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Almost Pro - sort of...
Hello all,.

Briefly: AMAZING forum. The amount of information that is contained here, and the way that it is presented and discussed among members is first rate..

I'm a beginning writer, and all of the query letters I have been sending out have finally paid off. I've received one major assignment and I'm on the bubble for several more. My dilemma is this: The magazine I've sold to and the ones I hope to sell to almost uniformly want photography to accompany the article. So I am, for better or worse, about to become a photojournalist..

Most of my photo experience has been with point and shoot digicams, though I do have good knowledge of photography and feel comfortable with a film SLR. (still amateur, but I'm improving and willing to take the time to learn.) It has become apparent that I need to outfit myself if I'm at all serious about pursuing this as a career. So, I ask you all, what's a good starting point (camera / lens-wise) for this new starting point in my life? Money is an issue, but lets talk everything from the bare bones to "if I had that kind of money I wouldn't need to have a career" options and maybe come up with something somewhere in the middle..

So, here are the requirements: I need to produce large files in RAW and JPEG format, ideally able to print double truck and covers, so IQ needs to be high. I'll be shooting outside in some harsh environments, so the gear needs to be fairly rugged. (The first assignment is about the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. That's in a very remote part of Alaska and I'll be spending time in a zodiac skiff and a restored sailboat.) I'll need to cover everything from panoramic landscapes to close-up action shots in a moving boat in a variety of weather and light. Right now there doesn't seem to be any need for macro or super-long lenses. The other potential assignments will be in similar places under similar circumstances..

What say you? What's the basic kit for this situation? What do I need to look for in a body? Can a crop-frame SLR deal with a two-page spread (stitching)? Or do I really, truly need to consider dropping the big bucks for a full-frame body? What lens arsenal should I be thinking about? Can we consider keeping this whole endeavor under US$2000 and fewer than 4 lenses? Please?.

One last point - I'm mostly interested in Canon since my old film SLR is an EOS and I have a few lenses, though I'd consider other brands because I really don't have much money in them..

Thanks ahead of time for all the response I get. I'm happy to be here..

Ryan..

Comments (33)

Canon weatherproof SLRs? You're looking at the 1 series. Partially weatherproof SLR? The new 40D will fit your bill. Weatherproof lenses? Now you're looking at strictly L series..

You can get a humble Rebel XT with a moderate consumer grade lens like the Canon 24-85 and crank out professional looking pictures for around $650. No one would ever be the wiser, either. Or you can get a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens, and then you'll have 98% of L quality (sans weatherproofing). Total price, $800..

But if you need the extra protection of weatherproofing? At least in the Canon line, that's going to cost you. The cheapest, fully weather sealed SLR you can get from Canon would be an old Canon 1D. You can find used copies in very good condition for under $1000. Throw in a second hand copy of a lens like the 24-105IS L, and you can have a viable setup for about $1800, if you shop well. Going to a place like fredmiranda.com and looking on their "buy and sell" forum will yield good results. Remember the Canon 1D is "only" a 4.3MP camera, but the pixels on it are gigantic, so it will yield FAR better results than your average 4MP camera..

If you want new? Prepare to pay out the ying-yang. The oldest "new" 1 series would be the 1D mark II N. That'll cost you. Big time. Well north of $2K. The Canon 40D is "partially" weathersealed - whatever the hell that means, and it runs $1200 for the body.



What you have is a business decision to make. You'll get sufficient quality photos from a simple Rebel XT/XTi - decent consumer lens. You'd be able to buy 4 or 5 of those camera/lens combos to offset the cost of a single Canon 1 series/L lens. If you think you're going to be losing cameras like running water, then you might have to find a way to spring for a 1 series. Otherwise, I'l strongly consider the "lesser" cameras..

There are other manufacturers with fully weather sealed bodies out there at a modest price. The Pentax K10 comes to mind immediately. Under $1000. I know very little about their lenses, so a trip to their board to ask about them may be in order...

Comment #1

Given th info you have provided and your price range there is only 1 camera I would suggest. Pentax K10D. You can get a 10MP camera which is weather sealed and a couple of lenses for well under 2k..

No it's not a canon or a nikon but so freakin what!!. No it is not a "PRO" like the Mk 1 or the D300. It also has in camera image stabilization which neither the Canon or Nikons do. I would point you at an Oly E3 but that is just out of your price range when you consider the cost of lenses..

Here is the liink to the comparison on DPreview..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk10d/page17.asp.

Good Luck.

Maddog.

Olympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #2

RyanSabo wrote:.

Hello all,.

Briefly: AMAZING forum. The amount of information that is containedhere, and the way that it is presented and discussed among members isfirst rate..

I'm a beginning writer, and all of the query letters I have beensending out have finally paid off. I've received one majorassignment and I'm on the bubble for several more. My dilemma isthis: The magazine I've sold to and the ones I hope to sell toalmost uniformly want photography to accompany the article. So I am,for better or worse, about to become a photojournalist..

Most of my photo experience has been with point and shoot digicams,though I do have good knowledge of photography and feel comfortablewith a film SLR. (still amateur, but I'm improving and willing totake the time to learn.) It has become apparent that I need tooutfit myself if I'm at all serious about pursuing this as a career.So, I ask you all, what's a good starting point (camera / lens-wise)for this new starting point in my life? Money is an issue, but letstalk everything from the bare bones to "if I had that kind of money Iwouldn't need to have a career" options and maybe come up withsomething somewhere in the middle..

So, here are the requirements: I need to produce large files in RAWand JPEG format, ideally able to print double truck and covers, so IQ.

Raw+JPEG Fine is a must..

Needs to be high. I'll be shooting outside in some harshenvironments, so the gear needs to be fairly rugged. (The firstassignment is about the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. That's in a veryremote part of Alaska and I'll be spending time in a zodiac skiff anda restored sailboat.) I'll need to cover everything from panoramiclandscapes to close-up action shots in a moving boat in a variety ofweather and light. Right now there doesn't seem to be any need formacro or super-long lenses. The other potential assignments will bein similar places under similar circumstances..

I think Nikon's D200/300 or Pentax K10D has better weather sealing than the 40D. One thing to note though, the cam doesn't need to be NEW. Used 30D/D200's should be cheaper now..

What say you? What's the basic kit for this situation? What do Ineed to look for in a body? Can a crop-frame SLR deal with atwo-page spread (stitching)? Or do I really, truly need to consider.

Even P&S can do stitching, as long as you've a tripod everything should align well unless the lens has bad distortion properties..

Dropping the big bucks for a full-frame body? What lens arsenalshould I be thinking about? Can we consider keeping this wholeendeavor under US$2000 and fewer than 4 lenses? Please?.

Read about Upresizing, and since you'll be shooting RAW it has enough bit depth to lend itself to upresizing..

One last point - I'm mostly interested in Canon since my old film SLRis an EOS and I have a few lenses, though I'd consider other brandsbecause I really don't have much money in them..

Thanks ahead of time for all the response I get. I'm happy to be here..

Ryan.

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Comment #3

RyanSabo wrote:.

One last point - I'm mostly interested in Canon since my old film SLRis an EOS and I have a few lenses, though I'd consider other brandsbecause I really don't have much money in them..

I was in the same situation - several Canon lenses but mostly consumer grade and collectively not worth a lot. I stayed with Canon (easy decision, of course, when you look at the cameras) and the advantage the old lenses gave me was that I wasn't under pressure to buy a complete kit from day 1. I bought a body only and made do with the old lenses or a few weeks before getting a Sigma 18-50/2.8 to provide the missing wide angle. Eventually I will replace all the old lenses, but in my own time when I am sure what I want, and for the best price...

Comment #4

Were you using your consumer lenses in a zodiac off the cost of alaska in the winter?Olympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #5

Considering your requirements, you should look at the K10D. There are lenses. Ask the Pentax folks which one(s)....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #6

This is the kind of discussion I was hoping for. Excellent..

First, Steve - You absolutely hit the button with my thinking on my existing lenses. The fact that I wouldn't need to make a decision about a kit lens right out of the gate is one of the reasons I stay interested in Canon. (I like Canon for lots of reasons, but not feeling pressure to pull the trigger on a lens purchase right away goes a long way when you're sweating the whole dilemma.).

That said, I am very open to both Nikon and Pentax. My lenses are consumer glass, so I won't be heartbroken if I need to start rebuilding a collection of lenses..

Onward... and this is in response mostly to sarlo100's excellent reply. Forget the Canon 1 Series. It's just not in the beans money-wise. The 40D and comparable Nikons and Pentax bodies, as well as recently superseded models, are more of a realistic option. And I'm not opposed to considering an entry-level body paired with good glass.



No getting around the money. I would have to sell a dozen or more articles or scores of photographs to begin to recoup the investment in truly 'Pro' gear. I realize that we're talking hardware that will last years, but at this point, while I'm still contemplating if I'll ever get that second sale, I cannot justify it. Maybe once I feel like I'm honestly establishing myself as a writer I'll take the plunge and mortgage the farm for high-end gear. I won't be on location in Alaska until June, so I do have some time to put together a kit, picking up a body and lenses one 'real' paycheck at a time over the next 6 months..

Speaking of Alaska, this is going to be a typical location for my photography, paying or otherwise. I live in AK between May and early September, and this place has a way of eating up all kinds of gear; from hiking boots, to fly rods, to cameras. (not to mention 125' steel crab boats) I have concerns about shock and moisture, and I want well made equipment. But I truly believe if anything is going to happen to my gear, it's going to be catastophic. Not even a 1D Mark anything and L glass is going to survive a deep-six in Nushagak Bay, or a Grizzly attack. Or a curious raven.



Which leads us nicely back to consumer or 'pro-sumer' bodies from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. (thanks for bringing up the K10D maddog. I'm not sure I would have considered it otherwise.) I'm willing to take all the info and advice you can sling at me, but I'll end up making a decision when the time comes..

Maybe the question here should really be where do I need to be as a minimum hardware-wise to sell to print media, with all the considerations I stated in the original post. Can I really get adequate IQ for the art department with something like the Rebel XT/XTi and good consumer glass? Does anyone know if stitching to get a file for a double truck is generally acceptable?.

Oh geeze... and lets not forget glass. Someone talk about lenses. I got myself all worked up over bodies and I'm not paying attention to the glass. What say you?.

If you've read through that whole rant you're a very good human being. Thank you so much for your time and help..

Ryan(maybe I should stay a fisherman...)..

Comment #7

The body is the least important factor in your image decision. Unless you are blowing up to a billboard, even a humble 6MP is more than enough. Glass is generally considered more important. The difference in picture quality between a Rebel XT and a 30D given the same piece of glass is nil. In a blind test, you'd pick the correct one 5 out of 10 times....and only because the law of averages says you will. The higher level bodies are more capable, but they are not "better" in regards to IQ..

I'm going to recommend you take a look at a couple of different places. First, the excellent Canon SLR lens forum. You'll see tons of recommendations there for all kinds of different lenses. But secondly, take a look here:.

Http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/.

This will give you a very quick overview of what is out there for Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina. If you should consider the excellent Nikon D200, you'll get a quick overview of what kinds of lenses are available for it. There are some excellent reviews specific to each lens as well..

Should you be interested in the Pentax K10D, the Pentax SLR forum is the way to go. It is a VERY robust body with built in image stabilization, and there are some high quality lenses available for that model as well..

And I certainly understand the dollar part. I haven't upgraded from my Rebel XT, nor do I have any plans to any time soon...

Comment #8

You've had some good advice so I'll just add a couple of things that come to mind. Firstly, photography and writing are two distinct specialities and while there are writers that can photograph and photographers that can write, when you're dealing with a quality magazine then it's not easy to do both at a high level and they wouldn't reall expect you to. While some magazines, especially at the lower end, are happy to receive text and images as a complete package (it saves them sending out a pro photographer), as you progress in your career (as a writer) then you'll find yourself working with clients that would automatically send a photographer out to make the images..

This is worth taking into consideration as you start out and invest in your camera gear. My advice would be to start simple. As another poster noted you can get good enough IQ for a double page from a 6mp DSLR. You certainly don't need to worry about stitching to get IQ unless the magazine is a meter wide  When I first moved to digital from medium format I bought a humble Nikon D70 and a Sigma 18-50mm lens to try things out. I did three pro asignments with this set up, and had double pages that looked really good. Everyone was happy.

So if money is tight then you're right to go a step at a time. Especialy if you consider yourself a writer first and a photographer second. As I said before, photographing for feature stories is a speciality and if you're not yet sure if you're up to it then hold back on investing too much. If it works out, and I hope it does, then let your sales pay for better gear in the future..

Good luck.Colin.http://www.colinduttonphotography.com..

Comment #9

Sarlo100 wrote:.

The body is the least important factor in your image decision.Unless you are blowing up to a billboard, even a humble 6MP is morethan enough..

This is so often said in these forums that it has acquired the status of 'conventional wisdom' - but in my view, while not 100% wrong, it's not 100% right either..

I'll start with something which speaks very firmly in favour of your assertion. For some time I used a Fuji S602Zoom, and countless photographs I took with that camera appeared in print. Not only was it 6MP, but it was interpolated 6MP. Of course, all images produced by conventional Bayer sensors include an element of interpolation so the distinction is not as clear as some would argue, but the fact remains that the little Fuji made it's 6MP from only 3 million or so photosites. Yet it produced images which were used successfully up to A4, in extremis..

But the fact that you can get away with this sort of resolution doesn't mean it is enough. And it doesn't mean that a true 6MP DSLR image is enough, either. It is highly dependent on the nature of the image, and the context in which it is reproduced. A shot taken from within the crowd during a riot can be soft, grainy and blurred, and will be judged for it's content not it's technical merit. A perfectly still Alaskan landscape which is soft, grainy and blurred will be useless. More to the point, perhaps, a 6MP Alaskan landscape enlarged to double-page size will not impress nearly as much as the 16MP image from a 1DsII.

One you tend to stand back from and admire as a whole. The other you peer into, looking at the faces..

The other point is that even if 6MP were enough - as it sometimes is - it gives you no scope at all for cropping..

So, while a specific 6MP image will often be enough, a 6MP camera is not necessarily enough..

Glass is generally considered more important. Thedifference in picture quality between a Rebel XT and a 30D given thesame piece of glass is nil..

The emphasis on glass is obviously correct, but I think that too has fallen into the 'conventional wisdom' trap. This advice was much more true for film SLRs, when the lens was almost solely responsible for the quality of the recorded image. That is no longer the case, and there is somewhat more difference between the images from a 300D and those from a 1DsII, than there was between a bottom-of-the-range film SLR and a pro film body. So while the emphasis on lenses is just as valid as ever, the role of the DSLR body shouldn't be downplayed as much as it sometimes can be..

This is an ongoing story, of course - and DSLRs are becoming so good, even at the lower end of the market, that we may one day return to a situation where on pure image quality there is little to choose between the top and bottom of the range, and between one brand and another...

Comment #10

Wow. I have no doubt that I came to the right place for advice. Everything has been first rate..

Colin, I really admire your work. And I truly appreciate and understand your insight into the business. I obviously consider myself a writer first, but I'm dealing with smaller (though still nationally and internationally distributed) specialty publications, and as such, their editorial budget is relatively small. I'm 28, just starting, and getting my foot in the door. I dream of one day having a photographer attached at my hip, but for now I have to produce the images..

I'll be more specific. My first piece is a historical piece documenting the phasing out of the sailboat salmon fishery in Bristol Bay for WoodenBoat magazine. Many of the images will be historical photos from the library and cannery archives, but it needs to be supplemented with images of the old timers who are telling the stories and of the restored sailboat on the water. WoodenBoat just doesn't have the resources, being a small magazine, to send a separate photographer to southwest Alaska. The WILL however pay me for each image they publish..

This isn't the case with another magazine that I'm in discussion with. Without giving too much away and jinxing myself, the piece will be a big water quality piece for an American fly fishing mag. This publication, as well as the other ff magazines, states in their writer's guidelines that they expect photographs with the article and they pay for the words and images together. One editor plainly stated that they buy a piece more so for the accompanying photographs than on the article itself. They just don't have the editorial budget to buy every image from fly fishing pro photogs like Brian O'keefe and Bary and Cathy Beck. So, again, I have to have a camera slung on my shoulder to compliment my reporter's notebook..

One day, when (IF) I break into the bigger publications (Outside, National Geographic) I can worry about my words and have the 'true' pro shoot for the article. Which is why I'm 'Almost Pro - sort of...'.

Right now it's about clips and tear sheets. Thanks for validating my plan Colin..

With regards to both Steve and sarlo's comments about bodies and lenses, it's some of the best advice I've gotten to date. I really appreciate the time you took to give me a detailed answer. Based on what everyone has said so far, I've narrowed things down to these choices in bodies:.

Canon: XTi, 30D, 40DNikon: D80, D200Pentax: K10D.

I have to say that the D200 just might be out of my reach, but the others are all real contenders, especially the D80, 30D, and Pentax. I'm really intrigued by the Pentax, but as yet cannot find a shop where I can get my hands on one to play with..

That said, I'll take my specific body questions to the appropriate forums and let them hash things out for a while..

So, body will obviously determine glass, but, generally, what am I looking at to be prepared for the Alaska article? What range, from wide to tele, am I looking at considering the crop on these cameras? How fast do I need to be considering I'll be shooting outdoors, but with the possibility of heavy overcast? (I'll be taking questions to the lens boards as well, but this is such a great discussion I want to ask here too.).

Again, thanks everyone for all the input. I'm learning a lot, and more importantly, I'm gaining confidence that I can do this and I'm going about it in the right way..

Ryan(maybe a fisherman AND a writer AND a photographer IS possible...)..

Comment #11

I'm sure you're on the right track. I won't go into a body-lens debate but here some general pointers. A couple of lenses, something like an 18-50mm and a 50-150mm, will cover you for pretty much anything. Get them with f2.8 right through the zoom range. If you have money left over to buy a second-hand body then it would be very useful for keeping the longer lens on and catching shots without having to change lenses and getting dust and rain and stuff in there..

I don't know anything about the Canon or Pentax but if the Pentax is weatherproof then that's a great bonus. They say the Nikon D80 has a good quality big bright viewfinder and that's also really important. If you're used to a film SLR then you'll want to try looking through some of these cameras to realise how small and annoying the viewfinders can be..

Bear in mind that none of the zoom lenses in your price range will give you great sharpness wide open so think about which camera offers pleasing results at high ASA. That way when the light fades you can up the sensitivity rather than opening the lens all the way. Personally I prefer sharp and grainy over smooth and soft..

One more thing... if the photography side of your work grows then it would be best to have a system that can grow with you. Once you've invested in a brand it's always tempting to stay with it. Your prime body will eventually become your spare body, and so on. So when choosing a camera now look beyond your current needs at whether the overall system will offer you enough options in the future..

Hope that helps,Colin.http://www.colinduttonphotography.com..

Comment #12

Thanks again Colin. I had the right assumption with regards to zoom range, but I was a bit unsure about what I really needed in terms of f/x..

As far as expandability goes, I'm sure I'd be safe with a Canon or Nikon system. I'm just starting to research what my options are for Pentax down the road..

And I hope things take off for my photography as well as my writing. My main income is as a commercial fisherman in AK for 2 months a year. I'd like to think that writing would contribute to my income as well as allow me to maintain the lifestyle of which I've become accustomed..

Absolute best regards,R..

Comment #13

You really should be taking a look at the required lenses for the type of photos you want to take before getting too tied up on a body..

You are wanting to take photos in environmentally harsh conditions, so a good quality weather sealed lens is a must..

You are wanting to shoot landscapes to portraits. so an effective focal length of 28-150mm or thereabouts is what you will be looking for..

Now, look at the cost of getting 1 to 3 weather sealed lenses that cover better than 95% of your intended use..

With this in mind, I would steer you towards the Olympus E3 and a 12-60mm lens. This lens will cater for most of your initial needs and is weatherproof. Coupled with the E3 - once again a weather sealed body you could not go wrong. It might be a little bit more expensive than other bodies, but when coupled with comparable lenses you will quickly realise that there is very little difference in the system..

As a system, there is plenty of scope with more weather sealed lenses both wider and longer as the need arises...

Comment #14

...after researching my current top three choices on this site and others I may have come to a realization. Tell me if this is a true statement:.

"The RAW output for the D80, 30D, and K10D is remarkably similar. If I'm shooting in RAW and doing post processing, then the IQ for these three bodies can be said to be comparable.".

If this is a true statement, can I then assume what I should be looking at are my choice in lenses, build quality, price, etc. from these three manufacturers as a means of making a decision? If the three competitors' image quality is basically the same in RAW under identical shooting situations, then the files I ultimately produce for publication should show no significant differences between them. Right?.

If my statement is false (or just flawed), please explain why. I'm learning a ton and want to see if my intuition for these things is getting any better..

R..

Comment #15

Ryan, I fully agree with looking towards future upgrades and lens compatibility, with a future body upgrade. However, I also believe that the future upgrade should be one that allows you to use this purchase as a very reliable, professional quality, secondary backup camera. Having said this, I took the time to write, what I think is a good professional quality photojournalism kit. It will allow you to capture the professional quality images, as you described. You may want to later upgrade but I think that you will also find that you will not have to, if you so choose. First, I would recommend the D80, it will deliver the same quality images as the D200 and will make for an excellent 2nd, professional quality, body if you upgrade later.

The following is the rest of the kit that I would recommend for your needs: 2 additional batteries; 3 2GB cards ( I use the 2GB as I believe that it helps prolong the battery life) ; 1 80GB Portable Data Storage/Card Reader (with this, you can download your cards to the hard-drive and then reformat the cards, while on assignment, for continued shooting. The last recommendation, of the data storage, will save you a boat load in cards and they are also battery operated units. The total average price for all of this is: $1,995.00 and allows you a very good professional quality assignment kit. You can also purchase Elements covers (for the body) and Lens Sleeve Kits for protecting your gear from rain, about an additional $100.00 dollars..

Hope this helps some and best of luck in your new career!..

Comment #16

RyanSabo wrote:.

"The RAW output for the D80, 30D, and K10D is remarkably similar. IfI'm shooting in RAW and doing post processing, then the IQ for thesethree bodies can be said to be comparable.".

I can only really speak for Canon, so I'll stay out of the Nikon/Pentax/Canon debate. In any case you will get all three possible answers from the three camps, obviously..

What I do want to say is don't choose the 30D. The 40D is a very significant step up, being close to 3 years newer (the 30D is basically a tarted up 20D). It has some obvious and major new features such as Live View and more powerful AF, and much improved weather resistance..

I'm not sure that weatherproofing is as much of an issue as some would have it, because the cameras only needs to cope with what the photographer will tolerate. If you really are working in the most extreme conditions then only a full pro body will do. Otherwise, the 40D will be fine I am sure...

Comment #17

RyanSabo wrote:.

...after researching my current top three choices on this site andothers I may have come to a realization. Tell me if this is a truestatement:.

"The RAW output for the D80, 30D, and K10D is remarkably similar. IfI'm shooting in RAW and doing post processing, then the IQ for thesethree bodies can be said to be comparable.".

Yes, I think that's true. The differences are in the user interfaces of these three bodies. I'd strongly recommend you go "play" with each. One will probably feel better and you will find one has more intuitive controls..

If this is a true statement, can I then assume what I should belooking at are my choice in lenses, build quality, price, etc. fromthese three manufacturers as a means of making a decision? If thethree competitors' image quality is basically the same in RAW underidentical shooting situations, then the files I ultimately producefor publication should show no significant differences between them.Right?.

Right, assuming you learn to be a good PS pilot..

I always recommend that the lenses be picked first, but with these 3 cameras, there are LOTS of lenses to choose from. Perhaps the Pentax has the fewest, but there are many old Pentax lenses that still work fine. My guess is that you will want a lens for portraits and another for landscapes. Neither of these is a difficult choice and you don't need a really fast lens for either of them. You might pick a good zoom that covers WA to short tele?.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #18

Ben: Thanks for the input. The detailed information beyond the camera body is extremely valuable to someone in my position and very much appreciated. The D80 is high on my list, as is the Canon 30D/40D and Pentax K10D..

As for Steve's recommendation on the 40D, I was immediately drawn to this camera when I first started my research. If I could come up with a bit more money I think I would pull the trigger and buy one. As with the Nikon D200, it just isn't in the beans. For now. At the moment. Maybe if I sell my dog....

R..

Comment #19

Hey Charlie, thanks for answering the RAW question. I truly felt that the RAW image produced by each of these cameras was extremely similar and that with post processing very similar (identical?) final images could be produced..

Which begs the question: If pros are shooting in RAW, why all the fuss over Canon vs. Nikon vs. Oly vs. Pentax vs. Sony vs. Panasonic vs.



Maybe it really does just come down to 'feel'. What say you all? Can we convince the masses that we're all alike inside and there's no need to argue? Why can't we all just be friends?  .

Oh, and as for earning my PS wings - my brother is a graphic designer and a Photoshop whiz kid. He's been (slowly) teaching me and I plan on enrolling in a continuing education class on PS at the local university..

And hey, he's my little brother. What ever I can't do I'll just farm out to him.  .

Man this is a great thread..

R..

Comment #20

RyanSabo wrote:.

Hey Charlie, thanks for answering the RAW question. I truly feltthat the RAW image produced by each of these cameras was extremelysimilar and that with post processing very similar (identical?) finalimages could be produced..

The differences are so trivial, it doesn't make sense to worry too much..

Which begs the question: If pros are shooting in RAW, why all thefuss over Canon vs. Nikon vs. Oly vs. Pentax vs. Sony vs. Panasonicvs.



It's human nature. If I say that Texas is the greatest state, you might be inclined to argue that Alaska is actually better...I can't imagine why you would bother, as everyone knows I'm right!.

The normal dSLR arguments are similar. Everything is subjective, like the 2nd cousin of a guy at work said he heard from a really smart guy (who knows for sure) that Canon cameras are junk!.

When you buy a camera, you join a "club" and for better or worse you will find yourself supporting your buddies..

I'd also suggest you spend some time in the Nikon, Canon, and Pentax dSLR forums here and see if you can get along with ANY of these @#$%ers. .

Maybe it really does just come down to 'feel'. What say you all?Can we convince the masses that we're all alike inside and there's noneed to argue? Why can't we all just be friends?  .

Because you live in AK and it may be bigger than TX...if course, much of that state is useless. .

Oh, and as for earning my PS wings - my brother is a graphic designerand a Photoshop whiz kid. He's been (slowly) teaching me and I planon enrolling in a continuing education class on PS at the localuniversity..

That's a great approach. Our local CC doesn't have a PS class. I had to learn it the hard way. I recommend you hang out on the Retouching Forum. They taught me PS!.

Man this is a great thread..

I'm glad you like it. It's a pleasure to help someone who can clearly express what he wants to learn!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #21

The other point is that even if 6MP were enough - as it sometimes is- it gives you no scope at all for cropping..

So, while a specific 6MP image will often be enough, a 6MP camera isnot necessarily enough..

From an absolute point of view, you're dead on correct. My advise was more tailored to the OP's situation, where the photography seems to be secondary to his writing, and the whole shebang is nothing more or less than a business decision designed to generate maximum return. Shooting a landscape with a 1Ds III/16-35L will give a much crisper result with a large print than a 300D/16-35L would, certainly. Now, whether it is worth the extra $6,000....that depends on either how much you are making from it, or how much you are worth to begin with..

The emphasis on glass is obviously correct, but I think that too hasfallen into the 'conventional wisdom' trap. This advice was much moretrue for film SLRs, when the lens was almost solely responsible forthe quality of the recorded image. That is no longer the case, andthere is somewhat more difference between the images from a 300D andthose from a 1DsII, than there was between a bottom-of-the-range filmSLR and a pro film body. So while the emphasis on lenses is just asvalid as ever, the role of the DSLR body shouldn't be downplayed asmuch as it sometimes can be..

Personally, I think we're just about there already. Up through 2005, you saw large advances from model to model regarding sensor technology. After that point, the advances have slowed to a crawl. Yes, the 40D is a more capable body. Yes, given a choice under ideal circumstances, I'd rather shoot with the 40D. In fact, I know somebody who has one, and I loved the camera.

And whether the OP should allocate extra funds to a secondary activity should come down to a straight line business analysis...

Comment #22

Sarlo: I'm obviously new to all of this, though that my allow me to view things through unclouded eyes. From all the reading I've done (man, you have to wade deep to get to the heart of some of these reviews) and the limited research with RAW images from 'equal' cameras by the various manufacturers, I'd agree that we very well may be at the point where IQ has leveled out..

Charlie: Thanks for the compliment. It's always nice to tell a beginning writer that he can clearly express his ideas. Gives us validation and makes us feel warm and fuzzy..

As for being in a club when it comes to make: I'm not one to buy into the cult mentality, nor would I ever begrudge someone the choice of another system. And I feel like I know how to wade through the BS on the boards to get to the real, unbiased information..

Maybe I'll be a journalist yet. Not to shabby for a young pup of 28, eh?.

R.

PS - I'm only in AK about 4 months a year. PA the rest. Both put together beat Texas any day. ..

Comment #23

Don't forget to budget for insurance!.

Given your requirements, that might be the single most important thing to protect your gear. One drop into the sea water and it is toast.... Johnnyhttp://tuxbailey.zenfolio.com..

Comment #24

RyanSabo wrote:.

Sarlo: I'm obviously new to all of this, though that my allow me toview things through unclouded eyes. From all the reading I've done(man, you have to wade deep to get to the heart of some of thesereviews) and the limited research with RAW images from 'equal'cameras by the various manufacturers, I'd agree that we very well maybe at the point where IQ has leveled out..

Charlie: Thanks for the compliment. It's always nice to tell abeginning writer that he can clearly express his ideas. Gives usvalidation and makes us feel warm and fuzzy..

Most welcome. I suspect that "warm and fuzzy" feeling can be hard to come by in AK?.

As for being in a club when it comes to make: I'm not one to buyinto the cult mentality, nor would I ever begrudge someone the choiceof another system. And I feel like I know how to wade through the BSon the boards to get to the real, unbiased information..

Maybe I'll be a journalist yet. Not to shabby for a young pup of 28,eh?.

R.

PS - I'm only in AK about 4 months a year. PA the rest. Both puttogether beat Texas any day. .

Never been to AK...been to PA a few times. I suspect I would like AK (for those 4 months). PA has the strangest liquor laws I've ever seen!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #25

I want to pass along a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to post. I've started discussions about the specifics of each of my options in the Pentax SLR, Canon 40D, and Nikon D80 forums if anyone wishes to jump in. (Almost Pro - sort of... (Canon edition) etc.).

Again, pat yourselves all on the back. You helped me tremendously, and most importantly, courteously. I know this board has some problems, but this discussion was very informative and super polite..

With gratitude,.

Ryan..

Comment #26

Hey gang, just a quick update. I'm about to pull the trigger on the Pentax K10D. Funny how deep research, a specific set of requirements, a limited budget, and a lot of excellent advice can lead you to a camera system that you hadn't even considered upon first blush..

I ended up at the K10D initially because of the price. But I finally got to play with one and man, the thing is built like a tank. Where I'm going that's an important feature. After seeing RAW images from the K10D along side the Nikon and Canon options, I'm convinced that I won't be compromising anything in the way of IQ. If the 40D and D80 were at the same price-point as the K10D, I really think I'd still be going Pentax. It's just the right camera system for me..

A thousand Thank Yous to everyone who took the time to advise and encourage. You're all very good people..

I'll keep everyone posted on how things progress from here on out..

Best,Ryan..

Comment #27

I'm happy that you found what you wanted. So often, when we give good advice, the poster ignores us and instead asks his cousin who tells him to buy a Canon XTi like he has..

My rule is that if people would actually compare the cameras by holding and operating them, there wouldn't be as much confusion! This is one downside of the internet...no tactile feedback...buy everything by looking at a 1/3 MP picture of the product... .

Thanks for the feedback!.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #28

Charlie, I'm enjoying your 'bridge blog'. Lots of great info in there, especially your 'IQ: The 3 Things' post. I think it really helped to put things in perspective for me. Thanks for that..

R..

Comment #29

RyanSabo wrote:.

Hey gang, just a quick update. I'm about to pull the trigger on thePentax K10D. Funny how deep research, a specific set ofrequirements, a limited budget, and a lot of excellent advice canlead you to a camera system that you hadn't even considered uponfirst blush..

That's exactly how I ended up with my Samsung GX-10 (twin to K10D).  The K10D/GX-10 wasn't even on my initial list. I first considered low-end models of several brands (including Pentax's K100D), but decided I wasn't willing to spend that much money on something that barely met my needs and would limit my growth as a photographer. The only other "affordable" models that met my specifications were the Nikon D200 and the Canon 40D. (I bought the GX-10 instead of the K10D simply because it happened to be $150 cheaper at the time.).

Nikon and Canon do have more to offer lens-wise, but I don't really need anything that isn't offered by Pentax & third parties. Perhaps if I had specific lens needs that Pentax couldn't meet, I would have gone with Nikon or Canon..

One nice thing about Pentax, you can sometimes find high quality older glass for cheap and it will work with your dSLR, though in manual mode only. My favourite lens is an ancient, but tack-sharp, 135mm/2.8 that cost me a whopping $15. (Hint: Check thrift shops, garage sales and camera shops. Prices for used Pentax lenses on Ebay have skyrocketed since people discovered their value. Also, be aware that a few old Pentax-mount lenses have a flange that interferes with mounting on dSLRs. The flange can be cut off, but it's a bit of a hassle.).

Good luck with whatever camera you get! Let us know when issues of magazines containing your articles will be available for purchase. ..

Comment #30

RyanSabo wrote:.

Charlie, I'm enjoying your 'bridge blog'. Lots of great info inthere, especially your 'IQ: The 3 Things' post. I think it reallyhelped to put things in perspective for me. Thanks for that..

Once again, your positive comments keep me trying to be helpful. Glad you found it helpful..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #31

Dogaroo wrote:.

Good luck with whatever camera you get! Let us know when issues ofmagazines containing your articles will be available for purchase. .

WoodenBoat - December 2008. Barring disaster..

Charlie: What is it that you DO? That blog has some fantastic stuff on it. (I'm sort of hoping that you're something along the lines of a high school janitor that happens to dabble in optics, quantum physics, or time travel.  )..

Comment #32

RyanSabo wrote:.

Hey gang, just a quick update. I'm about to pull the trigger on thePentax K10D. Funny how deep research, a specific set ofrequirements, a limited budget, and a lot of excellent advice canlead you to a camera system that you hadn't even considered uponfirst blush..

Hi Ryan,.

I hope to see your posts on the Pentax forum. Regardless of the brand you chose I believe you made the decision in the correct manner. The light, capturing the essence of your subjects, and the feel of the camera are the most important items to making a good photograph..

Arrested for laughing and waving a lightmeter...

Comment #33

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