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Camera Upgrade DSLR
Old 09-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Camera Upgrade DSLR

My Cannon G9 is getting long in the tooth and starting to act up now and then and is working on being my back up. Looking into a new DSLR and either the Cannon t5i or the 60D. I'm pretty much a hobbyist and like reading and researching all the technical stuff before I purchase.

Just curious if anyone has thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, etc.

Thanks in advances for any and all comments.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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I upgraded to the 60D from an older Cannon DSLR. Mostly because I had the lenses.

So far I love the camera. I must admit I have only tapped about 20% of what it can do. I recently bought a tripod because I got interested in HDR.

My thought was when I retired I could dig into it big time. I kind of struggled not spending the extra for the full frame 6d, but that's a lot of money. I may still upgrade at some point.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:14 AM   #3
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I'm not intimately familiar with the Canon line but I think my experience/advice applies across any of them. First, spend money first on better lenses than bodies. Bodies constantly change and get better, lenses not so much. Plus, I find a great lens on an okay body is almost always better than an okay lens on a great body.

The caveat here is not all lenses will work on full-frame bodies. So if you start with a crop sensor body and find you love photography, you'll want to eventually go to a full-frame body. So my final advice is either start with a full frame body, or force yourself to only buy full-frame lenses for your crop body.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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I'm not intimately familiar with the Canon line but I think my experience/advice applies across any of them. First, spend money first on better lenses than bodies. Bodies constantly change and get better, lenses not so much. Plus, I find a great lens on an okay body is almost always better than an okay lens on a great body.

The caveat here is not all lenses will work on full-frame bodies. So if you start with a crop sensor body and find you love photography, you'll want to eventually go to a full-frame body. So my final advice is either start with a full frame body, or force yourself to only buy full-frame lenses for your crop body.
This is good advice - once you choose the crop vs. full-frame route that has a big impact on the lenses you choose. I wouldn't spend a lot on the body since they change so much and quickly get outdated. But I still shoot with a Canon 5DMKII that is several years old but does everything I need. There are not many big differences between these bodies:

60D: Larger, heavier body. More buttons/controls allow you to get to certain settings much quicker. Longer battery life. More viewfinder coverage - 95%,

700D (T5i): Smaller, lighter body. Less buttons/controls. Same sensor as 60D, same articulated LCD on back. This one has a newer version internal processor. Frames per second is almost the same 5 fps vs. 5.3 fps for the 60D. A few more options on video formats. Less viewfinder coverage.

Overall I would probably start off with the T5i and learn to use that for a while before thinking about upgrading. Get a good lens or two.

Here are the side-by-side specs:

Side by Side Comparison: Digital Photography Review
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Heck, I am still using the G7.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #6
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Total digression but I use a G11 and would really like an even lighter weight fullish featured non-SLR. Unfortunately I definitely like having an optical view finder and as far as I can find that only comes in the larger compacts.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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G9 is not an slr, so you're starting from scratch. I'd look at the new crop of mirrorless cameras like the Sony NEX line & the four-thirds. They have downsides, but their size is a big advantage - especially coming from the G9. Lots of information online now that they've been around for a few years.

I think that one big dslr vendor is as good as the next (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax etc), but once you pick one, it makes sense to stick with them because lenses are expensive.

To me, size & weight is important. Your wonderful camera does you no good if you don't carry it around.

I recently traded my Canon 20D for a lighter Canon 450D on ebay. Since the 450D is newer, it had all the features of the older 20D & a better sensor. Think about that - you can save a lot of money on a camera body/lens that's just a few years old. dSLRs have matured in features, so while today's cameras are definitely better, cameras going back 3-5 years are still very good.

All the best.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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FWIW, I recently sold 90% of my DSLR stuff and bought into the micro 4/3 system offered from Olympus and Panasonic, and supported by a number of lens manufacturers. I found that I was no longer willing to lug about the heavy bodies and often heavier lenses. I now have a m4/3 system that includes 2 bodies, 3 lenses, flash and filters. I can carry the whole thing in a case a little bigger than an elementary school kid's lunch box. I have made enlargements as big as 16x20 and the results are great. The bit of quality I lost by going to a smaller sensor is more than made up by the great small, fast, prime lenses that have replaced my old heavy zooms.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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FWIW, I recently sold 90% of my DSLR stuff and bought into the micro 4/3 system offered from Olympus and Panasonic, and supported by a number of lens manufacturers. I found that I was no longer willing to lug about the heavy bodies and often heavier lenses. I now have a m4/3 system that includes 2 bodies, 3 lenses, flash and filters. I can carry the whole thing in a case a little bigger than an elementary school kid's lunch box. I have made enlargements as big as 16x20 and the results are great. The bit of quality I lost by going to a smaller sensor is more than made up by the great small, fast, prime lenses that have replaced my old heavy zooms.
This is something I may do.

I shoot mostly when I travel so size and weight would be the big win. I have two additional lenses in my camera pack in addition to the walking around 16-85 mm on my Nikon D7000 (crop).

But I don't changes lenses that often.

Really a matter of what you like to shoot and how you shoot. I'm on the other side of the spectrum from the Ansel Adams approach, whom you visualize as hiking into Yosemite and setting up his heavy gear and waiting for hours and hours for the right light.

So when I'm walking around, I shoot and go, over and over. Sometimes I set up tripod for night shots and for pictures that I may stitch together later or make into HDR.

But most of the shots are handheld and mostly shot around 20 mm (or 30 mm equivalent). I guess I could spend a lot of money to get a big and heavy fixed wide-angle but that limits flexibility.

Anyways, I kind of lean towards going smaller than up to full frame.


The thing to consider when moving to DSLR is that it may take up more of your time for post-processing. Just your normal processing of RAW files, not even doing anything fancy like HDR or panos.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:49 AM   #10
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The thing to consider when moving to DSLR is that it may take up more of your time for post-processing. Just your normal processing of RAW files, not even doing anything fancy like HDR or panos.
It does take time but I enjoy it. The Nikon D7000 (crop sensor) I have meets my needs but I have to wonder what more a full frame would do and I've considered renting one with a nicer lens for a few days to see if there would be a significant difference. But I'm kind of afraid to do it because if there is a big difference I'm gonna be wanting that.

For the time being I have yet to come close to exhausting the possibilities of the the camera, lenses, strobes and assorted other gear I have now, which has grown to fill a good-sized backpack. Yes, it is a package to haul around but for me it is worth the flexibility that it gives.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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How about the Canon 7D or the new 70D? Seems all decent SLRs are around $1100 these days. Kits come with 2 very usable lenses for ~$1450.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
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Try a FF Nikon with the 14-24 2.8 The 14mm is incredibly wide on a full frame sensor and it is incredibly sharp. And with the combo of f/2.8 and ultra wide FOV, you can shoot most anything without a flash.

Even on a crop sensor, that lens is amazing. Since you're not using the whole image from the lens, you have almost no distortion even wide open in the corners.


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It does take time but I enjoy it. The Nikon D7000 (crop sensor) I have meets my needs but I have to wonder what more a full frame would do and I've considered renting one with a nicer lens for a few days to see if there would be a significant difference. But I'm kind of afraid to do it because if there is a big difference I'm gonna be wanting that.

For the time being I have yet to come close to exhausting the possibilities of the the camera, lenses, strobes and assorted other gear I have now, which has grown to fill a good-sized backpack. Yes, it is a package to haul around but for me it is worth the flexibility that it gives.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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This is something I may do.



But I don't changes lenses that often.

<snip>

So when I'm walking around, I shoot and go, over and over. Sometimes I set up tripod for night shots and for pictures that I may stitch together later or make into HDR.

But most of the shots are handheld and mostly shot around 20 mm (or 30 mm equivalent). I guess I could spend a lot of money to get a big and heavy fixed wide-angle but that limits flexibility.

Anyways, I kind of lean towards going smaller than up to full frame.
There is a saying that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. That is why I sent to the micro 4/3 system. My favorite lens is the 45m f/1.8. It is sharp, has great color and the speed allows shooting under low light conditions. With the Panasonic pancake lines I can slip the body into a coat pocket when walking around with non photographer friends.

I really like the ability to choose from both the Olympus and Panasonic lens lines, as well as from the many 3rd party companies that make m4/3 lenses.

I looked at similar cameras from another company. While the bodies were small, the lenses were much bigger, thus thwarting my #1 reason for buying the system.

There is no doubt a friend's FF Nikon with more megapixels can produce better technical results, but it can't produce better photos because it would not be with me most of the time.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #14
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Here is my my DSLR upgrade saga:

I've been SLR user in the past, but switched to compact digital cameras because I don't like to lug heavy stuff.
Just few months ago my main camera was compact Panasonic DMC-LX3 with excellent Leica F2.0 lens.

We had specific requirements for a camera from She, Who Must Be Obeyed:
Need to take good pictures of our daughter gymnastics competitions, and be easy enough to use by DW.
That requirements unfortunately spell DSLR.

So far I consider Nikon D5200 with 18-200 lens a moderate failure ($1300 for the set) for these requirements.
There is no flash allowed and it's rather dim inside every but one comp we attended so far (at least for a camera).
I'd like to shoot no longer than 1/500 sec (because of motion blur) and no more than 1600 ISO (noise is really bad above it on D5200, 800 would be better).
We are using between 50 and 300mm (35mm equiv) focal length (four different events in four corners of the gym)
With what light is available I'm lucky to get 1/100 sec (lens is only F5.6 at telephoto focal lengths).
I even rented 85mm F1.8 prime lens ($20 for 3 days), which are much sharper and faster than 18-200 zoom, but even they fall short of what is needed.

I'll try to borrow/rent better equipment to see how it performs (Full sensor cameras, faster lenses).

Other comments:
Camera red eye reduction is horrible, both when shooting (there is about 1 second delay between assist light and flash) and the results - even blue and grey eyed people get red eyes - I have not seen such bad red eyes in a while.
Autofocus is decent, but not perfect.
Auto white balance misses it 2/3 of a time under artificial lighting, which is really visible when we shoot continuous and adjacent images show completely different WB. This makes JPEGs undesirable (DW would like to immediately share JPEGs with other gym mamas, and RAW won't work).
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #15
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We had specific requirements for a camera from She, Who Must Be Obeyed:
Need to take good pictures of our daughter gymnastics competitions, and be easy enough to use by DW.
That requirements unfortunately spell DSLR.
Given DW's requirements, all I can say is.....

Your wife has given you a license to spend!!!!
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:46 AM   #16
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Given DW's requirements, all I can say is.....
Your wife has given you a license to spend!!!!
LOL! I did explain it to her.
She hoped we can do it for less than $2k.
Probably not going to happen. Unless I score some lucky deal on used gear.
I was even thinking about renting the gear, but at 11-14 competitions per year this does not make financial sense.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:03 PM   #17
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I think you may be on a snipe hunt. Some of the more advanced bodies will give you a few more stops in terms of higher ISO before unacceptable noise sets in. But a lot of those are full frame, which will reduce your lens' reach since there's no multiplier on effective focal length. A lens that is 200mm effective on your crop-sensor D5200 will be only ~135mm on a full-frame body. If the 85 f/1.8 didn't work wide open, I don't think anything will. When you get into the longer telephoto, the fastest lens I know of it the 200mm f/2 and it weighs 6.5 pounds and costs around $5500. But even that will give you significantly less light than the 85mm@1.8.

You could always go to this! Of course it weighs 30-some pounds and costs around $26K.

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Here is my my DSLR upgrade saga:

So far I consider Nikon D5200 with 18-200 lens a moderate failure ($1300 for the set) for these requirements.
There is no flash allowed and it's rather dim inside every but one comp we attended so far (at least for a camera).
I'd like to shoot no longer than 1/500 sec (because of motion blur) and no more than 1600 ISO (noise is really bad above it on D5200, 800 would be better).
We are using between 50 and 300mm (35mm equiv) focal length (four different events in four corners of the gym)
With what light is available I'm lucky to get 1/100 sec (lens is only F5.6 at telephoto focal lengths).
I even rented 85mm F1.8 prime lens ($20 for 3 days), which are much sharper and faster than 18-200 zoom, but even they fall short of what is needed.

I'll try to borrow/rent better equipment to see how it performs (Full sensor cameras, faster lenses).
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:59 PM   #18
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It may be more economical to get better lights at the gym
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #19
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How about some simple recommendations?
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #20
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Good suggestions were made for the OP. For Sailor, good suggestions, too -- i.e., he's chasing his tail based on the data he's provided.

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How about some simple recommendations?
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