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Photography Question 
Emely Herrera

I Cant Decide what digital CAmera to buy

I want to start doing portraits on the side but I cant decide if going digital would be the best thing. I've always worked with film and I love it but digital seems to me more convenient. What camera would be the best? I would like an all around camera so I can expand my business.

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4/1/2005 10:23:10 AM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  What film camera do you have? Certain lenses can be used with the new Digital. Nikon doesn't need a converter but from what I understand Canon does. Since you already have a film kit you have the best of both worlds. A film backup and if you buy digital a digital main camera.

I personally think it's good for photographers to embrace digital technology. It opens up whole new worlds and gives the photographer more creative control than ever before.

There is no right answer for you. Look at reviews and take advantage of browsing the pictures taken by different cameras here at BP. Then decide what is right for you. If you are used to a certain camera brand it's probably wise to stick with that brand so you can make use of your current lenses.

Good luck,


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4/1/2005 10:56:55 AM

Emely Herrera   THanks for your response. I have a Nikon FG.(i think) That's really good to know I'll look into Nikons.
Basically what I want to do is start a small business, family portraits small things until I get more experience and confident. I'm just a beginner.

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4/1/2005 11:29:52 AM

Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  I've heard really good things about the Nikon D70. You should be able to use your lenses, but some may require you to use manual focus. Somebody else more knowlegable can chime in on that front. The Nikon D70 is a nice SLR that should be fine for a beginning portrait business. You'll have plenty of megapixel for fairly substantial enlargements. The good thing is that it's fairly affordable for a digital SLR.

Of course now you need to learn the ins and outs of digital. That's no small task. You need to get comfortable working in a computer environment and learn the best places to print out your final product. There are excellent online digital processors who will do prints on the same paper they do film prints on. You also need to learn the special abilities of your camera and be very comfortable using them under pressure. :-)

Everybody starts somewhere. Learn you equipment and start offering your services when you are sure you have something concrete to offer your clientele. Don't undersell yourself just because you're new.


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4/1/2005 11:44:02 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Want to really save some money? Use what you have. I won't knock digital, even though I am a MF film photographer (do use 35mm for personal use) but you need to understand that there will be a lot of expense involved in going digital. You will need Photoshop, a calibrated monitor, etc. and you will spend a lot more time processing your images. Digital has its advantages but time saving is not one of them.

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4/1/2005 3:12:09 PM

Pam M
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/24/2005
  I'm speaking strictly from what I've observed ... heard thru the grapevine, etc.

I have a future son-in-law ... and, also, last night I met a gentleman who's been photographing eons ... what they both do is shoot film ... get it developed into negatives and CD's ... and then they decide which way to go with which photo. (Digital can minimize the size of the photo you can print.) The guy last night told me he's done this for as little as $5 a roll.

They both take the pics somewhere to have them printed ... saves ink expense ... after all if the color's not right ... then it's up to the print shop to get it right. He also told me that if he can he will take something to them that will help them calobrate the print.

And then ... my daughter and I met a gentleman who was scanning slides and negatives ... and creating huge images that could then handle the crop down process w/o becoming unprintable.

So ... if you're looking to digital to be more convenient in that you might be able to blur out an oops or improve a lighting situation ... or some other tweak ... the above two options give you that from film.

in the actual shoot ... I don't see how one would be more advantageous than the other ... as far as convenience goes ... well except for the immediate feedback ...

but I tell you what fascinates me most about shooting poitraits is lighting ... great lighting equipment seems to provide more opportunity for parting your sittings from the next guy with a camera ...

ok ... well that's it for my novice ramblings ...

have fun!

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4/2/2005 6:04:32 PM

Buddy Purugganan   Digital cameras...Emely, there's a LOT out there but I would only let YOU decide and let your preferred budget keep you on track.Suggestions? Canon EOS D60, EOS 10D, or the pricey EOS-1D. Nikon COOLPIX 5700,D100, or D1X. Minolta has the Dimage 7Hi or Dimage 7i while Fujifilm has the Finepix S2 Pro, Finepix 3800 and the S602.

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4/6/2005 7:57:48 PM

Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I would definitely encourage you to go digital. That little thing called "immediate feedback" made all the difference for me! I also like not having to buy film, being stuck with one speed of film until I finish the roll, bringing it to be developed, going back to pick up the prints...
If you have at least minimal computer skills you should make out fine.
What camera you get will depend greatly on your budget.
Keep in mind that other than the cost of the camera you'll need to buy memory cards, batteries, a bag, possibly lenses, and a photo processing program. Photoshop Elements is muchmore affordable than the full version and does alot!

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4/7/2005 6:38:17 PM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  If you are even pondering this go digital. It will save you heartache in the future. First of all, there is an advantage using a digital when taking portraits. One can like Diane stated see immediate feedback, this is HUGE expecially for the beginner. Second, with out having to take a trip to the lab and spend $5 on a CD FOR EACH ROLL (I have taken 2000+ pics in just 2months I'd go broke) -- You make your own in two minutes flat for less than 50 cents. If you shoot digital you do not have to waste film by switching film types. For example, shoot in color and then make it black and white with two button clicks in PS. Then you have two equally good photos to show your clients not just one--(if you shot the film camera with B&W film you would only have B&W.) The problem with leaving the processing up to the lab is that you will typically not have the same photo twice. For example, if you have a client that wants more of the same photo if the lab did the tweeking then you can not duplicate that exactly. If you do the manipulating you can control the process. Photoshop pretty much comes standard with any high end digital camera these days. It might not be the best version out but it can still do a lot of the functions.

I would like to see a pull conducted there seems to be a lot of opposition towards digital (Change is difficult). Is there anyone out there that has gone digital and then went FULLY back to film? It just seems that the oppostion is comming from those that are unwilling to even look at this as an option not, from a person that has actually been there. The funny thing about this arguement is that most digital photographers have knowledge of both film and digital whereas, film users seem to be more in the dark in reguards to digital and how it works. (Just a generality) Just my opinion but, I would like to see a poll.

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4/7/2005 10:13:07 PM

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