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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 14 Jul 2011 (Thursday) 16:33
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Upgrading Input

 
germ79
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Jul 14, 2011 16:33 |  #1

Howdy!

I've read countless threads about which camera to buy and camera A vs. camera B, but thought I'd put my situation out there just to get some more specific feedback and opinions.

I currently have a 30D, EF-S 17-85, and 50 1.8. Someone in my family would like to start out in DSLR photography and is prepared to buy my 30D and 17-85. So, I'm looking at my options. I've gotten the ok from the wife to buy the camera I want (within reason) but I also don't want to get out of control. I would like to utilize the CLP in order to get the most bang for the buck if possible. I'm not scared of refurbs.

A full frame camera, like the 5Dii is appealing to me, mostly because I like the lens options that don't lose the wide angle like they would on a crop sensor (e.g. 28mm is not quite wide enough on a crop, etc). Perhaps I am totally wrong on this, in which case, please set me straight. I also understand the FF produces great images, even at higher ISO's.

That being said, I am not a professional photographer. I love taking pictures of my kids (candids/posed/indoors​/out) and family and I also enjoy taking nature pictures (landscapes, flowers, scenery in general). My kids are 3,5, and 6 so we aren't quite yet into the realm of organize sports and the like, but perhaps someday!

So, I'm impressed with the 7D, but am also very interested in the 5Dii. Unfortunately, the 5Dii is no longer part of the CLP and I simply can't bring myself to pay full price for it (I don't need it THAT bad).

I have though about getting the 50D kit through CLP (which is VERY reasonably priced) and then upgrading to the 5Dii should it again appear on the CLP. The kit comes with a 28-135, which could be used on a FF in the future and this would get me a body and a lens to use in the meantime.

OR

I could get the 7D body through CLP, use my 50 1.8 and buy a good everyday lens for it. Buying a 7D and lens is more expensive than the 50D route, but not ridiculous. Great features and a great camera. This brings me back to my other struggle, however, in that it seems folks really like the 17-55 2.8 for the 7D, but it is an E-FS lens, so it wouldn't do me any good should I ever upgrade to a FF.

The fact of the matter is that anything is going to be an upgrade from my 30D. I'm not one to upgrade constantly and would like to get something I can be happy with for quite some time. I would like to get a great camera and start building a good collection of lenses, but am a little nervous to do so with a crop camera (using EFS lenses) should I ever decide to make the jump to FF down the road. Maybe I never even would go the FF route, who knows! I do realize I can get EF lenses for a crop and use those, but the length just doesn't always seem as usable that way.

So, what would you do? Any words of wisdom from you veteran photogs/great decision makers? :)

Thanks in advance!


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5Dii ** 24-105 ** 580EX ** 85 1.8

  
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Rocky ­ Rhode
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Jul 14, 2011 16:39 |  #2

50D and 5D share the same memory cards; 7D is superior to the 50D


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OldMechanic
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Jul 14, 2011 16:39 |  #3

Im not a beliver in collecting gear and hate the idea of wanting more. When I switched to canon I bought 5dmkii , 24-70, 70-200 and 16-35. Those alone even without the 16-35 a usually more than enough for most anyone. I'd say get it done if you can and be done with it.




  
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gonzogolf
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Jul 14, 2011 16:40 |  #4

Take a breath. Decide which camera you really want and then get it. I understand your angst, but there are clear lines of differentiation between the 5D2 and the 7D. One is a portrait and landscape camera, the other is better suited to sports and general purpose work. Both can fudge in the other direction but are less suited. I'm a full frame portrait guy and I love my 5D, but I kept my 40D for the odd bit of sports. But decide what you truly want because we cant tell you..




  
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TheBurningCrown
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Jul 14, 2011 16:44 |  #5

Better question: why do you want to upgrade? You have a pretty limited lens lineup - why would you be frustrated with wide angle options when you don't have a UWA lens in the first place?

Buy what you need now and don't worry about "future-proofing." You can always get back ~80% of what you paid new and you'll get something that fits you now. I future-proof for FF because I shoot film (which...you know, is "full-frame"). If I didn't, I would probably swap our my 17-40 for a 17-55 in a heartbeat.

My two cents: figure out what area you wish to improve in, and buy a lens to help it out. Otherwise, spend the money for a bunch of books and practice your technique.


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photomom2one
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Jul 14, 2011 17:10 |  #6

I don't know much about the 30D, have never used it, but I just upgraded to a 50D from an xti and I'm in heaven. The focusing system is so much better, Properly exposed high ISO is no problem. I used the CLP program and got camera and lens for $720. One day I'll probably sell the 28-135 and get a macro lens.

It's really a good deal for a fantastic camera. Buy what you can afford and what will make you happy.


Canon 50D
50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, Sears 135mm 2.8
430EX

  
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svarley
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Jul 14, 2011 17:23 |  #7

You are obviously pining for an upgrade, just pick something and get it!

Sounds like you're more the portrait/landscape type shooter so oldmechanic's advice is probably pretty sound for you.

Don't be afraid of a used camera either.




  
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rick_reno
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Jul 14, 2011 17:57 |  #8

Tough choice, for what you're doing now the 5DII would be a good choice. For the future, if the kids get into sports the 7D might be a better fit.
Keep watching the Canon refurbished store - Adorama has one too - these might have a camera at a price point that you like.




  
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amfoto1
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Jul 14, 2011 18:58 |  #9

I am not a professional photographer. I love taking pictures of my kids (candids/posed/indoors​/out) and family and I also enjoy taking nature pictures (landscapes, flowers, scenery in general). My kids are 3,5, and 6 so we aren't quite yet into the realm of organize sports and the like, but perhaps someday!

Hi,

Based upon your description...

Unless you want to make 4, 5 or 6 foot wide prints from your images, you really don't need a full frame camera. Yes, 5DII is good for about one more stop low light shooting than the current crop sensor cameras. But more recent crop cameras are also better at low light shooting than your venerable 30D. More on this below.

There are a number of excellent ultrawide zooms available for crop cameras. You are right that 28mm isn't very wide on them, so you simply need something wider... I use the Tokina 12-24/4 and think it's the best value. But there are other good options: Canon 10-22, Tokina 11-16/2.8, Sigma 8-16, Sigma 10-20 (two versions currently, I believe), Tamron 10-24. Some use Canon 16-35 or 17-40 or 17-55/2.8 and think those are wide enough (I sold 17-35/2.8L and replaced it with the 12-24.)

You also don't need the 7D. You'll end up paying a lot extra for pro-oriented features that you are unlikely to ever need or use. In addition, 7D is designed with fairly experienced photographers in mind, has less automation and requires more user input than most. It's the most pro-oriented 1.6X crop camera Canon has made, to date. It is not "right" for a lot of people... We see an awful lot of "help" posts here from people who bought it and are struggling to learn to use it well. I've been shooting for 30 years, much of it professionally and have used dozens of different cameras... Frankly, I found the 7D pretty hard to get up to speed with. After a couple months frustration I came close to sending back the pair of 7D I use and going back to using 50D. Finally, 7D are pretty heavy. They are noticeably heavier than 30/40/50D (which are all about the same), considerably heavier than 60D (which is lighter than the earlier xxD models), and even a wee bit heavier than full frame 5DII.

I'd suggest get the 50D... Or a 60D.

50D would be almost identical control layout to your 30D. It is an easy switch (I upgraded from 30D to 50D a while ago...it's a very nice upgrade... you'll love the self-cleaning sensor, all the additional image resolution, bigger LCD, etc.).

60D uses slightly different control layout, but the functions are still much what you're accustomed to with your 30D, so should be pretty easy to learn too.

50D is similar size/weight to your 30D.

60D is slightly smaller and lighter. 60D also has that cool articulated LCD (first Canon DSLR to have one... The T3i is the second). And it has a "locking" mode dial that's nice to prevent accidental changes (which can be retrofitted to 7D and 5DII too... but at a cost of $120 per camera).

50D is 15MP and 60D is 18MP... pretty similar. They also have pretty similar auto focus system and performance, similar frame rate (60D - 5.3 fps, 50D - 6.3 fps)... a lot of other similarities. With either one, you can interchange different focus screens (which you can't with your 30D). 50D has a good 35 zone metering system... 60D's is a newer 63 zone system that's now used in many models, but isn't really all that different in use (with my 7Ds, I think I see slightly better metering in tricky situations such as strongly backlit subjects... but not a dramatic difference by any means).

50D cannot shoot video, but it does have Micro Focus Adjust feature which allows you to fine tune your lenses on the camera, if you wish. 60D can shoot HD video, but doesn't have Micro Focus Adjust (IMO, Canon was dumb to leave it off this camera).

50D can be optionally fitted with a BG-E2N vertical/battery grip. That and the camera use BP511A batteries, which are widely available as cheap generics, same that you use now in your 30D. The grip is also interchangeably usable on 20, 30 and 40D. There was an earlier BG-E2, which is nearly identical. And, 50D uses Compact Flash memory cards, same as your 30D.

The 60D uses a new grip, BG-E9, and the newer type of LP-E6 batteries. These batteries are nice... long lasting, but they tend to cost more, though prices have come down a bit and some generics are now available. On the plus side, where I used to carry two backups for each BP511A in my cameras, I now only carry one backup for each LP-E6.

60D uses SD Memory Cards. So, CF memory you have for your 30D wouldn't work in it. But, depending upon the size and speed of that memory, you might want to upgrade even if you chose 50D instead. (For example I used 2GB memory cards, most 133X, with my 30D and earlier models... with 50D and later I switched to 8GB or larger, UDMA 300X and 400X).

60D is, of course, currently in production. 50D just recently was discontinued... It's a real bargain buying it refurbed from Canon store or through CLP. If possible, get it with 28-135 IS... That lens is really quite a value at the "kit" price... last time I looked at the refurbs/CLP, they were only charging $100 additional to add the lens! It and a wider one such as those I mentioned above might be all you need for a while. You may want a larger aperture prime lens for occasional portrait/low light, such as the entry-level Canon 50/1.8 or mid-grade 50/1.4... or a 28/1.8 or Sigma 30/1.4. When your kids are older, if they participate in field sports you might want a longer lens such as a 75-300, 70-200, 100-400, or one of several other possibilities.

You mention low light and using high ISO... for comparisons sake, we all have different opinion what's "acceptible" as far as high ISO noise and graininess... But with my 30D I tried not to go above ISO 800... would occasionally shoot 1600 but knew it would mean more post production work (from the RAW files). With 50D I never had much concern about using 1600, but tried not to use 3200 much. Now shooting with 7D, which are essentially same 18MP sensor as 60D, T3i and T2i, I'll use 3200 more often. I also shoot with 5DII and have no concern using it at 3200, occasionally use 6400.

So, the full frame camrea is still king of low light... In my opinion good for two or three stops higher ISO than 30D. 60D (and the other 18MP) are good for about two stops. 50D is good for about one stop higher ISO.

There are a number of improvements in softwares, too, handling noise. Both Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 that I use are a great deal better at noise reduction than earlier versions. There are also more sophisticated, noise specific softwares you might try... and be able to push above the ISO levels I mentioned above. Or, just convert really high ISO images to black & white! That can look great... sort of like some of the great old high speed B&W films like Tri-X and HP5.

Have fun shopping!


Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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photomom2one
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Jul 14, 2011 20:05 |  #10

amfoto - I always appreciate and enjoy your posts.


Canon 50D
50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, Sears 135mm 2.8
430EX

  
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germ79
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Jul 14, 2011 22:30 |  #11

Wow! Thank you all for your advice! It is certainly nice to hear from folks who have experience with these cameras.

I realize I will be happy with whichever camera I get; I just want to get something and not feel I need to upgrade again anytime in the near future. The only reason I'm upgrading now is because my mother wants to buy my camera for my stepfather for his upcoming birthday. I figured it was a win-win for us both!

Please, keep the comments coming!

Jeremy


<><
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n0w0rries
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Jul 14, 2011 22:39 |  #12

If you want the 5d2, get it and be done. Do it right the first time. Otherwise you'll still pine for it. Just make sure you can afford it.


Canon 5D mk II | 430EXII | 580EXII | 85 1.8 | 16-35 2.8L | 24-105 4L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 2X III

  
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BoneJj
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Jul 14, 2011 23:34 |  #13

personally, I would say 7D over most of the other choices. Here is my reasoning.

I have been locked in this debate for some time myself, I wanted to get rid of my T2i and upgrade to a camera that has more features that I'm after... the main features here would be to be able to micro adjust lenses and also get that higher ISO performance. coming from a 30D just about any of the newer cameras are going to blow you away as soon as you start shooting and pull them up on a computer.

A 50D would be an okay body and not a huge of a jump as I'm thinking you want based on your posts here lately. It would get you great images and would be an economical purchase. But the major thing here is that you seem to want that newer bang out of the camera.

The 7D has awesome ISO performance, I have used a friends on several occasions and it just turns me on when I use it.... shooting at insane ISO and having less than half the grain of my T2i.... It's also considerably less than a 5Dii which would be a killer camera as it is... I've also used a 5dii a few times as well and a great camera but it's also a lot more camera that I currently need at this point
Price points at this time on amazon:
Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD (Body Only) - $1599.00 (external link)
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) - $2499.00 (external link)
So you are already 900 out of pocket more with the 5Dii vs the 7D, that's a nice lens purchase there....

you said you have been using the 17-85 for a long time now, an easy upgrade would be the 15-85, it's supposed to be a world of better from that lens and it would work wonder at those focal ranges on a 7D. There really isn't a comparable lens on FF, the 8-135 would be close to similar but is not nearly as wide respectively and the 24-105 would be a major difference.

Unless you are planning to go nuts with new lenses at the same time as the new body purchase (something tells me that the wife will have words about that, they always do....) then you may want to consider a lot of the options for sticking in the crop lens range.

Also consider that it is relatively doable to get a 7D through the Canon loyalty program for right around 1100..... now that's a hell of a deal..... the 5Dii is currently and will more than likely remain out of that program for some time. Now a lot of the time you can also get a reduced price lens to go along with that new body through the loyalty program..... so yeah. it could work out to be a very lucrative deal for you getting a truly insanely sick body that will keep you happy for years to come..

Some of my reasonings for going 7D myself versus the 5Dii are simple factors.
basic wide lenses, the 5Dii you would probably want a 24-70 2.8, with good reason, it's a killer lens....
The 7D would be the 17-55 2.8, another awesome/killer lens, I've used it and quite frankly I think it should have the L name. It works great on the 7D body and is just a pleasure. It's also a couple hundred cheaper than the FF counter part.

Some of the features I personally like for the 7D over the 5Dii is the fact that the:
Frames/Second are much faster on the 7D 8fps vs 3.9, so when shooting the kids playing games or whatever you will get the shot you want..... Stuff happens with kids extremely fast and that's a major plus for anyone trying to capture that moment.
7D has 19 focus points compared to 9, and the 7D focal points can be selected in groups which makes things easier when setting up shots. IMO.
I also like the slightly more visible in viewfinder and the fact that the magnification is more on the 7D vs the 5Dii, my eyes aren't getting any younger.... which blows.
7D still has a built in flash, 5Dii doesn't, so if I want to go stripped down on a shoot I can still have a little fill flash if I truly need it without having to pack a flash or I think I wont need one and end up needing one.... lol.
exposure compensation of +-5 vs only 2
AE bracketing of +-3 vs only 2
video features on the 7d are a little better but I think that may no longer be true once you update the firmware on the 5dii, I think the all have the same format/frame rates available now. but I don't worry too much about video, it's just a nice bonus to have around I think.

about the lenses for each body:
The lenses that I would want are just a little better priced compared to the FF options and in many cases I will still be getting L branded glass, in the case of the 17-55 I will be getting something that should be branded an L. There are a couple/few non-L lenses that really could be called L lenses if it weren't for... Read my L-Rant.... lol. Basically though this saves you cash, if you want to use these other lenses you can save a little cash compared to the FF counterpart that would cost you more but deliver at best marginally better results.....

L-rant - I think the 17-55 is not L only because of it's EF-S tag line on the lens.... It's just not FF compatible, just look at the 10-22, another great lens that is meant for croppers but still gives great contrast and just about everything else the other L glass does... (someone is going to have beef with what I'm saying here but I honestly don't give a damn).

Another thing to note is that both cameras use the same battery, supposidly the 7D is slightly more power hungry than the 5dii but it's only by a marginal amount... Are you honestly going to be shooting 750+ shots on a given day? If you use the on board 7D flash that can drop that shootable number a lot but that's only common sense. I also make sure that I have 2 batteries fully charged for all my shoots or days with the family to make sure that I'm covered. but the main thing is that the batteries are pretty much readily available and not over priced...

okay, I think I've said my piece on this one..... lol.


--Bone | FSS (external link) | flickr (external link) | Gear list (external link) |

  
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arentol
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Jul 15, 2011 00:02 |  #14

If you go for a crop camera I would recommend the Canon 15-85 for you. 15mm is quite a bit wider than 17mm, far more so than you would think, and will get you the wider shots you are looking for. It also has basically L quality IQ and very good build quality as well. You will find it a considerable step up from the lens it replaced, and that you already have, the 17-85.

As for the camera, I would consider buying refurbished as well:

http://shop.usa.canon.​com …1_-1_29252_highPrice_list (external link)

Everything is out of stock right now thanks to their recent sale, but stuff comes in there all the time. Just have to check daily.

I would suggest the 60d. It is an excellent match for the 15-85 (also purchasable refurbished), and with the body at $799 the total price is about the same as a refurbished 7d alone.


5D3 | Rokinon 14 f/2.8 | 16-35L II | TS-E 24L | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 | Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 | Voigtlander 40 f/2.0 | Σ 50 f/1.4 | MP-E 65 | 70-200 2.8L IS II | Σ 85 f/1.4 | Zeiss 100 f/2 | Σ 120-300 f/2.8 OS | 580 EX II | 430 EX II | Fuji X10 | OM-D E-M5 | http://www.mikehjphoto​.com/ (external link)
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germ79
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Jul 15, 2011 00:07 |  #15

Bone,

Thanks for that very informative post. I agree that the the 7D through CLP would be quite the deal. I used a 7D a couple weeks ago and was very impressed. I'm sure it would keep me happy for a long time to come.

Though the CLP, the 7D is ~$450 more than the 50D kit with the 28-135. The downside with going the 7D route is that I'll need to buy a lens right away too. So, we're talking $450 plus the cost of a good everyday lens. Is the jump from 50D to 7D worth that much?


<><
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Upgrading Input
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