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Good camera for taking food pictures

Good camera for taking food pictures
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  • Post #61 - July 16th, 2011, 10:50 am
    Post #61 - July 16th, 2011, 10:50 am Post #61 - July 16th, 2011, 10:50 am
    If you strike out and really love your cameras - http://www.icamera.com/chicago.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #62 - July 24th, 2011, 7:01 pm
    Post #62 - July 24th, 2011, 7:01 pm Post #62 - July 24th, 2011, 7:01 pm
    Can anyone who knows cameras tell me if the Canon PowerShot SD940IS is any good?
    I'm really thinking of buying this but don't want to make a grave error if it's a POS.
  • Post #63 - July 24th, 2011, 7:13 pm
    Post #63 - July 24th, 2011, 7:13 pm Post #63 - July 24th, 2011, 7:13 pm
    zoid wrote:Can anyone who knows cameras tell me if the Canon PowerShot SD940IS is any good?
    I'm really thinking of buying this but don't want to make a grave error if it's a POS.

    I trust cnet reviews - http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras ... 65912.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #64 - July 24th, 2011, 7:46 pm
    Post #64 - July 24th, 2011, 7:46 pm Post #64 - July 24th, 2011, 7:46 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    zoid wrote:Can anyone who knows cameras tell me if the Canon PowerShot SD940IS is any good?
    I'm really thinking of buying this but don't want to make a grave error if it's a POS.

    I trust cnet reviews - http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras ... 65912.html

    Me too and I also trust DP. While there's no editorial review of this camera at DP, the user reviews are fairly informative and they pretty much line up with what cnet has to say . . .

    Canon PowerShot SD940 IS / Digital IXUS 120 IS

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #65 - July 24th, 2011, 7:56 pm
    Post #65 - July 24th, 2011, 7:56 pm Post #65 - July 24th, 2011, 7:56 pm
    zoid wrote:Can anyone who knows cameras tell me if the Canon PowerShot SD940IS is any good?
    I'm really thinking of buying this but don't want to make a grave error if it's a POS.
    It really depends on what you want to use them for. Canon SD series are supposed to be light-weight, extremely easy to use, and work well in situations where light is abundant. So they're great to use when you travel around. Now if you want to take pictures of food, it gets tricky. Most restaurants are not brightly lit, and the camera gets quite mediocre (grainy, low contrast, dull color, etc.).
  • Post #66 - July 24th, 2011, 8:10 pm
    Post #66 - July 24th, 2011, 8:10 pm Post #66 - July 24th, 2011, 8:10 pm
    OK now I'm leaning twards the Canon S95.

    Thoughts?
  • Post #67 - July 24th, 2011, 11:02 pm
    Post #67 - July 24th, 2011, 11:02 pm Post #67 - July 24th, 2011, 11:02 pm
    zoid wrote:OK now I'm leaning twards the Canon S95.

    Thoughts?

    I really like my s90 and the s95 rates out a bit higher on some features that are likely to matter (video resolution, for one). I haven't shot with the s95, so I have no direct experience with it but it offers features that are typically found in larger, more expensive cameras (DSLRs) like the ability to shoot in RAW mode, which is especially useful in post-production. You also get video and image stabiliation and a fairly decent ISO range all in a camera that can fit in your pocket.

    Still, as was posted above, it really depends on what and where you plan to shoot. I have yet to find the non-DSLR that really performs in very low-light situations. The s90 does phenomenally well in natural light and medium light (both outdoor and indoor) but it doesn't perform very well in extremely dark restaurants, where you only have available light in which to shoot. At least on the s90, shots taken in these situations are very noisy and generally speaking, not of a quality that would warrant sharing them publicly.

    Another point-and-shoot camera you might want to consider is the Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS. I bought one for my son last Christmas and I really like shooting with it. Image-wise, it still doesn't come close to DSLR quality in very low light but it does visibly better (even if just by a bit) than the s90 and it's considerably less expensive, coming in just over $200. The one I bought for my son hasn't gotten a ton of use, so I cannot speak to its durability or its usefulness in extreme weather conditions. Nonetheless, here's a link to a very positive review of it at DP: Canon PowerShot SD 4000 IS/IXUS 300 HS Review.

    Hope that helps,

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #68 - July 25th, 2011, 2:37 am
    Post #68 - July 25th, 2011, 2:37 am Post #68 - July 25th, 2011, 2:37 am
    FWIW, a photo taken with the S95 in one of the worst low light situations I've encountered:

    Image

    This was taken at an outdoor picnic table around 11:00 PM, with a street lamp across the street (maybe 50-60 feet away?) and two tealights on the table. Completely unedited (other than resize) out of the camera JPG. I think I shot this at 400 ISO(!), but it's possible I bumped up to 800... no higher. You can definitely see a couple of spots where it's a little noisy, but given the circumstances, I think it did a pretty stellar job. And the clarity of the photo makes the scene look a lot brighter than it was. I actually saw more in the photos from this evening than I saw on the plate in person.

    A little Photoshop help and it barely seems like a low light photo at all (quick and dirty job, here):

    Image

    Frankly, I find the colors more troubling than noise, but a little more tweaking could probably fix that.

    It's not a DSLR. But I can't imagine throwing anything much worse at it than this, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #69 - July 25th, 2011, 11:37 am
    Post #69 - July 25th, 2011, 11:37 am Post #69 - July 25th, 2011, 11:37 am
    That's a very nice-looking shot, especially given the circumstances. I've never gotten anything close to that on the s90 but I'll admit that it's only a poor workman who blames his tools. Still, I'm very intrigued now by the s95...but no, I am NOT buying another camera!!!! :D

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #70 - July 25th, 2011, 4:03 pm
    Post #70 - July 25th, 2011, 4:03 pm Post #70 - July 25th, 2011, 4:03 pm
    FYI - S90 and S95 are available refurbished directly from Canon: http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subCategory_10051_10051_-1_12163
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #71 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 pm
    Post #71 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 pm Post #71 - July 25th, 2011, 9:54 pm
    I have a 4000IS so that's what I use for lots of my shots here. I would like a S95 but can't justify the purchase at the moment.
  • Post #72 - July 26th, 2011, 3:23 pm
    Post #72 - July 26th, 2011, 3:23 pm Post #72 - July 26th, 2011, 3:23 pm
    I've run the gamut of point & shoot cameras, shooting on a Canon SD300, Fuji FX31, Nikon Coolpix, Samsung TL-210 and now my cell phone (HTC G2). IMHO, just about any $100-150 point & shoot will suffice. The biggest improvements will be in learning the basics of lighting and exposure, and using a tripod. In most restaurants, you're not going to have a lot of ambient light. This requires a higher ISO and steady hands to minimize shake. You want the sexy "zoomed in" look? Look for the little flower/tulip shaped icon that will allow you to put the lens 4-5 inches from the plate.

    Mounting the camera on a minipod and using the self timer takes a lot of the guesswork out. A mini-pod like the SunPak 620-786 (Amazon link) is $3 and easily fits in your pocket. Spend 10 minutes in your dining room under similar lighting and learn how to take advantage of the self-timer mode. A few minutes of practice will do wonders for your confidence. Being comfortable and familiar with your equipment and how to take pictures in similar lighting conditions will do wonders for your results :).

    I don't practice as much as I should, but this is an example of a recent dinner at Moto, taken with my cell phone and quickly tweaked for exposure & crop.
    Image
  • Post #73 - July 26th, 2011, 3:46 pm
    Post #73 - July 26th, 2011, 3:46 pm Post #73 - July 26th, 2011, 3:46 pm
    Sherman wrote:Mounting the camera on a minipod and using the self timer takes a lot of the guesswork out
    ... while going a long ways in making you a total douche, shortly followed by uninvitations. Better yet, why not carry a portable LED lantern. I hear the LA foodiot gurls love it and it's all the rage in SoCal.

    My photo-at-restaurants philosophy (night or day, doesn't matter) is to hit it and quit it. Leaving even a P&S on tripods and using (even a 2 second) timer is no one's idea of a fun meal, no matter how badly you need to document that dish at NEXT*.

    S90 refurbs are getting cheap(er), but if I had $ to burn, Panny LX-5 FTW, mostly because of the S90/S90 low light color issue seen above.

    *a proper photo of Chateau Marmont's burger eludes me til this day.
  • Post #74 - July 26th, 2011, 4:09 pm
    Post #74 - July 26th, 2011, 4:09 pm Post #74 - July 26th, 2011, 4:09 pm
    Sherman wrote:Image
    That looks like an angry melting snowman (sorry for being off topic, but can't help it).
  • Post #75 - July 26th, 2011, 4:30 pm
    Post #75 - July 26th, 2011, 4:30 pm Post #75 - July 26th, 2011, 4:30 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Sherman wrote:Mounting the camera on a minipod and using the self timer takes a lot of the guesswork out
    ... while going a long ways in making you a total douche, shortly followed by uninvitations. Better yet, why not carry a portable LED lantern. I hear the LA foodiot gurls love it and it's all the rage in SoCal.

    Wow, kind of harsh...

    Once or twice, I've used my iPad as my light source (guess that makes a a total douche too!):oops:
  • Post #76 - July 26th, 2011, 4:48 pm
    Post #76 - July 26th, 2011, 4:48 pm Post #76 - July 26th, 2011, 4:48 pm
    GAH!

    I was all set on the S95 and now I'm seriously looking at the LX5.

    :?
  • Post #77 - July 26th, 2011, 4:50 pm
    Post #77 - July 26th, 2011, 4:50 pm Post #77 - July 26th, 2011, 4:50 pm
    zoid wrote:GAH!

    I was all set on the S95 and now I'm seriously looking at the LX5.

    :?
    Obviously you don't seem to have a set price range (it has been climbing up steadily). If that is the case, why not go for a DSLR?
  • Post #78 - July 26th, 2011, 5:24 pm
    Post #78 - July 26th, 2011, 5:24 pm Post #78 - July 26th, 2011, 5:24 pm
    I may get a DSLR in the future but for now I want a really good compact point and shoot I can just throw in my bag and have with me pretty much all the time.
  • Post #79 - July 26th, 2011, 6:19 pm
    Post #79 - July 26th, 2011, 6:19 pm Post #79 - July 26th, 2011, 6:19 pm
    what do you have now?

    Do not rush into this decision. It is a very grave matter. :D

    I have a 40 year old Pentax that takes pictures as good as any DSLR. Point is, the camera industry will LIE to you.

    $50 Pentax Spotmatic, 55mm f1.8, Fuji Velvia 100
    Image
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #80 - July 26th, 2011, 8:27 pm
    Post #80 - July 26th, 2011, 8:27 pm Post #80 - July 26th, 2011, 8:27 pm
    teatpuller wrote:what do you have now?

    Don't laugh - I'm using a Vivitar 5018


    teatpuller wrote:Do not rush into this decision. It is a very grave matter. :D

    I've been thinking about this for like 3 months :evil:
    I really need to just buy a damn camera.


    teatpuller wrote:I have a 40 year old Pentax that takes pictures as good as any DSLR. Point is, the camera industry will LIE to you.

    $50 Pentax Spotmatic, 55mm f1.8, Fuji Velvia 100
    Image

    Nice pic - but I really need to stick w/ digital.
  • Post #81 - July 26th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Post #81 - July 26th, 2011, 9:22 pm Post #81 - July 26th, 2011, 9:22 pm
    zoid wrote:GAH!

    I was all set on the S95 and now I'm seriously looking at the LX5.

    :?


    OK - it looks like the LX5 has no built in flash.
    Back to the S95.
  • Post #82 - July 26th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Post #82 - July 26th, 2011, 9:53 pm Post #82 - July 26th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    theskinnyduck wrote:
    Sherman wrote:Image
    That looks like an angry melting snowman (sorry for being off topic, but can't help it).


    Funny, I thought the same thing. This was the "Snow Man" from the grand tasting menu. Tasted fantastic, though.
  • Post #83 - July 26th, 2011, 10:19 pm
    Post #83 - July 26th, 2011, 10:19 pm Post #83 - July 26th, 2011, 10:19 pm
    zoid wrote:
    zoid wrote:GAH!

    I was all set on the S95 and now I'm seriously looking at the LX5.

    :?


    OK - it looks like the LX5 has no built in flash.
    Back to the S95.


    the lx5 has a manual pop-up flash, which is exactly what you want for most photographs (for the flash to never go off unless you explicitly want it to go off, which you almost never do).
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #84 - July 26th, 2011, 10:39 pm
    Post #84 - July 26th, 2011, 10:39 pm Post #84 - July 26th, 2011, 10:39 pm
    Where's the bang your head on the desk smiley?

    OK - I guess I'm back to the LX5.
  • Post #85 - July 26th, 2011, 10:41 pm
    Post #85 - July 26th, 2011, 10:41 pm Post #85 - July 26th, 2011, 10:41 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Sherman wrote:Mounting the camera on a minipod and using the self timer takes a lot of the guesswork out
    ... while going a long ways in making you a total douche, shortly followed by uninvitations. Better yet, why not carry a portable LED lantern. I hear the LA foodiot gurls love it and it's all the rage in SoCal.

    My photo-at-restaurants philosophy (night or day, doesn't matter) is to hit it and quit it. Leaving even a P&S on tripods and using (even a 2 second) timer is no one's idea of a fun meal, no matter how badly you need to document that dish at NEXT*.


    Smartass comments aside, if someone wants to take pictures of their food, regardless of whether it's at home, cheap eats or fine dining, it's between them and the proprietor to judge whether the act is acceptable, not you or any other self-proclaimed judge of etiquette. Cantu and Moto/iNG are exceptional in this regard, encouraging live tweeting and allowing discreet pics. In my case with the snowman, I looked around and checked with the maitre'd about house rules, then decided to use available lighting and my cell phone camera, as my goal was to document the experience for my own journal.

    S90 refurbs are getting cheap(er), but if I had $ to burn, Panny LX-5 FTW, mostly because of the S90/S90 low light color issue seen above.

    Interesting choice. The Leica glass is a huge plus, and I'll take your word for its low light performance, but as teatpuller shows, the equipment is less an issue than the photographer.

    zoid - it sounds like you're in the throes of analysis paralysis. If you can spare the coin, drop it on a lower-end Canon or Nikon P&S and make sure that the return policy is good. Try it for a couple weeks, and if you don't like it, return it for the S95/LX-5 of your dreams.

    Good luck,
    -s.
  • Post #86 - July 27th, 2011, 11:18 am
    Post #86 - July 27th, 2011, 11:18 am Post #86 - July 27th, 2011, 11:18 am
    TonyC wrote:
    Sherman wrote:Mounting the camera on a minipod and using the self timer takes a lot of the guesswork out
    ... while going a long ways in making you a total douche, shortly followed by uninvitations. Better yet, why not carry a portable LED lantern. I hear the LA foodiot gurls love it and it's all the rage in SoCal.

    How edgy and in-your-face. I guess that's why you're "L.A.'s most controversial food blogger" :roll:
  • Post #87 - July 27th, 2011, 11:34 am
    Post #87 - July 27th, 2011, 11:34 am Post #87 - July 27th, 2011, 11:34 am
    I bought the LX5 because I needed a camera last year to take on a trip with me, but when I compared it to the S90/S95, the LX5 is significantly larger (relatively speaking of course). The LX5's form factor with the protruding lens made it uncomfortable to put in my front pants pocket. Couple that with the early reviews that came out for the S90/S95 being ever so slightly less noisy than the LX5, and the S95 being $100 less than the LX5 when it was released made the decision a no brainer. I returned the LX5 and have been a happy user of the S95 for the past year or so.
  • Post #88 - August 1st, 2011, 2:12 pm
    Post #88 - August 1st, 2011, 2:12 pm Post #88 - August 1st, 2011, 2:12 pm
    zoid wrote:Where's the bang your head on the desk smiley?

    OK - I guess I'm back to the LX5.


    Did you ever buy one? I've been looking to update my point and shoot camera for a while and have always enjoyed David Lebovitz' food photos. Apparently, he uses a Canon G12 - http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/04/my-food-photogr/

    I've seen a lot of hype around the new Fuji x100 but for that kind of cash, I'd have to semi-professional to justify it.
    "It's not that I'm on commission, it's just I've sifted through a lot of stuff and it's not worth filling up on the bland when the extraordinary is within equidistant tasting distance." - David Lebovitz
  • Post #89 - August 1st, 2011, 2:37 pm
    Post #89 - August 1st, 2011, 2:37 pm Post #89 - August 1st, 2011, 2:37 pm
    I love my G12! In fact when I went to Barcelona, I left my DSLR at home and brought the G12 instead. It's easy to use, and I can shoot in RAW if I want to. It is expensive but for what it is, I think it is worth it!
  • Post #90 - August 1st, 2011, 3:56 pm
    Post #90 - August 1st, 2011, 3:56 pm Post #90 - August 1st, 2011, 3:56 pm
    A little late to the game, but I bought the Canon PowerShot SD940IS last year, loved it, then replaced it with the Canon S95 this year.

    I'm thrilled with both cameras for different reasons.

    The S95 has one of the biggest sensors you'll find in a point-and-shoot. When I read side-by-side comparisons of the 3 P&Ss with the biggest sensors, I decided the Canon was best for me & my needs.

    I don't take a lot of food photos, but I love how it handles low light. (I never use a flash.)

    That said, the S95 is bigger and heavier than my PowerShot. I can't easily stick it in my pocket when walking around & when it's in my purse, I know it's there.

    I do feel comfortable leaving my DSLR at home when I'm carrying the S95 on trips. If I didn't have the S95, my PowerShot & DSLR would both travel with me.

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