I've been shooting landscapes for a while using a T2i. I've had some shots that I've been quite happy with but I keep coming back to the same limitations with this camera/lenses I have. While I've gotten pretty high rates of keepers of in focus shots and so on, I still find myself disappointed with otherwise great (IMHO of course) shots because of
- red/grn color noise even at low iso's
- moderate luminance noise at mid iso's (800+)
- softness on small details at long zooms
The noise I can fix in Lightroom/ACR/Photoshop in most cases, but the softness is frustrating since I mostly aim for 36x24" or larger prints and it becomes more obvious than on the screen.
I'm pretty sure the focus is as good as I can get - I manually focus, usually taking some shots using liveview some with the view finder, and I'm pretty sure my shots are right in the middle . I also pay attention to the hyperfocal distance and set my aperture so at the distances I'm working, the scene should be 'in focus' (although I realise this doesn't necessarily mean optimally sharp at all depths )
I'm thinking the softness is down to the quality of my lenses and the resolving power. I presume that moving up to L glass would help with this kind of definition.
So first, I'm wondering if this is a sensible conclusion, or am I missing something else?
For various reasons, I need to be selective on what I can upgrade short term. I can't afford to do both cam + L lenses right away, so I'm torn between upgrading camera to address the noise, and upgrade lense to fix the sharpness/definition.
Currently I have the T2i and mostly use 18-55 (EF-S), 10-20 sigma (EF-s), 70-300mm EF , 28-135mm EF lenses.
I'm thinking my choices (financially) are to consider
- Upgrade a cam to either 5dmk2 (ditching the 10-20/18-55 for now as they're ef-s)
- Upgrade to 7D or 60D ( and keep my current lenses)
- Keep the T2i and get one L glass; probably the 70-200 F/2.8 or F/4
What would people suggest would be the best bang for a buck to upgrade to?
The new glass seems the most likely to improve my image quality short term. The F/4 seems like it would be okay for what I shoot. I do quite a bit of low light shots but usually on tripod so the speed isn't that important for me but f/2.8 would open some more night sky opportunities. I did read though that at least one version of the F/4 had some issues, but that may have been the older non IS/USM version?
And also, is the color noise I'm seeing on a t2i typical? As I understand it the 7d/60D have almost identical sensors/front end so I wouldn't expect to see much of an improvement here. (It's tempting to stay with APS-c body for the crop factor but no point changing out the t2i if the noise stays the same)
And yes, I'm considering renting to try out and see for myself, but since I need to keep the costs down I'd like to narrow down the choices a bit first.