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Old Oct 15, 2004, 11:36 AM   #1
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Hi,

I am a newbie. I wanted to buy a professional camera for my wife's bday. She wanted a digital professional camera that takes 5 x 5 or 4 x 4 size picture. Does any one have any recommendation?

I could not even look for one available!!!!!

Help
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 12:16 PM   #2
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Not sure I understand what you want.

Do you mean a camera with a 4*4 or 5*5 sensor? If so, you are into large format backs and some really serious cash outlay. 20K$-30k$ is not out of order for one of those. Medium format backs are not far behind in price.

I would suggest looking at the DSLR lines, they take really good images nowadays, and easily make 8*10 and larger prints. You can always crop if you want square prints.


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Old Oct 15, 2004, 12:48 PM   #3
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You need to be much more specific about what you want.

Are you referring to print sizes? If so, Centimeters, Inches, or Feet?

What do you mean by "professional"? I she selling prints for a living? If so, what type (portraits, landscapes, etc.)?

Does she already have lenses for a given manufacturer? What kind of camera is she using now?

Do you have a budget in mind?
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 7:17 PM   #4
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yes sirs,

I mean the print size of 4 inch by 4 inch, like professional prints for weddings and stuff. I am expecting that it probably expensive. I am thinking about 4-5k dollars? But I don't know what camera will give that size of the prints. I think she wants the square prints.

She's an amature but we have a new baby and she wants a good camera!!!!
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 8:21 PM   #5
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I'd probably double that budget...for the medium format camera itself you're spending at least $5000, and then for the digital back another $5000.

If she already has a medium format, maybe you could just buy the digital back. Is she into square format, or is this just a whim of yours? There are plenty of professional dSLRs on the market for $2000 or less (and some that cost $10,000).

Personally I don't recommend buying a camera for someone (especially such an advanced camera) without their involvement. The wrong camera would frustrate the photographer.
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 9:09 PM   #6
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I would strongly recommend reconsidering going medium format digital for weddings.

I think it's a bad investment. Even Kodak decided to exit the market for medium format digital backs earlier this year (they had a back for 645 models that was popular).

It's also expensive. The Kodak DCS Pro Back 645 sold for around $12,000.00 (not counting the cost of the camera). It was available for the Mamiya 645AF and AFD, the Contax 645, and the Hasselblad H1. Again, this back is now discontinued.

Now, you could get into something like a Mayima 645-AFD body for around $2,500.00 discounted. But, by the time you buy a couple oflenses for it, you'd still be up to around $5k. Then, your back to the cost of the digital back.

Unless she wants to use a tethered computer, a back is going to be very expensive (up to $30,000.00 or so for the higher end models).

Also, the current backs on the market are not square format either (although the discontinued Kodak DCS Pro 645 is). Here is Steve's review of this back (it's no longer available):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_...45proback.html

These backs are also going to be very slow compared to a DSLR.

You'd be much better off investingin a nice DSLR model, along with a couple of decent lenses for it.


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Old Oct 15, 2004, 11:13 PM   #7
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Ah a print size of 4*4, for that size output any 3mp or more camera will be able to produce that :-).

You won't find any that produce a square image though, most are modeled after the older rectangular film format. But it is very easy to go square just crop the images in one of the manyeditors like Photoshop LE.

hungb wrote:
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yes sirs,

I mean the print size of 4 inch by 4 inch, like professional prints for weddings and stuff. I am expecting that it probably expensive. I am thinkingabout 4-5k dollars? But I don't know what camera will give that size of the prints. I think she wants the square prints.

She's an amature but we have a new baby and she wants a good camera!!!!

Here isa quick shot (rectangular) of a late snack I happen to have handy :G

BTW: this was done ona 5mp P&S camera, the original image file (before shrinking and jpging for web viewing) will easily print out to 8*10 or 11*14



And the same shot squared up in PS, then the subject went missing.:whack:





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Old Oct 16, 2004, 12:27 PM   #8
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Ok, I think we need to back up here. You started to give more information, but not nearly enough.

What, exactly, does she take pictures of? Not just the subjects but the situation. I rarely disagree with JimC, but I do here. Medium format still has some very big advantages over 35mm. Just because Kodak left it... well, that is probalby 'cause they were driven by their bankruptsy and the new owners creating a company with a tight focus on the things that will make the absolute most money in the easyist way possible.

But medium format is really a different beast than 35mm. You use it for corporate group pictures, format wedding shots, huge sweeping landscapes. Can you do that with 35mm? Yes, but if you want to make big prints (I'm talking poster size) then medium format is better for that. It doesn't sound like she needs that.

So please, I'll happly chime in with more info (hopefull helpful) but you need to give us a lot more detail. Here is an example of why.

If she takes candid pictures of kids, then she needs something that focuses fast. Many point-and-shoot all-in-one pocket digicams don't focus very fast. Maybe she wants something she can carry around all the time and do candid street shots. Then you want something small with a decent wide angle lens. Maybe she shoots pictures of wild animal and needs a long telephoto.

If you are truly willing to spend 4-5K, then I would seriously recommend a Canon 20D or the Nikon D70 (they both cost around $1,500.) They are not "professional" cameras, but they are very good an do what most people need. And since they take lenses separately, you can let her use the rest of that money to buy some really good lenses for them. Both can made stunning pictures that print out at 8 1/2 x 11, which sounds like it would fit her needs.

But those are not small light cameras, nore are they "professional" cameras. Which is why we need more info.

If all she wants is something that will take nice pictures of the new baby, then you can do that for less than $1,000 USD. And save the rest for a nice printer to print out the baby shots!

Eric
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Old Oct 16, 2004, 12:56 PM   #9
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eric s wrote:
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What, exactly, does she take pictures of? Not just the subjects but the situation. I rarely disagree with JimC, but I do here. Medium format still has some very big advantages over 35mm. Just because Kodak left it... well, that is probalby 'cause they were driven by their bankruptsy and the new owners creating a company with a tight focus on the things that will make the absolute most money in the easyist way possible.
I'm not saying that Medium Format doesn't have it's advantages. I was saying that I thought it was a bad idea going Medium Format Digital for weddings (with Digital being the key word).

It's awfully expensive, and many of the higher resolution backs are going to require a tethered computer from what I've been able to find out. The ones that don't are pretty pricey.

For group shots, perhaps (if you've got deep pockets to afford the digitalback). But, if you want to go digital, a better DSLR is going to give you faster frame rates for a better chance of getting those once in a lifetime shots, and most users aren't going to need poster size prints for weddings.

Even if they did, it would still be more economical to go with something like the new EOS-1Ds Mark II, compared to the cost of a Medium Format Camera and Digital Back (and both solutions would exceed the desired budget, especially when you start adding in the cost of lenses, based on prices I'm seeing for them now).

Of course, even a 16MP camera has it's limitations. It takes 4 times the resolution, each time you double the print size, just to maintain the same amount of subject detail in pixels per inch (although the further viewing distance makes this more acceptable to most users at larger print sizes, even from lower resolution models, depending on the amount of detail in the scene).

Now, I'm no expert on Digital Backs. But, the little research I've done indicates that this is a very bad idea for this purpose (cost, speed of operation, mobility, and resolution benefits, compared toa DSLR at typical print sizes).
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