Semi Pro Camera

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
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Re: Semi Pro Camera
In reply to Aloke, Apr 24, 2013

Either a crop sensor APS-C camera or a full frame camera can be used for portraiture.  The only significant difference is that with a full frame camera and a f/2 lens you can throw the tip of the nose out of focus when the eye is in focus vs needing a f/1.4 lens with the crop sensor camera.  Frankly that is not a very important difference.

Put simply, either a crop sensor or a full frame camera is fine for portraits.  What is important is your lens. You need a good quality lens for good quality images.

Portraits are best if you use longer than normal focal length lenses, i.e. greater than 50mm on a full frame camera or longer than 35mm on an APS-C camera.  Typically you want something in the 70mm region for head and shoulders portraits.

The reason for using the longer focal length lenses is that the resulting image matches the way our memories work when we remember someone.  Read this article for more information on this.

Portrait Lenses

It is because of the above that the most popular portrait lenses are those in the 24-70mm range for APS-C cameras.  With full frame cameras it is desirable to have both a lens in the 24-70mm range and one in the 70-200mm range.

My recommendation echoes that of BAK, get a T5i and a 18-135mm lens plus a 50mm f1.8 and a Lastolite Trip grip reflector.  This combination will set you up for outdoor portraiture.

Wider aperture lenses focus better in low light levels such as you can get with some studio strobe modeling lights.  If you can spend more money you might consider changing to getting only one lens in the 24-70mm f/2.8 range since this would be a better lens for studio portraiture.

If you haven't bought any studio equipment then please read my article on equipment for a small home portrait/glamor studio.  I wrote it to help others avoid the first time mistake I made of buying cheap low quality studio equipment, which quickly wound up in the trash.

Sailorblue - Digital Photography Review - Equipment Guide for Setting up a Small Home Portrait/Glamor Studio

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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