Camera body buying advice for stills

Jan 16, 2020
2
0
10
Hi
I’m looking for advice regarding buying camera for stills. I’ve no need for great video ability.
I am looking to use for indoor and outdoor portrait, street photography (some at night)
The most important thing for me is image quality, as looking to get many A0 images printed.
I’m happy to buy a used body which maybe 3 years old.
I’d rather get a good solid body with great stills capabilities and spent more money on quality new lenses for it.
I’ve been considering Sony A7R Mark 2, used 750, etc.
All advice welcome
Thanks
Andy
 
Dec 19, 2019
3
0
10
Don't know what country you are in but I have seen some very good deals on a the Canon 6D mk2 in the USA. Full frame and good ISO performance - nice for night and indoors. Huge selection of lenses both new and second hand.
 

Matt Greenwood

Staff member
Nov 19, 2019
26
12
35
It all depends on your budget really! Also - printing at A0 is huge, so if you want to maintain a 300dpi print (print resolution, screen is about 72dpi) then you'll need around 140MP in your camera!

Of course with viewing distance and slightly lower standards, anywhere in the region of 40-60MP will be ok. To that end probably your best bet is the Sony A7R series as you suggested. There are other brands that offer similar MP counts but for a full-frame (for your low light needs), high megapixel (for your printing) camera - an A7Riii or used A7Rii would be great.

If your budget is limited I'd suggest going with the latter and putting the extra money into a lens that can actually render that much detail! Sony has plenty of great lenses, but the 85 1.8, 55.18 Zeiss and 35 1.4 Zeiss would be my go-to picks for high-resolution lenses that won't break the bank (much...). For portraits the 135 GM is also an EXCELLENT choice, but rather expensive - and in terms of versatility, won't serve you particularly well for street photography.

You might also be very well served by some of the Sigma ART primes for E-mount, if you don't mind the bulk and weight they represent - their image quality is second-to-none.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnOpticalView
Dec 12, 2019
121
11
85
Hi
I’m looking for advice regarding buying camera for stills. I’ve no need for great video ability.
I am looking to use for indoor and outdoor portrait, street photography (some at night)
The most important thing for me is image quality, as looking to get many A0 images printed.
I’m happy to buy a used body which maybe 3 years old.
I’d rather get a good solid body with great stills capabilities and spent more money on quality new lenses for it.
I’ve been considering Sony A7R Mark 2, used 750, etc.
All advice welcome
Thanks
Andy
Andy,
You mention both night photography and also ability to (print?) at A0. The first category of night photography benefits a camera with low noise especially at higher ISOs that often can be required. This category benefits for cameras with large photosites on the sensors rather than maximum megapixel count. For this reason (for example) the Nikon Z6 is superior to the more expensive but greater megapixel Z7.

The second category of the ability to produce an A0 print is slightly more complex. I am assuming you mean an A0 print and not a projected image at A0 size? If you were to print the full frame (not cropped) of an image at A0 at 300DPi (dots per inch) (in this case that recommended for Canon printers, it is higher at 360DPI for Epson) then you would need a 140megapixel sensor camera. The lowest (recommended) acceptable DPI for a quality print is 200DPI which for an A0 print would require a 62 megapixel sensor.
What does all this mean? Well it does not mean you cannot print an A0 from a lower megapixel camera than above. Almost all image editors allow an image to be sized up (or down) and in the case of an upsizing a technique known as interpolation is used to 'fill in' the extra pixels needed. Indeed some plugins specialize as achieving a high quality result when upsizing (see Topaz Gigapixel AI which is fabulous at achieving this).

So it can be done even with sensors with less pixels.

Alongside this your technique (which I am not questioning) would have to be precise and exacting to ensure that detail and sharpness are adequate at such a large size. - Tripod, mirror lock-up low iso good light etc etc

The cameras you mention suggest your budget does not reach a medium format digital camera as some of these would achieve both aims - but we can all dream including me.

I think the noise difference between a 24 megapixel and (for example) a 46 megapixel (Nikon D850) would be hard to see with care but the extra pixels would aid the production of an A0 print? Similarly the other high megapixel cameras from Canon and Sony should be considered.

I know these cameras cost more but sometimes it pays to invest early rather than change later. I have a printer than prints at A2 and it is huge and heavy so I am also assuming you intend to use a lab? Perhaps contact one and ask when quality/size/type of image file is required to produce a quality A0 print? What would they ideally want and how much would it cost?

Many many of the fabulous images seen on the internet are just not good enough quality to make a decent A2 print much less an A0. You are very ambitious but that is good. Best of luck.

I hope this helps rather than confuses or disappoints. I would be over the moon to see people producing A0 prints as printing is a great but diminishing skill with even so-called professionals offing it to labs. A high quality print is a joy to behold!

cheers
Ian
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeteM
Feb 28, 2020
10
0
10
A used Pentax K1, K1 -II or medium format 645Z are alternatives most people wouldn't normally consider but they are all still capable of taking great shots which will still look amazing in A0 format. The 645Z is one of the best medium format camera's around and can still compete against the latest mirrorless systems.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY