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Thread: Equipment questions!

  1. #1

    Default Equipment questions!

    Hi all,

    I want to take good travel photography pictures (landscape, architecture) and also start freelancing locally (I like to photograph events, animals and candid shots of people).

    I currently own a Canon 450D which I never use, because I love my company's 5D Mark II. However it has been shipped to an office overseas and we don't know when the replacement will come. So I've decided to buy my own upgrade.

    P.S. Some additional details... I have a 3 week trip coming up, Vancouver-Toronto-Montreal. I will be a solo female traveler. I can't move much with heavy equipment, no multiple lenses for me.

    Option 1
    Canon EOS 7D (because I can't afford a 5D) kit with 18-135mm lens (good reach, though I never see anyone on forums recommending this for quality, so I'm not sure).
    This can be my pro freelance camera while I pair the 18-135mm lens with the cheap and light EOS 450D, which I hope no one will steal.
    However this is quite expensive for me ($2470). And while it is light, I am not sure the camera will perform well, it is after all a old model and not very user friendly.
    Can a good lens compensate for this?

    Option 2
    Also based on what I've heard, that a good lens is more important than a good camera body:
    Canon EOS 60D ($1950 for the kit, so I'll assume $1200 or so for body only) with 24-70mm F2.8 IS lens (about $2000+)
    Weight wise, the lighter camera body will be offset by the heavier lens. But I want an F2.8 zoom lens, esp when it gets dark.
    I may be able to bring the 60D overseas unlike in option 1 because I don't think it is such a obvious target as the heavier and larger 7D?

    Option 3
    Get a lens (24-70mm or 18-135mm? main consideration here will be weight), pair it with the 450D for traveling and wait for the price of the 5D Mark II to drop.
    But this means I won't have a camera to freelance with.

    I will rent your recommendation to test, so thanks in advance for the help!

    [Edit] I got the following reply from a clubsnap senior member the first time I posted this. "If you cannot answer such basic questions yourself then you shouldn't even be thinking about freelancing or trying to make money out of photography."
    Yes I am new to freelancing. No I'm not new to photography, I photographed events for my company for 2 years prior to this. Yes I have done my research, but with no one to discuss this with you can see where I have holes in my knowledge.
    I'm also here for equipment help, not for snobbish online bashing.
    Last edited by Gniyil; 10th May 2012 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Why don't you think you can freelance with a 450d? Do you think the only requirement for freelancing is a better camera body?
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default

    Your requirements are everywhere.... quite frankly, for travel, just use your kit lens.

    As for shooting animals, what kind? The hamster in a cage? Animals at the zoo? An eagle 5km away?
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default

    By the way, to a thief, all dslrs look the same - easy money. They will steal first, look at the model later
    Alpha

  5. #5
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    Hi all,

    I want to take good travel photography pictures (landscape, architecture) and also start freelancing locally (I like to photograph events, animals and candid shots of people).

    I currently own a Canon 450D which I never use, because I love my company's 5D Mark II. However it has been shipped to an office overseas and we don't know when the replacement will come. So I've decided to buy my own upgrade.

    P.S. Some additional details... I have a 3 week trip coming up, Vancouver-Toronto-Montreal. I will be a solo female traveler. I can't move much with heavy equipment, no multiple lenses for me.

    Option 1
    Canon EOS 7D (because I can't afford a 5D) kit with 18-135mm lens (good reach, though I never see anyone on forums recommending this for quality, so I'm not sure).
    This can be my pro freelance camera while I pair the 18-135mm lens with the cheap and light EOS 450D, which I hope no one will steal.
    However this is quite expensive for me ($2470). And while it is light, I am not sure the camera will perform well, it is after all a old model and not very user friendly.
    Can a good lens compensate for this?

    Option 2
    Also based on what I've heard, that a good lens is more important than a good camera body:
    Canon EOS 60D ($1950 for the kit, so I'll assume $1200 or so for body only) with 24-70mm F2.8 IS lens (about $2000+)
    Weight wise, the lighter camera body will be offset by the heavier lens. But I want an F2.8 zoom lens, esp when it gets dark.
    I may be able to bring the 60D overseas unlike in option 1 because I don't think it is such a obvious target as the heavier and larger 7D?

    Option 3
    Get a lens (24-70mm or 18-135mm? main consideration here will be weight), pair it with the 450D for traveling and wait for the price of the 5D Mark II to drop.
    But this means I won't have a camera to freelance with.

    I will rent your recommendation to test, so thanks in advance for the help!

    [Edit] I got the following reply from a clubsnap senior member the first time I posted this. "If you cannot answer such basic questions yourself then you shouldn't even be thinking about freelancing or trying to make money out of photography."
    Yes I am new to freelancing. No I'm not new to photography, I photographed events for my company for 2 years prior to this. Yes I have done my research, but with no one to discuss this with you can see where I have holes in my knowledge.
    I'm also here for equipment help, not for snobbish online bashing.
    First... I don't think Canon came out with a 24-70mm f2.8 IS (Canon's 24-70mm do not have IS).

    Okay, for your question then,

    First you must know what type of photography genre would you like to go into. Because if you get a camera with a 24mm wide, on a crop sensor it really is not tat wide, you might have problem fitting in some of the beautiful landscape and architect into your frame, although many would have ask you to go panorama, but I find that too troublesome.

    So i would definitely opt for a 18-135 or even an 18-200mm lens for your travel needs. Second, between 7D and 60D... well both are very very capable machine (I personally owned the 7D). The big problem with 7D was its weigh, I hated that weight... and in recent events, I find myself using my mobile phone and cheapo PnS more and more, then lugging my 7D around. 60D on the other hand is pretty light, and quite small (for me), I have the chance to play around with it more and find that it is actually very very good.

    7D of course had more focus points as compared to 60D and many said that 7D's focusing system is better, but I personally find that they are the same (I only use the center focusing point by the way, so it is alright with me) and since you have experience with the 5D, I think 60D's AF should be an improvement.

    I would also suggest a 50mm f1.8II (very cheap btw) for lowlight photography. And hopefully get yourself a flash (YN565EX came into mind - only around S$2XX, and with capability nearing 580EXII - in my opinion.)
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  6. #6
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    24-70/2.8 is a great lens, but only for Full Frame camera bodies. On a cropped sensor body like 7D or 60D, you will find your focal length range to be extremely restricted.

    My advise. forget about the 7D or 60D for now. You mentioned you need to keep things light, so why bother with a second body? Go 450D with a 18-135 or 18-200 for now. Remember 18-135 is also around the quality of kit lenses. Another option is the 15-85 IS USM, or the 17-55/2.8 IS. And add a UWA like a used Tokina 11-16/2.8. The UWA will also come in very handy for event shoots.
    .
    You can certainly free lance with any camera out there. But clients are increasingly more demanding. In certain genres, they will frown on you if you do not use a FF camera. But for events, I think you are still ok... For events, what is more important is a speedlight.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 10th May 2012 at 02:02 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Other viable choices :

    NEX5n with CZ24/1.8 and 60/2.8 and a M-mount Voigtlander 12mm?

    m4/3 GH2, G3, OMD with 7-14; 25/1.4; 45/1.8?

    Pentax K5 - For $1200 body only, its a very good deal now. DSLR, Weather sealed, on-camera shake reduction, best DR on an APS-C camera, very good high iso performance. Nice small primes and generally smaller lenses compared to the other DSLR brands.


    If you are used to the FOV for a given focal length on a FF camera (ie. 5DII) you may have problems transitioning to a APS-C body?
    Just a thought, you might have to shoot more with your 450D to find out if it irritates you.
    I don't see a problem of just sticking with the 450D btw.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    What lens were you previously using with your company's 5D2? Consider narrowing down your options by getting the equivalent lens on crop? You will at least be comfortable with the range.

  9. #9
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    .. I can't move much with heavy equipment, no multiple lenses for me..
    .. main consideration here will be weight ..
    Hi dear Gniyil, I can see that weight is much of an important consideration, and i suggest paring the Canon 450D with a consumer zoom such as an 18-135 or an 18-200. pretty flexible one lens solution. But as of all situations, you win some you lose some, trade offs of high ISO etc. If you might consider bringing another (lightweight) lens along, a 50mm f1.8 is a fantastic companion in dimmer lights. ( I used to pair a 18-200 and a 50mm prime along with my then D80 ). Remember to lug along a tripod for landscape stuffs etc esp in longer exposures.

    It seems you would like to get a 5D of sorts in future. I will not be the judge of whether you need it or not ( hey I love my 5D2s. I abuse them overseas in all situations as if they were weather sealed ), but if budget at the moment is not permitting just save up first? I would not bother spending on interim 60Ds etc. Make the best use of your 450D for now.

    * Lightweight can be pretty subjective to various folks. A couple of yrs back at the Macau international fireworks competition, I chatted up a group of US pro photogs. One of them told me his favorite lightweight all in one setup was a 5D2 + 28-300L.

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 10th May 2012 at 08:48 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    I'd go with a 5D or 5D2 paired with a 24-105 lens for general travel photos, and perhaps a 50 f/1.4 for portraitures on your travels

  11. #11

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Dear all,

    Wow, thanks for the advice. I shall spend time shooting with my 450D with a rented 18-200 / 18-135mm lens and see how it goes. I admit I haven't spent much time with it because of the company camera, and later it was because the lens mechanism became faulty.

    The 60D comes with a 18-200mm as a kit though, so it's tempting to get both instead of just the lens.

    Just a question: you guys think it is ok to freelance with a entry-level DSLR? I thought that was generally frowned upon. I have not tried it myself.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    Dear all,

    Wow, thanks for the advice. I shall spend time shooting with my 450D with a rented 18-200 / 18-135mm lens and see how it goes. I admit I haven't spent much time with it because of the company camera, and later it was because the lens mechanism became faulty.

    The 60D comes with a 18-200mm as a kit though, so it's tempting to get both instead of just the lens.

    Just a question: you guys think it is ok to freelance with a entry-level DSLR? I thought that was generally frowned upon. I have not tried it myself.
    At the end of the day, its the pictures that count, not the camera used.
    There is no rule that says a freelance/pro needs to use a high end camera.

    The higher end cameras do have more features or buttons to help the photographer to work/react fast though.

  13. #13
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    Dear all,

    Wow, thanks for the advice. I shall spend time shooting with my 450D with a rented 18-200 / 18-135mm lens and see how it goes. I admit I haven't spent much time with it because of the company camera, and later it was because the lens mechanism became faulty.

    The 60D comes with a 18-200mm as a kit though, so it's tempting to get both instead of just the lens.

    Just a question: you guys think it is ok to freelance with a entry-level DSLR? I thought that was generally frowned upon. I have not tried it myself.
    May I know what freelancing photography job do you normally do? Some of the job might require certain capability in your camera that cannot be achieved with your camera (450D) such as very fast speed for sport photography, high ISO noise control for job that require you to shoot in not-so-good lighting condition and no flash is allowed.

    Actually, I don't think anyone would mind what camera you use, as long as you can produce the image they wanted, however there are times when your equipment just cannot meet the condition you are to shoot in.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  14. #14

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    I plan to photograph events, however I'm not going to take on a job until I find out the limitations of my 450D... ISO/noise is my main concern.
    For events I can use flash, but it's so unflattering.
    Last edited by Gniyil; 11th May 2012 at 04:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    I plan to photograph events, however I'm not going to take on a job until I find out the limitations of my 450D... ISO/noise is my main concern.
    For events I can use flash, but it's so unflattering.
    Well, I would definely still recommend flash, maybe get yourself an external flash if you haven't already have .

    Note that even with the 60D, it is still a crop sensor camera so don't expect stella performance in term of noise in very high ISO. I have a 7D and normally I find pic not really usuable after ISO1600, I believe the 60D (being newer) should be slightly better.

    As for 450D, it is a good camera, but I think noise performance is not really that amazing. So if you plan on using that, please use a external flash, a diffuser, a bounce card or whatever.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  16. #16

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gniyil View Post
    For events I can use flash, but it's so unflattering.


    Its more about flash mastery than just thinking flash shots will be unflattering. All events shooters use flash, from the uncle at RC events to the hollywood red carpets.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  17. #17

    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    18-200 is an excellent all-in-one lens for learning and traveling. Spend time with it to see what range you shoot more at before getting better lens (if you ever feel to upgrade). Don't worry, the lens is more than adequate for your skills. At most throw in a flash for indoor/event/low light situations. That should last quite awhile.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Equipment questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    May I know what freelancing photography job do you normally do? Some of the job might require certain capability in your camera that cannot be achieved with your camera (450D) such as very fast speed for sport photography, high ISO noise control for job that require you to shoot in not-so-good lighting condition and no flash is allowed.

    Actually, I don't think anyone would mind what camera you use, as long as you can produce the image they wanted, however there are times when your equipment just cannot meet the condition you are to shoot in.
    I freelance with a 50D. No one has come up to me and said it wasn't good enough. Yes as long as your pictures are good, how you produce it shouldn't matter.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Only the image matters

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    As long you can delivery sharp, clean, usable photos, who will bother much about what camera/lens you use, flash or no flash?
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