Folksy Ltd

Decent camera suggestions for photographing jewellery

(Ruth Lyne) #1


I am Ruth and I am currently developing a new range glass and silver jewellery. I have made a New Year’s resolution that I will learn how to take better images of my jewellery and I know that I need a better camera but I don’t really know where to start.Any suggestions of what you use would be helpful. I don’t really want anything so complicated that I can’t face using it but I would like to have a macro setting and to be able to use a small depth of field to make the images more dramatic.

I look forward to checking out your ideas, thank you


(Deborah Jones) #2

I have a Canon EOS 1000D , it is a digital SLR , and can be used in either manual or automatic mode. Depending on competency . At the moment I stick with automatic point and snap , but hope one day to explore it’s possibilities.
I find getting the lighting right is the biggest hurdle with taking good pics of jewellery.

(Ronald Koorm) #3

You really need to look at websites like Park Cameras, Cameraworld, Warehouse Express, but ideally get to a store where you can physically handle the cameras. It is so subjective, and everyone has a different view.
There are some cameras I just can’t get on with, but may suit others.

As someone who has owned over time over 50 cameras of varying types, some will fit your needs more than others.

A DSLR is useful, as you can change the lenses and even buy a macro lens for close-up photography. I can recommend Nikon DSLR’s the D7000 , D300S, and for full-frame super quality the D700, D800, or D810, but they are quite expensive. Macro lenses are available 40mm, 60mm, 85mm, 105mm, and having the 60mm and 105mm I can select the best one for any subject. You can get very good depth of field with either and particularly the 60mm. Find a good second hand D300 or D300S Nikon body and a second hand macro lens, and you can get super results, or the Canon equivalent.

Look at Fuji cameras too. The more compact XE1 and XE2 have interchangeable lenses of very high quality and have a sharper image than even my Nikon DSLR’s. They do a super quality Macro lens, but even their standard zooms are bitingly sharp. Panasonic and Olympus, also do some excellent designs. Panasonic do a Lumix DMC range which is worth looking at.

I always recommend cameras where you have an exposure compensation dial on the camera, rather than having to go into menus.

A ringflash or circular flash is useful, and Metz are the best make, which I have seen discounted for around £220, but is so controllable as regards shadow reduction. I used it on an artist’s tiny mosaic ceramics and obtained wonderful results. There are good, cheaper ones out there, even second hand is worth looking at. Alternatively, you could buy two cheap small flashguns and position either side of the jewellery /silverware.

Finally, you might consider a polarizing filter to control reflections and the sturdiest tripod you can afford.

(Joy Salt) #4

I use my Minolta Dynax 5D DSLR for my glass but as it’s been overworked and is no longer made(so possible parts problem if it breaks again) it’s now confined to the house.
We bought ourselves a Panasonic Lumix 6G which is, so far, brilliant. Very dark this afternoon by 3 and my Minolta was struggling to get enough light for 100% focus. I tried the same shot with the Lumix and was amazed at the clarity. Got it from Amazon / Panasonic shop and there is a deal at the moment for cashback from Panasonic. We’ll get £100 off but think you had to buy by the 4th for that. Otherwise it was £50.
May well be worth looking for other deals like this on other cameras.

(Ruth Lyne) #5

Thank you Deborah and Joy, I will look into those models.

Thank you Ronald for all that info and advice. I will go through it properly when I have a bit more time to do it justice. It is obviously a des idiom that is going to take some serious research and thought

(Mairi A) #6

I use a Olympus Pen camera. It’s a compact system(?) camera which is basically similar to a DSLR but smaller. I can change the lenses on it if I need to, and it has loads of adjustable settings. It was recommended to me by a fellow jeweller and I love it.
However, you can get good results using a point and shoot camera or your mobiles camera if you learn more about the settings. For jewellery, I find adjusting the White balance to the right level is important, as is using a tripod and setting your timer so that the camera is 100% steady(it shakes when you press the shutter button) .I alternate between my proper camera and my iPod touch camera which works fine as long as I have good light( I NEVER use the flash!). Hope this helps, and doesn’t repeat stuff you already know!

(Ruth Lyne) #7

Thank you Mairi, I like the idea of a more compact camera so I will look in this one