Taking photographs of your miniatures is very difficult. You end up with a photo that shoes the model 3 to 10 times the real size and every detail and mistake is magnified. The secret to photographing miniatures is to ignore that detail until you have got the photo to the right size.
I’m not going to tell you which camera you should buy, the market changes to quickly. However here are some generic hints and tips that might help you choose which camera to use and how to use it.
Lots of light (preferably daylight bulbs) 3 lights of about 150+ watts positioned one to the left at 45 degrees on to the right at 45 degrees your camera wedged in between them and one above the camera at about 45 degrees of vertical.
You need macro mode. Check the focal range and position your camera accordingly (probably 1 to 10 cm)
ISO The higher you go the grainier it will become, so stay down low.
A timer will stop wobble when you let go of the shutter button.
White balance, check that white is white by taking a photo of a bit of white paper. If you camera has a setting to change the white balance then pick the best one you can.
Aperture controls how wide the shutter opens and therefore how much light it lets in. So this needs to be tuned to the lights that you are using.
Exposure affects how long the shutter is open for and therefore how much light it lets in. So this needs to be tuned to the lights that you are using.
My method of finding the optimum setup is to take one model and take a picture of it with the default settings, then pick one parameter (say ISO) and go through each of the different options, download the pictures, work out which is best then stick with that and move on to the next parameter. Its time consuming, but if you make sure you write everything down when you find the settings you only have to go through it once.
I use three foolscap box files, two for the base and one for the back. This lifts the ‘floor’ of my ‘studio’ just enough so that the flexible desk lamps can point straight at the miniatures. In the two lamps there are 160watt equivalent (32W energy saving) daylight bulbs, these bulbs take about 5 minutes to warm up to a constant colour. I use a graduated blue back ground printed from this PDF file. I place my models about 5cm away from the camera and snap away. Each time I turn the camera on I check the white balance and settings are OK.
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