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"Good camera for miniature diorama photography" Topic

8 Posts

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780 hits since 26 Oct 2017
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Wealdmaster26 Oct 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

I've just gotten a Foldio light box and now am learning about the limitations of my Samsung smartphone camera. For example the lack of ability to get all of the miniatures in focus in even a small diorama with a bit of field depth. I'm looking to get a camera with the ability to adjust the aperature/f stop. I am not convinced I need to shell out the bucks to get a DSLR camera though and think there must be something with a nice aperature setting, and a macro mode or lens that could fit the bill for less than $150. USD Any suggestions appreciated.

Oberlindes Sol LIC26 Oct 2017 2:32 p.m. PST

I don't know much about cameras, but I know my brother, who is a professional photographer and videographer, and he gave me this advice: it's not the camera, it's the cameraman. Or cameraperson. Or maybe camera operator, just to avoid offending Artificial Americans, who are not considered "persons".

Anyway, his point is that one should devote more energy and money to skill development than hardware acquisition.

That being said, sometimes you need a specialized camera for certain tasks. I have gotten good results with an old Nikon digital camera and tripod, using the macro setting, the shutter timer, and sometimes a light bounce.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

My Apple IPAD take better pictures than my NIKON and auto focuses like a champ!The zoom is better than the 200mm telephoto lens I borrowed from a buddy AND better than the Micro lens he also had.

Best of all, it'a all digital photography and I don't need to have any film developed nor spend time in a darkroom with messy chemicals anymore!

Whatever you choose, hope you enjoy phtographing your collections and sharing them.


repaint26 Oct 2017 3:37 p.m. PST

basically you are looking for contradictory things. For many figures in focus, you want an 'f' that is around 5-6 but if you want a lot of detail and light your 'f' needs to be a 1.6-1.8…

there are a few things that will help:
-very good light
-camera stand
-auto shutter

this will go a long way to help with your photography. Incidentally, I think the Samsung has very good low light ability with a low 'f', therefore you will not have the depth of field you are looking for with miniatures.

Most under USD 200 cameras have an adjustable 'f' between 2.5 and 7. Your goal is a setup with the 3 points mentioned previously.

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

it is the light… the flash.. use a good bounce flash and set at F 16 and dont look back.. see these:
TMP link


Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 8:13 p.m. PST

The higher you set the F Stop the better the lens you need to have or the shutter speed may go up and you'll get out of focus.

Good glass is crucial. Get a lens with the lowest F rating you can afford. This will help with low light, allow faster shutter speeds, and allow you to crank up the F stop on the camera to achieve maximum depth of focus.

jwebster27 Oct 2017 2:17 p.m. PST

From repaint

Incidentally, I think the Samsung has very good low light ability with a low 'f', therefore you will not have the depth of field you are looking for with miniatures

Try getting a camera app for the phone that has settable f stop. You will probably need a stand of some kind for the smartphone as well (or prop it up on something).

Smartphone inherently has good depth of field because of small sensor size, so if you can get to max f number you should get great depth of field

I doubt that a $150 USD camera will get you better results than the phone.


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2017 5:42 p.m. PST

There is an article that deals with this in the current issue(November) of Model Railroader magazine. Specificaly it deals with using an Apple iphone to take pictures. It may be available at your local library or it is in most hobby shops.


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