New to Digital need a Camera for weddings.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by NCHornet, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone. My wife and I own a wedding photography studio in our small town. We have been shooting 35 mm for years and are looking at making the move to the digital side. We do our bridal sittings in our studio and many of our brides select large portaraits from our work, so I need a camera that can provide clear prints up to 20x24 and sometimes larger. Many of the churches in our area have very poor lighting, so I could also use some recommendations on a good flash to go with the camera. I was looking at the Nikon D80 and the Sony Alpha 100, I think that was the number. Will a 10-12 mega pixel camera going to do what I need? I also need a good photo editing program. I know many use photoshop, but what version is a good one. I am pretty good at teaching myself how things work but am not beyond taking a class at a local college if that is what is needed. So as you can see I need as much help as possible with this decision. I appreciate all the help as well.
    God Bless
    Kevin
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    What about a Canon D40? Great camera, and for churches in low light...the low noise high ISO performance would be great.

    Also, as for flash, a 580EX would do great...

    Photoshop there are only two versions.

    Elements and CS3. They are just updated when they say different numbers and whatnot...

    elements does the basics, but CS3 is more professional quality...

    For a photographer, I'd recommend even just getting Lightroom. You seem like you'd do more "old fashioned" type editing..and that's what lightroom allows you to do...without having to know how to work a computer almost.

    If you know how to shoot 35mm slides, you'll be fine shooting digital. The only difference is you don't process film at the end of the day.

    Oh, and white balance...you'll need to figure out how to set your white balance based on the light available...but that's simple enough. (like changing your film for different light situations)
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    What gear do you have now? You can use them on a newer DSLR body as long as they are compatible. For studio work and the like I would almost reccommend a full-frame camera over a crop. More for ISO control over megapixels. If Nikon, look at the the D3. Canon the 1Ds Mark II/Mark III or 5D. The newer Nikon D300 and Canon 40D are great cameras, but do have a crop sensor. Flashes are the perennial Nikon SB-600/800 or Canon 580EX/430.
     
  4. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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    Currently we are using the Minolta 5D's for studio and on site work. I am sorry I meant to include the Cannon 40D on my list. I don't mind buying lenses if I need to in order to have a better camera. The Alpha 100 is out, but I am really considering the newer Alpha A700, not only would it allow me to use all my lenses I now have, but it has a larger 3" screen which my older eyes would appreciate and it is 12.2 megs. How do y'all feel about this camera? The reviews were much better than the A100. I really do appreciate all the help. I missed out on the computer age in school, and havesimply stuck with what I knew worked, but it seems there is whole new world out there that I am eager to learn. I will look into lightroom, do you have any advice on where to get it at a good price? Again thank you very much.
    Kevin
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If you're cropping, shooting at higher ISO's, and want consistently high quality prints at 20x24, there's no doubt in my mind that the more megapixels you have, the better. On the higher end you could look at a D3 or a 1Ds MKII. Below that, a 5D or a D300. Also, you might look into the Kodak DCS Pro 14, which is a 14 megapixel full-frame dSLR that is available in either Nikon or Canon mount. It weighs in around $1300-$1600 from reputable sellers on eBay and is a great alternative, in my mind, to the others I mentioned, if you're on a budget.

    Edit: And pick up a copy of Photoshop CS2. CS3 is a better program, but given your position, by the time you learn how to use CS2 really well, there will probably be a CS4 out anyway. I wouldn't be able to justify the price of CS3 if I were in your situation.
     
  6. solrac8126

    solrac8126 TPF Noob!

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    i just wanted to mention that most of the cameras right now, have smaller than 35mm sensors, like the 40d, anyways check the 5d since is the cheapest full frame camera from canon.

    Or also look for that kind of info.

    hope this help.;)
     
  7. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the added info. Do they make adaptors so you can use the Cannon flash on the Sony A700 camera? It looks like the best flash Sony offers is this one, what do you think?

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...151&langId=-1&productId=11028992&tab=Features

    I am really leaning towards this A700 as I really like the features, but I value those of you who know more about the digital world and probably photography in general.
    Thanks Again
    Kevin
     
  8. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You initially mentioned Nikon and in my opinion if you do decide to go that way (and you really should or Canon) a D80 is not going to stand up to the kind of daily use that something like a D300 will.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518489-REG/Nikon_25432_D300_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

    Professional bodies cost more for a number of reasons one of the big ones are durability and solid construction. A god place to start when it comes to lenses if you do not have a big budget might be a couple of fast primes like the first being a 50mm 1.8 or a 35mm f/2.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247091-USA/Nikon_2137_Normal_AF_Nikkor_50mm.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/92011-USA/Nikon_1923_Wide_Angle_AF_Nikkor.html

    All that being said knowing you budget would be a big help.
     
  10. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    If you are satisfied with the current gear you have, I would actually look into getting a camera that is compatible with those lenses. The Kodak is one and I believe Sigma has a body that is compatible with 4/3, Canon EF and Nikkor mounts. Beats having to buy new lenses all over again. But if you are, I would definitely go full-frame for a main body and a crop for a back-up unless you have change to spare i.e. 1Ds Mark II/III with a 5D/40D back-up or Nikon D3 with a D200/300 back-up. Dunno much about the Sony's. They make most of Nikon's crop sensors so I figure IQ wise they are the same. Tons of lenses in their system also.
     
  11. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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    I have been reading that many believe the processesor is the same in the Nikon as the Sony. My price range woud be $1500-$2,000, but I need a new flash and memory for this as well. I looked at the 40D and it is about $300 cheaper than the A700, and they have some kits that are very reasonable. 90% of our work is shot under a 70mm zoom. So not sure I need the higher power zooms, the only time I use the ones I have now is for family usage.
    Will the 10.2 mp develop a nice clear 20x24 portrait? I assume I would need to shoot in raw format for this. The majority of our prints that are enlarged to this scale are from our bridal sittings. I thought if the 10.2 wouldn't handle this large of a portrait, I could keep the 35mm for studio work, or go to a wide format. Again I really appreciate your help.
    Kevin
     
  12. NCHornet

    NCHornet TPF Noob!

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    I looked at the Canon 5D and it looks like a nice camera. I can pick it up for about what the A700 cost ($800) the sensor is a full sensor equal to a 35 mm. Here is my dumb question. On some of the other digital cameras that aren't full sensor, does this mean the actual image taken is a % of what you are actually seeing through the view finder? If this is the case, this would be a huge negative to a wedding photographer, we need to know we got her entire dress, etc... in the end photo. Now if it means your actual zoom number will be lower than a 35mm and as long as the what you see in the view finder is what you get in the final photo I can;t see that the crop sensor cameras are a big negative, but as I said in my first post I am totally new to digital, and my wife is the main photographer she has put me in charge of researching the new camera possibilities.
    Also at this time, we will probably use the 35mm as our 2nd/3rd camera on site, we will eventually switch everything over to digital, but as I said we are in a small town and we can't get several thousands for a wedding around here. lol!!
    I figure I could do the 5D,and a couple lense kit with the 580ex flash, and media for around $2,000
    I really like the A700 but can't find to many people using them. My wife suffers from low bllod sugar, so the image stabilization might be a plus, I know, not a good thing for a photographer to have, we pump her up with pop and peanut butter before a shoot!!
    Thanks Again
     

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