Digital Camera recommendation for "headshots" Nikon D5000?


TPF Noob!
Aug 30, 2010
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Los Angeles
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Hi, I've been investigating this for a little bit now. I've read a lot of people online saying that you don't need much more than the Nikon D5000 for high quality headshots. I have a lot of connections with comedians, actors and real estate agents, and thought this would be a great way to make some extra money. I've done a lot of videography in the past and would like to start to learn photography and do headshots for my peers.

I don't want to spend a lot right out the gate. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I realize I'll need the camera, lighting, tripod, lenses etc... What kind of initial budget would we be looking at without sacrificing much quality? Is there a better suggestion in terms of a camera? I'll want to do inside or outside shots. If any of this sounds naive and remedial, Please excuse me since I am in this area...

All you need is this:
Just kidding,
You need a flash gun and a prime lens like a 50mm. Of course an expensive mid-range zoom will do the job better, but... it's expensive.

Also try google for something like "Portrait kit nikon" "portrait lens" "portrait gear"
Eventually, some people on the forums get mad when people don't google before you ask.

In case of the camera,
just buy what suits your wallet
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All you need is this:

I would be scared if someone took my head shot with that.

I think every forum is the same, people get pissed off if you don't google. I'm new here too and I have tick a few people off by asking a few too many questions. It's tough though because there's so many lens and you don't want to buy something that's not suited for you and waste all those money.

My best suggestion that if you're only doing Headshot. Find a used Canon Xs, xti, xsi, 30D, 40D or used Nikon D70, D80, D3000, D5000 or even some older one and pair it with a 50mm f/1.4 lens or if you want zoom capability then tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. With all the money you saved, you can get lighting and a tripod and you're good to go.
I needed a laugh today, thanks!

Oh, OP, some decent lighting, and a prime lens.
yep, its all good. Just buy the camera, use a lens and you are good to go to produce head shots.
A friend was telling me the D90 would be better. Is it worth the extra? Thanks!
Yes, the d90 is a better camera. Is it worth the extra? Well that's up to you to decide.

You really should do some research on this but basically, the d90 has an internal focusing motor meaning you can use all the Nikon lenses. On the d5000 you can only use the AF-S lenses, which are more expensive.

The d90 is also a prosumer level camera, while the d5000 is only entry level, so you will get some extra perks. More features, better image quality, etc.
I'm a canon owner so I'm a bit biased, BUT now that the 60D has come out, get a 50D body only for CHEAP and an 85mm lens to pair and you're ready to do. When you can afford it, the 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM for canon is a popular lens in portrait work. Much pricier though.

That's my canon perspective on things. For headshots I don't think full-frame is much a necessity because you'll find in most case you're looking for a tighter crop anyway.

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