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Old Aug 10, 2005, 7:16 AM   #1
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I don't want to start another discussion about what constitutes a professional, I just want to know if any of you do any form of photography for pay using the S7000. Weddings, portraits, photojournalism, commercial photography, contract work... basically anything for pay.

I have seen some magazine work done with the high end Point-and-shoot cameras, and for many purposes the image quality is just as usable as a DSLR would be, so I am curious. I have already done a small portrait contract for the local sports hall of fame (which just involved 5X7 portraits for display) and this weekend I plan to do a modest wedding with my S7000 (but the 35mm bag will be sitting in the car just in case) and I was wondering if anyone else had tried this and what their observations were. Any recommendations on what file format and resolution to use (RAW may be too slow for the ceremony). Personally I don't find enough difference, in most of the tests I have done, to warrant 12MP over the 6MP mode, since most of my work is only 8"X10".

BTW I used a Vivitar 285 flash for the portrait job and intend to use it for the wedding as well, should have no problem lighting up the banquet hall.

Ira
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 11:40 AM   #2
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I haven't done a wedding for years. I just got tired of scheduling time for the shoot only to have everyone show up two hours late leaving me thirty minutes to do all the line shots. It just wasn't worth all the hassle. But if my 5100 had external flash capabilities I wouldn't be afraid to use it to take wedding photographs. But then, I rely on Photoshop to be able to work over the images. With my little 4 MP images from my 5100 I have been able to have some books printed by mypublisher.com that have been nothing short of spectacular. So I don't see any reason why you couldn't get good results from your 7000.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 12:50 PM   #3
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jphess

Thanks for the encouragement, I did a search on another forum and found this topic, the big complaint I read was the slow autofocus!!?? I have never used autofocus for a wedding, no autofocus 35mm SLR that I have ever used is really fast enough to be dependable. I don't even know if I would trust the autofocus in the pro model DSLRs. I always prefocus and get the shot when the subject reaches that point.

I think too many people are spoiled by technology, up until 2001 I did weddings with a Pentax K1000 (as basic an SLR as you can get) and always got a reasonable number of usable shots, so the S7000 must be able to keep up to that pace.

Thanks for the comment.

Ira
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 2:02 PM   #4
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Not sure if this would count as commercial use, but my friend a real-estate agent uses one to shoot the homes for the house advertising listings.

Peter.
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Old Aug 10, 2005, 4:35 PM   #5
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the maqnual focus ringon the s7000 is 'FLY BY WIRE' not directly mechanically coupled



the center focus aid magnified sector will allow very precise manual focus, BUT, IMO, you nedd an optical viewfinder and mechanical coupling for 'on the fly' pro work



the s7000 is SUPERB for studio work however
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 5:20 AM   #6
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I disagree about the speed of the autofocus and the mechanism for manually focusing. As stated earlier I bought this camera for fast sports shots (Paintball) and have not had a problem with the focusing speed. I mostly manuallyzoom while shooting (the biggest reason I am upgrading to the 9000) and while it is not as instantaneous as a dSLR, once you get used to the "lag" it is very quick and accurate IMO. I have come to trust the ability of the autofocus on this camera. One thing that may pose a problem when using autofocus is when it is darker, it is not so good. If you have darker scenes you are taking photos the center zoom is invaluable for sharp photos.
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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djgiron

I agree with you about focus speed, in good light my S7000 can easily keep up with my film SLRs for focus speed. In low light things slow down, but the use of the instant focus feature in manual focus allows me to prefocus at the distance my subject is at and then fire away.

I will report back how things went after the wedding on Saturday (my 35mm kit is already as backup).

Ira
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 10:01 PM   #8
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After taking candid shots at 2 indoor weddings recently with my S5100, Pics came out pretty good, butI found an external flash would really help, and another seriousproblem I noticed was when the lights got real low, theEVF & LCD went black,I could not get an image!,,, although I could still get the picture, shooting blindly, A relative came over with a disposable camera with an optical viewfinder, and I could see to take the shot in the same dim light(embarassing moments) then my good friend came along withhis Kodak DX7630, and he couldget an image in the Large 2.2" LCD at the lowest light available!,,, and his pics were clear & colorful, in the lowest of light?,,, needless to say, I was ticked. So these are just a few things to bear in mind.


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Old Aug 16, 2005, 11:14 PM   #9
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The wedding shoot was a big success, I shot over 300 pics and of those there were only about a half dozen that were not usable because of technical issues. This is much better than I was getting with film SLRs. I have chosen 100 shots to present to the couple and about 100 more will be on the CD if they wish to print them. The S7000 worked flawlessly, especially when using the Vivitar 285 as a fill flash for the outdoor photos. There were no issues of focus speed and only a couple of out of focus pictures (because I wasn't paying attention, not the camera's fault).

Obviously a DSLR would be a better choice, but this camera does amazingly well, and the picture quality is first rate. This wedding did not include a dance so the usualy problems of low light and action were not present, but I think the S7000 could do the job, just not as easily as a DSLR.

If I continue to do weddings I will be looking for a camera which is more capable than the S7000, but it may be the S9000 instead of a DSLR. If the focus capability has been improved, and the EVF is more usable in low light, it may be adequate for the task. (Or I may get a DSLR just for the work and use the S7000 for the fun stuff).

So far this camera has paid for itself in portrait and wedding work.

Ira

BTW, if I can get the couple's permission I will post some of the photos here.
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Old Aug 19, 2005, 9:54 PM   #10
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I am Glad to hear that!,,, I thought it would be one of the Best for weddings, aside from the minor issues I mentioned in my previous post.I waspretty pleased withmy S5100 after experimenting at 2 weddings, and figured the S7000 would be more capable, especially with an external flash unit.
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