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Question about brands

Discussion in 'People' started by Ping279, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. So for all of you who dont know who i am, my name is nathan and I am going to school for a digital photography degree. My school has four large studios open for shooting along with a "digital darkroom" which has four high-end epson printers.
    I plan on going into a portrait geared career. I really dont have too much experience in shooting people but am learning quite a bit about studio lighting applied to portraiture. At my school, the entire photography department is canon based which leaves me an outcast. All of the professors with the exception of one and 99% of the students shoot canon. So my question is somewhat of an "age old question"... is canon better than nikon when shooting people? Most of my teachers have been somewhat biased towards canon, telling me that nikon just doesn't cut it... but there are others who have shot nikon all their lives up until digital's emergence where they switched to canon. One reason for their switch to canon my teachers have given me is that they claim that canon has the digital edge while nikon has a small advantage on glass quality. I dont plan on switching to canon, ever, but I can't help but wonder what all the craze is about at my school. The few students I have known who shoot nikon have recently been switching to canon. I have a feeling that one reason the switch was fairly easy for them is that they did not have very much of an investment in nikon glass. So all biases and brand loyalty aside, what do you guys think? Is there an actual advantage in canon?
  2. Perhaps you need to find a different school. A photography degree is about artistic expression - the equipment specs should be left to the engineers.
  3. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    The only advantage comes from the monkey behind the camera. :wink:
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    That's funny that your teachers play the name brand game. I'm a student in the photography program at Phoenix College, and the brands of the cameras students use are never an issue - almost never even brought up. Perhaps Canon provided equipment for free to the school in exchange for a few kind words.

    If that's the case I'd wonder how much of the other stuff they tell you is driven by some other motive than providing you with the best education.

    For what it's worth, our photography department buys it's own digital cameras for students to check out. They have 5 Nikon D50 and 5 D40x cameras, and two 30D cameras available.
  5. Well there might be a reason. For lowlight photography and shooting in available light Canon simply has an edge.(due to their excellent high iso performance)

    But for studio portraits and flash photography i dont really see the reason to root for Canon.

    Im not so sure my next Camera will be a Nikon, and i can promise you it wont be Canon. The offering from Mamiya and Hasselblad looks very promising. Especially Mamiya ZD.

    Compared to the big boys neither Canon or Nikon stand a chance for studio work or landscape photogaphy.

    In the end:The weakest link is the one behind the camera.
  6. On a wee tangent, have you seen many ZD samples? Where? I'd like to see some myself.

    I've borrowed a Mamiya and Leaf backs from work a few times. Much fun was had by all.
  7. tcgoggans

    tcgoggans Guest

    though I am by no means an expert on the issue,though having shot both it has been my experience that canon produces a more "digital" digital image than nikon. The blue and pinks are pushed in an unnatural way, resulting in less natural tones and color casts.
  8. Well from what i've learned, the teachers have told me that when the photography department was started, they decided to make the entire dept. one brand so that when students had questions they could ask eachother and share knowledge. So it was actually that the school purchased their own equipment but wanted to theme the school to one brand so that everyone would be on the same page.

    As far as equipment avaliable to check out at my school... well there's alot. I'm not sure which canon cameras are avaliable, i believe the 5D, a couple 30D's, and some other canons. They also have many many canon lenses, studio mono heads, reflectors for heads and softboxes, umbrellas, power packs, monitor calibraters, etc.

    Oh ya, something i forgot to mention in my first post... my portrait teacher (who is the most awarded photographer in the state of florida) shoots nikon :biggrin:
  9. I would never change unless I felt technically limited by the equipment I was using. Canon, Nikon, Fuji, etc., etc., are all good and will produce excellent photographs. Don't be intimidated by what others shoot, let your work speak for itself.
  10. By turning a course in photography into a discussion of technicalities your teachers have discredited themselves.

    Next thing you know they are going to teach you how to light portraits so that when you graduate you can get a job as a commission monkey in photo kiosk at the mall.

    And you can tell them I said so.
  11. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    :940:lol Woody
  12. frede


    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    I gotta tell you Nathan, you really have some great work in your galleries.

    Would you like a Coke or a Pepsi Sir.............. :biggrin:
  13. Wow! Yea, those smoke shots are beautiful. Nathan, how about a little on how you did those?

    I know I must have some incense around here somewhere... probably in with my bell bottoms and tie-dye T's
  14. My dad is looking forward to the Mimaya ZD but he's not sure he wants to spend $12,500.
  15. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I think Woody has it right Nathan. Think Sears portrait studios*.

    The mere fact that your teachers "shoot" a particular brand, speaks to the notion that they are limited in their experience. What kind of degrees does your school provide. In addition to the residential faculty, who else teaches there? Any guest lectures, workshops, exhibitors? It sounds like the program is new, is there a Photography department, or is it part of a larger division? What's the faculty size, do they have staff, or do the faculty do everything?

    I mean, if you are happy with training in lieu of a rounded education, then stick with it. But you are getting ready to start your sophomore year, right? Switching up to a better school with a bit more maturity and experience wouldn't really put you behind at this point. Cause the whole concept of teaching an equipment based curriculum makes it sound like the program is based on what they learned in an internet forum. And we can teach you that stuff right here. For free.

    (* Actually, in mall based studios, I have seen Nikon, Canon and Mamiya and Sinar equipment.)
  16. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    Totally agree. Stick with the guns you have...and don't change, be the minority in that class.

    Incidentally, your website is superb...you really have a great artistic eye. :cool: 
  17. Well thanks to both of you... I actually posted a thread about them a little back. This is how I did them though.

    I used incense lit in the studio between the camera and a black background with a light behind and to the side of the incese.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    For all of the shots, i used a colored gel over the lights. However, for only few of them did I actually keep that color after photoshop. For the others, I used a gradient set to color blending mode to give each picture it's unique color.

    View attachment 107004

    View attachment 107005

    View attachment 107006

  18. Well, to answer a few of your questions... the photography department is it's own department at my school but there are many other departments as well. There is a fashion dept, interior design, etc. The professors that teach at my school actually do know what they're talking about. All of them are photographers who have been doing it professionally for many years and most of them have their own studios, while just teaching as a side job. I do like most of my teachers, as they are very knowledgeable. There is only maybe two at the school who knock on nikon, the rest of them tell me that it doesn't matter along with one of my teachers who actually uses nikon. The one that does use nikon happens to be (in my opinion) the most knowledgeable photographer there.

    So I am happy here, there are only a couple teachers I try not to talk brands about, and besides that I am happy. My school is a year-round school so I can't really say what year I am, but I went to UCF last year and so if i was still going there I would be going into my junior year this fall. In the fact that there may be a better school out there for me... well there are no other photography schools in florida but the brooks school in california would sure be nice. Anyways, I am content here and get praised on my work quite often from the teachers.
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