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Old Mar 3, 2007, 10:44 PM   #1
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I am posting this question in the hopes of getting some feedback on purchasing a DSLR for use predominantly shooting B&W. I realize that I will still be shooting in color and converting later on, but in the interest of being economical I was wondering what features make the most difference when the output is B&W, if any. For instance, is there going to be much difference between a 6, 8, or 10 MP camera? Would the wider dynamic range of a camera like the Fuji S- Pro make it more ideal than an equally powerful camera with narrower range, like Canon or Pentax or Nikon or Olympus? I guess I'm asking if the money/quality/specs/features/whatever on a given camera would be going to waste if I'm basically just shooting B&W. Thanks, in advance, for any help and advice you send my way.
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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There really is NO reason to shoot in B&W on a DSLR (though many offer the option), especially shooting RAW

But even with JPEG and decent software where you treat the BW character ot the R,G & B channels separately.... B&W is pretty easy. (Plus you can basically create digitally any B&W filter effect.... without the cost and hassle of juggling all those filters.

DSLR's may at least average the channels in B&W mode, but many P&S would use just one channel (Usually Green) for B&W (making shooting B&W under redish light near impossible)

Shooting in B&W you are just limiting your option of ever using the shot in color.
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 1:17 AM   #3
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Whether or not your output will be color, I think the same questions need to be asked.

What kind of budget are you working with? How large do you think you'd likely be printing your images? What kind of shooting will you do primarily (landscape, portrait, action, etc...)?
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Old Mar 4, 2007, 8:44 AM   #4
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I think that the camera is really secondary in this case. The software you use for conversion, and your abilities with it are going to be the biggest factors.

Do shoot in RAW to get the best possible basis for the conversion.

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Old Mar 4, 2007, 4:36 PM   #5
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It does seem to me that for b&w the biggest consideration should be software.

As far as size of sensor - the size will be dependent on what you are taking pictures of, how much you are going to crop them and how big your prints will be. Generally if you are going to print 8x10 or smaller, and not planning on cropping a whole lot, then a 6 mp camera will be fine - at that size there's no advantage to the 8 or 10 mp cameras. If you are shooting wildlife or something where you often crop extensively, or if your primary purpose is printing posters, then the extra mp become more important.

With any photography, the camera is only half the story. The other half is your lens. My general advice (and my experience) is that your money is better served buying better glass than a better/more expensivecamera (exceptions being if your application is specific and you need a feature that is only offered on a more expensive camera). Your lenses will outlive the camera body (I'm using a couple of prime lenses with my Pentax K100that I originally bought in 1980 for an ME thatbecame unrepairable 5 years ago).
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