Advice required on downsizing gear

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Hi All,

I am currently considering downsizing my existing camera gear and would like some advice and suggestions from other members.

Currently I have the following equipment:
6D Mark II
16-35 f4L
24-105 f4L
70-300 F4.5-5.6L

I mainly use my camera for holiday pics - probably 80 % of use, family shots including 2 yo grand daughter- 10% and night city scapes - 10%.

I originally had a 550D and was disappointed with the image quality when bumping the ISO up and upgraded to the original 6D which I was very happy with the image quality, but a bit bummed by the small number of focus points. I upgraded to the 6D Mark II as soon as it was released and have been very happy with it.

The only issue I have with the gear is the size and weight of the gear when dragging it all around on holidays.

I am currently considering downsizing and selling all of my DSLR gear (including lenses) and buying the M6 Mark II with the 11-22 and 18-150 EF-M lenses and possibly the 35 1.4 as well. I would also be getting the removable EVF.

I think from what I have read that the new crop sensor would provide close enough performance to the 6D M2 (I can accept 1stop worse ISO for equivalent image quality) and I know that the lenses won’t be as good as the L series I currently have, but will the be good enough?

I am not looking at the R or RP because if I do this the main goal is downsizing my gear and the size difference between my current gear and the R range would not be significant.

So people - am I missing anything? Is there any significant functionality that I would be missing? For those that have moved to the M series how have they found the image quality from the native lenses?

Money wise I stand to probably pocket $1000 after the change so the cost is not an issue.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Robert
 

SteveC

M50 & T6i
Sep 3, 2019
294
165
The 32mm 1/4 has a very good reputation and in my extremely limited experience with it looks good. The 11-22 only slightly less so (not quite as good a rep [though there is one person here who said it's the reason to own an M-series] AND I have even less experience with it). (I literally bought both lenses last week!) I haven't looked at any pictures from either lens on my computer monitor (which is as close as I go to pixel-peeping). I don't own the 18-150 so I can't help with that one. The 55-200 (which you didn't mention; I'm tossing out alternatives) is one I also don't own but seems to have a good reputation. (The 55-100 leaves a large range of focal lengths, 21-55mm exclusive, uncovered, so that's probably why you aren't considering it.)

I suspect all of these will be significant come-downs from your L series lenses in spite of all of that. Perhaps too much of one; I don't know what your expectations/needs are. If you can play with any of this gear beforehand, please do so. I can't compare the 6D to the M6 because I've never had either, and I've never owned any of those L lenses either.

Another thing that may surprise you is crop factor. A shot of your granddaughter that nicely fills the frame in your 6D will overflow it with the Mk 6 II; you'll be using shorter focal lengths than you are used to for the same framing. (I had the reverse experience the first time I played with a full frame: "Dang it, I can't get close enough!" And a crop after the fact would have left me with a fairly low pixel count. You are going to get higher resolution with this change.) With enough of a range on your zooms this is less of an issue but expect that 32mm to behave like a 50mm (strictly speaking, 51.2mm) in terms of framing the shot.
 
Oct 6, 2019
1
0
My primary kit used to be almost the same as yours - same 3 lenses plus a 5D3. About 2 years ago I added an M5 plus the 11-22 and the 18-150 (I later added the 32/1.4). For family snapshots, hiking, and family vacation photography, I think the M5 is nearly perfect. I’m happy with the image quality, and I love the small size.

When I’m out to shoot grand landscapes, sports, or wildlife, I bring my bigger gear because I think it’s better in more extreme scenarios (bad weather, AF accuracy for fast moving objects, etc.). But I never regret when I carry the M5 kit - it’s just so easy to carry and it gives me really good images.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
732
100
Hi Robert

How much difference you will see in IQ is somewhat subjective, but my thinking is the benefits of a full frame sensor - and high quality lenses - are going to be more noticeable in low light situations and also the larger you want to print/display your photos. I realise you are asking about lenses more than bodies, but they obviously they have to work together as a system, so you need to factor it all in. If you are not printing/displaying at very large sizes, and you usually shoot in situations with plenty of light, my guess based on the use cases in your OP is that you would be happy enough with IQ so long as you look at the photo as a whole and don't pixel peep (although the fact you weren't happy with the IQ of a 550D at high ISOs does make me wonder if you shoot in low light situations often enough that that may be an issue for you). That said, you can't expect the M lenses to be up to the standard of your L lenses, so in the end only you can decide if you're happy enough with the IQ that it's worth the trade off to get the smaller and lighter system. Obviously, no point in having high quality (and relatively expensive) L gear if you don't actually use it because you find it inconvenient to carry.

A few other thoughts:

Before you get rid of your full frame gear, what camera strap do you use, and what camera bag/s do you have? A good camera strap makes a world of difference when you're carrying a camera around!! I use a Peak Design Slide for everyday use, and a Black Rapid Sport when doing things like hiking/camping, but there are plenty of options around. A couple of good camera bags of different sizes can also be useful. Anyway, if you don't have a good camera strap, I'd highly recommend getting one. (I have done a number of multi-day hiking trips, where I'm carring tent, food, etc, wtih a 6D + 24-70/4L IS on the Black Rapid strap and I've been OK with it.)

Another option before getting rid of all of your full frame gear is changing your lens lineup. You could consider adding one or more smaller and lighter primes, such as a 35/2 IS, 40/2.8, 50/1.8 STM and 85/1.8. A 6D II plus one of those lenses would feel easier to carry around, partly because they signficantly lighter than any of your existing lenses but also because they are shorter. There is also the option of a 24-70/4 IS instead of your 24-105/4 IS. The 24-70/4 IS is only a little bit lighter, but it is noticeably shorter. And instead of your 70-300L, you could look at a 70-200/4L IS (original or mark II) or even a 70-300 II (albeit I expect that would probably be a slightly weaker lens optically than your current zooms). Obvously though, changing lenses but staying with full frame is just tinkering at the edges compared with the downsizing you would get with the M system, so perhaps not an option you are interested in. (FWIW, for travel I usually take the 24-70/4L IS if I take only one lens, and if I can carry a little more I add one or both of a 35/1.4 Art and 135/2L.)

If you are going to move to an APS-C camera, you could still consider a DSLR and look at lenses such as the 10-18 IS, 15-85 IS and 55-250 IS STM. That set up would be a bit bigger and heavier than an M set up but would give you the option of using EF and EF-S lenses without needing an adapter, plus better battery life. It would also give you an OVF rather than an EVF, which you may or may not prefer. Of course, you would need to factor in all of the other differences between an M6 II and, say, a 90D body too.
 
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Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi jd7.
I agree with what you say about straps, the best way to hate the weight of a camera is to carry it around your neck or over the shoulder sliding off the shoulder using the manufacturer supplied strap!
What feels ok to each is obviously very subjective, I carried a gripped 7DII on my EF 600 f4L IS on my Black Rapid Sport strap (and a carbon fibre monopod over the other shoulder) for the day at Goodwood Revival, covered some 7 miles walking (quickly on a very hot day) between shooting locations. By the end of the day when people commented on how much they would like a lens like that I could honestly say that I had lens envy for a smaller lens! :LOL::LOL: I was not however deterred from carrying it the next day too! I know I could not have done a fraction of the day using the Canon camera neck strap even if using the supplementary Canon lens strap!
Many might say that was too heavy for them, they would not necessarily be wrong!
As far as the op, I was thinking part of their issue might be the packed size for their 80% holiday pics usage case.

Cheers, Graham.

Hi Robert
Before you get rid of your full frame gear, what camera strap do you use, and what camera bag/s do you have? A good camera strap makes a world of difference when you're carrying a camera around!! I use a Peak Design Slide for everyday use, and a Black Rapid Sport when doing things like hiking/camping, but there are plenty of options around. A couple of good camera bags of different sizes can also be useful. Anyway, if you don't have a good camera strap, I'd highly recommend getting one. (I have done a number of multi-day hiking trips, where I'm carring tent, food, etc, wtih a 6D + 24-70/4L IS on the Black Rapid strap and I've been OK with it.)
 
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Act444

EOS 6D MK II
May 4, 2011
993
102
Sounds like you'd be happy with the M6 II and the 18-150. I use the original M6 with that lens and in the appropriate situations it's quite handy. Compact enough to fit in a fanny pack. However, be prepared for the tradeoff in IQ. It will be a clear step down compared to a 6D with the lenses you mentioned. But it is also a significantly smaller and lighter package...so maybe it might be worth it for you. I'd test it out first (if possible) and see.

The 11-22 and 32 1.4 are both excellent lenses - if you go M, I highly recommend adding them to the collection if budget allows. Of note is that the 11-22 (when used on the M6) does not suffer from the soft corners you often get from a FF UWA lens.
 
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JohnC

EOS M50
Sep 22, 2019
37
33
Gainesville,GA
I shoot a 5D4 for my more serious landscape work, but recently picked up the M6 II for many of the reasons you mention. In fact I have the 2 lenses you mention as well as the EFM 22. I bought it primarily to have a kit that is substantially lighter (and it is dramatic) as well as having something that I can travel with much easier on business trips. Everything in the kit fits easily in a Domke F10 with room for more, and basically unnoticeable from a carrying standpoint.

Based upon my testing so far I feel comfortable saying the following:

1. The new sensor in the M62 impresses me. I took a couple of snaps this morning while standing around waiting for decent light for my other set-up. I was shooting hand held at ISO1000 and I'm very happy when examining the quality of the files taken at that sensitivity. Does it match the 5D4 files? Of course not but frankly it isn't that far off at that ISO setting.

2. The AF (using EVF) seems to be pretty good. I used it yesterday taking the little ones to a pumpkin patch and it easily works for that application. I didn't take the 18-150 off the camera all day in fact. Both the face and eye detection seemed pretty good in my opinion although to qualify that I'm pretty ignorant on auto-focus since I manual focus my other lenses. ***I did shoot a great blue heron this morning, and it followed the bird flying across the lake quite well using the 18-150. Now the shots themselves are nothing to write home about, I was within 50 yards at one point but when it flew tracked him to the other side of the cove roughly 250 yards away. I estimate about 70% of the moving shots tracked the bird, a few were a little off. These were anywhere from 2500-6400 ISO.

3. Still testing shadow detail, but so far I'm pleased with what I see. The noise character is pretty random and I haven't seen any banding at all so far, even at extreme pushes.

4. The IS - I'm VERY impressed with this but it could be that I haven't used IS much in the past (other than with the Fuji system I just sold). I took a landscape snap the other morning at ISO6400 hand held for .40 seconds. I was quite surprised to find the detail sharp when I was able to review it on my computer. In addition, for web purposes the file would be usable regarding noise.

My normal kit weighs 20-25 lbs, primarily due to the metal zeiss lenses. This M kit weighs maybe 3. Huge difference and based on what I have seen thus far I'm going to be very happy to use it as a my travel kit as well as for use with the kids.

To be sure the IQ isn't what I get with my 5D4 when pixel peeping for sure. On the other hand I'm not sure how many people would be able to tell the difference particularly looking at web size images, even large ones. I think if you are primarily using web, or print 11x14 or smaller you would be quite satisfied with the M6II.

***I'm really critical when it comes to file quality (which is why I no longer shoot the Fuji X series). I happily admit to peeping at pixels with my files, and I know what kind of quality I want to see at that level. For the most part it is only at that level that you would see the difference for the kind of shooting you indicate you do.
 
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SteveC

M50 & T6i
Sep 3, 2019
294
165
I shoot a 5D4 for my more serious landscape work, but recently picked up the M6 II for many of the reasons you mention. In fact I have the 2 lenses you mention as well as the EFM 22. I bought it primarily to have a kit that is substantially lighter (and it is dramatic) as well as having something that I can travel with much easier on business trips. Everything in the kit fits easily in a Domke F10 with room for more, and basically unnoticeable from a carrying standpoint.

Based upon my testing so far I feel comfortable saying the following:

.....
This helped me as well. I've been annoyed with the fact that M6 II is offered as a kit with viewfinder only if I get another 15-45, or the 18-150. I might just spring for the 18-150 now.
 

JohnC

EOS M50
Sep 22, 2019
37
33
Gainesville,GA
Couple of quick shots at end of the 18-150, the wide angle hasn't really been processed. A little exposure and minimal sharpening @ ISO 1000. Both hand held using autofocus (obviously tracking for the bee). I'm not that kind of shooter at all, but even for me it works pretty well.

 

Ah-Keong

EOS 80D
Dec 1, 2016
179
11
I would sell the 24-105mm and the 70-300mm and replace them with the Tamron 35-150mm f/2,8-f/4. Two lens to meet your requirements. :p
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
246
28
England
Is the problem here that your 6D mk2 with any one of your lenses mounted is too big and heavy or is it that you feel obliged to carry all your lenses with you whenever you go out?
A few years ago I used to take 3 or 4 lenses with me every time I went out shooting and yes it was very tiring. However, I found that I didn't change my lens the field very often and although I took a selection of lenses with me, most of the time I ended up using just one of them. So now what I do now is decide what I will be shooting before I go out and then pick the best lens for the job. The other lenses stay at home.
If I really don't know what I am going to be shooting then I take a general purpose zoom. Your 24-105 F4L would be a perfect choice for this.

Personally I think that if you go from a full frame camera to an APS-C crop then you might be disappointed with the results.
If you are going to downgrade to the M6 mk2 because the size and weight of the camera is the most important consideration for you then go ahead. However, you have some lovely lenses and a full frame body and it will be difficult for any APS-C camera to deliver the results that you are achieving now.
 
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old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
381
26
Only you can know how important various factors are in making your decision. Given your stated use and the lenses you list it's clear that shallow depth of field is not a significant factor. Low light is an expressed concern but that relates to a couple generation older technology so it's hard to estimate how significant that actually would be for current generation products. You didn't mention what you do with your photos -- print large or just share on social media?

In my situation I too felt the need to reduce the weight of what I typically used covering events and for family stuff (young grandkids here as well). That was several years ago. I wound up buying into the micro 4/3 rds system and have been exceptionally happy with it -- especially the current generation. I first looked at the original EOS M but it was way too slow to focus. I waited for the M3 - better but still not up to par to follow small kids around. (I imagine M6II is great but I couldn't wait that long for Canon to figure it out.) I now have Pan G9 and Oly M5II plus Oly f2.8 PRO zoom lenses - all weather sealed and all fantastic performers. And, all substantially lighter than FF equivalents. The Oly M1-II latest firmware is even better than what I have now. However, in my case this is all in parallel to full Canon kit, not in place of it.

All I can say is if you want lighter gear you need to seriously consider smaller sensor bodies and associated lenses. I use my M4/3 gear probably 80% of the time. No client has ever complained about M4/3 event shots being poor quality even up to ISO 3200. However, for formal portraits a 5DII/III/IV or 6DI/II with an L series prime is the way to go IMO.
 

Rob-downunder

EOS M50
Aug 16, 2014
26
1
Hi All,

Thanks very much for everyone’s input and feedback. With the information provided here as well as checking out some further online reviews, I am confident that the M6 will suit 98% of what I need, so I am going to go ahead with the change and look forward to reducing the load I need to carry when travelling. Now I’m off to list my gear on eBay !!!

Rob
 
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