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Canon DSLR question...

Discussion in 'The Canon Corner' started by mattherat, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. mattherat

    mattherat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: everywhere
    64
    19
    8
    Hi all. So after a brief flirtation with a Nikon i have decided to go back to Canon (basically i decided why buy all new lenses for the Nikon when i already have them for a Canon!)
    So i used to have an EOS450d, which was quite old, so i am looking at what body to buy next. I am by no means a pro, but i enjoy taking photos, mostly automotive, but i also want to start taking a lot more nature based photos, and i also want to save up and get an underwater housing at some point ( i currently use a Canon G7x under the water). So i was just asking peoples recommendations on what is a good model to go for, skill and budget wise? I have been recommended a 5d mk2 (i think from memory) and also another friend has a 80d. What are people experiences with the cameras and also the underwater housings? Any feedback would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Hoag

    Hoag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    909
    581
    93
    I have shot Canon for many years although in an effort for full disclosure, I have recently made the switch to Sony. Please take anything I say here with a grain of salt as I offer this as my opinion, and not as a statement of fact, but here is how I see the current line-up.

    A lot depends on how serious you are about your photography. For the most part, Canon makes 4 or 5 "levels" of DSLR cameras. Each level is quite capable and as you go up, you will get more (different) features coming into play.

    The first level would be their entry level and consumer DSLRs. These are crop sensor (1.6x crop factor for Canon) cameras that are targeting the casual user who wants something more than what their smart phone can offer while still keeping costs relatively low. In this group, you will find the EOS Rebels and the 60D, 70D and 80D. (In general, the higher the number, the more sophisticated the camera is.) These cameras offer a tremendous "bang for the buck" for most people.

    The next step up would be their "pro-sumer" crop sensor cameras. These would be the 7D and the 7D MkII. These are relatively sophisticated cameras that offer faster shutter speeds, more frames per second speed, better auto-focus, better weather sealing and faster processors than the entry level group.

    The next step would be in many ways a lateral step not a dramatic step up and that would be to the entry level full frame cameras. This is where the 6D and the 6D MkII can be found. By moving to these cameras, you get the advantages of a full frame camera (lower noise at high ISOs being a big one). As far as features, They tend to fall between the entry level crop sensor and the pro-sumer crop sensor, but on a full frame camera. (A 7D has a more sophisticated auto focus that a 6D as an example.) By moving to a full frame camera, you are able to get wider for any given focal length because you don't have to deal with the crop factor, but you also limit the lenses that are available. (You can put an EF lens on a crop sensor camera, but you can not put an EF-S lens on a full frame camera.) One last thought. As you make the transition to full frame, one of the things that you normally give up is a built in flash. Typically not a deal breaker, but certainly something to be aware of.

    After this, would be the pro-sumer full frame cameras - the 5D series. The current version of the 5D series is the 5DMkIV. Right from the start, these have been extremely capable cameras, and each generation just gets more and more capable. Many pro photographers will use Canon 5D cameras either as their primary or as their secondary bodies.

    The top tier, would be their dedicated pro cameras such as the 1DxMkII, which at roughly $5500 is out of most people's reach.

    _____________________________________________________________________________
    So, when I shot Canon, what did I shoot and what would I recommend?

    I made the move to full frame, largely because I loved shooting the Milky Way and the 6D offered outstanding low light, high ISO performance. Before that, I was shooting a 7D and I loved it.

    Based on what you have said, I would recommend first, that you continue to use the G7x as your underwater camera at least in the short term. Second, I would recommend that you would have little value added by going to a full frame camera unless you get an amazing deal on a used one. As for your friend who recommended the 5DMkII, he is right. It is an outstanding camera, but in my opinion, unless you get a great deal on one, I don't think that it is the right camera for you. I think that your best option would be in the 70D, 80D or 7D range (I don't think that a 7DMkII would be worth the extra cost at this point). All three of the cameras that I mentioned would give you a very good feature set at a reasonable price point. They would also give you room to grow as your skills improve.

    After that, I would recommend that you concentrate on good lenses. The Canon "L-Series" lenses are superb, and if you ever do transition to a full frame set-up, then they would make the shift with you. You mentioned that you already have an investment in Canon lenses, so don't go out and replace your current lenses with Ls, but as you find "I wish I had a ____________." Then consider investing in an L Series lens as your new lens.


    Again, this is just my opinion. Do not take it as absolute fact. Only you will ultimately be able to know what is right for you, but I hope this has helped.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    mattherat likes this.
  3. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    662
    237
    43
    I'm going to go against the grain a bit here. *In my opinion*, unless you are a professional photographer making your living with underwater photography, WHY IN HECK would you want to take a $3000 (canadian price) camera underwater?

    Really good housings cost the same almost irrespective of camera model. There's the polycarbonate less expensive housings, and the aluminum more expensive housings.

    Looking at prices this week, a housing for a Canon 7DMk2 is the same price as one for 6DMk2 or a 5DMk4. But the 5DMk4 is twice the price (here in Canada) as a 6DMk2, and way more than a 7DMk2.

    I'm using a 7D (mark 1) in a Nauticam housing, and I absolutely love it. If I had buckets of dough, I'd buy the 7DMk2 and housing. Why not the 6DMk2? Well, with a 7DMk2, it has the pop-up flash on the camera. You pop that puppy up and have instant TTL with optical sync to (i.e.) Inon strobes. That's what I'm doing and it's great. I started with wired strobes (Manual only with my particular housing) and won't ever go back. Optical is so great.

    But - move to the 6D and there's no on-board flash, so you must buy another part (which is costly) to get flash sync. You either buy the Nauticam hot-shoe connector or you buy a hot-shoe LED optical controller. Either way it's added money.

    Now, if I won the big lottery, yea - I'd buy the 5DMk4 and Nauticam (or equivalent in other brands) housing, plus all the bells and whistles for that unit. But as I said up top, unless I'm making money as a photog underwater, I'm buying what I can afford... and I really can't afford to put a multi-thousand dollar camera underwater in any housing.

    Jusy my .02
     
    Hoag likes this.
  4. Hoag

    Hoag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    909
    581
    93
    I read the Op's post as inferring that he is planning on using the new camera for automotive and nature shots and the G7x for underwater. Maybe I read it wrong, but that is what I based my recommendations on.
     
  5. mattherat

    mattherat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: everywhere
    64
    19
    8
    I am planning on eventually using the DSLR underwater as and when funds allow the housing etc
     
  6. Hoag

    Hoag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    909
    581
    93
    In that case, while I still stand behind the 3 cameras that I recommend, I will add that you should probably wait until you can afford the housing before you buy the camera. It can be very difficult to find a housing for a camera that is not a current model. Even if you don't buy the strobes, lens ports etc, until a later date, you don't want to buy a DSLR and then find a year or two later that housings for it are no longer available.
     
    mattherat likes this.
  7. kmarks

    kmarks Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location:
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    The 60D, 70D, and 80D are not at all in the same category as the EOS Rebels.

    Internationally, the Rebels are known by a three digit number and a D in Europe and Kiss X# in Japan (450D/Rebel XSi/Kiss X3, 500D/Rebel T1i/Kiss X3, 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4, etc), but they are the same. The Rebels are the entry level cameras from Canon (and they even recently started a more entry level with the same T#, but no i: T5i and T5 are not the same. I have had a T1i since May 2010, and it's still a very capable camera that I use for backup and second. It's video system sucks, though.

    The next step up is the advanced amateur cameras. This is the ##Ds, like the 60D, 70D, and 80D. These cameras have a bigger body, more features (like two wheels instead of one, better screens, better processors, brighter pentaprisms instead of pentamirrors, etc.) Like Hoag said, in general, high numbers (with the same number of digits) are more advanced, except in the cast of the 77D, which occupies a weird position between a Rebel and a 70D. It has a newer processor than either the 70D or the 80D, but it has the slower max shutter speed and flash sync of a Rebel (1/4000 and 1/200 vs. 1/8000 and 1/250, respectively), and has a rebels mirror box and view finder design. I bought a 70D in 2014 to take two bodies with me to the Galapagos and it is now my main camera. Starting with the 70D, the camera is able to retain autofocus in video and live view modes through Dual Pixel AF, which was a huge step for DSLRs.

    Stepping up further is the 7D, 6D, and 5D range. These are all very different cameras, but could be put into different, but similar levels in the ranking. The 7D is aimed at the advanced amateur/prosumer birder or sport photographer. It is still a 1.6x crop sensor, but has a pro build, including improved weather resistance (the Rebels have none, the 70D and 80D have some, but Canon won't give details). The original 7D is getting pretty long in the tooth, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you can get it really cheap. Anything you find used will likely have had 50-100,000 shutter actuations by this point. The 7D II has dual card slots and can do either CF or SD cards, and you can record to both at the same time so you have a back up in the event of a card failure. It also has dual processors and can machine gun 10 frames per second with full AF in between (which probably isn't that important for shooting still cars, but would be nice at the track). The 6D II is the current "entry level" full frame offering from Canon. It lacks a lot of the features your going to find in a 5D, including a Rebel-like max shutter speed of 1/4000s, lower max ISO, fewer AF points, SD cards and no support for CF cards, and a 98% viewfinder coverage (equivalent to the 70D). The 5D is the top of the advanced prosumer, with three different current models: 5D IV, 5Ds, and 5Ds R, the 5D IV being the newest. The 5Ds cameras are Canon's venture into the ridiculous megapixel wars, at 50.6 megapixels. The 5D IV was Canon's first 4k capable DSLR. In this category, only the 7D has a built-in flash, so you'll have to add on another $300 minimum if you want a flash on the others (of course, you have to do that on any camera if you want a decent flash because pop-ups suck). A lot of pros I know use the 5D III or 5D IV.

    At the very top of the top is the 1D X series, which is Canon's ultimate flag ship. The original 1D was a weird not quite APS-C crop called APS-H, but since the 1D S, they have all been full frame. These cameras are given the ultimate in weather sealing, usable in a driving rain with an L series lens. This is what the guys in the endzone are shooting with those big white lenses when it's pouring. The 1D II can shoot up to 16 frames per second and 4k video. It is the only series that doesn't have an optional battery grip because one is built in to the camera from the beginning. No mortal human actually owns one of these because they cost $5,500.

    One important thing to remember, if you are coming from a 450D with lenses: EF-S lenses are only compatible with APS-C cameras (7D, ##D, and ###D/Rebel/Kiss). They physically will not fit on a 1D, 5D, or 6D, and will cause damage to the mirror if you try to use them. Nikon has an advantage here in that they designed their cameras to work with all of their lenses, but you just get a really small image circle if you use a crop sensor lens on a full frame camera. All EF lenses will work on all Canon DSLRs.

    Hoag makes a good point about waiting to get the camera until you can get the housing at the same time if you want to go that route. Housings to match your camera will be discontinued at some point, but if you get a current model camera, you'll probably have about a five year window. Lens ports and accessories tend to work with a wide range of housings (the housings have to be specific to the button layout and form factor of the camera), so you could buy it in pieces.

    I still happily shoot with an old S110 P&S in a housing with a Sea&Sea YS-03 flash underwater. It's bulky enough that I don't have much interest in bringing either of my DSLRs with me. The S110's popup flash triggers the YS-03 through a fiber optic cable, and the addition of an off camera flash made a huge difference in what I can get from that camera.
     
    Hoag likes this.
  8. Drew K

    Drew K Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1
    2
    3
    (Hi - my first post on here)
    I'm afraid I'm going to broaden this out a bit - there can be other considerations...

    DSLR housings (and the related ports, and a bunch of lenses) can be heavy. In some parts of the world (including where I live), that can be prohibitive in terms of excess baggage.

    You don't say what sort of nature photography you want to do. If this is bird-based for example, then a crop sensor may suit you better, as you'll get more image for your bucks on longer lenses - the 7DmkII is very popular (because of the low noise). If you're thinking landscapes, then a full-frame may suit you better.
    If this is going to be the bulk of your photography, then it'd make sense to put your money in this direction (I'm not sure about automotive, but you get the idea)

    Housings will cause another headache. Not all housing manufacturers support all lenses, so download the compatibility charts from their websites, and see which of your lenses will work.
    When I was buying, for example, I found that one leading housing manufacturer didn't support either the 24-105mm or 24-70mm 'standard' zoom lenses, as the diameter was too wide for the ports. Other manufacturers may not produce zoom gears for your preferred lenses.
    Most people will use a wide-angle zoom and a macro lens for underwater, or you may just choose to dive with a standard kit lens - in which case your G7x may still serve you well (maybe with the addition of strobes - if you don't have them yet - or a macro lens).
    Don't forget you'll want ports and extensions as well, so factor that into your costing.
    If you won't be diving with your existing glass, then that could make your buying decision more flexible.

    If you're happy to go with a used housing, then this gives you more options. Choose one or more manufacturers that support your lenses (as above - if applicable) and make a list of cameras with acceptable functionality that they support.
    When a bargain comes along (especially if it's local and you can check it out), snap it up, and then buy the camera body. I managed to get an Aquatica housing and a new 5DIII for about the same price as a 5DII housing (which I was originally looking for) on its own. Right place, right time.
    (As an aside, I've found that this particular housing is easily - and, more importantly, inexpensively - modified for 5DS, 5DSR and 5DIV - Canon have kept the button layouts and body dimensions very similar since the 5DIII).

    Do think about your 'flood strategy'. Housings are expensive, so if you're happy with the results, then think about getting a backup body when the body model is replaced (prices will tumble when the announcement is made). The latest model may offer marginal benefits over the one you already have. Or get a good, low-usage used body on a popular auction site a few months later, when those prices have dropped.
     
    mattherat and kmarks like this.
  9. KatieMac

    KatieMac Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Small town Ontario, Canada
    547
    427
    63
    I shoot Canon - I have a 5DII. I couldn't imagine getting an underwater housing for it. Given the cost of the housing, it would make much more sense to spend money on a made for underwater camera.
     
    Hoag likes this.
  10. Hoag

    Hoag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    909
    581
    93
    That is why I shoot a Sony A7iii above the surface and an A6000 in a housing while diving.
     
    KatieMac likes this.

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