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My Favorite Camera and Lens for Microstock Photography

18 October 2009 4 Comments

I started selling my pictures through microstock almost two years ago in November 2007. Today, I have about 1800 pictures in my stock portfolio. Since I am using Adobe Lightroom 2 to catalog all my pictures, I can easily sort them according to camera and lens. It provides some interesting statistics. Sometimes, the camera EXIF data are lost, so these numbers are not completely accurate.

Let’s look at cameras first.

Canon EOS 50D camera

Canon EOS 10D: 50 pictures (2.7 %)
I started submitting pictures to microstock with my first digital SLR camera.

Canon EOS 40D: 1500 pictures (81.5%)
Very quickly, I upgraded my old 10D to Canon 40D and this camera still remains my microstock work horse. Shortly after, I bought the 40D, a new model, Canon 50D was introduced.

Pentax Optio W30
Pentax Optio W10 and W30: 10 pictures (0.5%)

I use these compact waterproof cameras for paddling, racing, and other outdoor activities to provide images and video clips for my blogs: Paddling with a Camera and Fitness Paddling. These pictures are generally too noisy for microstock. Nevertheless, I am selling a few of them in microstock portfolio.

Unknown camera (scanner): 250 pictures (13.6%). I scanned some of my old Polaroid transfers, watercolor abstracts and some other background textures, played a little bit with scanning 3-dimensional objects. This activity provides some fun and variety into my microstock, but not so much of income. I have been using Epson Perfection 4870 photo scanner for years.

Most of my microstock images were created with Canon EOS 40D camera. Let’s look at lenses I am using with this camera.

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro: 1150 pictures (77%).
I bought this lens together with my Canon 40D camera. It is my mostly used lens for microstock photography. It works perfectly for macro and product shots in my home office with just 9′ of working space. I used to take it also for outdoor shooting before I got a zoom lens.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM: 300 pictures (20%).
It was my second lens purchased for Canon 40D funded from microstock earnings. I am using it as general lens for outdoor photography and in my studio when a wide angle is needed. I take it as a single lens for my paddling, hiking or biking adventures.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS: 40 pictures (3%).
A great lens, I love it, and, unfortunately, I don’t use it that much for microstock …
I got it before my microstock time.

Canon EOS 40 D camera with EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens are my mostly used tools for microstock photography (more than 60% of my portfolio). The above statistics also shows how microstock changed my photography during last 2 years from outdoor (landscape, nature, sport) to tabletop or rather some sort of photo illustration.

Is it time to upgrade my camera equipment? A full sensor camera?

It looks like I would need Canon EOS 5D mark II camera with EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens …

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