There are so many camera options out there, and the jargon used is technical and confusing. So let's demystify the digital camera buying process.
© Jim Miotke
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Making the Digital Camera Buying Process Easier for Ebay Selling
First, you need to ask yourself a series of easy questions:
1. What are you going for as a final result? In this case, most ebay photographers need nothing more than a low-resolution camera. You're not going to need large prints - just small 72dpi images for Web display. So almost any digital camera will work, and we can feel grateful and relieved now that we've answered this question. It is the toughest camera-buying question to answer ... and it's all downhill from here.
2. Do you already own lenses for an older, film camera? Or do you already lean toward a particular brand? If so, go with this preference. It will cut the confusing array of choices down considerably. Always trust your gut instinct, and go with the brand you like the best. The same thing goes with price - if you have a limit, use it to narrow down your options.
3. How large is your typical subject? If small, a digital camera with a macro mode or the ability to use specialized macro lenses is a must. Also pay attention to what is called the "close focusing distance". You want a camera that will let you get as close as a centimeter or an inch away from an item without losing focus.
4. Where will you be photographing, and what is the light like? If you will often be able to photograph your item outdoors in open shade - or, if that's not possible, next to a bright window or door, utilizing
natural light - you'll find it much easier to capture complementary and selling images of your items.
5. Available (non-flash) light not an option? Then look for more sophisticated digital cameras with the ability to attach an external, accessory flash. The little on-camera flash will do okay, but you'll see a big difference when using a better light source than that tiny on-camera flash. If you're a Power Seller, you might want to consider investing in a studio lighting system. You can get a set of lights and set them up in your garage for under $1000 or even cheaper if you buy used gear (look at Ebay's Photography section to see what's available.
6. In the end, the features I would most look for are:
- The ability to use macro or other lens;
- The ports that will allow you to use an external accessory flash or studio lighting accessories;
- Control over White Balance in case you are photographing in non-daylight lighting;
- Ease when it comes to connecting the camera and transferring images to your computer and getting each image ready for primetime.
The current cameras I most recommend are:
Shooting Tips for Ebay Selling
Consider scale. Don't forget to put an item in your shot for size reference - a penny is good for small items, a ruler for larger.
Choose a nice background. Don't photograph your item against the shag carpet in your living room, if you can help it. Instead buy some white seamless paper from a local professional camera store or a craft store.
Beware of file size. Save and edit digital pictures in your photo editor in a medium-quality setting so the file size is not too large to slow down loading time of the listing. The only thing more frustrating than no photo of your item for sale, is an indication that a photo is available but it does not load.
Digital Camera Calculators
BetterPhoto.com makes buying a digital camera fun with its Digital Camera Calculators - which help you quickly find the camera that works best for you.
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Jim Miotke