snubbr.com

Amateur/pro digital SLR differences?
I'm curious....

What are the differences between a "pro" digital SLR and an "amateur/consumer" type digital SLR?.

A lot of people get hung up on having the "right" equipment for the job, which is something I can understand for the lens(es) as you obviously get a better, sharper result with good glass than bad glass, but what I don't understand is the camera..

As long as you have an average digital SLR with an excellent lens, why do pros still choose to drag around huge and heavy camera bodies?What am I missing out on?.

I bought a Canon EOS-350d (digital rebel XT) 2-3 years ago because of it's price and it's small size (I know many people complain about this, but for me it's allowed me to drag it along on vacations etc. without needing a separate camera bag) and use it with a Sigma 17-70mm f 2.8-4.5 lens (I also have a Canon 70-200mm f4L which I haven't used much yet). I feel the biggest limitation is myself as I have a lot to learn in order to take good shots...

Comments (29)

Some differences:Pro cameras are weatherproof and more rugged..

They often have larger sensors which means less noise and better low light performance. They more also have more pixels for larger prints..

They normally have more controls on the body rather than in menus, are more customisable, have better focussing, faster frame rates and larger buffers, etc..

Depends what you are shooting - vacation photography in bright sunlight is one thing, shooting sports at night in the rain is another..

However, I agree with you that 95%+ of photographers on these forums (myself included) are probably photographer limited rather than equipment limited.Chris R..

Comment #1

Pro cameras are designed to minimize the chance of ruining the image due to eqipment failure (focus error, time delay, bellowing, shutter failure, OVF accuracy errors, temperature/weather effects etc.)Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #2

Chris R-UK wrote:.

However, I agree with you that 95%+ of photographers on these forums(myself included) are probably photographer limited rather thanequipment limited.Chris R.

Make that 99.9% among DSLR users. Myself included..

Greg..

Comment #3

So basically those "pro" cameras are just better built and are more reliable than say my 350d, and I'm really not losing out on anything?.

In other words, I won't run into limitations in the way that I can't take pictures like this and that because I don't have a $$$$$ camera body?.

I have a feeling a lot of amateurs with too much money buy cameras like that, thinking it'll make them experts over night while the truth is far from it...

Comment #4

Motion wrote:.

So basically those "pro" cameras are just better built and are morereliable than say my 350d, and I'm really not losing out on anything?.

Not anything that matters to most amateurs. Pro cameras are faster, but the current generation are way faster than even most pros need..

In other words, I won't run into limitations in the way that I can'ttake pictures like this and that because I don't have a $$$$$ camerabody?.

Not at all. If anything, the lighter weight may help you out..

I have a feeling a lot of amateurs with too much money buy cameraslike that, thinking it'll make them experts over night while thetruth is far from it..

Yep..

Lenses are a whole other story.....

Comment #5

So why don't we see any pros using "consumer" type digital SLRs? I for one would certainly love to drag along less equipment on photo-shoot sessions (lenses alone are heavy enough)..

I agree that lenses make a big difference -something I really couldn't understand until I got my Canon 70-200m f4L lens...

Comment #6

Motion wrote:.

So why don't we see any pros using "consumer" type digital SLRs? Ifor one would certainly love to drag along less equipment onphoto-shoot sessions (lenses alone are heavy enough)..

I agree that lenses make a big difference -something I reallycouldn't understand until I got my Canon 70-200m f4L lens..

Lots of pros use mid-range cameras. The Nikon D200 and Canon 5D are very popular. I bought a D80 as a backup, and ended up using it so I don't have to swap lenses on the D200. I plan to get a D300 and might continue to use the D80 instead of the D200 as my second camera..

It's not about the camera. Photojournalists have been known to use P&S in places where repressive governments might spot them with an SLR...

Comment #7

Its like anything you buy - the law of diminishing returns..

Of course there is also the idea that a pro should be seen using the right gear - reputation..

Cheers..

Comment #8

I still see pros shooting D70's. It depends on what you are shooting. For sports, you may need the rapid fire speed. For some event shooting, decent rendering and decent handling are about all one needs..

I shoot a lot of events, without pay, but my DS does get the shots even when the light is bad or barely there...

Comment #9

Re> why do pros still choose to drag around huge and heavy camera bodies?.

What am I missing out on?<.

BAck in the film days, I used a Nikon F4 (big as a house) and a Nikon 601 (small) Both took equal pictures on decent days in good light, but the big F4 just felt better..

Once we got past "felt better" a case could be made for the easierknobs and buttons on the F4, but in this digital age, there's no camera with the same kind of easy knobs..

I've added a battery base to my XT, and my normal lens is a big Sigma 24-135, and it too feels nice and solid..

As for why pros pick the so-called pro cameras. Sometimes because the features matter the ruggedness matters for combat photographers, for instance and sometimes because clients expect it, and sometimes bbecause there is nothing better than a Canon 1Ds when it comes to giant enlargements..

BAK..

Comment #10

Motion wrote:.

So basically those "pro" cameras are just better built and are morereliable than say my 350d, and I'm really not losing out on anything?.

Not much. As long as good sensor, equivalent DR/noise perofrmance, basic controls are available..

In other words, I won't run into limitations in the way that I can'ttake pictures like this and that because I don't have a $$$$$ camerabody?.

Not really normally..

I have a feeling a lot of amateurs with too much money buy cameraslike that, thinking it'll make them experts over night while thetruth is far from it..

While that maight be true for few, mostly experienced photographers/journalists (both job demands ruggedness, and reliability) go for these. After all, would you like to ruin an actress's wedding just because 400D suddenly broke?It is so that pros have less room for failure.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #11

I think the distinction lies in the minds of those who like to make such distinctions..

Pros use whatever it takes to get the job done reliably with the least fuss. It might be a "consumer" point and shoot, or an 8x10 view camera and sheet film. The major difference is that pros will often specialize in niche markets (shooting sports, shooting studio portraits, product photography, architectural photography etc.) and will buy specialized equipment that is best suited for that type of photography. Often it might be rediculously huge, expensive or unsuitable for other types of photograpny, but worth it because it gives them that extra edge they need to produce the results they want. They also tend to pay a premium for ruggedness and reliablilty since they want to keep a camera long enough to know it's peculiarities like the back of their hand, have helpers that aren't always as careful handling things as one would like and can loose money and reputation if they miss shooting half an assignment due to equipment failure..

Your average Joe would be out of his mind to buy some of the things pros use (or assume that if a pro uses it, it must be good for them too), when what they want is a good, portable, general use camera that does a reasonably good job of taking snap shots of the kids and the occasional vacation scenery or macro of a coin or something (more apt to want a camera that does everything, while a pro is more apt to have several cameras for specific jobs). Of course, marketers know that chimps are fascinated by bright shiny objects so they clutter up a lot of consumer grade equipment with useless bells and whistles and try to wrap junk in a pretty package which confuses things on the low end (but that is also true for stereos, computers, dishwashing soap or most any product)..

So, often consumers are left chasing the "feature" trail or questing for a better camera by looking at what the pros are using (and not knowing enough to realize that they might actually be wasting a whole lot of cash... well, there is that prestiege factor... or maybe even take worse pictures with pro equipment if their style of shooting doesn't match what the type of photography the camera was designed for). Worse, they might end up buying something that winds up sitting in a drawer because it is just to heavy, confusing, or too much of a pain to use, once the "new toy" syndrome wears off..

There is also something to be said for knowing what you want to shoot and what camera works well for it. I.e. the Canon Rebel XT/300 is popular for astrophotography because it has low high ISO noise, is easy to modify by removing the IR filter or adding a pelter cooler to the sensor chip, and doesn't cost so much that people would loose sleep over destroying it for general photography. But, a Rebel might not be the best thing in the world for dragging up the side of Everest or shooting weddings..

That said, I think a good, reliable consumer camera, can also be a good pro camera too, depending what what you're shooting (street photography and candid photojournalism are two that come to mind). By the same token, a good pro camera might be a terrible consumer camera unless the consumer has a specific use in mind...

Comment #12

But if the price is the same for an amateur vs semipro dslr, what would you go with? (looking at Pentax K10D for $650 with kit lens after rebate, vs Canon Rebel XTI or Nikon D40X. The K10D is considered more comparable to Nikon D80 or Canon 30 or 40, but priced like the Rebel XTi or Nikon D40X. (has the weatherproofing, dust sensor, in body image stabilization - which alone are what are making me lean towards it.). (anyone know if K10D is super heavy, or just a bit heavier than Rebel or Nikon? I currently have an Olympus C-700 with 10X optical zoom and it's not a super light camera, just wondering how much heavier the Pentax would be..).

Thanks,Beth..

Comment #13

So would getting a semipro camera if it's the same price as an amateur camera, be a bad choice, if you aren't spending more $$, and are getting features like weatherproofing, more rugged camera, in body image stabilization and dust sensor cleaning? I'm a grad student looking to buy 1st DSLR (currently have Oly C-700 with 10X optical zoom & shooting in aperture priority). I'm leaning towards Pentax K10D. I tried someone's rebel xt but wasn't thrilled with it (could have been the lens on it - tamron 70-300 F4-5.6, in low light, the skin tones were orange), and also don't feel it's as comfortable to hold, doesn't have as good a grip. I thought Nikon D40 felt more comfortable but was leaning towards 10 MP for an extra $100-200. And compared to the xti or D40X, the K10D is similar price but figured it's a camera I can grow with - and it will also get me to learn more. Am I thinking about this wrong or making a bad decision?.

Beth..

Comment #14

Reason one:.

A professional uses his camera nearly every day. Often in a harsh environment (vibration, dust, etc.). A consumer body won't last very long. The shutter will probably die after 50.000 clicks, or something else will break..

Reason two:.

A pro body allows you to make adjustments faster and work quicker. In a consumer body you will often have to go into the menu system to make an adjustment. You can miss "the" shot because of that..

Picture quality wise, you won't see any difference between e.g. a properly exposed Nikon D40X shot an a D2X picture..

Regards,.

Fred Kamphueshttp://www.millhouse.nl/digitaltalk.html..

Comment #15

So would getting a semipro camera if it's the same price as anamateur camera, be a bad choice, if you aren't spending more $$, andare getting features like weatherproofing, more rugged camera, inbody image stabilization and dust sensor cleaning? I'm a grad.

Semi-pro is a touch vague..

I would also caution you to consider the whole system or specifically, the system with respect to what you'll need, not just the camera body..

Student looking to buy 1st DSLR (currently have Oly C-700 with 10Xoptical zoom & shooting in aperture priority). I'm leaning towardsPentax K10D. I tried someone's rebel xt but wasn't thrilled with it(could have been the lens on it - tamron 70-300 F4-5.6, in low light,the skin tones were orange), and also don't feel it's as comfortable.

Three bits.

F/4-5.6 is a fairly slow lens, and the view through the viewfinder is constrained by the wide-open aperture of the lens. Slower lens, less light coming through darker view..

Viewfinders (and the focusing screens that are used with them) vary a bit in brightness, focusing 'snap', magnification, and coverage. The Rebel XT, if memory serves, is not generally considered 'awful' but doesn't get mentioned all that often in terms of good viewfinders..

With respect to orangish tones, that's almost certainly a white-balance issue that is more related towards the difficulty of WB on the lighting type. While some cameras make this easier with an external WB sensor (to help auto WB), and it's possible to use ExpoDiscs (or, perhaps, a white Pringles lid somebody did a comparison some years back), a custom WB off the light source should help. Orthogonally, one can shoot a raw-format image and adjust the WB arbitrarily afterwards..

To hold, doesn't have as good a grip. I thought Nikon D40 felt morecomfortable but was leaning towards 10 MP for an extra $100-200..

Ergonomics matters. The extra resolution perhaps. It depends on how large you're inclined to print, how sharp you want those prints to be, and whether you'll need to crop significant amounts..

And compared to the xti or D40X, the K10D is similar price butfigured it's a camera I can grow with - and it will also get me tolearn more. Am I thinking about this wrong or making a bad decision?.

Reasonable logic. Just keep in mind more than just the body look at the lens line-ups, for instance. Pentax is a bit unusual here, in that they have an unusually large number of small single-focal-length lenses, but relatively few long/fast varifocals...

Comment #16

I'll second Leejay's reply..

What do you want to shoot?How involved do you want to get?What features are important?Do you see it as a starting point or an end point?.

Sort of depends on what you're planning since with dslrs you are buying a "system" rather than just a camera..

If I was going to do astronomy work, I'd get the Rebel. I would probably also pick one if I was planning to get into sports or event photography since the Rebel would be an entry point into the Canon system and that nice L series glass you might buy for it would work your next EOS body..

If I was was doing portraits, flowers, and outdoor nature photography with a tripod, I'd go for the K10d (lots of good wide and normal primes and zooms, and has a set of controls that are like an extension to film cameras so I could fiddle with the controls and post processing). And I'm partial to the browns-oranges/reds and colder skin tones that seem to come out if it without having to tweak the colors much. They have nice pancake primes and wides, but the lack of long telephoto gear might be a show stopper for some. And, you are stuck waiting for Pentax to come out with the K20d if you plan on upgrading (though some of the Pentax lenses can be used on Canikon with adapters).

If I wanted a walk-around camera for street photos, occasional macros, portrait and vacation snaps in the wide to moderate telephoto range (weight being a factor sinc you'll be carrying it most of the time), I'd go for an Oly E410 or 510..

If I wanted a starter camera to get into micro-photography, fashion photography or indoor studio work, I might go for a Nikon D40 since Nikon has a ton of gear for micro/macro photography and their system integrates well with flash and studio lighting gear. With the thought that it also makes a light walk-about camera and that it's limitations wouldn't be a show stopper since I would also be planning to use the lenses, lighting gear, bellows, and whatever other gear I accumulated, with future Nikon or Fuji (They use Nikon mount lenses and the s3/5 are good for high contrast things like weddings since they have an extended dynamic range) bodies..

If I just wanted something to take impromptu snapshots then I'd get a nice shirt pocket compact..

It helps to know what type of photography you might be interested in, since you can check each camera system to see if it has the lenses and other gear you think you'll need for what you intend, and for possible future growth paths. The other gear will determine where you can go, and usually ends up costing more than the camera bodies..

As for me, I used to shoot 35mm slide with everything from a Mamiya NC-1000 to a Canon T-90. Mostly, I't take it on walking tours through museums (no flash so did a lot of shooting through glass and holding my breath while leaning against walls due to slow shutter speeds), zoos, nature partks and the like. Most of my shooting was done with various 28mm-150mm lenses..

Here's a rather bad scan of a print cropped from a slide showing the type of things I like to shoot.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

But, the weight of my kit ground on me over the years and I found myself leaving it home more and more 'til it became pointless to keep..

I picked the Oly E510 since it is very light and, along with the two kit zooms and 50mm f/2 macro, easily does about everything I wanted to do with my old gear at less than a quarter the weight..

My shooting habits also fit in nicely with the Pentax system and wasn't planning on future upgrades, so the K10d was very attractive to me except that the weight of the body and a couple of zooms was getting close to the weight of my old film kit, so I was afraid I might start leaving it at home too...

Comment #17

I'm looking to shoot portrait/family/pet photos, vacation photos...some closeups of stuff for ebay (or for portraits). I can't see needing a better body than the K10D for at least 5 yrs if not more, it will suit my needs for a long time, in terms of the capabilities. However, my only thought is weight...I wonder how much heavier it is than my current Olympus C-700 with 10X optical zoom. (I've held it but don't remember offhand). I guess it may be smart to go look again and bring my olympus with me for comparison of the weight. I'm sort of a cross between your categories, with the portrait, and the walking around/snapshots.

I don't expect to buy buyingf more than a couple lenses for the next few years, maybe one decent telephoto, up to 200-300, and a 50 1.4 fixed lens. If the Oly 510 and Pentax K10D are similar price, which would you recommend? I've really been leaning towards K10D. (I have an olympus now, which I like though not happy with the company since mine uses smartmedia cards which they no longer make, and would hate to have that kind of thing happen again). Does anyone think the SD/SDHC will be discontinued anytime soon?.

Beth..

Comment #18

The question is "do you really need the weather seals and are they worth the extra weight?".

Um, yes... the C700 weighs about 340 grams and the K10d body is 710g (add about 80 more for the battery and card)... the 18-55 kit zoom is about 225g and an f4 50-200 zoom is 255g. (about the weight of 4 C700's for camera and both zooms).

The E410 body is 375g while the E510 adds image stabilization and weighs in at 470g (battery is about 75g), and the 14-42 zoom is 190g and 40-150 zoom is 220g. (between 2 and 3 C700's).

The K10d sounds like it would be nice for around the home, but if you really do plan on carrying it around much, then I'd suggest figuring out what lenses you'd probably carry with it and go out and handle them and the Oly/Canikon equivalents and imagine what your neck and shoulders would feel like at the end of your hike. Maybe get some small memory cards and actually try out the controls and try a few test shots..

You might find that you actually like holding and using a different camera better (Nikon D80's price came down so might also be worth a look, or you might find a modern equivalent of the C700 would better suit your needs, unless you really want interchangable lenses?).

I have an old Oly D450 that uses those obsolete cards too, but that isn't nearly as bad as getting stuck with a whole array of Canon FD lenses that won't work on any recent camera (film or digital!).

The E510 uses both XD cards and compact flash cards, and the Pentax uses SD... the XD's are iffy but might catch on. Too many other cameras use compact flash and SD cards for either to vanish any time soon so you should be safe for a while...

Comment #19

Nice panoramas there... E1 or are you using other bodies as well?..

Comment #20

Day in, day out, in conditions that would leave you and me wishing we could go indoors to the warm friendly place....

Consumer bodies are designed to quit at about the same time you and I decide "this isn't really fun anymore, let's go home"..

S.**My XT IS Full Frame APS-C/FF of course!*****So is my 5D 35mm/FF**..

Comment #21

So are you saying the extra weight is not worth it for the weather seals? And those who have K10Ds, do you carry them much, and if so, do you find the weight a serious issue? I felt like the rebel would slip out of my hands too easily. I also looked at the K100D Super, but liked the extra weather seals and higher MP of the K10D. I think the D80 may be out of my price range (the K10D is 'just' in it.)..

Thanks,.

Beth..

Comment #22

No, only you know how much you're going to abuse the camera so only you can decide if the weather sealing is worth it. If you are young and spry and like the weight of it, it might be a non-issue anyway (25 years ago I wouldn't have minded, but then my back started going and I don't much like going out in the weather anymore, so I have no need of weather sealing and want to carry as little as possible)..

I only suggested the D80 since you can get it with a zoom for the same price the K10d was back in June (must be planning on releasing a D90 soon), though the K10d has dropped a lot since then too..

Basically, you need to go to the store and handle them, check out the viewfinder, control placement, how it feels in your hands etc. and pick the one that just seems right to you...

Comment #23

Just the E1 for the moment. Might get the E3 in a few months but except for the LV and higher MP it doesn't have anything that will make the E1 obsolete for me..

GALLERY - B&W/PANORAMA/NIGHT SHOTS/STREET LEVEL/ARCHITECTURE/LANDSCAPE.

Http://flickr.com/photos/19945658@N06/..

Comment #24

I own my own business, but I do not take Photographs and sell them alone, they are part of a technical report or a series of photos to describe a process or item and sometimes for display..

I need a camera with a verticle grip, comprehesive manual settings, bright large LCD, bright viewfinder and either extremely good high ISO performance or a good antishake feature..

The body has to be well built because I have to wipe down the camera and lenses with Isopropyl alcohol for clean room applications. The controls have to be easily accesable because I may be wearing protective gloves. My equipment is banged from time to time but in between I baby them..

I always have several batteries I cannot power down, the veriticle grip is a must for this as well as composition..

I don't go cheap, I need a stable platform (not a pro-camera 2k+ that I will replace every 2-3 years anyway). I keep the FF lenses and replace the camera.

In my case my equipment must render accurate detail. low distortion/good color/good depth range. I stick to a system because of the accesories albiet I have had Leica, Rollei, Nikon, Hasselblad, Minolta and now Sony. Biggest turn off is a cheap kit lens, that the one that rolls around in the back seat..

Sorry for the long post but a pro digital SLR is one that makes you money without breaking or letting you down..

Whether at aCapture the moment and live it again...

Comment #25

Beth_W737 wrote:.

So are you saying the extra weight is not worth it for the weatherseals? And those who have K10Ds, do you carry them much, and if so,do you find the weight a serious issue? I felt like the rebel wouldslip out of my hands too easily. I also looked at the K100D Super,but liked the extra weather seals and higher MP of the K10D. Ithink the D80 may be out of my price range (the K10D is 'just' init.)..

Thanks,.

Beth.

I'd have to say this all points to getting the K10D. The Nikon equivalent is the D200, more than twice as expensive, even on clearance. The Canon 40D is nice, but it also sounds out of your price range. I don't really like the lower Canons (XT/XTi)..

The Nikon D80 is a great camera, but is not weather-sealed. I might add that weather sealing usually only matters to sports and news photographers. It's still the most viable Canon/Nikon option for you. I have a D200 as well as a D80 and consider them interchangeable..

The only downsides I can think of to the K10D are it's size/weight, and the slightly limited system Pentax offers. You have to judge what fits your hands and whether you really needs all the options Nikon and Canon offer. Of course, if you find at some point in the future that you need to switch to Canon or Nikon, it's not the end of the world to do so...

Comment #26

I think most of my question have already been answered in this thread, but one remains: why do pro SLRs have to be so huge?Compared to my EOS 350D that is..

I can't imagine weather-sealing taking up that much additional space, and although extra controls surely will I don't understand why the difference in size is so big (and impractical in my opinion)..

Comment #27

Reasons vary..

For an fairly obvious one, quite a few top-line DSLRs have built-in vertical grips useful for the legions of portrait photographers..

For another fairly obvious line, in the Canon line in particular, the top-line models have larger sensors than the consumer-line models, paired with larger viewfinders, which overall means larger prisms and light path..

For a less obvious one, a professional is somewhat more likely to invest in heavy lenses (either long, fast or both) and a light camera with a heavy lens isn't necessarily desirable from a balance point of view..

And yes, dedicated controls do take space if one doesn't want them so close together that it becomes awkward...

Comment #28

Leejay Wu wrote:.

Reasons vary..

For an fairly obvious one, quite a few top-line DSLRs have built-invertical grips useful for the legions of portrait photographers..

Not just portrait photographers, most publications are "portrait" mode and most fine art is shot in "portrait" mode..

For a less obvious one, a professional is somewhat more likely toinvest in heavy lenses (either long, fast or both) and a lightcamera with a heavy lens isn't necessarily desirable from a balancepoint of view..

Also, in terms of mirror slap and vibration, a larger body is nice..

And yes, dedicated controls do take space if one doesn't want them soclose together that it becomes awkward..

Don't forget larger batteries. Even "prosumer" cameras like the D200 have limited battery life compared to their D2 series "pro" cousins. At an event or in the field this can be significant, as you may miss a shot changing batteries or cameras..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #29

Click Here to View All...

Sponsored Amazon Deals:

1. Get big savings on Amazon warehouse deals.
2. Save up to 70% on Amazon Products.


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |

 

(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.