Beading Business: How to Choose the Right Digital Camera for You

Dec 20, 2011

Used with permission from About.com
Before you even think about jumping into the business of selling your finished beadwork, you'll want to make sure that you have the proper tools, and this includes a good digital camera. But choosing a digital camera can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience if you don't know what you're looking for, and you may be concerned that you can't afford a camera "good enough" for taking high-quality pictures.

The good news is that over the last several years, the quality of images from digital cameras has increased to the point where you can get great images from a camera that costs under $100. To give you an idea, my first digital camera, purchased back in 2003, had a digital resolution of 4 megapixels and cost $250. These days, most point-and-shoot digital cameras have a digital resolution of at least 15 megapixels and cost less than $100.

So even though you don't have to spend a small fortune on a camera to get quality images, you do have to take the time to do your homework and find out which camera is best for you.

Liz Masoner is a professional photographer and the About.com Guide to Photography where she writes about digital cameras and digital photography. I asked Liz for some advice for buyers who want to know what type of digital camera would be best for photographing their beadwork.

There is no "best" brand. Liz says that there is no one brand that she can recommend over another. Choosing your camera is really a matter of personal preference, and each brand has their advantages and drawbacks. Her only advice is to stick with a major brand like Pentax, Nikon, Kodak, Canon or Olympus. Photographs taken by any of these cameras will be high quality and suitable for selling your finished beadwork online.

Used with permission from About.com
Decide what you want your camera to do. Before you go shopping, decide what you want your camera to do. Do you want a large camera that needs interchangeable lenses? Do you want a camera that you can toss in your purse or pocket? It's important to understand what your photographic needs are before you spend any money on a camera!

Understand the basic features of your camera. Sure, you can spend a lot on a great camera, but if you don't understand the basic features like digital zoom, optical zoom, or you're not sure how to use the preset camera modes like action, landscape or portrait, you'll be wasting your money. Take the time to learn what each of these features can do for your photos before you buy and you'll be getting the most out of your digital camera right out of the box!

If you're ready to upgrade your digital camera or purchase your first digital camera, a brief course in photography can also help. Check your local community college or fine arts center to see if they have any offerings in basic digital photography.

Do you have a question about buying or using your digital camera? Ask it here on the blog, or head on over to the About.com Photography site and get in touch with Liz!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

KWseattle wrote
on Jan 14, 2012 2:12 PM

If you're planning to use your camera to photograph bead work, I HIGHLY recommend visiting a store (like one of the big box stores) where you can check out its macro feature before making a purchase.  With my husband's camera, the macro focus was fixed at the center of the screen, no matter what I did.  This makes it very limited in its usefulness.  You really want a macro that will focus either on the closest object to the lens, or even better, where you direct it.  

I took some of my beading to the store with me, explained what I wanted to do and why to the assistants in the photography department, and they were incredibly helpful.  It helped that I went at a time they weren't busy.

I talk about this in my post on photographing my bead work:  baublicious.blogspot.com/.../photographing-my-bead-work.html

on Jan 14, 2012 2:39 PM

Wow! Jennifer! I don't know whether to say, "Thank You!" or "Are you KIDDING ME?!?".  

Well, obviously, a Thank You! goes without saying! You gave me SOOOOO much to think about here. Sadly, you didn't tell me anything that I really didn't already know. HOWEVER, what you DID DO, was reinforce to me how important those basics really are and even sadder, told me how much I really don't know, or more positively put, how much I have to learn...and learning is ALWAYS a great thing! I know in such a small space as a blog there's just not enough room to go into detail, but I wish you could have given me a better sense of where to look for what I need to know. I say that kind of tongue in cheek, cause you gave some great ideas! I just can't afford to take a photogrphy class, and I'm afraid that may be what I need to do.

What has been so frustrating to me is the camera I bought about two years ago, a small digital point and click pocket size (maybe 3"x4") was a great little camera and takes fantastic pictures, just not macrophotography that I need for taking pictures of jewelry up close! And what is UP with owners manuals these days? I am a highly intelligent woman, but these things have gotten to where they are approaching useless! Unless of course you already KNOW about the product in general and just need to know how to do something "model specific"! Then you might find your owners manual helpful! They USED TO EXPLAIN what things on an object were for NOT JUST HOW TO USE IT. If I don't know what it's for, THEN WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO USE IT!?!? I may KNOW what I'm wanting to DO, BUT if I don't know WHAT IT'S CALLED, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT TO LOOK UP TO FIND OUT HOW TO DO IT!?!?

Whew! Ok... I feel better now! (you really believe that, right?) ;-)

Anyway, I guess I need to go write a note to Liz! You know, the sad thing is, I actually took a photography class in high school! But, yeah!, THAT was an ENTIRE LIFETIME ago! Man how time flies...EVEN WHEN YOU'RE PAYING ATTENTION, and may not even be having fun!

Jennifer, thank you so much! I really can't imagine the effort that it takes to do a blog like this, and you do it so well!! Thank you for your time AND your efforts!  I really do enjoy your work a lot!

Beads Away!,

Shelly C.

Greensboro, NC