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  • Is this a good camera for professional photography

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    I'm in the process of getting my 1st dslr, and I finally found one that I can afford is it a good camera and should I get the added lense?
    It comes with a 8-55mm DX Zoom-Nikkor lens but I could also get for an extra xtra lens: Nikon - Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm for $100.
    I'm going to be doing mostly portraits.
    Please offer your advice
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by sskelsey; 09-21-2008, 08:21 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

    please help

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    • #3
      Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

      I have seen some very famous photographers using a 6.1 mp camera for their work. And I have heard others swear them off. I use one made by Canon.

      It all comes down to what size you are shooting for. If its something you are going to crop in on to enlarge, its not great. If you are shooting for a 8x10 its pretty decent.
      Its not so much the camera as it is the lens that matters. Once I put on a nifty-fifty my details jumped a lot more than what I was getting.

      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

        ok, thanks a lot. So I should try to get the 55-200mm lens?

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        • #5
          Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

          If you're doing portraits I would go for a nice 105 lens.

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          • #6
            Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

            whatever you choose is good... focus on getting a really good lens! something around 2.8 or less.... actually just look for old fixed ones! 50mm 1.4f WOW, 85mm....

            105mm might be too much, because of the crop factor on ccd!

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            • #7
              Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

              Originally posted by sskelsey View Post
              ...I'm in the process of getting my 1st dslr, and I finally found one that I can afford is it a good camera and should I get the added lense?
              It comes with a 8-55mm DX Zoom-Nikkor lens but I could also get for an extra xtra lens: Nikon - Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm for $100.
              I'm going to be doing mostly portraits.
              Please offer your advice
              Thanks in advance.
              You titled the thread "good camera for professional photography" - Do you mean that you are starting a photography business shooting portraits?

              I bought the Nikon D40 last year with both the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm VR lenses. Most professional photographers would not consider the D40 as a "professional" camera since it is not built for heavy professional use. It does not have an internal focus drive motor and can only Auto Focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses - this probably is not a big problem for your planned usage, but is something you should know and understand before you make a purchase. The D40 does not have a connection for a synch cord for off-camera flash, but you can use a (more expensive) Pocket Wizard or other set-up for off-camera flash. (Lighting is a key component of portrait photography.)

              I use the D40 for candid portraits of dogs at the county shelter for use on Petfinders.com for marketing purposes to draw interested people into the shelter to adopt the dog. I have been very happy with the camera, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a DSLR for home use. I'm not a professional photographer, but my opinion is that the D40 is a good entry-level DSLR.

              If you are turning pro, the biggest question is which lens system are you going to need/prefer -- the camera body just holds the film and the lens, while the lens is the truly important part for a professional. You are not going to be able to afford really good glass now (or you wouldn't be looking at budget cameras), but you need to start learning about which system will offer you what you will need in the future. Nikon and Canon are the big two, but there are other companies that are competitive. Once you start spending money on lenses, it is hard to change to another system (some folks say they can get their money back when they sell their lenses, but it's still a possible loss).

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              • #8
                Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                The advice I continually read and support is to first put your money in good glass. The camera technology is constantly improving and getting cheaper while the the investment in glass and resale stays very constant. Last year I bought a 40D and now the 50D is out. I was considering buying a 5D earlier this Summer and decided to wait for the 5DII...glad I did. I'm sure the next generation of Canons with be coming out in another 12 to 18 months....buy the glass. Also as Chris says you can take very good pics with the lower end cameras.

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                • #9
                  Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                  Are you planning to do studio work or available light?

                  Most portrait photographers (who shoot Nikon) prefer to use the 50 and 85mm lenses, or the 28-70. Of those 3, only the 28-70 would work on the D40. The other 2 you will be manually focusing (and if you're shooting kids, that will be an exercise in frustration).

                  The lenses you mention are considered entry level kit lenses. They don't have wide apertures or some of the coatings on the glass that help cut down on flare and ghosting.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                    I think you already got some good information here, but I'll try to make it a little more clear.

                    First of all, any of the current DSLRs cameras can deliver stunning image quality, with more expensive models you mostly pay for convenience. As a beginner you should try to save as much as possible on the body, and be prepared to spend most of your money on glass.

                    The Nikon d40 is an exception though: As a cost-cutting measure Nikon has left out the auto focus motor, so it WILL NOT WORK with most lenses in the Nikon lineup. For example the 50mm prime lens (the "nifty fifty" that was recommended above) will not work on this camera.

                    For this reason I recommend you to buy the new Canon Rebel XS, which is about the same level and price as the d40, but does not limit your choice of lenses. With the camera I recommend the lens " Canon EF 50mm f/1.8" which can be had for less than $100.
                    (This comes from a Nikon shooter btw)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                      Slight correction:

                      The 50mm lens will work on the D40, but it will not be auto-focus. You will have to manually focus the lens (same for the 105 and 85mm lenses too).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                        Hi sskelsey,

                        There's a couple of points I like to help you with, I've been in the game for over 30 yrs.
                        With a dslr buy a camera with autofocus!!...you know what they say about kids and animals. Some kids are naturals...animals on the other hand!!! try and manual focus when Fido dosn't know what 'sit still..look at me..smile' means.
                        Give me adults any day.
                        Just joking , their all good to shoot, but I hope you get the point!!!

                        Low meg cameras can take great shots, around a4 size, 8-10 megs are better for larger photo's, more pixels to use.

                        It sounds like your going for an entry level outfit, thats fine...but save up as quickly as possible and invest in top quality glass, I use the term 'invest' because thats what your doing, investing in your future with better quality hardware...which in turn means better quality photo's...which in turn means a better reputation...which in turn means 'MORE MONEY', and that's what it's all about. ( I'm finished with the 'which in turns' )

                        For some reason when I talk about portrait shots with younger photographers they don't seem to know what '1:1 ratio' is, besides fully understanding what 'depth of field' means,
                        understanding that 1:1 ratio is the single most important factor when taking portraits (as well as fstop, lighting,etc,etc.,).
                        Briefly explained, i'ts when the the face of the model in the printed photo is in exact proportion to her face in real life, not ballooned out. Do a "google" on 1:1 ratio.
                        As an example get a friend with their 'point and shoot' to take your portrait at arms length, no zoom, then zoom out and physicaly move in or out to get your face in the same frame and then compare, you'll see what I mean.

                        The reason I went into all that was to clarify why i'm going to suggest, that when you can afford it, buy a 70-200mm quality lens, this will give you the versatility you need.
                        I use nothing less than 130mm to take portraits, and I move in or out to get the correct frame.(minimal or no cropping).

                        Good luck in your career, I hope this has helped you, if I can help you in some other way please let me know.

                        Regards.
                        Barry.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is this a good camera for professional photogr

                          I just wanna chip in a point of view. You can make decent A4 prints from those 6mp and if you work with ADs who respect your crop, you could probably get away with it.

                          But as soon as you start working with big companies and ADs who wanna be the artist you could end up with some problems.
                          One thing would be them cropping off 60% of the image to get what they want. I've seen ADs turn a landscape shot into a portrait close-up, and frankly if often ends up looking like shit :S
                          Another thing could be that they are pixel hungry and simply want want want as many pixels as possible. It could be because they are planning to make poster sized work and therefor naturally need a lot of pixel to interpolate it up a lot.
                          I haven't met a lot of retouchers that were able to brush up a 6mp to poster or billboard size and keep high quality. But I guess that's up to ones own definition of quality.

                          I would shoot 12mp for my portfolio, and not below 16mp for professional work. Optimal to keep myself safe in all cases I would shoot 30mp nowadays.
                          I would love to shoot 50mp. Buuuut... so damn expensive :P

                          Edit: I'm not saying it's a bad cam. Not at all... just raising the question of the threshold of "professional"
                          Last edited by flice; 09-27-2008, 07:19 AM.

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