Camera Advice?

Decorating By adree313 Updated 1 Oct 2009 , 8:29pm by luvlaugh

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adree313 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 11:42pm
post #1 of 15

i'm really fed up with my dinky little camera. as you can see, my photos are leaving something to be desired.

can anyone lead me in the direction of a good camera? preferrably something that will catch all the detail/colors of cakes. i like the blurry background/in focus foreground, which my camera doesn't know how to do (maybe it's the owner? but we'll stick with the stupid camera).

thanks in advance!

14 replies
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adree313 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 4:07am
post #2 of 15

okay, no response there.

how about advice on photoshop? i hear a lot of you saying that you use it. did you really pay the high price tag? or is there somewhere we can get a free trial version (for longer than 30 days)? as in, maybe an official version, just not with ALL the special things it comes with?

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Jen80 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 8:24am
post #3 of 15

I think your camera actually takes pretty good pics. Your light source (window/doorway) is nearly always coming from behind your cakes. I find that tends to take away from the cake. If you can find an area in your home that is covered where you can get sunlight coming from all directions they'd turn out great.

I actually take my cakes out to my front deck/verandah put some material on my outdoor setting and start snapping away. I think it brings out the colours really well. The photo for my avatar was taken that way.

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Ruth0209 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 8:34am
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Hi, neighbor! I think it's the megapixels you want to care about when you shop for a camera. I have a Canon Power Shot that I really love.

Look for no less than 8 megapixels. An optical zoom of 10x is nice, too. You also want to look for a close-up setting like the portrait or flower settings so you can get clarity with close-ups. You probably have to spend $250 or more to get a really good camera.

With my camera, if I push the shutter halfway down, it focuses on what I'm pointing at in the middle of the lens, and then the stuff behind it is blurred. Most cameras do that. You also want to set the camera so it takes pictures on the highest resolution. Most cameras give you the option to set the resolution low so you get more pictures on the Flash or SD card. You'll get better pics if you set it at the highest setting. Mine is so high I have to resize them to a smaller size in order to upload them to CC. You can do that with Microsoft Office Picture Manager that comes with your MS Office suite on your computer. Right click on the picture, select "Open With", and select MS Picture Manager, then go to "Picture" and then "Resize" to resize it if you need to.

I also recommend that you take pictures looking through the viewfinder holding the camera steady up at your face. People wiggle the camera all over the place when they hold the camera out at arm's length and look at the LCD screen to take a picture, then can't understand why their pics are blurred.

Be sure you have good light shining from above and a blank background, if possible. I use two pieces of foamcore behind the cake for a plain white background.

I hope that helps. That's what I know.

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Melnick Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 9:28am
post #5 of 15

I would absolutely recommend a digital SLR camera - you will NEVER regret your purchase. Digital cameras take a long time to take the photo - especially in low light which is why you get blurry shots - your hand will shake. Also, a zoom on a digital camera, isn't a real zoom. The pic is the same size no matter what and the zoom just enlarges it which is why you get pixilation. A digital SLR works on the same principals of the old cameras. You look through the view finder to take the pic, not at the screen. You can instantly see how your pic looked and zoom in on the screen to make sure that all the detail is in focus. And if you are photographing people .... magic! The shot is instant and they're still in the screen! Our family loves Canon cameras. I have a 450D and I love it!

The blurry background has to do with depth of field. If you have a portrait setting (the face) on the dial, use that to get the blurry background.

As for Photoshop, it can't fix a blurry photo. What it can do is alter the contrast in the photo to make the details stand out more, you can edit out parts of the pic you don't want (takes some practice), etc. But it can't fix a pixelated photo either. There is a program called Photoshop Elements which would have all the features that you would need it to have and (over here) it is in the vicinity of $200 or so I think.

Hope this helps!

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ApplegumKitchen Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 11:59am
post #6 of 15

A second thumbs up thumbs_up.gif for Digital SLR - ALSO the Canon 450D

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ccr03 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 2:30pm
post #7 of 15

If you don't/can't afford a digital SLR, I just got the Canon Powershot SX10IS 10MP. It's GREAT! I absolutely love it.

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mamanof3 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 2:39pm
post #8 of 15

HI, I have an olympus sp-565uz. Absolutely LOVE it. It even has a setting for taking pictures of food items. I got mine direct from olympus refurbished for about 1/2 the price of a new and have had no problems with it. Super satisfied.

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Tide89 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 2:52pm
post #9 of 15

I just bought an Olympus FE-5010 and love it. It has 12 megapixels and LOTS of settings. I'm just getting started with it, but have found it really easy to use. I also recently found an awesome FREE photo editing site called Picnik. You can do all kinds of things to digital pictures. You can also write on your pics which I love. You can pay for an upgrade and get tons of features, but I only use the free ones. Try it out at

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adree313 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 5:09pm
post #10 of 15

thank you so much for all the responses. i've googled all the cameras everyone mentioned and have them favorited to research some more.

i think what i've gathered from what everyone has said is that my light source is the main problem i'm having. i usually set my cakes on the kitchen table which is surrounded on 3 sides by windows. there would be no way to not have a window behind it without getting my entire kitchen in the background. that's where the foamcore would come in. i'll have to get one of those so i can get my light behind me.

i just hate when i have something white on my cake it doesn't stand out well. like on my birthday cake, you can't tell that the bottom balls have sanding sugar on them to make them sparkle. i guess i just need to experiment more with lighting to catch those types of things.

thanks for all the advice everyone!!

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FloraFlora Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 6:30pm
post #11 of 15

Before you rush off to buy another camera, I suggest you look into taking an intro class of photography. Many local community centers, or adult high school/night colleges might offer that. The basic intro class would teach you simple knowledge of how camera works, how to find good light source, how to change the shutter speed, how to change the aperture (to get the blurry background), how to composite your photo. Some even teach you how to use your own camera.

I've taken a class like that years ago. It significantly improved my photography skill. My cakes look way better after the class. I felt it was one of my best investment in my entire life! icon_smile.gif

Last word of advice, invest in a tripod or external flash. Because built-in flash is EVIL! icon_evil.gificon_evil.gificon_evil.gif I never ever use the built-in flash any more.

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Rylan Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 6:38pm
post #12 of 15

I'd go for the DSLRs. The lenses are super expensive but you will see a big difference.

No matter what camera you have, you must have good lighting (natural is best). Sometimes it's not just about the camera but also the photographer.

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Texas_Rose Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 7:15pm
post #13 of 15

A good photo editing program can really help, without being as expensive as a new camera. I used to take most of my pictures with my cell phone because that's all I had, and I used Paint Shop Pro to fix them up. I bought a camera and it takes better pictures, but I still end up using PSP to crop them or fix lighting issues. I've had Photoshop before but it was really complicated.

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jardot22 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 7:25pm
post #14 of 15

I also think your background would make a huge difference. I just use a black sheet behind my cakes when taking a picture. I also use an digital SLR camera, and it does make a difference as well, but I think your background is the main issue.

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luvlaugh Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 8:29pm
post #15 of 15

DSLRs are great. I have a Sony cybershot and does the basic of those things. Pictures turn out great. I hope this helps. icon_biggrin.gif

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