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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk
Thread started 29 Apr 2014 (Tuesday) 10:27
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Canon DSLR Choice for Professional Food and Product Photography

 
dcooper
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Apr 29, 2014 10:27 |  #1

Hi guys,

I’m new here and I hope that this is the correct forum to post on.

I would really like your help please to make a decision regarding the purchase of a Canon DSLR for Professional Food and Product photography.

With limited funds and just starting out, I thought of two choices which would suit my needs.

The most financially sensible for myself would be the 70D with a couple of decent EF lenses which would suit Product and Food photography. Starting with a 50mm lens and/or the Canon EF 35mm f/2 and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, (depending upon my needs) .

The other choice is the 6D which obviously has the advantage of being Full frame with better IQ. Within my budget I would have the same lens choices, but I would be at my uppermost limit.

For me personally, the tilt swivel touchscreen of the 70D, is easier for me to use than a fixed screen as I have an arthritic condition, but considering I plan to shoot tethered into a laptop with the EOS Utility software, it is not essential.

The 70D also has a better sync speed 1/1250th of a second as a opposed to the 6D 1/180th, which is no deal breaker in the Studio, but it may be useful at some point.

From other forums I have discussed on, and listening to a Pro on an online course, I have been made aware that when you are starting Professional Product and Food photography for small companies at least, the choice of camera is not so important to the client, (decent APS-C to Professional Full Frame) but rather the quality of your work. i.e lighting, etc.

Any money I can make with the 70D can be re-invested into a Full Frame body at a later date, maybe at a time when Canon goes touchscreen on it’s Full Frames, (or not). ;) Or would it make better sense to spend the extra approx £500 and start out a potential business with the Full frame advantages of the 6D?

Any help or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

D.




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MalVeauX
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Apr 29, 2014 11:33 |  #2

Heya,

Food photography is best done with two lens types: telephoto focal length macro lenses, and tilt-shifts that are also telephoto focal length. So lenses I would focus on, are things like: Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC (or the earlier, cheaper non VC version), Canon EF 100mm F2.8 (and the 2.8L IS), Canon EF 90mm F2.8 TSE (holy grail of this sort of photography).

I would not get the 70D. I would not get a crop sensor, at all, for food & product photography. Why? The APS-C sensor and inherent magnification that you're getting on that crop, is going to limit how you can control depth of field. So when shooting at F2.8, you're really not getting the proper depth of field associated with the focal length and aperture. Why? Because of the magnification. With a full frame sensor, you're getting the most control on minimal depth of field for focal length compared to APS-C. This matters when you're using close minimal range focus lenses (macro) and really wide aperture lenses (F1.4 ~ F2.8). And you want that. Why? You want the food to melt into the background, you won't want to see a background, you want isolation, and super thin depth of field is what does that. Telephoto lenses (85~100mm) help with the backgrounds much more than short focal lengths (~50mm) do in regards to this. Same thing for product photography, though you want the whole product in focus, so you configure your settings to put the depth of field only within the product. There's a whole process to doing the lighting on product photography. Food photography can be done with a single flash, or with natural light.

Suggestion on a budget:

Canon 5D Classic (used on KEH.com, $600)
Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC Macro ($550ish new)
Yongnuo 565EX TTL Flash ($115ish new)
Tripod & Ballhead ($70ish for something functional)

That's a budget setup, that a pro can use even today and not need to buy anything else special. Quality of composition, control of depth of field, and exposure is what sets a pro out from an amateur or enthusiast--not the gear.

Upgrade only when it's actually going to produce a real difference, or when the features are absolutely worth it. Features that may get your attention are WiFi, touch screens, etc. The 6D has a great set of features, but honestly, you'd spend $1000 more than you need to, for nothing, in terms of the actual photos.

Very best,


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kiapolo
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Apr 29, 2014 11:34 |  #3

6D.


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palad1n
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Apr 29, 2014 12:13 |  #4

in this case, if you have pro budget for this - go for fullframe, 6D is probably best fit for narrower DOF, which is crucial for this type of photography.


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dcooper
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May 15, 2014 12:57 |  #5

Many thanks for your replies.

In regards to getting shallow Depth of Field on a Full Frame DSLR vs APS-C, I have read and seen in videos that the difference is not that great, do you agree?

Thanks,

D.




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MissFire
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May 15, 2014 13:23 as a reply to dcooper's post |  #6

No, my husband and I have both used a 7D for more than 4 years, he just recently switched to a 5D MarkIII, and the difference he noticed for depth of field control is substantial. We also have a friend who does food and product photography, and he uses the 6D. My suggestion, get the 6D, It will save you from having to upgrade later.


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palad1n
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May 15, 2014 13:29 |  #7

dcooper wrote in post #16906564external link
Many thanks for your replies.

In regards to getting shallow Depth of Field on a Full Frame DSLR vs APS-C, I have read and seen in videos that the difference is not that great, do you agree?

Thanks,

D.

there is actually no difference, but with crop camera, you need much bigger distance because of 1.6x magnification to fit the subject in frame or you need to lower your focal length (200mm on FF is 125mm on crop) and your f/ number needs to be lowered equally as well at the same time.

crop factor is good only for closeup details in this particular case. I would pick FF for this type of photography.


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tagnal
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May 15, 2014 13:30 |  #8

I disagree. I think there is a noticeable difference. Whether you personally believe the difference is great or not is subjective.


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Scatterbrained
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May 15, 2014 13:31 |  #9

Personally, I would go with a 6D and a 90mm TS-E. Do you have a good tripod and head? Lights? Equipment?


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Scatterbrained
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May 15, 2014 13:34 |  #10

palad1n wrote in post #16906624external link
there is actually no difference, but with crop camera, you need much bigger distance because of 1.6x magnification to fit the subject in frame or you need to lower your focal length (200mm on FF is 125mm on crop) and your f/ number needs to be lowered equally as well at the same time.

crop factor is good only for closeup details in this particular case. I would pick FF for this type of photography.

It's different. Don't just use a DOF calc. DOF fall-off is different at different focal lengths. If you use a shorter focal length with a crop to get the same framing, the DOF might be the same according to a calculator, but the transition from in focus to out of focus will be more pronounced on the FF camera with the longer focal length.


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gonzogolf
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May 15, 2014 13:43 |  #11

If budget is a concern, buy an original 5D for less than $500. Do some professional work and then buy a 6D when your budget allows.




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palad1n
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May 15, 2014 14:37 |  #12

Scatterbrained wrote in post #16906637external link
It's different. Don't just use a DOF calc. DOF fall-off is different at different focal lengths. If you use a shorter focal length with a crop to get the same framing, the DOF might be the same according to a calculator, but the transition from in focus to out of focus will be more pronounced on the FF camera with the longer focal length.


It sounds interesting, do you have any examples to share?

My colleague did some tests few years ago with 1ds mkII vs 300D and according to him, there were no differences at all, but that´s probably very subjective.


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Fernando
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May 15, 2014 16:16 |  #13

All this assumes that what is most important is DOF.

In product and food photography the most important thing is lighting and styling the shot. Food is VERY hard to get right. It is my belief that the reason we see so much razor thin DOF in food photography is that the photographer couldn't get the food to look right and the DOF hides the hideous plate as much as possible.

Pick up a magazine or look online. The good, professionally produced shots do not count on thin DOF unless the shot calls for it. If you go to FB or Pinterest it will be all over the place.

The guys shooting for for us were shooting MF and had 2 PA's whose sole job responsibility was to ensure the look of the product (food in this case) was dead on perfect.


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Sirrith
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May 15, 2014 18:38 |  #14

gonzogolf wrote in post #16906650external link
If budget is a concern, buy an original 5D for less than $500. Do some professional work and then buy a 6D when your budget allows.

Personally I find live view very useful for food photography, I wouldn't want a camera without that feature for this.


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timbop
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May 15, 2014 19:06 |  #15

Have to say that I don't see FF as being the most important thing. 90TS-E, absolutely. Lighting, absolutely. I don't think the body is as important, but that may just be me. After taking care of the important things, get whatever camera you can afford


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Canon DSLR Choice for Professional Food and Product Photography
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