Advise on upgrade plans

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by arturo_monterroso, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Hello all! I currently own a Nikon D3100 and I'm in need of an upgrade. Now I'm posting here in the Canon forum 'cause I'm considering upgrading to a Canon 70D. First, let me tell you why:
    • Very good APS-C sensor (not the best I know, but still very good)
    • More megapixels (not a nut about this, but having more than 14MP is nice :))
    • Slightly better dynamic range (not hugely so, but it's an improvement nonetheless)
    • Excellent AF system (19 cross-type AF points, quick and accurate)
    • Better looking noise (yes, you read that right XD)
    • Lighter than FF bodies (D800s and 5Dxs have produced back and shoulder pain, I don't need that)
    Now, what do you guys think about this? The big factor for me is the AF system. I don't mind the ~2 stops less of Dynamic Range vs say a D7100, or the loss of ~4 megapixels or that the 70D has a AA filter. I'm not a pro, but I know that no sensor can fix an out of focus, badly lit photo, period. I need reliable AF during studio sessions, lit by the modeling lights of studio flashes (Bowens, Alien Bees and the like).
    I'm not a full time photog, but I do shoot for some local magazines from time to time. A few times I've borrowed a friend's D800, and I've also shot with a 5DII, 6D, L glass and all. They are nice rigs of course, but I cannot afford them. It's kinda hard for me to put that amount of money all at once. The 70D body is within my reach if I save up for a few months and do extra jobs on the side. The 6D is really nice, but I'm not sold on the 1 cross-type AF center point. If any of you can convince me otherwise please do.
    When I'm on a shoot I need to rely on my tools, mostly AF, because nothing sucks more than nailing a shot, but when you look at it on the computer screen it is slightly out of focus. I need a reliable and accurate AF system, which is why the 70D caught my eye.
    So far, the DR of my D3100 has been more than enough, so I think I wouldn't need much more. I think glass and sensor resolution matter more in the long run. I plan on acquiring Sigma Art primes and probably a Tamron 90 macro for portraits eventually (Canon L glass is overpriced IMO). I don't need full frame, it'd be nice, but it's more of a luxury than a necessity.
    What do you guys think? Does my plan make sense? Please help me out!

    P.D. I've also considered other systems, like the Olympus OMD-EM1, Sony A7 and Fuji XT-1, but I'm not sure about their AF system's reliability and the EVF's those cameras have. Unfortunately these cameras are not available in my country and I cannot test drive them in the flesh to either confirm or deny my assumptions. On the other hand, I have used Canon 60Ds, T4is, T5is, 7Ds, etc., so I do have first hand experience with them.
  2. I'd be curious what lens(es) you have now. Unless you've only got a kit lens, switching to another system/mount is pretty expensive.
    If you're far enough along to be shooting semi-professionally, you presumably are used to the Nikon operating system. People do switch, but it's not a trivial concern.
    I'm suspecting that many people do find the D3100 AF reasonably accurate and reliable. Some of my best friends use Nikon cameras and don't seem to have any trouble with AF. Have you checked to see if there is something wrong with your D3100?
  3. If you do have Nikon lenses I'd be considering the D5200 or D7100. I currently use a 5D II and the crop body that I am considering adding is the D5200, not a Canon!
  4. I have the kit lens (18-55), a 55-200 and a 50 1.8, which is the lens I use the most, though for studio portraits from the waist up I really need something around 105mm. I'm going to use my 55-200 for an upcoming session, I hope it works out.
    See I know the lens is good, but the AF system in the D3100 it just isn't that good in low light. In dimly lit rooms, it's not as accurate, in my experience.
    I don't have enough glass to make a switch a really painful experience, I maybe would miss my 50 1.8, but that'd be it.
    A D7100 would be an option, but I'm not sure. I also like the color of Canon sensors, but that's nothing that a little post can't fix.

    A D5200 or D5300 is not really an upgrade, as far as I can tell.
  5. Unless you want better live view AF performance of the 70D, it would seem that a D7100 would be make the most sense and be the lowest cost option. With an AF system similar to the high end Nikons, I can't imagine that it's AF performance would disappoint you. Add an 85mm f1.8 and I think would would be set for studio portraits
  6. I have a 70D. I like it. It is a good buy for the amount of capability it delivers. I believe the D7100 is equally as good. I suggest you stay with Nikon and save yourself some money.
  7. Arturo, wouldn't you be better served by adding a little more light to your studio to allow your current camera to focus
    properly, and then use your savings in better lenses? I don't know what's the sync speed of your camera, but surely you
    can have enough light in your studio to allow your camera to focus, and still use a shutter speed faster than 1/125s to
    prevent that base light from interfering in your results. What f-stop do you commonly use when doing studio photography?

    I know from first hand experience that older Alien Bees had dim modeling lightbulbs, but you can change those for
    brighter ones, or even keep the studio overhead lighting once the strobes are set (this depends on your style, but
    unfortunately I didn't find any examples of your work here in You may also use a small flash in your camera
    just to use it's focusing aid.
  8. Thanks all for your responses. I'm considering the D7100 option, it seems it has the same AF system as the D4, which can't be bad I imagine haha.
    As for the studio lights, I use the studio space that's available at my job (I work at a photography school). The Aliens have 150w modelling lights, and the Bowens have a mix of 150w and 250w. I've done shoots with my friend's D800 and it has no trouble focusing with those lights, so that's why I think the AF system of my D3100 has a rough time. I usually shoot at f/5.6, as that's the f-stop where I get the sharpest results. The D3100's sync speed is 1/160, so at that f-stop and speed it's not always possible to leave the overhead lights on without them showing in the photos.
  9. Dear Arturo,
    If you decide to stay with Nikon a D5300 is an upgrade over your D3100 in many, many ways. In fact it's the most updated DX body in the line up of Nikon right now since it carries the new Expeed 4 engine which is 30% faster than any other DX in Nikon's camp, including D7100, is light to carry along and has a superb sensor which is 1 stop better than D7100 in low light. Sensor and engine wise it's the best Nikon DX right now at aa very good price. It's 39 AF point is fast and accurate and will not give you any trouble. All you need is good lenses to take advantage of this (or any other camera). Cheers!
  10. Thanks for all the comments guys. You convinced me to not switch systems, for the time being. I think I'm gonna invest in a better portrait lens, and then move up to a better crop body from Nikon. I like the video capabilities of the D5300, and the overall quality of the D7100, but Photokina is around the corner, so I'm gonna wait up and see what Nikon has in hand. In the meantime I'm gonna start saving up to purchase some good glass.
    Thanks all!

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