Affordable camera + macro lens for printed circuit board (PCB) photography

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reverse_engineer New Member • Posts: 3
Affordable camera + macro lens for printed circuit board (PCB) photography

I'm new to photography, and am interested in buying a camera and lens for taking top-down photographs of printed circuit boards (PCBs) for reverse engineering (as well as general photography), as shown in this video by Kent VanderVelden: PCB Photography for Reverse Engineering

From the video description, it looks like Kent's setup is a Canon EOS 80D with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. The lens alone costs around ~£1k, so I'm just wondering if this is overkill and whether there are cheaper alternatives that would produce comparable results?

For large PCBs, it won't be necessary to capture the entire board in a single photo, as I can automatically create composite images in Photoshop by stitching multiple photos together. It's more important that there is minimal perspective distortion, so the board looks as flat as possible. I shouldn't need much depth-of-field either, as any component markings on a different focal plane can be captured separately and added to a composite image.

I've been looking at some entry-level mirrorless APS-C cameras like the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, but I'm not sure if the EF-M format is too restrictive in terms of lenses, though adapters are available. I found a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM OS Macro lens that's much more affordable than the Canon 100mm, but I don't know if it's comparable.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS M50 (EOS Kiss M)
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