So you are trying to figure out if it is time for a new camera? What are some of the things to consider?
I love it when things are all grown up to be what they should be. There are times when you pick-up something that you know it fits you perfectly, a camera, camera bag, backpack, a nice coat. Other times you don’t know why but that thing just does not feel right.
When is it time to upgrade your camera body?
Many of my students ask me this question when I am teaching. Really there is no firm answer that I can give. Unlike film cameras digital cameras have several things that can hold a photographer back from getting better pictures. The first thing is the resolution of the camera. If you have an older camera that is under eight mega pixels then I would say this is a good reason to look at upgrading. There are many reasons that you may not want to upgrade. Some reasons such as if you only print four by six and five by seven pictures and never go any larger. But if you like larger prints this may be something that is holding you back.
I have written and talked about this before. But I thought that it was time to revisit the issue on full frame or cropped camera sensors. As many will know I have a number of cropped sensor cameras and I love them. But after hearing so much about full frame, and not wanting to be narrow minded, I have been looking into a full frame sensor camera. Yesterday I had the chance to take some side by side tests using a Canon 70D and a Canon 5D Mark III. The test was done using the following settings. 400 ISO, 1/500s @ F14 using a Canon 24-70 F4 L lens (same lens on both cameras). The images were shot in RAW then converted using the same settings.
I decided that I would do a Autofocus Microadjustment on my 70D for my Sigma 150 – 500. I was happy with how the lens and camera focused but was finding I had many shots that were sharper just to the front of the subject, and after talking to a photographer this past weekend in Glacier figured that I would give it a shot (pun intended). So I did a test shot without the adjustment and a shot after I adjusted it and was happy to see that it was now a lot sharper on the subject. I really don’t think that it is the lens as much as the way that I shoot so now I have the focus dialed in more for me.
Am I going to do all my lenses? I am not sure. I shoot differently with all my lenses so to do them all may cause me issues. For now I am going to watch and see. I may do my 70 – 200L series as I use that one a lot like the Sigma but I will have to prove to myself that it is working.
Do I recommend this for everyone? NO!!! (Note: many cameras can only do this if sent to the manufacturer and I would not do this unless I had a lens that was giving me issues) If you can do this yourself on your camera first do some tripod tests using a tripod, then make the decision but only after a lot of tests.
Well I have had the Canon 70D for over a month and thought that I should do an update on my thoughts. I can say that so far I have not had a problem with this camera (and the 18-135 lens). I am very impressed with the quality and the way it functions, now for the bad news – it is SO overloaded with features that it can be hard to operate. Sure it does a lot but if I am honest I can say that a lot, or for that matter most, of the features are not needed for the everyday photographer. It is nice that I can fire the camera with my tablet but honestly a wired remote does the same thing without the issues of setting it up. It is nice that I have many other features as well but when all is said and done they are just not needed, will I play with them – Yes! Will I use them in a work shooting situation – No.
I really wish that camera manufacturers would have a beginner, intermediate and advanced mode on their cameras. I can see many people getting frustrated with so many menus as by the time you find what you were looking for you forget what you were doing.
So some reviews (1 to 10 – 1 Bad, 10 excellent)
Image Quality – 10
Color – 10
Auto Focus – 10 (Single point for me as multi point worked but I was never sure if it was on the subject)
Lens Quality – 9 (18-135)
Remote Shooting from tablet – 6 (It is fun to use, cool that I can change the settings of the camera from the tablet, a pain to keep the network running around other networks, REALLY not impressed that I cannot use a bulb setting from the tablet, still need to get a wired remote to shoot in bulb).
Flip out screen – 10 Although for most shooting it is not needed, it is nice when you need it.
Touch Screen – 7 – This has some cool uses, but again in the heat of a shoot will I use it? More than likely not as it is not as fool proof as many would have you believe, I prefer using the menu as then you know you are where you want to be.
Camera Card – 6 Nothing wrong with the card or the speed, I really miss the compact flash cards as my bigger fingers do not like the tiny SD cards and I keep loosing the card.
Vertical Grip – 10 I would not be without it.
I have been asked by a number of people if the 70D was a worth while purchase from the 40D, that is sooo hard to say. For those shots where I need the higher ISO and more megapixels I say yes, when I need these I need them and there is no way around it. But in everyday studio work, location shoots, average nature and wildlife I have to say no. The 40D has large enough files to print easily to 20×24, and for most work I shoot 100 or 400 ISO and the 40D was great at that. I would say if you have a 30D or older or a older Rebel that the 70D is a good step up. If you have a 40D, 50D, 60D or a newer Rebel and you are happy with what the camera is doing I would say stay with the body that you have an instead buy a/some better lenses instead.