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Looking to upgrade...is it a mugs game!?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Doctorken, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Doctorken

    Doctorken Member

    Hello.... new to the forums. Bet this has been done to death....

    I've owned my canon 700d for a few years and like the feel of the camera. I have the 18-55 and 55-250 4-5.6 efs IS USM kit lenses plus a nice 50mm 1.8 prime lens which has been great for indoors with nice shallow depth of field.

    Mostly photos of kids, holidays and landscapes/wildlife when out and about

    I've been able to take some decent enough photo's but have noticed noise in the shadows esp once ISO 800 or above and struggle to balance shutter speed and exposure esp indoors with no flash. Often and when viewed full screen on a tv or computer sometimes the colour looks less than perfect. Had some decent prints A4 sized no prob though....

    My gut is that I need to learn how to use my existing kit better, how to process using software, and maybe consider better lenses eg faster portrait or maybe a L series 24-70

    The but kid inside me wants to get my hands on a second hand full frame 5Div, 6Dii or maybe something mirrorless

    Budget £500-1k if just lens(s) but could save up and go to 2k if taking the plunge with full frame....

    I was hoping for thoughts on best course of action and would I notice the difference at such an amateur level?

    I'd love something like the 5d iv plus the L series but not enough cash. Same as I would like a range rover sport but don't need to drive through streams and can't afford one in any case :)
     
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    1. Yes, you're right, more learning will result in better photographs, the kit you have is capable of doing it.
    2. It's fine to buy new kit because you want to, not because you need to.

    Will you notice a difference? Hard to say. The more 'extreme' the circumstances, the more 'specialist' kit will help. Indoors, with high ISO, a second-hand 6D would be a more achievable solution than a 6D2 or 5Div.
     
  3. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Replacing something before you are certain that you've outgrown it will prove to be an expensive and repetetive experience.

    Also, a question I always ask in response to 'do I need to upgrade' posts: do you get large prints made from any of your images?
    If not, I can't see a reason to replace any of the kit, including the camera body with its 18 megapixel APS-C sensor. I have had some decent 50 x 75 cm prints from a 16 megapixel APS-C camera body.

    If you really want to spend money, perhaps look for a better telephoto for the wildlife shots or a secondhand Sigma 10-20 for the landscape stuff. You will find excellent stuff available secondhand from most of AP's regular advertisers.
     
  4. Doctorken

    Doctorken Member

    Yes that is what I was worried about. It's that aspiration that I will get a couple of photo's worthy of being blown up to poster size and hung on the wall I guess.

    Less likely to happen unless my basic skills are up to scratach though.....

    Just feel wary that as with most products in any field it seems to be a yearly increase in numbers with v little practical gain

    And from a day to day basis my wife's iphone has taken some stunning photos with zero effort :rolleyes:
     
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I would say that you get more value from upgrading lenses than a body. Once you have top of the range lenses you may benefit from a body upgrade.

    Don't fool yourself that you will use your current body as a second/spare body, because the old one will handle differently you will probably find you are less keen to use it after handling the new one. If you really do want two bodies it is preferable for them to be identical. Not that I follow my own advice, I use a Nikon D4 and two D3 bodies which are very similar but not to the extent that I don't now miss the ISO button (re-programmed video button) on the top plate when I use a D3.
     
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    In practical terms I suspect you'll struggle to see much difference in results, it much depends on how much pixel peeping you do. There are benefits to spending £2k on a lens rather than £200 but perhaps not as much as you'd think. Personally I prefer the size and weight of full frame cameras but I also use telephoto lenses and, although heavy, the "bigger package" is easier to hold. By all means give in to your inner child but beware the cost and the weight implications. A 5Div with the 24-70 F2.8 L is a big combination.

    Mirrorless cameras are now getting quite good. The focussing performance of the latest is as good as DSLR and the viewfinders have lost their sluggishness. I don't have any experience of the Canon ones. The APS-C got off to a shaky start but the latest ones have a lot of fans. The full frame ones are still quite new and first generation so there could be quite a step change when the next ones come along. I use Fuji mirrorless as a "light" alternative to my Canon kit.

    If your current colour looks odd when viewed full screen on monitor or TV I'd blame the monitor/TV and perhaps the software you use to display the images. Accurate colour monitors for critical graphics/photo work are quite expensive and are best used in a controlled lighting environment.
     
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Photos of kids suggests a wife or at least a partner who is desperately wondering what to buy you for a Christmas pressie. Be ambitious, and show her this thread.
     
  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you read AP's review of expensive smartphones (but most users don't realise how expensive they are because they pay for them over 2 or 3 years), they usually mention that despite the claims made about picture quality the images won't survive enlargement as well as those from your DSLR. And if you have already noticed the 'yearly increase in numbers with v little practical gain' then you will save a lot of money in future. If you get a shot of your children that you are really proud of (and it is well exposed and in focus), why not try a 40 x 60 or 50 x 75 cm print? I use the CEWE online service (one of many), which allows cropping to fit frames that are not the 2 by 3 ratio of your camera body's sensor, so you can (for example) get a square print if you want one and lose the part of the image you don't want. Or choose twelve images of your children and get an A4 calendar for 2020. For the last two years I've moved up from A4 to A3 calendars, which look great.

    Your best shots belong on your wall, not lost forever on an old iPhone.
     
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    If you want to you can make an A1 size print from a cellphone. I've seen it done and the examples I saw were quite impressive. I've also seen an exhibition of wildlife pictures on A0 some of which were taken on bridge cameras and others on early generation dSLRs like the 6MB EOS 10D as here...

    Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC01097.JPG

    It's up to you whether you concentrate on telling the story or counting the pixells in a boring picture. I'm sure the kit you've already got has lots of potential you haven't explored as yet so why not look around for pictures instead of purchases?
     
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I think we should also advise that the quality of a print should be judged from a sensible viewing distance - I have been pleasantly surprised how well some shots have printed although they didn't look too good when examined very closely on a PC screen. Fine detail can be overrated, and the never-ending search to record it very expensive. A few years ago I had the chance to look very closely at a large painting by Canaletto (about 2.5 metres wide) , and detail that impressed me from a sensible viewing distance was revealed to be merely a couple of brush strokes (to indicate a window) so that I was even more impressed by the artist's skill. This helped me decide to abandon the megapixel race and invest in some decent secondhand lenses instead.
     
  11. Doctorken

    Doctorken Member

    Thanks for the replies... confirms what I was thinking wrt spending on lenses. I think the faster lens for freezing the indoor shots of the kids was a good start and I've enjoyed using it more than the kit zoom lenses

    I agree with the spending time photographing rather than messing about with minute details....

    What do you reckon makes a decent EF general purpose zoom the cropped sensor that's in the 700D?

    I was looking SH at the 24 70 f4 L II IS vs the 24 70 f2.8 L without IS as well as the sigma and tamron offerings, or maybe a couple more decent prime lenses in due course...

    Seems its all been done to dea
     
  12. Doctorken

    Doctorken Member

    I think I need to get some prints made to see what they look like :)
     
  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It depends on what you want in a lens. For me, on full frame, the Canon 24-105 F4 L makes a good all purpose lens. Used on APS-C the field of view at the wide end is limited. The 15-85 EFS is the closest equivalent but of course can't be used on a full- frame camera.

    The 24-70 F2.8 on one body and 70-200 F2.8 on another body used to be a standard outfit in film days, this covers most subjects a press photographer would come across.

    The order of EF lenses I bought (over several years) was 24-105 F4 (kit with 5D), 70-200 F2.8 (for kids running around), 17-40 F4 for landscape. Everything since has been meeting niche needs, except for replacing the 17-40 with a 16-35. I also doubled up the 70-200 with a F4 which is much lighter. I was travelling bi-weekly between two countries at the time and the 2.8 was always in the wrong one when I wanted it.
     
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    This thread is becoming too rational. Upgrading is about emotion.
     
    Doctorken and MJB like this.
  15. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Indeed, get a used 6D I and some decent lenses, including some primes and learn how to get the best results. Wildlife, depending on size may require a different and more expensive approach.
     
  16. Doctorken

    Doctorken Member

    That's the type of of advice I need :D

    I enjoy the prime lens more than the zooms at the moment too as makes me think a little more

    For freezing movement of wildlife I would need to sell my car I think
     
  17. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It's not the freezing of movement. but the need for range and the cost of telephotos. For Canon the 400 F5.6 L is an entry to wildlife photography and often recommended as a first lens for bird photography. On a crop sensor camera the field of view is equivalent to a 640 mm on full frame and indeed a 600 F4 is a tad on the pricy side. Although the 400 has no IS it is relatively light which is a bonus and very sharp wide open so it is fully useable at 5.6. The new version of the 100-400 zoom is now as good at 400, has excellent IS, weighs a ton.

    Of course there is a wide variety of wildlife. A 400 prime, whether on full-frame or crop, is a bit limited for walking around a zoo. That's where a 70-300 (or 70-200 with teleconverter) or 100-400 wins out.
     
  18. Michael Smith

    Michael Smith Member

    Get the 5D Mark IV! Or if you can wait, the 1D X Mark III will be out in a few months.
     
  19. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    For an APS-C camera body, look for a secondhand Sigma 17-70. I have one of the older models and it's my first choice if I don't know that I specefically need a wide angle (my Sigma 10-20) or a telephoto. You should find one easily in a Canon mount.

    The older model (F 4.5 at 70 mm) for £99
    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Sigma-17-70mm-F2.8-4.5-DC_261852.html

    The new model (F 4 at 70 mm and 'optically stabilised') goes for about £150 - £200 secondhand, or £350 if prefer to buy new.
    Some dealers get the two types confused and price then wrongly, so it's best to check first.
     
  20. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Speaking as someone with way too much gear these days
    My advice would be to sell the lenses you have and replace with used (mint) IS STM versions
    That alone would see instant feedback both in using and viewing.
    After that I’d be tempted to buy a small flashgun like the 270exii, again used, mint boxed if possible
    Is your camera updated to the latest firmware? Have you downloaded canon utilities and selected the profiles for the lenses you have?
    It’s easy for me to say this with mountains of canon stuff - but now I have it, I realise I didn’t really need it.

    if the picture content works, that’s all that really matters. How and what you used to achieve it is irrelevant.
     

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