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New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-12-2010

Camera for Photographing Jewelry

I am looking for a good, moderately priced P&S camera to photograph jewelry.  I have been researching some Canon models:  A1000is and A590 so far.  When I tested a friend's A590, I found it important to have manual as well as auto focus modes in taking closeup photos.  I'm new to photography so would appreciate any tips and suggestions in finding the right camera. 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

 


@JewelryGirl wrote:

I am looking for a good, moderately priced P&S camera to photograph jewelry.  I have been researching some Canon models:  A1000is and A590 so far.  When I tested a friend's A590, I found it important to have manual as well as auto focus modes in taking closeup photos.  I'm new to photography so would appreciate any tips and suggestions in finding the right camera. 


 

 

Jewelry is, due to its nature, quite difficult to photograph correctly - lots of reflections that have to be carefully considered.  Photographing jewelry requires great attention to detail to lighting.

 

What, other than budget, is driving you towards P&S?  A DSLR with a macro lens is likely the way to go.

 

Small jewelry (rings, earrings, etc)?  Large jewelry?  (necklaces, etc).

 

I would STRONGLY reccommend a camera that has some method of triggering an external flash, preferably a wired sync output.  (To provide room to grow towards a multi-flash setup.)

 

You might want to read through Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 at strobist.blogspot.com, along with picking up a copy of Light: Science and Magic.

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-12-2010

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

Main reason for a P&S is that I want a camera for everyday use, lightweight and easy to carry & use, that will also photograph jewelry - just for my personal use to catalogue the pieces that I have.  Nothing professional, but I do want a fairly good photo quality.  And yes, price as well.  I've done a little research on light boxes, etc., so I know how to set those up with exterior lamps for diffused lighting. I plan to photograph both small and larger jewelry.  I will definitely read Lighting 101 and 102 as you recommended and Light: Science and Magic.  Thanks for your help and expertise.  I have a lot to learn and find it to be really interesting.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

In that case, it depends on your price range.  The Canon S90 and G11 are Canon's flagship cameras, and the G11 has a hotshoe for external flashes.  However, they are as expensive as basic DSLR packages at around $500.

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

Having done this type of shooting I know the difficulties it can bring.  You might get away with a P&S camera, but with jewelry it is all about back ground and lighting.

If you are selling jewelry as a side business then you really want to market your product.

Without getting into advanced lighting and photoshop'g ect, what I would recommend for you is a lower end D/SLR (if you do not want to spend allot of money on one)  or an advanced P&S with an external horseshoe.

When shooting with the external flash you want to use indirect flashing such as setting up a shade above and bouncing the flash off that.  This will reduce glair and hot spots on your photos.  You can also get a diffuser for the flash.  Those are the plastic white boxes you see on the front flashes.  This will also help soften the flash and spreads it out a bit.

Now depending on your lenses size, you can buy some special effect filter. These are not expensive and can do wonders.  I would use a 6 point star when shooting gemstones.  The 6 points give it that nice sparkle and gleaming look to the gems.  You can also get a center focus fog and use a white background.  That way all the surroundings are blurred and your item is what is in focus.

Another fun one to use is a soft focus.  This give a slight haze like a dream, and again will make your jewelry look luxurious.

Just some easy and cheap ideas for you to try. 

Highlighted
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-12-2010

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

Thanks for your great advice.  I'm putting together a light box, a few different backgrounds, etc., and as I get a little more experienced I'll definitely try your suggestions.  I am trying out a friend's older DSLR camera right now and, as a real novice, just learning about no flash, white balance, zoom, tripod, focus, etc. is an education in itself!  Great fun, though.   

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: Camera for Photographing Jewelry

There's not really any point to on-lens filters any more with the exception of:

Circular polarizers

Neutral density in bright sunlight (To allow slower shutter speeds if you want to get that "milky water" effect in bright light)

Graduated neutral density for shots where the sky is much brighter than the landscape (but exposure bracketing + HDR techniques has rendered this largely obsolete)

 

Nearly everything else can be done in postprocessing.

 

There is benefit for color adjustment filters on your lights (to permit matching color temperature of multiple light sources, such as CTO gels on flashes used in rooms lit with incandescents.)

 

Again, Light: Science and Magic is STRONGLY reccommended reading.  Jewelry photography is ALL about lighting.

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.