Last week we began getting into the specifics of DSLR cameras, dependent upon photography needs. Today we will continue with more expectations for professionals. In general, pro photographers spend around $2,500 or more. Both the Canon EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark III are great examples of more affordable cameras that still provide features to meet your expectations. Many photographers end up spending more on lenses than the body. Balance your budget between both and remember you do not need to spend $8,000 on a camera.
- Documentary/travel/wildlife: All three have their pictures printed in high quality, either in magazines, books, or printed for large displays in exhibits, etc. Resolution should be 12 megapixels or more, preferably with a full-frame sensor. The frame rate should be at least 5fps and a 20-shot burst depth. Video is not as important but a 30fps for video can come in handy—if you think you will use it. Wildlife photographers will want a lightweight body as they trek across terrain.
- Studio/landscape/fine art: Portraits, fashion, products, ads, abstract—you need a camera that can handle it all. 12 megapixels is the minimum but 14 or more is preferred. The frame rate need only be 3fps or more with a burst depth of 6 or more. Again, video not entirely important. Instead look for great raw-conversion software, flash-control features, and a range of color modes.
- Wedding/events: A camera with at least 12 megapixels and a full-frame sensor is good place to start. 3fps or more for the frame rate is ideal with a 6-shot burst depth. If you plan on taking video, 30fps with manual controls for shutter and aperture is ideal, but not the only option. Also look for excellent flash control features, white-balance controls, and a solid battery.
Do not feel confined by these recommendations. Even without an expensive camera full of feature after feature, photographers can still take amazing shots. Equipment is important, but skill reigns supreme.