6D, 5DII, 5DIII as a 5D replacement

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ric_duncombe, May 2, 2016.

  1. Evening all, I used to post on here quite a lot but I've lost my login credentials so sorry for a first post question.
    I am needing to replace my Canon 5D which has served me well over the last 5 years into Congo, Egypt and Syria in some rather extreme situations. I recently went to India to photograph tigers and found my focus to be unreliable in the centre point with a canon 300f/4. I again saw issues with my always reliable 135/2 in Nepal when photographing people. The focus seems out by 6 inches to 3ft where before it was spot on. This all coming after the camera was repaired after a fall last year.
    Anyway, I think it is due an upgrade. I am considering a used 5D2 (around £800), new 6D (around £1k) or a new grey import 5D3 (£1600). I have read through all of the forum posts on similar subjects and it seems that each reaches a slightly different conclusion.
    I work in the travel industry and regularly need to provide scenic shots of hotels, monuments, landscapes etc which to be fair my 5D can still do fine as a back up. My own interest is street portraiture, either candid or posed. I almost exclusively use the 135/2 to get a really narrow focus on the subject and blur out or distort other regions. I do like to stop the action, I regularly go to protests/riots and try and create portraits within them. I never photograph sports, though I do usually go on Safari in Africa or India once a year, though i wouldn't consider that a must, and I could probably get a used 7D or so if i wanted something for those trips later in the year.
    Originally I just went online to WEX to get a 5DII, but in reading reviews, the 6D offers far more modern components and doesn't seem to loose out to the 5D2 in any way (correct me if I am wrong). So considering how much i lusted after the 5D2, it seems an easy choice to get the 6D.
    However, looking at the Grey import price for the 5D3, it is just cheap enough to put a spanner in the works! I appreciate the risks with grey imports, but all of my lenses are either import or used and have never been an issue. I just though it would ask, now if the extra £600 is worth it? I keep fretting that the AF system on the 6D will leave me hanging, but considering what i am used to, and what the 5D2 has offered (and always had me wanting), I also think that it will be just fine for me?
    I also wanted to understand the cross type AF points. As I usually use f/2, will the 6D let me take advantage of this when focusing? I have never had an issue with my 5D, so I think it should be fine, i have just not really understood what I have read about the AF sensitivity.
    Does anyone have any experience with the 6D for street portraits? will i rue only being able to really use the centre point? Or will I be so thrilled at the upgrade from the 5D that I will just love it!
    Thanks for any advice, I would love to save £600 and buy from the UK, but not if everyone agrees that its not a lot of money for much more camera!
  2. I have a 6D & find it generally a pretty capable camera. For your scenic, landscapes and architectural work, the 6D is a more economical alternative to the 5D Mk.3, but it is not so good for the action and documentary work you also do where the 5D Mk.3 would be a better choice.
    For film, I use a 1V-HS, which is a useful comparison here because it has 45 AF points unlike the 11 of the 6D - I sometimes, though rarely, find the smaller number in the 6D limiting. Then again, I don't do action stuff and am happy to use fully manual cameras. You might find the 6D restrictive because of that, but the AF system isn't a slouch despite only having 11 points and only the centre one being cross. It will work fine with your 135/2 and it is a significant upgrade to your old 5D.
    If you need one camera to do both, or if action is more valuable to you, choose the 5D Mk.3 - with the release of the 5Ds cameras, the market which values megapixels over everything else has pushed the 5D Mk.3 price downwards a bit, so you could pick up a good deal.
    If the landscape and scenic work is more important to you, then the 6D is a better value choice.
    If you REALLY need high performance action capability, though, you'd best save up for a 1DX...
  3. EOS 6D will be an improvement coming from a 5D. That being said, I still use a 5D (classic), the disadvantage of the 6D is IMO, the lack of the joystick and the smaller form factor.
    Personally I'm curious what Canon will come up with later this year: new DSLRs and perhaps a serious MILC/EVIL camera. I hope my 5D lasts until I can make a choice from the yet to be released goodies. And save some €€.
    Standing in your shoes I'd go for a 6D and set aside it's drawbacks but YMMV. And a 5DIII will be better shielded against dust/moisture.
  4. I shoot with a 5D2 and 6D and prefer the 6D for the smaller form factor, better IQ in low light and superior AF in low light. The LCD is also a level clearer. Once I got used to the 6D multi-controller I found it preferable and easier to use than the joystick on the 5D2.
  5. I replaced my 5DII with a 6D and am very happy with it and would not want to go back. As well as the factors mentioned above by Puppy Face I really like the quieter shutter on the 6D as well as its 'quiet mode' on top of that. Very useful for wildlife photography. It is rated for a smaller number of actuations than the 5D shutters but I can live with that.
  6. Thank you for the initial responses. I don't know how I would define 'action' photographs. If it is stopping a face in a crowd or someone running toward me, then absolutely. This currently is the issue with the 5D as I need to recompose from the center point, so a moving subject at f/2 is often difficult. This is my biggest fear of the 6D being limited to that one center AF point once more.
    However, what I keep thinking was that the 5D2 has been taking amazing photos, better than my 5D is capable of, so I should not try and be above my ability. Do I need a 5D3 or will most of the features be useless to me in the real world.
    5D2 users seem impressed by the 6D, yet on other forums people describe it as more of a beginners camera, that it is beneath the 5D series, past and present somehow. Is this just a case of people being camera snobs? Is it indeed a proper upgrade on the 5D2?
    There are indeed good deals for the 5D3, but only with grey importers, so that starts the whole warranty debate... though to be fair, Digital Rev and Panamoz seem to have a good following.
  7. The 6D a beginner's camera? Not at all. Slightly simpler - yes. And a polycarbonate top plate. But as a user camera I prefer it to the 5 series for the reasons given above. It is slightly simpler than the 5 series so you need to confirm that it will do what you want in a side-by-side comparison with the 5 series. DPreview have a useful tool for that :
  8. Here is a comparison of features of the three 5s. Only you can decide whether the additional features on the Mark III will be worth it to you. I have the Mark III. Personally, I appreciate the better AF, even though I don't do much action photography. I find it convenient to be able to place the point I most use at different places in the viewfinder. (The camera will remember different locations for portrait and landscape orientations.) I use the two built-in levels often, and I almost always shoot in "silent" mode. However, only you can decide whether features like this are worth the money for you.

    I find the joystick very useful, but I have never used a 6D.
  9. The 6D is not as rugged as you 5D. If that's important, then stick with the 5D-series. So far as image quality goes, there's not a lot of difference between the 5D2 and the 5D3 image quality (I own both). The gain with the MkIII is mainly in the AF system, which is excellent and really a big upgrade for sport and wildlife, but otherwise not too important.
  10. Thanks David. It is the AF that concerns me the most with so many people saying it isn't very good. But surely it's better than the 5DII? If my main goal is picking out faces in crowds, blurring backgrounds around candid photos, I think it sounds just fine, but I don't like the idea of missing shots due to AF, which is exactly where the 5D is starting to let me down. It's hard to define what some people class as fast action, as I have read a lot of people who take kids party photos critisise the 6D for lagging and lots of shots missed, which doesnt sound great.
    The below is the sort of thing i want to achieve - as taken with the 5D (apologies, I couldnt post a hyperlink)
    Sorry for the indecisiveness, it's just a lot of money, coupled with the 'risk' of a grey import 5Diii thrown in for good measure!
  11. Ric, the AF on the 5D2 is fine. You've done fine with the 5D classic for years and the 5D2 is better. Use focus and recompose. Still, if you can afford the 5D3, it is an excellent value and a very competent body. I used it for a while for bird-in-flight and consider it an excellent choice, but, like you, I'd be worried about grey market. I'd rather buy used from a reputable dealer.
  12. I prefer the 6D to the 5DII for the reasons Puppy stated. I also like the silent shutter mode and the viewfinder level indicator. The AF is good for general use and will work OK for fast moving sports, but there is no question the 5DIII is better in this regard.
  13. Hi Guys, thanks for all of your advice. This is my first new body since the 5D1, and when I enjoy the gear I have, I go off radar to all the new technology so I was in the dark with what I was bombarded with online with reviews and opinions.
    In the end i went with the 5DIII, purely as the AF futureproofs it for me for the next 5 years of use as i progress and allows me to cover any eventuality. I just thought that the 6D's 11 point wasnt as great a leap forward from my 5D (albeit FAR better in every other way) and feel the 5DIII really was a huge step up in technology.
    The good people at WEX in the UK allowed me to spread their interest free payments over a year, and took the cost of the 6D as deposit which really helped my decision (this isnt an advertised service) so the 'hit' as it were was 'only' the cost of the 6D and the monthly payments from there are quite low, so I've used it as inspiration to cut down on the beer intake!
    Thanks for all the advice, these forums are such a good resource!
  14. Ric, thanks for the follow-up report. I think you'll be very pleased with your 5D3.
  15. You've already decided, but, fyi. I have a 5diii. But the honest, hand to my invisible friend in the sky, I only bought it because I'd banged up my 5dii crawling through rocks, dodging rocks, scratching up the 24-105, etc. etc. Had I known then, what I know now, the 5dii did what I needed it to do when it wasn't broken. Don't get me wrong, the 5Diii is a superior camera. Buying it saved me from the ego-purchase of the 7Dii as my backup. But the 5diii does so much more than I need, it's overkill.
    I'd compare it to buying Microsoft Word. Most of us write letters, stories and memos. We don't need all that other stuff, but you can't get it otherwise. MSWord6 was plenty, but they stopped supporting it.
    I had a major, major surprise, though, last year. I took the Lumix fZ1000 for a test drive. That puppy is marvelous! It's not as impressive looking as my main camera, and the 5diii does precision work and longer, telephoto, but the fz1000 does everything I need for everyday hip-shooting. A 400-24mm zoom, 20mp censor, Leica-class glass and clarity that blows away every other camera in it's class -- other than Leica. And $800. I carry that around all the time, now. And my shoulder isn't nearly as sore.

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