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Thread: Advice on Upgrading Camera

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Come May 2012 I will have the opportunity to buy a used Canon EOs 7D and a EF-S 10-22mm wide-angle zoom for ~ $1200 CAD.

    Right now I have a Sony alpha 200 dslr and a Nikon D80, both well used, and I do plan to upgrade as soon as I can afford to but right now I'm just practicing and learning with the tools I have.

    This seems like a great opportunity for me to upgrade earlier than I thought I could. However I'd have to switch to Canon and all my lens are either sony, nikon or tamron (all very well used lens except for one quality used macro lens)

    I think the photography I most love to photograph is nature, action shots and especially birds in flight. From what I've read it seems to me that this camera has better, faster focusing, better capability in low light conditions and better performance at higher isos.

    I love my Sony (my first dslr, and I love the image stabilization in the camera body and the colours) but I think Nikon or Canon are better choices for the long term because more lens are available. I'm enjoying my Nikon too, but I've had lots of challenges shooting birds in flight especially in low light conditions. (And this also applies to the sony)

    This Canon 7D seems like a great opportunity for me to upgrade, although it came earlier than I thought it would. ie; I was going to save for another year and then upgrade.

    Is this Canon 7D a good choice for me to upgrade sooner than I thought I could?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    In May 2012 it may have been a good deal but a year latter probably a less attractive deal - the technology and pricing just keeps getting better.

    You should list the lenses you have and what photography subjects you enjoy most before anyone can offer a considered opinion.

    Second hand equipment especially lenses can be a very cost effective way of upgrading.

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Perhaps start by making a list of lenses you use or feel that you need (among those you have)

    Then list for yourself two or three options:
    - the Canon 7D + wide angle zoom + the lenses you'd have to replace
    - cost of upgrading to a better Sony or Nikon body (taking into account cost of lenses again)

    And, if you decide to upgrade, I'd expect the first week or so to be very frustrating:
    a number of the controls will feel to be 'wrongly' placed, menus will feel weird, etc.

    (Note that the same would happen to any-one changing brands!)

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Christina, for around $900.00 US you can get a brand new D7000 body, and spend the rest on another lens.

  5. #5
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Thank you to all.

    Sony Alpha 200 (Sony Lens)
    75-300 mm
    18-70 mm

    Nikon D80 Lens

    Nikkor AF 28-200 mm
    Sigma DC D 18-50 mm
    Tamron AF LD 200-400 mm ( I use this lens the most for birds in flight, but struggle with the weight of it, panning and focus, and trying to shoot fast flying birds in low light conditions, the sony 75-300 mm lens seems to work better as long as I can get close enough)
    AF Micro Nikor 105 mm (I love this lens, which I bought used and enjoy photographing insects, but need to practice more on achieving focus and DOF)

    Favourite Subject, animal shots, pelicans in action, and most any animal in action.

    Eventually I would like to have an ultra wide angle lens to capture landscapes, usually scenery.. beaches, skies, mountains.

    My original plan was to wait another year and hone my skills with what I have. I was under the impression that it was/is challenging to find quality used camera equipment. It took me a few months (wait list) to land the Nikor 105 mm, and the wait list is the same for a used ultra wide angle Nikor.

    The EF-S 10-22mm lens seems to sell for $750-$900 USD in Canada and the EOS 7D for $1200 CAD, so $1200 for both seemed like a good deal to me.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 4th February 2013 at 02:00 PM.

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    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Christina, for around $900.00 US you can get a brand new D7000 body, and spend the rest on another lens.
    I have been reading quite a few reviews on the 7D lately and the canon 7d and nikon d7000 are pretty much even so if you have nikon lenses.......

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Yes, I'm beginning to think that perhaps I was just too excited at an early opportunity to upgrade to a better camera and obtain a wide angle lens at the same time (both are in perfect condition), and missing out on a fabulous opportunity to buy a great used camera. I'll likely stick with my original plan, and upgrade in a year or so, and stick with Nikon.

    Thank you everyone.

  8. #8
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Christina, for around $900.00 US you can get a brand new D7000 body, and spend the rest on another lens.
    From Nikon Rumors web site - The Nikon D7000 replacement should be announced before April, 2013 with a 24MP sensor, 100-6400 ISO range and a form factor similar to the D600, but in a smaller body.You may find that the D7000 price may drop even further once an official announcement is made.

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Christina, IMO, switching from brand to brand is probably not the best way to accumulate a camera/lens collection which will suit your needs.

    Again, IMO, deciding on one brand (due to the bells and whistles on the cameras and the lenses available) and then sticking to that brand to the exclusion of other brands is probably the best way to become set up for any photographic needs.

    I cannot speak for any Nikon or Sony equipment but, I can tell you that the Canon 7D is the best camera I have ever used for "nature, action shots and especially birds in flight" which you prefer to shoot.

    Again, not selling Sony or Nikon short (because they may very well have equal equipment) a Canon 7D with a Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens is probably one of the best setups for birds in flight. The auto focus with this combination is mind boggling in both speed and acuracy while the IQ is great even wide open. The 7D with a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens is probably one of the best general purpose nature combinations available.

    There are other Canon lenses that I absolutely love on my 7D and 40D bodies (BTW both are 1.6x crop bodies): the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is one of the greatest mid-range, general purpose zooms available; the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is a super mid-length telephoto lens that provides excellent imagery but is light in weight; finally, the 300mm f/4L IS is another great prime telephoto lens that is hand-holdable (although I prefer it on a monopod). The Canon 1.4x teleconverter (any of the three models produced) fits both the 70-200m f/4L IS and 300mm f/4L IS lenses and allows auto focus. The 1.4x TC reduces the 400mm f/5.6L lens to a maximum f/8 aperture and negates auto focus on 1.6x bodies. I don't recommend using a 2x TC on the above lenses...

    Ratcheting up the price range (and weight) quite a bit, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Mkii lens combined with a Canon 2x Markiii teleconverter is a wonderful combination. You have your choice of the 70-200mm lens with an f/2.8 aperture or a 140-400mm lens with an f/5.6 aperture. Auto-focus and image quality is very good to excellent using this combination. I have not shot with this combination but, I have been awed at the results a fellow photo club member gets with that combination...

    I started with Canon and have remained with that brand despite the occasional desire for a specific bell or whistle found on other brands. Sticking to a single brand has allowed me to use all my lenses with any body which I have selected. I have not needed to "switch horses mid-stream" which can be problematic and expensive. Using a single brand has allowed me to accumulate my equipment over an approximately eleven year period. The lenses that I purchased for my Canon 10D in 2003 are still being used on my 7D...

    I tend to keep my equipment over a long time and the cost of that equipment amortized over a period is not as bad as it initially seems...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 6th February 2013 at 05:59 PM.

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Dear Christina,

    what make the difference are the lenses. A good lens will remain a good lens. A good camera will remain a good 'old' camera. The Canon 7D is a good camera, made as a response to the D300. Nikon/Canon, just to stick with these major brands, are continuously fighting with camera body. Camera bodies become old quickly. Lens no.

    It is pity that when you chose a brand you are stick with it forever, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money.
    But that's marketing.

    When I upgraded my D300 I was tempted by the new 5d Mark III, but I had good Nikon lens, so I bought a D800.

    If you have good Nikon lens, look for a Nikon body.

    Cheers
    Andrea

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    It is pity that when you chose a brand you are stick with it forever, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money.
    But that's marketing.

    When I upgraded my D300 I was tempted by the new 5d Mark III, but I had good Nikon lens, so I bought a D800.
    I feel your pain, being stuck with that crappy old D800...

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    I feel your pain, being stuck with that crappy old D800...
    Well, you know... probably the problem with Nikon is of not being a Canon, but the main problem of Canon is of not being a Nikon...
    Last edited by kris; 7th February 2013 at 06:15 AM.

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    I feel your pain, being stuck with that crappy old D800...
    Um...?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Christina - you really have two possible directions to go in; and continuing to use either the Nikon or Sony lines because you have already invested in a fair number of lenses in each system. that you would be throwing away switching to a new system. The only rationale I can see doing so would be if you were moving over to a full-frame body and needed to update most of your lenses.

    That being said, the 10-22mm lens is a specialty ultra-wide angle lens; and while you might like the price, unless this is a lens you are going to shoot with fairly often (and this comes from someone who has been a self-described ultra-wide angle junkie for decades), having a piece of glass that sits in the drawer and does not get used a lot, is not wise use of your money. I do shot ultra-wide a lot compared to most photographers, but this still means that I use it perhaps 5% of the time.

  15. #15
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Thank you Richard for your detailed reply, and also to everyone else for your advice and recommendations.

    Richard, this statement makes me want to buy the Canon 7D...

    I cannot speak for any Nikon or Sony equipment but, I can tell you that the Canon 7D is the best camera I have ever used for "nature, action shots and especially birds in flight" which you prefer to shoot.

    I guess if I'm a dreamer, and I am, I'd be a Nature Photographer for National Geographic. It may take me 20 years to get my shooting skills up there but I think that having a camera that can shoot and focus faster in low light conditions will help.

    Of course, I've heard that Canon is the best for nature photography, but I've also heard and understand that Nikon is just as good as Canon, and it probably does not make any difference given my current skill level. So no arguments on the Canon vs Nikon subject please BUT I would like to know if I upgraded my Nikon body and bought a quality long lens if their is any significant difference for birds in flight shots as compared to a Canon 7D with a quality long lens.

    I do plan to upgrade my camera one day, and I can say with confidence that it will be either a Canon or a Nikon. (All the the dials and buttons on my Sony are not working anymore. I bought the Sony used with both lens and batteries included, five years ago, so no great loss here.)

    With respect to the Nikon. All my lens are quite old, except for the Nikkor Macro lens which I love and expect to work for a while. I purchased the Macro lens used, so if I switch to Canon when I upgrade this would hurt, but just a little. The oldest lens is the Tamron 200-400 mm, at least 10 years old I think.

    First I bought a Nikon D100 camera for ~ $400 CAD, which came with all the lens except the Marcro lens which I bought used for ~$400. Then I bought the Nikon D80 for about $400 less about $75 trade in for the Nikon D100.

    I've purchased all my camera equipment used, for which I think I've done well.

    I could keep using the Nikon for a few years with the macro, the Sigma 18-50mm, and the Nikor 18-200 mm lens. And if I purchased the Canon 7D, I would have the benefit of an ultra wide angle lens (comes with it) and save for a quality long lens, and then I would have the benefits of having a Canon and a Nikon. Having two cameras does come in handy sometimes. ie; not having to change lens. Does this sound like a good plan?

    So it seems that my primary loss would be the loss of the Tamron lens, which is heavy and challenging to photograph birds in flight with.

    Here is a typical bird shot that I would love to be able to take with greater ease, shot with my Nikon D80 and the Tamron Lens.

    Manual ISO 1000 F6 (as wide open as possible on this lens), SS 1/800 (and it is still underexposed) Matrix Metering Exp Comp +.3

    Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Would I be able to do capture these types of shots, well, with this with the Canon 7D and a quality long lens, and a Nikon D80 (or upgrade) with a quality long lens?

    So there you have my life story as it pertains to my cameras

  16. #16
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Thank you, Manfred.

    I probably would not use the ultra wide angle lens a lot, except for when I travel (landscapes) but you never know.

    I could foresee upgrading to a full frame body, say after a few years (2-3) after fine tuning my skills working with the cameras I have, if needed and only when my skills match the camera.

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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    I shoot with a Nikon D90. I preplanned to buy it years before when I bought a Tamron 28-300 xr di if for my N80. I knew it would work on digital as well as film when I bought it. But, it locked me in to Nikon (well, I planned it that way). You also have Nikon mount lenses, but I do not think their quality should lock you in to Nikon if you wish to go to Canon. You bought them used; they were inexpensive; they are not going to follow you on your path for all that long. On the other hand, getting a lens you might rarely use because it is a good deal might not be the way to approach accumulating your next kit.

    You seem to really need a more modern body with reliable af, low noise, and a good telephoto. But, your budget seems too tight and you might also upgrade to full frame in a few short years. That is a lot to combine into one immediate purchase. If you want to go full frame and shoot birds in flight, maybe you should forget about a new dx body for now and put your funds into decent long glass. What is the point of getting the 7D today and then getting a the Mark V in two years? Where are you going to get the money for full frame if you are putting all this cash into dx? So, you could get the 300 f4 with a tc. You can rent a better body if you go on a specific photo trip. It is nice to have two cameras, but I think people have two Nikons or two Canons. I wouldn't blend. People in Nikon forums also talk about using the V1 with an adaptor and a 70-300 zoom to get plenty of reach for little cost. I am not sure how well this works.

    Another option is to go to Canon and get the inexpensive Tamron 70-300 vc for basic birding until you can afford the long lens. I love shooting wide and have heard great things about the 10-22. If your budget allows this, you will be set. Except for 23-69.

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Thank you, Manfred.

    I probably would not use the ultra wide angle lens a lot, except for when I travel (landscapes) but you never know.

    I could foresee upgrading to a full frame body, say after a few years (2-3) after fine tuning my skills working with the cameras I have, if needed and only when my skills match the camera.

    I wouldn't classify it as a landscape lens. The problem with ultra-wides and landscapes is that you get too much foreground and too much sky. Yes, you can crop those out, but a panorama is a less expensive alternative. Ultrawides need something in the foreground and then you worry about the background. Frankly, usually use mine for indoor work and get some really interesting angles.

  19. #19
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Thank you, Larry and Manfred.

    Great advice. With respect to a full frame camera, I'm not sure it would be necessary to upgrade, but in reading "Digital Photography for Dummies" it says my understanding is that with a full frame camera one receives a greater field of view. For example a 50 mm lens acts like a 75 mm lens on a full frame body, and in nature photography this seems important.

    Then again, I have also read that some of the higher end cropped dslrs shoot and focus faster, then the lower end full framed dslrs. So I don't know if the extra cost of a full frame dslr is warranted.

    The book states that the Nikon D700 is a bargain full frame DSLR with outstanding iso performance, that shoots as fast as the Nikon D3X and is comparable in resolution to the D3 and D3S, all in a smaller lighter body.

    For cropped Nikon DSLRs the book says the D300S is truly a professional camera, that is comparable to the Nikon D300S, and it shoots faster (and shoots movies, but that is not important to me), but that it suffers in ISO performance compared to the D300S.

    With respect to Canon the book says...

    Full Frame E0S 5D Mark ll.. if you must have a full frame DSLR and budget is a consideration the Mark ll is the way to go. It has fewer auto focusing and metering points, and does not shoot as fast as the Mark 111.

    Cropped Frame it says the EOS 7D is a serious contender for the best semi professional DSLR, shoots fast, decent iso, and auto focusing speeds.

    Any thoughts on the above statements?

  20. #20
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    Re: Advice on Upgrading Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    For example a 50 mm lens acts like a 75 mm lens on a full frame body
    Christina, I suppose there is a mistyping: as far as I know, it's the opposite: on full frame bodies a 50mm acts as a 50mm, while on cropped bodies, because of the smaller sensor, the same lens acts as a 50mm x crop factor (usually 1.6) which gives approximately a 75mm lens.

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