Q: I like taking pictures of food that I make, but the camera that I have is not really suitable for nice close-up food photos. They always end up being blurry or weirdly lit, and ultimately rather unappetizing.
I would like to buy a better camera that can suit my food-photo needs. I am not a photographer by any means, and don't plan on becoming one, so I don't think a camera with lots of lenses and adjustments would be a good investment. Do you have any recommendations for compact, easy-to-use cameras that are good for taking pictures of food?
Sent by Ayumi
Editor: Ayumi, the first thing we are going to suggest is to play around with your own camera a little more before you upgrade. Nearly any camera is capable of getting a decent photo of food, given enough light and know-how. Some cameras will make it easier for you, but it's best to really know what you're doing before you upgrade!
The main keys to taking good food photos are light, white balance, and getting the food in focus. You may be taking photos too close-up for your lens to handle, and also not keeping the camera totally still. You also may be trying to take photos in low light (very common at dinnertime!).
We suggest working with your camera and a plate of food (preferably something simple, like a piece of bread or an apple, on a white plate). Play around during the day, near a window, and take lots and lots of photos. Read through your camera manual and see if you can get at least a few good shots with your current camera. It will help you get a better sense of its limitations and what you can do to get better shots in general.
Here are some more tips for food photography:
And finally, as to camera, there is no one camera that is going to be best for food photography! I personally really liked my old Canon Powershot; it's a nice point-and-shoot with some of the capabilities of an SLR, so it can grow with you as you develop your photography. But ultimately you should get a camera that will suit all your needs — from travel photography to food!
Readers, any good advice for Ayumi?
(Image: Susanna Hopler)