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Does Camera matter?

Jolie Dickson , Sep 04, 2012; 05:38 p.m.

HI..I own a Sony A77. Do you think it's possible to have a successful business without a full frame camera? I love taking portraits and family pictures, and I would like to start my own business. I am wondering if it really makes a difference? Thanks so much...
Jolie

Responses


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Geoff Sobering , Sep 04, 2012; 06:02 p.m.

IMO, No - it doesn't matter.
The photos you make are the important thing.

Having said that, there may be limitation of a particular camera (ex. resolution, low-light capability, or lens availability) that make it unsuitable for a particular purpose, but the A77 seems to be a very capable camera body.

David Haas , Sep 04, 2012; 06:15 p.m.

It's more about knowing your camera and lenses - and how to use them correctly than what brand or sensor size. There are things that a DSLR is better at than a Medium Format, there are things that a P/S is better at than a DSLR, and so on...

A good pro, who knows their equipment will succeed 100% of the time. A person who doesn't know their equipment, no matter how good it is, will fail 99% of the time.

People took portraits with DX / non - full frame bodies for years before the full frame bodies hit the stores and became somewhat affordable.

Dave

Don Baccus , Sep 04, 2012; 06:57 p.m.

" Do you think it's possible to have a successful business without a full frame camera?"

There's nothing magic about full frame sensors. The format's a historical accident, which came about because someone at Leica thought to build a camera that took 35mm movie film, and decided to make the image lie sidewise at 24mmx36mm rather than maintain the 24mm-wide cinema film format (where the film's run vertically through the camera rather than horizontally). A format bandwagon was the result and that format's been maintained as the max sensor size in 35mm-like bodies as we've moved to the digital world.

As David mentions above, many professionals have shot DX or the Canon equivalent or the 1/3 crop also supported by Canon for years back when the only full-frame body came from Canon and cost $8K ... full-frame and APS or DX sized sensors embedded in essentially a 35mm body have allowed people to move from film to digital without having to plunk down thousands of dollars into a new set of lenses.

So there's nothing magic/ideal about full-frame ...

John Williamson , Sep 05, 2012; 12:14 a.m.

If you take awesome pictures no one will care what camera is in your hands.

This needs a little commenting though...

I would like to start my own business. I am wondering if it really makes a difference?

If you are going to start a business, you really need to know enough to KNOW the answer to that question. If you start a restaurant, are you going to ask if your oven or mixer is good enough ? Nope. You'll know what you need before you open up for business. The camera is just a tool of the trade, like the oven. Not trying to be condescending, but if you are unsure about your tools, you probably need to learn some more, maybe a lot more, before you decide to make a business out of your hobby.

Frank Skomial , Sep 05, 2012; 05:32 a.m.

While all of that already stated above is true, the very first encounter with a photographer is also important. With PRO gear, you will more likely be judged as a good photographer, regardless of real merits.

You will only get one chance to make first impression.

If you spend a lot on money on top gear, this usually means that you are serious about the photography.
However, your portfolio, and your prior proof that you can do it well is more important.

If you approach people with some inferior camera, you may not get a second chance, as the first impression could disqualify you, without getting into merrits.

Mike Dixon , Sep 05, 2012; 05:39 a.m.

While all of that already stated above is true, the very first encounter with a photographer is also important. With PRO gear, you will more likely be judged as a good photographer, regardless of real merits.

My first meetings with clients always involved showing them my portfolio and discussing their needs. They generally didn't see my cameras until I showed up for the job.

Jeff Spirer , Sep 05, 2012; 02:00 p.m.

Mike is right, a pro shows up with the product, not with the tools for the business meeting. You make an impression with what you are doing, not what you happen to own.

The only exception I've run into is when I've been hired as a fake paparazzi, then they care about equipment because it is more important what the photographer looks like than what they produce.

And Don is right about full frame, it's not a factor, especially for what you are talking about doing.

Now what is important will be lighting gear and your ability to use it. A lot of people start out in professional portraiture saying "natural light," but you can't control the sky. Most people expect good photographs regardless of outside or window light, your lighting equipment and knowledge will matter more than your camera.

Maury Cohen , Sep 05, 2012; 02:01 p.m.

As silly as it seems, I've found that having a vertical or battery grip attached to an SLR can make it appear more professional to some. In an age when everyone and their brother owns a DSLR, this accessory, or an external flash for that matter, can actually make yours stand out a bit as "more professional".

dennis williams , Sep 05, 2012; 04:46 p.m.

Hi Jolie

It makes a difference to the people it makes a difference to. It will make a difference to you only if it cuts into bookings or prevents you from getting the shot you want or need to get.

As for my personal experience with client's perceptions- for the better part of a decade new clients have had online access to a sizable portfolio of my work. I clearly state the brand/ format of cameras and the regimen that I follow to create all my images. Anyone calling for a consultation knows exactly what they're getting before they pick up the phone. No one has ever asked if different equipment is an option.

Do you think it's possible to have a successful business without a full frame camera?

Sure, but as someone who works with 56mm x 67mm originals out of a 67, there are two directions to go from full frame.
:)


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