What can be classified as a pro camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

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    #1
    A lot of people say that glass matters more than the body. What makes the Canon XSi a consumer as opposed to the 40D and the 40D a semi-pro as opposed to the 1D Mark iii? The materials used to make the camera? the convenience of more buttons and ease of usability? Since consumer cameras are slowly reaching pro features, wont all SLR cameras one day be classified as standard for pro photography?
     
  2. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

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    #2
    In a word? price

    A little more in-depth, it takes speed, resolution, file handling, extras, probably full-frame format, flexibility and ergonomics. Essentially the more a camera company can pack into a single camera body, the closer it becomes towards "pro".

    Pro technology is always going to be more expensive and advanced than consumer technology, which separates the boys from the men. Consumer technology will never catch up to pro technology, so a separation can be maintained. Does the average soccer mom need a Canon 1Ds MkIII? I highly doubt it, nor would she spend that kind of cash.

    Ultimately, it comes down to:
    consumer to semi-pro: user makes purchase
    pro: user writes off purchase, or has company purchase for him :D
     
  3. jag0009 macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Pro cameras - metal frame, more weatherproof, large capacity battery, more features, higher # of shots in continuous shooting mode and maybe 100 % viewfinder?
     
  4. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000

    ipodtoucher

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    #4
    One more word, Sensor

    Pro cameras like the D3 have a full 35mm sensor. Like a Nikon D50 with a 50mm f/1.8 is actually cropped to about 87mm and with a pro camera it is a full 50mm.

    A pro camera can use a high ISO and have little noise which helps....

    Some pro cameras also have an extra memory slot so some have a SD and a CF slot, or two CF slots...

    Hope this helps.... There really are big differences between a $500 camera and a $5000 camera :cool:
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    Build (durability/reliability). Everything else is secondary.

    (edit: unless you're talking studio cameras like the Hasselblad, in which case it's resolution).
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    I'll agree with this opinion. ;)


    Build quality, marketing, and continuous shooting speed (frames per second). Some may say high ISO performance, but every DSLR does pretty well at it, and expensive cameras don't necessarily give you better ISO performance. It's a technical issue that's shared by both low-end and high-end cameras.

    I've seen pros use Canon 40Ds, and up until very recently, it was the second worst DSLR in the Canon DSLR lineup (although the 1000D hasn't been released yet, so I guess it's still second worst). Is it a pro camera? Yes, I'd consider it a pro camera for most tasks, but I guess if you're going to go to Iraq and take photos, then it's not a pro camera. It really depends on what you're photographing. More often than not, it's just a marketing gimmick.
     
  7. apearlman macrumors regular

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    #7
    Used by a professional.

    Professionals are people who earn their living at photography.
    Pro cameras are any cameras that are used by these people.

    Some cameras are more popular among professional photographers than others,
    but any decent camera -- certainly any DSLR -- can produce moneymaking images in the right hands.
     
  8. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I agree with your last sentence. Where would you classify the Sony Alpha A350? Its got awesome features and so much tech packed into one camera, all thats missing are the body materials and the sensor frame size. I dont really consider the shooting speed a major asset but i bought this camera and it tkes amazing shots at 14.2MP so it prints extremely well, large images, packed with a ton of features. So, what u guys think?

    Thanx
     
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #9
    I would say any "professional" not using a full-frame camera isn't taking his profession very seriously.
     
  10. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    I dont believe that because many professional photographers used the Canon EOS 1D Mark III and it wasnt full frame but an APS-H sensor which was a 1.3x crop. It was awarded as the best camera in its class so many times and even though people have their opinions, its not the camera but the photographer who makes the art.
     
  11. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #11
    It depends on the application too.

    An M8 is certainly a pro camera, but it doesn't fit some of the requirements outlined above.

    Despite the Megapixel race, which is thankfully slowing down, the ability of a camera and lens to resolve a sharp clear image is essential. This is where even a 4/3 camera like the Digilux 3 excels and many Nikon and Canon lenses do not regardless of the body.

    Pro Cameras that come to mind...

    Nikon D3, maybe D700?
    Canon 1D, maybe 5D?
    Leica M8 (primarily for street shooting, photojournalism)
    Hassleblad (primarily for studio work)
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #12
    Oh right, I forgot about the 1D-III. But anyway, for many professional-level applications (large billboards, posters, etc.) a cropped sensor won't give you acceptable results. In that case it will indeed matter what camera you're using.
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #13
    You're painting with a very broad brush.
    I'd rather say that for large billboards, you need high resolution which, a priori, is not related to sensor size at all. (Some pictures for the acclaimed Pirelli calender were shot with a D70.)

    What is and isn't a professional camera depends largely on what the photographer does. Built quality and viewfinder size are a big factor in my opinion, image quality not nearly as much. (The D700 uses the same sensor as the D3, the D80 uses the same sensor as the D200, Canon's 450D has more megapixels than the 40D.) But other than that, I wouldn't make one badge `professional' that I'd put on certain cameras and not others, I'd rather look at the application and then look for a suitable camera. In my opinion, a professionally used camera shouldn't limit the photographer, if technically possible.
     
  14. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #14
    That is a very important aspect of defining what camera is appropriate in a professional situation. I agree.
     
  15. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #15
    It's all relative. A decade ago "pro" cameras had sensors and features that were far inferior to those now inside entry-level models...and they cost ten times more. The Nikon D1 was the king of the hill in its day (1999), but had only a 2.74 megapixel DX sensor, 5-point AF, shot 4.5 frames/s and cost nearly $6,000.
     
  16. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    But in reality, all cameras have their ups and downs. The new Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III has a huge 21MP full frame sensor but cant be used as well for sports as the 1D mark iii because of the slower burst shooting at just 5Frames as opposed to 10frames on the 1D MIII. The Nikon D3, in my opinion, is the superior one since it can shoot 9Frames at full frame but only has a maximum of 12 MP and can switch to its DX mode and shoot 11 frames. And 3000 dollars cheaper than the Canon EOS 1DS Mark III.

    Im waiting for the new alpha coming out since it is going to be a full frame 24mp camera and hopefully shoots on par with the Nikon D3.
     
  17. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

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    #17
    DSLR

    Its not a typo but only the SLR part is intentionally bolded!
     
  18. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #18
    What about rangefinder cameras? Are they not professional?
     
  19. Stiksi macrumors regular

    Stiksi

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    #19
    Professional cameras are the models that are targeted at professional photographers by any given manufacturer's marketing department. Professional photographers are the people, who take pictures for a living. The two don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.

    You can't define a professional camera by features, it's already defined for you, but usually it's a good clue that the (dslr) camera isn't targeted at consumers when the only automatic exposure modes are A, S and P.

    As a professional, I use what is most cost-effective. Since I'm a freelancer, it's never the most expensive model. 90 % of the Nikons I see on the field at the moment are D200:s.

    Sorry for the semantics nitpicking.
     
  20. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Construction and functionality.

    Pro cameras will always have more functionality and be constructed in such as way as to take much more heavier levels of use.

    Canon knows a 1DS/5D and maybe even the 40D will be used on an almost daily basis in various environments and designs it to handle such use.

    When an individuals income is on the line, and they need THAT shot .... they will take it, even if it means shooting in the rain.

    Would I take a Rebel out on the beach for two weeks shooting on a daily basis? No way, but I did take my 5D and 40D out with me the last two weeks. I took out the 40D with an " L " series lens, two of them to be exact. Why the " L " lens? Because they too are designed to be used in less than ideal conditions.

    I shoot over 7,000 images in two weeks on vacation just " goofing around ".

    I was shooting beach volley ball players, birds, boats, US Navy fighter jets and other planes in flight ( jets were the most challenging as they came up unexpectedly and only flew by once ), sunrises, sunsets, bright moons over the ocean. It was a great opportunity to get a lot of practice shooting in many different conditions. I had a blast, and made quite a few new friends in the process.
     
  21. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

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    #21
    In respect to this thread, I really doubt that the OP would be interested in one of those!
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #22
    The OP's original question was `what makes a camera a professional camera' and not `what's a good camera for me that's professional.' But even then, I'd ask what the OP does instead of blindly suggesting something. E. g. Nikon's D40 or Canon's 400D are dslrs, but I doubt many professionals use them (as primary bodies).

    All this shows that if we try to look for a single badge `professional' that we give only if a camera satisfies certain criteria, someone finds a camera that's not a consumer camera and doesn't satisfy all criteria.
     
  23. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

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    #23
    I believe that the OP has clearly indicated his tastes in regard to the subject and the question he goes on to ask! All the examples he provides in the opening post are proof enough!:)
     
  24. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #24
    The question is not a matter of taste in a particular type of camera. Just because his taste is Canon, for example, doesn't mean we should not mention Hasselblad or Nikon, although he may not be interested in buying one of them.

    In any case, all I was trying to say that your remark that any professional camera is a dslr is incorrect. And that is independent of whether the OP wants to buy a dslr or any other type of camera.
     
  25. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #25
    HUH? I guarantee that virutally every picture you see in any recent edition of Sports Illustrated is taken with either a Canon 1D mkII, 1D mkIII, or Nikon D300, none of which are full-frame cameras.
     

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