View Full Version : To get a Digital Camera, or not to get a digital camera, that is the question...

03-20-2003, 04:43 PM
So is it really worth getting a digital camera. The way I see it is with a fairly high digital camera you can take pictures of whatevery you want, whereas with the internet, you have to search around for a long time to find what you need in the right angle/size/etc.
Can someone who has a digital camera (and does 3D modeling) tell me if they think a camera is worth the $$$ to get, or if you should just stick with the internet for finding pictues.
Also, is there any type of digital camera $400- (I am just a kid, I can't afford too much) that would be better for the type of pics that I need, or are they all about the same (of course more Megapixels the better). The type of pics I will be using the most will most likely be pics of people and animals that are hard to find on internet, and also some textures and a little bit of on-site pics. If anyone has any input, it would be greatly welcomed. BTW I am currently looking at a Olympus D-550 with a 2.8x optical/3x digital 3 Megapixel camera. Thanks a lot.

03-21-2003, 02:26 AM
I bought one a few months ago and haen't regretted it one day.


03-21-2003, 07:21 AM
A digital camera is nice but honestly, I don't use mine much. At least for my 3D work. The only thing I use it for is to take pictures of things I want to model. I thought I would be using it for textures too, but there are so many good free texture resources on the web that are free, I really don't bother most of the time. If you're just a kid and don't have the money, I might save it and get LW8 when it comes out instead. I'm not sure when it's coming out but it should be this year.
If you're a professional, then I think a digital camera is a must but if you're just a hobbyist, there are certainly better things to spend your money on.

03-21-2003, 07:38 AM
I bought a 1.3 Mpx Olympus D-150z with 3x optical zoom a couple of years ago. It's great for web and email snapshots. Even if you don't use it in your work, I don't think you'll regret it.

Most Olympus cameras use SmartMedia. I'd prefer CompactFlash, as it's available in larger sizes.

Some cameras can only store compressed JPEGs. I'd like an option to disable compression.

Optical zoom is the only way to go. If you have a choice between 2 Mpx with optical zoom and 3 Mpx without, I'd get the 2 Mpx.

At this price level, there isn't too much to say. Buy something that looks comfortable and has the features you want. What I like about my camera is that it looks and works just like a 35 mm snapshot camera.

03-21-2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by LSlugger

Some cameras can only store compressed JPEGs. I'd like an option to disable compression.

That is one thing I like about the Olympus d-550, is that it can have uncompressed pictures. And I am a little more than a hobbyist, you see, my brother owns a online software company and we are thinking of getting into 3D gaming. I wouldn't quite call it a job (as it may not even work out) but it is a bit more than a hobby, even though I useally model for fun of it.
BTW does anyone have any tips on making a good metal surface, mine always look to dull.
Thanks again

03-21-2003, 09:53 AM
I recently bought an Olympus C4000Z. Its a great 4 megapixel camera with some awesome features for the price (just under $400 online). It has a 3x optical zoom, can take uncompressed tiffs at a resolution of up to 2288x1712, it has manual controls for shutter speed, aperature width, and focus, 5 white balance presets, and it can focus on objects as close as 2 cm away.

If you plan on buying one, I would suggest doing extensive research at places like http://www.dcviews.com/ or http://www.dpreview.com/.


03-23-2003, 04:45 PM
You should totally get a digital camera!

Taking pictures of things you wish to model is only one aspect. The better reason to get a digital camera is for textures! I have a large digital SLR that I use for pro stuff, but for everyday use, I have a little Canon S230. It's 3.2 megapixels, and great for texture maps, image backgrounds, reflection maps, gloss maps, and of course bump maps!

What to look for:
Name brand, like Canon, Nikon, Olympus. HP and Kodak are so-so.
Megapixels - 3.0 or higher. If you can only afford so much, don't go below 2.0.
Storage - type II compact flash. You'll want to be able to shoot in 1024 res or higher, and have room to store about 200 images or more. Type II slots allow for 1Gig Microdrives for ultimate storage.

I've been shooting for 20 years. Everything now is digital!


03-24-2003, 12:21 PM
Spend the money and get a digital camera. I bought mine about 2 years ago - it's a stupid little 1.5 megapixel Olympus Camedia that I spent too much on, as the price that I paid for it then could have been spent on a 5 megapixel today... but the 2 years has been fun. After work, on sunny days, I go out for long walks with my camera, and get tons of textures with the camera. I love just walking around taking pictures. I have one 8 mb card that came with the camera, and a separate 65 mb card that I keep in the camera most of the time. Using these two cards, on high res images, I can get about 150 or so pictures. In low quality images, I can get about 1000 or so images. I usually keep the flash turned off and go high quality on cloud shots or wood texture shots, or turn on the auto low res option thingy that lets me take 10 pictures at a time click click click... to get action shots or a sort of panoramic thing where I can put the 10 shots in line in photoshop to create panoramics that I fill in the gradations to. I wish that I had a 5 megapixel camera, but then I wouldn't get nearly as many pics since it would require lots more space. I can fit a ton of pics on cd. One of these days, I'm going to upload about a gig of zipped up images that I took over the last 2 years to turbosquid. I haven't done it yet since I'm on 28k at home, but soon I'll try to figure out a way to get the images to work. I tried external hd, but that didn't work too well as moving aroun the hd seems to have almost short circuited it. If I barely move the usb connector, it kills the connection... I'll probably burn to cd soon, and may upload a few freebies here...
I live next to a University owned horse stable, so I get shots of
horses in movement and wood fence shots quite a bit.

If nothing else, get a digital camera so that you are not burning your eyes out looking at a monitor all day. Getting out into the fresh air is exhilerating, especially if you can capture it all and take it with you! :) :p :eek:

03-24-2003, 01:33 PM
I bought a little digital camera over a year ago, (Olympus C-960 Zoom)
It was "expensive" for my budget and I imagined an under-used toy.
How wrong I was!
For texture, reference pics, general shots it's superb. My work for the wildlife center I'm involved with makes it something I can't live without.
If I see something I like, click-click-click, be it a building, tree, texture.
I still use my "proper" camera when I want high-quality or high speed, (like hawks in flight ;) ) but for just about everything else, my little digicam is always there. It has a 32MB card in it, the ability to weed out crappy pictures as you shoot measn no wasted "film"

Today there are really good ones, but unless you're into print work, the 1.3 Megapixels are good enough for most texture work. Remember, your textures only really need to be as large as the pixel area on screen. Don't go wasting a 3MPx image on an object occupying 100 pixels wide!

Get one, they are sooo fun to play with and soon, you'll wonder how you lived without it.

03-24-2003, 03:34 PM
Yeah digi cameras are kewl, you can take photos of your private parts arnd send them to people :-)