Photojournalist's choice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tom beard, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    I have to admit to being a bit of a gear freak. The industrial design of cameras can really stoke me up. While watching the Supreme Court coverage today the nominee was facing the tv cameras and in between there was about six photographers taking stills. All I could see was the backs of their cameras and part of the lenses. Eye candy! They were all digital and had battery packs on the bottom. They were all probably Canon or Nikon, and I'm guessing DX format and all shooing RAW. Which brand is chosen most for photojournalism and scientific or specialized applications? Most people are passionate about the two brands, and I'm one of them, but don't want to start arguments based on loyalty, just what you think...No fighting kids!

    Thanks, Tom Beard
     
  2. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Seems like now-a-days the shooters for the major wire services and big papers (the people who would have been shooting at congressional hearings) are shooting with Canon 1D mark IIIs or Nikon D3s, (with probably a smattering of 5D / D300 / 700 type cameras thrown in) so actually probably fairly few people are shooting DX / 1.6 crop format. Also, what you're seeing aren't battery packs per se, they are integrated vertical grips on the cameras.

    Also, they are almost certainly all shooting in jpeg, though I'm sure there are exceptions.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    They might be doing RAW + JPEG too, so that they have the best of both worlds. The JPEGs can be sent to an editor ASAP, the editor can tell them which ones they want, and if anything needs fixing (like WB) it can be done with the RAW.

    For scientific endeavours, say, requiring absurdly high shutter speeds, they probably make their own cameras.
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    I have a friend who is a photojournalist and the newpaper he works for uses mostly Nikon equipment (he's primarily a Canon shooter but he's not complaining) and he shoots strickly JPEG with very little PP work that is strickly monitored. He said he can do very simple adjustments (color saturation, brightness, contrast, sharpness...I think he said only the editors do the cropping) to his shots but absolutely no modifying of the contents of the photo in any way or he'll be fired on the spot, no questions asked. He's tries to get the picture right in-camera so that he doesn't have to do any PP work later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  5. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    They might be but probably not. A lot toning for the wires is taken care of by editors in their main offices, rather than by the photographers themselves, especially after there have been a few scandals involving alterations to the images. Smaller papers are going to have the photographers doing their own toning, though. Either way, probably very few are going to be shooting raw in any form.
     
  6. In2daBlue

    In2daBlue TPF Noob!

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    Well, as a working photojournalist, I can tell you what I know. First of all, photojournalists rarely shoot in RAW. Because of the limited amount of PP allowed by industry ethics there really is no reason to be shooting in RAW. In addition, you have to get your shots filed quickly and converting from RAW is time consuming. Finally, most of what we shoot is easy enough to expose that there is no reason JPEG can't handle the job.

    As for what brand of camera PJs use it really depends. Some use Canon while others use Nikon. DX format is really rare across the board only because PJs are using top of the line equipment and both brands (after the D3 and D700) offer FX at that level. D3 has vertical grip built in, so no "battery pack" as the OP called it. I see many people shooting with a D3 as their main body and using a D700 as their backup. In fact, I am seeing more and more D700s in the field by the month. I think editors are realizing the quality and performance of the D700 is capable of handling any assignment.

    Canon got a hold of the industry for many years while Nikon was busy making consumer SLRs. For a long time, most larger wire services (AP, Getty, etc.) used Canon for that reason. Most wire shooters I run into still do, actually. But, when Nikon came out with the D3 they sent most newspapers (with a decent circulation size) a number of bodies on loan to try out. Then, after a 3-4 month period, Nikon offered to sell the bodies to the participating newspapers for a seriously reduced cost. It worked. I am seeing more and more shooters with Nikons now than I have in many years. That's good too. It's nice to see Nikon finally starting to compete with Canon when it comes to professional gear.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    As always there are exceptions to the norms. Our local photojournalists all use point and shoots. No sh!t. That's all the paper will let them use. Circulation for the paper is around 20,000.
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, Canon has dominated for years with the 1D series. When the D3 hit the street a year or so ago, Nikon finally got aggressive. They are making a dent in the market, but it's still a Canon dominated industry. Most papers don't have the budget to run out and buy new bodies every year or two. I still see a good number of 1DMk2N's in circulation. Canon 1D bodies last seemingly forever so the news agencies shoot the bodies for years. They don't need 21+ megapixels for print and web work so the war on MP's is meaningless to newspapers.

    It's good that Nikon finally stepped up and offered some competition to Canon. The market will reap the benefits of their battling it out for top position. :)
     
  9. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your great answers. Every time I ask a question you guys come through big time, and my education goes up another rung. I got the impression from Samanax that publications just hand out top flight gear like they give handi-wipes to hospital employees. How can I get a job!? Seriously, thank you all for your well thought out replies to what I thought might be a rather inane question.

    Cheers, Tom Beard

    Ps: In the 60's I worked for Consolidated Film Industries in Hywd (CFI=Can't find it), a movie film processing house. We did a lot of work for CBS, NBC (The Lucy Show, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason etc). The 16mm dept was always always chaos between 2:00 and 3:00 when the news guys would come in and wait for processing. When ever one of the photographers would get a call, he would hold the phone about afoot from his ear and you could hear an editor screaming, " WHERE'S the f*****g FILM!?", so they could make air time. I suppose the papers had their own still labs and could work faster. When tape replaced film and digital did the same, just think of all the bleeding ulcers and heart attacks that stopped happening. Hear Hear for technology! Tom
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  10. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    I don't know which Nikon bodies my friend shoots with but they gotta pretty durable stuff...my friend is pretty hard on his own equipment and he'd destroy a entry level body in no time. His Canon 1D actually has pieces of duct tape holding the viewfinder eyepiece on...and the body looks like it's been through a war. He's not very careful when it comes to his equipment. All his 1D bodies and L lenses have lots of visible damage (nicks, scraps, dents) but everything still works.

    I think he said he tries to be a little more careful with the newspaper's Nikon gear. But that's like a gorilla saying he'll be careful in a glassware shop.
     

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