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  1. Phil V

    Phil V

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    No
    Those example images show a very tiny difference in noise and resolution when viewed at 100% (which is what they're designed to do)
    And to go back to your examples:
    The 600d would beat the 300d easily in a scientific test
    A latest generation Nikon body would beat the 600d easily in a scientific test
    You can probably find a site on-line to prove both of those facts; I've owned 8 Canon DSLR's and for the last 3 years or so have recommended Nikon to anyone looking for a quality crop body.
    However; what those tests don't do is to show an appreciable difference in 'feel'.
     
  2. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Snip:
    But Stewart has said: "Two cameras, side by side under the same lighting conditions, and used in the same way, will produce images which are essentially identical.
    The difference is caused by the users, not the equipment."

    So which one of you is correct?
     
  3. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Both of us. ;)
    The OP suggests the images would 'feel' different, and both Stewart and I said they won't.

    There'll be tiny differences in IQ, but nothing a casual observer would notice.

    I'll add, I've owned 8 Canon DSLR's, @StewartR has owned many more, and other brands too, and if you want a real clarification, @HoppyUK has tested shedloads of them.

    And we've all said the same thing, a new camera will make the OP feel better, if he really wants one, but the camera isn't the defining factor in any of the examples he's given.
     
  4. Orangecroc

    Orangecroc

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    Where were the sample images, I didn't see a link. Also, I'm pretty sure that at low ISO using good lighting, the majority of cameras are going to show very little difference side by side. The sensor size will change the depth of field but very little else if both are using the same settings and focal length.
     
  5. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    If indeed the camera doesn't matter and it's all down to the photographer, then how come you've owned so many DSLRs in such a relatively short space of time* then? ;)

    *considering they've only been around at 'prosumer level' since the late 90s.

    :popcorn:
     
  6. Phil V

    Phil V

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    It's not a short space of time, and we use 4 at a time ;)

    I don't suppose you'd thought it through...

    (We own 5, 4 to use and a spare...)

    So I suppose the opposite is true, in 14 years of Pro DSLR use, I've only sold 3.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  7. Kell

    Kell

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    I think we can agree to disagree.

    Of course, the biggest difference in ‘feel’ will come about from how the equipment is used.

    But I used to own a Pentax Optio 550 as my first digital camera.

    It was truly dreadful in poor light, but get a well lit subject and it shone.

    My daughter dropped that camera and I continued to use it for a year or so afterwards wrapped up in duct tape because the camera that the insurance money paid to replace it (whatever LUMIX point and shoot was out at the time) did not process images in the same way. I was never happy with the results.

    No I never did a side by side comparison and from memory would have been using both in full auto or scene mode. But I maintain that equipment can, in some instances make a difference.

    Going back to the days of 35mm for another example, I never really liked Fuji film as the prints always came back with a slight green tinge to them. Same camera and lens, same speed film. That gave the results a definite ‘feel’ that you may or may not have liked. I didn’t. But I’m sure plenty of other people would have used Kodak and felt it too yellow.

    I’ve got another Panasonic LUMIX now too (as my daughter also managed to drop the first one) and i’d happily take a refurbed Optio 550 over and above it any day of the week.

    What I’m looking for in essence are opinions on where to go next. I’ve invested a lot of money (for me) so far in getting to the stage i’m at.

    I basically can’t afford to get it wrong.

    But maybe because I didn’t know enough about it, I didn’t future-proof myself and IF I went full frame, I don’t really benefit from any of my existing kit - with the exception of my flash.

    The cheapest option would be a SH lens which I think I may look into.

    The question then, is which one.
     
  8. Phil V

    Phil V

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    As far as 'upgrades' go, your easiest path would be an 80d, and a lens upgrade, get rid of your zooms, pick up a 17-55 and a 70-200L.

    If you really want to go FF, you have nothing to lose in moving to Nikon.

    Don't knock yourself too hard for your lack of 'future proofing' it's actually not the best strategy as Stewart said already. A lens bought for crop becomes something else on FF, whether it'll fit or not. The only good 'future proofing' strategy is to buy good quality s/h lenses.

    And as far as mistaking your experience with some digital compacts with anything to do with your current situation, I'll forgive you, but let's draw a line ;)
     
  9. Kell

    Kell

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    Kell
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  10. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Is it just me or has the emphasis moved a bit there to counter the argument?! :D ;) I should hope you do have more than one camera on the go; even back in the day I had two T90s, plus a semi-retired A1 in reserve just in case. And before you ask, no it wasn't in case of dinosaur attack! :p

    Anyway, back to the point in question. After being 'out' of photography as a main interest for a number of years I upgraded from a Canon 400D to a 6D around three years ago and I found the difference was more than noticeable; particularly in low light conditions, the 6D fitted with an IS lens produces image quality I'd have found impossible to match back in the days of film (even with 1000 and 1600 ASA film), and impossible to match hand-held without flash with the 400D. Talking of flash, I was also surprised how nice the images from the 6D look when shot on auto with a Speedlite too. Technology moves on, and the difference is noticeable (as you quite rightly said above) particularly if I want to be lazy and stick everything on full auto and just womble about taking a few 'record' shots! This is why I was struggling to understand Stewart's post, as I know if I put my old 400D up against the 6D, indoors, side by side, in poor light the difference in image quality would be noticeable. Surely Stewart meant 'similar' DSLRs, or have I missed something here? :confused:

    Camera tech and image quality/dynamic range will no doubt have moved on even more since my Mk1 6D came out, but I suppose we'll eventually get to the stage where the 'improvement' gained starts to negate the cost spent on achieving it (the law of diminishing returns)? In the meantime I'll keep what I've got for a while longer yet, as it does the job for me for the type of photography I do (no fast moving objects or need for machine-gun speed FPS), plus I've got several old film cameras to play with for when I want to go back to full manual everything and watching the weather forecast to choose the most appropriate ISO film. From box brownies, through 30s and 50s folders, 60s TLRs to an EOS 3; all I need now is about 5 years holiday to use them regularly enough to remember how they work and to find their various sweet spots.

    As for what camera Kell should get, I think it depends on the type of photography he wants to do, comfortably available budget, cost to change any existing lenses and accessories, and possibly the cost of a computer upgrade to cope with processing and storing bigger photo file sizes (this is sometimes relevant but may get forgotten when weighing up total costs). So I wouldn't like to suggest any specific camera. However, have you thought about shooting some film again Kell? If so, perhaps have a look at the Film & Conventional section of the forum. Anyway, all the best finding what's right for you. (y)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  11. Phil V

    Phil V

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    I don't want to pick that apart too much, but as far as Canon camera tech goes...
    Have a read of the 6d mkII thread ;)

    And your 400d is a generation older than the 600d. The 6d has superior IQ to the 600d but the 'feel' of the images isn't significantly different.

    I'm not making this stuff up, as I said above, and as others said, some who professionally test or own camera numbers most of us could never imagine.

    You only spotted a move of emphasis because you chose to misinterpret and selectively quote people,

    If you read the posts from the really experienced photographers, the line has been consistent throughout.
     
  12. Kell

    Kell

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    Thanks.

    I uploaded some photos to Flickr but I cannot seem to link to them.

    Is there a post count restriction? Or is it now that Flickr doesn't want to just be a dumping ground for uploads and restricts links?

    Anyhow, here's a link to the album. These are not shots I consider to be great, these are ones that I've hunted out and tried to assess where I feel the focus could be sharper. Some, I'm happy with the overall feel - exposure, contrast, colour balance - it's just the sharpness is missing for me. If you can really be bothered, I've also got some albums on there of photos I took while we had a photography club at work. These were processed in Canon's own software before I got Lightroom.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHskpx6ZiQ

    Any way, in the example album.

    The first two shots are the contentious ones - taken side by side etc etc. I much prefer the feel of the second one (taken by my then 9 year old daughter). Composition is better due to the fact that she couldn't zoom in as much as I could, But even if it was cropped to the same framing, the way the light is handled looks more pleasing to my eye. It's also this holiday that I realised the Sigma lens produces ugly Bokeh and is very noisy. I don't think I've taken a single shot - even in the brightest sun on a tripod - that doesn't have noise in it. And it's ugly noise too.

    The next three (bar scene) were all taken on the Sigma 30mm with flash. On the one with the drinks it looks to me suspiciously like there's nothing in the entire image that's in really sharp focus. Does it actually detract from it viewed at normal size? Probably not. However the following two of my daughter, I think would be better if her eyes had been sharper.

    Next one of my niece in church. Again, I focus and composed the shot using her eyes as my focal point, but it looks to be front focussing by a good inch or so.and the front of her hat is sharper than her eyes.

    Next is the ski shot. Bright day - possibly over exposed - and shot into the sun, hence the flash. But this, again is nowhere near as sharp as I'd expect.

    Next is my daughter against the hedge. Her eyes here seem almost in focus. But nothing seems quite pin sharp.

    Next is the Superbock bottle. Taken at night, Ambient light. No tripod, but the camera on a table (or wall - I forget now) very noisy, but at least the noise is prettier than the 18-250 Sigma.

    Then the sunset (how cliched) again a lot of noise in the sky.

    Then there are a couple I took at Sandhurst as part of my day job. One portrait while we were interviewing an officer, and one detail shot. Both taken mid afternoon in September, so plenty of light. Both lacking that killer sharpness I wanted.

    Next is a bubble I took while on holiday. This was with my Canon 50mm and is probably soft because it was shot at 1/40 - due to the lack of light. A flash might have killed this shot anyway, but it would have been sharper with a faster lens. Possibly.

    Another one of my daughter. Again, I focussed on her (open) eye. But is seems to have front focussed again and the towel's more in focus than her eye.

    One of our cat. Again the focal point was one of his eyes, but this seems to have front focussed again. This is the Sigma lens that I can calibrate however, so this may need redoing.

    The Carousel image - this actually looks better viewing in Flckr than it did opening direct from the folder. But I've left it here because I think it's further proof to me that the Canon 18-135 lens produces nicer looking images than the Sigma.

    Finally, the last two were just a test I did after I got the 50mm to demonstrate the difference to a guy at work who asked why I need a 50mm prime lens when 50mm was covered off by the 18-135mm. Same location, same lighting (give or take) but the 50mm was way sharper.

    Anyway, I hope that explains where I feel my images are lacking.

    This (hopefully) won't turn into a critique of composition, but rather if it's something I'm doing wrong in the settings, or if you think "Yes a XXX lens would help there" then I'd love comments.
     
  13. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    I'm sorry, you do make me laugh at times! :LOL: ;)
     
  14. Phil V

    Phil V

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    I'm not going through them all but...
    The 1st 2 of the giraffes, I understand what you think you're seeing, but the subtle difference in the head position with the nice rimlighting on the neck, the better framing amd the warmer tones of the 300d are all that's different (you can sort the toning out in post, the other is the difference of a second in time and different focal length.
    The 3 in the bar:
    1 where do uyou think you focussed
    2 & 3 shutter speed is too low. the shot's not sharp because of movement - it's not a focus issue.

    Neice in church - again the shutter speed

    Skiing F13? diffraction - anything from f8 you will start to see sharpness drop off on a crop camera, f5.6 would have nailed it.

    If you go through the exif of your images, you'll see you've consistently made the same errors, from the start - you didn't research your best lens choices, your technique isn't great, you're blaming the camera when it's your choice of lens and settings that's letting you down.
     
  15. Phil V

    Phil V

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    I fail to see what's funny - we're supposed to be trying to help someone and you're choosing a peurile pointless attempt at trolling.
     
  16. Orangecroc

    Orangecroc

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    Are you processing them yourself, or are these in camera processed JPEGS?
    The first two, the second one is "better" because the settings are better suited but the focus on the second one is on the back of the animal and not the head.

    The drink shot, the black straw in the center drink is reall sharp, the focus drops off quickly because of the wide aperture.
    The next two you focused on her hand and her shoulder, hence the eyes not being as sharp. (Wide aperture again)

    You're either getting front focussing issues, or you moved it out of focus when you recomposed?

    Ski shot, it is likely because you were at the wide end of a super zoom lens and up at f/13 where distortion starts to take away sharpness, particularly at either end of a zoom with that sort of range.

    Next, her eyes are very sharp, wide aperture again making the focus fall off quickly.

    I don't think the superbock bottle shot is Very noisy. I think a lot of the stippling on the bottle and label are actually features of the foil and the condensation from the the light.

    The 2 sandhurst shots are very sharp where they are in focus. ???

    The bubbles movement and low shutter speed along with the narrow DoF and high ISO is likely combining to cause a lack of sharpness.

    Looks like the focus has hit her nose, which is probably why parts of the towel look more in focus.

    The focus on the cats eye is bang on, I don't see the front focussing you see here.

    The last two just show that the investment in lenses is probably the way forward rather than a new body?
     
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  17. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    You're being very critical. To do better than those examples, you're going to need full-frame, high quality lenses, and immaculate technique - perfect focus and high shutter speeds, eg I suspect your neice/church may have v slight subject movement. And the light - if you want sharp, then shooting in the shade or in overcast conditions will always disappoint. Ditto long lenses - atmospheric pollution kills contrast. And don't expect 100% hit rate, or anything like it. The higher you set the bar, the harder it gets.

    TBH I think you're barking up the wrong tree in seeking to improve sharpness and image quality as first priority. Though striving to maximise IQ is always a good plan, it is trumped by the subject, the light, the composition and the timing ;) You want a better shot of the giraffe, then get closer, move around for the best angle and the best light, then wait for the moment. Neice in church, what's missing there is a great expression, etc etc. You get the idea.
     
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  18. ABTog

    ABTog

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    I was going to go through my points for each image, but I agree with both @Phil V and @Orangecroc .

    I think techniques both behind the camera and in processing could be improved.
    The difference in the giraffe pictures is just the processing, easily sorted in LR.
    Focus and recomposing does leave you with the opportunity to move very slightly, but enough for the eyes to be out of focus.
    Most average lenses have a sweet spot for sharpness, often between f5.6 and f8 and going much beyond that will start to take away from sharpness. So with the ski-group shot, I wouldn't have gone beyond f8, probably only gone to f5.6. Also I would have metered for the sky (so it wasn't blown out) and then boosted the shadows in LR thus avoiding the use of flash.
    The bubble shot, there's no chance of getting that sharp as they move randomly in the air and unless you are using AI-Servo focus mode to track it and a fast enough shutter speed, it was always going to be out of focus.
    The girl against the hedge, the subject is so far from the centre, the composition is odd, but zooming on Flickr, the eyes seem to be sharp, but when viewing the whole image, the face doesn't look as sharp, but I think that's just the scaling of the image.
    Also bear in mind that some lenses get softer towards the edges, so if you place your subject too far off to the side, that can become a factor.

    Technique can change things dramatically, working on that is cheap, though it can take time, it's really worthwhile.

    That said, gear does help. I'd say stick with crop sensor Canons. Upgrade to a 70D for better AF and better ISO handling.
    Firstly get a better general purpose zoom. Either the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS but if you can't afford that the 17-50 f2.8 from either Sigma or Tamron will be great.
    Sell the 18-135 and the 18-250 and get a Canon 70-300 IS (the older version will cost under £200 secondhand, less than you'll get for the other two and it's full frame should you wish to change later)
    Keep the 30mm, but swap the 50mm for the STM version if you can.
     
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  19. Kell

    Kell

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    Genuine question re shutter speed.

    On the ones where you say I’ve got it wrong, is it not accepted practice to use 1/60 with a flash?

    Or is that a schoolboy error?
     
  20. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    I think Orangecroc has given a very good summary, and Phil's comments are right about the shutter speed not helping.

    The focus on the girl in church definitely seems to be on the rim of the hat though, and also on the fabric of the suit on the person to the left of her (who seems to be sitting on the same focal plane as the girls hat brim and arm just above the elbow, although distance/perspective can be difficult to tell from a photo).
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  21. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    The details shown for the third one in the bar say '1/40' and 'flash off, did not fire'. The focus does look as though it's around the shoulder, but slight movement of the subject's head could potentially result in a soft image too. Maybe a bit of both?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  22. TLR-330

    TLR-330

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    I will take a different approach and only comment on some. And I have politely ignored what you see as problems as it is all too much for my two brain cells.

    Giraffe 1 not so good, Giraffe 2 with 18-135 better on the optics and later the same lens was used for the carousel and the for the 50mm, it is one of your better lenses.
    Drinks + 2 shots of niece could do with more sharpness I am not sure they are moved or even out of focus (and I will not look again). All with 30mm lens, poor lens.
    Girl with pink hat turned to look back, given you have used flash and she is not very sharp it is as if the rim of her hat is sharpest. Passable for me.
    Skiing ... 18-250 lens, could be sharper.
    Girl in front of plant/flowers, soft, no depth of field and it is as if her face is distorted. 30mm lens.
    Beer bottle I can for once see the noise, not sharp enough by a long way, 30mm lens.
    Army chap suffers a bit (ISO is up to 800 though) 18-135 lens.
    Machine gun better than above, same lens but much lower iso.
    Girl in towel ... I have difficulty saying (or finding something to be crirical) it is as if focus is somewhere else. 18-135 lens
    Cat sharp round the eye not much good beyond, 30mm lens.
    Carousel fine ... 18-135 lens.
    Photo of 50mm lens fine with 18-135 lens.
    The same with the above reversed.

    I come to the following back of a packet of cigarettes conclusion.
    - Your 18-135 and 50mm lens are worth having. The other two I would not bother using as they are.
    - ISO at 400+ is noisy, I don't have the patience and pixel peep your photos of lower ISOs, you need to run some set experiments (say a beer bottle, camera on tripod, middle of the road aperture and speed, and try different ISO speeds to work out the fall off point. But noise can make the photograph look softer like when we say we can't see where the focus was.
    - You tend to shoot at low speeds to avoid the higher ISOs, and then wide open which allow for lenses to show most of their inability.

    I am not into Canon, getting rid of the two lenses i am not sure would buy you much of a full frame lens. I can now see Naughty Phil's comment too about jumping to Nikon for a crop sensor.
     
  23. TLR-330

    TLR-330

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    In the old days, 1/60th would be the speed flash would syncronise correctly but also flash was the main source of light.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  24. Phil V

    Phil V

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    A long time ago in a faraway land.

    Your 600d has a flash sync of 1/200 and you can use HSS up to max shutter speed with the right flashgun too.
     
  25. Kell

    Kell

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    OK.

    So it would seem that part of the reason that I'm increasingly disappointed with my shots is partly due to buying the wrong lens. What I thought was an upgrade was, in fact, a step backwards.

    But more importantly I need to avoid the extremes of any lenses, whether that be focal length or aperture - and in my bid to keep ISO low, I've dialed in other problems.

    I'd already come to the conclusion that I shoot at too wide an aperture, and in more recent shots I've gone up several stops to try and avoid this. It has worked to some degree, but I'm still not overly convinced that the autofocus on my camera and/or lenses is working as it should.

    So improve technique first.

    Improve lens next. Ditch the 18-250 Sigma in the short term and get something better than that - if I need the zoom.

    A genuine step up would still be a 70d, or better yet an 80d. No need to go as high as a 7d?
     
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  26. TLR-330

    TLR-330

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    If it helps you at all, I too have a crop camera. For the wider end I got its kit lens (18-105) and a Tamron 11-16 both crop size lenses. At the other end of the scale (3 lenses by a long way not the most expensive) all are full frame size. If I were you I would try to avoid 1 lens that does 18-300 or similar as you will spend a lot of money, have something that is average, and you will feel even more tied on Canon crop sensors. Do consider the point made by @Phil V to switch to NIkon. His point was - I think - that Nikon crop sensors produce better results than Canon, and I think comparable cameras are cheaper from Nikon.
     
    Kell likes this.
  27. Kell

    Kell

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    What would be the best/correct Nikon crop camera? Also, I know even less about Nikon lenses than I thought I did about Canon. :LOL:
     
  28. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    No. Phil's point was a much narrower one, namely that the D750 offers the best bang for your buck amongst current DSLRs.
     
  29. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    I think lenses with a large zoom range can be something of an optical compromise, with the convenience of having a very useful 'walk-about' lens being offset by image quality (sometimes more at one end of the range than the other) to some extent when compared to a similar costing zoom lens with shorter zoom range. I'm not talking about any particular make here as I believe it's a general thing. There might be some exceptions to this, but rightly or wrongly this is what I've come to understand. So maybe look for two separate zooms to cover the 18-250 or 300mm range and depending on trade-in value versus convenience, perhaps keep the 18-250 for times when a 'one lens option' suits? Unless of course you decide to buy a Nikon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  30. Kell

    Kell

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    I think it was both...

    I had considered switching to Nikon TBH.
     
  31. woof woof

    woof woof

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    I've skimmed through the thread and wanted to comment on what my impressions are...

    I get the impression that you'd get a lot of pleasure from processing your pictures and seeing an upturn in technical quality stuff like sharpness and noise performance etc and I can understand that. I feel the same even if I know that most sensible and ordinary non geeky amateur photographer people would never be able to see the differences :D For example I have a FF Sony A7 and a couple of Panasonic MFT cameras and being honest although I'm often impressed with the MFT cameras and no one else will see the difference the Sony files to me are just lovely and better :D

    If you feel the same maybe a "FF" camera and some nice carefully chosen lenses is the way to go... even if your family and friends never see the difference but you do :D
     
  32. TLR-330

    TLR-330

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    AT the top end of Nikon crop you have
    - D7200 (which I got and therefore it is the best camera ever ;)) the cheapest of the 3 here.
    - D7500 replacement for the above, probably a very good camera but it may not get the sales as it sits no where particularly.
    - D500 similar to D7200 but does some trickery (like focusing) a lot better. I considered it back then because of its flip screen but I was not certain I could manage to use it from waist height.
    There are more Nikons e.g. D5600 (see if you can find Orangecroc he is using something like that).

    I am not familiar with Canon but as far as I can tell you have
    - 7DMkII at the top end for crop sensor. (I have seen the photos of a now discontinued 7D (does that mean 7DMkI?) and they easily got noise).

    I am not suggesting you should change systems, but you are reasonably demanding of your photos. So, I feel certain, that funds permitting, if you buy a middle focal range quality lens now, then soon after you will want a better camera, so your top end crop would be the 7DMkII or - as now - you will be wondering if you should switch to full frame. Try to see if you get a good lens now, what camera would you get next and that is the cost to keep in mind versus feeling disappointed all the time with your photos.

    Sorry I do not give a clear answer. I do not have one. My purchase into Nikon was based on two simple things. (a) When I was seriously interested in photography (1970s) the camera to have was a Nikon Photonic but I could never afford it back then and now I can afford it film is out; (b) a friend of mine has a D7000 and on his prompt I read more, grasped a little and ended up with the D7200. Full frame is very nice but no point IMHO spending £2000 on a camera and putting a £200 lens on it, so everything goes up and lenses in total will cost more than the camera.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  33. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    A good point, it would be a bit like buying a top of the range valve driven Hi-Fi system and running it through 'budget' speakers. The 'better' the camera body is, the more it tends to show up any limitations of the lens fitted to it. As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    I suppose it's when a single lens costs more than the camera that it starts to get really painful! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  34. hamster100

    hamster100

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    I'm at a similar position in that I am considering a move to FF from my EOS 70D, however my son uses my old EOS 450D. It's 8 years old with well over 100000 clicks on the shutter and when coupled with a 70-200 F4L (Non IS) he is still getting some really great sharp pictures. OK the noise handling is pants on anything over 400 ISO but it is still producing more than acceptable work.

    I did see a marked improvement when I got my 70D and that is what I'm hoping for should I move to FF. But the main reason my work has improved is down to better technique and better glass. If i was you i would hire a decent L spec lens first (from StewartR ?) and see if it is your body playing up or just down to inferior lenses or your technique. It might save you a lot of money, just a thought?
     
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  35. Orangecroc

    Orangecroc

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    I got the Nikon d5200 specifically to get better noise to signal performance in low light. The focus isn't always faultless, but that's generally my technique. The newer Nikon crop cameras like the d7500 and d5600 probably have better AF but the high ISO performance varies.
     
  36. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    It shouldn't be painful. After all, the lens usually makes more of a difference to the image thsn the camera does. Plus lenses depreciate more slowly, so it makes sense to invest properly in lenses rather than waste money on cameras. It wouldn't strike me as unusual or inappropriate to have 3 to 5 times as much invested in lenses as in your camera.
     
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  37. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    No, I fully agree with what you are saying, it's a sensible investment if you've got the work for them and they're paying the bills and getting you more work than you'd have otherwise got.; or if you are earning a good crust and photography is your main hobby.

    However, if it's for hobby use and there are other financial commitments baying for your attention then lavishing £12k on a white super-tele with awesome light gathering capabilities is probably going to be a bit hard to justify. Hence my comment about pain... I expect someone trying to explain to their family that they can't go on holiday for the next 3 years because all the money has gone on a lens is probably likely to cause at least a little bit!

    Edit: That probably sounded a bit sarcastic, which wasn't how it was meant. I think a well-balanced kit is probably the answer for the 'average' DSLR photo enthusiast/hobbyist; get the best you can reasonably afford and, when choosing which camera body to buy, allow enough budget for at least a couple of lenses that won't let the 'chain' down.

    However, as I've said before, some of the most engaging and mesmerising photos taken in history are probably on the 'soft' side by today's perceived standards (and don't even get me started on dynamic range!) but does that noticeably detract from them? Don't get me wrong, I've found myself guilty of pixel peeping, so I'm a fine one to talk... but that makes me ask myself the rather uncomfortable question... wasn't the image I took good enough to otherwise hold my attention? Most of the time I'm afraid the answer is probably even more uncomfortable, and I doubt I can solve that by buying a better camera or lens. Still, at least I'm having a go and trying to find a niche I like and can settle into, and generally seeing which direction my photography takes me in. And, as a hobby goes, I find that's a rather enjoyable journey. (y)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  38. Phil V

    Phil V

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    There's a huge chasm between

    And...

    I'd argue it's perfectly reasonable to spend close to or more than a body price on a single lens, a s/h 24-70 2.8 costs as much as the 6d, and they're a perfect match.

    Thinking that the camera is the important bit is plain wrong, it doesn't matter how many ways this gets discussed, you'll find all experienced photographers will tell you the same thing.

    Only people who really don't 'get it' think that it's odd.

    My lighting gear is worth more than most cameras, and using it will have a greater influence on the quality of an image than buying a £10k Hasselblad would.

    And when it comes to 'feel' the lighting gear is profoundly important, some lenses have a 'feel' that's impossible to replicate, but you'd be hard pressed to identify a camera from an image.

    For example:

    Search images with the phrase 'beauty dish', you could go further by searching for 'mola beauty dish' which has its own unique look.

    Then search Flickr for images shot with the Canon 200mm f2, or even some old Eastern European lenses, again you'll find distinctive images.

    Try the same with any modern digital camera, you'll not find anything that particularly differentiates one camera from another. There are performance differences regarding AF or DR or noise handling, but by the time a successful image is presented, we have no idea how much of the quality is down to skill or the cameras specs.
     
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  39. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Yes, a huge chasm between those comparisons; but for someone starting out and/or on a shoestring budget there's probably going be a chasm between them and a used 24-70 2.8 L, so it's all relative. You're right, if the camera is reasonably good then putting a top-notch lens on it can pay dividends. As I said above, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    As for lighting gear I can't comment; as strange as this may sound, I've no experience of it other than using flash where necessary to get a 'record' type shot of something. It's not the kind of photography I really do (up to now, anyway), but for someone doing your job I imagine it will be pretty much essential, as will the knowledge of how to use it to its best. So it makes business sense for you to invest in the kit you're going to need.

    I know exactly what you mean about distinctive lenses and the results from more modern DSLR cameras looking similar (to me, 'straight from the camera' type Canon JPEG shots tend to look a bit 'warmer' than Nikon shots? That could just be my eyes and if there is a difference it's probably not going to persist much after post processing anyway). I think it's like that with cars, when I was a kid I could tell just by the sound of the car if it was a Mini, a Ford Escort or a Cortina, etc. These days, not only do a lot of modern cars sound the same I think a lot of them even look the same too! Back to cameras, I have a couple of Yashica 635 TLRs, one has a Yashikor lens and the other a Yashinon lens. Opened wide the Yashikor has rather distinctive swirly bokeh, the Yashinon doesn't. Same camera, different lens, and a different look under certain circumstances.

    That's one of the reasons I still like to use old film cameras, you can get a somewhat distinctive look. Also, old cameras and film can be a very cruel mistress, and if it doesn't break your spirit then some of the lessons it teaches can be well worth it... my trouble is remembering them all, as I'm not using my cameras every day, or even every week! But I find when I do remember, have enough time to set everything up correctly (manual everything and non-coupled viewfinders on some of my old stuff) and the lighting is within the capabilities of the camera and film (and the badger behind it!), the feeling is all the sweeter when I get a decent result.

    So no, the camera isn't always going to be the key to success... or the lens, or the film, the sensor, etc. I'm sure that knowledge and ability are the key to consistently increasing photographic success rate, however, I've found I can get a much better looking (accurately focused and exposed) failure by using good quality modern kit! :LOL: :coat:
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  40. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    My lenses cost more than my cameras, and my lighting kit cost more than my lenses - and I'll be investing more in that area.

    Lighting, indoors and out, is something that I enjoy because it can make such a massive difference, it's challenging and rewarding in equal measure - creating rather than recording. It also sets an image apart, in ways that cannot be replicated in any other way. And as an aside, I believe it's one of the keys to professional success, now more than ever, because very few amateurs, even enthusiasts with a mountain of gear, are prepared to put the effort in.
     
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