New Canon Rebel T3 DSLR Camera

When I started shopping for a new camera, I wanted a camera I could use for my jewelry business, Peggy Li Creations. There were a few things I needed out of my new camera:

1) Easy to use. I've never used a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera.
2) Ability to take great macro (close-up) photography.
3) Flexibility, I want to use the camera for work, but also for play!
4) Price. Nice DSLR cameras *start* at around $500 and can go up from there!

As I did more research into DSLRs and macrophotography, there were some other features that can be important, like the ability to switch up lenses. You can get super specialized lenses for macro photography that give amazing detail. I would also need some lights and a light box to properly take images (I'll write another post about that!). It would also help to be able to trigger the camera remotely (to avoid shaking the camera while taking the picture).

So many details! I finally settled on the Canon Rebel T3, which is essentially the "entry" model SLR from Canon. "Entry-level" seems to mean that you don't have the max megapixels or super hi-def video capabilities, but at 12 megapixels, that should be more than enough, and I don't have a high priority to use it for video.

My review of the Canon T3 so far? I love the camera! I was able to take some shots right away and am very excited by the results. It makes me definitely want to learn more about photography. Right now, I'm checking out some videos on YouTube (this one, specifically for Product Photography for Small Items, was very helpful).

Here are some examples of before and after images. First image, on the left, were taken using my flatbed scanner. Images on the right are taken using the Canon T3.

Turquoise Fringe Earrings

On the left, the Turquoise Fringe Earrings show good detail on the metal earring top, but the color on the beads get overexposed and lay a little funny since they must lie horizontally on the scanner surface. On the right, the earrings hang naturally and the color appears more accurately. Win!
Clustered Circle Earrings
On the left, I have my Clustered Circle Earrings as scanned from the flatbed scanner. Not too bad, but they also have a little bit of a "flattened" appearance. This is more of a problem for earrings, which are more three-dimensional than necklaces. On the right, the earrings once again are hanging naturally, so you have more of a sense of how they will actually wear.

Which do you prefer, the scanner pics or the camera pics? Any tips on taking better product photos? As I learn more about my camera and product photography I'll try and post about it here on my jewelry blog!

All the best,


Unknown said...

I think the camera shots are the best! I started a blog a while ago and have recently decided to get serious about it. I struggle with the whole picture taking thing, I have tried the scanner and decided to stick to the camera. Hopefully I will be buying a half ways decent camera for my pictures are horrible. Takes for the info!

greg said...

I would suggest purchasing a white booth when snapping pics of your clip earrings. I used a little photo booth when I take pictures of my little models. It makes the picture pop out the detail of everything.

Amy said...

Thanks for the post - I am in the midst of getting a new camera and looking at reviews for the Canon T3 and others....I definitely like the photo pics best....and have bookmarked that you-tube site...great info!

Fotini said...

Thanks for the post, pics look great. I have been looking at the Canon t3 and the nikon 5100. do you recommend a specific macro lens?

plcpeggy said...


I haven't gotten a macro lens yet -- still using the lens that came with the camera, seems to be working well for me right now.

I've also read about add-on magnifying macro lenses that aren't a full new lens, but a cap you can put over your existing that make your lens macro. Less expensive to get one of these.


Margo said...

I have a canon T3, and that's what I use for my jewelry photography as well! I love the camera photo of the earrings- how did you get the background so white? I've never been able to achieve a white background!

plcpeggy said...

Hi Margo,

first, play with your camera settings (F-stop, Focal Length, and ISO), use a light box or diffused light, if you can, and get yourself an image editing software. I use Photoshop, but it is expensive. For the camera settings and light box ideas/shooting ideas, do a search on You Tube -- lots of examples there!

I hope to do a future post on the details.


Handmade Jewelry by Sabrina D. said...

Yes I think your Cannon camera does a way better job then the flatbed scanner there is no comparison. I am currently using a Sony Cybershot DSC H9 I have found the having the ability to adjust your camera settings there are 3 which are important:

1. White Balance
2. Macro Mode
3. Turn Off Flash
4. Timer

As long as your have these abilities and I would say it should do fine no mater if it's 4-5 years old like mine or new.

Thanks for the information on that Cannon Camera Peggy I have been looking to upgrade just wasnt sure what to upgrade to.

Anonymous said...

I would be nice if you made a tutorial for people that would like to sell their used jewelry and have no patience to figure out their canon T3 camera ha ha.

plcpeggy said...

Anon, you can always use your phone to get nice pics! Sometimes you don't need a fancy camera.