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Thread: Crop dSLR beats Full Frame for a given budget

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    Crop dSLR beats Full Frame for a given budget

    Do we non-pro photographers work to a (sensible) budget? For 99% of us the answer has to be ‘yes’.

    If the answer is ‘yes’, I seriously wonder why so many buy full frame. I would contend that for most budget levels one can develop a kit based on a crop sensor camera that will take better photos than a full frame kit at the same budget level.

    Let’s shop for a typical Canon ‘general purpose’ kit, with a budget of $5000 on the grey market.

    Which would you rather have? Same focal ranges are covered.

    7D body $1270
    10-22mm f3.5-4.5 $700
    17-55mm f2.8 IS $935
    70-200mm f2.8 IS $2220

    TOTAL
    $5125 3.35 kg (7.4 lbs)

    5D mk2 body $2000
    17-40mm f4 $700
    24-70mm f2.8 $1300
    70-300mm f4-5.6 IS $1320

    TOTAL
    $5320 3.26 kg (7.2 lbs)

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    It boils down to more considerations than simple crop vs ff.

    FPS. 7D
    Low light. 5D
    Bokeh. 5D
    Reach. 7D
    Pixels. 5D
    AF speed. 7D

    It really boils down to what kind of shots you primarily take and buy the camera that suits you the most.

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    Agreed, there are pluses and minuses. Even a Canon S90 has pluses for weight and size and price.

    Like I said this is a 'general purpose kit', not a 'your kind of photos' kit.

    For general purpose, which would you buy?

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    Arg I don't own Canon so can't answer your questions on what I would buy in that range but I did start with a Nikon crop entry level and have now moved to the entry level full frame I can only tell you that from my perspective the full sensor allows much more light to be soaked up and does help to produce a better quality photo in all round photography or for general purpose. Whether you just a non-pro or pro I really don't think it matters as once you progress with your photography I have found you tend to want more from your equipment regardless of $$ value and somehow you will always manage to work it into the budget. Just my opinion
    Last edited by ksolomon; 08-09-2011 at 3:47pm.
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    CC Welcome and Appreciated

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Somehow i feel how the question is put forward is somewhat .. for the lack of ability to express properly.. out of wack.

    $5k for a kit is a lot of $$ and not many people are willing to drop so much coin for "general purposes".

    Most people whom i know that have picked up a dslr in the past 2 years have all gone for entry level cameras. $1.5k at most. Even some my friends who are filthy rich do not just drop $5k into a camera (except for 1) setup at the snap of a finger for the initial foray (subsequently is a different case altogether).

    Given an average budget of $1.5k you won't even be smelling a 5D mk2, and having a crappy lens with a 7D. Most of them don't know what they want so they end up with a canon XXXD or a XXD series with a 15-85 or 18-200 combined with a 50 1.8.

    The only 2 people that "splurged" bought a 7D + Grip + 17-55 + 50 1.8 and a gitzo traveller tripod and the other spent $25k for a D3S and other great lenses at one go. This is 2 out of probably 30 people that i know that bought a dslr in the past 2 years.

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    most people do not start off with one kit. They may accumulate lenses over time and then upgrade a body to full frame if they have EF lenses to get the most out of the shallow dof or focal lenght the lens provides.
    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
    Film: eos 300, pentax 6x7

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    I don't think the 5D mkII is down to 2k yet,

    but anyway, out of those 2 options, for me, lock in option A please Eddie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    ....$5k for a kit is a lot of $$ and not many people are willing to drop so much coin for "general purposes". Most people whom i know that have picked up a dslr in the past 2 years have all gone for entry level cameras. $1.5k at most. ....
    Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't think it matters much whether you drop $5000 on day one or start with $1500 and build your system $500 or $1000 at a time, over the next few years.

    This is what I find a bit 'out of wack': people keep getting given advice to 'upgrade' to full frame when they ask about what to buy next. Or it is suggested that one day they will 'progress' or 'move on' to full frame, and they might as well start the process now, either with a full frame body or plan their lens purchases to suit the day they 'advance' to full frame.

    Is that good advice? Which of the two kits above is more advanced?

    I respectfully suggest it is the 7D kit. Just a point of view, I know. But I want those of us developing a kit to a sane budget to reconsider the 'automatic superiority' of a full frame kit. For an undeniable advantage when shooting handheld night action shots (?), you might be trading off lens quality, lens speed, lens variety, and body capability/performance, which might have given you an advantage in a range of general purpose situations, day and night.

    Maybe a crop sensor based system is the ultimate destination for us hobby photographers?

    Would anybody with a full frame kit care to tell us how much you have invested in developing your system?

    What system might you have now, for that investment, if you had stayed with crop sensors?

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    What i got from your post is that the initial drop would be 5 grand. It matters if it's 5k on day one or over a period of time. On day one, i'm sure most of us or even all of us can attest to not knowing much about a SLR, much less what we need in a kit to suit our style.

    I personally don't recommend people to upgrade to FF unless i know it suits their needs. I pretty much advice better glass almost all the time. A cropped body can perform extremely well for most things a FF can as well. I also like to rebutt the "buy for the future" kinda idea. I've know people who go "I bought a 17-40 L over a 17-55 (or something along those lines) because i'm going FF one day." They've been into photography much longer than i have and the day of the FF does not seem to be on the horizon. Buy what you need at the point of time and what suits you the most. If by anychance the user upgrades to FF, sell the lenses and get ones suitable for the FF. It's not a big deal. People have changed whole systems before, what's a few lenses?

    Which of the 2 kits is more advanced? They are both advanced in their own way but one thing to note is the 5D2 has been on the market for quite a while now. The 7D is only at it's 1/2 life.

    To me the FF vs Crop has always been a Apples VS Oranges kinda debate. The current 5D2 vs a 7D has only about a 1 to maximum 2 stop advantage for low light capability. Not much in my opinion when you can actually get a prime for much less. ie Sigma 30 f1.4, 50mm 1.4/1.8, 85 1.8 etc. Buying any 2 of these lenses and you still may have some change in pocket if coupled with the 7d vs the 5D2.

    As a hobbyist, i have experienced the advantages of a FF and will definitely go down that route once the 5d3 or whatever it's going to be called is launched. To me having the best of both worlds of a crop and ff will satisfy my needs for quite some time. But meanwhile i'm after more primes like the 24/35 1.4 and 85 1.2 which i'm looking forward to hopefully by the end of the year. What's the use of coupling a FF with lousy lenses?

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    I went from my 40d to a 5dmk2 and I can'[t look back.

    Obvious there is a price range difference and each camera has their positives, but the mk2 in my eyes is a great step up in terms of ISO handling. I find I'm not worrying about graininess and more about the shot now

    I built my kit from a cropped sensor up and the lens' are still relevant. As its been said it's all apples and oranges and at the end of the day i'm happy with my FF and if your happy with your crop then good on you.
    Last edited by Dylfish; 13-09-2011 at 8:54pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I dunno.. horses for courses I reckon.
    I'd easily pick a 5D kit over a 7D kit but my 'general purpose' lens selection wouldn't be what you have listed.
    Nikon FX

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    My camera of choice is the 7D as my main subjects are birds and other wild life, motor sport and other sports. I also shoot macro, landscape and old buildings and very occasionally people, so the most important things to me are FPS and fast accurate focus, the extra reach is a bonus too. The high ISO performance of the full frame is not enough to lure to that path. The 7D is quite good in that respect (I did my own test here which convinced me). My upgrade path at the moment if I could afford it would be the 1DIV.
    Keith.

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