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Old Aug 16, 2008, 12:44 AM   #1
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I'm new to all of this, I've got plenty of money, two kids, and I'm tired of scheduling and going to my photographerwhen I want to snapa fewshots. Plus I'm considering offering photo shoots in my future studio for family and friends as a hobby. I'm gonna be buying all the equipment, backdrops, lights, camera, ?...

I checked out Steve's reviews and it appears he ranked the Fujifilm finepix s5 pro about the best for studio shoots. My photographer uses the s3 pro and I'm very impressed with the quality of his pics.He uses a Radio slave 4i sender and remote with Power light 1500 and 1500r and a Gossen luna star f sensor?? (i took a few notes on my last visit to his studio while he stepped out, I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I'm gonna start reading up on all this).

Anyone know of a camera that can beat the quality of the s5? There isn't an s6 coming out soon is there? If you wanna recommend lights, backdrop products, etc, please do. Basically what ALL do I need to make some studio quality pics. I guess my budget for the whole studio would be about $ 6,000. But my primary goal for now is the new camera. Please don't reply with "(blank) would begood starter equipment". I want what a professional would use. You guys are the pros, what would you buy?

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Old Aug 16, 2008, 5:27 AM   #2
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The fuji S series by all accounts is a great camera. Pro quality build and features, and the sensor does a great job rendering skin tones and has great dynamic range. It is a bit on the slow slide, and is a little heavy handed on noise reduction (reducing detail) at high iso's. Studio and wedding work is what this camera is known for.

However, if I were buying a camera for studio/wedding work today, I'd probably look real close at the Nikon D700. Newer technology, full frame sensor, the ability to use Nikon's Creative lighting system, and higher resolution.
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Old Aug 16, 2008, 7:38 AM   #3
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A few points first:
  1. Although $6,000 is a lot of money for most people, it's not a lot for a studio photographer, actually it's not really enough. [/*]
  2. Even if you get $100,000 of equipment, if you don't have the skill to use it then the results will be a very long way short of what you may be hoping for. Make sure you set aside some time to learn the craft; take a course, read some books, etc. And set yourself realistic expectations to start.[/*]
  3. The more expensive your equipment the less P&S it is. Expensive equipment is aimed at professionals, a large amount of skill and knowledge is assumed. If all you have used is a P&S camera you might seriously get better results with that when you first start using your expensive gear. This is not an indication that the gear is defective, simply that you are inexperienced.
I would suggest there are only 2 real options at the moment within your budget.

The Canon 5D and the Nikon D700, add to that the respective 24-70mm f2.8 lens, both excellent "professional" starter setups.

But moving to the current hot stuff to keep you at around $6,000:
Nikon D700 ($3,000)
Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 ($1,700)
SB900 Speedlight ($500)

Which leaves some change for diffuser, tripod, CF cards, bag, etc.

Pro level gear, and will certainly get you started and form the basis of a bigger kit if you decide to stick with it.

P.S. If money is really no object then the current king-of-the-hill in the smaller formats is the Canon 1DsMkIII, but that is $8,000 for the body only without any lenses or flash setup. Expect to spend at least the same again for lenses and lighting.

You can step up again to the Hassleblad medium format systems if you want the best quality and money is really no object.
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