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Thread: Camera suggestions: Canon 5DmkII/Sony a7r/Nikon D800E/Nikon D7100

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    Member coolhand78's Avatar
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    Camera suggestions: Canon 5DmkII/Sony a7r/Nikon D800E/Nikon D7100

    So i'm looking to get a new camera and these are the ones I'm looking at.

    I'm def looking for 2nd hand as i just don't have the budget for new, ideally i'd like to get a standard zoom (circa 16-85mm) and a fast prime (50mm f1.4).

    I realise that the prices on these vary but it's possible that they could all land in my budget ($1500) but i might have to sacrafice one of the lenses for a bit...

    I mostly like to shoot architecture, landscapes, my daughter and days out around melbourne.

    The kit in my sig is my old rig and i've put it in the list as i did like it but i figure if I'm going to spend the money i might as well get the best i can for my cash...

    what do you guys think?
    Luke.

    5DMkII | Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L II USM | Canon EF 50mm ƒ/1.4 USM| Canon TS-E 17mm ƒ/4L Tilt Shift
    CamRanger | Benro C357-n6 Manfrotto w/ 410 Junior Geared Head | Billingham Hadley Pro

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    I think it is generally a mistake to choose a camera. Much better to choose your lenses first. Lenses are more important than cameras, and they last much, much longer. Decide what lenses you want, then buy a camera to it them.

    I can't comment on the other brands, but in those types of lens, Canon has a superb 15-85 (this is a crop lens, of course, as are all lenses in this class - if you are looking full frame then you probably want a 24-105, which is the direct equivalent to a 15-85 on crop), probably best-in-class, but has a peculiarly unsatisfying 50mm prime range consisting of a flimsy, ultra-cheap plastic 1.8 which is optically far better than anyone would expect, a rather fragile 1.4 that is not bad but 15 years overdue for replacement, and a quirky and mega-expensive 1.2. Then there is the well-regarded but madly expensive Sigma 1.4. Canon's 85s, on the other hand, are both excellent. (85 on a 5D II is roughy equivalent to 50mm on crop.)
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Agree with the above comments re lens.

    In Nikon land the D800E is going to be above your budget threshold and I'd recommend the D7200 over the D7100. I changed my D800 for a D7200 and couldn't be happier. The other thing to consider is that there are heaps more lens available in Canon and Nikon mounts than for Sony.
    Cheers
    Kev

    Nikon D810: D600 (Astro Modded): D7200 and 'stuff', lots of 'stuff'

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    if you are not stuck on Nikon, then I would recommend a Canon 6D coupled with a 24-105 F4. With the 6D just being superseded by the 6DII you might be able to pick both up for around your stated budget.

    Of course if you stay with Nikon you might be able to use you existing lenses on a newer Nikon body.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, EOS R, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-200 F4IS, 24-70 F2.8, 16-35 F4IS


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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    The problem with choosing your lenses rather than your camera is that you will most likely end up with a Canon.

    Oh, no no no, this can't be right.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    $1500 is a stretch trying to find D800's or Sony A7r's These will be in the $1500 to $2K price range.
    Canon 5D MkII .. probably closer to the $1K-$1.5K range.

    Doesn't leave a lot of room for a lens. $500 will only get a very well used, bashed up, knocked about 24-105 type lens that may or may not work.

    Sigma's 24-105/4 is about as good as any other out there.
    Nikon have a 24-120mm by way of comparison tho .. and not cheap.

    Taking into account the gear you want, that $1500 price is well short of the mark. I think $2.5K is more likely a realistic target price range. But you may get away with closer to $2K if you're patient.

    If you go with the Sony/Canon options, you will almost certainly struggle to find all that gear in one hit to maintain that price threshold.
    If you go the Nikon option instead, because Nikon Dx lenses work with Nikon Fx bodies, you could maintain that patience, and purchase the items as they appear.

    eg. On a D800, the 16-85mm lens will still work as a 16-85mm lens in Dx crop mode, and I dare say something like a 15mm or 14mm(DX sized frame) lens if you set the camera to hold the full frame mode!
    What that means. You set the camera so that it doesn't default to Dx crop mode, and instead capture images using the full frame image of the Dx lens.
    This, of course, gives you a very badly vignetted Fx image, but about 1-2mm(depending on lens!) extra frame width if you then crop that Fx image closer to Dx sized frame.

    I used to do that with my Sigma 10-20mm(Dx only) sized lens on my D800E.
    On Fx it basically gave me a 17-20mm usable wide end, and I reckon about 8-9mm equivalent Dx FOV if I cropped the frame to the edge of the vignetting.

    The 35mm/1.8 Dx lens works pretty much OK on an Fx camera, with a little vignetting when focused closer. So your options would be you can shoot full frame, and get badly vignetted 35mm images with a slight crop(making them more like 38mm lens captures). Or you could simply crop it to that 50mm FOV appearance it gives you on a Dx camera.

    The point being that: You would start with the D800E only. I'm sure you would eventually find one at the low to mid $1K mark.
    Use that and or the D7100 with the lenses you currently have, and mix'n'match them, crop(or not) to taste .. and be happy .. and while you're happily shooting away, you also keep on eye on various lenses coming and going for sale.

    Sigma 24-105/4 second hand I reckon would sell for between $400 - 600(ish). At $1K new, any more than $600 for a mint condition sample is a case of a delusional dreamer best avoided.

    50/1.4 is harder to gauge. Sometimes you see them come up cheap, usually people want more for them secondhand than they sell for new!
    Between the Nikon 50/1.4 and the old Sigma 50/1.4, I'd take the Sigma any day .. so that's what I did. Cost me more too at the time(new). Still a good lens, but I've been contemplating updating to a Sigma Art for a while now, although I'm not in any rush(I don't need any more 50mm lenses .. yet!)

    I think like Tannin said, choosing your lenses can be important to begin with but not because of the reasons he lists .. more so because of the limitations they can impose!

    eg. Choose an EF-S Canon lens paints you into an APS-C Canon corner. You can't physically fit a Canon EF-S lens onto their full frame bodies.
    With Nikon and Sony and Pentax, you can fit their crop lenses onto their full frame bodies(physically speaking) .. just that you may (or may not) need to crop the image later on.

    I used my Sigma 10-20mm Dx only lens on my D800E for close to a year before I decided which lens was going to be it's replacement.

    But! as you already have a small set of lenses, then why not just use them as the basis of a starting point, get the camera as it comes to market for the price you can afford, and slowly build from there.
    Not only is that what I would do .. that's basically what I did
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon}; -> 50/1.2 : 500/8 : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8 ais : 105mm f/1.8 ais : 24mm/2 ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Just one clarification to add to Arthur's post: the cannot-physically-fit limitation applies only to Canon EF-S lenses: you can readily fit other brand crop lenses (Sigma, Tamron, Tokina) to full frame Canon bodies. For example, my Tokina 10-17mm fish (made for APS-C) fits onto my APS-H and full frame bodies and works well, albeit with a more limited zoom range. From memory, it's vignette-free from about 15mm on a 5D II, and from about 12.5mm on a 1D IV.

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    hey all,

    thanks for the suggestions. Though i'm probably more confused

    I realise the a7r and D800E might be a stretch... so i probably am looking more at the 7100 or 5Dii...

    to be clear, I no longer have the gear in my sig.

    TBH i was perfectly happy with my D7100 and the 16-85mm and i def want the 50mm f1.4 for portrait shots of my daughter... some nice bokeh is what i'm after

    when looking at the cannon the 24-105 was top of my list and from what i can tell the canon 50mm f1.4 isn't too expensive and is quite reasonably priced...?

    so if we narrow it down to these two - is the older canon that much better than the D7100?

    one added bonus is I have a mate who has a lot of nice canon gear that i could borrow...

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    There are three Canon 24-105 lenses.

    • The 24-105/3.5-5.6 STM is a newish, cheapish mid-range product. I don't know much about it.
    • The usual Canon 24-105 is the 24-105/4L. This is a very good all-rounder and very popular. You can buy white box new copies for about $800, which is outstanding value for money. (I have owned one for years. Sometimes I think about upgrading it but there isn't really anything equivalent that's superior.)
    • Then there is the newer 24-105/4L II which is a strange one. Apparently designed as an improved replacement for the 24-105/4L, it does not seem to be any better, all things considered. It improves in some small ways, goes backwards in others, overall it's a wash. But it costs around $1100 white box, so why would you pay the extra?
    • There is also a Sigma 24-105/4. It costs about the same as a white box Canon one, is optically similar, but weighs more and uses a weirdo 82mm filter instead of a standard 77mm one. What would be the point?


    Summary: the 24-105/4L is the one to have.

    I suspect that Arthur's estimate of a fair price for a 5D II is a bit high. I'm actually thinking about selling mine to buy a 5D III - if Arthur's prices are correct, then I'll stop toying with the idea and advertise it right away! The 5D II has some fantastic strengths and some odd-ball weaknesses too. I'll post at greater length about it later when I get some time. (Right now I have to race away and build a chook shed for my girlfriend. True!)

    EDIT: if you were using a 50/1.4 on crop, for full-frame you want something around 80-90mm - a 50 on full frame works like a 35 on crop. I understand that the Canon 85/1.8 is a very good lens at a very reasonable price, or you could look at any of the various 90mm macro lenses. 50mm on full frame is rather short for portraits.
    Last edited by Tannin; 24-08-2017 at 11:20am.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand78 View Post
    ....

    to be clear, I no longer have the gear in my sig.

    ....
    Ah!
    ... in that case, ignore my reply.

    In order of pricing:

    I think A7r + new Sony lenses will be most expensive option overall
    D800 + new Nikon lenses will be second most expensive
    5Dii + new Canon lenses will be cheapest full frame option.

    Other camera body options tho may make the entire repurchase process cheaper.
    Nikon D600/D610 or D750 second hand will be a lot cheaper. 24Mp resolution is still plenty, and for landscapes(where dynamic range is important) it's still one of the best sensors available.
    Canon's 6D second hand.
    Sony have the A7(same sensor as the Nikon D600/610/750 sensor) 24Mp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    There are three Canon 24-105 lenses.

    • The 24-105/3.5-5.6 STM is a newish, cheapish mid-range product. I don't know much about it.
    • The usual Canon 24-105 is the 24-105/4L. This is a very good all-rounder and very popular. You can buy white box new copies for about $800, which is outstanding value for money. (I have owned one for years. Sometimes I think about upgrading it but there isn't really anything equivalent that's superior.)
    • Then there is the newer 24-105/4L II which is a strange one. Apparently designed as an improved replacement for the 24-105/4L, it does not seem to be any better, all things considered. It improves in some small ways, goes backwards in others, overall it's a wash. But it costs around $1100 white box, so why would you pay the extra?
    • There is also a Sigma 24-105/4. It costs about the same as a white box Canon one, is optically similar, but weighs more and uses a weirdo 82mm filter instead of a standard 77mm one. What would be the point?


    Summary: the 24-105/4L is the one to have.

    I suspect that Arthur's estimate of a fair price for a 5D II is a bit high. I'm actually thinking about selling mine to buy a 5D III - if Arthur's prices are correct, then I'll stop toying with the idea and advertise it right away! The 5D II has some fantastic strengths and some odd-ball weaknesses too. I'll post at greater length about it later when I get some time. (Right now I have to race away and build a chook shed for my girlfriend. True!)

    EDIT: if you were using a 50/1.4 on crop, for full-frame you want something around 80-90mm - a 50 on full frame works like a 35 on crop. I understand that the Canon 85/1.8 is a very good lens at a very reasonable price, or you could look at any of the various 90mm macro lenses. 50mm on full frame is rather short for portraits.
    ]

    yeah I was talking about the 24-105L f4 lens, it would be ideal for me... quick noob question - what's a white box copy?
    the more i think about it the more i'm leaning towards the 5Dii...

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Manufacturers often sell kits: camera plus lens. A kit is a little cheaper than buying the two individually. A white box lens is where a retailer is a little naughty: they buy a kit, take out the lens, sell the camera for the same price as a body-only one (leaving an empty space in the box), and sell the lens in a plain white box. It is exactly the same lens, with the same warranty, but a little cheaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Manufacturers often sell kits: camera plus lens. A kit is a little cheaper than buying the two individually. A white box lens is where a retailer is a little naughty: they buy a kit, take out the lens, sell the camera for the same price as a body-only one (leaving an empty space in the box), and sell the lens in a plain white box. It is exactly the same lens, with the same warranty, but a little cheaper.
    oh okay cool - where can you find them?

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand78 View Post
    hey all,

    I realise the a7r and D800E might be a stretch... so i probably am looking more at the 7100 or 5Dii...

    TBH i was perfectly happy with my D7100 and the 16-85mm and i def want the 50mm f1.4 for portrait shots of my daughter... some nice bokeh is what i'm after

    so if we narrow it down to these two - is the older canon that much better than the D7100?
    Hi Luke,

    Mate, you have to take the Nikon D7100 out of your deliberations. It is a well regarded camera but the D7200 is a big step-up for not a lot more money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    Hi Luke,

    Mate, you have to take the Nikon D7100 out of your deliberations. It is a well regarded camera but the D7200 is a big step-up for not a lot more money.
    I haven't researched the D7200... I'll take a look...
    what are the main differences? i'm assuming its still a crop sensor?

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolhand78 View Post
    I haven't researched the D7200... I'll take a look...
    what are the main differences? i'm assuming its still a crop sensor?
    Yes, the D7200 is an update of the D7100. It has a later in-camera processor, the EXPEED 4, and a much higher buffer, 18 shots vs 6 shots, better ISO control, better auto-focus and more.

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    I'll throw the D750 into the mix here. It has an excellent all round sensor IMO, almost matching the DR of the D810 at base and better high ISO balance. The AF sensitivity also goes lower but at the expense of sensor coverage. I guess the only pitfalls for second hand D750's are that there have been a few recalls so it'd be more homework for you to find one that has already had the fix (or didn't need one in the first place), or if it hasn't and needed it then that it is eligible for a free fix from Nikon.
    I don't use a standard zooms so I'll leave that bit of advice to others.
    As for a fast prime, you could always start with the good old 50/1.8. Cheap new, and even cheaper used. If you buy used, when you have the funds to upgrade, you might not even loose any money offloading it.
    Nikon FX + m43
    davophoto.wordpress.com

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    hey all,

    thanks for all the info, i've detailed in my sig the gear I ended up getting, had a bit of luck and ended up doing a bit better than i'd originally budgeted for...
    should all arrive next week - so can't wait to get out there snapping again... look forward to posting here and getting some constructive feedback..!

    cheers
    Last edited by coolhand78; 15-09-2017 at 5:43pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    .. just reminded me .. a TS lens is something I've always wanted to play around with.

    Looking forward to seeing some results with it all too.

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    Ausphotography Addict feathers's Avatar
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    You mentioned how you would like some nice bokeh shots of your daughter. One cheap lens is the samyang 135mm f2, just over $500 new

    it takes nice shots. Google samyang 135 f2 Flkr and look at the samples. But it is manual only. Cheers.

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