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  1. 8artpixels

    Dear Karl,

    I hope you are doing well. I am truly impressed by your pedagogical skills. Your tone of voice, clear explanations and much more make it such a pleasure to sit down in front of the screen and take your knowledge in. I had been searching for days to find “the best course” in the world and when I fell on your website, saw your portfolio and having completed the free 10 class course, I said to my wife who was sitting beside me “this is is, this is the one!”

    I have started taking photos with my iPhone 13Pro max about a month ago that you can see on my IG @8artpixels account. All 6 pictures have been taken with the iPhone 13Pro max and then edited in Lightroom and/or photoshop. I am 41 years old living in Geneva, Switzerland and want to do a full switch of my professional career that is working in an international organization and switch it up to become a professional photographer. I have a friend who is into diamonds/jewelry as well as watches who wants to partner with me and make me the person in charge of photography and basically all the visual aspect of the brand. I would therefore be taking pictures of watches, diamond necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, as well as portrait or fashion photography of models wearing the watches and jewels.

    Now, here is my million dollar question which I know is kind of like asking “what is the best color in the world” haha.

    A) I would like to know which dslr full frame camera in the 2500 dollar range could allow me to take these kinds of photos?

    B) After having done some research on the internet I often see the Sony a7 iii camera said to be a Swiss Army knife that would allow for a very versatile and diverse type of photography from landscape to portrait to product photography. But last night I watched your YouTube videos where you were testing the Sony Alpha 7 r ii, so now maybe you would advise this as being my best option for my needs. Or perhaps you think another model from another brand would suit my needs better which I would be totally fine with of course.

    C) Now after having watched your “Choosing the lenses” class, I know how important lenses are and I would like to know for my needs which lense or lenses would be best for me that would of course fit on the camera you would have suggested above. I can spend another 2000 dollars on lenses as well. (Quite a few people on YouTube seemed to be saying the Sony 2.8 28-70mm zoom lense is again a Swiss army lense that can get you doing many different types of photography but then I haven’t seen you talking much about that lense so maybe what they are saying is just not true.

    All this to say lol, if you had 4500 dollars to spend in order to be able to shoot jewelry, fashion, portrait, product photography which dslr full frame camera and lenses would you get.

    Sorry for this LOOOOOONG message.

    I wish you a great and blessed day and thank you a million times for sharing your precious knowledge with us all !

    1. Hi 8artpixels, Thank you for your kind words. I will try and answer your question point by point:
      1. Making a switch to full time photography won’t be easy, just to warn you it is quite a competitive market. It’s not impossible but keep this in mind.
      2. Jewellery photography is a great area to operate in, I really enjoy it, but it needs exceptional lighting skills and patience.
      3. If I was buying a DSLR today I’d probably go for a Sony A something or other with at least 39mp. I’m not sure which model as it doesn’t really matter as long as it was full frame.
      4. No the Sony would be my choice, looking at the current range the A7R iii would fit your budget and be a good choice on resolution and features.
      5.For jewellery and most product the only lens you can buy is the super sharp Sony 90mm macro, f1.8 G lens. After that I’d probaly want a 55m and a 16-35, and 70-200. Forget the 28-70 that’s just an ‘all rounder’ but master of none.
      Cheers
      Karl.

      1. 8artpixels

        Thanx a million times for having taken the time to answer my reaaaallly long question lol

        Today I bought as you suggested the Sony A7R III and now trying to see which lenses to get first from the four you suggested but I think the 90mm macro 2.8 G OSS will be the first one as it will do for product photography as well as Portraits if I am not mistaking.

        Quick questions for the other 3 lenses you suggested:

        A) What type of photography would you use the Sony FE 55mm F/1.8 Z for ?

        B) What type of photography would you use the Sony FE 16-35mm F/2.8 GM ?

        C) What type of photography would you use the Sony FE 70-200mm F/2.8 GM OSS II ?

        D) The 16-35 as well as the 70-200 have various models i.e 16-35mm f2.8 or the 16-35mm f4 and the 70-200mm f.2.8 GM OSS or the 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II or the 70-200mm f4 G OSS.
        Are my above choices of getting the FE 16-35mm f2.8 GM and the 70-200mm f2.8 GM OSS II good ?

        Thanx again Karl for everything ! I can’t tell you how happy I am from switching from iPhone 13Pro max to Sony a7R III. I am watching your videos in a religious order in order to know the fundamentals of photography before moving forward.

        1. Hi,
          1. Yes it will work for products, portraits and extreme close up macro work
          A) Bigger products that don’t fit a 90mm macro, fashion/portrait and beauty shots where you need to include a bit more of the surrounding scene
          B) Landscape and everything else where you need a wide view including some architectural and interiors work
          C) Everything that is far away or where you want to shoot longer distance portrait work but change the compression perspective on the background (see our introduction class)
          D) 16-35 f4 will be cheaper but still work well. I’d go for the 2.8 version of the 70-200 as you benefit from the higher quality optics and shallow DOF if you need it.

          1. 8artpixels

            Hi Karl,

            Do you think the price of 2100 dollars for the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM is justified compared to the Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA T* Zeiss that prices at just 700 dollar. I mean, is their a very big difference in the quality of the images for such a big price difference knowing that I will use it for bigger product photography that my Sony 90mm won’t be able to capture as well as using it for fashion/portrait and beauty shots where you I to include a bit more of the surrounding scene ?

            As usual, a big thank you for taking the time in answering all of our questions 🙏🏻

          2. Hi, no I don’t I think it would be better to go for the 55mm 1.8 Zeiss lens.

          3. 8artpixels

            Sorry again Karl, I think I might have understood wrong.

            Did you mean:

            A) I should go for the 50mm f1.2 (2100$)

            or

            B) I should go for the 55mm fe1.8 zeiss ? (700$)

            I was just confused since you suggested I get a 55mm lense one week ago as well as the 16-35, 90mm and 70-200 when I asked you what lenses would be good for starting out. Watching your videos I always then heard you talking about 50mm and never about 55mm so I said maybe it was a typing mistake when you suggested I get the 55mm lense.

            I just want to make sure I’m buying the lense you suggest 👍🏻

            I want to add that I am really impressed that you answer almost everyone’s questions on here. No other courses offer this ! The 20 dollar membership is worth gold and I really mean it. Your dedication and passion for photography is out of this world. Congrats 🎊

          4. Hi, yes the 55mm seems to be the best option as you will never use an aperture of 1.2 and 1.8 is absolutely enough. The difference in focal length between 55mm and 50 is not worth worrying about either. It’s only when you get to the very low focal lengths like 15 or 16 where one or two millimeters makes a difference.

  2. A wealth of priceless information, Karl, thank you! Quick question: I am looking to upgrade from my Canon 5D Mark III but on the fence about sticking with a DSLR or switching to mirrorless. If I did switch to mirrorless it is my understanding that I can use my Canon lenses but will need an adaptor – do you know if this will cause any compromising of image quality?
    Also, are you also considering moving to mirrorless the next time you upgrade? Would love to know your opinion for yourself. I would love to upgrade to the mirrorless Hasselblad but the problem is the lenses. Just can’t afford to do both – new camera AND new lenses at the same time. :-/
    Thanks again for this great video.

    1. Hi Robin, yes because the lens flange is closer to the sensor on mirrorless cameras then the lens design is different (all designed to make mirrorless cameras more compact). As such I’d expect there would be trade offs in using non mirrorless lenses on mirrorless cameras. My experience is that any glass bases adaptor will have some form of negative effect, sometimes (such as the Hasselblad HTS 1.5) adaptor it’s indiscernible and you’ll be fine but in others such as 2x convertors it is more noticeable. I guess you’d have to check any MTF performance charts for these adaptor and lens combinations to see if they meet your needs otherwise yes it’s a case of switching the whole system or doing it gradually or considering sticking with what you have in DSLR or other DSLRs. Keep in mind there is nothing magically improved by the camera being mirrorless, it’s just more compact and will have better video and probably faster frames per second but the actual image quality won’t be better as such. Of course there is some amazing tech coming into mirroless such as the focusing performance (like the Sony A1) etc but that in itself doesn’t make better picture quality.

      1. Thank you Karl, this information further helps my decision-making. Coincidentally renting the Mark IV this week and giving it a go. Hopefully a Hassleblad after that to try out.

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