Author Topic: Camera for use in the shop  (Read 20438 times)

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Offline Chris Wong

  • Festool Dealer
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Camera for use in the shop
« on: June 21, 2015, 02:56 PM »
I'm trying to figure out a good solution for taking photographs for the magazine and blog articles that I write.

A typical photo shoot involves me working in the shop for about 2 hours making cuts, sanding, assembling, and staging for photos.  As decent as my shop's dust collection is, dust has still somehow gotten into my last two phone cameras, Canon point-and-shoot, and Nikon DSLR.

What do you guys use for a camera in the shop, when work is being done and dust generated?  Image quality is a must, and I'm hoping that I find something that will last and continue to take good quality photographs for at least a few years.
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com

The thoughts and ideas expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of http://UltimateTools.ca.  But Dan does say "hello".

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 413
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 03:38 PM »
Put your camera away and only use it once you need it. The only other thing would be to get an underwater camera or waterproof case. You will always get dust on the lense if you leave it out throughout a build. To fix a dusty lens just buy a lens cleanse kit.

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 576
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 04:24 PM »
Assuming you don't require the depth of field control of a SLR, I'd GoPro.
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Offline Don T

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 04:27 PM »
GoPro is what I see several people use that do woodworking videos.
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Offline teocaf

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 06:51 PM »
homemade hood: clear plastic bag with hole cut out and rubber banded around  lens or even saran wrap, etc.  you can leave it loose enough to  allow movement for various functions.  if you've got an uv filter on lens, it should be safe enough to blow dust off it with your compressor nozzle in between takes.  you can use a lightly sticking masking tape to mask around necessary sensors if you don't want to switch to full manual functions.  and like it's been suggested, keep it on a tripod out of the fray and covered until it's time to take a photo.  they also make soft rain protection bags for cameras that are cheaper than the hard underwater cases that are usually model-specific--check adorama or b&h photo.  it shouldn't be that hard of a problem to solve. 

Offline Brent Taylor

  • Posts: 471
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2015, 08:33 PM »
I use a Canon Eos Rebel, but I am thinking of getting a GoPro.  I am thinking of shooting video for my son so he can learn from me after I am gone.  My son has a learning issue and a problem with short term memory, but  he does learn by repatriation, especially when he can see it.  So I going to give it a shot.

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 413
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2015, 09:59 PM »
Go pro is nice however if you really want a good close up for a magazine or blog and it needs to be high res you are going to have issues with the wide angle. For doing projects I would prefer close ups to see the details and a go pro isn't going to deliver as well as an slr or even an iPhone.if you are going to do shots that are far away and videos than it would probably be your best answer to get a go pro. I use mine for skydiving and snowboarding and for doing sweet time lapse videos on projects. For anything else I wait till I have cleaned up and pull out my Nikon d60 with macro lenses. I want to remember how amazing that joint turned out or the different wood grain I found in a piece of maple or just the fine details of my projects.

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2015, 11:15 PM »
I have published around nine videos here on the FOG. All have been shot and edited using my IPad. The majority of still images published here were also taken on this IPad. Sure, the image quality may not be at broadcast levels but at 1080 HD it is more than adequate for UTube.

My first -



One day when my Festool collection is at a 'satisfactorily' level I may look at other, more quality, photographic options.

But be careful, an IPad is a lot less expensive than a  D610 Nikon going through a Planner/Thicknesser in 'PlankCam Mode'.  [eek] [big grin]
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 11:21 PM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2015, 11:36 PM »
I do like all the controls I have on my DSLR and obtaining a high level of detail is important to me.  Keep the suggestions coming... I'll check out waterproof bags.
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com

The thoughts and ideas expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of http://UltimateTools.ca.  But Dan does say "hello".

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 343
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2015, 01:22 AM »
I have heard it said that the best camera is the one you have on hand.  I've always favored portability and durability, so even a $100 Canon point and shoot makes for a good shop camera.  If it breaks or suffers from hard use, it's not as big of a loss to swallow.

Offline Ed Bray

  • Posts: 411
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2015, 03:55 AM »
I have a Pentax K3 with Weather Resistant lenses:




Offline jaguar36

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 12:09 PM »
I'd get a Pro level DSLR, a Canon 7D Mk2 has extremely good dust and weather sealing, and combine it with a Canon L lens and you shouldn't have any dust problems.  (obviously don't change lenses and keep the cap on while in a dusty shop).  I've used my 7D in the shop for years without any issue and its dust sealing isn't nearly as good as the Mk2, or of the more expensive cameras.

GoPro's are cheap, and can be useful in a small shop where their wide angle can be useful or for getitng into small spaces.  However their image quality is not the best in an indoor environment.  They are designed to be used outside where there is a ton of light.  Indoors even in a well-lit shop they don't perform as well.  I use one for most of my videos and even with a good bit extra light from some softboxes, the image quality isn't what I would want. 

*shameless plug* If you want to see how the GoPro performs, I've been using it for my Youtube videos, here is the latest one:

Offline Ed Bray

  • Posts: 411
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 12:25 PM »
*shameless plug* If you want to see how the GoPro performs, I've been using it for my Youtube videos, here is the latest one:

Where's the Kapex?  [tongue]

Offline jaguar36

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2015, 01:23 PM »
Where's the Kapex?  [tongue]

Hah! Its actually on the floor behind the camera.  I'm debating doing a video comparing the two, but its a bit silly considering the price difference.  Although honestly I'm not sure I like the Kapex better, haven't had it for long though.

Offline Mauri Motti

  • Posts: 355
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2015, 04:44 AM »
Hi Chris,

Dust will always be an issue Im afraid. I didn't read people suggesting a waterproof housing, so I thought mentioning it. Though I assume you've considered it. I have been looking into this option but declined it. I can't justify the costs as a decent casing is about half the costs as the point and shoot Canon that I use in the shop. Long-run-wise it would be a good investment though

Best regards

Offline idratherplaytennis

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2015, 10:33 PM »
homemade hood: clear plastic bag with hole cut out and rubber banded around  lens or even saran wrap, etc.  you can leave it loose enough to  allow movement for various functions.  if you've got an uv filter on lens, it should be safe enough to blow dust off it with your compressor nozzle in between takes.  you can use a lightly sticking masking tape to mask around necessary sensors if you don't want to switch to full manual functions.  and like it's been suggested, keep it on a tripod out of the fray and covered until it's time to take a photo.  they also make soft rain protection bags for cameras that are cheaper than the hard underwater cases that are usually model-specific--check adorama or b&h photo.  it shouldn't be that hard of a problem to solve.

Mind. Blown. Thanks for this. I would totally go the saran wrap method if I ever needed to do something like this.

In regards to the OP- If you're a Canon guy (it sounds like you are...?), then you definitely need to step it up to the 5/7D series. Those are where they start their pro level stuff, which includes all the dust and weather protection. But as others have said- it's only protected when it's already sealed, and the pro lenses (red rings) are the only ones that fully incorporate weather sealing. That said, a filter is also a very good idea because it would serve to protect the lens from the dust, as well as be considered a consumable that you don't need to be as careful with.

Then, what everyone else said- keep it covered until ready to shoot, then cover it back up. One ideal thing would be if you could tether it to your computer and maybe even tether it to a computer in a clean room. I know there is also ways to wirelessly tether the cameras to your computers, although I've never done it, nor am I familiar with it. I have a 5D Mark III that I love, but I would say even the 7D would be phenomenal for what you want to do. All that said- even the 7D will make massive sized pics ideal for editing and shrinking to magazine size.

Dust is a bugger though, and you just need to make sure to always clean the camera thoroughly before you change the lens/open anything etc, and to always change it in a clean area.

Offline Jonnio

  • Posts: 29
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2015, 06:00 PM »
Your phone camera is probably more than adequate.
I use my note 3 although I have a 5d mk2, I only use that for product shots ie furniture in interior settings.
For our workshop blog the phones images are really good, amazing detail. Also we have 6500k tubes for daily lighting that really helps with colour balance.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 155
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2015, 02:13 AM »
I'd want a macro lens, personally. You could look at cameras that accept legacy lenses in order to have some cheaper available ones. It makes a lot of sense given that you don't auto focus for videos, nor need to/want to for other shots. Well, that kind of depends on what mic you use, as no one likes to hear autofocus (real film crews for big movies never use any sort of autofocus, they got guys under the lens with their own script for adjustments, and a spotter that comes in during lens swaps cause they cost $60k).

1080 is a must for resolution. You'll always be better off with someone filming you with a gimbal or something for moving around, compared to a GoPro.

Offline DiscoStu

  • Posts: 152
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2015, 04:47 AM »
A Go Pro is ok but it is a very wide angle. I have a Hero 4 and that does have some less wide options but still pretty wide. I also have a Panasonic Lumix camera that is a compact digital camera designed for active people (so not sure why I own it!) it is water proof and the quality of the images are stunning. I'm very fussy about image quality and can tell you which lens I've used on my SLR just from the image and the Panasonic really is brilliant.

Offline DiscoStu

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2015, 04:48 AM »
oh and with a waterproof camera you can just wash the dust off!

Offline Wuffles

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2015, 06:23 AM »
A Go Pro is ok but it is a very wide angle. I have a Hero 4 and that does have some less wide options but still pretty wide. I also have a Panasonic Lumix camera that is a compact digital camera designed for active people (so not sure why I own it!) it is water proof and the quality of the images are stunning. I'm very fussy about image quality and can tell you which lens I've used on my SLR just from the image and the Panasonic really is brilliant.

I have one of those, used it on a bunch of water slides back in the 00s. Shame it sits on a shelf now, as you're right, really decent quality HD videos and images can be had from that bad boy.
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Offline charley1968

  • Posts: 488
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2015, 07:38 AM »
I'd go with a cheap digital compact, tripod and zip-loc bags.
I'd never ever expose my lenses/DSLR repeatedly to that kind of environment.
You control the lightning in your shop, so you don't need 'fast' lenses.
Why would you buy a camera that's made for action shots? The stock ain't gonna jump at you, i believe..
You want to publish on the internet, so you're using JPEG- files? What kind of sensor resolution do you really need? Nowadays almost any point and shoot will satisfy your needs for resolution.
Good luck!
Just for today..

Offline DiscoStu

  • Posts: 152
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2015, 03:29 AM »
I agree with you about the speed and resolution. I do think a "reasonable" lens makes a difference ie a camera lens rather than a phone. A cheap compact makes sense to me, but I'd go for a waterproof model as that solves the dust issue. A zip lock back will produce a poor image.

Offline charley1968

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2015, 06:51 AM »
Stu: you're meant to cut a hole in the ziploc-bag and put the lens through the hole. Then you use gaffertape or a rubberband to seal the hole.
Just for today..

Offline anthonyz

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Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2015, 11:32 AM »
Just picked up a GoPro +3 Silver at Costco for $250. Think it will work good in the shop with the Waterproof housing. It has settings so you can shoot Wide, Medium and Narrow. Playing around with it, I think it will give me lots of Options, and easier to set up than my 7D with array of lenses for Video. This will be my new go to camera for in the shop. With various mounts available you can easily set it up for over head shots without the issue of the weight of the camera like you would with a DLSR. It will stick just about anywhere with the right mounting bracket and for $25 you can get a package of a lot of mounts. I picked up 3 tripod mounts for $5. Also the size will allow for tight places, and you can view everything from your phone or tablet, so setting up shots are easy, especially in tight spaces where your camera might be backed up to a wall and you can't get behind it to view what you are shooting. 

Offline Thebesciak

  • Posts: 79
Re: Camera for use in the shop
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2015, 09:25 PM »
instead of pricey GoPro i like my Xiaomi Yi camera,
http://www.gearbest.com/action-cameras/pp_153557.html?wid=2

pros:
2k 30fps video looks very good,
Very well priced,
controlled by smartfone over the wifi,
battery last way longer than in any gopro,
it is lighter then gopro,

cons:
waterproof case and memmory card isnt included in the set,