It's been a long time since I've visited here but I'm excited at the thought of being a part of the community again. After a bout of financial issues and depression which forced me to sell all my gear (except my 40D which no one wanted because of a small issue with the shutter button), things are looking up and I'm ready to jump back in!
I've always been a bit frugal with camera gear and never minded older/used equipment. Before I sold my gear I owned an original 5D and the 40D. A Canon 35/2 non-is was pretty much permanently attached to the 5D and a 400/5.6 to the 40D (a lot of times with a 1.4x). I still believe the 5D and 40D are gems and produce beautiful images, but I'm looking now to move out of the stone age and take advantage of the newer sensors etc.
I'm going to try to make this as short as possible while providing as much details about my needs/wants. I see a lot of "which camera? X, Y or Z" threads and then a bunch of follow-up questions from the members so I'll try to cover all of that.
Prefer New but open to low mileage Used/Refurb
What I'll be doing with it:
Mostly birds, backyard wildlife, zoos, motorsports, adventure sports and shooting competitions. Some nature/trail. 95% outdoors and natural light. 5% in-door lower-light family stuff (my parents house is very dimly lit with a bunch of lamps and that's where all out family events are held). I'll probably get a second FF body and fast prime for the family stuff so this isn't holding a lot of weight in my decision at the moment.
I will be pairing the new body with my new S150-600C and that will be on the body 99% of the time for now.
Good low light performance
I'd say between 1600-3200 (maybe up to 6400) since I will be shooting mostly f8, and will be limited to f6.3 on the long end. Lots of overcast days here and the zoos around me are usually covered by tree tops etc. I managed okay with the 40D's max 1600 ISO but was really only satisfied with shots taken in great lighting conditions (800 ISO and below). I was able to capture some good shots at higher iso/poor lighting, but they were often too "muddy" or soft for me to be satisfied. Since I will have IS now, I should be able to get away with a little more, but would still like the performance to be there if I need it.
Better than average AF system
I got pretty good at using the 40D's dated AF system but was missing a lot of BIF shots because of it. I don't need the best of the best, but something quick and accurate that's able to track well and gives me the option to select different points on the fly. I don't really need the super fancy features they have now - I'm a simple man. I'm sure anything will be better than what I had!
That little joy stick thing on the back of the body to select AF points
I really liked this on the 40D. I've seen a lot of the newer bodies that don't have it. I'm sure I could live without it, but would really prefer it.
APS-C unless there is a FF option with an AF system that meets my needs.
Not necessary but a plus - will probably never use it if I had it
Preferred but not necessary - okay with add-on compatibility
Preferred but not necessary
Would be cool but I don't think I really need it.
Not necessary - don't care
I don't care how heavy/big it is. I'm going to have a grip on it 100% of the time anyway if it's not a full size to begin with. I prefer a heavier/bigger body over a lighter/smaller body because I have big hands and the lighter ones tend to feel cheap and make me nervous about damage.
I hope so
Other fancy features?
I really don't care about having a million fancy features. If I can have a little bit of customization with the AF system and controls, that's all I really need.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read. I look forward to shooting my new S150-600C on the 40D this weekend while I finalize my decision on a new body!