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'professional' cameras

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by turbulentwheat, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    what criteria (or is that criterium..??anyway) makes a camera 'professional'? I was thinking about the classification of say the Nikons 3. The beginners D40X, the semi-pro or enthusiasts D80 and the 'pro' D200. If they have the same sensors, pixels etc, where is the line that crosses from one category to another? And why wouldnt an enthusiast not be a D40X user or a D80 a beginner or a pro?
  2. Dom_Rivers

    Dom_Rivers Well-Known Member

    There's normally a few factors, build quality and weather sealing, fine tunable settings for everything from Raw and Jpeg compression values to very fine tunable WB and iso settings, the pro kit normally has much faster write and processing times resulting in the ability to shoot faster, the metering system is usually vastly more sophisticated with the exposure judged from many more areas of the frame in order to avoid loss of detail, with Canons (and now Nikon actually) there are full frame sensors on some of the top end models, allowing more effective use of wide angle lenses and lower noise (the photosites are better spaced out. And that lot's just for starters, that said I know one semi pro with a Nikon D2Xs who has a D40 as a back up and can't speak highly enough of it claiming it produces "near perfect portraits" and "can shoot damn near in the dark".
  3. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Pro, Semi-Pro, Advanced Amateur, Entry level and all the rest are just photo-trade euphemisms for price range. Pay more get a better camera, pay less and and get a worse one.
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Pro spec is more to do with build than image quality, allow me to illustrate that:
    Some years ago a professional was on an open back truck covering an Olympic marathon when he dropped an F4 with a 20mm lens. As he watched it bounce down the road a runner picked it up and ran up to the truck to hand it back. The photographer simply carried on shooting with it as if nothing had happened.

    Possibly an apocrophal story but I remember reading it around the time the F4 was current. The point being that the Pro spec F4 was built like a tank and could stand that sort of abuse.

    Try it with a D40 and watch as the road sweepers return the bits for you to reassemble.
  5. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I'd be surprised if either of my two F3s could withstand that sort of abuse, and continue working. (Expect to lose a viewfinder at least!) They too were top of their line, had a wide range of add-ons, but "feel" and build-wise don't feel any different to the Minolta X700s that I was using at the time - and just continued to work.

    Being now an EOS 5D owner whose 5D got seriously wet last month (rain-water inside - I dried it out and it's working again), I do envy the waterproofing on the lower priced Nikon D200 - but does it really work when required?
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Build quality is a whole lot more than "Feel". It has a lot more to do with using the body structure to protect the mechanical and electronic innards from the external environment and optimising strength with weight. Done well you have a substantial body with the looks of a sports car and strength of a tank and that feels pretty ordinary, it is just able to survive extraordinary use.
  7. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    thank you all for your answers, seems a robust body build accounts for the main reason
  8. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    Pro-spec cameras also tend to have shutter units (and other components) tested to a higher degree to provide a greater degree of reliability, from memory the EOS1 D MkIII shutter unit is tested over 300,000 cycles whereas lower spec cameras may be a third or half that .

    As has also been mentioned, weather sealing, reliability, build quality, system compatibility, durability, and configurability are also key elements.
  9. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    More advanced af..
  10. stephentaylor

    stephentaylor Well-Known Member

    Hello All,
    I have seen two category of explanation above - one explanation for digital, and one for film. The digital criteria cites pro-level as having full frame, faster write times, tunable white balance etc - all the things you don't get on any film SLR. The criteria for a pro-film SLR has been listed as, principally, durability, strength etc. So what technical features would a pro-level film slr have??

    Tks, Steve
  11. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    Check it out here
  12. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    I disagree completely with the Full-Frame arguement, simply see the EOS1d, 1dMKII, 1dMKIII, Nikon D1x, D2x, D1h,D2x etc etc etc. Strangely enough Full frame is one thing that you do get on film. The other things you do not need, in fact cannot have on a film camera

    The ability to customise function, interchangeable focus screens etc.
  13. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    Not necessarily, what may appear intially as improved AF usually filters down to lesser models fairly quickly, it may have first, but not exclusively.
  14. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    At least it got a response which is quite unique for me, although I dont think the 45 point af has quite filtered down yet ;)
  15. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    EOS 3? which was eye controlled, but the eye control was removed from the pro kit.

    Every generation of cameras has increasing numbers of AF points, the EOS1N had 5, which every budget EOS seems to have at least as many.
  16. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    What is it with arsenal supporters :D
  17. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    even if i had the dosh i would never be able to use one of these or rivals equivalent. Alas my hands are too small. The size of say a D80 is probably the most I could manage with any degree of comfort or ease. It'd be just great if top notch dslrs shrunk abit...wonder if that would ever happen!

    By the way very informative replies here, thanks.
  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    If Pro DSLRs shrink they won't be Pro DSLRs because there won't be room for all the thinks that make it a Pro DSLR. All that solidity and careful packaging takes up a lot of space. That said, Olympus managed to shrink the package in the 1970s so I suppose it could happen, as long as there is a means to restore the size for those of us who can't cope with small camera bodies.
  19. Per

    Per Well-Known Member

    Bigger/well spaced buttons are a serious advantage when using gloves in nasty weather conditions - exactly the time you'd be using a pro body anyway.
  20. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Try the D40 and be pleasantly surprised :)

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