Starting small business and looking for best camera
I am a studio manager so this may sound like a strange question but I am looking to start a business taking pet photos and pets with their families and thinking about the canon xti or nikon or an olympus. My company shoots with olympus and I think they are wonderful but don't know what would be the best to start out on with a limited budget but want great quality. Any responses would be greatly appreciated...

Comments (7)

I am a studio manager so this may sound like a strange question but Iam looking to start a business taking pet photos and pets with theirfamilies and thinking about the canon xti or nikon or an olympus. Mycompany shoots with olympus and I think they are wonderful but don'tknow what would be the best to start out on with a limited budget butwant great quality. Any responses would be greatly appreciated..

It really doesn't matter. Any DSLR will do fine for what you propose. if you are taking photos in a studio setting it is more important to worry about the lighting (flash? studio lights?) and what sort of lens (close-ups of small pets, or big groups, or both? Do you need a wide aperture for shooting indoors by window light, for example?) The make of camera body is least important thing to worry about..

If your company already uses Olympus it would make sense to go with that as they will probably have compatible lenses, flashes etc. and other gear that you can use. The Oly E510 is good and has good deal on the twin-lens kit (standard plus tele zoom)..

If you are starting from scratch the Canon Rebel XTi is a good deal at the moment because it has just been superseded by the XSi. Nikon have a reputation for offering the best flash system, so if you intend to use flash a lot something like a Nikon D80 would be worth considering..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #1

Judging by this poster's experience with pet photography, you're going to want a camera you can hold with one hand. ;~).


Comment #2


Thanks so much for replying to me. I work in a studio but I am trying to start doing pet photos on my own(I guess I should have been more clear). My first job will be at a humane society with just indoor lighting. I just want to make sure I get the best for my money and get the best quality I can afford..

Even though I am a studio manager I don't know alot about digital cameras-just that our company shoots with an olympus and it's great quality.Again thanks for the reply and anything else would be appreciated...

Comment #3

Will you be using the indoor lighting on it's own? That's probably OK for record-keeping mug shots, but very unlikely to be good enough for portrait-like pics to sell. There is a good reason why portrait photographers use studio lights!.

For indoor work you should consider getting an external flash with a tilt-and-swivel head and bouncing the flash off the wall / ceiling. This gives good natural-looking bright light without the 'rabbits caught in headlights' look and ugly shadows. If the ceiling is high, you could put your subject close to a neutral-coloured side wall and bounce the flash sideways off the wall. The small built-in flash will be more or less useless for these purposes..

As I said the camera really doesn't matter, all of the DSLRs on the market now are very good and will do what you want, so look for bargains (usually to be found amongst last season's models that are soon to be superseded by this season's models, like the Canon Rebel XTi or Pentax K10D). It's really of no more significance than whether you drive a Honda or a Ford, they do the same thing in the same way..

Try the cameras out in a shop and see what feels good; small ergonomic factors might tip the balance (e.g. if you have big hands you might find the small Olympus bodies a bit fiddly)..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #4

Oly E-500 with two lens kit, $495 from Olympus store on Ebay. Add some lights, and you will be in business..

I looked at one of the humane society links... all of your shots really need some light! Good other than that..

There are cheap lights on Ebay... very cheap..

Might I suggest Alien Bees for reasonably priced, useful strobes. A couple of the 400 watt lights in a kit with umbrellas and stands would do what you want..

Here is a kit already made up, using a radio trigger. You could get the cost down by using sync cables instead of the radio trigger..


Good luck..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work:

Comment #5

Regardless of the brand you choose...have a PLAN.

Are people going to book your time... and pay for delivery of products?If ARE gonna be a business person. Congrats!Be sure your business licensing is taken care of.. and INSURANCE too..

Back to brands... again... have a PLAN... .

Having more than one body is a good idea, likewise multiple lenses, flashes, triggers, mem cards, light modifiers too... or a PLAN on how to deal with a possible failure or loss of use of equipment..

The pet pics I shoot are with the XT (2) and XTi (1). A light meter, grey cards, studio strobes and stands & modifiers have greatly improved the images over the first ones I shot...LOL..

Comment #6

The only camera to work with when you are charging for your service is the one you are most used to using. If you have to stop and think about what you are doing with a camera when you are taking dog or any image you shoot do not think. If you have to conatantly think about the camera then the crediability suffers. The camera should be an extension of you. If not you are doing your customers a dissatisfaction...

Comment #7

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