As life often does it somehow got the better of me and took over somewhat. Starting a family, rasing kids, then fighting cancer in one of them and all accompanied by working, caring for my chronically ill wife and maintaining at least one hobby as not to go insane...meant I had slipped into a survival mode. Well I came down from that hard one day...
With life now in calmer waters I would like to put more focus on my photography. But I need new gear... I've been out of it so long that I'm having trouble deciding what would be best for me.
I currently use a Canon EOS 550D, which I've always loved. I almost exclusively use it with my 18-200 f3.5-5.6 IS lens. Usually my speedlite 580EXII is on top for fill in flash. But the 550D is now seven years old and I'm looking to up the image quality a bit.
My subjects are most often my kids and wife in play and portraits. Also cars and landscape/scenery/nature/animals. Pretty much all round I think. Focus is on portraits as a hobby within the hobby. Landscape and nature are things I like to try hard at but usually during holidays or a day out to the zoo for instance. I have a love hate relationship with the preset modes like portrait and landscape. Yes they have the right basic settings for the task, but they also apply picture styles etc. So when switching between P, Av, Tv and those presets, there's always a noticable difference in the results as in some mode picture styles are added in others they are not. Maybe that is down to me not using the camera to its full potential.
Another area I like to explore is flash use. Give those portraits just the little extra even in tougher lighting conditions.
There are two things I've been fighting from time to time with my 550D:
- photographing fast moving objects like our dog, especially as it's coming towards me. The focus can't seem to keep up or I can't seem to find the right approach.
- getting the camera to quickly focus where I want it to. The AF is always looking for the closest thing it can focus on. Using manual focus point selection takes precious time and is available in only some modes.
So with that in mind, I'm thinking of going EOS 7DmkII for a body. They say it is up in IQ on the EOS 550D-800D range and it benefits from fast AF. It's also the one that is at the top end of the body budget. What I'd like to get confirmed is how easy it is to manipulate the focus point. As there now are 65. Also is it necessary to change it as much since the advance in AF tech? Also I do not seem to see so many preset modes as on the 550-800D models. This I can see as a benefit with regards to different modes applying different picture styles automatically. But I'm also wondering if it makes taking the perfect portrait or landscape shot harder. I know the theory for both shots, but the camera puts a lot more intelligence into those preset modes.
I'm also having a hard time however comparing the 7d2 to for instance the 800D, 77D or 80D etc. I just know that the 7D2 is a crop sensored body in the higher end productline. Also that it has less gimmicks then an 800D for instance.
Also when comparing new 7D2's to second hand 5D3's, they are pretty close together. The 5D3 being FF meaning I would need new lenses for sure. And I'm not there yet. Is this an avenue I should persue? The 5D3 is a level up in professionality, but in all realism, I'm a decent amateur, by no means a pro. I do sometimes feel held back by my camera.
And talking about lenses... given my earlier statement of having trouble with two types of shots, what would be best to do lenswise? On a 7D2 I can keep my 18-200. But if that is part of my focus problem as it is just too slow, what would be the alternatives. I really liked having this pretty great all-round lens. I hardly ever felt the need to change lenses. And if I did it would be because 200mm is not enough of a tele in some cases.
But will that 18-200 IS lens still make the best of the 7D2's fast AF? The lens itself is still sold new and some companies even do these as a kit. If I need newer lenses to make the most of the quick AF, which would you choose? I'd like to stick to no more then two.
I myself seem to get drawn to the EF-S 18-135 USM nano and EF 70-300 IS II USM. But mostly because of the USM system. A brand like tamron offers a 18-400 and 16-300 lens even. But I don't knwo how good they would be.
Primes are great to have, but for my kind of photography I think I should stick to zooms.
Well you can see I've given it a lot of thought, but with my current knowledge of the product lines I'm just not reaching a final conclusion.
Maybe your collective input can help steer my in the right direction.