Camera suggestion for beginner hoping to start own business

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by sevans, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. sevans

    sevans TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone! I've always been interested in photography but it has always been at a very, very amateur level using a point and shoot. I want to step it up and get a good DSLR, take some photography classes, and hopefully open my own business (as a side job to begin with). I am interested in newborn, baby, child, and family photography. I am really excited about this!

    My biggest question at this point is asking for suggestions for a camera. I've done a little research but haven't had much luck narrowing it down and finding what works best for my needs. Suggestions, please? :D

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It probably won't matter which camera you get, just about all the modern DSLR models will be able handle that type of work. An equally important choice, will be the lenses you get.
    When you buy an SLR camera, you are buying to a system of cameras, lenses and accessories, so consider the system as a whole...before you buy in. For this reason, I usually recommend Canon or Nikon, but you could certainly get by with a Sony or Pentax etc.

    What is your budget?
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Budget makes a big difference.
    I find investing in lenses of bigger importance than a camera body (not to say the body isn't important, but the glass is more important).

    I shoot Canon and I don't know much about Nikon, other than they make great cameras and lenses. There is no major difference between Canon and Nikon IMO. There are some, but buying in to either system is a good choice. Don't let anyone tell you other wise.

    Without knowing your budget, I'd say starting off with a Canon 40D or 50D would be good. The Rebel line of cameras is nice, but the 40D/50D is a bit nicer, but yet still affordable.

    For Canon lenses, look for those who have an L designation (red ring), they are their top of the line. They are pricey, but worth it.
     
  4. sevans

    sevans TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies Big Mike and bigtwinky! As far as a budget, maybe around a $1,000 for a camera. I've only researched Canon so far but didn't know if I should go for the Rebel or needed something a little more expensive. Yes, I figured the lenses were really important for my needs. I plan to shoot inside and outside and definitely some close-ups of newborns. Researching lenses is where I really got overwhelmed!
     
  5. SouthEastFirePhoto

    SouthEastFirePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Here is a thought for you. If you are not sure where you are going with all this yet and just getting started, why not look at a lightly used DSLR to save a bit and be sure you are going to stay with it?

    KEH.com has some great stuff, B&H and Adorama also sell used gear and of course there is this forum and a few others where you could look.

    I am not saying don't buy new, just another option if you hadn't thought of it is all..... Good luck and welcome aboard!!
     
  6. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Last year, I was in a similar spot you are in right now. Always been behind the camera, interested in photography, mostly used P&S and some film cameras when I was younger.

    I decided to push my hobby a bit further and learn a bit more about what I am doing. I found some Canon lenses my mom had in a bag (they are about 10 years old) and I brought those to a local store to see if they would fit on a new dSLR, with autofocus and all that jazz working.

    They both did, so I decided to buy a body and get into digital photography. At the time, the two Canons I was looking at were the XSI and the 40D. I went with the XSI because it was cheaper.

    I am currently taking a university diploma in photography, learning basics, lighting, fashion, product, business, portraits and so on. After my first class was done, I regretting not buying the 40D. Its a more robust camera, has a higher fps and a higher ISO. Not huge differences, and not enough for me to upgrade right now, but having shot with one a few times, I think it would of been better as a starter camera.

    I still love my XSI. Its a great camera and I figure I'll keep it for a while longer, upgrading lenses, and then move to the 50D or whatever similar crop sensor camera is out then.

    The point of getting a used dSLR is a great idea. A used 40D should be a greater starting point. I see some between $700 and $900 on KEH right now.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with you considering you lenses as bodies come and go. That being said $1000 is a bit of a low number to start shooting photos for people. I guess saying you are going to "start your own business" is sort of a loaded term as it imples something larger than you probably plan.
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I'll throw in a Nikon recommendation, the D90. It has Live View, excellent high ISO performance, speed, functionality and everything you'd need in a camera for this type of work, plus it's right in your price range.
     
  9. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Note that KEH also sells used camera gear, both on their website, and on eBay.

    Sevans,

    Spend your money wisely, get the best glass you can first.

    If you buy used, DON'T fall for the used camera gear with Warranty registration cards that haven't been filled out. Don't know about Canon, but Nikon warranties are NOT transferrable. And you usually have to prove that you are the original purchaser before they will let you register a piece of equipment.

    Will be diffcult for anyone to become a professional photographer on a $1,000 budget, just as it would also be difficult to become a professional mechanic with $1,000 worth of tools.

    But ~ BEST OF LUCK to you, everyone has to start somewhere.

    And you will never get to where you want to be if you don't ever begin your journey.
     
  10. sevans

    sevans TPF Noob!

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    The $1,000 budget was for the camera only. The plan is to get a camera (again, around $1,000) and maybe 1-2 lenses and start practicing, maybe taking classes, etc. Once I decide to start the business, I will add some more lenses to my collection.
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    If this is really for a business, consider going to the bank and getting a small business loan.

    Fact is, in order to have a business you need to be able to get professional results. This requires more than just a body and a great lens, it requires lighting - you will need to buy a couple strobes, umbrellas, and triggering equipment, along with small stuff like backgrounds and the stands for said backgrounds. All that will can easily add up to $1,000 in and of itself.

    You will also need a tripod and some computing equipment - a nicely sized monitor for working on these high-resolution pictures and a legal copy of Photoshop CS4 (pirated Photoshop is OK if you're like me and just fool around with it, it's NOT OK if you're actually making money with it IMO).

    Keep in mind, that if a customer hires you to come out and all they see is the camera that they bought their hubby for Christmas that you are hand-holding while you take the photos, if the photos do not come back *perfect* then they're going to be rather annoyed and you're going to have an unhappy customer. If, however, you have the same camera as them but you at least have this huge amount of lighting equipment that makes the customer think "I could never do this, way too complicated" then if the photos don't come back exactly perfect, you may get a response like "I guess I'm just not photogenic", where you have an unhappy customer but at least they're not badmouthing your work to their friends (by the way, a really good photographer should NEVER get that kind of response back, but that's beside the point).

    As for actual camera recommendations, for the budget-limited the Nikon D90 will do the trick coupled with a 50mm f/1.4D lens. If coming up with that kind of money in 1 go is too hard, consider going the film route: a Nikon F100 coupled with a 85mm f/1.8D can run you a combined $700-$750, and will actually yield you better results than with digital.

    But perhaps this is maybe a bit much for someone who's just upgrading from a point and shoot?...
     
  12. Figment

    Figment TPF Noob!

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    I guess I'll throw my VERY limited opinion in on this.
    I was facing the same situation you're in right now, up until today. (Yes, I bought my first DSLR This MORNING!)
    I spent about 6 weeks researching, asking questions both at work and on this forum.
    The opinions about either Nikon or Canon, IMO, are true.
    I've been an avid Canon user for Video for years. However, I stepped into the world of Nikon this morning.
    I picked up a Nikon D40, because all I want is something to take nice pictures, but be able to actually control the camera as well.
    From what I've learned, what everyone else is saying is true. The glass you throw in front of the body is just as, if not more important than the glass itself.
    I can say now from the 3-4 hours I've been playing with my rig, and the time I spent with a buddies D60, that I'm 100% thrilled with my purchase.
    My personal recomendation would be, like someone else said, start with something lower end. A D40 or D60 (Or Canon Equivelant), throw some nice glass in front of it, and play around for a while. Make sure it's something you're going to stick with before dumping a ton of money into a bunch of stuff you won't use.
    One thing I can warn you about, if you're shopping online, be wary of the "kits" people are selling. They'll throw in a bunch of stuff, make it look like "Hey! There's a TON of stuff here" but what you end up with is paying for a bunch of stuff you'll never use. Also, the lenses in these kits can be lower end as well.
    If you're set on a "kit", go to a professional shop or reputable online source.
    Personally, I went to Calumet. They have a shop here in Hollywood. A WONDERFUL woman named Christy took the time to answer my questions, be patient with me, (Unlike Samys) and put together a kit for me that covered ALL the bases to get me started without raking me over the coals.
    I bought a Nikon D40, 18-55 Lens, Bag, SB400 Flash, 4Gb Sandisk Card, Rechargable batteries and charger for the flash, UV and Polarizer filter, Cleaning kit, and a Photoshop basics for photo editing DVD (Not sure how much help it'll be, but she threw it in anyway... They sell em for $32.99) Out the door was just under $700. Samys was going to charge close to $650 for the body, lense, and a bag.
    Anyways, that's my 2 cents. :)
     

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