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Old 10-02-2016, 10:01 PM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

I have a Canon Rebel XSi that has been wonderful for shooting photos of my watercolors. A short while ago it began giving me messages about all the cards I used (corrupt, blank, etc.), and would not allow me to take pictures.

I took the camera to a camera shop and they told me it needed to be replaced.

Here is my dilemma: the vast majority (maybe all) of the pics I need to take are for online use only, so I don't need a great camera for that, maybe just my smartphone.

But what if I want to use one of the images for a print someday? Or a painting wins a prize and they want to put it on the front of a catalog? ;-)

For those things, I would need a better camera. But I hate to spend so much money on something that I will rarely, if ever, need.

So does anyone have any ideas? What is the cheapest way to photograph a painting that MIGHT need to be printed someday?

I sell many of my paintings, so they are not always readily available to photograph.
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Old 10-03-2016, 04:15 AM
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

First use an undelete program to get back your images then put the card back in your camera and re-format it. You might get some more mileage out of the Rebel.

Doug
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:00 AM
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maryinasia maryinasia is online now
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

cheapest would be a friend's camera
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:07 AM
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DavidHH DavidHH is online now
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

smart phones are getting much better but if you want to copy properly go to Ebay and buy another Rebel second hand. There again, wait until they ask you to go on the catalogue. They will probably copy for you
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:37 PM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Yorky, I haven't really lost any pictures--any time I photograph a painting, I immediately transfer the photos to my computer. Reformatting the disks is something that no longer works. I have tried every disk I own. The camera shop owner said it's the camera. But thanks for the flash of hope! ;-)

Not a bad idea, maryinasia!

Thanks, DavidHH, you are probably right (about buying new Rebel). And you are right, the catalog people would probably copy for me, but I am afraid I am going to want a good image of a painting that is already out of my hands--say, if I want to make a print of a painting that has already sold.

Probably best for me to get another camera.

I forgot to ask: I wonder if it is possible for me to use the lens from my broken Rebel?
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Last edited by Janalice : 10-03-2016 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:56 PM
indraneel indraneel is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Take it to a camera repair person, not a shop that sells cameras. Maybe just the card contacts inside the camera need to be cleaned? An old battery may also sometimes cause problems. And, cards also deteriorate over time. Also, cards can be scanned and formatted in the computer.

It's an SLR, so yes, lenses can be interchanged.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:44 AM
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Have you tried your cards in another camera or on your computer ?
Your photos may still be intact and the cards could be fine.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:02 PM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

indraneel--yeah, that is smart, one would think I could think of that on my own. ;-) i just ordered a used camera on eBay, though. But I can still take my old camera to a camera repair person and then maybe sell it or keep it as backup if it can be fixed. Thanks!

frodron: Thank you. i will try the cards on my computer.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:06 AM
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

It will probably cost you more to repair than a good second hand, but as another poster said, your lenses are fine. If you want good copies you need a steady tripod and two floodlights, equally positioned either side, or shoot them outside on a light cloudy day. Pic needs to be absolutely at the same angle as the camera and you'll probably get a bit of barrel distortion if you fill the frame. Hate to get technical but I used to copy pics as a professional photographer. good luck with the camera off eBay, I've bought 3 off there and never had a problem
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:56 AM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Thanks so much, David. Very helpful. I wonder if you could give me more specifics on the brand/strength lights I should get.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:57 AM
indraneel indraneel is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

The best lights are probably camera flashes or studio strobes.... they are full spectrum xenon and the white balance is fixed.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:13 PM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Thanks, indraneel.
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:16 PM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Well, I spent $200 on a used Canon Rebel on eBay. I formatted a card in my new (used) camera, then tried the card in my old camera--worked just fine! So the old camera was not "broken."

I don't want to try to return my new used camera to the eBay person... there was nothing wrong with the camera after all. Maybe I can put it up on eBay and one of the people who were bidding against me will buy it. ;-)

Or maybe I should keep it so I have backup parts.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:19 PM
Quint Quint is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Jan,
I went through a similar thing some years ago. Decided it was time to get my first DSLR for taking better images for reproductions. A refurbished one can be a good deal. Good tips mentioned above about lighting and being square with the subject original. A prime concern was to be able to take RAW images. I use PS to work them and go through the complete print process. Quite rewarding. Good luck.
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:07 AM
edmund ronald edmund ronald is offline
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Re: What is the cheapest camera for photographing art that MIGHT be used for prints?

Just about any old, i mean old, digital camera is good enuff for repro, it's all about lighting and calibration. Lens distorsion and vignetting can be an issue though, but Photoshop knows about a lot of lenses.

However my suggestion is you use a cheap scanner -eg. some epson all-in-one that has run out of ink and got chucked. You may want to try and calibrate it, however. A scanner will be much easier to use for repro than a camera, at least for smallish drawings.

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