Peter Toogood has made a name for himself in just two years as a high-fashion photographer. Not an easy feat in the rarefied and highly competitive fashion world. He did it by aggressively using the latest in digital photography.
Toogood was shooting at the Toronto Fashion World event last summer, capturing 4.2-megapixel images of models as they strutted down the catwalk, using his new Nikon D2H digital SLR camera. This camera features a WiFi wireless Ethernet port, which Toogood used to zap JPEG files to his assistant's laptop computer in the audience. The assistant told Toogood, via a wireless headset, whether he got the images he needed, and immediately stored good shots and deleted poor ones. As soon as one designer's collection was finished, the assistant burned a CD on the spot. "We had a complete set of shots ready to sell to the designer right on the spot," he says. That stunt has led to assignments in Paris and London this fall.
Digital cameras are everywhere these days: on top of your computer, in your cell phone. It's not surprising that someone has found a more interesting use for digital image capture than sending an image of yourself to whomever you're speaking to. Toogood's strategy combined digital image capture directly into JPEG format, wireless transmission, quick editing, and file storage and instant recording onto compact disk media. The result was saleable images and a new market for his work.
As digital cameras have continued on the course of adding resolution and image quality while decreasing prices, manufacturers have also been adding features and abilities that make the new models more productive for professional photographers.
Most professional-level digital SLRs can be had for under $5000 today. You can also buy entry-level, professional-use cameras for between $1500 and $2500. If all you're worried about is image file resolution, you can even get "prosumer" 6- to 8-megapixel cameras for around $1000. They'll give you the image quality you're looking for, but they may not have the characteristics that the professionals need: the extra-tough, rugged body and construction; interchangeable lenses; fast image-capture speed; and new features that speed up the workflow.
A better experience for pro photographers
Most of the major manufacturers--Kodak, Nikon, Pentax, Canon, Olympus, and Fuji--have brought out new digital single-lens reflex (SLR) models in the past 12 to 24 months. This is important to the professional photographer, as SLR is the de facto standard for photojournalists and most …