« on: January 10, 2015, 01:32:33 PM »
Curious...When I bought my first DSLR, and really started to get into photography as a hobby, I was chasing the best image quality that I could get. I had previously been using a Canon ELPH, and while it has done well for me and gotten me some great pics over the years, I was starting to get very frustrated with its indoor performance.
My first DSLR was the Rebel T2i. At that point I had no intention whatsoever of getting a FF camera (in fact, if you look at some of my older posts you may even see that I voiced that in some posts). I was looking at the 7D but decided to get the T2i and put $$ toward some lenses. Ultimately I was waiting for the 7D2. There was also a learning curve for me as I had to learn to manipulate the camera to get the pic quality I wanted and not rely on auto or P mode. Once I got comfortable enough with the camera, I moved to a 60D which I liked very much. In fact, I distinctly remember a thread I started here a few years ago about wanting to shoot an indoor party and was looking to add the 17-55 and wanted advice...a few people were telling me to ditch the 60D and get a 5D2 and 24-70 (this was before the 5D3 came out)...I didn't understand why folks were making that suggestion, I was happy with what I was using at the time...not to mention that I didn't really want to spend that kind of money. Plus, more importantly I liked the extra reach I was getting with my 60D. The truth was I never really actually USED a FF camera before...so I was unaware of the IQ difference between FF and crop (and no one said anything about it). Wasn't even aware that there WAS a difference TBH. I had the impression I would lose the reach in favor of a bunch of features I'd never use.
Oddly enough, apart from the 17-55 (and the Tamron 17-50 I had before that) I stayed away from EF-S lenses and stuck with just EF lenses, mostly L-series. Not because I wanted to upgrade, but because they were far superior in build quality and resale value. Plus I felt that those would be the lenses that would allow me to get the most out of my 60D.
So why did I make the leap, despite being adamant about not wanting to do it earlier? Well, remember I said above that I was chasing the best image quality I could get? I was viewing other people's pictures and I noticed on many shots how clear and sharp they were, and how my pics lacked that clarity...this is despite me using the very best L lenses (70-200, 35L, 100L, etc.). Also, I wasn't satisfied with many of the indoor shots I was getting, and wasn't fully satisfied with the 60D's high-ISO performance (I hate using flash). I spent all this money on top-quality lenses, and time learning the craft and STILL wasn't getting the IQ I truly strived for. I knew it was possible though because other people were getting those shots...so eventually, I looked to the only part of my kit that I hadn't really put much into - and that was the camera body. I remember creating a similar post here voicing those concerns and again folks were suggesting a FF camera.
I'd never so much held a FF camera (let alone used one) so I FINALLY went to the local store and asked to try one out. It was eye-opening to see the quality difference which I never knew existed until that point. Even then, I still ducked at the retail price (the 6D wasn't around yet so it was either a 5D3 or 1DX, the latter which was completely out of my budget). So I turned to eBay and started looking for deals (yes, I know, it's risky to do that)...and took advantage of an advertised deal and that was it, I took the leap.
After handling the 5D3, I hardly ever touched the 60D so eventually I sold it. Then I also had to get rid of the 17-55 and picked up a 24-70 II to replace it. Then, I suddenly realized why those folks in that party thread were suggesting a 5D instead when I actually went to shoot another one with the 5D/24-70 II. I was FINALLY starting to get that "clarity" and that "sharpness" in many of my shots!
However, after using the 5D for a while, I found there were limited situations I still wanted the reach of a crop sensor (ice shows)...so I got a secondhand 7D to shoot those. Eventually I got a 6D as well, but traded it in recently for a 2nd 5D (taking advantage of yet another mega-sale). When the 7D2 finally came out I traded in the original 7D for it.
Long post, but that's my story. From one, to the other, and then the realization I could use both. I still use the FF camera a LOT more for general photography but the 7D-caliber camera is really nice to have when reach-limited. I'd say it depends on what you shoot which one will be better...there are pros and cons to each.