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09-17-2008, 07:52 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by JJJPhoto Quote
You took the words right out of my mouth.

I've seen amazing, photos published in national magazines that were taken by "professional" photographers using cheap plastic 35mm film cameras.

A "pro camera" is whatever camera the "pro" happens to be using. Same thing goes for the lens or any other part of the photographer's kit.

You took the words out of his mouth.

09-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I'll be glad when we have something new to talk about, what is a pro camera? , what is the definition of a pro photographer? We have wasted so much bandwidth going round in circles on these subjects.

A pro camera gives you a blow job for $30.
A pro photographer takes pictures of you then blackmails you.

I just find it funny that some cameras are labelled by manufacturers, magazines, web sites etc as "pro" cameras and they really dont have a lot in common. We also have been seeing for years that 'pentax needs to make a pro camera' but rarely is that defined as to what would be considered a pro camera, everyone has different ideas as to what that means. I think whatever they did do people will still be dissapointed as you can't please everyone, everyone has different needs (just look at the 5d comments )

09-17-2008, 08:57 PM   #33
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A couple of comments I'd like to address (paraphrased because I can't bother hitting the quote buttons.

(NB: I'm isolating these comments from their original context, so I'm not necessarily questioning the rest of the writers' statements)

COMMENT 1: "A professional uses the best equipment they can buy".

Well ... what's "best"?

For instance, I still use Adobe CS1 Suite as well as old versions of Macromedia software that were superceded years ago, while my studio colleagues have opted to upgrade to Adobe CS3 which they use exclusively for all work. On the face of it, one would assume CS3 is the "best" design application at the moment, but for my purposes it ain't. In fact there are definite practical disadvantages re. outsourcing files to various press houses, file-coding, etc. My inhouse colleagues are at comparatively junior status and therefore appreciate the inherent ease-of-use of the later versions, but as I have more resourcefulness by virtue of experience, I have no need for those minimal advances that the upgrade offers and more need of the cross-media flexibility that the retro versions provide.

So the term "best" is subjective, and isn't necessarily synonymous with "latest technology" or "more expensive model".

COMMENT 2: "A pro camera is a camera that is likely to be used only by pros".

When applied to camera bodies, the terms "entry-level", "semi-pro" and "pro" are all misnomers. The more accurate terms would perhaps be "basic technology", "mid-range technology" and "high-end technology".

Read almost any photography guidebook written by a seasoned pro-photographer and you'll see that many pros recommend having a kit that includes the most basic camera bodies, and even simple P&S cameras.

More to the point, the photographer most likely to be able to pick up basic manual SLR and take as good a shot as he/she would with a hi-tech model, is the seasoned professional. This is not to say a pro wouldn't have need for high-end bodies, but from an absolute "needs" basis, the photographer more in need of a higher-tech body is the amateur with little knowledge of photographic fundamentals who relies on auto features to get a decent shot.

BOTTOM LINE: Photographers don't decide what camera is labelled a "pro-model". Retailers do!
09-18-2008, 05:08 AM   #34
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"what makes a pro camera?"

An air of superiority in the owner.

/I kid.

09-18-2008, 07:39 AM   #35
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BOTTOM LINE: Photographers don't decide what camera is labelled a "pro-model". Retailers do!
More like manufactures as opposed to retailers. However, many well known pros are consulted in what they want in a camera and so even that distinction is nebulous.
09-18-2008, 08:32 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
What's a "pro" camera? It's kind of a bogus question.

In the marketing context, a pro camera is a camera that is likely to be used only be pros.
The problem here is the advent of the "prosumer", which, by definition is a consumer who uses the same equipment as those who actually make money from the act of photography. Frankly, there is no such thing as an exclusively "pro" piece of equipment any more. I can go an buy an F1 and rent track time for a private race using a "pro" set of wheels.

Realistically, the only definition of a pro is someone who gets paid for the end product of the process. It matters not what equipment is used. It's a broad definition and equipment agnostic.
09-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #37
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The reason that these discussions seem so frustrating is that people spend time giving their opinions about what the definition of pro camera SHOULD be. It's rather easier to say how the word is actually used. That's what lexicographers do, and that's what I was trying to do.

Within the context of marketing and Pop Photo-type journalism - which is really just an extension of marketing - the idea of the pro camera is fairly clearly understood and it's what I said it was: a pro camera (in that context) is a camera likely to be used only by pros. The word "likely" there allows room for the rich amateur or "prosumer." Perhaps "expected" would better than "likely", but it's not a big difference. Anyway, when you read an article in Pop Photo that describes a camera as a "pro" camera, that's the meaning. This isn't so difficult.

What is difficult is, what the words "pro camera" mean outside the world of marketing. I said that the question ("what's a pro camera?") is bogus because, outside the context of marketing discussions, the definitions just aren't very useful. Terms like "basic," "intermediate" and "advanced" are a little more meaningful, but only a little, because what's "advanced" today is "intermediate" next year, and "basic" the year after that.

There is a very large element of social status involved in the meaning of these terms. Anybody who's carried Pentax gear around other pros knows that among many photographers - not the very best ones, mind you, but many - no camera can be considered "pro" if it's not Nikon or Canon. That won't change even if Pentax releases a full-frame body in the future. It's funny: I know a lot about Nikon and Canon models, lenses, etc. My Nikon and Canon using friends know almost nothing about anything except Nikon and Canon.

So: the term "pro camera" does get used by others, and it's important, I think, to know what people mean when they use it. But I don't use it myself because, well, it's just not a very meaningful concept.


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