (colour shift) - this might be done after the fact with image software like Photoshop or PhotoElements

    There are lots of advanced "point and shoot" cameras available, and they are getting cheaper and smarter all the time. I am very happy with my Canon G5, and I had a G2 before that.

    Spend some time at a camera shop if you can, explaining what you want to do. Walmart may have the best price, but they won't likely have the know-how and advice you might want.

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I have seen cameras advertised for around $100 that were in the 3-5 megapixel range with a 3X optical zoom. Something like that would be more than sufficient. Some include a memory card, but a 128 meg card usually runs well under $50 and that's good for at least a hundred photos at the maximum resolution. Just about every camera has automatic settings and the flash is automatic as well. I'd opt to turn off the flash and use natural or flood lighting. Usually when I set up a shot, I'll try it with flash as well as either flood or overhead lights or natural lighting if I can. Sometimes one is better than the other and I just keep the best.

    Also, the tips that Andrew lists are valuable ones. There are a number of free photo editing programs available to do download. You'll need one to at least resize your pictures, change the "quality" to get the filesize you need and also to crop the photo when necessary.

    Once you have your photo ready to upload, read the tutorial here. If you're still having problems, then by all means contact one of the mods or myself for help.
  4. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Wal-Mart has many good cameras ranging from $90 on up. Try them out on close-up shots before purchasing one. I've seen cheaper cameras that take really good close-up photos, On the other hand, I've seen a lot of expensive ones that can't capture a good close-up shot for anything.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Bear in mind that "close-ups" in model railroading can reveal some things that you may not wish to see, especially if you subscribe to the "3-foot rule".

    Most cameras, unless equipped with special lenses or extension tubes, cannot focus closer than about 8-12", even in macro mode. So the other way to get a close-up is to actually move away, and use the zoom to get "close". This has other impacts on the photo, such as depth of field and compressing the depth of the photo. But some might argue that this makes your shot more like that of a prototypical subject, so enhances its realism.

  6. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    thanks for the advice everybody.:wave: I am in journalism at school so I do get to use a very nice (from what I can tell) camera and I am learning. I do not know what all the buttons do:confused: and I have had some experience with photoshop. I do think I will go to a storer and ask someone what will work. Do you think I could get good advise at a Best Buy?
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have actually had some pretty good luck at my local Best Buy versus the poor performance at the Future Shop right next door. So maybe... I still think you'll get the best advice from a dedicated camera shop. There's nothing to say that you have to buy there after getting the info...! Maybe they'll match prices if you ask. I know most of the ones left around here will.

    Good luck!

  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The buttons and knobs on every camera are different, as are the menus on the LCD. Basically you'll need the users manual for whatever camera you have to explain how to use it. There are however, commonalities between cameras. I cut out an article a few years ago from one of the PC magazines that explain a lot of the general settings and how to use them. I can't find the article, but I'll bet if you go on the Internet and search for common digital camera settings, I'll bet you will find quite a bit of information you could use to get started.
  9. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    There is a cmera on sale I fond for $98. I think it would work but it is a Kodak C613. Below is info from kodaks website. would this be an ok camera how about for the price, oh, and how would it work with a real train, not to hard to do, the missabe ore trains can be slow moving.

    Stunning pictures. Spectacular price.

    6.2 MP camera for prints up to 20 × 30 in. (50 × 76 cm)
    3X optical zoom lens
    Digital image stabilization
    2.4 in. (6.1 cm) indoor/outdoor color display
    High ISO
    Advanced video features
    16 scene and 3 color modes

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