View Full Version : Which Digital camera are Recommended??

12-10-2007, 03:28 AM

I wont to Buy a Digitalcamera to take Photos about my paintings and post in this forum. Until today, i take the fotos by my Handy-camera which has 1 Mpixels BUT as i see she "takes" the colors not so good.

I wont to spend money for a digitalcamera with minimum requirements!

What must this camera have ?? (Mpixels, focus, etc.)


Pat Isaac
12-10-2007, 09:31 AM
I have a 4 megapixel camera with 10x zoom. This has worked very well for me until recently, but I think that is just because the camera is old and there is now something wrong with it. Many of the newer cameras have 6 to 8 megapixels and these would be fine.


12-10-2007, 09:45 AM
It's a bit hard for me to give advice as the camera I use to photograph my paintings is now 8 years old. It's 3 megapixels and 4x optical zoom, and works fine for the purpose. We have recently bought a larger one with 6 megapixels and 10x zoom for taking landscape photos. I was looking in Consumer Reports magazine for suggestions for you but they don't seem to review ones with less than 6 megapixels these days. I do know that you can get more megapixels for less money than we paid for our original because prices have been coming down. You might check on-line for camera reviews, paying special attention to ratings of the picture quality. Our old camera was a Minolta but they aren't being made anymore. Our new one is a Fujifilm and we like it a lot. You might also post your question in the Computers/Technology forum or the Digital painting forum. Jane

12-10-2007, 10:23 AM
Get a camera with an "Optical Zoom" This will allow you to get close to animals, especially wildlife. The higher the zoom the better ie: 10X, 12X etc. Most cameras today are 6 to 8 or more megapixels. This refers to the size of the final picture. The higher the mega-pixel the clearer the detail in the photos will be, but the more expensive the camera will be also.

Cannon makes an excellent camera, but it is a little pricey.:thumbsup:

12-10-2007, 01:04 PM
You've gotten some good advice here, and now, right before the Holidays, seems to be a good time to buy, as I've noticed a lot of digital cameras advertised at great prices.

I have a Nikon P2, which I love, but which has been replaced by newer models. Some other features I wish mine had, and that you might want to consider, are a high ISO (the limit on mine is 400, but there are many cameras now with 800 and above), which will allow you to take photos in low light conditions, and "image stabilization" which reduces or eliminates problems with blurriness as a result of slight camera movement when you're taking a shot.

Sometimes you can get especially good deals on cameras when there's been a newer model introduced. I got my camera that way, which has additional features beyond a pure "beginners" model, but which came at a "beginners" model price. The people in the Photo Equipment forum are quite knowledgeable and very helpful, so it would be a good idea to ask your question there: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=351

12-11-2007, 10:06 AM

When you get your new camera it could even be less expensive than your original 1 megapixel camera :D. The digital point and shoot cameras have really come down in price.

I've had a lot of luck with my point and shoot digital camera and that is only 5 megapixels and 4X optical zoom. I can get really good 8" x 10" prints from that camera with beautiful colors and clarity (Nikon Coolpix 5400). But, as many people have said, most cameras nowadays have a lot more megapixels.

If you are using the camera mainly for taking photos of your work, then less megapixels (now maybe about 6 to 8 megapixels are pretty normal) and about 3x or 4x optical zoom is fine. However, if you are planning to take reference photos outdoors, you will be happier getting a camera with more optical zoom (8x, 10x or sometimes even 12x optical zoom - please do not get fooled by digital zoom - this doesn't help the quality of your photo).

Do you like getting macro (very close up and detailed) pictures? If you do, then you will want to look for one that is good at "macro" or "close up" photos. I like this feature for getting really close to flowers and detailed shots of my finished work. Another good feature to have is what they call "IS" or image stability. Although not necessary because a good tripod will work just fine, it helps to have the extra IS feature for sharper photos.

Both Nikon and Canon make really good cameras that are easy to use. I have bought both brands at various times and have been satisfied with them.

To give you an idea of camera prices (although these are in US dollars), here is a page from Crutchfield: http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/Group/ProductMenu.aspx?g=11310&tp=262

To get better reviews of cameras you are interested in, you can go here: http://www.megapixel.net/html/reviews.php to look up the models that you are curious about. It will also give you an idea of approximate prices.

Good luck with finding your new camera! :wave:

12-11-2007, 08:58 PM
I've been happy with Canon. I just got my third ;gave first one to son, and now have a pocket-size 3x optical zoom that I keep in my purse and take everywhere, and a new S5 1S with 12x zoom for more complicated stuff. Anyway, they are known for having good lenses and probably have something that suits your needs and prices.

12-12-2007, 11:58 AM
This is certainly not minimum but, for anyone considering upgrading, a digital SLR (single lens reflex) is certainly worth the investment if you can stretch the budget. I used to use a film SLR, then got a digital point and shoot which was great for photo manipulation and cost savings. This year I stretched the budget and got a Sony Alpha 10.2 megapixel digital SLR. Sony had bought the Minolta company and this camera has the Minolta technology. Well the difference in photo quality is amazing and it was like using a film camera again. The colours are rich and it really captures the light and details which I had missed with the point and shoot. The reference photos I use already look like paintings and are much easier to use. One added advantage is that the files of the photos of my paintings are large enough to be used for eventual commercial reproduction.

No matter what camera you have, take lots of photos and try out all the different settings. You can always delete the ones that you don't like and it doesn't really cost more. I often use the "sunset" setting even at midday. It makes the blues less overwhelming and enriches the reds, yellows and greens. It's a bit similar to a higher ISO on a film camera.

I hope some of this is helpful...


12-12-2007, 11:41 PM
So you forgo scans and use your digital camera to photograph your paintings for reproduction? How do you get even illumination and eliminate distortion? Do you have a special set-up? At 300 dpi, you would be able to get a maximum of 10" square -- do you use algorithmic upsampling for poster sizes?

12-13-2007, 01:09 AM
Hi Pandemonium, I can only speak from recent experience as to the reproduction of an oil painting. The painting had been already sold and is inaccessible. I am waiting for the proofs to be sent to me. A scan existed for the painting and I had seen a reproduction from the scan where the three dimensional effect of the brush strokes was flattened. I talked long distance to the printer and he said that they preferred working from properly lit photographs of the artwork. For a 16" x 20" reproduction he said they needed a 3.5 - 4 MB file. I sent him several photographs (3.9 - 4.6 MB), some of which I had corrected in Photoshop Elements using the healing brush for the glints of light and the skew/distort to square up the image. He said they were very good quality and that there would be no problem in reproducing them. I would imagine that they would be doing algorithmic upsampling. When I want to print out only a small portion of an image I resample it and it works fine for my purposes. I wish I had a special setup, but I usually photograph my paintings outside on a day with a light cloud cover. For the oil paintings I move the tripod and easel around until I don't get any glare and I never use a flash. Of course for oil pastels and pastels, I photograph them before framing. I then put the painting beside my computer monitor and and adjust the image until I'm satisfied.

Since I'm not always too adept at technology, I'm hoping that I have explained this clearly enough.


12-13-2007, 01:32 AM
Thank you very much, Wendell. That helps. I've had rather bad luck scanning oil pastels, particularly with reds, which tend to blow out rather easily. I'm certain a drum scan would be far better than my little flatbed, but it's getting harder and harder to find anyone who will drum scan anymore -- you have to really travel, and I doubt they'd be keen on doing oil pastel works, as they never dry fully. I'm thoroughly shocked that your printer can make do with a 4 MB file. Drum scans of my rather small (14x14") watercolor/airbrush works are over 100 MB! I suspect your digital SLR can get much larger files and thus more data. Your work is so lovely, it deserves the best possible resolution.

12-13-2007, 11:00 AM
Pandemonium, we may be getting off topic here but I believe that you are correct. I checked the data and the size of the original file in RAW format is 9.21 MB at a resolution of 3872 x 2592 and the cropped and edited file I was referring to is in a compressed JPEG format at 4.6 MB. I, like you, have had very bad luck in scanning small works. They look all washed out. The photos I take in natural light outdoors without using a flash look a lot better and, depending on the settings, the colours come out clear and natural. Have you tried this? My oil paintings are large and are done on either stretched linen or linen mounted on masonite and the pastel paintings are often done on matboard so I think a drum scanner would be out of the question. I did use the wrong words when I wrote "eventual commercial reproduction". I should have referred to magazine, book or small print reproductions. What resolution do you scan at and what is recommended?

I'm fairly new at all this technology stuff and hope you take this into account but I do thank you for the information you have shared.


12-13-2007, 05:54 PM
I hope Marisas will forgive us, but I do think this information will be useful to a number of people in the forum. I've taken photos of some of my niece's large oil pastels outdoors but was displeased with the detail, color and distortion, even with my 8 MP digital SLR. I'll try the skew/distort method you mentioned, and try again on an overcast day -- something we don't get enough of here in sunny California. Perhaps a parachute overhead would create a similar diffuse effect.

I scan at a minimum of 300 dpi or, if I need to enlarge, the enlargement factor times 300 dpi. Black and white work is traditionally scanned at a minimum of 600 dpi. I've noticed that now most of the folks who used to do drum scans are now using digital photography for artwork reproduction. I suppose they are using the high-resolution Leaf cameras.

For printing, a minimum of 300 dpi resolution is standard. (Really fine work like yours should be printed at fine art resolutions such as 375 dpi.) At 300 dpi, if you were going to make a 16"x20" poster, you'd need about (16x300=) 4,800 pixels by (20x300=) 6,000 pixels, or a 28 MP camera! With digital algorithmic upsampling such as Genuine Fractals, you could get decent output, but as the algorithm is essentially giving an educated guess as to what pixels would look like in between the pixels in the original, the larger the original file, the better the output. I've used it for posters before, but there was a slight fuzziness.

Generally, TIFF files are preferred over JPEG, as JPEG is a lossy compression scheme and a little data is lost whereas TIFF is non-lossy. You can convert your RAW files to TIFFs in Photoshop, but you may not be able to email the file as easily. Most printers now have an upload page where you can upload your large files for printing. If not, your gallery website could conceivably temporarily host it as a file for upload on a special secret web page the URL of which only the printer has.

Sadly, most printers can only use CMYK files, which kills about 50% of the color gamut in your RGB original. Thus, for paintings with lots of greens, reds, violets, ultramarine blues, and such, the best bet for small runs would be a fine art large format RGB inkjet printing on very fine paper. The difference in color gamut is huge. There is a 6-color litho process (CMYKOG) called Hexachrome, but few printers do it and it's a lot more expensive. But it gives close to full color gamut and is very beautiful for large runs of art prints.

Always keep your source files as RGB -- you can always convert a copy to CMYK later (always do it last), but you can't go back to the brilliance and wide gamut of RGB after converting to CMYK for the printer.

BTW, I wish I could buy a print of your "Secluded Beach"!

12-13-2007, 11:12 PM
Pandemonium, thanks for all the great information. I'm sure it will be useful for a lot of artists.

I have maybe a couple of suggestions for photographing paintings. You could try photographing them at dawn or just after dawn. When the sun is very low it is easier to find a place with light shade to take the photos. I have a skylight on the north side of my studio and can often take photos of small works under it since it rarely gets direct sunlight. I always take photos of my paintings in a vertical position. When it is bright I will slant them slightly downward and then correct it in the skew/distort. My oil paintings are often done with glazes and the brushwork in the foreground is often very thick and they are large so I have the triple problems of shiny, textured and big. Usually I will take about twenty photos at different angles in order to get a good one.

After a few bad experiences, I take my own photos of my paintings which I can then supply to the galleries for their websites etc.. I can also supply them to newspapers or magazines and ask that photos not be taken of my paintings without my permission.

I am not too worried about the reproductions that I had mentioned. They will be printed by the giclee (inkjet?) process on textured paper and will be unsigned. They are for one client only - a national commpany - and will not be sold at retail nor seen by the public. The print run is very limited and I have agreed not to do any limited editions or large reproductions of that particular painting.

Some artists do a lot of reproductions but I am older and prefer to spend my time painting so I don't do any prints for sale at retail.

I'm glad you liked the painting. I am now working on a similar one in oil pastel and will post it in a few days.


12-14-2007, 01:56 AM
Hello guys.

This discussion goes to far !:cat:

I wont i cheap -digitalcamera enough to take a foto of my paintings and post in this forum nothing else.

The Digitalcamera must clearly "takes" the colors and details of my paintings:wink2:


12-14-2007, 01:32 PM
Marsias, another camera brand to consider is Panasonic. They have superb lenses (designed by Leica), great ergonomics (easy-to-use), accurate color, and effective image stabilization (limits hand shake). They (more-or-less) invented the "superzoom" category of digicams (point-and-shoots that can zoom over 10x) and still have the best cameras in that category. Their flagship FZ line of superzooms are about as close you can get to DSLR's without actually being one (including the size). Their TZ line is a (coat-)pocketable superzoom. The FX line is their itty-bitty shirt-pocket size (not superzooms but still 3x-6x and with full IS). The LX line is the smallest camera that has RAW (the bigger FZ's have RAW too). There's a low-end LZ line, too. They also have two quite different DSLR's, the rangefinder-styled L1 and the standard SLR-styled L10.

If you go to dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com/)and click on the "Camera Database" link on the left side you can get a list by manufacturer of virtually every digital camera (point-and-shoot or DSLR) ever made ordered by date of introduction, their specifications, and reviews of notable cameras by the dpreview staff.

12-16-2007, 11:23 AM

I have a digitalcamera from my frend , the camera is a Canon powershot A70, 3,2 mpixels.

Which setup is recomment to take a picture of my paintings and post here in thread??

I had take a few picture with the "auto" mod but seems not to be the right setup.


12-27-2007, 10:41 PM
:) Here is a great site for digital camara review.. http://www.dpreview.com/
It's recommended by many retailers where camaras are sold
Everything is here