Is the 5D III the best camera for novices?

Started Apr 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,234
I strongly agree. The 5d3 is great for novices!
In reply to Marcos Villaroman, Apr 16, 2012

Marcos Villaroman wrote:

Having progressed from 300D, 350D, 40D, 5D2, 7D, 5D3, I can't see a $3.5K body with another $1k for a standard zoom lens to be a novice camera. It's too expensive. It's also not for every photography, given its size/weight and lack of pop-up flash and easy to access creative modes.

I think stair-stepping cameras is just a ridiculous as someone wanting to be a professional pilot who has the money to buy their own aircraft for hauling freight to purchase a Cessna 150, 172, 206, and ultimately the Jet fueled Caravan. It's senseless. Using a camera isn't a complicated task. It's a camera, not a sophisticated piece of space equipment.

At best, the 5D2/5D3 are really good intermediate to advanced DSLR bodies.

I went from a Coolpix 900s to a pro body and lenses (even though we had a D100 in-house) and I not only saved money by doing so, but I made money by doing so, by capturing shots that I wouldn't have been able to get with a slower camera body with a pitiful buffer. I was able to sell shots from the Iron Man competitions... I could shoot a 2-3 shot burst as a cyclist went buy and could easily focus on, and photograph the next person in rapid succession without having to worry about the buffer choking and missing subsequent shots. That was 2005... and that same 4mp Pro body Nikon made more money last year (2011) than I could sell it for today, even though it isn't often used like it once was. Occasionally I'll use it for shots that my 5d2 can't manage...

Time is money, and if a person wants to make money with a camera, buying a "Starter" camera is one of the worse things they can do.

Furthermore, when I later used other pro bodies, I already knew what to expect, and I basically knew my way around them. Would you recommend a budding photographer to buy a "starter" computer too on which to process their raw files with?

I recommend people wanting to engage in commerce with a camera, to get the best camera and lenses they can buy for what they intend to shoot, because that alone can be the difference between getting paid or not.

Weight, pop-up flash, creative modes.... let's face it, not of that junk really applies to most people engaging in paid work. Creative modes aren't needed whether you're a novice or not, and if you're really into photography you'll almost have to get a speed light or studio strobe anyway, so the pop up flash (other than fill during daylight hours) isn't something that's a big deal... especially those who've experienced radio triggers compared to using the pop up flash as a flash "commander" device. (why Nikon is still screwing around with CLS instead of radio triggering I don't know)..

Hopefully Canon does put out a cheap full frame DSLR at the $1k to $1.3k range.

Hopefully all manufacturers will do that, because right now those that want a camera with the same basic performance of their film camera (composition, depth of field, bokeh (ease of blurring the background), etc.. at a relatively low price are out of luck.

I think someone classified as a novice has a lot to learn before he/she should be spending $$$ on good glass. They might find out another system, such as micro 4/3rds might better suite their needs.

I'm glad I listened to my common sense when I was mulling over camera and lens purchases... otherwise I'd have wasted time shooting with crummy lenses and slow cameras, and would've missed out on income while playing the step-up-to-better cameras game. Phooey!

Most of you out there are better photographers than I, and even I was able to have my old D2hs, 70-200 f/2.8 VR and 17-35 f/2.8 lenses pay for themselves in short order.

Purchase smart! Purchase for the future, not for now. A camera should EASILY last most working pros 5 years or more, let alone a novice photographer if you purchase out of what you'll likely need instead of purchasing simply what you lust after.

For static work (still portraits), my 5d2 will easily be viable for several years to come, and for anyone who purchased the 5d2 as their camera to learn on, they will have a professional capable camera that can be used for professional work for years to come, as opposed to having to move up to what they should've purchased in the first place.

My recommendation for those who plan on being photographers for years to come (partial list):

1. Only buy a camera that you can reasonably use professionally for what you want to shoot. (you can use a Rebel to shoot sports, fashion or real estate, but let's use our common sense here).

2. Generally, Never buy lenses that you cannot fully use on a Nikon/Canon film body! You should be able to take any lens you own and natively attach it to a film or pro digital body without compromise in the operation of the camera or lens!

3. Buy high grade lenses from the start. In this day, "kit lenses" aren't bad, and great to use until you can get the good stuff that produces excellent image and color quality, robust build, and a wide aperture that allows better focusing in less than optimum light, as well as more depth-of-field possibilities.

4. Don't buy into old sayings no matter how cute they are... e.g. "It's all about the photographer, not the equipment..." , "Good lenses are far more important than the camera body..." , "Good lenses last forever..."

Ridiculous- although sometimes competent well-meaning photographers use such over generalized phrases to make excellent points regarding a particular situation.

Get the good stuff from the beginning (including a good hand held light meter). It will often save you a lot of headache later in the game.

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