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Author Topic: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?  (Read 4109 times)

curby

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Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« on: December 12, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »
Background:

I shoot wildlife, landscapes, travel, indoors, low-light, etc.  Not much portraiture or action.  I currently have a 450D with a 17-55/2.8 IS and 70-200/4 L IS.  My main non-artistic weakness is shaky hands, which is why I use, and only seriously consider, lenses with IS.

Goals in upgrade:

  • Better noise in low light/high ISO situations.
  • Good AF (AF point coverage and performance, speed in focusing, UI for point selection).
  • Availability of lenses.
  • Low weight/physical size. (related: I won't be using two bodies)
  • Environmental sealing.

Crop/FF vs. Goals:

If I upgraded to a newer crop body, I'd gain better ISO performance, potentially better AF, opportunity for me to reuse my 17-55, maintenance of reach of my 70-200 (to 320mm), and likely lower weight than a FF option.  The environmental sealing may or may not exist on the body, and definitely doesn't exist on the 17-55.

If I went with a 6D, I'd get better low light performance and better ISO performance, potentially better AF, and environmental sealing.  I'd have to replace my 17-55 with the 24-70/4 L IS, which while smaller, sealed, and capable of near-macro performance represents more expense and one lost stop.  I'd be able to continue using my 70-200 but would lose some reach on the FF sensor.  And lastly, the 6D would likely be bigger and heavier than crop options. 

How does the noise compare on something like a 60D with 17-55/2.8 IS, vs. a 6D with 24-70/4 IS?  If the 6D has to go up in ISO to compensate for the smaller aperture, will the resulting noise generally be more or less than the crop body at a lower ISO?  How about a 7D instead of a 60D?  In short, how does the low light benefit of going FF compare to the loss of a stop in aperture?

Thanks for any advice and help you can offer.

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Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« on: December 12, 2012, 05:15:00 PM »

curby

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 05:26:48 PM »
A reply from another thread with similar goals but more focused on shooting people rather than nature.  Any thoughts on these comments?

Noise: The 6D is about 1.5 to 2 stops better than the 60D.  I find I can shoot at ISO 3200 and get results that look as good as ISO 800 on the 60D.  And ISO 400 is just as good as ISO 100 on the 60D - which means I can shoot at ISO 400, and set my shutter speed 2 stops faster - which is great for action shots.   Also when I say 2-stops better that's comparing the amount of noise I see in RAW files.  However the real world advantage is actually a little better since with more detail you can apply more NR and still keep the minimum required detail for most applications.

AF: I'm finding the AF on the 6D to be very good, it's at least as fast as the 60D to lock focus, and clearly faster in low light.  However my understanding is that the 7D has a great AF system for tracking moving subjects which are off center.  So if you are finding you use the tracking AF a lot, and/or are using the points far from the center of the frame, you may want to keep the 7D for that.  I find that with tuning, you can make the 6D's tracking fairly good, however you have to keep your subject near the center of the frame.

(I suppose if it's safe to drop a stop in aperture and I want to maintain reach, I could always replace the 70-200/4 with the 70-300/4-5.6.  That's a lot of new glass to pay for though.)

Nazareth

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 05:39:51 PM »
both- They are two different use cameras- the crop of course give better range on lenses- telephoto- and the ff woudl be better for landscapes and portraits etc- as well as for cocnerts, inhouse photos etc etc etc- I shoot a 1DX as main camera 98% of the tiem now, but there are always times I need the reach of the 7D crop camera for wildlife shots- but of course you could always buy an extender for hte ff with long lenses to get the shots- but still, if I was goign to use an extender, it woudl be for the crop camera to give even more reach

I can tell you that the noise differencve between the 1DX and 7D is insane- I'm takign shots at 8000 ISO on the 1DX that look better than ISO 1200 (or whatever that iso is o nthe crop 1250 maybe?) Really- I couldn';t beleive how much nicer the 1DX was i nregards to noise- it just blew my mind- Very very pleased with hte 1DX performanc,e and soem say the 6D is not too far behind i nthe noise arena- so yeah, there's goign to be a big difgference in noise between crop and FF

curby

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 06:05:35 PM »
Thanks!  Just to be clear, I wouldn't be looking at any model number that starts with a 1 or a 3 (or a 5) due to my budget.  I guess I'll have to wait for some more comprehensive reviews of the 6D before making my decision, but I wasn't going to upgrade until spring at the earliest anyway.

RobPan

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 06:41:35 PM »
If you have shaky hands, please take into account that a relatively heavy FF camera is harder to move than a lightweight crop camera. The 6D will be harder to shake, so to say.
BTW the 6D is sold with the excellent 24-100 mm IS as a kit lens. Not a very cheap kit, but worth considering! I have recently bought a 5D3 and I love it for it's high ISO ratings which obviate the use of flash (a fill-in flash could be useful in backlight situations).
IF you would choose the 6D, do not forget also buying - and reading - a good book on the technical aspects, you will need it!


elflord

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 06:52:55 PM »
How does the noise compare on something like a 60D with 17-55/2.8 IS, vs. a 6D with 24-70/4 IS?  If the 6D has to go up in ISO to compensate for the smaller aperture, will the resulting noise generally be more or less than the crop body at a lower ISO?  How about a 7D instead of a 60D?  In short, how does the low light benefit of going FF compare to the loss of a stop in aperture?

Thanks for any advice and help you can offer.

With the full frame camera, f/4 is dof-equivalent to f/2.5 on a crop. As far as ISO performance is concerned, all things equal you'd expect it to go up with the square of the crop factor, e.g. FF should be able to use 2.5x the ISO setting of the crop for comparable results assuming similar technology. I think you'll find this holds up pretty well, for example my Rebel body would struggle at ISO 800 and my 5DII is pretty comfortable at ISO1600.

And when you're on full frame, you only "lose a stop" on that lens (unless you put teleconverters on but then that's a choice)

BTW, unless you are shooting at base ISO a lot, you are throwing away most of the advantages of full frame if you only ever use it with a slow zoom lens.

How shaky are your hands ? (how fast do you need the shutter speed to be at 50mm to get a sharp picture if you aren't using IS ?)

« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:03:32 PM by elflord »

verysimplejason

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 09:19:35 PM »
How does the noise compare on something like a 60D with 17-55/2.8 IS, vs. a 6D with 24-70/4 IS?  If the 6D has to go up in ISO to compensate for the smaller aperture, will the resulting noise generally be more or less than the crop body at a lower ISO?  How about a 7D instead of a 60D?  In short, how does the low light benefit of going FF compare to the loss of a stop in aperture?

Thanks for any advice and help you can offer.

With the full frame camera, f/4 is dof-equivalent to f/2.5 on a crop. As far as ISO performance is concerned, all things equal you'd expect it to go up with the square of the crop factor, e.g. FF should be able to use 2.5x the ISO setting of the crop for comparable results assuming similar technology. I think you'll find this holds up pretty well, for example my Rebel body would struggle at ISO 800 and my 5DII is pretty comfortable at ISO1600.

And when you're on full frame, you only "lose a stop" on that lens (unless you put teleconverters on but then that's a choice)

BTW, unless you are shooting at base ISO a lot, you are throwing away most of the advantages of full frame if you only ever use it with a slow zoom lens.

How shaky are your hands ? (how fast do you need the shutter speed to be at 50mm to get a sharp picture if you aren't using IS ?)

Another possible application is macro shooting.  You're into wildlife thus I'd presume that you'll also want to photograph insects.  I'm also thinking of this because I'm also into landscape plus macro.  Does a shallow DOF compensates ISO performance for APS-C? I shoot using 500D.  In good light, ISO 800 is pretty usable, comparable enough to a 5D2 on 1600.  I've searched through flickr and compared my shots with those using FF.  Most of my shots are on F/8- F/11 while those using FF are between F/11-F/16 and sometimes F/22.  I'm using a 100mm macro USM non-L.  I'm on the same boat and a little bit confused/undecided... a 6D or a 7D2...  :-\

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 09:19:35 PM »

Policar

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 09:33:57 PM »
I personally find the difference most significant for portraiture, low light, and autofocus.

For UWA the difference isn't great unless you use tilt shift lenses, which make more sense on FF.

The 50mm f1.8 on a 5D is such a great combo. And autofocus with long lenses is stellar with the Mark III. Tonality, micocontrast, etc. are improved. A 1.5 stop advantage over the 7D sounds right.

Macro is worse.

elflord

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 10:09:44 PM »
Another possible application is macro shooting.  You're into wildlife thus I'd presume that you'll also want to photograph insects.  I'm also thinking of this because I'm also into landscape plus macro.  Does a shallow DOF compensates ISO performance for APS-C? I shoot using 500D.  In good light, ISO 800 is pretty usable, comparable enough to a 5D2 on 1600.  I've searched through flickr and compared my shots with those using FF.  Most of my shots are on F/8- F/11 while those using FF are between F/11-F/16 and sometimes F/22.  I'm using a 100mm macro USM non-L.  I'm on the same boat and a little bit confused/undecided... a 6D or a 7D2...  :-\

Macro is one application where you are often distance limited, which negates some of the full frame advantages.  For example, the minimum focus distance is the same for a given lens whether you're full frame or crop, so the mfd for a given effective focal length is generally smaller for a crop (to put it another way, at magnification of 1x, an object 36mm wide fills a ff sensor, but an object 22.5mm wide fills an APS-C)

You usually have to stop down a long way to get enough dof with macro, so the extra dof in APS is a plus.

So just for macro, for me the cost of FF (substantial) wouldn't justify the benefits (none that I know of as far as macro is concerned)

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 11:44:52 PM »
For example, the minimum focus distance is the same for a given lens whether you're full frame or crop, so the mfd for a given effective focal length is generally smaller for a crop (to put it another way, at magnification of 1x, an object 36mm wide fills a ff sensor, but an object 22.5mm wide fills an APS-C)

You usually have to stop down a long way to get enough dof with macro, so the extra dof in APS is a plus.

That's having your cake and eating it, too.  The 'deeper DoF of APS-C' applies when you're talking about identical framing, meaning a greater subject distance with APS-C.  When you're comparing APS-C to FF at 1:1, the APS-C frames a smaller subject and gives a shallower DoF - that's two advantages to FF, right there.  On the flip side, APS-C gives you relatively more pixels on that smaller FoV, meaning more 'digital' magnification - so that's an APS-C advantage.
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brad goda

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 11:57:49 PM »
first
buy solid tripod with a decent fluid head or gimbal for wildlife and solid 3D or ball for the rest.
cant beat a solid shot ... IS or better body will not help a soft shakey image.  dont want to carry
tripod...get used to it or use monopod.

but for what you are asking for?
used 60D
6D
used 1Ds MKIII
 :)

bycostello

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 12:05:49 AM »
high iso camera worth upgrading for...  ff or crop, makes no difference (i await for that statement to be 'shot down'!!)

verysimplejason

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 12:18:19 AM »
I've just seen these shots recently.  These shots are taken mostly with Nikon D200 and D7000.  Not mine, but it's worth sharing.  These photos are some of the best I can find in the web for macro and landscape.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/pipoujid/popular-interesting/

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 12:18:19 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 12:50:04 AM »
I've just seen these shots recently.  These shots are taken mostly with Nikon D200 and D7000.  Not mine, but it's worth sharing.  These photos are some of the best I can find in the web for macro and landscape.

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/pipoujid/popular-interesting/

Nikon Crop sensors flat out kill the canon ones and have done for quite some time well at least the 1.6 crops
the APS-H on canons is better again than the nikon crops and as for full frame on canon or nikon both have strengths and weakneses and its down to end user preference of which is better for a particular need
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Don Haines

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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 08:41:39 AM »
Hi,

I have a 60D and a 7D.

High ISO performance is noticeable worse that a 5DII, and the 6D is supposed to be a bit better than the 5DII. By noticeably worse, I don't mean that if you set up your comparison tests and pixel peep you can detect a difference.... I mean noticeably worse viewing the full uncropped image on a monitor.

The 7D is better sealed than the 60D, and has AFMA. The 60D has the articulating screen, (I like it but some have an absolute hatred of them.... i wonder if they have tried it...) and a crop video mode that astrophotographers really like. Unless you need those features I would lean towards a 7D because of the AFMA as my crop sensor option. I leave recomendation of a ff option to those with better experience than I...... but it seems like a choice between a 6D, a 7D, or waiting a few months to see if a new 7D is going to be released
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Re: Help: Cheap FF or high end Crop for next body?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 08:41:39 AM »