Advice on which camera to upgrade to when going "pro"

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I understand that it is the photographer that makes the pictures great, not the camera equipment. I have been taking pictures for fun for about 4 years now, and the past 1.5 years I've gotten more serious about it and devoted more time to advancing my photos and looking more on the professional side. I've been studying all the books, practicing lots and practicing some more. A family member of mine owns an event company and I have been paid for quite some time to take pictures of their events and edit them for their commercial use. I know my photos are good enough, but I'm ready to take the next step and go a little above what I'm producing now. I am starting a photography business in which I will focus on portraits, couples, maternity, etc. I would really like to get a new camera and of course a new lens to take my pictures to that next level, and also to look more professional. I originally bought a D3000 and used it for years (still do), and this past year I was gifted a D5100. Both are great and I've already achieved great results with them, but like I said, I'm wanting to do more as they are majority starter cameras. SO, please skip all the comments about "use what you have and just upgrade your lenses" etc. Both cameras are older and I WILL be upgrading to a new body, so please focus on that question. I am already purchasing a 50mm lens, probably f1.4. I'm still in college so I don't want to go much over $1,000 for the body with all the other investments I'l be making in lenses/ other equipment and business related items etc. Thank you!!

Dani xoxo
 

bratkinson

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I'm not a pro, but I do know that it takes skill, equipment, AND business skills to go pro...where your primary source of income is photography.

Perhaps the best business information I've seen was posted about a year ago by MLEEK, determining your Cost Of Doing Business:
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/general-shop-talk/304732-finding-your-codb-your-hourly-rate.html
There's many surprises listed here that I never thought of when I had my own computer consulting business. New businesses fail too often because the owner/founder doesn't have a clue of what it costs to run the business. They may be an expert in their field, but without business sense, they dare doomed to fail.
 

12sndsgood

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Where do you find your camera lacking now? with your shoots. where do you think you can benefit most? I started out with a D3000 as well. and I started to look at upgrading when I found myself reaching limitations in the camera's abillity. for me that was ISO performance and FPS speed. So I researched cameras that did a better job at those two categories since they at the time were where I was needing better quality. So look at your camera now and find out where it's coming up short. Just buying something because its a Pro camera may not help you in all aspects of what you are doing and how you personally shoot.
 

Patrice

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In order to get any real upgrade in body performance on your small budget you are stuck with preowned d700. Forget about any other FX choices. You could get a d7000 if you are a careful shopper but you'll not really get a significant body improvement from what you have now.

edit: unless you can bring a fair amount more cash to the table you might be better off spending the money on improving camera support, light modifiers and some evening small business administration courses at your community college.
 

The_Traveler

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In order to get any real upgrade in body performance on your small budget you are stuck with preowned d700. Forget about any other FX choices. You could get a d7000 if you are a careful shopper but you'll not really get a significant body improvement from what you have now.

edit: unless you can bring a fair amount more cash to the table you might be better off spending the money on improving camera support, light modifiers and some evening small business administration courses at your community college.

I resent that a little.
I'm just about to sell my D700 (have sold all the lenses) and having trouble giving it up because it is such as terrific camera.
 

kathyt

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I would keep what you have for awhile, start shooting and making some money, and then buy yourself a full frame camera. As for lenses, what do you have now?
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum Dani. (I doubt we're related, but incidentally, my father's name is Daniel (Dan) Cowan).

I think the common theme to the recommendations above, is that the best choice for a more 'professional' camera, would be something that is full frame. The best options (without going super expensive) would be either the D700 or D800...but even those are above your budget, hence the recommendation for a used D700.

I would tend to agree that full frame is the way to go if you are 'going pro'. Keep in mind that there will be a difference in the field of view from you current cameras and full frame.
 

Patrice

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In order to get any real upgrade in body performance on your small budget you are stuck with preowned d700. Forget about any other FX choices. You could get a d7000 if you are a careful shopper but you'll not really get a significant body improvement from what you have now.

edit: unless you can bring a fair amount more cash to the table you might be better off spending the money on improving camera support, light modifiers and some evening small business administration courses at your community college.

I resent that a little.
I'm just about to sell my D700 (have sold all the lenses) and having trouble giving it up because it is such as terrific camera.


Did not mean to be offensive. Maybe I should have worded differently: with a budget of $1000 you are somewhat limited in your choices, a preowned D700 is the first obvious choice. I did not want to imply that a D700 is a poor choice that one would only acquire if no other was available. I have one and think it's a perfect balance of performance, features, build and usability.
 

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