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Hey guys and gals, what's up?!  I got a new digital camera, finally!  It's not the best out there, not even close, but light years ahead of the Samsung Digimax D53 that I was using before.  I bought the Canon Powershot SX160 IS.  Coming up from the crappy Samsung, I feel liberated by a big degree, lol.

 

I'm going to be using it for a lot of things, especially modding (finally), product reviews, etc.  The things this camera can are just sweet, but I expect I'll likely out-grow it quickly at the pace I've been learning to use it at.  I've had it for about a week and WOW.  Thankfully I also have some peeps to help with any questions, and hopefully I can get that here too, of course.  Anyway, expect new quality, and very soon, projekt updates!  I have at least 3 different reviews coming up too.  Func Gaming, Lutro0 Customs and Alsa Corp., who have all been extremely patient with me so far (thanks all!).

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Already had one for years now, but I need a much better one.  This one's a tad on the "cheap" side, lol.  I also have a mini-tripod that I hate.  I need one with good build quality, and not made of plastic.  I HATE plastic ones with a passion.  I've had 3 break on me already, so the cheap metal one I have now is my buddy.

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Already had one for years now, but I need a much better one.  This one's a tad on the "cheap" side, lol.  I also have a mini-tripod that I hate.  I need one with good build quality, and not made of plastic.  I HATE plastic ones with a passion.  I've had 3 break on me already, so the cheap metal one I have now is my buddy.

Manfrotto - Problem solved.

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Manfrotto - Problem solved.

I looked at those and laughed my head off.  My camera only cost me $142 USD, lol, I'm not paying more than that for the tripod to use with it.  I liked their table tripod though, but $28 USD for that little thing too?  That's crazy talk.

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I looked at those and laughed my head off.  My camera only cost me $142 USD, lol, I'm not paying more than that for the tripod to use with it.  I liked their table tripod though, but $28 USD for that little thing too?  That's crazy talk.

A few hundred dollars isn't all that bad when it'll survive 20+ years of professional use/abuse. That said, they're really overkill for most people. You can usually find el-cheapo aluminum tripods with plastic heads for around $20-$30 at local stores that'll work fine.

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A few hundred dollars isn't all that bad when it'll survive 20+ years of professional use/abuse. That said, they're really overkill for most people. You can usually find el-cheapo aluminum tripods with plastic heads for around $20-$30 at local stores that'll work fine.

I could do up to $100 USD at MOST, and that's stretching it pretty far honestly.  My current tripod is a cheap metal Targus one with a metal head and arm, and it's ok, but I really need one that's stable.  I'll keep shopping around, but this one's worked great for me for many years (through 3 different cameras so far), compared to the crappy higher-priced metal ones which are more stable and durable, but with cheap plastic heads that break too easily.

Thanks for the suggestions though.  I've been getting used to all the stuff this camera can do, and now am working on building custom light fixture mounts to go with the light fixtures that I have, so that I can actually have decent lighting for photo and video work.  I'll upload some pics of what I'm working with very soon, so you can see.  Honestly the lighting stuff is 1,000x more important for me to get done right now, since I have reviews and such to do asap.  I have the tripods I do already, a set of levels, etc., so that's no biggie right now.  The lighting stuff, that's the #1 projekt.  Thankfully I was wise enough to have invested a few dollars, back in 2009, which scored me the lighting fixtures and such that I now have to use for all of this.  :)  And now I just have to keep an eye out for more people in this apartment complex that are throwing furniture away, lol.  I blew the chance to strip another box-spring and couch for their wood and such, grr.  Next time I'm going for it asap.

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Yeah, lighting is the part that takes practice... shoot-through umbrellas are cheap, thin white bedsheets are cheaper (both will soften the light and even things out, reducing or eliminating hard shadows), clamp-lights are cheap, pieces of painted cardboard or foam-core make for great cheap reflectors... assuming that your camera has a custom white balance mode (essential!), you could pick up a small (like 12") Lastolite grey card pretty inexpensively.

 

As for the tripod, keep an eye out for photography studios going out of business or old photographers retiring in your area (it's not all that uncommon)... You can usually score really great gear for very little money. Also, check eBay for older equipment. I have an E. Leitz Tiltall #4602 tripod in my closet that's probably going on 40 years old--the tripod is daayumn near indestructible, all metal (including the knobs), and I've seen them go for well under $100 on eBay in the past. The only reason it's in my closet is because I recently replaced it with a modern Manfrotto.

 

Just a few thoughts... hopefully there was something helpful in there.

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Totally agree on the lighting. I use a couple of day light balanced bulbs and they have been working great. For adjusting white balance I use a disc matched for my lens.

I have been using a cheap targus tripod for 3 years now and no issues. I picked up a small table top tripod that I use for the review pictures and so far its working great.

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Yes, lighting takes lots of practice.  As to what I'm working with so far, for the lighting setups/rigs, these are what I'm starting with.  I have to get a new bulb for the one in front, obviously, but I do know it works, so at least I have that going for me.  Yes, yes, I finally uploaded a pic (to my Photobucket, so it's been resized and compressed by the site since I have a free basic account only) that I took with this thing, cropped some too, but not much.  Just no reason to see boxes that are off to the left, lol.  I took this pic at 16MP (4608x2592), F/4 f-stop, ISO speed of 100, 0 step exposure bias, 3.625 max aperture, 5mm focal length, and manual white balance under incandescent lighting conditions.  Not too shabby of low-light imagery when I do it this way, but if I do it as "auto" or "program", it looks like utter pixelated Poopadilly around the subjects, lol, very grainy.  I LOVE manually being able to set options and such!

 

Lightfixturestouseforcustomphotographyan

 

As to the tripod I have, it's this exact one (NOT the junk plastic-headed newer model like they have on Amazon).  Heck, perhaps I should look on that link a bit more for tripods too, lol.  As much as I hate that company, buying from them is sheerly out of convenience and pricing, so u no say anything.  :P

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ISO 100? That's usually reserved for very brightly lit environments... makes me curious about what shutter speed you were at because you're a bit under exposed in that image. The auto mode is noisy in that environment likely because it's cranking up the ISO to allow for a higher shutter speed (under the assumption that the camera is being handheld).

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ISO 100? That's usually reserved for very brightly lit environments... makes me curious about what shutter speed you were at because you're a bit under exposed in that image. The auto mode is noisy in that environment likely because it's cranking up the ISO to allow for a higher shutter speed (under the assumption that the camera is being handheld).

 

Shutter speed was 1 second.  I used my "trusty" tripod for the shot, with a 2 second timer, to eliminate potential camera shake.  As to the lighting in the pic, that is actually how the lighting was for the situation.  The main lighting for this image was just some squiggly bulbs in our dining room ceiling fan (roughly a good 15 feet or so away), the background lighting was just one squiggly bulb in a torchier lamp off to the right and back a bit.  But yeah, I agree the lighting seems off, but that's literally how it looked outside the camera as well.

 

Here are the original pic's properties:

Lightfixturestouseforcustomphotographyan

 

I was going to do faster ISO, but I just couldn't get it to be bright enough when I did that.  Weird.  I'm still getting used to it though, so it's no biggie.  I wasn't going for pro with that shot anyway, lol.

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This I got a new Camera turned into a good thread.  I'm just a rookie at photography but it's really great when you work out some good pictures.  You have passed on some good ideas on lighting. I have a real problem in my house and usually have to wait till late afternoon to get some natural assistance.  More secrets please, I'm listening.

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The main thing that I have learned with lighting is getting the white balance correct. And I always take pics at an ISO of 100, auto always makes it too grainy for my taste. 

 

I bought my camera used and it came with a remote shutter release (best thing ever), but before that I was doing what you did. 2 second shutter delay. 

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