Professional Pictures Of Cakes - What Camera?

Lounge By SplendoraCakeandTea Updated 21 Nov 2010 , 6:04pm by SplendoraCakeandTea

SplendoraCakeandTea Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:30pm
post #1 of 17

Black Friday is almost here and I am looking into seeing if I can find any good deals on digital cameras.

I want to take professional pictures of my cakes and baked goods where the foreground is crystal clear but the background is fuzzy. I've researched a bit and read about having focus rings but I am completely overwhelmed.

I've never taken a photography course my entire life and all of these cameras look so high tech and expensive. I am hoping there is some sort of camera out of there that is "easy" for beginners, inexpensive and doesn't have all the fancy fixtures, I'm mainly just looking for the focus option.

I do have a regular digital camera that I have been taking pictures with but I never can get that professional look from it. If anyone has any tips on how to create the professional look with a plain digital camera or has a high tech digital camera they use to focus. . . .please fill me in!

Thanks so much!
-Brittany

16 replies
ncsmorris Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:51pm
post #2 of 17

I have a Nikon D3000. I don't know a whole lot about cameras, but I know enough to achieve what I want. One of the main reasons I love this camera is lighting. With small cameras, it's difficult for them to get enough light in through the small lens. The result is dark or blurry photos (unless you have really great light or take your cake outside to photograph LOL). The larger SLR cameras have a larger lens, which lets in more of the light. This gets you CLOSER to what you see with your actual eyes.

Also, it's difficult to achieve the in focus foreground and out of focus background with the point and shoots because they're made for the everyday user - basically, they are made to focus the whole frame because for everyday shooters, that is the goal.

I don't know how much you want to spend, but the Nikon D3000 is an entry-level SLR. Don't get me wrong, it's still not cheap! It's just the lower end of the "pro" cameras. I love it and I wouldn't trade it for the world. If you are wanting to spend less than that, I don't really have any recs. but perhaps someone else will!

VaBelle Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:58pm
post #3 of 17

I'm a photographer so I can give you a few tips. First, It's more about the setup than the camera as long as you have a camera that can take pictures in focus. It's really more about background and lighting. If you have a room with decent lighting and a sheet or something you can put up as a plain background, then you can achieve "professional" looking photos. If you really want to get a fuzzy background. Practice standing back and zooming in on your cake. If your point and shoot camera doesn't have any manual settings, only auto, then you might not be able to achieve the fuzzy background you desire. If you decide to buy a different camera, I'm a fan of Canon, but can agree that Nikon is a good camera too. I honestly cannot speak of any other brand. Look for one that has manual settings and if you buy one that can use interchangeable lenses, get a zoom lense. Stores usually have specials around this time that you buy the camera and get the lense for free. Canon's professional line has the Canon Rebel, which is for hobbyists or beginners, but functions just like a more professional camera. I warm you though, it can lead to another fun, but expensive hobby! Good luck with whatever you decide and feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer them the best that I can.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 4:00pm
post #4 of 17

Another vote for Nikon D3000. I gave that away as a present and it's an excellent choice for an entry pro camera.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Digital-SLR-Cameras/25462/D3000.html

Bluehue Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 4:08pm
post #5 of 17
mayo2222 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 4:12pm
post #6 of 17

ncsmorris is correct, its really about the lighting. The camera can make a difference but in this case probably more to do with the lighting. See if you can get more light when shooting and try turning off your flash (I am forewarning you though that if you take off the flash the shutter will likely stay open longer to allow more light in so stay still to prevent a blurry shot)

If you have to use a flash try to stand back from the cake and zoom in otherwise you will washout the cake with your flash.

If you don't want to go down the SLR route, my suggestion would be the Canon PowerShot S90 Digital Camera. It has great low light reviews and still allows for manual controls/settings such as Av (aperture setting). You can set it to a lower F Stop which opens the lens up more and allows in more light. On a lower F Stop it also narrows your depth of field which means when you focus on your cake the background will not be in focus and look blurry. So if you are not using a backdrop this is a great way to put the focus soley on your cake and not your kitchen, dining room, etc.

HTH

mandymakescakes Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 4:26pm
post #7 of 17

Just about any digital camera built these days has the ability to achieve what you're looking for, perhaps even the camera you already have. Check for manual settings for aperture, or f-stops. Again, most cameras give you manual control of aperture. If it's not obvious by looking at the camera settings, check your camera's manual.

To get the most out-of-focus blur, you want the largest aperture you can set on your camera. The larger the aperture, the smaller the f number. Here's an example taken:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1577760

We're an Olympus household, the interchangeable lens are about 2/3rds the size and price of their Nikon and Cannon counterparts. My advice though, is to find a camera that feels good in YOUR hands and has the features you want, regardless of the name on the box.

Happy Hunting!

usmdesigner Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 6:22pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

All the photos on my blog are done with my Canon EOS - love it. thumbs_up.gif


http://www.google.com.au/images?hl=en&q=canon+eos+1000d&wrapid=tlif12901827555121&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1004&bih=612


Bluehue




Agree, if you are getting doorbuster awesome sales, then I would hit those canon rebels up.

I have a Canon Powershot SX20 IS (around $350) and LOVE it. 10x the difference than my little 100 buck digital camera. My brother has one of the Canon EOS's and if he is around, I don't even pull my camera out.. lol.

I made my upgrade due to having our first baby and got tired of blurry nasty pictures. As the others said, lighting plays a factor, but the end result is what you pay for is what you get.

Your best bet is to hit up camera forums though. I wouldn't really put to much faith in a cake forum!!! No offense!!

PrivateNameHere Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 6:50pm
post #9 of 17

I just use my Sony Cyber-Shot. Works for me!

leily Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 7:06pm
post #10 of 17

you can also do some of the blurry background with some easy photo editing. Yes a good camera is needed so you have a decent photo to start with, but i've used a few different programs to get the effects i want on photos.

A free and easy one to use is Picasa from Google. Just go to googles home page and search for it, it's a pretty quick download and you don't have to really read anything before you can start playing around.

To get the blurred background using picasa you use the "soft focus" option. It is somewhat limiting though so if you want to get more detailed i've used a few different versions of Adobe Photoshop

usmdesigner Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 7:18pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

you can also do some of the blurry background with some easy photo editing. Yes a good camera is needed so you have a decent photo to start with, but i've used a few different programs to get the effects i want on photos.

A free and easy one to use is Picasa from Google. Just go to googles home page and search for it, it's a pretty quick download and you don't have to really read anything before you can start playing around.

To get the blurred background using picasa you use the "soft focus" option. It is somewhat limiting though so if you want to get more detailed i've used a few different versions of Adobe Photoshop




Love picasa. I heard Gimp is good to, although I never tried it. It is free as well.

cakefairy03 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 7:25pm
post #12 of 17

I have to agree with all the Nikon D3000 users! My husband got one a couple months back and I use it all the time. I am in no way a professional, and most of the time I just use the auto function (mainly because I don't know anything about nicer cameras and all their settings...LOL).

Here are some samples:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1727010

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1746281

And for photo editing, I use a free program called Photoscape. Even with an awesome camera, I almost always finish touching up with this program!

Good luck! I bet you'll find some good deals next Friday!

kimbm04r Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 3:46am
post #13 of 17

All the photos in my gallery were taken with a Canon Rebel XT. My husband got this camera for me a couple Christmases ago, about fell off my chair when I opened it.

My daughter-in-law barrowed it a few days ago and I nearly had to threaten her to get it back.

metria Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 4:06am
post #14 of 17

i'm a Canon fan, currently using the Canon EOS Rebel XSi. heh, no one is allowed to borrow it and i practically snapped at my brother in law for holding it wrong.

i'm a firm believer that any good SLR is an excellent investment for business and personal use. Treat it well and it'll be good for years of enjoyment. i've had some photography training, but honestly i don't mess with the settings much. just set it to "portrait" and you're good to go.

don't skimp on the memory card either. the last thing you want is worrying about saving space vs. nice, high res photos.

lorieleann Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 4:30am
post #15 of 17

My set up is a Nikon D40 with a 35mm f/1.8 lens and an external SB-400 flash. I agree that cannon make a great camera, but I think that they really shine in the professional level and Nikon does better at the entry level 'serious' digital cameras. The D40 is only available now refurbished, which if I had to replace it, I may go that route because I really love it! Or I would look into the d90 or the D7000 ( thought that one is very popular and is backordered). Word is he d3100 is also really nice. The f/1.8 lens shoots beautifully in low and natural light , but when flash is needed, the SB-400 allows you to turn the flash to the ceiling and bounce it so that your entire frAme is filled and you don't get that washed out flash look. Look at my gallery or my blog for my photos. I also do minimal processing with Photoshop to sharpen and resize for web.

For some good photo advice visit kenrockwell dot com. Helps to cut through the hype.

cupadeecakes Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 4:48am
post #16 of 17

I have a Nikon D60 and I love it, but I agree that the camera is only part of it. Nikon and Canon both make excellent DSLRs. In my shop I created a photo station where I bought a few cheap photo backgrounds from Adorama, and some color corrected bulbs. We also took a class and got some Magic Lantern DVD guides on taking photographs as well as a DVD on our specific camera model.

Bakerella has an excellent post on her site (search for camera). Also, I wrote an article on my blog that shows my basic photo station setup. Best of luck to you!

SplendoraCakeandTea Posted 21 Nov 2010 , 6:04pm
post #17 of 17

Thank you so much everyone for the advice and tips!!!! I'm going to look closer at the setting on my current digital camera and see what effects I can achieve. I had no idea that a basic digital camera or editing software could create the look I want. I will definitely keep in mind all of the suggestions for SLR's and see if I can find anything on sale this Friday. Everyone's pictures looked great!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!

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