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Old Oct 10, 2005, 6:31 PM   #1
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I have a p&s Canon A300. Takes nice snapshots but I'm looking for something better at portriats. I have about $450 to spend and I'm looking at the Canon S2 IS, Sony H-1, Panasonic FZ-5. Image quality is top priority. I'm a newbie but I do want a camera with full manual options. At the local Circuit City they have a 6.3 Digital Rebel for $610 (w/lens). Sort of out of my range (wife would have a cow),would the Rebel be THAT much of an improvement? Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 10:49 PM   #2
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There are two things you should look for in a camera for portraits. A hot shoe for external flash, a standard lens size to hook up a soft focus filter, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm...

With your budget of $450, it is possible to find a decent camera to start, especially now is a good time to buy, stores are now clearing old models to replace with newones coming in for Christmas sales.

The soft focus portrait isdifficultto master, buy a UV filter costs around $15 or less to create a softfocus using paper glue, smear or spot on it to suit your taste, it's easy to clean with water if you don't like it. Test your camera to see how much soft will blind your camera focus system and work backward to a lessen degree of softness.

Ask your family members to pose for you, use flash to fill in, take a few dozen shots, print them on your home printer. Then bring the disk to your local photo lab, ask the operator to print your pictures to see the difference, tell him you want to print these pictures to sell to your clients, this will make him take better care of your pictures than the rest, because if he smart enough, he will adjust the color manually the best he can make sure you make money so you will come back as a regular customer, you make money he'll make money too.

After a few times going to the same lab, the owner will regconize you, it becomes easy to establish a good relationship with him, bygreeting him"how is business?" you pave the way for a more serious stuff later.He is happy to give you a good price to keep you not going somewhere else.

Next, ask some friends you know todo portraits for them, select agood shot and have the lab enlarge it bigand sell to them, make some money, save it for a better camera.

One thing will lead to another, during the time waiting for your pictures to be processed, you will see some wedding photographers come in to print their pictures, a good chance to socialize with them, compliment on their pictures start a conversation, later you'll know all of them, they are more open to discuss their work with you, you'll learn from their mistakes face to face, learn what they don't like about their equipment, learn what color to look for in a portrait beside the skin tone, what sell, what don't. You soon realize that pros do make costly mistakes, some are worse than yours.These experiences will help you pickyour next camera, you don't have to ask this same question again. Who knows, someday you'll step into wedding businesss too, by accident, one of the guys ask you to be his helper...

That's how I've started my serious photography adventure a long long time ago, the lab owner let me sit behind the machine discussing how to print my pictures with him.I now quit but still spend free time going down to my local lab, chit chat with those wedding photographer friends there.

CS.






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Old Oct 10, 2005, 11:03 PM   #3
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For portraits, you really have to get an SLR. P&S do not give you any real DoF Control.

Low cost options are probably either the original DRebel or the Pentax ist DS. Forget the kit lens, get a 50mm prime for portraits (should be under $100 new). If you're willing to take chances, get a used D30 on Ebay, it runs $300-$400 last I checked. Even with the lens, you'd still be within budget.
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 11:25 PM   #4
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thebac wrote:
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For portraits, you really have to get an SLR. P&S do not give you any real DoF Control.

Low cost options are probably either the original DRebel or the Pentax ist DS. Forget the kit lens, get a 50mm prime for portraits (should be under $100 new). If you're willing to take chances, get a used D30 on Ebay, it runs $300-$400 last I checked. Even with the lens, you'd still be within budget."

Listen to "thebac" - everything he writes is TRUE - I found this out the hard way by trying a dozen P&S cams before admitting defeat and buying a Pentax *ist DS with the best "portrait" lens (PRIME) - FA 50mm/1.4 - AMAZING ! This photo was actually taken with a telephoto but it illustrates the DOF that you simply can't get with a P&S....Oh, "thebac" you are a wise camera guru!
http://kimnicho.smugmug.com/photos/39887969-M.jpg
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 12:38 AM   #5
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Oh really....and you learned this valuable portrait information where??

Go look at some images I took here: http://stufit.blogspot.com/

97% of them were made using a 2.1mp, Olympus C2100, a 5mp Minolta 7i or a 5mp Minolta A1...maybe 5 of them were made with a 3mp Canon DSLR-D30. (BTW...they all print out as 8x10's that would blow you away)!

For instance, can you tell me what camera made this image? I doubt you could if you saw a large print of it in person too.....
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 8:21 AM   #6
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Oh really....yes, it's called "optics" or sometimes know as "physics" which dictates that a LARGE sensor and specialized lens of a dSLR will create "DOF" - I was referring more to "depth of field" which I personally want in a portrait. I was NOT saying that you can't take Amazing Portraits without a dSLR (although your UZI is legendary and again, NOT a typical P&S cam). . As for the picture-Sure, if you are shooting big-chested woman, people care less about the depth of field:lol: As for the camera, it could be a sleuth of P&S- and considering that it is a Beautiful Subject in the Beautiful Outdoors, you could you a $200 Kodak and get results like that. However, most conditions are not so "ideal".... and your background could definitely be more defined or more blurred (depending on your preference) - right now, it's in "no-man's land" as the current is all one mass....but yes, I did look at your gallery and yes, you do Great Work! But don't you ever wonder, how much better it might be with a dSLR?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:06 AM   #7
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I know what DOF is. This was taken with a Minolta A1, it's not the camera that makes the picture.....
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:46 AM   #8
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kimnicho wrote:
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As for the picture-Sure, if you are shooting big-chested woman, people care less about the depth of field:lol:

Au contraire. The bigger the chest, the more important the depth of field...
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 12:47 PM   #9
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I have FZ5 along with 10D. I would say, FZ5 is good only for outside shots. I would recommend getting the older 300 rebel dSLR and starting with 50mm f1.8 lens. That lens is only $80. The quality difference would be night & day. Later you can get 85mm f1.8.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 1:05 PM   #10
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Never said you didn't...just not sure why you have a chip on your shoulder about people recommending a dSLR with a good50mm Prime lens...of course, a camera is just a tool but a lot of people are happy they made the jump to dSLR...btw, the Olympus C-2100 and Minolta A1 are hardly P&S - more like "like dSLR". Finally, I'm not going to argue with you anymore as I have no vested interest in this argument. Enjoy your cams and your DOF. Keep on clickin'
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