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My sister in law has an online store which she sells her handmade bracelets in there. Currently she is using her Android phone's camera for photography but she asked me to look for a real camera for sharper and better images.

As both of us have never experienced in digital cameras and she can't put a lot of time for learning, and also her budget is limited, I came across 5 different products for her:

  • Used Sony DSC-H400 (63x zoom)
  • Used Canon 550D (18-55 lens)
  • Used Canon 1200D (18-55, 30-75 and 35-70 lenses)
  • Used Nikon B700 (60x zoom)
  • New Canon 4000D (18-55 DC III or maybe even 18-55 IS II lens)

So, as her main goal is product photography, and she is also interested in outdoor photography, which one should she choose?

Also, is there any source to compare photos of each camera online? where can we find sample photos of each camera?

Thanks.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, mattdm, xiota, Hueco, inkista Oct 7 at 21:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Lighting is just as important as the camera. I could get good results with any of those cameras, if they have a hotshoe so I can use my speedlights off-camera. If you are shooting a lot of bracelets, use a light tent, it will produce fairly good results with a minimum of fuss. If you are only shooting a few expensive pieces, you can do better than a light tent, but you will need to do a lot of learning. – Mattman944 Oct 6 at 9:20
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    Shopping questions tend to be off topic right across stack exchange. This one is even too broad for that. Get yourself down to your local camera shop & spend an hour talking to them about what you might need. – Tetsujin Oct 6 at 10:19
  • "real camera for sharper and better images" – Don't forget to look for a "real" lens too. – xiota Oct 6 at 17:51
  • Voting as too broad. You need to spend time learning about the features offered and how those relate to product shooting. Feel free to ask about specific features and whether those would be of use. I’d also recommend you rent equipment and try things out. Also: no one does well without learning a few things about photography, editing, lighting...if you truly don’t have time to learn and no will to learn, stick with the phone. Else, welcome to the club. – Hueco Oct 6 at 18:08
  • If you post a picture and explain what you would like to improve, that would be a better question. If you have a budget limit, state that also. – Mattman944 Oct 6 at 23:24
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Do not use a large zoom lens. They compromise image quality across their large ranges, and you don't need large zoom ranges for product photography (unless you are selling ants). Go for large sensors, small pixel counts, a tripod and a lens that is good around 50mm EFL (effective focal length compared to 135 "full-frame" format).

A flash hotshoe is mandatory.

Personally, I like my DSC-R1: it has an APS-C-ish sensor (crop factor 1.66), just 10MP, base ISO of 160 (and one shouldn't go all that much higher because its sensitivity as one of the first CMOS cameras is not fabulous) and a very good fixed zoom lens with 24mm-120mm EFL with f/2.4 to f/4.8. Its main disadvantages are that its LCD and viewfinder resolution are not enough for evaluating picture quality, and its JPEG processing is definitely inferior to working with its raw files (which are a full 20MB in size and cause some delays with the old media format this camera uses).

There is some merit for product photography of small items in getting the VCL-M3367 closeup lens (+3 dioptres) which allows getting significantly closer.Walnut on table, narrow depth of focus with DSC-R1

The optics of this camera are impressive at its price point and will give kit lenses a run for their money, but newer cameras will offer faster handling, displays with significantly better resolution, more sensitive sensors (not all that important since product photography is not done in low-light), better JPEG processing.

And make no mistake: you'll likely have to invest a significant amount of money in lightboxes, flashes, softboxes and other light modifiers, remote flash triggers and whatnot. So the price tag of the camera will likely not end up taking the majority of the budget if you are pitching for older gear.

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About any APS-C DSLR will do (APS-C gives you a bit more depths of field than a full-frame). The 18-55mm Canon kit lens has good and bad versions. To make it simple the good ones have stabilization (aka "IS").

You can use instead a short "macro" lens. You loose the zoom capability but you gain in sharpness. Two good and not too expensive lenses: Canon EF-S 60mm macro and Canon EF-S 35mm macro.

But you main accessory is going to be a light tent.

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I'd say focus bracketing is key. If you look at the image in the other answer, you see that only part of the product is sharp. The reason is that the product is three-dimensional, and small objects photographed at small distances tend to have shallow depth of field.

Canon EOS R series cameras have focus bracketing, but even the cheapest of them, EOS RP, is more expensive than the cameras you mention.

I'm not familiar with non-Canon cameras so I can't comment on whether there's a cheap camera supporting focus bracketing.

Anyway, if focus bracketing is not available, you'll want to use a ridiculously small aperture and use either long exposure (tripod required!) or a flash. With flash, you'll need flash modifiers etc.

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    Focus stacking is easy enough to do manually - photo.stackexchange.com/a/112140/57929 – Tetsujin Oct 6 at 13:11
  • Does EOS R focus bracket and stack (combine) the images in camera? – xiota Oct 6 at 17:55
  • No. For focus stacking, digital photo professional software is required, but it's free for all users of Canon cameras. – juhist Oct 6 at 18:56

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