How much does equipment matter?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Jacki, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Jacki

    Jacki TPF Noob!

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    Hello!
    I was wondering about selling photographs, and how much the equipment used really matters. Isn't it the photographer that makes the picture extraordinary more than the camera used?

    I realize that this may not apply to someone using a low-end cell phone camera; I'm referring to higher end point and shoot cameras and dslrs. Is is possible to get a sellable print from a point and shoot camera? I feel like there must be people out there that are able to do this.

    For example, at local art shows, I see individuals selling prints in various sizes of their work, and they must sell, otherwise they wouldn't come back every year. :lol: Anyway, I would like to sell prints of my work, and I feel that I could learn to take pictures that are quality enough for art shows without a dslr. I am not nearly as experienced as most of the people here though, which is why I am curious to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

    Part of the reason I am writing this is that I am getting money to buy a new camera in a couple of weeks. I have a low budget, and I was going to buy the Canon G9, but now I have decided to go with the G11. However, there is this part of me that thinks maybe I should try for a DSLR, but my budget is so low, I don't know if it would be worth it.

    I love photography, I love taking pictures, I am eager to learn.
     
  2. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    From what I have read, the G9 was a pretty good camera, not sure bout the G11. I don't think you can go wrong with a Canon. Their p&s cameras are pretty solid. You could definitely get nice shots (good enough to sell) from a point and shoot. I took all of my pictures with a Canon p&s up until August. I am a believer in it's the person behind the camera but as you grow, you will find that your camera will not grow with you.
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    You could save some money and get the Canon S90 if you want to go the P&S route.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    How much does equipment matter? Somewhere between a small amount, and a positively huge amount, depending upon the skill and experience of the shooter, and the subject matter and the desired end result/output of the photos. If the camera mattered not at all, we could just frame the scene with our two hands and move our index finder downward and say "Click!" and capture a photo. If you're trying to shoot hydroplane racing boats coming directly at the camera position from 200 yards to 60 yards from your shooting position with an old, 1990's 300mm Nikkor screw-drive lens, you want a pro AF module body like a D2x or D3s with a powerful AF motor in it. If you're shooting landscapes from a tripod, a wooden-bodied view camera made in 1939 and that takes 10 minutes to set up and shoot one sheet of film-- is fine. If the light levels are good, and you use good shot discipline (correct aperture, low ISO setting, tripod), the G9 or G11 can make LARGE landscape prints that look quite good.

    Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape in fact shot the G11 versus a Hasselblad system with 45-Megapixel digital back on landscapes and printed large prints and showed them to experienced photographers; the results were excellent for the tiny-sensored digicam. basically equal quality, on landscapes. Landscapes--not action, not low-light candids, but landscapes.

    If you need to capture rapidly-moving,ephemeral images, a d-slr has much faster lag time than a P&S. D-SLRs have large sensors and can take a lot of good lenses. A 6MP to 8MP d-slr can equal a 15MP P&S sensor's performance when the images are printed, IMO. The key is *printed*. I'd say buy what you want, what you feel you can afford, and have a go at it.
     
  5. AfroKen

    AfroKen TPF Noob!

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    For some low-light photography, my Leica DLux 4 P&S is better than my Nikon D50 DSLR. My understanding is that the G10 or G11 by Canon is another really good quality P&S. I don't like the lag time that the P&S cameras have, but if you are good, you can definitely get some fantastic images on them.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    If you are wondering about selling photos the least of your worries is your camera.

    Focus on quality and content. If the camera you are using does can not produce the image that you need then change cameras. We need more details and some examples of the work you are trying to sell to give an honest answer.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Though the photographer's skill matters greatly, so also does the equipment.

    A 'Hello Kitty' digital camera that costs $20 at a megastore will probably not work in your favour as a D3 or 1Ds.

    It depends on what you're shooting and how much you're going to blow up to, in the sense that you mean.
     
  8. dcmoody23

    dcmoody23 TPF Noob!

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    I'd take a hello kitty camera over a d3 any day ;)
     
  9. Jacki

    Jacki TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone for all the information.

    Some clarification:

    Nature and still life are probably what I will be trying to make prints of mostly. For the most part I will probably be sticking with prints that are on the smaller side, 8x10, maybe some larger, if the camera I purchase allows it.

    My camera budget is 450 and under, so I don't see myself finding a decent dslr and good lenses within that budget.
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Then shoot film. I am sure you could get an amazing TLR or SLR for $300.00

    Love & Bass
     
  11. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Nature and still life --> landscapes, I assume? Thus most probably in day time.

    So, low-noise is not vital. Note that, however, noise can still be a problem with P&S's, at even ISO 200 at times.

    A somewhat high pixel count - or alternatively, do stitched panoramas - with a wide lens should be good; normally, landscapes are printed in big print sizes, so...

    But, a film SLR as Craig suggested is also a good idea, as it allows a range of lenses for a cheap(er) price.
     
  12. STOFFEL

    STOFFEL TPF Noob!

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    It's really hard to take a sharp picture with a cheap, soft lens. It's really hard to make a 15" x 20" enlargement from a 3 Mpix camera file. It's really hard to keep a long lens steady on a cheap tripod, like i said, id be surprised if any secretary only typed and nothing else. an education teaches team-building, abstract reasoning, problem solving skills, as well as answering one of the most important questions: wheres the library? sure, google is your friend, but the information contained on the internet is still vastly limited, even for some "common" careers like graphic design, marketing, or copyediting, Of course, equipment matters. You can't do a good job with equipment that can't do the job Great photographers can make great images with junk equipment, but not very often, not on demand, and seldom for paying clients.
     

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