Which Used Canon DSLR is the Best Value

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by will_rivers, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Hello, I've been out of photography for 15 years. I'm looking for suggestions on a used DSLR body I will buy for an extended trip I'm taking. I will not be using it when I return so I don't need the best. I'm looking for a good value deal, maybe a older model that is very reasonably price but still gets good images. I see on eBay I can pick up a 7D for $250. Too old? (I'm sure yes) I don't know all the other models. I can go up to $600 for an exceptional deal but would prefer not.
    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. What sort of a trip, and how important is the photography aspect?

    I'd consider a less expensive body like the 60D, and be sure to put a decent lens on it. For general walking-around, either the 18-135 IS (USM or STM version, not the original) or even the older 18-135 IS USM, and buy the appropriate lens hood. Either one will give you a useful range, decent image quality, and stabilization. Buy memory cards new.

    If the photography aspect of the trip is more important, consider a better lens rather than a better body. The 70-200/f4 L can be had at a reasonable price, and will help more than more megapixels. (ex., Canon EF 70-200mm 70-200 mm F/4 L F4 F/4L IS USM Lens - Sharp Lens | eBay)

    Of course, if you have a more specific photographic goal, different recommendations may apply.
  3. A used 7D is still a great camera and is not too old. It has most of today's features and menus. The only thing it might be lacking, is it's high ISO capability. It's low light shooting is not as good as today's cameras, but still very good. Any outdoor photography, of course is not a problem at all.

    BUT..... The 7D is a large and heavy professional grade camera. If you want a smaller, lighter camera for travel, you could also consider a 40D, 50D, or 60D. A 600D/T3i or 650D/T4i are even smaller and still good cameras that can be had cheap.
    wmweikel likes this.
  4. Great info. I'm going back to parts of Asia where I lived before and the photography would be landscape and people shots.
    Basic travel stuff. Photography importance is a 6 out of 10.
    Great lens recommendations. I have a
    17- 35 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 but want to travel much lighter. Using IS USM lenses, would a model above the 60D give me much better quality images?
    Also, after my card fills up, what do I transfer the images onto?
    A thumb drive?
    I know I have a lot of basic questions.
    I stopped shooting before the digital thing really took off.

    Thanks again
  5. A 60D and 18-135 STM is a great travel combo. You could also add a 10-18 STM or 55-250 STM, as they are both low cost options, with GREAT image quality, that don't add much weight.

    Using IS USM lenses, would a model above the 60D give me much better quality images?

    No, IS USM or IS STM lenses do not need newer cameras. Older cameras will take just as good photos as newer cameras with these lenses. The lens is generally more important the camera. The only difference will be high ISO capability and the size of the photo in Mega Pixels. The cameras you would be looking at are probably all 18mp while the newest cameras have gone to 24mp. There is not much advantage to the extra mega pixels. Even older cameras like a 10mp 40D or 15mp 50D still take great photos.

    Also, after my card fills up, what do I transfer the images onto?

    Your best bet is to bring extra memory cards. There is no easy (or cheap) way to transfer photos from you memory card to a thumb drive, or other storage device, without a computer or iPad.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    will_rivers likes this.
  6. Since you want to travel lighter, you will need to buy both a camera and at least 1 lens. Typical "kit" lense, like an 18-55mm, are generally very cheap, but the 18-135mm suggested above will likely cost a more material amount of your budget, so I think you need to determine the amount you are willing to spend on your entire kit, and not just how much a camera will cost. Also, since you are not going to take your existing EOS lenses, I don't see why you would need to limit yourself to just Canon DSLRs. There are lots of Nikon DSLR options, and of course so many small and light mirrorless cameras available from Canon, Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic that make great travel options. It may help to go on the B&H web site and put in your pricing parameters to see how many options are available.

    A 32mb, 64mb or larger card holds an enormous amount of images. They are readily available everywhere and are not expensive, so buy an extra card (or 2 or 3) before the trip.
  7. Pretty good advice here. Especially

    Unless you want to do video, any of the APS-C cameras from the Canon 50D on up would work fine. There are some bargains in the "full frame" 5D line as well, but they won't accept any EF-S lenses.
  8. The Canon T6i should fall within your budget. It is the cheapest and lightest 24MP crop DSLR Canon has. I am suggesting a light body to convince you to take your Canon EF 17-35/2.8 L lens. Not many lenses are sharper than this. Even the cheapest lenses can be made to look better with more MP, hence my suggestion of the 24MP body. The industry has been stuck at 24MP crop bodies for 5 years now, so one of these bodies will compare favourably for many years yet.

    The two full frame bodies you could consider that would go really nicely with that 17-35, are the 5D II and 6D.

    If you do want an IS lens or two then you could add either EF-S or EF depending on the body you end up with.

    You must have been fairly serious about photography to buy two of the best lenses at the time, (which are still excellent) so I find it difficult to believe you will abandon photography as soon as you get home. With digital it is so much easier to get excellent results. You get instant confirmation of correct exposure, focus, and composition. Who knows you might get right back into it.
  9. I wasn't anticipating this: "I have a 17- 35 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 but want to travel much lighter...". If you want much lighter, the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 is OK, especially on a crop-frame where you're only using the center of the image circle. I have one, and I'll be happy to send it to you in a straight trade for either of your heavy f/2.8 zooms :)

    Seriously, I still think a 60D and 18-135 STM is probably the way to go for what you want. Cheaper: the old 28-135 IS USM is first-gen IS, but it works fairly well.
    will_rivers likes this.
  10. Thanks everyone for your input.
    Yes I was into it big time and the now I hear you all speak, it reminds me
    there is nothing better than a razor sharp image. Maybe I'll "rough it" and bring the 17-35.
    Now I'm thinking of bringing my tripod too. I was going to go with a monopod.
    Is there a big difference between a 60D and 6D and 5D II?
    I haven't learned what's important in these digital cameras but full frame is always good.
    Hopefully this post will help others too.
  11. 60D is crop sensor camera with a 1.6x crop factor, so that your 17-35L will have a field of view equivalent to 27-56mm on a full frame camera. The 6D and 5Dii are both full frame, so the image will be the same as using that lens on your film cameras. Full frame cameras have a much larger sensor so that its high ISO performance is better than a crop sensor camera (at least when comparing cameras using similar sensor technology). Checkout dpreview to see the difference between those 3 cameras.
    will_rivers likes this.
  12. I have canon DSLR Eos t6 and when I am trying to connect it with my ios device to get the backup of the photos on my iTunes account, it is not getting connected and it is showing iTunes error 9. How would I resolve that?
    mike_sowsun likes this.
  13. I haven't tried them myself. - I'd tap DxOmark's data base to get a basic impression of the compared performance and read reviews. You'll get at least the difference between ISO 800 and 1800 out of going FF, not mentioning most likely a few additional perceived megapixels of sharpness out of your most likely also tested lenses.
    Upon the storage issue: If you stick to contemporary, big, bread & butter Sandisk cards the tiny price difference between them and thumb drives doesn't justify handling a different medium.
    If you bring a netbook or know you'll visit PCs and plan to shoot like crazy; get an external drive like WD Passport. I am no fan of the "data shoveling via smart device idea" yet.
    1. AFAIK it is impossible to charge smart devices, while they do that job. (But an average person needs(!) at least 100% charge to make it through their day.)
    2. They also come with sluggish USB 2. (Not an issue, if a plugged in machine rattles overnight, to transfer a few 100 GB from various sources / readers via a HUB. Which would be a worst case scenario as if you gunned down a wedding with modern high resolution bodies. I suppose tourism to be less demanding.)
    Upon camera picking on a budged: We are talking different beasts and needs here. Myself, I'd probably go with another vintage Pentax / Samsung APS kit. That's what I started out on and what works well enough, for my touristic basic needs. Advantage besides competitive camera pricing: SR a kind of IBIS. I assume EOSes always provided significantly faster AF, but is tourism about nailing approaching joggers, shooting continuously? - I got a K10D with 2 unspectacular zooms for 200€ recently. - Maybe a K20D kit could be had now? The latter fills a 4K screen with it's 14MP. That's what I'd expect a crop sensor + kit zoom combo to do.
    For more serious gear carrying the older FF EOS bodies seem unbeatable. Only problem is getting IS lenses into one's budged. - Id expect results to shine(!) on a 4K screen.
    For post-touristic convenience I dare to recommend Fuji MILCs. My 1st generation ones generate JPEGs that make me delete my RAWs untouched. Unfortunately they are "broad daylight only!" with their sluggish(!) contrast AF behind dim, but good enough, consumer kit zooms. I have worse glass in k-mount.

    Summary: Photography on your budged hasn't changed in between. Make up your mind if tripod carrying will be your thing. - If not: Get IS zooms! The luxury of a crop SLR with single expanded kit- / "tourist" zoom is quite convenient to carry. The alternative of a two zooms kit with an added most vintage / basic 2nd body might cost the same but would offer at least some redundancy. (I usually pack 18-50 kit zoom, 50mm for low light, 135mm, 2nd body, too rarely used 12-24mm. or am quite fine with 16-50 & 50-230 on different MILCs)

    I am not familiar with the 7D. I think it was the daylight sports / wildlife "submachine gun" of it's days. While I do appreciate swift AF for candid shots, I see little touristic need for a high frame rate and recommend shopping weight conscious.

    If you feel able to get used to a Nikon interface, their 3000/ 5000 series with a 18-140mm could be tempting / worth looking at.
    (FTR: Its not my intention to bash the small EOS stuff.- A lot of DSLR for little money! - I just made the mistake to bet on 3 different horses before I got hold of my 5D IV, so I don't know these cameras. And I also haven't figured out how to make "walking around" with the 5D appealing to me.) But yes, I did hike with a pair of 35mm bodies, zooms and a light tripod as a teen (without other luggage though).
  14. Forget about which DSLR is the 'best value'. Up until a few years ago I used two DSLRs, a fairly light weight 6D for full frame with a set full frame lenses, and a T5i for a lighter crop frame kit consisting of a 10-24mm wide angle, a 17-55mm workhorse lens and a 55-250 STM lens which definitely punches above its weight. Any of the Rebel series cameras are good value and excellent image makers. If I had to get a Canon camera now it would definitely be their newest full frame mirrorless offering, the Canon EOS RP that comes with an adapter for Canon DSLR lenses for $1300. A couple of years back I bought a Sony a6000 crop frame mirrorless camera with two zooms (17-80mm Zeiss Sony and a 55-210mm) and a 35mm 1.8 Sony lens for low light. The Sony A series full frame cameras are outstanding as well. Plenty of really good camera offerings around for now until camera phones kill up to half of the market.
  15. I took a 6D across the USA, Main, New England, Colorado, California
    and into Canada. I got beautiful shots, I shot a couple weddings with one. It will have better Low light ability than the 5D MK II, but the the 5d mk ii will probably have better build quality and two memory card slots I believe. The 6D has WiFi and can work with android phone, tablet and computer. Kind of nice you can download a image to phone and mail it or post it. The 6D also has WiFi. In a lot of ways the 6D is a upgrade from the 5D MK II but lacks some pro features like dual card slots, PC flash port, WB button not on 6D instead you have to go into the menu. As far as the 60D, crop sensor, prosumer, I think plastic body, not sure if it has an articulating screen, probably a nice camera for a prosumer crop body. I had the older 40 D when they had alloy bodies,
    The next generation came the 7D with metal body and the 50D was plastic. Any way, I strayed off topic.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  16. For those that might have the slightest interest here's what I've come up with.
    I 'm taking this whole thing more seriously as I would like to get really nice images.
    I narrowed it down to three choices. One DSLR and two mirrorless.
    DSLR: I get a 6D and a 24-105 F4 lens or if I really want to go crazy I can use my 17-35 2.8 and get a 70-200 F4.
    A bit of a gap and much heavier. Is it that bad?
    My mirrorless options are the Fujifilm xt20 with an 18-55 2.8-F4 lens. Limited range but very light and maybe good enough . I couldn't find a longer F4 zoom lens . Or a Sony a6000 with a 18-105 F4 lens.
    I prefer no 5.6 lenses... because I'm a snob.
    I'm thinking of using a small light tripod with a small ball head.
    I'm leaning towards the D6 with a 24 - 105 F4 lens as a good compromise between weight and image quality.
    I'm open to any thoughts. Thanks
  17. My suggestion would be a 70D.
  18. The OP may have made his decisions now, but I’ll endorse the two options for Canon lenses mentioned in the March 29 post. I’ve made a number of trips with the 24-105 as my only lens. Personally, I’d prefer the simplicity of the one lens to the two lens combination, but there is much to be said for having specialized lenses instead of one Jack of all trades.

    Not that you need new options, but I’d seriously consider the Sony RX100. I've used it when traveling with non photo group tours overseas, and loved the pocketability and low profile as well as the image quality and ability to get into it and control things like a realio-trulio photographer. No need for the latest version, any model with a pop up viewfinder will do.
  19. If you are still open to ideas, and you are looking further, for travel, how about micro 4/3.
    You don't have the IQ of a FF camera, but you have significant bulk and weight reduction.
    Olympus EM1-mk2 + 12-100/4 (24-200 FF equiv) + 17/1.8 (for low light)
    But that takes you away from your Canons.

    As for Canon, I like the 6D + 24-105/4 option. The 24-105 would be a great GP lens. Will the 70-200/4 be too much extra bulk/weight, if not, I would consider it, as the 24-105 is just a bit short on the the long end for me.
    If you go Canon crop, a T7i (or 7D, 77D, or 80D) with an 18-135 is a light package.

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