The Little World Meets The Little Studio


Here’s a cross-over post that is in tune with my other blog. In this case it is about model car photography but Little World citizens can adapt the ideas to model aircraft, doll houses, and gaming tableaux as well.

I am often asked which is the best camera for scale model photography. Leaving aside the  old saw about the best camera being the one that is with you. I will make some concrete recommendations.

  1. Digital. Do not be persuaded that analog photography will serve your purposes these days. Once it would have, now it won’t.
  2. If you have little money and little inclination to pursue the complexities of photography, get one of the compact cameras from Olympus, Nikon, Canon, or Fujifilm. They will be cheaper than the equivalent products from Sony, Leica, or other makers. They will have a simple automatic setting that will allow you to succeed most of the time. If you can take your models out into the sunshine or into a bright open space they will function well. Keep moving back and forth until the camera focuses and then press the shutter button home. Share the results with your Facebook friends.
  3. If you have a great deal of money get an APS-C DSLR from Nikon or Canon and a 40mm or 80mm macro lens. Purchase a speedlight from your preferred maker and a flexible TTL connecting cord to attach it to the camera. Also purchase a Mag Mod Dome or Scoop flash diffuser. You can use all of this gear to take magnificent pictures of whatever model setup you have, but you will need to learn how to use it – and you will need to learn how to do post-processing with one of the image editing software programs like Photoshop Elements or Adobe Lightroom.

4. If you have a middling amount purchase a micro 4/3 camera from Olympus or an X-series camera from Fujifilm. You can also get a speedlight and TTL cord or you can opt for a set of reading lights from IKEA to illuminate the scenes. The lenses you need to look for are the 12-50 macro for the Olympus or the 18-55 for the Fujifilm – they will return superb results.

The road to success is not that long with cameras of this nature as they are generally more competent at shooting than you are at seeing. As you get better you will understand light better and be able to start applying it to your models – in any case you may be able to default to having natural light on your models outside, which means the cameras can perform at their best. Look upon it as a learning opportunity, just as your first models were training for your later ones.


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