I currently have a D50 with a variety of lenses. It has been working great, except I have recently started doing some wedding photography (formally getting paid) and want to buy another camera/backup for the events.
What Nikon would be a good addition, either by providing a cost efficient backup or a useful alternative to the D50?
Welcome to Nikonians! For shooting weddings you should have a body with good high ISO performance as flash is not allowed in some churches. Assuming you want another DX body, the new D7000, D300S, or D90 would be the preferred choices. The D50 would then become your back-up. Keep in mind when shooting weddings you should have at least one or more back-ups for every key piece of equipment. If something fails you have to pick up the back-up and continue shooting without loosing a beat. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
>The D7000 and D300S is probably more than I could even >currently utilize (what does the Full frame reference on the >D7000 refer to?).
Because of restrictions on using flash at some churches, having the high ISO capability of an FX body can be very useful in a dark church.
>Additionally, is it worth it to try and save money buying the >D80 vs the D90?
The D90 has about a 1.5 stop advantage over the D80 in high ISO performance. It could be the difference between capturing a sharp image or a blurry one.
>I should add that when I say formally this is not my full time >job, so I am trying to be somewhat cost effective in my >decisions, however stay responsible.
When you are the Pro, it doesn't matter if you are a part time Pro or a full time Pro. You are the "Pro" and the Bride expects that you have the equipment and expertise to capture one of if not the most important day of her life. You only get one chance to get it right and have no excuse for getting it wrong. If you disappoint a Bride word of mouth can have a very detrimental effect on your ability to book the next wedding. Please the Bride and word of mouth will be very benificial.
You have to be ready for any and every contingency no matter what. If a Camera, Lens, Speedlight or other piece of equipment fails you don't have time to troubleshoot the problem. You have to have another body pre-set and ready to pick up and shoot without missing a beat. Remember: 1. Murphy's Law 2. Brides do not forgive or forget.
I am a part timer as well. I shoot with multiple bodies as it is faster to change bodies than it is to change lenses. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Clearly a d7000 or d90. For high iso I'd avoid the d80, which doesn't benefit from the latest Nikon sensor technology. I defInitely second the must-have-backup advice. I've been there, and it's stressful enough when you do have backup gear and you DO still get the shots!
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#7. "RE: Next Camera??" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 21-Feb-11 11:10 PM by billcavanagh
Right now the best buy is a D90 - it is an excellent body and you can get a new fully warranted body for under $800. If you are willing to go with a factory refurbished body (refurbished by Nikon) you can get them for as little as $650. The trade-off is a 90 day refurb warranty vs. a 2 year new warranty. Either way the D90 is a much better body than the D50.
The D7000 is the replacement for the D90 with a new faster, higher resolution sensor, better metering system, better autofocus system, and the next generation digital image processor. It is a clearly better camera than the D90, but, at $1200, a lot more expensive. For your use the key differences between the D90 and the D7000 are:
* High ISO performance. The D7000 has a maximum, in specification, ISO of 6400, the same as the D700, while the D90 tops out at ISO 3200 and the D50 at ISO 1600.
* Continuous frame rate - the D50 can shoot 2.5 frames per second, the D90 4.5 frames per second and the D7000 6 frames per second.
* Extra card slot - the D7000 has two SD-HD card slots. So you can automatically back up every shot. Alternatively you can use one card to store the RAW version of every shot and the other for low resolution JPG's. At the end of the wedding you can give the low resolution JPG's to the bride for her review and perhaps even posting on social media. These are low resolution images "not suitable for framing".
Note: The reference in the D7000 to full frame refers to the image in the viewfinder which shows 100% of the image that will be on captured on your sensor. The D90's viewfinder, by comparison, shows "96% approximately".