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Old May 17, 2006, 3:29 AM   #1
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Hello everyone,



I`ve used this website for a couple of years now but this is my first post.

I was wondering if people could advise in in buying a new camera...

At the moment I have A Canon S1 IS, which I am very happy with but due to its limititions its time to upgrade. I`m an keen amateur photographer and have the dream of one day turning pro (a distant day I might add!)

In the meantime I`m keen to try and sell some of my photos to Stock agencies. I`ve got some photos with a couple of micro agencies but obviously need more megapixels to be accepted by the bigger boys!

From what I understand, I really need around 8 mp for most stock agencies (although I understand many require even great resolution) and so this has led me to a choice of the Panasonic FZ30 or Canon 350/Rebel/Kiss.

Cost wise the Panosonic is naturally much cheaper - I`ve found one for around 275 Pounds - so this is naturally tempting esoeically with its Leica Lens, x12 zoon and IS.

The other option is getting the Canon - body only I can get around 350 pounds, although naturally to get the kind of zoon I can get with the Panasonic, I`ll need to spend a lot more money!

So essentially, my question is, do you think I could shoot stock agency-acceptable photos with the Panasonic and maybe wait another year or so to get a DSLR ? (Maybe when the Nikon 200d has come down in price!)

OR - for stock agencies do I really need to be using a DSLR now ?

I`m very interested in Travel Photogaphy, in particular, Wildlife, people, and general street scenes. I am fortunate enough to travel widely and therefore have ample opporunity to shoot a wide range of subjects.



Thanks in advance.
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Old May 17, 2006, 4:23 AM   #2
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At least for newspapers resolutions aren't such big.
Just few weeks ago in nature photography course this was discussed little and one professional mentioned how big print they had done from shot croppped to 4MP, I don't remember exact size but it was damn big. Also they said that 8MP starts to be close to resolution of 35mm film. And heavy incamera Disneyland-processing is bad, photos shouldn't be over contrasty and camera shouldn't do much "sharpening".


I think they would mostly look quality of photos instead of what camera took those.
But one limit they might have is that photos have to be either RAWs or relativily large JPEGs for avoiding quality loss of heavier compression.



BTW, here in Finland Nature photo of 2005 was taken with Canon A70 pocketcam.
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Old May 17, 2006, 10:09 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply ET.

You don`t happen to know if I could take stock agency quality photos with a non-dslr do you ?
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Old May 17, 2006, 2:54 PM   #4
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My advice is to contact several stock agencies you are considering working with and ask them directly what their requirements are. While some newspapers take very low res images I'm betting stock agencies are not like that. A color photo in a magazine requires a fairly sizeable image. Also, because of sensor size and pixel density and such the quality of an 8mp digicam photo in large print will not be the same as from a DSLR with a larger sensor - again, we're talking larger here - not 4x6.

The bottom line though is this: do you want to take the money making aspect of photography seriously? If so, why would you use inferior tools? Photogrpahy is a competitive business - why put yourself at a disadvantage with your competition who is going to be using a DSLR. Are there great images from digicams - sure there are. But I doubt very highly there are too many people making a lot of money in the stock photo market that are shooting with a digicam. I could be totally wrong. But, photographic skill levels being equal - if you know what you're doing and take 100 photos from a DSLR and 100 from a digicam you'll get better results from the DSLR.


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Old May 18, 2006, 8:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply - what you`re saying makes sense!



I think my main reservation with getting a DSLR is that someone once told me that you only really see the benefits of this type of camera if splash out on quality lenses (500/1000 pounds plus).

Do you agree with this assessment ?

The problem is I don`t really have this kind of money - at this stage I could only really spend 150 - 200 per lense (i`m really looking at a 300mm)

Do lenses in this price range deliver the same quality at these x12 Zooms ?
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Old May 18, 2006, 9:10 AM   #6
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I think you are going to have to compromise somewhat - you can't afford really top-grade kit, but the digicam's aren't going to be flexible enough I think.

On the other hand - you can get an Olympus DSLR with twin lens kit for a very reasonable price.

The E-500 (8.89 million pixels) + 14-45mm + 40-150mm lens kit + 1Gb CF card is going for only £619 from www.warehouseexpress.com

That strikes me as a pretty great kit for that money, and isn't much more than you would pay for a superzoom.

The sensor on the Olympus is MUCH bigger than on a digicam and you're getting close to 9Mp. The Olympus lenses are very good and they're increasing their range very nicely for when your photography starts to pay.

Also the 4/3 system seems to be picking up a bit of momentum with Panasonic and Leica getting on board.

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Old May 18, 2006, 9:20 AM   #7
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A Geezer From East London wrote:
Quote:
I think my main reservation with getting a DSLR is that someone once told me that you only really see the benefits of this type of camera if splash out on quality lenses (500/1000 pounds plus).

Do you agree with this assessment ?

The problem is I don`t really have this kind of money - at this stage I could only really spend 150 - 200 per lense (i`m really looking at a 300mm)

Do lenses in this price range deliver the same quality at these x12 Zooms ?
Geezer,

Here's the problem: a lens is probably the most important part of the whole but it is still just a part. What you honestly need to do is assess what you want to accomplish with the equipment. What type of photos do you want to take. What equipment is NEEDED to take those types of photos? Is 300mm necessary for that type of work or is it a nice to have? There is absolutely no one size fits all solution - period. Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. You could spend $10,000 on equipment but if you don't get the type of equipment your photographic interests/style require then you'll get poor results.

So, be more specific about what types of work you want to do - especially if you want to sell to stock agencies, you'll have to get more focused. It may be that you can accomplish what you want with a digicam. But remember - there's a big difference between taking a good shot that you can hang on your own wall and be proud of and taking hundreds of shots that other people want to pay money to own. If I want a stock photo of a lighthouse for a magazine I'm publishing, I'll have hundreds if not thousands to choose from. Whose photos are likely to be the best ones? The person who shoots a bit of everything or the person who focuses in on shooting subjects like that?

As for expensive lenses producing better shots than cheap lenses - absolutely. But it's not a guarantee. You have to decide what you want to focus on and buy the equipment required for that. For instance, my focus is on sports shooting. So my equipment buys are geared towards improvement in sports shooting. If I wanted to do portrait work, I don't have the right equipment. I bought the camera (that I could afford) that had the best possible specs from a sports shooting perspective at the time. Other cameras could probably have outperformed it in other areas but I didn't care about those.

So - what do you want to shoot that requires 300mm? That's getting into sports and wildlife territory there.
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Old May 18, 2006, 12:49 PM   #8
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peripatetic- thanks for the recommendation - I shall certainly look into the Olympus because that does look like a decent price.

John - I travel alot, (so actually size and weight is somewhat of a consideration) and primarily I do enjoy taking pictures of wildlife - hence the long lense requirment. I also enjoy simply taking pictures of people and general street scenes and buildings that I come across. Of course I also enjoy taking pictures of landscapes which I suppose, along with the wildlife photography would be the kind of stuff I`d be trying to sell to the stock agencies.

My major motivation behind my photography remains enjoyment - and the stock agency factor remains a side issue - although it is something i`m hoping to develop - increasingly over time.

So to put it in a nutshell, the area I`minterested in is travel photography and the kind of things i`m primarily interested in shooting are

Wildlife - whale watching / safaris etc

People - both close up portraits and candid shots (long lense again)

General street scenes / landscapes that i come across.



So I suppose if I was to go the DSLR route, I`d be looking at a fast lense of around 300mm and also something could for peple.... (so 2 or 3 lenses)



Hope this clears some stuff up and thanks again for helping!
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