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Gear Talk => Canon General => Topic started by: AmazonOfExeter on January 02, 2014, 06:40:10 PM

Title: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 02, 2014, 06:40:10 PM
Hello Everyone!
I've been a fairly long time watcher of the forum and an even longer term devotee of indecisiveness...so I'd like to ask your advice as to future plans please.

I'm currently using a 7d and a 20d as a back up/second camera, along with 17-40mmF4 L, 100-400mm L, 100mm F2 usm, 28-135mm IS, 50mm 1.8, 22mm M mount plus various vintage lenses inc 300f4 zeiss for pentacon 6, 580ex/420ex/550ex/2x540ez. Powershot Pro1, Mamiya RB67, eos film 5+300+28-90/75-300.

I shoot anything I can, wildlife by preference, landscape portraits of trees and magical places, portraits of people in period/fantasy costume and other things which happen inc some charity work in low light in nightclubs (for example!). I tend to find i shoot mainly with the 17-40 for everyday use but find that it is a)often too short and b)image quality can be poor (not always - i've had some superb shots from it...and the average is ok but not spectacular). The 100-400 works the rest of the time for longer stuff. I rarely use the 100mm as i've not been too impressed with the results.
The 7d is a massive improvement over the 50d I had before, but the exposure has to be exactly right or the noise becomes noticable, higher isos also seem a bit noisy...obviously I've got used to the improvement over the 50d...! focussing has been good but still a little bit off - have manually afma'd but not done anything software based.
I also have a Powershot Pro1 which is excellent for macro but only at low isos and the slow focussing and zoom are annoying!

So, basically, i'd like any thoughts you might have for future kit - my budget is very limited so I need to save up/sell bits to acquire new things but am aiming for quality - I'd rather have a slow build to good quality than keep buying and selling increasingly good kit. Could also do with a compact camera with good quality...thinking of an M but unsure (seeing as I accidentally won an auction for the 22mm!)...

Lens suggestions i've come up with are the 100f2.8l macro, 300mm f4 l and to sell the 100f2.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for any thoughts!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 02, 2014, 06:42:10 PM
Sorry - should have said, I'm in the UK so prices aren't as favourable as the USA....though I might do a trip over some time to visit relatives and visit camera shops ;)
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: johnf3f on January 05, 2014, 03:52:57 PM
I can attest to the quality of the 300 F4 L IS that you are thinking of buying. I sold my Canon 100-400 to pay for it. I find it to be a far more flexible lens for my uses. The closer minimum focus allied to the significantly better IQ made my 100-400 redundant. Also I found that the 300 F4 cropped to the same field of view as the 100-400 (at 400) gave better images.
You state that your primary interest is wildlife, if so, then I think you may need to look at selling a lot of your gear and investing in a good quality (used) long lens such as one of the Canon Superteles.
Unfortunately the questions you raise are too many and complex for a proper response on a forum. I don't pretend to be a photography Guru but if you want to PM me we can exchange phone numbers and have a chat. Unfortunately I don't live close to you (South Wales) but I may be able to help a little.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 06, 2014, 09:56:47 AM
 The 100L macro is an excellent lens.  If you shoot macro from a tripod, consider the 100mm non-L macro instead to save some £, the IQ isn't very different. 

Unless you're planning on getting a FF body soon, I'd consider selling the 17-40L and the 28-135, and getting the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS.  It's a much better walkaround lens on APS-C than the 17-40 - you get an extra stop of light, IS, and it's sharper, too.

I can attest to the quality of the 300 F4 L IS that you are thinking of buying. I sold my Canon 100-400 to pay for it. I find it to be a far more flexible lens for my uses. The closer minimum focus allied to the significantly better IQ made my 100-400 redundant. Also I found that the 300 F4 cropped to the same field of view as the 100-400 (at 400) gave better images.

I'd say mostly the opposite.  I'm not sure how a 300mm prime is 'more flexible' than a 100-400mm zoom.  I agree that the closer MFD of the 300mm is a benefit for flowers, butterflies, etc.  I sold my 300/4L IS after getting the 100-400L - the latter delivers slightly lower IQ at the long end, but it's better than the 300/4 + 1.4x and better than the bare 300 cropped.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: johnf3f on January 06, 2014, 06:50:02 PM

I can attest to the quality of the 300 F4 L IS that you are thinking of buying. I sold my Canon 100-400 to pay for it. I find it to be a far more flexible lens for my uses. The closer minimum focus allied to the significantly better IQ made my 100-400 redundant. Also I found that the 300 F4 cropped to the same field of view as the 100-400 (at 400) gave better images.

I'd say mostly the opposite.  I'm not sure how a 300mm prime is 'more flexible' than a 100-400mm zoom.  I agree that the closer MFD of the 300mm is a benefit for flowers, butterflies, etc.  I sold my 300/4L IS after getting the 100-400L - the latter delivers slightly lower IQ at the long end, but it's better than the 300/4 + 1.4x and better than the bare 300 cropped.

Good point - I should have stated that I used my 100-400 only at the long end. I find the 300 F4 L IS to be a superior and more flexible lens from 300 mm +.
My 300 F4 cropped (to 400mm equivalent) gave better IQ than my 100- 400 - this was the main reason I bought it! I did compare my 100-400 to a couple of others and it was as sharp, if not sharper, than those I tried it against so I don't think I had a soft copy, note I only tried it at 400mm.
I now have a 300 mm F2.8 L IS (1) and my F4 gives up VERY little to it IQ wise - perhaps I just had a particularly good copy of the 300 F4, though a friend of mine has one that performs the same.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 07, 2014, 06:43:40 PM
Thank you both for replying - I know it's very much an open ended question. I think my desire is to upgrade - I feel certain focal length ranges are not performing as well as I'd like (have you found the 17-40 to be soft on ff or just on crop?)

I  have been hoping to go full frame so I've always kept to EF rather than EFs lenses - and I went for the 7D due to the poor reports on the autofocus of the 5d2 - would you feel it's better to prioritise improving the lenses over saving for a 5d3? (6d autofocus sounds like it will disappoint after the 7D's?).

The 28-135 is mainly hanging on due to covering the middle range, and the fact it does close work nicely, but suffered in low light at mid focal lengths - I suspect it would be either the 24-105 as a kit lens or maybe try for the 24-70 f2.8 if I had to buy separately.

The 100 IS is probably the one that I would go for if it helps with handheld work - I find that I often have to manage without a tripod so having that as an option would be good - would you say it's better then the 100mm F2 straight lens - just slightly slower?

300mm f4 still tempts, but I might wait for a bit and see if the 100-400 mk2 appears, and if they have improved it to the same level as the 200-400 is. And a supertele would be nice, need to do a lot for saving for one of those - maybe better to save for the 200-400 if it had to be more than 1 supertele?

Sorry for the randomness and diversity - I think it's mostly trying to convince myself to sell old lenses and get new...I just get sentimentally attached to them!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: PaulG on January 07, 2014, 09:45:12 PM
@Amazon

I think you're unfairly overlooking the 6D, which, based on the stuff you're shooting, would be a big mistake:

1) 6D has better high ISO performance than 5DMk2 & 5Dmk3 (and of course 7D)
2) 6D's autofocus is more sensitive than 5Dmk3 (down to -3EV)
3) 6D's autofocus is simpler (1 cross type) but very effective, especially for landscapes, portraits i.e. not sports)
4) 6D is about $1300 less than a 5Dmk3, which is enough to buy (or substantially reduce the cost of) any lovely L lens you want
5) 6D has incredible IQ which blows away the 7D on ALL levels.
6) New features like WIFI and GPS are nice (depending on need)

The 6D is 4 years newer than the 7D and the fact that it's full frame and looks good at insanely high ISOs is really a strong reason to invest in one over just another lens. 

I own a 7D and rarely use it now, except as a backup or when I need a cropped sensor camera. 

I bought a Mk3 and returned and got the 6D instead.  I was going to upgrade from my Mk2 to the Mk3 and after looking carefully at both the Mk3 & the 6D, I decided the 6D covered 98% of my shooting needs.  The Mk3 is an awesome camera, but not $1,300 more awesome. 

In many ways, I prefer the ergonomics of the 6D:

1) Its lighter (and a bit smaller) which means you can shoot one-handed, depending on the lens you use (i shoot street and often shoot this way); its a much better walking around/travel camera
2) the buttons are on the right side and there are fewer of them and they're placed for easy access
3) the SD cards are easier to ingest through my Macbook Pro

I think Canon made a mistake releasing the 6D:  they made a camera that is in many ways as good as a Mk3 for about half the price.  I really think you should give it another look...
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Hjalmarg1 on January 07, 2014, 11:01:56 PM
@Amazon

I think you're unfairly overlooking the 6D, which, based on the stuff you're shooting, would be a big mistake:

1) 6D has better high ISO performance than 5DMk2 & 5Dmk3 (and of course 7D)
2) 6D's autofocus is more sensitive than 5Dmk3 (down to -3EV)
3) 6D's autofocus is simpler (1 cross type) but very effective, especially for landscapes, portraits i.e. not sports)
4) 6D is about $1300 less than a 5Dmk3, which is enough to buy (or substantially reduce the cost of) any lovely L lens you want
5) 6D has incredible IQ which blows away the 7D on ALL levels.
6) New features like WIFI and GPS are nice (depending on need)

The 6D is 4 years newer than the 7D and the fact that it's full frame and looks good at insanely high ISOs is really a strong reason to invest in one over just another lens. 

I own a 7D and rarely use it now, except as a backup or when I need a cropped sensor camera. 

I bought a Mk3 and returned and got the 6D instead.  I was going to upgrade from my Mk2 to the Mk3 and after looking carefully at both the Mk3 & the 6D, I decided the 6D covered 98% of my shooting needs.  The Mk3 is an awesome camera, but not $1,300 more awesome. 

In many ways, I prefer the ergonomics of the 6D:

1) Its lighter (and a bit smaller) which means you can shoot one-handed, depending on the lens you use (i shoot street and often shoot this way); its a much better walking around/travel camera
2) the buttons are on the right side and there are fewer of them and they're placed for easy access
3) the SD cards are easier to ingest through my Macbook Pro

I think Canon made a mistake releasing the 6D:  they made a camera that is in many ways as good as a Mk3 for about half the price.  I really think you should give it another look...
I concur with you in most of your statement.
I currently own the 7D and I am planning to move to the 6D mainly because of higher low light capabilities and better ISO resolution.
I reviously had the Canon 100mm f2 and Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro (non-L) and sold them to get the 100mm f2.8L IS and no regreats at all. The "L" version beats them in almost all aspects except for its capability to capture fast action, which the 100mm f2 is better.
If you are planning to go to FF then sell your 28-135mm and 17-40 f4L and get a 6D kit with the 24-70mm f4L IS rather than the 24-105mm f4L IS because of better IQ but, you'll loss some focal range (71-105mm).
For telephoto, wait until you get the new FF body and you'll see that for most of your needs you'll be satisfied with the results of your 100-400mm lens, since FF produce lot less noise at high ISO. 300mm f4L IS is a nice lens and good IQ but it's also getting older and give you only one more stop of light at the long end.
For your 7D as backup, I suggest going for the 17-55mm f2.8 IS wich is the best all-around lens for APS-C.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on January 07, 2014, 11:12:27 PM
I think that I'd recommend the 6D rather than another lens.  The 7D AF is a 2 edged blade.  It has some advantages, but gives up accuracy.  It tends to have more variability.
 
I did not see anything in your main usage that a 5D MK II or a 6D couldn't handle.  Reading posts can mislead you into thinking that a fine camera has issues when the big issue is behind the camera.
For sports and for some photography where the spot setting will let you focus thru a fence or opening, the 7D is great.  But for portraits or landscape, you are not using the capability, but are getting the increased variability which might be why you see some good and some bad shots.  It happens with all cameras, some have a little more AF variability than others.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Ruined on January 07, 2014, 11:16:52 PM
If you are still in return period, return the 7d and sell what you need to sell to buy a 6d.  If not, even if recently acquired I would take the hit to sell the 7D to get a 6D.

The 100L macro is nice, but the 7d > 6d improvement is worlds larger than the improvement a new lens will give the 7d.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: scottkinfw on January 07, 2014, 11:23:01 PM
You seem to be leaning toward lenses, however, full frame will give you a huge boost in your image quality.  Night and day.  I use 5D2 in the office, and 5D3 out and about.  I too prefer wildlife, and the 3 is superior for focusing vs. the 2 (no big revelation).  I can't speak to any other ff's.

Since you sound like all but the most wealthy of us, keep saving and see what this year will bring.  Supposedly this is the year of the lens, but with some of the Nikon offerings, a new high end Canon may be offered, and perhaps this will drive down prices on other bodies, maybe not.  One thing for sure, the 5D3 has seen some good price reductions lately.

Sott
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Northstar on January 08, 2014, 08:34:43 AM
Hello Everyone!
I've been a fairly long time watcher of the forum and an even longer term devotee of indecisiveness...so I'd like to ask your advice as to future plans please.

I'm currently using a 7d and a 20d as a back up/second camera, along with 17-40mmF4 L, 100-400mm L, 100mm F2 usm, 28-135mm IS, 50mm 1.8, 22mm M mount plus various vintage lenses inc 300f4 zeiss for pentacon 6, 580ex/420ex/550ex/2x540ez. Powershot Pro1, Mamiya RB67, eos film 5+300+28-90/75-300.

I shoot anything I can, wildlife by preference, landscape portraits of trees and magical places, portraits of people in period/fantasy costume and other things which happen inc some charity work in low light in nightclubs (for example!). I tend to find i shoot mainly with the 17-40 for everyday use but find that it is a)often too short and b)image quality can be poor (not always - i've had some superb shots from it...and the average is ok but not spectacular). The 100-400 works the rest of the time for longer stuff. I rarely use the 100mm as i've not been too impressed with the results.
The 7d is a massive improvement over the 50d I had before, but the exposure has to be exactly right or the noise becomes noticable, higher isos also seem a bit noisy...obviously I've got used to the improvement over the 50d...! focussing has been good but still a little bit off - have manually afma'd but not done anything software based.
I also have a Powershot Pro1 which is excellent for macro but only at low isos and the slow focussing and zoom are annoying!

So, basically, i'd like any thoughts you might have for future kit - my budget is very limited so I need to save up/sell bits to acquire new things but am aiming for quality - I'd rather have a slow build to good quality than keep buying and selling increasingly good kit. Could also do with a compact camera with good quality...thinking of an M but unsure (seeing as I accidentally won an auction for the 22mm!)...

Lens suggestions i've come up with are the 100f2.8l macro, 300mm f4 l and to sell the 100f2.

Sorry for the long post and thank you for any thoughts!

You have the two L's at 17-40 and 100-400, so you're off to a good start.  I like your idea of buying quality.

As others have mentioned, a move to full frame would be something to save for....the 5d3 is a wonderful camera and you can probably find a good one used for about $2k.

If you really want a new lens then the 70-200 f4 would be a solid addition for you.   That new sigma 50 art might be one to look at.

I like your ghost picture...you've given me an idea for a family shot. :)
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: alexturton on January 08, 2014, 08:44:25 AM
Unless you're planning on getting a FF body soon, I'd consider selling the 17-40L and the 28-135, and getting the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS.  It's a much better walkaround lens on APS-C than the 17-40 - you get an extra stop of light, IS, and it's sharper, too.

+1

Staying with Crop......I would:

Sell  17-40mmF4 L, (I never liked this on crop. Its not weather resistant unless you add a filter. There is no IS. f4 is relatively slow. and 40mm f4 is not enough to give subject separate on crop)
sell 28-135mm IS - I personally don't like variable aperture zooms (although I do own 1  myself :S)
Buy 17-55 2.8 IS - great quality on crop. and all those dust sucking comments are rubbish as small amounts of dust do not affect IQ.
Buy sigma 30mm 1.4 (as this will be effectively a crop standard. I had this for a number of years on 7d & 60d and it was fantastic)

The above will help in lower light, landscapes (@17) and portraits (55 is ff equiv c88mm)

Keep the 100-400 for wildlife.
Keep the 50mm as 1.8 vs 1.4 is not a massive difference and you wont get much resale value for it anyway.

If you don't use the 100m f2. sell. I've never found 100mm on crop an attractive focal length (but thats personal preference).

Don't bother with the Canon M. Given its size its still not truly compact and cannot rival the speed (particularly AF speed), feautures or quality something like the sony rx100 can provide even though the RX100 has a smaller sensor. Plus a new camera won't make you a better photographer. It'll just be something else that delivers similar quality than your 7d in a slower albeit smaller form.

I cannot comment on the vintage lenses. If you use them keep them, otherwise sell the redundant gear.

Having said all that.................. If you have the appetite to go full frame. Do that. I switched from 7d to 5d3 a year ago and it has been wonderful. The narrower depth of yield at wider angles is unprecedented on crop. so many focal lengths suddenly make more sense, i.e. 24mm, 35mm, etc.. Admittedly 5d3 is a massive spend and might be out of scope here.

With a limited budget. Blank sheet of paper I would:

Sell all your bodies and compacts.

Buy a 6d (if you have 1 camera, that will be the one you take with you. Rather than having 1 main camera, 1 backup and 1 compact; which serve as distractions)

Keep the 50mm 1.8
Keep the 17-40 for landscapes.
Keep the 100m f2 for portraits
Keep 100-400 for wildlife
Keep your 580ex flashgun

Sell everything else that isn't needed.

Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmbientLight on January 08, 2014, 09:02:33 AM
A while ago I was also shooting a 7D and using a 50D as a backup camera. I also had a collection of L lenses and no others in preparation for my upgrade to full-frame, so my situation was somewhat similar. Eventually I decided to go all-out and purchased a 1D-X and 5D Mark III as a backup camera and since then my crop cameras don't see much use.

In my opinion you should be seriously looking at a 6D and if your budget allows, a 5D Mark III. This may breath some new life into your 17-40mm, because its focal length range is much more useful on a full-frame camera, but then again you may end up exchanging it eventually for better wide angle lenses, which is what I did (I replaced it with 14mm f2.8, 17mm f4 TS-E and 24mm f1.4 lenses). What I want to warn you about is that upgrading to full-frame may lead to further serious symptoms of gear acquisition syndrome.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 08, 2014, 01:48:37 PM
Thank you for the additional thoughts - they are very much appreciated!

I will certainly look into the 6D some more and see if I could try one out for handling (I do very much like the 7D and 5d3 handling, non joystick models seem very slow to adjust). The 50D had a very unreliable AF (for me anyway) - far worse than the 20d. And a minor factor is having no SD cards but a good collection of CF.
In general it seems that a FF would be an upgrade to crop, as current quality of models stands anyway. Waiting for a new 5d4 or 6d2 to see if there is a significant improvement could be a long wait, though by the time I've procrastinated enough... ;)
I've had the 7D for a couple of years so not possible to return it, but if needed it could be sold (esp if the difference between crop and ff is as addictive as everyone says!), I kept the 20d as it had an error when I bought the 7D and the sale value was so low it made/makes sense to keep it - I don't know what the shutter count is on either of these bodies, the 50d was very high when it went.
A 5D3 would be a big investment, and one that would have to last a couple of years, whereas a 6D could be a stop-gap until the next generation.

As to lenses - if I upgraded the body then a 24-something lens could replace the 28-135 - no one seems to champion that lens over any of the 24-somethings?
The 17-40 would be nice as a wideangle - the 17tse seems the top option for a wideangle lens, possibly with a Samyang 14mm for night sky stuff (which I'd like to try but the 17-40 plus 7D wasn't a great success!).

The f2 of the 100mm is nice, but if the overall image quality is better on the macro lenses then I suspect the macro would be of more use.

Very interesting to hear the thoughts on the 100-400, i'd got the impression people weren't so happy with it? keeping it until or if a mk2 appears would be no hardship though.
The 70-200 series always look nice - are they so much better the 100-400 on the overlapping range?

The resale value of lenses is always far too low when selling them, so yes, keeping the 50 1.8 makes sense, esp given the build issues of the 1.4?

The Eos M was purely as a small form camera to take places where an slr was too big - although I take the 7D when I can, it is on the large side, but most of the compacts seem pretty poor in comparison to even the crops. Not really found a good, affordable alternative to an slr as a carry around.

So hard! I still have reservations over getting efs lenses as I can't see the crop cameras becoming better than FF even with tech advances, FF should always be better for the same age of tech?
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 08, 2014, 01:55:12 PM
And yes, AmbientLight - gear acquisition syndrome is one I appear to be suffering from...just a lack of cash saves me from giving in too often!
I suspect next step is to sell what I can of anything and everything...start selling and stop drooling over new equip!
And thanks Northstar - slightly tricky to set it up accurately but good results when just right!

A last thought for now - are the Tamron 24-70, Sigma 24-105 or Tamron 90 macro worth looking at over their Canon alternatives - apart from legacy lenses I've always favoured Canons own...
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: jasonsim on January 08, 2014, 02:31:21 PM
Hi,

Definitely do not go with the 300mm f/4L IS.  I don't think it to be much better than the 100-400mm L IS that you already have.  If you are happy with the results from the 100-400mm L, then keep that.  If you are looking for something lighter and a bit sharper with new IS system, then perhaps consider the nice 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS.  If you think you need something faster (meaning larger aperture), I would think about the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.  Combined with the new version 3 teleconverters, I found no need to have a 100-400mm or 70-300mm.  I get excellent results using the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens.  My other main lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8L II.  Those two lenses (24-70L f/2.8L II and 70-200L f/2.8L IS II) cover most anything you care to shoot.  Of course to get the most out of them, a full frame camera would be ideal. 

Are you going to keep the 7D?  Will you be going full frame in the future?  If you have FF in your sites, then consider upgrading your lenses first starting with the two I mention above. 

If you need a fast prime, I would suggest a 50mm f/1.2L or holding out for the new Sigma 50mm Art lens. 

As others say, if you do lots of macro then get the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.  It is the best macro for Canon and works well as a portrait lens. 

Hope this helps.

--Jason
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: bholliman on January 08, 2014, 09:44:20 PM
The Eos M was purely as a small form camera to take places where an slr was too big - although I take the 7D when I can, it is on the large side, but most of the compacts seem pretty poor in comparison to even the crops. Not really found a good, affordable alternative to an slr as a carry around.

I find the EOS-M to be a nice compact camera to carry when I don't want to carry a heavy DSLR kit or when a DSLR would be too conspicuous.  The M's IQ is excellent - as good or nearly as good as any Canon APS-C body, and the f22/2 and 18-55 lenses of very good quality.  It will never take the place of my 6D as my primary camera, but its great for what it does.  I ended up selling my 7D and S100 as the M replaced what I used both for (backup body, extra reach of APS-C and compact camera).
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: FTb-n on January 09, 2014, 02:01:49 AM
If noise from the 7D is limitting you, then now is the time to go full frame.  I though the 7D was the greatest camera made...then dove I into the full frame pool with a 5D3.  Now my poor 7D is neglected.  The 6D is quite tempting, but I shoot sports and wanted the focussing benefits of the 5D3.  Your wildlife adventures may dictate which of the two will meet your needs.

 As for lenses, I bought my 5D3 with the 24-105.  I don't understand all the written abuse this lens gets, my copy seems quite sharp and I love it's versatility - in both focal length and IS.  However, my most used lens is the 70-200 2.8 Mk II -- which I highly recommend.

With full frame, you get less noise, sharper images (with quality lenses), and deeper color latitude. (My 5D3 produces sharper images with my 70-200 than my 7D does.)   Given your current lenses, I would suggest full frame before another lens.  It's really hard to appreciate the IQ benefits of full frame until you get one.  You may look differently at lens options after buying a FF body.

If you do stick with crop bodies, then definately go fo the 17-55 2.8.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmbientLight on January 09, 2014, 08:44:37 AM
If noise from the 7D is limitting you, then now is the time to go full frame.  I though the 7D was the greatest camera made...then dove I into the full frame pool with a 5D3.  Now my poor 7D is neglected.  The 6D is quite tempting, but I shoot sports and wanted the focussing benefits of the 5D3.  Your wildlife adventures may dictate which of the two will meet your needs.

 As for lenses, I bought my 5D3 with the 24-105.  I don't understand all the written abuse this lens gets, my copy seems quite sharp and I love it's versatility - in both focal length and IS.  However, my most used lens is the 70-200 2.8 Mk II -- which I highly recommend.

With full frame, you get less noise, sharper images (with quality lenses), and deeper color latitude. (My 5D3 produces sharper images with my 70-200 than my 7D does.)   Given your current lenses, I would suggest full frame before another lens.  It's really hard to appreciate the IQ benefits of full frame until you get one.  You may look differently at lens options after buying a FF body.

If you do stick with crop bodies, then definately go fo the 17-55 2.8.

I can only support what you wrote.

On a full-frame body many lenses you might want to neglect on a crop body suddenly become very useful pieces of kit. Not only the different frame size, but also the different resulting depth-of-field play a part here. You shouldn't overrate the amount of bashing some lenses have received, especially on this forum, where sometimes posters abound with criticism passing judgement on a very high product quality level. Although I can understand that, it can lead to a somewhat distorted view.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 09, 2014, 10:09:59 AM
I think, given the various opinions expressed so far, that full frame is the way to go. Whether to keep the 7D or not would depend on what it's value could be and how much it got used after FF. 6D or 5D3 would depend on handling it seems - the gps has no real advantage for me, wifi possibly but then i'd be looking at dslr controller for connecting a tablet to the camera for control purposes.

On lenses, to keep the 100-400 in favour of a 300mm until at least a mk2 turns up or a 200-400 is within reach. The 17-40 to keep until tested on a FF - I did try a mk1 16-35 on my 20d, and it was nice but not sure the improvement is worth the extra cash.
The 28-135 and 100 to go in place of 24-105 and 100 IS macro, the 24-70 2.8 would be nice but that would be a case of waiting much longer - if that happened then fine....but...do I have that patience?!
I do wish there was an longer focal range like the 28-135 with good enough quality, but cest la vie!

Depth of field is obviously going to change - despite having used 35mm film EOS, it's hard to imagine the difference on an end result (DOF preview didn't give enough of the finished image feel which is part of the overall effect). Do you find the F4 on FF is as shallow as F2.8 on Crop?

Waiting to upgrade is hard - esp when Wex are offering the 5d3 plus 24-105 plus free grip for £2899 (it sounds a bargain if you say it quickly...)  and possibly a new printer at 1/2 price (separate thread about to start with that...) or the EOS M with free adapter and £50 cashback for £349...

Of those who have the EOS M, do you get useable results from it or do you always wish you'd used your FF body? (assuming you could have chosen, ignoring the fact that you might not have been able to have the FF to hand when taking a shot).

Thank you everyone once more for your opinions - helping me decide and avoid buyers remorse ;)
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: FTb-n on January 09, 2014, 11:17:56 PM
I have the 17-55 2.8 for my 7D and it's a great lens.  It's sharp and the speed has opened up more low-light opportunities for me.

I haven't lost anything moving to the 5D3 and 24-105 f4 combination.  In fact , I've gained a little more flexibility in low light due to the high ISO advantage of the 5D3, plus the fact that the 5D3 is better at focusing in low light.  I do think the DOF is comparable between this combination and the 7D/17-55 combination.   (Neuro had a good explanation elsewhere on this site about how aperture and DOF compare between FF and crop.  If I recall, for similar focal length or image size, the 2.8 on crop compares to 4.5 on FF.)

I should note that when I really want shallow DOF to isolate the subject, I grab the 70-200 2.8.   I did this with the 7D and now with the 5D3.  The DOF is tighter with the longer focal length and tighter still on full frame.

As for low light, I've been tempted by the 24-70 2.8 Mk II.  But, the price and the lack of IS has scared me off.  For me, 70-200 is my workhorse focal range on the full frame body, so the need for the 24-70 isn't as great.  Still, there are times when I need more low light capability in close quarters.  For these times, I bought the 35 2.0 IS.  If rumors of a new 50 1.4 or 1.8 IS materialize, I may add that lens to my kit and feel pretty comfortable covering the light challenged events that I shoot.

Another note on compact cameras.  My preference is the S100.  It's cheap now and pocketable.  I can't justify spending more for a camera with better IQ, but still has the shutter lag that is indicative of non-SLRs.  If the camera won't fit in my pocket, I might as well grab a DSLR.  Even though I have a smaller 60D and the still smaller XT, when I want to travel light, I grab the 5D3 with the 40 2.8 pancake.

Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Kiboko on January 10, 2014, 05:55:06 AM
I've not personally ever been without a F/F, having changed from analogue (EOS 5) to F/F EOS 5D Mk I before a 5D MkII. But in parallel with the F/F set up I use for portraiture, studio work and landscapes, I also use a crop body for wildlife and sports. My long lenses are even longer, and no slower. I just don't see how I could cope without a crop body, (OK I do, I'd have to crop all my images!), so I'm on my bended knees hoping Canon will at long last perhaps this year bring out an up-to-date replacement for the 7D. To my mind that would please a lot of people and it would certainly satisfy me. No talk of big superzooms or 1DX, PLEASE! My wallet will cringe. The 7D is sorely in need of replacement, but WILL THEY, I wonder? I've been looking at Pentax and Nikon with a view to replacing the whole lot, - Pentax K3 offers 24 Mpx, weather-sealing, IS, and both the 60-250mm zoom and 300mm lenses are f4 rather than f5.6 as are my current 70-300mm and 400mm. Nikon has recently brought out a cracking 80-400mm f5.6 VR lens and combined with the highly rated 24mpx D7100, I reckon that would make a formidable combination. The only reason I'm hanging fire on my decision is to see if 2014 brings a 7D replacement, an image stabilised 400mm, or an update for the 100-400mm. If Canon don't update replace any of these items, I'm gone.  I don't want F/F (already have one, great for images where you don't WANT or NEED to be as close as conceivable - given the lenses you can afford and have at your disposal), I don't want small and light, I don't want gimmicks like folding screens, Wi-Fi, GPS, (or video for that matter but we'd better not go there). So for me, the 6D is NOT a viable option. Nor is hanging on to an outdated 7D when there's more advanced cropped sensor cameras out there. One thing Canon users like me might not be aware of by the way, (nor was I until I started looking at Nikon), is that on a F/F Nikon body, there is a crop function. This serves the same purpose as a physical crop of the image, it creates a 1.5 crop factor on a F/F body. You choose the magnification factor you want! Cropping the image reduces the pixel count of the image. But with a F/F D800 for example, (36mpx), using an 80-400mm f5.6 VR lens in what they call the DX (crop) mode, will provide a  24mpx image equal to a field of view of 120-600mm. The all-in-one answer! Sorely tempted!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Hesbehindyou on January 10, 2014, 06:31:48 AM
I don't want gimmicks like folding screens, Wi-Fi, GPS, (or video [...]).

[...]

on a F/F Nikon body, there is a crop function. This serves the same purpose as a physical crop of the image, it creates a 1.5 crop factor on a F/F body [...] Sorely tempted!

I wish the internet went back further - we'd have people scoffing at shutter buttons; "Why do they need a gimmick like a shutter button? They can just remove and reattach the lens cap when they want to expose the plate!"

You dismiss solid features that do something as gimmicks, but take a cropping mode (oooh, I can do a very limited crop in camera instead of in post!) and have that as your main reason for lusting after it :-P

Seriously though, the cropping mode looks great. I wish Canon had kept the 600D's video cropping mode, but they're certain to include a still-crop mode in a high MP FF body if just to stop Nikon having an extra tick on spec comparisons.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Kiboko on January 10, 2014, 11:05:15 AM
I knew saying that would be controversial! But neither the 5D MkIII nor the 1DX, (nor for that matter the 7D), have Wi-Fi, folding screens, nor GPS. Have you ever personally downloaded 600 images using Wi-Fi? I read a review yesterday comparing the 7D with the 70D and the 70D was scored down on it's folding screen because it was deemed to be a weak point should the camera be knocked. I had one on a G1X, I don't want another one. Were I to be assured that they cost me nothing I'd accept them free gratis, but the crux of the matter is, that although the unit cost is probably next to nothing once they become a standard feature, I'd prefer research and development to concentrate on IQ. Simples. We are being dictated as to what we should have by the manufacturers. Smaller cameras for one thing. It seems to me that given a successful camera, rather than develop it the manufacturers ditch it contrary to popular demand. 7D aside, the EOS 1D MkIV is selling second-hand at prices not far removed from when they were new, if you're lucky enough to find one. And it's not just Canon. Speaking to a couple of Nikon enthusiasts yesterday they were bemoaning the lack of a replacement for the Nikon 300S, which, so they said, was a similar serious piece of kit for sports and wildlife photography to the Canon 7D. It's a big "if" but if the Pentax K3 with it's weather-sealing, 24 mpx, 8 frames per second, magnesium alloy build, high ISO (51000ISO!), proves to be a stonker, how many people do you seriously think would be put off of it because it doesn't have a folding screen, Wi-Fi or GPS? Anyone's reasons for not buying it is likely to be because they're unsure of it, not being a Canon or Nikon, - one reason I'm wavering. Should Canon bring out a replacement 7D with a build quality/weather sealing of the outgoing model or better, higher pixel count, higher frame rate, better low light capabilty, less noise at high ISO, how many people are going to care a jot about the foregoing features if it's lacking them? How many people who want what I've just described are going to buy a D70 or a D60 because they've got them?
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Kiboko on January 10, 2014, 11:19:40 AM
I ought to add that what Nikon offer is NOT "a limited crop in camera". The entire image in the viewfinder is altered, - cropped closer, - as you look through the viewfinder and take the picture. You get what you see. The same as when you look through the viewfinder of a cropped sensor camera, but this is with a F/F camera, giving you the choice of magnification when taking the picture!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 10, 2014, 12:57:03 PM
Thank you FTb-n. It's nice to have an idea of how the depth of field changes, so at least with an F4 lens i'd be no worse off, if a little better. And a lens which is faster would be nice, but I'd probably be tempted by something a lot faster - although that seems to get a trade off in focussing speed, and for wildlife shots it needs to focus pretty quick as well as allow faster shutter speeds - but then I do seem to end up shooting at the worst possible light conditions...
i agree with you on the compacts - I don't want to spend too much, yet I want an excellent image - most of the cameras I've tried seem to give you compactness but at the cost of image quality - there doesn't seem an awful lot of point in spending a lump of money on something i'll always be disappointed by - the images have to be useable for prints etc. I may just look at one of the shock/waterproof cameras as an easy to carry one that can literally deal with the horrible conditions i'd not want to take an slr to!

Kiboko - I have tried Nikon as my friend has one, and while I like the images, the ergonomics are terrible, Canon bodies just seem to work better for me. The in camera crop doesn't bother me - I'd rather do it in PP so I have more choice over the crop. Crop in video would be a nice addition, or using the excess pixels to maximise the quality in low light - but I'm just starting to play with video and have a lot to learn! Folding screens would be nice, I don't like the weak point aspect but the flexibility would be nice - but I intend to get a tablet or smartphone and use dslr controller to give me a really large touch screen controller.

I'm happy to have little extras added that I don't use, so long as the bits I do use are the best they can be!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Rienzphotoz on January 10, 2014, 01:58:39 PM
I ought to add that what Nikon offer is NOT "a limited crop in camera". The entire image in the viewfinder is altered, - cropped closer, - as you look through the viewfinder and take the picture. You get what you see. The same as when you look through the viewfinder of a cropped sensor camera, but this is with a F/F camera, giving you the choice of magnification when taking the picture!
I shoot and have shot with Nikon cameras (D7100 & D610), and you definitely do not get what you see ... the view finder still shows the full view of the sensor, but you see an additional (irritating) rectangle in the view finder (still showing the full view outside of that triangle) and the final image of the in camera crop is what fits in that irritating rectangle. Nikon does offer a limited crop in the camera and it definitely is not "you get what you see".
Cheers.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Kiboko on January 10, 2014, 05:54:59 PM
You've described it more accurately than me, Rienzphotoz, and you're absolutely right. I'm a tad disappointed, but on the + side, I do think it's good that with a F/F camera, I can increase the magnification factor to that of a crop body if needs be. I can see many may think, what's the point, you can do it in post. The other thing I was told was that the Nikon cropped lenses (DX) lenses, can be used on the F/F bodies, (same applies re. cropped field of view in viewfinder). EF-S lenses become redundant if a Canon owner upgrades to F/F. I'm as yet undecided as to what I'm going to do with my rapidly aging gear, my post in response to the original enquiry I guess, is to emphasize that there are other viable choices out there.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: Valvebounce on January 10, 2014, 08:50:51 PM
Hi Amazon Of Exeter
I bought a Samsung Tab2 7.0 purely for use with DSLR Controller, worked fantastic on 4.1.1 then came the update to 4.2.2 which broke the install, a full reset has got it working but it is a bit buggy and the Samsung now shows on DSLR Controller site as mostly not working. If you get a tablet for DSLR Controller and it works properly TURN OFF FIRMWARE UPDATES. I wish someone had told me this, I use I things a lot and they just seem to keep working so I thought Android would be as stable but no Samsung seem to have fixed that! I can't even roll back apparently!
Note I am not saying there is a problem with DSLR Controller, just on Samsung, I'm hoping they might be able to fix it
once I contact them and ask for help!

Cheers Graham.

I intend to get a tablet or smartphone and use dslr controller to give me a really large touch screen controller.

I'm happy to have little extras added that I don't use, so long as the bits I do use are the best they can be!
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: emag on January 11, 2014, 11:17:04 AM
-------I shoot anything I can, wildlife by preference, landscape portraits of trees and magical places, portraits of people in period/fantasy costume and other things which happen inc some charity work in low light in nightclubs (for example!).......

You would be very happy with a 6D.  You'd also be happy with a 5D3, it's your money but you asked for input and I'd say the 6D will be more suited.  Keep the 100-400 and the 50/1.8.  Sell the 20D and 28-135 together to a buyer who accepts the possible 20D problems.  Neither is worth much separately and the proceeds would do you better applied toward, f'rinstance, a 24-105 (or 17-55/2.8 ).  All your other gear, sell what you're not too emotionally attached to, especially if you NEVER use it.

Don't overlook some of the nicer 3rd party lenses; newer Sigmas, RokSamBow 14.

The day the 7DII is released, your 7D will become worthless (ok, I exaggerate......but not by much).  I'd sell it while you can still get a decent amount and replace it with one of the newer crop bodies if you still want crop - as in reach for wildlife.  Two thumbs and two toes up on the 17-55/2.8, just get it if you're going to keep crop.

Compact camera?  I'd consider one of the fixed lens superzoom types.  To me, 'compact' and 'interchangeable lens' are mutually exclusive, sometimes you just want to be out and about and have a camera with you in case something catches your eye and don't need to be bothered with carrying and changing lenses.

6D+WiFi+tablet+dSLR Controller = wonderful combo, nothing gimmicky about it.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: FTb-n on January 11, 2014, 12:05:03 PM
Superzoom for a compact camera?

FWIW, back when my XT was my "good camera", I bought the SX20 for a trip to Florida.  I wanted to travel light and didn't want to carry expensive gear with me.  I used it for beach shots a Cocoa Beach and for touring Disney World with the family.  It was liberating in a way.  I didn't miss my XT because it was a 1,000 miles away.  I was also more comfortable with the SX20 on the beach because I wasn't risking my good camera in the sand.  For many hours at Disney, the light weight was very welcomed.

Shutter lag is something that truly drives me nuts with compacts.  The SX20 is one of the quicker superzooms.  It's successors seem to lag more.  Still, since it was the only camera with me, I was resigned to making it work.

Today, I only use it for video because it has aut focus during video.  I'm getting better with the manual focus video on the 5D3, but there are times when it's easier to grab the SX20.

After upgrading to the 60D/7D sensors and now the 5D3 sensor, I don't consider the SX20 anymore.  Now "compact" either means the S100 or the 5D3 with the pancake.  Incidently, the S100 has a slighter larger sensor than the SX cameras and offers RAW images.

Looking back to that Florida trip, I got some great sunrise shots on the beach.  For these, I do wish I had my 7D or a FF.  For the Disney shots - the "we were there" memories shots, the SX20 images are fine.  But, to do the trip over, I'd take my 5D3.  Sure, it's a lot heavier, but I've also discovered Think Tank belts, holsters, and the Peak Design Capture Clip, which makes it much more comfortable to carry the big lenses.

Full frame will spoil you and change the way you approach photography.
Title: Re: Advice for future path please!
Post by: AmazonOfExeter on January 11, 2014, 04:54:41 PM
Hi Kiboko,
Yes, it's definitely worth exploring other options - to blindly follow a brand without assessing the alternatives is foolish!
Hi Graham,
Thank you for that info! I'd been leaning towards the Samsung Note series due to the little Stylus pen they have, or failing that the Sony Z which is waterproof.
Hi Emag,
I probably would keep the 20d, purely that it's so low in selling value that it doesn't seem worth selling, but if I needed a backup of some sort then it would cost more than that to get - and it's fine at low iso, just not for action! It's a good point about the potential drop in values of the 7d - need a crystal ball to pick the most opportune moment for that!
Also thank you to you and FTb-n re compact comments - the shutter lag and poor image quality are the big issues that have kept me from getting one since the pro1, the M and the s100 seem to be top of the list but neither are quite perfect it seems - the versatility of the M as a second body does overshadow the useability as a compact camera - maybe I just want one camera to do too much when I should accept the limitations!