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What Camera for the New Aspiring Pro ?

Notice I wrote "new" photog, not "young" photogs -- new photogs come in ALL ages

I had an interesting experience  by  watching a camera sale in one of the better LA camera shops.   I bit my tongue as someone happily bought a surprise gift -- a new camera for their favorite aspiring photog  who   intends to make  photography their future full time vocation. 

After being told the customer wanted a Nikon for a future pro, the salesman offered   two Nikon  zoom packages with either the Nikon N65 or  N80 -- both excellent AF SLR cameras.   The N65 was chosen and a $600 sale (with sales tax) was rung up.    Behind the salesman was a display window full of used manual focus Nikon SLRs, including a Nikon  F  with FTN meter, F2, F3, FE, FM, and FE-2.

The buyer was excited and happy to help their future Pullet Surprise winner, the salesman was happy to get another sale to  justify their salary, and the new Pro photog will be no doubt be happy to get such an excellent camera ....  at least until they learn more about their own photog "image."

One of the biggest challenges for beginning pro photogs is convincing  perspective clients they  what they are  doing.     For some, this may take a while.

Unfortunately, that brand new shiny N65 with 28-200 zoom is going to work against them, a least to people who know their  way around Nikons.  The bottom of the Nikon line (or almost any 35 camera line for that matter) fairly screams

"I AM A  NEW PHOTOGRAPHER, AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT PROS USE!

Unfortunately when you are starting out, and hoping to shoot a job  you are probably  not really qualified to get yet,   shooting with an amateur market camera is only going to work against you.

The intended victim....eh birthday boy... would have been far better served IMAGE wise with older used professional cameras like the Nikon FTN or F2 and a few manual focus prime lenses, or even the not quite professional FM/ FE/ FE-2 -- for about the same money.

What am I getting at ?  New would be Protogs need to consider THEIR photographic image as they go out in the world to get jobs.   Will the camera get them the job ?  Probably not if the customer knows what they are doing,  but on the other hand, at least pro quality cameras won't disqualify the new photographer as they walk through the door.

OF course "amateur" market cameras can take "professional" shots, but that is not what this page is about.  The point is that new photogs need all the help they can get, and don't need to be shot in the dektol by the wrong camera on their shoulder before they even introduce themselves.
When I was first starting out I bought a pro Nikon outfit before I knew how to use it.   The Nikon F2 on my shoulder never hurt, and from time to time,  it did indeed help a bit.

Photography is about imagery. If you want to be a pro photog, don't forget about your own image.


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Revised: November 26, 2003 Copyright  1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.