Low Budget Green Screen/Lights + Camera Phone = Doable?

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PhotoTeach2 Senior Member • Posts: 3,929
Re: Low Budget Green Screen/Lights + Camera Phone = Doable?

HumanTarget wrote:

RyantheRyno wrote:

HumanTarget wrote:

RyantheRyno wrote:

Hello, thanks for taking a look.

My brother is managing a medium scale piano shop, and I am helping him with the web design aspect, but we are also creating an online inventory of 15+ pianos. My question is, with a low budget, is it possible to create an effective greenscreen, and would it be acceptable to use a high end phone camera to capture the photographs?

There are some limitations with space, as the pianos are all together in a showroom, a foot apart or so.

Space, lighting, and know-how are crucial in utilizing a green screen effectively. You could spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and still get poor results.

As was suggested, a white background would be a better option. But again, knowing how to light is as important as having the right equipment (not that I'd say the selected light kit is the right equipment for your specific job).
Does the shop have large windows you could move the pianos near? Sunlight is free and would likely give you better results.

We were trying to avoid moving the pianos too far, due to them being several hundred pounds and requiring a lot of time and effort to move, but if it is the best option then it can be done. I believe there is one large window we can open up, so it would be good to test out.

You don't have to open up the window; windows let light through them, don't they? Or is it covered with something?

Is it possible to just use a white sheet or is that unreasonable?

White sheets are always appealing in theory. In reality, they generally end up looking like white sheets, unfortunately, very prone to wrinkling.

Also without asking for too much of your time, would you be able to recommend a DSLR under $1000 for this type of photography?

Honestly, any DSLR (or mirrorless camera) should be suitable for the job. It's really all about the lighting, and lighting a piano is no simple task; a simple Google "shopping" search should show that.
I suppose it should be asked, though, what sort of results are you looking to achieve?

I have to fully agree with everything above .... You don't need "green" screen.  And "white" sheets look like "white-sheets", (w/ wrinkles), and VERY UN-PROFESSIONAL.

And "lighting" is the key.  If you TURN OFF ALL INTERIOR LIGHTS and put a piano close to a large, (w/ diffused sunlight -- not "direct" sun) window, the (nearby) piano will be well lit but other pianos in the background will be "darker", (naturally).

Another option is to get 2 or 3 (large) umbrella lights directed only onto a single piano will be "highlighted" and then all the background pianos will be (much) darker.

IF you know what you are doing, (and use correct lens), this can look very professional.

But also, as has been mentioned, the camera you use will be very irrelevant.  Note that I would use MIRRORLESS, (not dSLR), but virtually any type camera could be used, (and actually even a phone-cam IF you could properly CONTROL THE "LIGHTING").

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