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What cameras do professional photographers use?


pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:33PM
Reasons for choosing a make of camera in no particular order : then put them in order and that should make the choice more obvious for you !

Price Bracket
Brand Loyalty
Brand Avoidance ( previous problems )
Recommendation ( friend or other )
Availability of specific extras ( ie lenses flashguns etc ) if your after an 800mm lens it might narrow things !
Features ( things like built in IS on pentax or pro weatherproofing on nikon and canon can narrow the field )
Snobbery Value - are you a labels person - if so leica or hassleblad maybe on the list purely for the name
Level - beginner inter advanced pro , or a camera that can grow with you .. some manafacturers aim more at different parts of the market or are at least better at it !

I reckon answering those would more or less get you to a handful or less of cameras to choose from ?

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RJM e2
2 5 Wales
14 Nov 2012 9:50PM
As a non pro it seems to me that all the 'pro's' seem to be mostly Nikon closely followed by Canon.

It appears (to me anyway) that the amateurs and enthusiasts tend to think 'if they're using one' I need to use one to get good results and so to a large extent it's self perpetuating.

I could be wrong but that's my perception.

Quote:My friend who is a professional has just got the Nikon 800.

I asked him what the difference was between the 800 and 800e and he didn't know.

What is it?



The main difference is three hundred quid
15 Nov 2012 9:29AM
When I was still a Pro 12 years ago I used Nikon.
5 years ago Canon was the most common pro body. Now it seems there are more Nikon than Canon pros.
That said for certain types of photography very high MP medium format is the camera of choice. Not many do it because the entry fee with lenses can be 100,000 and the niche market is small.
What is currently most chosen is part "can it do the pro photographers job well".
Another issue is there is a lot of investment, hard work, and often declining income in being a pro. Many "hopefuls" are entering and many others no longer able to make a good living are leaving. New entrants influence the brands of cameras most owned more than they used to.
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
15 Nov 2012 10:01AM
Len, apart from the real high end kit, I suspect that more good cameras are bought by newbies, aspirants and amateurs than by established professionals. Calumet has very sensibly re-aligned itself with this more lucrative market.
Cagey75 e2
3 42 Ireland
15 Nov 2012 10:05AM

Quote:My friend who is a professional has just got the Nikon 800.

I asked him what the difference was between the 800 and 800e and he didn't know.

What is it?



Ask him then, why did he bother to pay extra for the E?

I have the D800E, I'm not a pro, but have done a fair amount of paid shoots. Just not every week. I'm semi-pro, I guess, I would deem someone who makes their living from their photography a full on pro.
15 Nov 2012 6:12PM
I really think it's a toss up between Nikon and Canon. I'm not saying there aren't any other types of cameras professionals use, but it seems to be pretty evenly split (at least from what I've seen) between Nikon and Canon. Each photographer has their preference, I personally prefer the Canon Rebel T4i.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 12:33PM
Part of my job is taking photos and I occasionally do weddings - who knows what that makes me - who cares?

Most of the press guys I bump into seem to use Canons [mostly a few years old]. I mainly use a 5DII, but I have a 550D as backup plus a Panasonic GX1 and G3. The latter two are often good enough for a lot of my work - particularly if I can get away with using the 20mm f1.7 [40mm equiv] prime.

Depending on circumstances, glass has as much of a bearing on quality as the body and I have a few L lenses. I suppose most working Pros use CaNikon because they have the biggest/best systems that are specifically designed for working use. I think that duopoly will probably erode in the future as the niches the likes of the OM-D can occupy, expand.

Looking at the current Pentaxes - they're offering quality and ruggedness at APSc format for much less than the equivalents from Canon and Nikon.

This is all good competition and will hopefully benefit us all and keep prices keen. I'm not sure Canon in particular aren't shooting themselves in the foot with their pricing policies at the moment, particularly on lenses.
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 2:24PM

Quote:Maybe a smarter question is what makes a pro or semi pro chose the make or model they do?


After sales service and support comes quite high. A camera breaks, they lend you one while it's repaired. Loan of equipment, fast servicing, that kind of thing.
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2012 4:22PM

Quote:Maybe a smarter question is what makes a pro or semi pro chose the make or model they do?


Experience over many years of using varying equipment, but maybe Professionals are determined by the 450mm behind it rather than the equipment itself.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
16 Nov 2012 9:36PM
Don't want to rain on anyone's parade and a truthfully answered survey might produce interesting results.

But, when interpreting those results, be sure to take account of one of the very basic differences between professional snappers and amateur photographers:

Professionals have to justify their equipment investment in cost/benefit terms. They have to be reasonably sure that the acquisition of a particular camera (or other piece of equipment) will earn its keep by contributing to the bottom line of their annual accounts.

Enthusiastic amateurs, on the other hand can - within the limits of their personal budgets - indulge their whims and fancies without any regard to rational considerations. That is why, when designing a new 5000 camera, manufacturers like Canon or Nikon have their eye very much on the amateur market rather than the professionals who will require much more convincing arguments before "upgrading" their kit.

I wouldn't mind betting that, if you could survey all the owners of under-1year old cameras in the 1500-5000 price range, 90% would be amateurs and 10% pros. The same cameras might very well be adopted by professionals a year or two down the line once their existing cameras wear out and the price of the newer models drops significantly.
16 Nov 2012 10:03PM

Quote:
Professionals have to justify their equipment investment in cost/benefit terms. They have to be reasonably sure that the acquisition of a particular camera (or other piece of equipment) will earn its keep by contributing to the bottom line of their annual accounts.

Enthusiastic amateurs, on the other hand can - within the limits of their personal budgets - indulge their whims and fancies without any regard to rational considerations.


Bosh! A taxi driver who rides a Merc costing 40k may not make all that much profit after he has paid for his car. But what if he can afford it and just wants to drive a Merc? To whom does he have to justify it? If both an amateur and a professional can each afford a 4k camera why should one have to justify it and not the other? Surely the professional CAN justify it more as he/she is at least making some money. Don't follow this logic. Wink
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
16 Nov 2012 11:38PM
The Mercedes Benz entry-level models are used as taxis throughout the world because they make good economic sense. Just as in the good old days, a lot of portrait and wedding photographers used Hasselblads.

The arrival of digital has changed the market because we can no longer keep our cameras for many decades. For many professionals, cameras outdate long before they're worn out.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
17 Nov 2012 1:32AM

Quote:Maybe a smarter question is what makes a pro or semi pro chose the make or model they do?


Top pro`s, sponsorship helps Smile

Anyone else, available kit, service and support.
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2012 10:12AM

Quote:
Professionals have to justify their equipment investment in cost/benefit terms. They have to be reasonably sure that the acquisition of a particular camera (or other piece of equipment) will earn its keep by contributing to the bottom line of their annual accounts.



When you are doing well as a pro you are better able to indulge oneself. For example to purchase a new camera or an item of photographic equipment, proves to be of litttle expense and makes justification much easier. You can immediately reduce the purchase price by 20% as you get your VAT paid refunded, then against your accounts to be submitted you save a further 40% because the item is tax deductable. Nice little reduction which the amateur is unable to avail him/herself of.

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