Budget Camera for Food Photography

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by Y060N, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. Y060N

    Y060N New Member

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    First of all let me apologize for the lack of information I can give you. I am extremely general in all the questions I answered. I have a food blog and I have been using my Samsung Galaxy for taking all of the photos. While it's not the best option, I can usually get decent pictures when I turn up the vibrancy, saturation, mess around with levels, and do some general editing in Photoshop.

    The problem I have is with the quality. I see many other food bloggers out there getting such high detail out of the food, while my cellphone camera is leaving me a little in the dark. The edges of things are not clearly defined (slight blurring), and the crevices in food are also not well defined.

    Keep in mind my website isn't huge, but it's growing. I have around 1500 visitors on an average day, and I'd like to step up the quality of photos I'm serving to the visitors with the recipes I post. My budget isn't large, but I think there's some workable cameras for that range. I don't need to do extremely professional shots, but I'd like to get some better shots than I'm getting now. My current camera on my Phone is 10 megapixels.

    If you could give me some advice on what to do, I'd much appreciate it. Some other bloggers recommended a Nikon Coolpix, which is in the range of my budget, but I'd rather hear some opinions (or specific models) from you guys - who know what you're talking about.

    Many thanks in advanced!


    My budget isn't huge, I am looking to stay within the $100 - $200 range.


    The size doesn't matter to me at all.


    How many megapixels will suffice for you? Whatever will get the job done best.

    * What optical zoom will you need? Whatever will get the job done best.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? 8

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? Not sure.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Only food photography.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? No.

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Indoor photos only, for the most part.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? No, all relatively still photos.


    Are there particular brands you like or hate? Not at all.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? Not at the moment, I was recommended a Nikon Coolpix.
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    You'll need a camera that does reasonably well in low light without a flash. Two very important factors in this regard are sensor type - a CMOS sensor is the best - and sensor size. Probably the best small camera in your price range with a CMOS sensor of the standard size (1/2.3 inches) is the Canon Elph 330 HS. If you're OK with a very small camera with tiny controls, the Canon Elph 510 and 520 are also very good and are less expensive than the Elph 330. If you can afford to spend $219 you can pick up the Canon S110. It has a larger sensor than the Elph's (1/1.7 inches) and does even better in low light.
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    If you are shooting in a restaurant, with no control over the light, then an advanced camera will help. And if you are already using Photoshop then you are certainly due for an advanced camera (not a little Coolpix)! I have also seen nice prices on used Olympus PL1 and Panasonic LX3, LX5.

    But for shooting on your own terms, lighting is even more important than the camera selection. And it is possible to put together a little lighting kit for $200 USD.

    Links for lots more thoughts on the food game -


    How To: Take Better Food Photos

    Professional Food Photography Lighting Tips – PictureCorrect

    Shooting a Red Hot Chili Pepper: Flaming Food Photography

    A Lighting Gear Buying Guide for Photographers | Learn Food Photography and Food Styling

    Kelly Cook
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