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09-14-2010, 07:15 AM   #1
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What makes a camera a Pro model?

Is the Pro designation strictly a marketing term? If so, why do the reviewers buy into it? There's a preview of the Oly E-5 at DPR where they call it a Pro model. I don't see what it has over the K-7, in fact I see the K-7 as more Pro due to similar features and the larger sensor, but the K-7 is never called Pro. I can see why Full-Frames are considered Pro cameras. It gets pretty sketchy for me with APS-C and seems a reach with 4/3.


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09-14-2010, 10:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Is the Pro designation strictly a marketing term?
In general yes.

There are some features that certain pros like to have, but it's not the same features for all pros.

The one thing that does help is when you have pro-level support from the manufacturer.
09-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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If its called a pro-model it "Must" be better and therefore will have a price tag that reflects the "pro-model" status.

I know of pro photographers who use all kinds of camera brands and models. So in reality I guess if I pro uses it its a pro-model.

From what I have read in several magazines and on line the K7 is often considered as one of the models of choice for outdoor, landscape and nature photographers.
09-14-2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
The one thing that does help is when you have pro-level support from the manufacturer.
I can see pro-level support from Canon & Nikon, in gear availability and rentals, but how does Olympus provide pro-level support?

09-14-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
In general yes.

There are some features that certain pros like to have, but it's not the same features for all pros.

The one thing that does help is when you have pro-level support from the manufacturer.
Exactly. Pro-photographers demand Pro-level support. Many Mid-level cameras are good enough for a Pro photographer. However, they use the camera every day and need support if something happen. The camera/lenses are their tools to work. Without the tools, they can't work.

May non-pro/hobbyist photographers buy into the "Pro" label just to brag that they have a Pro camera and the camera companies knows it and just stick a label so they can sell more cameras.
09-14-2010, 10:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jon in SC Quote
I know of pro photographers who use all kinds of camera brands and models. So in reality I guess if I pro uses it its a pro-model.
I was chatting with a photographer who sells his work from a shop located in one of the most exclusive developments in Toronto. Very talented guy, I loved his work. He told me he uses a K20D, MF film and a Panasonic LX2. He is of the opinion that the camera doesn't matter. I tried to qualify his statement with "in the right light", but he wouldn't concede on the point at all.
09-14-2010, 10:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjdgti Quote
May non-pro/hobbyist photographers buy into the "Pro" label just to brag that they have a Pro camera and the camera companies knows it and just stick a label so they can sell more cameras.
That's certainly how it looks to me, but it irks me that a prestigious review site like DPR promulgates the label on the E-5 as though it has merit:

Olympus E-5 professional DSLR announced and previewed
Olympus has announced the E-5 professional DSLR, replacing the E-3. Almost three years after launching its predecessor, the company has refreshed its professional flagship to reflect the features of its latest E-series and Micro Four Thirds cameras.
09-14-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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This has bugged me for a long time. I noticed it in the DPR announcement for the Olympus E-5 as well.

I never understood why the E-1, E-3 and E-5 deserved the pro moniker. Or, if they did, why the K10D, K20D, K-7 and now K-5 do not.

It seems like Pentax are shy/reluctant to claim the pro label. I suspect it's part of their longtime bifurcation -- medium format 645/6x7/645D for pros, and 35mm-style cameras for "serious amateurs and semi-pros."

I think Pentax sells themself short. We all understand that the pro label is meaningless ... to everybody but the new camera buyer with a bit of money and not a lot of experience. These are the folks who gravitate to the "best" model of anything that interests them. Why arbitrarily keep these people from looking at a Pentax camera? Label it pro, and when those customers come in, let the Pentax K-5 be set beside the E-5, the D300s, etc. It will hold its own.

09-14-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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To me, the "PRO" designation goes beyond the equipment. There must a be an after sale service structure supporting it. A "pro" depends on the equipment to bring food to the table. The pro can not afford to be without the tool for long periods. The pro needs factory authorized service centers, loaner services, rental services, quick turn around time etc. Not just for repairs but also maintenance, cleaning, calibration etc.
I met a real pro photographer who told me he was shooting for an automaker in the LeMans race in France. A lens failed on him during the race. A quick call and within hours, there was a Canon rep personally delivering a replacement on site. Sure it was a $8,000+ lens but the fact is he was set back only a few hours. Regardless of price, equipment DO fail.
Something I learned in auto racing is that the winner is not the one with the least problems, but the one better prepared to handle the problems. And that is your service and post-sale support.

Thanks,
09-14-2010, 11:20 AM   #10
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Well to go to an extern source for what ever importance you wil give it. Getty Images has a list of approved camera's.

gettyimages.com/contributors - Digital Camera Reviews

You will find the Olympus E-3 and thus also the next E-5. Maybe it's a real pro.

He what do you know there is also the Pentax K20D and the K-7. So also a pro? Either way the sensor from samsung isn't bad at all.
09-14-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well to go to an extern source for what ever importance you wil give it. Getty Images has a list of approved camera's.
I wonder why the Canon 550D is there but not K-x or Nikon 5000? I think every current APS-C DSLR could be listed, but it's nice to see a couple of Pentaxes get some recognition.
09-14-2010, 11:40 AM   #12
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A good example of a camera that could be pro, but is not is the 645D.... brand new... digital... MF... expensive... but NO PRODUCT SUPPORT... pentax points this out and says it is for non-pros... which is an interesting twist... most companys... would really flaunt the pro side...
09-14-2010, 11:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
A good example of a camera that could be pro, but is not is the 645D.... brand new... digital... MF... expensive... but NO PRODUCT SUPPORT... pentax points this out and says it is for non-pros... which is an interesting twist... most companys... would really flaunt the pro side...
My gues is that the 645D fits into the last category:

All medium format backs (i.e. Phase One and Leaf) produce sufficiently high quality images to fall within Getty Imagesí standard submission requirements.
09-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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Very simple answer. What makes a camera a pro model? Features and quality that are second to none.


What makes a professional photographer? Knowing how to use the equipment as a tool which correctly compliments his skills and talent.


Jason
09-14-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
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I was asking myself this the other day. The Nikon D90 is considered by many to be Prosumer, but last summer I was talking to Bill Frakes, who was speaking at an Apple event I attended, and he said his then-favorite camera was the Nikon D90. Now he obviously isn't using the kit lens but still, that's a camera that's been moderately priced, and is now within striking distance for budget shooters today. The K-X still beats it on high-iso, though.
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