Upgrade Advice for Hobby Photographer

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4
Name
Mike Trill
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi,

This is my first post here, so apologies if I'm asking the in the wrong place etc.

I take photo's just for me as a hobby, and have been doing so long before Facebook and the other social media giants appeared. I've not really picked up my camera for about 10 years (I know that's a crime), but with Covid etc I've got the buzz again.

I've got a Canon EOS-1D Mark III , and an assortment of nice lenses.

Below is an image I took though my window yesterday, to give an example of the type of photo I am thinking about. I'm also going to learn how to print the stuff out properly (I'll cover that in another post sometime).

A lot of camera's have come and gone since 2008 when I bought the 1D. I'm sure there are some good bodies I could buy secondhand. I don't have access to the classifieds at the moment, and I am in no rush to. My question is, what should I go for? I want to take the journey to full frame. So the starting point would be a 1Ds MkIII. But I could pick up a 1DX for a few £ (hundred, admittedly).

The reason I am after advice, is that I need it! I'm aware that if I went full frame, then to achieve the same image as below (300mm fixed) , I would have to crop a full frame image, so in theory I would need a full frame that exceeds the 1.3 crop of the Mk III. Does that make sense?

At the moment this is an academic question. There is nothing wrong with my current camera body, its just given a more modern camera could I have achieved a lot more when I grabbed the photo of the Robin? I'm not looking at anything new so I'll rule out 1DX mkIII's. Not looked any prices yet, but I'll only start looking when I've got my head around the available cameras . The last time I looked was about 2011......

Happy for any advice or links to other posts forums.

M.

 
OP
M
Messages
4
Name
Mike Trill
Edit My Images
Yes
The keys are the lenses used and the talent behind the camera.
Very true!

I admire true people who can make magic with a simple camera, a quality that I sadly lack (compared to some of the stunning photos I see), I know for a fact, that I could walk into a wood and take a snap of something intersting. Put the same camera, into the hands of someone artistic and they would capture something wonderous. I think that's a natural ability you can't learn, What I'm intending to do is look and then look again and try and see what is in plain sight in front of me. For instance In the last few days, I've learnt that what I thought were just bluetits feeding , turned out to be a mixture of BlueTits, GreatTits, Nuthatches and Goldfinces. Not all at the same time of course!

Changing the body. won't make me a better photographer, and I agree that the ID mkIII is fantastic, which is why I was wondering what difference say a 1DX would have made, just out of interest really.

If it wasn't for Covid, I'd try and hook up with a local(ish) photographer and get to try one (for a fee of course) that way!
 
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11,066
Name
Jeff
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No
Having owned and used several mkiii and mkiv bodies changing to full frame will not improve your photography one bit .. you might gain a bit more cropability and maybe smoother files with newer sensors ..
But over the years there have been massive improvements in other parts of the hobby ,I.e the move to mirrorless, vast jumps in sensor tech. . But the biggest improvements have come in post processing from the likes of lightroom cc and others ..
There are lots of mini groups within this section of the forum I.e Sony/ Olympus/Nikon I suggest disssecting them and seeing what other makes ,brands can do before spending money on something that will only give you incremental improvements and leave you wanting more
 
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18,305
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No
As above there’s nothing wrong with the 1D-III and you can still get great images. One of the main areas where I think you will notice a difference with newer bodies is noise handling, when you want fine feather detail noise can make or break an image. Also, with newer bodies with say a 24mp sensor you can crop to 1.5x and still get a 10mp image.

A couple of other things I’d suggest is maybe look at changing your lens rather than the camera as 300mm is not a lot of reach, especially for small garden birds. IMO you’d be better off with something like a 600mm such as the Sigma/Tamron 150-600mm lenses (unless you’re minted and can afford the wonderful 600mm f4 primes ;)). Lastly I’d work out if there’s a way that you can get closer to the birds. On my garden I don’t have a hide but can get around 12ft away, if I’m lucky, and with a 600mm effective focal length still find that I crop a bit in post.
 
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2,860
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Hi

I'd stick with the canon's if you have lenses suitable for the full frame. I do not know canons, but the latest body you can afford full frame would probably be ok.
Shame covid is restricting movement otherwise I'd have suggested the same thing, local photo club, meet or go to a second hand store and handle as many as you can.
Maybe a dog walker with a newer canon can walk past twice, once to leave a camera to try and pick it back up and the way back ?
Or perhaps look at renting some bodies.. I guess they are couriered and that service still works..?

The other problem I found when swapping to full frame is focus depth and reach. The 300mm you have even on the bigger sensor will require a crop to get to similar reach. If I calculate right and if you weren't cropping already, then you'd need a 450mm lens at least to match the reach of the 300 currently.

As to the birds, I think if you know where they are going to be, then also look at a wireless remote option. Probably several available. On the nikon I used a youngou (probably spelt wrong) which worked well. Or as snerkler said, the bigger lenses.
 
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6,363
Name
Joe
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So the starting point would be a 1Ds MkIII. But I could pick up a 1DX for a few £ (hundred, admittedly).

I've got and use the 1Ds Mark II & III still amazing cameras, cant beat them with some good glass on, still shoot professionally with both, I much prefer using the 1D bodies.
 
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7,409
Name
Steven
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In terms of image quality almost everything comes down to total light. And larger sensors win in that regards; but only if you are not cropping them (discarding image area/light).

In terms of image resolution (detail/magnification), it comes down to whichever aspect of the imaging chain has the least. If the lens (or technique) results in less resolution being projected onto the sensor then more sensor resolution won't make any real difference... and that is quite often the case these days. If the sensor hasn't recorded higher resolution, then you cannot crop/magnify it without paying a notable penalty.

For little birds (and most situations/subjects/budgets really) a crop sensor makes more sense... even if you could take full advantage of a larger format; doing so is exponentially more expensive.
 
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6,960
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If you want to dip your toe in the full frame EOS DSLR pool then perhaps have a look at a mintish, used 6D Mk1? Very good low-light performance, virtually indistinguishable image quality to the 5D III and only a few hundred quid these days too with some warranty from a reputable dealer. Currently probably the best bang-for-buck EOS DSLR on the market, plus it's quite compact and light too (for a FF DSLR). The AF system is OK for all but the fastest moving action and the central AF point works at lower light levels than the 5D III did. Plus, the 6D has the knack of reliably turning out lovely looking images, so it's a bit of a triumph of performance over specification really. If you find you like FF then you can always upgrade to a 5D iv, which I believe is a lovely camera. Oh, and don't forget that EOS FF DSLRs will only take EF lenses, and not EF-S fit ones made for crop-sensor EOS cameras!

If you want a bit more focal length then you could do worse than look at the Sigma or Tamron 100-400 zoom lenses, which are fairly compact and not that far off the image quality of the Canon 100-400 L Mk II, which is a heck of a lot more expensive. The Sigma 150-600 gets good reviews too, but is quite large and heavy in comparison to a 100-400. Hope this is useful and best of luck choosing what's right for you and your budget.

@MikeTrill To give you some idea of image quality from a 6D Mk1 I've attached the following photo. I don't usually take nature shots but took this as a test shot when checking focus calibration with a Sigma 100-400. Click on the image to view large in Flickr and feel free to download it at max size and have a play about cropping in, to get some idea of what you could expect.

 
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OP
M
Messages
4
Name
Mike Trill
Edit My Images
Yes
Guys lot of great feedback and advice here, I appreciate the input.

I'm not going to even consider parting with any cash, until I've really got back into this and understood what I am actually after, if anything.

If I won the lottery, I still wouldn't go and splash out on anything., as DemiLion sort of suggested I need to work on the bit behind the camera before changing anything else.
 
OP
M
Messages
4
Name
Mike Trill
Edit My Images
Yes
Going to sign off with this photo. This is uncropped, and unlike my first image, not taken though a double glazed glass patio door!

I might make use of the canon free testdrive, but that's only for current products.

Or maybe find someone with a full frame camera I can go out shoot with (once lockdown is over). I've done that before, and its a good way to try stuff! Its good to be able to get instant feedback and tips as well.
robin3.jpg
 
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