Upgrade to Full Frame on a budget

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by graskett, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Need some thoughts----I’ve been shooting for many years now and my skill level has increased substantially over those years. The time has come to upgrade my primary camera (40D) and I really want to move up to full frame. The problem I have a limited budget—wanting to spend less than $1500. I am heavily invested in an array of Canon EF lenses so changing brands is out of the question (although I am very loyal to Canon anyway) I’ve been pondering 3 different models—2 used and one new and would like any comments from any Photo.Net members. The 2 used models are 1) 5D Mark II and 2) 1Ds Mark II—Both used are offered by B&H and run around $1200 The third and new option is a 6D that runs $1900—over my budget. I primarily shoot sports (mostly at night)—and also do some pet photography.
    Any thoughts?
  2. I primarily shoot sports (mostly at night)​
    If it's fast moving sport then the 1Ds MkII has vastly superior AF compared to your other 2 choices.
    The 5D2 and 6D have better image quality at high ISO than the 1Ds MkII. They also have far better LCD screens, are lighter, more compact, have LiveView, have video and use batteries that are small and cheap.
    If you are happy with the AF of your 40D I would recommend getting the 5D MkII. If you need better AF then the only choice is the 1Ds MkII.
  3. I use my 5Dii regularly for "night work", but not for sports.
    I don't know, because most of my subjects mostly just sit there, but I am told that the newer cameras are much improved in AF. With a 5Dii you'd have improvement over the 40D, but not, probably, up to state of the art.
    Of course, I always think a little "noise" adds verisimilitude to sports/action shots. ;)
  4. I've always felt that the main limiting factor of my 5D Mark II in shooting anything in low light is the AF miss rate (unless I use flash and the subject is close enough for the AF assist to be effective). I have no experience with the 1D series but have owned an EOS-3 before going digital and my recollections are of a much more surefooted AF (which probably remained so on the 1Ds bodies). The AF performance of the 5D Mark II also depends a lot on the lens used, the newest lenses (24-70 f/2.8 II in my case) seem to perform much better and old lenses much worse, for example the 200 f/2.8 L seemed to focus worse than 70-200 f/4 L IS despite the wider wide-open aperture. So the choice of your next camera depends a lot on the lenses you already have.
    I know this goes against your stated preferences, but I would seriously consider staying with a Canon crop camera (7D) whose AF and low-light performance may be closer to the 1Ds Mark II, or, if AF is paramount, looking for an older 1D Mark II N (the 1.3x crop body) which may not match the full frame in low-light sensor performance but will provide the best bang for the buck in terms of AF.
  5. You can probably pick up a 6D for $1500-1600 if you pick your time and place - I did this back before Christmas.
  6. The best camera for your purpose would be the 5D Mark III which you would have to save for or maybe sell a kidney. I believe the best camera by far for your particular application and budget would be a 7D which would leave you some cushion for a fast lens. I think the 7D would be much better for your purpose than the 5D Mark II which I had or the 6D which I currently use. Bodies come and go but lenses last. Good luck!
  7. Don't you want to consider the 70d? It's not full frame, but it's far more advanced than the 40d, and it's much within your budget. Can you go somewhere and try it for a bit?
    I wouldn't get FF just now because now is the time that it's becoming affordable. I think in the future the choice between FF and smaller formats will be more for the physical qualities and experience than the price.
  8. I shoot a fair amount of sports (soccer and women's lacrosse these days) in both full daylight and at poorly lighted venues as well as indoor soccer in terribly lighted courts.
    While I'm sure a 5DMK2 does the job, most of my friends who used them, cursed their AF performance for sports. I would recommend you simply save your money for a body that both performs at higher ISOs and has faster and more accurate AF than the ones you are considering. Among two current models that mostly meet those requirements are the 7D and the 5DMK3, both which I own and use.
    The ISO and AF performance of the 5DMK3 is markedly superior than the 7D; I can freeze action decently at ISO 12,500. With the 7D I hesitate going above ISO 3200, though I've gotten by at ISO 6400 and a big dollop of post. I also just prefer the quality of shots that the 5DMK3 provides, especially after cropping.
    I'd also recommend you wait until early September to see if a new version of the 7D is announced as the rumor mill is very warm. Then you can get a used 7D mighty cheaply.
  9. I have both a 5D Mk2 and 70D with Sigama 18-35 F1.8. Although the 70D is APS its IQ is so close to the 5D2 as to make no difference, In Low light the 5D is 1 F stop better but the 70D still gives good results up to 3200 ISO
    if you use a fast lens like 50mm F1.4 you will find Bokeh to be as good as a FF with an F2.8 lens.
    The a/f of the 70D is so good that its my go to cam for action and video.
  10. The 6D is a great camera for night work. The AF Zones of a 7D or 5D MK III might be better suited for sports and action. If my only two options were between a 5D MK II or the 6D, I would go with the 6D, the one draw back of the 6D or the 5D MK II cameras is lack of the plethora of focal points and zones. Just mt opinion.
  11. I truly appreciate all of your input. After contemplating it all I think I will put my purchase on hold for a while in order to purchase a 5D Mark III. Although moving to full frame is where I want to be I also want the best A/F I can get. So waiting 3-4 months for the Mark III will be worth it.
    Thanks again
  12. I see the 6D going for $1300 to $1500 all the time. It would be tough to find it for $1900 unless you're gunning for a kit. I bought a USA model from Amazon for $1315 last December. Even CanonDirect sells refurbs for under $1300 and has regular sales. Might want to poke around CanonPriceWatch for a few weeks and you'll catch a deal.
  13. I would recommend the 5D Mk 1, it takes great pictures and does not overwhelm you C: drive especially if you are shooting RAW. You can get one for about $600 in pretty good condition. The only problem is no Live-View, no Video and no Sensor cleaning. If you can put up with that the 5D takes better pictures than the 7D in my opinion, even though the 7D has more pixels.
  14. 6D in the neighborhood of $1400 is available in many places.
  15. The 5D2 is a substantial upgrade to a 40D. However, if I were buying a new camera today on a budget I would definitely get the 6D. If you are not making enough money doing photography to pay for the difference then just keeping your 40D is probably adequate.

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