What camera and equip to purchase?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bisp21, May 2, 2008.

  1. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I need help!!

    I am beginning photographer needing some expertise advice. I am relying on this forum because what I have read so far seems to be valid and a very good source of information. I am getting ready to spend a good deal of money based on the advice I receive and ironically am putting more trust with people on this forum rather than anyone else I know due to competitive reasons. Plus I don’t have $5-$10K to have them do the job I need.

    MY GOAL: I plan on taking photographs of several real-estate buildings which will be blown up to very large pictures on both canvas and print (up to 8 ft). I have a budget of around $1,000 but can spend more if absolutely necessary. I need to buy a digital camera with very high resolution/quality photographs that can be blown up for marketing and art purposes.

    I need to purchase a camera and other materials in order to create the best possible shots. I will be taking pictures at dawn, dusk, midday, etc. and need to know what camera and other things I am going to need to do this. Most structures will be the size of very large homes. I would love if the camera could do panoramic photography too.

    I don’t know much about pixels, RAW and TIFF, but was told that I am going to need a camera that can digitize pictures in these format and produce at least 2,000 pixels.

    I need the very best at or around $1,000. What camera and equipment should I be looking to purchase?
     
  2. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    P.S. The most important attributes of the camera and the equipment needs to be the clarity of the image of taking still shots during dawn and dusk. Again I am looking for the best around $1,000 or more if necessary.

    Any recommendations?
     
  3. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    If sharpness is an absolute must i might consider film, 35mm or even medium format. Of course you may have reasons why you want digital, If so most dslr cameras these days can handle huge enlargements, but a majority of the reasons for what makes a sharp picture is the photographer, not the camera.
     
  4. RubyMagic

    RubyMagic TPF Noob!

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    For under a thousand?

    Thats a pretty TIGHT budget as far as what youre asking for. Id sudgest a used Canon 20D or 30D. You can get them used at Adorama or BH.


    If you wanna do panoramics, youd need an editing program.



    And 2,000 pixels doesnt exactly ammount to much. Youd need an 8000 dollar digital camera to print out 8 feet accurately (Canon Mark III 1DS). So I just suggest a cheap used canon, and I wish you good luck.
     
  5. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so far.

    I have a 5 megapixel camera right now that seems to do a good job, but it only does JPEG.

    Should I be concerned about the number of megapixels my camera does when I am considering enlarging these pictures? Do I need a camera that does RAW and TIFF?
     
  6. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    Let me repost this question so people here will understand what I am trying to do.

    If YOU had minimal photography experience, no camera or equipment and a budget of $1500 to spend on photography equipment and were given the task to take marketing real-estate photographs of a multi-million dollar mansion home, what camera and equipment would you buy with your limited $1,500?

    Mind you, you cannot exceed $1,500 and you are being asked to take pictures of a home that is worth upwards of $20million. Your goal is to be able to take a picture that is going to have high resolution and look superb enlarged on printed canvas. This is the only job you will ever have to do with this camera and your potential financial rewards is $100,000 if you do a great job with what you have. Anyone want to tackle this hypothetical situation?
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I would use a Sigma 18mm to 50mm 2.8 zoom lens at $500 and change Can. (less in US) on a Sony Alpha/Minolta A350 with 14.2 megapixels at $800 in Canada (less in the US) for a total Canadian of $1300 (less in the US).

    skieur
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you want to do this yourself, prepare to jump into large format photography, because no small format (35mm/digital) camera will print any axis 8 feet with any reasonable quality, not even the 1Ds MkIII. I really think you should hire an architectural shooter.
     
  9. KOrmechea

    KOrmechea TPF Noob!

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    I'd hire an experienced photographer...

    To save money, renting might be a good idea. Though, I think hiring someone is your best bet.

    EDIT:
    Oops, looks like Sw1tch beat me to that recommendation.
     
  10. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    SKIEUR Very Good info!! Thanks!! Your advice is exactly what I was looking for and from the research I have dones seems to be a great camera for what I am looking to do.

    I would be hiring a professional, but am finding out that $5,000 may be on the low end of what the company would be paying for what is needing to be done. So in a nutshell, this work has to be done by me within the next year and I figure that during that time I can work through any problems on a trial and error basis.

    I would love to do the large format photography, but most of the stuff I am going to be doing is needing to be digital. With 14.2 Megapixels that camera seems to be one of the best if not the best for large print photography. Right?
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bisp21, I'd say to look again at the large format (you can get a scanner to make the photos digital) for the ability to tilt and shift. (very important to have the walls square!) With a large format you can print to 8 feet with good resolution.

    But, it doesn't appear that you have enough experience to pull this off. -learning to use one that is unless you get a tutor.

    If you are photographing homes that large then there must be labs in your area that can do medium format. I believe that medium format and a good film scanner is your next best option. I find it hard to believe that every shot you take is going to need to be 8 feet but you can always send off the neg to be scanned on a drum scanner when needed. But the learning curve is pretty steep on this as well. (you burn up a lot of film and a good light meter eats up a significant portion of you budget anyway)

    If you don't already own the software applications needed then those alone will use up your budget.

    The kicker is that you would need to spend your budget on a high enough quality lens that you are still left with no budget.

    There is some good news though, there are photographers out there making a living with your skill set, contacts and equipment list. They're called directors.
     
  12. bisp21

    bisp21 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info Mike E.

    You are right, more than likely I will never have to print an image that is 8ft. That is just the max I would ever consider doing. I will be doing most of the printing of the images around 3-5 ft (36-60 inches).
     

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