First DSLR since film - sanity check

Discussion in 'Gear' started by Artemus, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    I was going to ask some of my heroes like @Nick, @Dave, @lostlandscapes, @gnwatts, @Dan and you other ones :) for a sanity check privately but realized that many here would probably benefit from their wisdom as well so here goes.

    This request is for a sanity check. I used to shoot with SLR's way,way back when and they were typically Nikons. I then switched to digital with point and shoots and then Panasonic Loomy's like my current GX7 M4/3. I keep cameras until they break and my Gx7 will now be reserved for backpacking with its teeny tiny pancake ultrawide lens.

    So I am diving into the DSLR pool and have a personal use-case which I probably share with others. I ascribe to Nick's "buy your last camera first" to save money in the end and to reduce the frequency of this somewhat frustrating buying process.

    Now that you see I am keeping my Loomy for backpacking (and climbing) you might ask why I want to go up the food, and cost, chain. I want all the normal things like much better glass and a range of glass, I want much better low light and night performance, etc. But being a working stiff I also have to live within my means. So my budget is $1-$1.5k for body and $.5-$1K for two starter lenses - an ultra wide to intermediate zoom and a long zoom.

    I really want to be able shoot animals and birds better so I am really targeting great autofocus, focus tracking, high burst rates and good low light capability as well as my precious landscapes.

    I know some of what you admired peers shoot and have adjusted accordingly but let me know please of what you think of my current leanings with regards to my use-case. Thanks men and women...

    1) Canon 6D full frame with 24-105 for $1800
    2) Canon 7D Mark II APS-C crop body-only $1400
    3) Nikon D500 APS-C crop body-only for $1900 (probably stretching too much -I will have to consider used for this one and possibly the others as well)
    4 not) Sony A7 - the size if the sony a7 series is enticing but I want the bigger human interface and can't live with its burst rate or slow focus

    I am partial to Nikon and Canon due to glass and history. I have to start into this whole new system fresh. I have no other lenses that will work with the exception of my beautiful 1982 50mm Nikon prime that will have to be adapted and full manual.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  2. IntrepidXJ

    IntrepidXJ ADVENTR

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    Your number 1 choice is what I have and use most of the time (both the body and lens). I really like the 6D and replaced it with another one when I finally broke my first.

    The only issue you might have with the 6D is the lack of autofocus points if you are truly interested in shooting birds and wildlife.
     
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  3. Dave

    Dave Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"

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    105mm on full frame is going to leave you very short when it comes to shooting wildlife. For that you'll want all of the reach you can afford.

    I can't shed any light on Nikon offerings, but given what you've described, here's what I'd suggest considering. Pick up an 80D body refub from Canon (can be had for $800-850 during the right sale period from Canon's refub store). For glass, pick up a trusty 10-22mm EF-s (refub or used to save) and then get a 70-300 L or the older generation 100-400 L.

    Randy is correct that the 6D is a fantastic camera at the price. But it's due for a refresh (probably in 2017) and the AF system is of very little use on moving targets. The 80D (which I've not used but am considering purchasing solely for use with the 100-400 tele zoom) improves on the AF capabilities... not quite to 7DII territory, but close.
     
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  4. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Thanks @IntrepidXJ,
    Sounds like you favor the IQ advantages of the full-frame 6D over any advantage of speed of shooting in order to get your great landscape shots. The downside for shooting birds at of the 6D may be the 4 frames per second of the 6D vs the 10 fps of the 7D MarkII and the not quite as fast auto-focus or as capable with more AF points.
    Thanks for your perspective. It is very helpful.
     
  5. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Thanks @Dave,
    Interesting info - the 80D had been in my radar a little but it had dropped off with my observation of the full frame 6D and the fast action-shooting 7D Mark II. I'll go take another look. Sounds like you have no problem in the used market as well. What markets do you shop in?

    You shoot some great animal shots too. Why would you consider using the 80D with your telezoom? What are you attaching to it now? Thanks, pal.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"

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    I'm a man of limited means, so I was actually using it on my old Rebel T2i until I fried that camera in Hawaii last month. I'm between the 80D or 7DII as a replacement. 80D is lighter and with newer sensor tech and higher resolution. 7DII has better and more tweakable autofocus but costs more.

    The 80D fires 7 fps compared to the 7DII's 10 fps... and the 7DII has a much bigger buffer so you can shoot longer bursts. 7DII also has more robust weather sealing. It's just a question of how much camera do I really need, especially for a secondary body.
     
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  7. IntrepidXJ

    IntrepidXJ ADVENTR

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    Yep...that's exactly right :)
     
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  8. wsp_scott

    wsp_scott Member

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    Someone mentioned getting a refurbished body, I'll add that you should consider a refurbished lens as well. I got a refurbished Nikon 18-105 for about 1/2 the new price a couple years ago. The glass is immaculate and there are no mechanical issues, basically a new lens. Stick with a reputable place like B&H or Adorama and you should be safe.
     
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  9. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Aren't the EF-S lenses the ones that will fit the 80D whereas the L series long lenses you recommend seem to be EF (non aps-c) mounts that won't readily fit the 80D??
     
  10. gnwatts

    gnwatts Member

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    @Artemus , taking the plunge! I don't really have any experience with the newer Canon bodies, but every Canon I have ever owned has been solid and reliable.
    I usually buy from B&H, you can try something out and return it within a month.

    I am phasing out my Canon stuff and going Sony for landscape stuff. My A7r is a great camera, but would not work for wildlife. My subjects tend to be more sedate. I did buy my son a Sony A6000 for Xmas, I am very impressed so far. 24 MP, 11 FPS, great auto focus tracking, an APS-C CMOS sensor.
    The kit 16-50mm lens is a pretty good lens too, pretty sharp. If you spend the bucks on the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 zoom ($1500) you have your wide angle telephoto and a longer telephoto for around $2000.
    I would also not hesitate to buy used equipment. I have bought plenty off stuff on Ebay from reputable sellers, with great results.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...ce6000l_b_alpha_a6000_mirrorless_digital.html

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1029862-DEMO/sony_sel70200g_70_200mm_f_4_5_6_g_lens.html

    A pretty good review of the A6000 with the 70-200:

    https://www.colbybrownphotography.com/an-in-depth-review-of-the-sony-a6000/

    Another review (maybe a little biased):

    http://sonyalphalab.com/product-review/sony-alpha-a6000-review-best-mirrorless-camera-2014/

    You can't go wrong with the Sony or the Canon, I just like the way Sony is going with their mirrorless system, much smaller bodies and great AF. Their batteries suck though. So I bought 4 of them.
    Have fun!
     
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  11. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    A friend with extensive medium and large format film experience is 100% sold on the Olympus Micro 4/3 system of bodies and lenses. The Olympus 12mm/2.0 lens alone is reason enough to give the system serious consideration. My friend has 16x20 prints that are stunning.
    The thing I don't know is if the Olympus lenses work on the Panasonic bodies.
    You may already own a more than adequate digital system.
    Another friend, TJ Avery, bounces back and forth between Canon full frame and Olympus 4/3 digital.
    http://www.thomasjavery.com
    In the right hands, they're all good.
    Meanwhile, I've got more Canon hardware than I know what to with. And 35mm, medium format and 4x5. Go figure.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
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  12. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Artemis,
    I sent you a PM.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"

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    EF lenses fit on both full-frame and APS-C bodies, while EF-s lenses only fit on APC-C. But an EF lens on an APS-C body essentially gets a 1.6x focal length magnifier, so your telephoto gets more reach.
     
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  14. Kishenehn

    Kishenehn Member

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    I was a confirmed Nikon guy for many years, with both film and digital SLRs ... I think their glass is second to none. But over the last couple of years I'd nearly stopped using the Nikon gear, just because it was getting too much of a pain to carry around and I could do landscapes *almost* as well with my smartphone. So I ended up selling most of the Nikon stuff and set up an outfit based on the Olympus OM-D, and its reinvigorated my interest in outdoor photography. Weather-sealed body, much lighter weight, and excellent results.

    If someone does a lot of their shooting while hiking or backpacking, I'd really recommend looking at one of the interchangeable lens mirrorless systems that are available now. In a lot of ways, they're the perfect backcountry cameras.
     
  15. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Good advice @Kishenehn and @Venchka on the suitability of the m4/3 mirrorless revolution for the backcountry. But, as I said in the opening, I have shot thousands of pictures in the backcountry with several Panasonic m4/3 and one is still my current mainstay for the backcountry. All of my photographs published here have basically been taken with one.

    Now I am looking for something different for my main camera.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  16. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Thanks for chiming in Greg. I do think I will stay with the larger format to get the better user interface and the speed. Your opinion is very valuable to me - thanks for it. You unloading your Canon stuff? PM me...
     
  17. SKLund

    SKLund Member

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    The simple is better. Cheaper is better. The photographer matters far more than the camera.
     
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  18. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Amen to that.
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Artemus

    Artemus I walk

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    Dave, is this the long lens you have been shooting?
    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
     
  20. Dave

    Dave Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"

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    Yep, that's the one. It can be had a bit cheaper if you shop around. canonpricewatch.com is a good resource.
     
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