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Old Jan 6, 2007, 11:37 PM   #1
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I took photography classes (normal slr) through high school, but have not done any professional work yet. I would like to work my way into wedding and portrait photography (a little here and there, not full-time). Would I be able to get away with an entry-level dslr? Which one is best for indoor and outdoor portraits? Some of my thoughts so far...

- Need 10X13 or greater enlargements without image degradation. How many megapixels do I need?
- Which is more important: image stabilization? (Pentax) or Dust removal? (Rebel XTI)
- I've heard the kit lens with the Rebel is not so good? Which lens would I get instead?
- Is there such thing as a dslr that records video?
- Am I right to assume that a regular digicam would not be sufficient for semi-professional portrait photography?

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Old Jan 7, 2007, 12:59 PM   #2
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- Need 10X13 or greater enlargements without image degradation. How many megapixels do I need?

6mp or more should be sufficient. Portraits especially do not need a whole lot of detail when printed(most people don't want to see every pore on their face anyways), but 6mp can do some pretty good enlargements anyways.


- Which is more important: image stabilization? (Pentax) or Dust removal? (Rebel XTI)

I don't consider dust removal all that important as it is easy enough to do with a rocket blower, I can see how it would be nice though. SR(image stabilization) could be usefull. Perhaps you would benifit from that with posed portraits in really low light, but it won't help much for action photos at all.


- I've heard the kit lens with the Rebel is not so good? Which lens would I get instead?

If I were to be doing portraits I would get a lens like the...

50mm f1.4(Pentax/Canon, the Pentax one is cheaper than Canon, but still excellent)

50mm f/1.8(Canon, very cheap, but still great optics... though if you want really cheap Pentax 50mm lenses you can get manual focus ones too).

One of the 85mm lenses, I think Canon makes a fairly cheap(f/1.8 ) one of those too. And I believe both Pentax and Canon make a 85mm f/1.4(better quality, but more expensive).

I would get a kit lens or some other wide zoom for when I wasn't shooting portraits(I think Tamron or Sigma make a pretty good one), but I would also most likely get one of the 50mm or 85mm lenses for portraits too.

- Is there such thing as a dslr that records video?

No


- Am I right to assume that a regular digicam would not be sufficient for semi-professional portrait photography?

I'll say yes. The shallow DOF the larger sensor brings is very nice for portraits(I know this has to do with lenses and not the sensor folks... but the sensor is the reason why those lenses are used). Also the lower noise can be a great advantage. Lens choices also are a great thing... I would say pretty much any entry level DSLR would work for portraits(although maybe somebody else can educate you more about flash and such you might need/want, I don't use flash, just available light), but for weddings I am not so sure... I've used an entry level DSLR for a couple of weddings, but if you were to do a lot of them you might want something more.



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Old Jan 7, 2007, 1:33 PM   #3
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Don't forget you'll want a good tripod. A flash and flash bracket (essential for decent location shooting like weddings/receptions).

Best camera choice below pro grade- Canon 5d

2nd choice - probably Nikon D200

Lens choices (from Canon side): 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2, 24-105L 4.0, 70-200 2.8, 100 or 135 2.0

If you really want to get into this work I would strongly suggest contacting local pros who do it and see if you can help them out - probably for free at first. Wedding work especially is very difficult - there are alot of technical hurdles to overcome, plus the PR side, the organization side, etc. Buying a DSLR and kit lens is NOT going to allow you to do wedding work. So, try to hook up with a pro and learn from them. You'll spend a lot of time carrying gear, swapping/backing up cards, etc - but you'll LEARN.

Portrait work - is a whole other ball game - do a search in the forums here, there have been some recent discussions on it .


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Old Jan 7, 2007, 8:27 PM   #4
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Sony A100? Has IS and DR.:?
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 9:05 PM   #5
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A entry level camera is the least of your expenses (what about shooting a wedding in a garden & it starts raining...your camera better be weather sealed).

As JohnG mentioned, you will need good/fast lense(s), a good tripod (& a good monopod), a great off camera flash unit(s) (I'd say a Quantum Q-Flash as a minimum) reflectors & other light modifiers & 1-2 assistants per wedding.

Another thing is......I don't know any "part time" wedding photographers. The marketing and equipment expense alone almost forces you into it full time. Now you need a studio, accountant, lawyer & everything else that entails......
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 10:57 PM   #6
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How about a backup camera just in case?


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Old Jan 8, 2007, 2:25 PM   #7
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Thanks to all who have responded. And thanks for the wake-up call on the wedding photography idea. I think I'll start with portraits -- friends and family -- and move up from there. So I need a decent portrait camera, a flash, a tripod, some lights (which ones?),backdrops, anything else?

Thanks again...
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 7:03 PM   #8
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Hi Lisa,

A popular inexpensive "portrait" zoom would be Tamron's 28-75mm f2,8 and available for the major mounts.
If you eventually want to get a fairly priced 85mm f1,8 prime, go for Canon or Nikon; Pentax and Sony only have very pricey f1,4 85mm primes.

Flashes:
Nikon D70/D80's onboard flash can commander wirelessly multiple dedicated flashes. This way you can place multiple offcamera flashes to achieve proper lighting. The D40/D50 do not have this very useful feature.
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 11:22 PM   #9
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Though I know nothing much about them, Fuji dSLRs seem to be the choice of a lot of wedding photographers. Perhaps you should try asking on their forum.

Russ
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