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Going to start up a media business! What camera body/system do I need for "pro" work?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Ramirez, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hello dear friends of this great forum! It has been awhile since I last posted here. Now I need advice.

    I am going to start up a media business. The core business will be based on providing IT-support (mainly Apple/Mac/IPad etc). But another branch will be to provide services as both photographer and videographer. Offering to film events and make movies from the events to the client. Also selling photos to the client. To conclude; the business will be a media business offering support and services to the clients.

    This is off course a photography based forum som my question is regarding camera bodies/systems.

    My level as photographer today is about advanced enthusiast. And the investment in photo stuff now is in m43. Panasonic G3, Olympus E-P2. The best lenses I have: Oly 45mm 1.8 and Panny 14mm 2.5.

    My question is regarding the photo side; to "appear" to be more "pro" for the clients eyes.. And regarding photo results in IQ.
    Is it time to go full frame (Nikon D800, Canon 5D?)?
    Or would a Olympus OMD-EM5 do the work for me?

    The service in photography I am going to offer is field work, not studio... To offer photoservices during events (inside and outside). Some kind of weather sealing is going to be needed if it is starting to rain when doing outside work. Also fast auto focus in action events. High ISO capabilities... I am not going to use flashes (as I don't master flash photography yet).

    I don't need to do "super-pro" work, but I would like to provide good IQ photos to clients from different events. Also a little video filming is a part of the service.

    What do you suggest? fuji x-pro 1 is also a possibility that I've been thinking about. Full frame with a couple of lenses? Or OMD (I really like working with the m43 system)?

    Another investment I am going to do for the business is buying a MacBook Pro, some hard drives fr backup.. I am going to process everything on that computer system so it is going to be a high end MBP.

    So how shall I do? Which way should I go with the photo-side?
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    have you checked on the new Pentax K5? maybe you dont need to go FF to get the best image possible. Im a "canonist" so i can only speak about Canon stuff, and the 5DMKII/D800 is almost industry standard for professional work. But last night i was reading that the Pentax though being an APS-C sensor camera has more DR than the 5DMKII ....also the OMD can do a lot, theres tons of tests around google putting the OMD against to top DSLR models such as the Canon 7D and such. check it out, you might get a surprise!.
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Don't let anyone ever question how serious your camera is.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Kinda sounds like you have two separate businesses there.....with two separate client lists..

    The PR/Marcom people will be your photo clients, while your IT skills will come from other sources.

    On the photo side the client will not give a damn about your camera...more about your ability to deliver.....and your choice of equipment will be dictated by what kind of photos you are expected to deliver.

    I would concentrate in the short term by building up a portfolio of your work first....and maybe hiring equipment to work out what you need.

    Sounds like you are a one man operation at this point....so I would steer clear of video at the start....it really is a magnitude of difficulty higher than still photography, and really requires a bigger crew and a whole bunch of skills such as editing, audio recording, delivery formats etc if you wish to do it professionally.

    Sorry to sound a bit pessimistic ....but if you are going to succeed professionally you really have to be super confident in your core skills and ability to deliver. You are only as good as your last job, and failure to deliver means losing a client forever

  5. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    You should be able to write some of this stuff as expense and depreciation right?

    If fast action and video work are involved. Canon 5D II or III paired with f/2.8 trinity and 50/1.2L.

    Although Nikon gear are just as fast in AF, and has superior flash system, Canon is better at video.

    I don't know about using m4/3 for your criteria. It's just not that great for "fast action".
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    As a business owner, I've find the best way to keep/repeat clients and the best way to attract additional clients is to deliver a professional product. If you are charging for a service and lack pro-level skills for that service, then outsource to a professional. You'll make less money ... a lot less money ... but the clients will be appreciative and keep coming back.

    Good luck,
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    In terms of looking professional, I have no idea how much clients will care what your cameras look like, but you may feel less self conscious using some kind of large black Canon or Nikon DSLR :smile:.

    With regards to weather sealing, the Canon 5D III and Nikon D800 are both sealed to an extent, but neither are as weather proof as their "pro" counterparts, ie Canon 1 series and Nikon D3/D4 series.

    If you want the big black camera with less expense than full frame, the Canon 7D is a somewhat weather resistant choice which should do well. The Nikon D7000 is another good choice.

    In terms of high ISO performance, the Nikons are slightly ahead of the Canons, but overall it's 35mm format >>>> APS-C DSLR >> Micro 4/3. I've heard that the Canon 7D is good for video, but I'm sure others know better than I do about this.
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Good advice! And I would suggest that you read John Harrington's Best Business Practices for Photographers if you have not already done so. I think that you will find it far more useful, and more affordable, than buying equipment to "appear" more "pro". In the long run, I believe that you will find it more important to conduct your business like a pro, as that is most likely how many of your clients will be judging you.

    Good luck,

  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Ramirez... as far as the professional photography side of things is concerned, I get the impression that you may not quite be ready for prime time with your plans. I may be wrong, and if so, please forgive me, but from the questions you pose, it would seem that reading and re-reading Kevin's post would be wise, and focus on developing skills, knowledge, and experience.... through self-directed portfolio development. I think more time and experience in doing the work, even if not for pay, will assist you in knowing more directly what you should be taking on and what gear you will require in doing so. If I presume too little in my comments, please forgive me, for there is so little to go on from your post and it sounds like there is much to develop in terms of knowledge, skills, and experience (the good old KSA's).
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Thanks all for your advice so far!

    A little more about my core skills...

    I have a solid main job as a pastor in a congregation. The business I am gong to set up will be a side business at first. My congregation is quite small so the plan is to go down from 100% to maybe 75%.

    The reason why I need to setup a business know is that people always call me to help them out with their computers etc. I need to get a little bit paid for the service I provide because it involve some commuting. And my client base seems to grow. This is off course my hobby as well; computers, photography etc. So I am happy doing it but if I want to continue I need to set this up as a business.

    Considering my skills; in computers/IT - people say that I am better than the people working in the computer stores in my little town, especially in working with Macs.. There aren't many used to them here... They don't know them... And I work with Macs a lot... I am mostly self taught... But I sometimes surprise myself with the skills I have... It is natural, intuitive...
    It is like I talk and listen to computers, hard to explain...
    I remember one time when I was in a local computer store... I was helping a friend with a computer problem... The person in the store didn't understand so I had to come on his side of the desk and solve the problem which I did...

    I got a lot of people skills coming from my main job :smile:

    Considering photo/video - I am already providing some service here. I have filmed a little video on my Panasonic G3 for local bands from concerts.
    I am shooting a lot with my cameras off course, people seems interested in my photos..

    But the real core business is in the IT-service I will provide.
    But there is some business in photo/video as well that I can see.

    I must confess that I see this setting up business time as a great oppertunity to invest in some of my hobbies as well :smile: and an excuse for my wife to get some things that I want...

    And I want a little bit better IQ and at least a camera body that is more practical to work with.

    Hm... I am starting to think about the OMD EM5 again...maybe it is sufficient as I already have the Oly 45mm... That lens provides good IQ depending on the photographer off course...

    Please... Let the advices continue to come :smile:
  11. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I feel like I'm going to have to explain more about how the business/company thoughts have evolved.

    Like I said, I help a lot of people with the computers/smartphones etc.
    For instance one lady that I help is a key person in the community where I live. She has "advertised" my services and now the town wants me as a teacher during evening courses regarding digital life and smartphones. So I am set to teach one evening each week during this autumn and spring seasons.

    This is also my angle... Digital life... Combining computers, photography, video... And my photowork doesn't need to be very "arty", classy etc. Good quality images that fits in the digital life we live today.

    But as a person I am interested in good cameras and the photo art... And I am also setting up this business to have some fun as well :smile:

    I don't need it to support me in the beginning as I have a main job

    So, help me to find a good solution for a good and practical camera to work with as I also have an excuse to get one regarding my wife :smile:

    Right now the most economical route is to get an Olympus OMD EM5 with the weather sealed lens... That I can shoot in light rain outside and when needed I have a good portrait lens already in the Oly 45. To me that seems like a practical and fun route to take...

    But please... This thread is a little bit about getting help for motivation :smile:

    Come with suggestions please..
  12. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hm... Right now I see a good deal... Canon EOS 5D MARK II with the 24-105/4 IS L lens for 2598€. A tempting package... What do you guys think of this package?
  13. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Don't know how prices in Europe compare, but I can buy a 5D MKII and 24-105mm f/4L from Amazon US for $1980 + $950 = $2930. Compare that to the deal at 2598€ = $3202.

    Edit: or I could just click the combo button and see that it is $2640.
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    If you want to spin cutting edge technology ... then the OM-D is the hot ticket. If you want professional IQ for extra large prints at a prosumer price point, then the 5D MKIII or Nikon D800 would fit the bill.

    Up to at least an 8x10 and probably a 11x14 and under ISO 800, you will not see any significant differences in IQ between an OM-D and a FF pro level camera.

    I think a µ4/3 fits a lifestyle of your average person better than a dSLR. With the savings from purchasing a FF dSLR you can toss in a GX1 for 'true' pocket-ability (albeit a rather large pocket).

    Develop a mission statement for your company (ala 'Digital Life') and hold yourself true to that statement with all your purchases.

  15. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    It's tough comparing prices across the pond. US prices are amazingly low for electronics in general. The only other place in the world that would beat it is Hong Kong-Malaysia-Singapore region. Even Japan, where a lot of this stuff is produced, is more expensive than the US.

    Also keep in mind most places in the world have sales tax built-in. Where US, Canada does not and is applied at the point of sale.

    The reason why I recommended a Canon body is because of its renowned performance in video and fast action AF. Most sports photographers you meet are going to be shooting on a Canon setup. But the 24-105/4 is not a very fast lens. You can make do with it in good lighting indoors and in daylight outdoors. But without a good flash setup you may have a tough time with it.

    Otherwise 24-105/4 is probably the most popular mid-range zoom for Canon. Weighs less than the 24-70/2.8 and has more range.

    If you're going to be doing photography as a professional that involves fast AF, low light performance and weather sealing, the 2.8 trinity is something you may have to eventually invest in.

    Canon EF 16-35L f/2.8, 24-70L f/2.8, 70-200L f/2.8

    If it's a side business of yours. OM-D is a good choice, though weather sealed lenses are limited. I'm plenty happy with its high ISO performance and with the right lenses it can perform in low light fairly well. Fast action is not its forte though. I have plenty of misfires trying to capture sporting events.
  16. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    It is more oriented towards helping clients with their computer systems. That is the core and it is there my skills are at their best. I am just asking for advice here because I want the photo/video service in the business as well, not because of moneymaking but to have some fun. That is one of the reasons I want to start this... Life is short and I want to have some fun too :smile:

    "I need the camera more than my business needs it".

    But the center of the business is all about the digital lifestyle. I am going to teach classes in this (the town has already hired me for this); digital lifestyle and smartphones. I already have a base client list for the computer service side.

    And this is only a side branch than I want to incorporate with "The Digital lifestyle"..

    These are my thoughts for now...
  17. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Hm for the "Digital Life" focus maybe the OMD-EM5 would be the ticket..
  18. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    The photo/video side is definitely a side business. Maybe, as I have the Oly 45, I should consider the OMD EM5 as sufficient with the weather sealed kit lens for those rainy days.. That would be the most economical way to go.

    And the battery grip and black version of the EM5 to make it more "professional" looking :) 
  19. Ramirez

    Ramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    And good luck to you for your next chapter in your career :smile:
  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    While I applaud you for wanting to fill an unserved niche in your community, I am not fully convinced that becoming a "professional" is the best path to having fun. When people pay for a service they have a certain level of expectation. If you are not absolutely certain that you can deliver, then it is just a matter of time before you have an unhappy customer, and that may spill over into your "day job". Remember, there are not do-overs on special events like weddings.

    A great place to read and learn about some of the trials and tribulations of people looking to go pro is the wedding forum at photo.net. You might be surprised at some of the things people have had to endure as photographers.

    Good luck,

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