is a full-frame DSLR worth the $?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by shecky, May 11, 2008.

  1. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #1
    i tried to read thru this article about different sensor sizes, etc.. and i need some plain english.

    now we (my business partner and i) use a pair of rebel XT's for all our photographic work, 90% of which is studio-based staged cinematography type work, 10% of which is some product photos, portfolio shots, etc.. the bulk of our work is pretty abstract and experimental, much of which ends up in posters and printed work, etc.

    so while i do not feel i am really being limited by the rebel, i have a "fiscal opportunity" (thanks to a very, very good accountant) to buy a new body at a very steep discount in 2008 and I am wondering what the general advantages would be in going into a full-frame camera. (for the record, i am staying in canon as thats what we have for glass.)

    my normal inclination would always be to get better glass but i am curious if the FF might be worth it as well/instead.
     
  2. cube macrumors G5

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  3. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #3
    ???
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

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    #4
    Widest zoom, practical Defocus Control only on full frame, that's why I bought a used Kodak 14n for cheap.
     
  5. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #5
    just found this on the review of the 5D from DP Review:

     
  6. cube macrumors G5

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    #6
    Yes, that's pretty much it, although the D3 can use your DX lenses, too (cropped).
     
  7. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #7
    uhm...

     
  8. cube macrumors G5

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    #8
    Your pros/cons list seemed like a general statement, so I was qualifying it.
     
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #9
    The 5D is going to drop in price real soon when the mark 2 comes out then this discussion will be irrelevant. (I hope :))
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #10
    If you only get a discount on the body, forget it.
    With a FF body, you need first-class glass and unless you have that already, you'll be better off with a 40D or the Rebels you already own. I'd invest the money in new glass and then perhaps a new body, if you really need to. Although if you don't feel limited by the Rebels, I don't see much reason to upgrade those either.
     
  11. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #11
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    A bigger sensor means less noise at the same ISO for a given resolution, shallower depth of field at large apertures and smaller apertures before diffraction sets in and finally a "wider" field of view. These are all physical attributes of the larger photosites. Smaller sensors mean more depth of field (less subject separation,) more noise and diffraction sooner because of smaller photosites.

    If you need high-resolution in a small space, then a smaller sensor body is generally better unless you also run into noise issues.

    Are there things you feel are limiting you with the cameras? You may find a set of bellows interesting, or tilt/shift lenses- I think you'd find more creative outlets around those than from a new body.
     
  13. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #13
    $2,159.00 at Amazon, and just a little more at B&H for the 5D. If the deal is better than this for a new 5D, go for it.
     
  14. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #14
    Depends on the lenses you have really if you have all L glass stuff then absolutely. If you have a lot of EF-S lenses (the ones designed for 1.6x crop bodies like the Rebel) then no I'd stick with the Rebels. The only question now becomes is that for $2200 the 5D is an excellent deal since I'm sure the Mk II version or what ever they decide to call the replacement 5D is going to be offered at the $3299-$3499 which is still affordable but definitely not cheap. So if lets say you waited a few more months and had an extra 1000-1200 to blow on a body would you be able to?

    Honestly I love my 5D ever since I got the thing, FF does make the difference where as I'd cringe on my 1D Mk IIN shooting at ISO 800+ I can shoot at ISO 1600 and still not cringe (maybe at 3200 I'd really cringe on it). So having bigger photo sites on the sensor really makes a difference at shooting higher ISO's (less noise at the same ISO comparing a cropped sensor to a FF).

    Having a 1.0x FOV makes it nice to slap wide angles and super wide angles onto it and keep the same wide & super wides. The only thing you do loose is that center "sweet spot" that certainly 1.5x/1.6x FOV cropped sensors (Rebel/40D etc) enjoyed on hitting just the center of the lenses. People mentioned things like Vignetting and CA which can easily be fixed in software now (I'm not sure about Jpeg but certainly on RAW files).
     
  15. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #15
    i have spent a fair amount of time with an associate's 1Ds mkIII and taking my glass on his camera makes for images that in my (apparently correct) opinion are less noisy, and i find that the 1.6 crop to the focal lengths is something that i find a bit bothersome having come from regular film SLR cameras - not a crisis but bothersome. so while i would not call the rebel body "limiting" i would call it "less good than it could be." i would not really be considering this if i was not able to buy a new body at such a huge discount (i will end up actually spending around 30% of retail by the time all is said and done.)

    i do not have any EF-s glass, but nor do i have any L glass either. between the 2 of us we have a few canon primes, a couple of canon macros and a few canon and sigma zooms. my work is much more abstract and ambiguous than most people, and usually ends up as parts of other work rather than as just a photograph itself. so since i never shoot sports, birds, etc... things like fast big zooms, etc.. don't mean as much to me as they do the average shooter. so ultimately while i do think that spending more money on glass is a good thing, i think that increase in IQ and focal length accuracy are the two main reasons i want to go to a new FF body.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    People will point out that the FF sansor will have much less noise and greater dynamic range but if you are working in a studio you can already kill most of the sensor noise simply by adding enough light that you always shoot at minimum ISO

    What you do gain, I think is a different "look" due to depth of feild and maybe a differnt subject to camera distance. I'm basing this on the difference I noticed moving between 35mm film and using the same film in medium format. With the larger format I'd have to use a smaller f-stop to get the same DOF which ment I'd be using a "ton" more light. On the other hand if you want to narrower DOF if should be easier to get with a larger sensor
     
  17. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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  18. nburwell macrumors 68030

    nburwell

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    #18
    Most of the time, people will say invest in the glass. But if you can afford a FF DSLR, then go for it. I've had my 5D for almost a year, and absolutely love it. I just wish I could get my hands on a 1Ds MkII to use.
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #19
    If you're shooting in a studio with good lighting, the only place you could find noise is in the shadow details- if that's the case, I'd spend some time on DPR looking at the step wedge and DR tests for all the Canon line, as well as what Noise Ninja can do.

    If you're getting an actual discount, rather than just applying surplus capital to it, then I'd say get it and worst-case sell it for more than you paid if it doesn't work out- you can't lose at 30%.

    If it's just that you've got extra capital, then I'd worry that vignetting may be more limiting than noise- perhaps the right answer is to rent a 5D and a lens you might purchase and see which does the most for your particular type of photography.
     
  20. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #20
    Studio lighting is ideal and you can usually compensate for (or create) shadows. Full frame has helped me get better low-light shots; less noise, better color, overall flexibility in the post-processing.

    The 5D will have a $300 rebate starting on May 16th so wait until then.
     
  21. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #21
    Haha, so THAT's how long I would have had to wait. ;)
     
  22. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #22
    Yeah, I just found out a couple of days ago. Better to have and go shooting than wait forever and forever!
     
  23. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #23
    Yes, this is true. I've been enjoying mine very much. :)
     

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