Thursday, 27 March 2014

New Cheap Photo Studio - Foldio review, comparison shots and Arkward returns!

Hello all,
Like most of you miniature-loving, hobbiest out there I've struggled long and hard with getting pictures that actually look like the miniature. Light, colours etc is just such a hassle.
I've tried several set-ups, lamps etc but nothing has really done the job. Thus when I saw a kickstarter for a photo studio set-up that looked great and was not that expensive I jumped at the chance. The kickstarter was for a set-up named Foldio - becuase it folds, get it? :-). It is lit up by a strip of LED lights and was fairly cheap. 
Well, it was delivered this morning and I've been tampering with it ever since. And to be honest I'm satisfied, but only just.
The first thing I should show you is a comparison shot - this is Arkward, everyones favourite minotaur.

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict
Arkward - before and after
On the left is a before shot - overexposed and yellowish due to the lamps used. On the right is the best I could tweak the Foldio to produce. If you expand the picture you can see that the colours are much more like they are in the real world (you can also see his nose has been chipped, Argh!!). Yet it is still a bit too dark (even after I've photo-shopped it).
All in all I do think that while the picture on the left is better to get ones attention due to the bright colours, the Foldio-shot is the best of the two as it is much closer to reality and actually shows highlights, blends etc.

So this is the tweaked version. What does that mean? Well the Foldio looks like this:

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdictMinotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

A sheet of high-quality plastic thingy that folds into a photo-box, or light box, and locks using magnets. The LED strip uses 9 volt battery and thats about it. It feels like ok quality all the way.
But I've found that a single LED strip is simply not enough. It gives dark pictures, even though it reflects well and there are no shadows.
So I tweaked it to look like this:

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict
Ignore the miniature - it is a secret!

I've raised up the bottom to get more light from the top strip and have added a cheap strip from IKEA I had available. Together these two strips are almost enough. I think if I could find a better strip this setup would be hard to beat, I'll be trawling the Chinese LED shops for some time now :-).

So my verdict on the Foldio? Well it didn't solve all my problems in one delicious swoop, nor will it be the hasslefree experience I had hoped for, instead it will be something that needs setting up and adjusting, but not anymore than any other setup I've tried. The quality is good, but the LED are insufficient. I'll give it a 7 out of 10 - I'll use it for all photoes in the future, but I'll need to tweak it even further to be satisfied. But for 20$ I'm pretty satisfied and think it will stop me screaming at my camera and staring in disbelief at the pictures I have available to upload :-).

So, I guess this leaves just the new pictures of Arkward, the slightly confused Minotaur (read his history here) taken using the above setup - I would really appreciate your opinion as to whether this is better or worse than the previous efforts (can be seen here):

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

Minotaur, Games, Workshop, Marauder, Miniatures, 1990, Aly, Trish, Morrison, Monster, MM42, Foldio, Comparison, review, verdict

Thanks for visiting and any and all comments are appreciated!

All the best,
Kasper

1 comment:

  1. Its definitely an improvement in picture quality

    ReplyDelete

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