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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

Camera Semi pro

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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2012 4:59:13 PM PST
Wich one is the best semi pro digital camera?
I'm going to start photograph classes and I want a camera with all the gadgets that a pro camera has

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 6:05:26 PM PST
Nikon D800

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 10:43:25 AM PST
Define "all the gadgets"...

In the film days, that would have meant interchangeable backs to support date-stamping, large film rolls (anything larger than a 36 exposure roll tended to need larger spools sticking out the side of the camera), motor drives, interchangeable finders.

These days date-stamping is less obnoxiously handled by the EXIF data stored in the image, a large memory card can hold more shots than even the largest film spools did. That leaves motor drives (or the less powerful/slower "power winder"); these often managed 5-10 frames per second (power winders managed 2-3 fps). Entry level SLRs routinely manage 2-4fps, and prosumer stuff runs 5-8fps. Pro bodies run large sensors (so called full-frame, Canon's APS-H) -- though the Canon 7D is a hybrid optimized for sports (it uses a pro-sumer size APS-C sensor, so the field of view effect allows using a cheaper/shorter lens to get the same framing [a 300mm "sees" what 480mm full-frame would see] -- yet the 7D has no scene-based modes).

I haven't seen interchangeable viewfinders in decades -- one can find interchangeable focusing screens for the higher end models, but not viewfinders (Used to be one could get a waist-level -- where you hang the camera from the neck strap and look down onto the top -- or "sports" finders). Focusing screens can add split-image/micro-prism areas for manual focusing, or horizontal/vertical lines when the frame has to be matched to some details of the subject.

What you will NOT find on professional cameras are "scene-based" exposure modes; professionals should have learned how to set the shooting mode, focusing mode, metering mode, white balance, etc -- from manual controls. Intermediate pro-sumer cameras will have many manual controls (directly accessed via buttons) but also include some selection of "scene-based" (the traditional four are: sports, landscape, portrait, close-focus [you don't get "macro" unless you buy a true macro lens]; night-portrait is a common fifth). Entry-level consumer cameras tend to put many of the manual over-rides into menus (if you learn the buttons of a pro-sumer you can make rapid configuration changes without taking the camera away from your eye); they also may have more scene-based modes -- but ALL SLRs will support the classic PASM modes (Program, Aperture Priority [Av for Canon], Shutter Priority [Tv], and Manual). {I say "classic", thought the first camera to support all four of those modes only dates back to 1978 -- the Canon A-1 [Yes, my collection is heavily Canon oriented]}

"Gadgets" these days come to be lenses, lots of lighting (BIG flashes, with some triggered remotely via radio or infrared signalling). Pro bodies may even be rated to withstand old studio strobe voltages (consumer bodies tend to be rated for only a 6-10V trigger voltage through the hot-shoe; but studio strobes tend to run the whole firing voltage through the connection -- 60-100V -- which will fry the camera circuits if they aren't designed for passing that current/voltage).

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 1:12:27 PM PST
S. Owens says:
Can there be a best "semi-pro" camera? Almost by definition a "semi-pro" camera is inferior to a "professional" camera but there may be some questions about how far down a company's lineup to draw that line. There is also the question of "all the gadgets that a pro camera has" because some of those "gadgets" are only found on the top end models.

Now from the Canon perspective I believe the 60D and the new full-frame 6D could be considered their "semi-pro" models although arguments may be made forthe 7D and maybe even the older 5D models. While its stats may not match up with higher the more expensive cameras and maybe even the new T4i the 60D has many of the features you'll find on higher level cameras; its got two wheels to make shooting in manual exposure mode a lot easier and I believe it can be used as a master unit for off-camera flashes.

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 2:40:47 PM PST
nikon d7000 or canon 7d will be more than enough camera for you and class.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 8:42:42 PM PST
Neo Lee says:
Canon EOS 7D is a semi-pro camera.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 6:21:04 AM PST
brad-man says:
I shoot with a 5DmkII and a 7D, so it pains me to say this. Unless he wants to shoot sports exclusively, the OP's question was answered with the first reply...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 6:24:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 6:31:32 AM PST
EdM says:
There is no single "best" camera, semi pro or otherwise. There can be a best camera [the lenses matter too, BTW] for sports, or a best camera for landscape, a best camera that takes a Tilt/shift lens to do architectural shots, etc., not to mention a best camera for a given budget.

In general, being well familiar with photography education, you will want a DSLR [or possibly a m43 or MILK]. IN any event, all the professors I know are happy to provide guidance about what kind of camera is good for the classes offered. A few schools even provide cameras or have loaners, but you have to ask about this. Again - ask the professors.

You do not need gadgets, but it is almost certain that the camera must have manual control for focusing and exposure as an option, which surely any reasonable DSLR has. If your budget is very large, you could look at a Nikon D800, a Canon 5D III, or perhaps a Leica M9, e.g. To go with the body, you'll also want some of those $2000-5000 [and up] lenses.

Seriously, you don't need the "best", whatever that is. It would be reasonable [but not required] to get an advanced amateur camera like the Nikon D7000 or a Canon 7D. If you take photography classes, you'll also likely learn to use Photoshop, as well as studio flash. However, even for studio flash, you do not have to personally own all that gear, strobes, reflectors, modifiers, etc., as far as talking about "gadgets".

At my school, you can do the computer work on school lab computers, but it is helpful to have a nice computer at home to be able to do post or photo-editing at your leisure. Plus, there's a great educational discount on photo-editing software like Photoshop, Lightroom, and more. However, doing significant photo-editing places demands on the computer, to be pretty powerful in certain ways, like lots of ram, a powerful CPU and more. A monitor that's capable for photography and a graphics card which together allow color profiling of the monitor for correct color of your photos will likely be mandatory, if you do such work at home. You will in all likelihood learn about following a color correct workflow. Again, professors are happy to provide advice about what you should look into for your classes.

It also matters to some extent what you eventually plan to do with your photography. Having a fast burst capable camera matters more for sports photography, e.g. Professors routinely teach students who do not have the "best" camera gear, as many students do not have bags of money to buy gear.

Learning good technique for photography technical factors or for composition, e.g., works for most any camera you might choose. After all, the camera is third most important, the lens quality is second most important, but the photographer is first in importance in getting that great shot. Going to school and taking photography classes is what people do to learn how to shoot well. It's not the only way, but it's a very good way.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 9:15:17 AM PST
Agreed that there is no "best" camera, and that a decent DSLR should serve your needs for starting out an education in photography. You don't buy high end gear because you can, you buy new stuff when you identify a need that your current equipment can't fill. For learning, a general purpose DSL will fill that need.

For the computing needs. You can probably use school computers, and they may turn out to be better suited than anything you have or are likely to buy soon, for that pupose. For photoshop, and large lightroom catalogs, you want a system with a strong processor, tons of memory, fast disk space, and an accurate monitor. If you put together a system for personal use, you probably put emphasis on a strong graphics card, and a fast monitor, neither of which is a prioroty for photo editing. And people generally tend towards laptops, which are not going to provide the same performance for the dollar as a desktop, and if you have dollars, the desktop system can always deliver more performance than the laptop.

One of the things that the most important component, the photographer, contributes, is the knowlege that his gear can or can not handle a photographic situation. I'm not a bad photographer, but if I am in a club and someone asks if I can shoot the speed metal band on stage with a cell phone, no, I can't, not gonna try. Can I do it with my 1d4 and my 24-70 lens? Yes, of course, get me a media badge and lets make some pictures.

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 11:44:29 AM PST
JCUKNZ says:
And you are going to teach photography and you ask the question? LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 3:46:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2013 5:28:42 PM PST
Before I offer my advice, I would ask you to reflect on your question, as well as the gamut of potential answers. You are asking which is better: Ford or Chevy; Luckies or Chesterfields; blonds or brunettes; AMD or Intel; S&W or Berretta. I have four Nikons: don't even think about asking me about Canon! Surely, I've made my point: no one here is able to proffer an intelligible answer to your question as asked!

I believe that any intelligible answer must issue from an understanding of the course curriculum, your current experience/equipment, and your immediate and long-term goals. I would also forget generalizations, e.g., semi-professional, because they are meaningless absent knowledge of the intended use, in general, and the course requirements, in particular.

With this understanding, I would first review the course outline (or talk with the instructor) to determine the scope of the course. What must your camera and allied equipment be able to accomplish in order to fulfill the course requirements? Once you are armed with these requirements, it is a simple enough matter to review equipment that satisfies those requirements (mindful of your present experience/equipment; immediate/ future goals; budget; etc., etc., etc.). Here your choices will reside within the extremes of minimally meeting the requirements to those that would surpass the needs of Ansel Adams.

Depending on the course, your next consideration is, what are you going to do with the images you make? Here you may ask, what are the best computer configuration, peripherals, and software to employ to manipulate and view your images?

Taken as a whole, you must then consider the cost of this venture and any budgetary or other limitations you enjoy. Then, and only then, will you be able to select the "best" camera (and allied equipment) that will fulfill your requirements/limitations and those of the course.


Posted on Dec 27, 2013 10:14:00 AM PST
LG says:
Semi-pro. Is that a misnomer? It's not good enough to use professionally? I can use it to make a little money, but not much. I can use it to practice until I'm good enough to get a full-pro camera?

Semi - A prefix that means "half," (as in semicircle, half a circle) or "partly, somewhat, less than fully,"

Can you use it for weddings? Tell the bride you'll be using a semi-pro camera. (She'll want to pay you a semi-fee - about half)

I've sold as many pics I've shot with compacts as I have with ILC's. That really muddies things up. It's not about what you can sell, so it's just a perception - the camera isn't accepted in professional circles (it's all about the price), but it has more buttons and dials than a compact.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013 2:01:50 PM PST
JCUKNZ says:
Pro's use the appropriate camera for the job in their viewpoint ... like a top photographer going to Iraq#1 war with three Olympus P&S cameras.
Sorry my earlier comment came from misunderstanding your use of the word 'start'.[ american v. english coloquial language]
After having used most kinds of cameras in retirement I have settled on a Panasonic GH2 which has numerous features controlled by knob on the outside of the camera rather than delving into menus.
If the GH3 had come out a month earlier I would have bought it instead. But your tutors will likely expect you to use a DSLR but I am past that stage and can choose for myself :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2013 5:31:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2013 6:03:14 PM PST
@LG: well said!

@JCUKNZ: ditto. In Iraq, my P&S (Fugi) held at arms length over the top of a sandbag would be my obvious choice of camera. Indeed, under those, and many every day, circumstances my "professional" cameras are at home, comfortably reposing in their glass case.

In the introduction to Volume I, "The Camera," of his three-volume series, "The Camera, The Negative, and The Print," Ansel Adams writes, "[A]t times is seems that the very freedom and accessibility of photography are self-defeating. Thoughtful application is often submerged by avaricious automation of equipment and procedure. The challenge to the photographer is to command the medium, to use whatever current equipment and technology furthers his creative objectives, without sacrificing the ability to make his own decisions. The impression prevails that the acquisition of equipment and following the "rules" assure achievement."

Hopefully, the OP will learn that, as the clothes do not make the man, the camera does not make the photographer.

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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Nov 30, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 27, 2013

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