1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Is there not a lot of studio photographer/studio strobe users here?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jambaj0e, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    Hmm... So I notice that the majority of photographers here don't shoot or showcase a lot of studio work. Also, it doesn't seem like a lot people use studio strobes/monolights/pack & heads.

    Am I wrong? What are your reasons for not shooting studio or not using lights?

    I shoot with an Olympus E-PL2 and have had great results in the studios. I love using my Einstein monolight with my Paul Buff 64" silver PLM or my 22" ephoto gridded beauty dish.

    My photoshoot yesterday was fantastic! I shot with an Olympus OM 50mm at primarily f8 and f11 and the photos are razor sharp and beautifully lit. Can't wait to post it here :)
     
  2. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    My guess is that most of us who shoot commercially don't use our m4/3 gear for that and therefore don't post much, if any, studio or professional work in this forum.

    When I shoot small product for my own purposes (not commercially) I do use my m4/3 gear and rather than studio strobe, I prefer continuous lighting in soft boxes.

    Here's an example of just that, image shot with Lumix GH2 making full use of the articulating LCD screen for composing. I have also done a fair bit of high quality firearms photography, intended for web display use, using the GH2 and the articulating LCD screen which really comes in handy for composing at certain angles which don't exactly invite putting your eye to a viewfinder.

    G3_Zeiss.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I am a full-time studio and location photographer and I shoot with Micro Four-Thirds bodies, namely the Olympus PEN line. Mirrorless bodies are ideal for studio work. Why should I want to haul around a big DSLR all day when I can get the same image quality out of my little PEN? I love the E-x line for outdoor rough-n-tumble work, but in a controlled studio environment I don't need that heavy, rugged build. In the studio, the LCD is the perfect way to view the image, allowing me to shoot at many angles and perspectives without having to hunch down into awkward positions due to the eye-level viewfinder. The light body also helps to make those various angles easier. It also takes the camera away from the eye, and gives me better interaction with models. Most of my studio work is shot with Manual Focus, in which case my favorite E-PL2 PEN allows me to do this very easily with the Close-Up button and higher-res LCD, with an unlimited amount of adaptable manual or auto focus lenses from both SLR systems and non-SLR.

    No, I don't post much of my studio work here, on flickr, or any other internet website. When I post photos up on the internet, it's normally photos I've taken for my own gratification. Maybe stuff I've shot with old lenses, maybe a few select images I just like, or maybe covering special events or shooting pictures with friends and colleagues. My studio work is meant for publishing, and that's where it goes. The amount of studio work you see on the internet by no means gives any indication of what a professional is actually using on the job. When you open up the catalog from a national or international company, do you get EXIF data on the images that tell you what camera was used to take the photo? Or how about when you right-click images in that same catalog or advertisement that's in web form on the internet? Professionally published work doesn't fill internet galleries. Even my website (link below in signature) only gives a small sampling of photos.

    PS, this thread is also in the wrong forum, so don't expect an abundance of response from studio photographers who are using m4/3. Why ask about studio photographers in a Street and Documentary Photography forum?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Ummm... because you can achieve higher quality images with the larger camera which would be required to attract and retain some commercial clients?

    Ned... in all fairness, it should be noted that no m4/3 camera can truly offer "the same image quality" as a full-frame DSLR.

    Certainly, we can achieve some very nice looking images with m4/3, especially when viewed in the low-res environment of the internet. (I have revised my post with the photo above, with this point in mind.)

    But for high quality print work, the m4/3 cameras do not offer "the same image quality" output as a full frame sensor DSLR, just as full frame sensor DSLR output cameras do not offer the same image quality as medium format digital backs. There are levels of imaging detail and quality offered by each larger format that surpass the smaller formats. They each have their unique qualities, but none offer the "same image quality" as the others.

    Certainly if the output you get from your Pen m4/3 fully meets and satisfies your paying client's (and your) expectations, then that's great. If so, keep on keeping on.

    I truly do appreciate the wonderful convenience of working with the fully-articulating LCD screen on my mirrorless m4/3 cameras (GH2 and G3) for studio work as well. It makes table top work, especially, much easier to do (if the IQ of the format meets the job's demands).

    But it cannot be said that m4/3 format provides "the same image quality" as larger DSLR cameras provide. I do wish it could, though, because if it did, I would cash in my full-frame sensor Canon gear and just shoot m4/3. :smile:

    I could certainly get by with m4/3 format with some clients, under some circumstances, particularly for web-only final use, but m4/3 does not provide the IQ necessary for my high-end "lifestyle" image product clientele. In some cases, neither does full-frame DSLR gear. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Hmmm... We're talking about studio work which usually means base ISO. I don't think there is a difference between FF and m43 at base ISO except DoF which usually not needed that shallow anyway. We are not talking about landscape photography when DR has more importance
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Don... I am comparing the system, not the body. I was working professionally with the Four-Thirds system using E-System DSLRs from the pro-grade for many years before the Micro Four-Thirds system existed. With high quality Zuiko glass I was never dissatisfied with my Four-Thirds E-System images, and neither were my clients. The reason my clients come to me is because they've seen the high quality of my images, and they want that to represent them... not because they've seen what brand of camera I use or what size my sensor is.

    I work with a lot of other photographers using many different systems, Full Frame, APS-C, and Medium Format. When I compare images from the same or similar shoots, I almost always prefer the color and sharpness achieved from my Zuiko glass, and so do the majority of my clients. There are always exceptions of course, but as a general rule they are all very comparable, with my personal preference going towards the Zuiko images shot by the E-System or PEN system.

    The PEN system does afford the same image quality as that E-System DSLRs, when used with the same glass, comparing bodies from similar generations (ie, the E-PL2 offers the same image quality as the E-5). This includes E-System DSLRs which are pro-spec.

    So according to your statements, I have been producing sub-par images in what I consider "professional work" for the past many years using the E-System and more recently the PEN system, because I have been using the tiny Four-Thirds sensor. I, as well as the clients who choose the quality of my images over that of the competition, have very low standards of quality. We do not know good images such as your "High-End Lifestyle Images", or we would know better and go to somebody with a Full Frame Canon like yourself, who can actually produce professional image quality!

    Sorry to have offended you so with my ignorance of what real image quality is, and my failure to understand that the "Size of the Sensor" also determines the "Size of Image Quality".
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    492
    Aug 5, 2011
    Full 4/3rds is great for nature photography. You get fast macros and fast telephotos with a lot of reach in a relatively small package. IS, SSWF, weather-sealed lenses and bodies.

    m4/3rds is great for anything that requires a small, compact system

    4/3rds is simply not designed for the studio.

    Who needs weather-sealed studio lenses anyway? Who needs IS?

    And what 4/3rds camera can compare to a full frame from canon or sony in terms of resolution? There just aren't any. 12MP is all you get, 16 tops with the G3.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Last I checked, most professional Full Frame DSLRs in common use are 10-12MP. The 12MP E-5 is on the high end of that.

    Most consumer-level APS-C sensored DSLRs are in the 16-18MP range. Maybe you're getting confused?
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Ned.... WOOO there.... sorry you took such offense to my statements... none was intended. And no offense taken on my part. I'm a big fan of m4/3 as you must know by now and I know it can produce outstanding images. My quibble was simply with this statement

    As I indicated, if m4/3 meets your client's needs, that GREAT! But m4/3 does not meet all client's needs and the IQ is not exactly "the same", that's all. No defensiveness need be taken on your part about the desireability or quality of your work, which sounds like it must be outstanding - and I have no dispute with that whatsoever. :smile:

    P.S. I use a 5DMkII which has a 21MP output. And it is outstanding quality output. I'll stop short of making any statement to the effect that the 5DMkII 21MP sensor is "better" than any m4/3 or 4/3 sensor. But I will say that the quality of images from m4/3 is certainly not "the same" as some larger, full-size sensor cameras.

    Sorry if my disagreement with the statement has caused such defensiveness. In the end, none of this is truly that important to me anyway, and I probably should have just moved on to another thread.
     
  11. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    492
    Aug 5, 2011
    I'd like to echo DHarts sentiment in the above post, but anyway,

    Sony has been at 24MP for 2 years now, Canon has been at 21MP since 2007. Nikon is at 24MP as well.

    A Nikon D3s at 12MP is going to still produce much cleaner images than an E-5 due to the larger sensor.

    Nobody is saying that 4/3rds is bad, all of us here bought the cameras and we like them. It's just that I don't think they were targeted for studio use. My E-PL1 doesn't even have a tripod mount in the right location.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, what you probably didn't realize is that the DSLR system I was directly comparing to was the Olympus E-System and it does technically produce the same image quality when comparing bodies of similar generations.

    The E-System has been my go-to system for many years, and I have been very pleased with the results. I think that Art actually said it best with this statement:

    Of course every client's needs are different, but when it comes to studio work most of the things which are generally considered "the disadvantages" of the Four-Thirds or Micro Four-Thirds systems (such as high-ISO performance and dynamic range) usually become moot points, and we get to see how the advantages of the system compare. Studio work is shot at base ISO, and huge dynamic range is not needed with even, controlled lighting.
     
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Ned... please don't be defensive about using your Pen camera for professional use... I'm sorry if I offended you. If it's working with great success in that capacity for you, then none of us, myself included, can argue with that. More power to you... and I'm sure you will keep on doing whatever is working well for you. :thumbup:
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Did you notice that the 21MP Canon you're talking about (I assume you mean the 5DII) is not in their top-pro lineup, but in their next tier down (and the build quality of the 5D series shows it)? Their top-pro body from the same year of 2007 (the 1DIII) was still only 10MP.

    That's not saying that a pro photographer couldn't choose the 5DII over the 1DIII just because the 1DIII is supposed to be the top-pro body, but what it does say is that high megapixels is NOT what makes a pro camera (at least according to Canon)... there are a lot of other factors involved, which I won't get into.
     
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Ned.... ANY camera can be considered a "pro" camera if it meets the needs of a professional photographer, including your "little Pen" as you called it. I stopped wasting my money on 1D bodies a while back because they had costly features I didn't need in a camera. What I did need was the large sensor (21MP) quality. I see no "pro" distinction between the 1DIII and the 5DMkII that matters in my work... nor the G3 for that matter! I'm sure I could create excellent commercial work (for some needs) with the GF3 I have arriving on Monday! I just use the gear that I need to use to achieve the ends I have in mind. It so happens that most of my commercial work benefits from using my 5DMkII gear. And I love m4/3 as well, but no m4/3 camera yields "the same image quality" as a 5DMkII. They're both great systems and serve different needs.

    Sorry for the diversion.... now, where were we???
     
  16. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Maybe I'm way off, but I have friend with a d3s and 10k+ in lenses that complements me on the iq of the gf1. Also I know a few ff users that their kits are collecting dust now that they have purchased a m43 setup. I think actual studio shooter are few and far between in the photography community. I believe most shooters are enthusiasts or like me beginners.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, that's what I'm talking about.

    Now I'm confused about what you really mean here. You say they're both great systems which serve different needs, and that I will agree with. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    However, when you say they cannot yield the same image quality, from your original post I can only see that to mean that the 5DMkII will only produce better image quality, period. I think if you read over your original post, you make plenty of reference to how m43 cannot meet your nor your client's standards of quality.

    In one instance you say they are "both great and different", yet your other remarks clearly state that you are saying the 5DMkII is simply "better". "Better" is not the same as "different", and this is a comment which quite frankly, I will never agree with.

    As I've said, I work with plenty of other photographers using cameras like the 5DII or similar (most everyone uses either Canon or Nikon). Our images are very comparable, and I don't know anybody who would say that the 5D images are constantly "better". Most often, it's the other way around.

    I appreciate you telling me that you meant no offense and that I should not be defensive about my use of the PEN system (and although you didn't say it, that would have to include the E-System which I used professionally LONG before the Digital PEN came into being). However, your constant insistence that no m43 camera (and by default, no 4/3 camera) can compare in image quality is offensive any way you look at it. Also stating that no Four-Thirds camera could ever meet your standards of quality, yet if it works for me I should keep using it... is also offensive. I'm sure you can see that.

    I hope you can also one day see that Image Quality is NOT determined simply by the sensor of a system camera. That is only one small piece of the puzzle, and that's why it's called a "system".
     
  18. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    KVG.... anyone can buy the biggest, most expensive cameras in they world, but it won't make them a great photographer (or even a decent photographer!). You can give a G3 with 20mm lens to a true photographic artist and he can swim circles around some guy who bought 20k+ worth of fancy DSLR or medium format gear.

    Most on forums such as this are beginners/hobbyists/enthusiasts. And some are semi-pros or full pros. There are probably not very many busy, high-end commercial studio photographers on forums such as these, though there are certainly many seasoned photographers with many years or decades of experience creating images with cameras. Some have created some stunning work and some have not. Years or decades of using cameras, high megapixel counts, size of sensors, cost of equipment, none of that indicates that the person with the gear is an exceptional image maker.

    As well, earning a living as a "pro" definitely does NOT necessarily equate to being a great image creator either! There are countless people out there calling themselves "professional photographers" with websites and fancy business cards as well. And in the sense that they may be earning some income with imaging, yes they are "pros". But to look at their work... you might not necessarily be so convinced.

    BTW, did you see the clip of the fashion shoot in NYC last year with one of the top fashion shooters in his studio? Camera was an iPhone4. Of course, some wonderful images resulted. Almost entirely due to the experience of the cast and crew, the setting, the professional model, the lighting, etc. Would this photographer use the iPhone4 on a paid commercial shoot for Chanel? I'd bet money he would not! But the project was illustrative that it's not about the gear, it's who is using the gear!

    Successful imaging lies in the individual doing the work, not the gear.
     
  19. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    492
    Aug 5, 2011
    There is a difference between "Picture Quality" and "Image Quality". 4/3rds cameras can produce great pictures for a lot of purposes. 12MP is enough for a lot of things.

    In terms of raw Image Quality though(ie. resoultion, dynamic range), no, they simply are not as good full frame SLRs. That shouldn't be offensive to you, image quality is just a direct comparison of the performance of the sensors, and it is a pretty easily proven fact that bigger sensors produce better image quality.

    There are a lot of reasons why you would prefer not to have a large sensor and a huge, heavy camera attached to it, but raw image quality is not one of them.
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Ned... I never said the 5DMkII produces a "better" image than the Pen. Though it does produce a different quality of image which some will find more suitable (perhaps better?), at least not "the same", as you characterized it, for some commercial jobs.

    You said:

    In my view, the image quality from the little PEN is NOT "the same" as "a big DSLR", which in my world is a full-frame 21MP 5DMkII. Their output is significantly different in terms of image data. Do we really need to get into that here and now?

    SO, my quibble was with your statement

    That's all. OK?