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Old Oct 19, 2009, 1:30 PM   #1
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I need help in getting a new DSLR. Me and my wife are helping out a friend of ours who is a wedding photographer. I would like to get a good DSLR that we can use for that type of shooting, but would also be a good camera to use to shoot photos at sporting events, photos of our children( 2 girls - ages 18 mths and 4 yrs old). We are thinking about taking a class offered at a technical college close by to become familiar with the different options, etc on the DSLR cameras. Also, what lenses should we get to begin with. Right now, we have only owned P & S cameras. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 1:48 PM   #2
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I need help in getting a new DSLR. Me and my wife are helping out a friend of ours who is a wedding photographer.
Just trying to understand. Are you helping a friend select a new DSLR? Or are you and your wife going to be taking photos as part of your friend's business?
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 1:59 PM   #3
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daddy0-

Welcome to the Forum!

A lot of DSLR camera selection really depends on these factors:
(1) What budget have you allowed for your new DSLR camera?
(2) Are you looking for an entry level, or above DSLR camera?
(3) The photo uses you specify would require mutiple lenses would you:
(a) be willing to begin with a lens usable for wedding?
(b) sports usually require a good telephoto lens, can that be deferred?
(4) How much numerically high ISO/low light shots will you be taking?
(5) Will you be making:
(a) large prints?
(b) small prints, 5" X 7" and smaller?
(6) How important is IS to you?
(7) Where do wide angle shots factor into the photos that you shoot?
(8) Will your new DSLR camera kit include an external flash?
(9) Do you favor one DSLR camera brand over another?
(10) Ideally what mp DSLR camera are you looking for now?

Thanks in advance for providing some more information. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 2:07 PM   #4
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Me and my wife are helping our friend out and we are looking to buy a good DSLR.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 2:18 PM   #5
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Me and my wife are helping our friend out and we are looking to buy a good DSLR.
I'm assuming by this you mean YOU are going to be doing the shooting at the weddings. Let's deal with the 'professional' side of things before the personal side. If you are going to be business partners with your friend then it makes good business sense to use the same system - that has the benefit of being able to share a lens or for your friend to use your camera body as a backup if his goes out. It simply provides more flexibility for the business as a whole if everyone is using the same system. What camera brand is your friend using for their wedding business? Will you be able to use any of that gear or are you expected to bring all your own gear? What types of shots is your friend expecting you to provide? This will help determine what lenses / flashes are desirable.

For example, if you're just taking photos at the reception then a good/powerful external flash and flash bracket with kit lens will produce better results than an expensive f2.8 lens with built-in camera flash. If you're taking photos during the ceremony, suddenly wide aperture (f2.8, f1.8, etc) lenses become more important - as does anti-shake. Because in that instance you often CANT use a flash.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 2:33 PM   #6
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daddy0-

Welcome to the Forum!

A lot of DSLR camera selection really depends on these factors:
(1) What budget have you allowed for your new DSLR camera?
(2) Are you looking for an entry level, or above DSLR camera?
(3) The photo uses you specify would require mutiple lenses would you:
(a) be willing to begin with a lens usable for wedding?
(b) sports usually require a good telephoto lens, can that be deferred?
(4) How much numerically high ISO/low light shots will you be taking?
(5) Will you be making:
(a) large prints?
(b) small prints, 5" X 7" and smaller?
(6) How important is IS to you?
(7) Where do wide angle shots factor into the photos that you shoot?
(8) Will your new DSLR camera kit include an external flash?
(9) Do you favor one DSLR camera brand over another?
(10) Ideally what mp DSLR camera are you looking for now?

Thanks in advance for providing some more information. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
1. $1,000 to $1,500
2. Above if not too advanced. I would like for this camera to last us a long time.
3. Wedding photos to begin with. We recently helped shoot a wedding on the beach using one of our friends cameras. The sports is my passion. I guess it will have to wait. This photographer and my wife have also started marketing glamour shots to be taken at Mary Kay parties.
4. Low light is a concern because of wedding receptions, etc. The wedding on the beach's reception was in a hotels conference area and the lights were turned off with only candles on the tables.
5. Large and small. We have a couple of photos of our children we would like blown up to 16x20 so the ability to do both is a plus.
6. IS would be extremely important I would assume in doing wedding photography or any type of portrait photography done without a tripod.
7. Not sure about that one right now.
8. I would think that would probably need to be a must since the one's built-in(if they even have one) would probably not be sufficient or give the right kind of light for the different styles of photography.
9. Brand is not a big factor, but accessory availability, reliability, ease of repair and longevity are huge factors.
10. Not knowing the ins/outs of photography just yet, I'm not sure what to answer. I would think at least a 12 or higher mp camera would be a good range?

Hopefully this will give you a better idea as to what to suggest.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 4:49 PM   #7
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Daddy0-

In an effort to keep everything together in the same thread, I am going to transfer your initial post, the questionnaire, and your answers to a thread we already have underway called. "Exploring Entry Level DSLR Cameras and Above."

Many thanks for your patience and understanding in re posting this thread In that way it will get maximum reader exposure.

This will take an hour or so. Thanks.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 7:06 PM   #8
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OK, Daddy0-

The decision is to keep everything within in this thread so that you receive the most personalized answers to your questions. So let's go for it!

I believe the best start we can make is to, as our first step, to separate the entry level DSLR cameras and Above, into two more precise groups.

Entry Level DSLR cameras: Canon XS, Nikon D-40/D-3000, Pentax K-2000, Olympus E-420/E-450, and the Sony A-200/A-230.

DSLR Cameras Just Above Entry Level: Canon XSi/T-1, Nikon D-5000/D-90, Pentax KX/K-200/K-10, Olympus E-620, and the Sony A 330/A-500/A-550

Of course, there are additional DSLR cameras that are more featured and more expensive than those listed above. However this will be our beginning point.

Your budget of $1,000.00 to 1,5000 covers all of the entry level and those listed above which are listed as being above entry level. The Above Entry Level DSLR Cameras provide additional features, that exceed the Entry Level DSLR Cameras for that brand.

Generally speaking, some folks have particular brands that they prefer. Or, in your case, Daddy0, your brand preference may be driven, as JohnG, suggested above, by the brand of camera that the Wedding Photographer you are working with is using. That way the two of you could exchange lenses and accessories, and your DSLR camera could act as a spare body for the Wedding Photographer.

At least at this beginning stage, I think it would be wise if we just focused on the potential photos that you might be taking to assist the Wedding Photographer. Your children are still very young. Sports photos are a unique specialty, and I believe they should logically be considered somewhere in the future.

Glamour shots done at a Mary Kay Party are usually very popular, and popular due to the synergistic energy that is generated during the Mary Kay presentation and trial makeup application. Producing the most flattering lighting can become tricky. It will be a very good opportunity for you to learn a lot.

Based on my own wedding experience, Reception Photos become much easier to do if there is a convenient ceiling on which you can bounce your external flash on. Bounced Flash is very flattering light, if the flash head is kept to the 30 to 45 degree position from vertical, even if the only illumination is from candles on the tables, providing your flash is powerful enough.

The cash flow in Commercial Photography is realistically based on the sale of prints and albums. Therefore, it would be realistic to expect both large (16" X 20") prints and smaller (5" X 7", 6" X 8", and 8" X 10") prints. That too, points to another issue or axiom to consider. The more DSLR camera resolution, the better,s in terms of cropping and producing easily sold prints that are clear, sharp and well exposed. That need dictates DSLR cameras that has at least 12mp and fall into the Above the Entry level DSLR Camera category.

Portrait photography is generally done using a tripod. The bulk of wedding Photography is done hand held, except the in church photos. So, Image Stabilization is not an absolute requirement, providing you keep your shutter speed conveniently high. However, there is no doubt that IS is convenient. Nikon and Canon have opted to put the IS in their lenses. That makes IS equipped lenses more expensive. Pentax, Olympus, and Sony have built the IS into their camera bodies, making every lens mounted on a Pentax, Olympus, and Sony DSLR camera body, essentially equipped with IS.

Specific wide angle lenses, or a zoom lens with a wide angle position is useful when taking family and group photos at a wedding. Sometimes the Wedding Reception venue is small, leaving you less than normal "back-up" room to get every member of the group into the photo and properly exposed. Once again that is where bounce flash from a powerful external flash or a flash accessory like Gray Fong's Light Sphere really come in handy.

As I have mentioned several times in this post a powerful external flash, quite like the Canon EX-580 external flash, is going to be your very best friend when doing wedding photography. A good external flash should definitely be an integral part of your DSLR plan because it is so very useful.

Once again, because you and the Wedding photographer are working as a team, in tandem, selecting a brand that jointly promotes you photo partnership, I would think, would be critical. What kind of DSLR camera is the Wedding Photographer you are working with, currently using? That might be the brand you should consider. Talk to your partner, the Wedding Photographer and discuss how your DSLR camera brand choice could help him the very most.

As I mentioned previously, I would guess, based on your desire for 16" X 20" prints, that at least, the 12mp imager size would be the better choice. The DSLR cameras that are currently using the new Sony manufactured 12mp imager, are the Nikon D-5000/D-90, the Pentax KX, and the Sony A-500. Take a look at those DSLR cameras. Do they fit in with the DSLR cameras that your partner is using? They would seem to be an excellent starting point as you move through the DSLR camera decision process.

I will look foreward to your response, your plans, and some information on the partnership that you are in the process of forging with your Wedding Photographer friend. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Oct 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 3:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
OK, Daddy0-

The decision is to keep everything within in this thread so that you receive the most personalized answers to your questions. So let's go for it!

I believe the best start we can make is to, as our first step, to separate the entry level DSLR cameras and Above, into two more precise groups.

Entry Level DSLR cameras: Canon XS, Nikon D-40/D-3000, Pentax K-2000, Olympus E-420/E-450, and the Sony A-200/A-230.

DSLR Cameras Just Above Entry Level: Canon XSi/T-1, Nikon D-5000/D-90, Pentax KX/K-200/K-10, Olympus E-620, and the Sony A 330/A-500/A-550

Of course, there are additional DSLR cameras that are more featured and more expensive than those listed above. However this will be our beginning point.

Your budget of $1,000.00 to 1,5000 covers all of the entry level and those listed above which are listed as being above entry level. The Above Entry Level DSLR Cameras provide additional features, that exceed the Entry Level DSLR Cameras for that brand.

Generally speaking, some folks have particular brands that they prefer. Or, in your case, Daddy0, your brand preference may be driven, as JohnG, suggested above, by the brand of camera that the Wedding Photographer you are working with is using. That way the two of you could exchange lenses and accessories, and your DSLR camera could act as a spare body for the Wedding Photographer.

At least at this beginning stage, I think it would be wise if we just focused on the potential photos that you might be taking to assist the Wedding Photographer. Your children are still very young. Sports photos are a unique specialty, and I believe they should logically be considered somewhere in the future.

Glamour shots done at a Mary Kay Party are usually very popular, and popular due to the synergistic energy that is generated during the Mary Kay presentation and trial makeup application. Producing the most flattering lighting can become tricky. It will be a very good opportunity for you to learn a lot.

Based on my own wedding experience, Reception Photos become much easier to do if there is a convenient ceiling on which you can bounce your external flash on. Bounced Flash is very flattering light, if the flash head is kept to the 30 to 45 degree position from vertical, even if the only illumination is from candles on the tables, providing your flash is powerful enough.

The cash flow in Commercial Photography is realistically based on the sale of prints and albums. Therefore, it would be realistic to expect both large (16" X 20") prints and smaller (5" X 7", 6" X 8", and 8" X 10") prints. That too, points to another issue or axiom to consider. The more DSLR camera resolution, the better,s in terms of cropping and producing easily sold prints that are clear, sharp and well exposed. That need dictates DSLR cameras that has at least 12mp and fall into the Above the Entry level DSLR Camera category.

Portrait photography is generally done using a tripod. The bulk of wedding Photography is done hand held, except the in church photos. So, Image Stabilization is not an absolute requirement, providing you keep your shutter speed conveniently high. However, there is no doubt that IS is convenient. Nikon and Canon have opted to put the IS in their lenses. That makes IS equipped lenses more expensive. Pentax, Olympus, and Sony have built the IS into their camera bodies, making every lens mounted on a Pentax, Olympus, and Sony DSLR camera body, essentially equipped with IS.

Specific wide angle lenses, or a zoom lens with a wide angle position is useful when taking family and group photos at a wedding. Sometimes the Wedding Reception venue is small, leaving you less than normal "back-up" room to get every member of the group into the photo and properly exposed. Once again that is where bounce flash from a powerful external flash or a flash accessory like Gray Fong's Light Sphere really come in handy.

As I have mentioned several times in this post a powerful external flash, quite like the Canon EX-580 external flash, is going to be your very best friend when doing wedding photography. A good external flash should definitely be an integral part of your DSLR plan because it is so very useful.

Once again, because you and the Wedding photographer are working as a team, in tandem, selecting a brand that jointly promotes you photo partnership, I would think, would be critical. What kind of DSLR camera is the Wedding Photographer you are working with, currently using? That might be the brand you should consider. Talk to your partner, the Wedding Photographer and discuss how your DSLR camera brand choice could help him the very most.

As I mentioned previously, I would guess, based on your desire for 16" X 20" prints, that at least, the 12mp imager size would be the better choice. The DSLR cameras that are currently using the new Sony manufactured 12mp imager, are the Nikon D-5000/D-90, the Pentax KX, and the Sony A-500. Take a look at those DSLR cameras. Do they fit in with the DSLR cameras that your partner is using? They would seem to be an excellent starting point as you move through the DSLR camera decision process.

I will look foreward to your response, your plans, and some information on the partnership that you are in the process of forging with your Wedding Photographer friend. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks for the info. The photographer we are working with uses a Nikon d80. Yes, our children are young, and that is the problem. They won't stand still when you are trying to get a picture, so you have to snap fast! Is there really any major differences between camera brands, or are the differences just minor and more to personal preferences. Also, are we looking at getting different cameras for shooting various subjects(ie sports, landscapes, portraits, weddings, etc) or can that be controlled more by the lenses, photography techniques, etc?

Thanks,

Daddy0
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 3:47 PM   #10
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I'm assuming by this you mean YOU are going to be doing the shooting at the weddings. Let's deal with the 'professional' side of things before the personal side. If you are going to be business partners with your friend then it makes good business sense to use the same system - that has the benefit of being able to share a lens or for your friend to use your camera body as a backup if his goes out. It simply provides more flexibility for the business as a whole if everyone is using the same system. What camera brand is your friend using for their wedding business? Will you be able to use any of that gear or are you expected to bring all your own gear? What types of shots is your friend expecting you to provide? This will help determine what lenses / flashes are desirable.

For example, if you're just taking photos at the reception then a good/powerful external flash and flash bracket with kit lens will produce better results than an expensive f2.8 lens with built-in camera flash. If you're taking photos during the ceremony, suddenly wide aperture (f2.8, f1.8, etc) lenses become more important - as does anti-shake. Because in that instance you often CANT use a flash.

Nikon d80 is the camera used by the photographer we are working with.

Thanks,

Daddy0
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