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Author Topic: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame  (Read 2193 times)

Achin

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Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« on: April 25, 2012, 04:56:35 PM »
Hi, I am looking for advice on whether to move up to full-frame or stick with the crop-camera route.

Background: I am an amateur who knows the basics of working with dSLRs – had a film SLR for twenty years before I went digital. However, lately I don’t have much time to focus on photography between work and chasing after my young kids (6 and 4). My 7 year old Rebel XT (current lens lineup is: 17-55 2.8, 85 1.8, and 70-300mm DO) has delivered some great shots over the years but I am now looking into getting a new camera body for the following reasons:

1) Not so dependable AF especially indoors where I go into manual mode sometimes to try to keep shutter speed up. AF seems to hunt and/or not focus successfully on the spot that I was aiming at.

2) AF not so good at capturing action. Not taking pics of sports cars but trying to get perfect shot of baseball swing or child running towards me with soccer ball.

3) Limited high ISO capabilities – I am not a big fan of on-camera flash and am considering experimenting with some off-camera lighting for family portraits etc but neither is practical for school plays or dance/piano recitals.

I have been reading through the various forum threads and now thinking about whether to get the best (AF and low-light) crop camera that may arrive in Fall (don’t need much in summer as nearly everything will be outdoors where the XT is fine except for a bit of soccer) or invest in a full-frame camera such as the 5D Mark III and change out my crop lens. In either case I will be keeping the camera for a number of years and anticipate need to deal with faster action as the kids grow older. I will mostly be taking pictures of the kids plus some travel shots.

I can afford the Mark III but money is money and am wondering if it will be a good use of money and worth the weight of carrying around a heavier camera.

Questions:
1) If I usually print @ 8x10 or less with the rare 16x20 will I will be able to detect a difference in IQ?

2) Since I usually don’t go above ISO 800 nowadays given the XT’s limitations – whether ISO 6400 is plenty good for school plays/recitals?  it seems from some threads that the Mark III is doing ok 12,800 or even 25,600 granted I can’t tell how well they print.

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Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« on: April 25, 2012, 04:56:35 PM »

newjerseykita

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 05:37:20 PM »
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/full-frame-advantage.htm

Have you read this? Great read, i love referring to Ken because his website educated me a TON on stuff like this.

Even though ISO is relative in all cameras, when you look at full frame you have to think of the sensor as a light dish, the more light you can collect at once the less sensitive (Lower iso) you need the sensor. If you follow to my knowledge full frame allows you to keep the iso fairly low. While still getting good images. I haven't had this confirmed yet so if anyone in here wants to. Cheers.

I think you should i think everyone should! But you have to factor in the money side of it are you going to make money off of your camera or is it simply for Sheets and giggles. Weigh the factors of how much you shoot versus the price.


My Recommendations? 7D I think it's great with iso, i've shot around 3200 and still had a usable image, even as a jpg!
Full Frame if you want the best of the best get the 5D3. Best AF and noise handling in full frame you could afford. 

The image i'm attaching is shot indoors with terribile colored lighting, not bright enough. It's average gym lighting. Shot at
1/800
ISO: 2500
F/2.8
http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0nhfovRdH1qhfd0bo1_1280.jpg

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 06:13:46 PM »
Hi, I am looking for advice on whether to move up to full-frame or stick with the crop-camera route.

2) Since I usually don’t go above ISO 800 nowadays given the XT’s limitations – whether ISO 6400 is plenty good for school plays/recitals?  it seems from some threads that the Mark III is doing ok 12,800 or even 25,600 granted I can’t tell how well they print.

The 5D MK II is good at ISO 3200 and can be used sparingly at ISO 6400.  I bought a 5D MK III, and my tests indicate I gain about 1 stop, maybe slightly less, however, the extreme ISO's roll off much more slowly than with my 5D MK II. 
 
Since you want low light plus the best autofocus, I'd suggest getting a 5D MK III.  Except for the excellent Autofocus, its not a huge gain over the MK II.

mdm041

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 10:45:47 PM »
I would suggest either a 7d or 5dmk3.  If you expect to do alot of indoor and lowlight photography with ISO greater than 800 (you mention recitals) then the mk3 will serve you best.  If you expect a lot of outdoor sports shots as well the mk3's 6fps will make due but the 7d's 8 fps and crop fov advantage will pull ahead.  If you expect a lot of both then I'd go with the mk3 as I feel it's the best all around camera.  I have both and enjoy them both and you can't really go wrong.
5D III, 7D, 16-35 F2.8L, 24-70 F2.8L, 50 F1.4
70-200 F2.8L IS II

unfocused

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 01:42:48 PM »
I meant to respond to this post earlier. Here's my two cents:

Quote
1) If I usually print @ 8x10 or less with the rare 16x20 will I will be able to detect a difference in IQ?

No, definitely not at 8x10 and if properly framed, exposed and processed, not at 16 x 20 either

Quote
2) Since I usually don’t go above ISO 800 nowadays given the XT’s limitations – whether ISO 6400 is plenty good for school plays/recitals?  it seems from some threads that the Mark III is doing ok 12,800 or even 25,600 granted I can’t tell how well they print.

Harder to answer. Up to 800, not a problem. Above that, you will start seeing some differences. Remember though that in order to get the benefits of the higher ISO speeds, you will need to retain the same lens f-stop. You already own an f 2.8 lens for wide to normal range. You'll have to add in the cost of a 24-70 2.8 to get a comparable range, and remember that your lens has IS, so factor that in as well.

Also, remember that with your telephoto you will be giving up 1/3 of the range if you switch to full frame. To achieve the equivalent of your 300mm lens on your Rebel or on a 7D you'd need 480mm on a full frame.

Now, here's the standard answer: It all depends on your priorities, needs, wants and budget. Only you can answer that. What would I do? First, I'd keep the Rebel XT through the summer and see what happens in Sept. with the 7DII so that I'm comparing the 5DIII with the same generation of 7D.

Second, I'd ask myself if the difference in cost might be better used in giving the kids a memory they'll have for the rest of their lives. Between the camera and lens upgrades, you're talking two to three thousand dollars difference. I'd probably take the money and take the kids on a trip they'll never forget. Fifty years from now, they won't have any idea what camera you shot those vacation pictures with, but they will look at the pictures and remember standing by your side watching Old Faithful erupt.
pictures sharp. life not so much. www.unfocusedmg.com

KurtStevens

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 04:26:32 PM »
Yes, you should upgrade.  Sounds like a good leap to make, yes it's a lot of money up front but the advantages are clear.  You're obviously going to be keeping whatever camera you buy for a long time so why not put a little more money up front and go with a sure thing?

The AF is a beast in this thing and i've been able to keep a few images from 12800 (shooting in a concert/theater/music stage) and a lot from 6400.  I wouldnt' have been able to get the shot on any other camera.
5D3 + 16-35 + 85 + 135

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 06:41:51 PM »

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 06:41:51 PM »

swrightgfx

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 10:38:25 PM »
There is one thing you are forgetting: lenses. You have 17-55 2.8, 85 1.8, and 70-300mm DO currently, but will lose use of the 17-55 (except on the relegated XT as backup). Currently with the XT in crop, you get around 28mm at the widest end, far from your next closest 70mm on the 70-300. The 17-55 is a fast zoom, so I imagine speed is important to you. This leaves you with a bit more spending to do should you want to shoot wider with full-frame.  I would consider two option:

5D Mark II with one of the following: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM I/II, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24mm f/1.4L I/II USM, EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM.

5D Mark III with one of the previously mentioned or, if budget does not permit, make do temporarily with the inexpensive and rather plastic EF 24mm f/2.8 (gives some CA, but center-sharp from 2.8).

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Re: Should I Upgrade to Full-Frame
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 10:38:25 PM »