Thinking of upgrading....Need some help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by GForensic, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. GForensic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    #1
    Hello All,

    I am thinking of upgrading to a Canon 70D from a Canon 40D (about 7 yrs old) and need some advice. One of my main goals is to learn how to shoot cars (Static and in motion such as race cars). Right now this is purely a hobby but I am very passionate about cars and would love to get good at it. In talking with someone from my local camera shop who was very friendly and knowledgeable (No sales pressure at all) He recommended the 70D and a 15-85mm EFS lens which would allow me to get a wider angle on the cars while being closer. I really like the updated features on the 70D and have the money for both the camera and the lens (Body 999.00 and Lens 599.00 after $100 instant rebate) which I don't mind spending but am wondering if I should maybe get just the lens first and then the body or both together. Also, he suggested to stick with canon because I have been using mine for a while and have a few lenses which will fit the 70D.

    So, to try and make this short would this be a good course of action to take? I have been on these forums for a while now and there are a lot of very talented people. I would greatly appreciate any advice in this area. While I am definitely an amateur I would love to get good at taking all type of cars and vehicles (inside and out) as well as capturing the action at a lot of live motorsport events. As a side note I have a chance to attend the 24hrs of LeMans next year in France so that would be something I would like to work towards.

    Thank you for your time! :)
     
  2. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #2
    There are a number of things to consider separately:

    1. Exactly why do you feel the need to update the body? Learning technique doesn't require the newest and greatest camera body.
    2. Depending on what lenses you currently have, adding the 15-85mm may be a good choice, whether you upgrade your body at this time or sometime later. If there is no special "bundle" pricing then there is no advantage to upgrading both at once.
    3. If you want to get really good results you need to shoot RAW. If you already have good RAW processing software you may find that upgrading your body requires that you upgrade your software. If your software relies on the conversion engine in the MacOS (e.g. Aperture, iPhotos, ...) then it may mean upgrading the OS. This should be considered when looking at the price of the body upgrade.
     
  3. sbeaudoin, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015

    sbeaudoin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #3
    I would not recommend a 15-85 mm since it is too short. You would have to shoot literally from track side. I go to the Formula One race in Canada every year. For the body, I use a Canon 7D Mark II. My seats are in 4th row in the grand stand. So close to the action. The lenses I use are the canon L 400mm 5.6 and the L 70-200mm 2.8 along with a 1.4 extender. The image I am showing was with 400mm/ 1.4 extender combination and it was cropped. For the money you want to spend, you can get the 100-400 mm or the 70-300, specially in the refurbished canon store.

    In OP, you mentioned that you have other lenses. The 15-85 would be good for cars on display that you have close access. On track action requires longer lenses.
     

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  4. GForensic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    #4

    Hi Dwig,

    First off thanks for the response! I'll try to answer as simply as possible.

    Concerning your first point I don't believe it's a matter of feeling that I HAVE to upgrade but I really do like many of the features that the 70D does offer. I figure since my current camera is as old as it is (although working well) it would be nice to have a better body with many more bells and whistles. I do however agree 100% about your statement concerning learning technique.

    On your second point I have a few basic "kit lenses" that came with it years ago. Nothing fancy. The guy at the shop let me test out the 15-85mm and I really did like it a lot. I believe that would suit me just fine for taking still shots of cars. I'll actually be in PA in two weeks for a big corvette show so it might be nice to have at least just the lens. My bigger question becomes taking "moving" cars. Since this is a big interest as well wouldn't I be able to benefit much more with the updated body?

    On your third point it has been suggested to me a few times already to shoot RAW so that is what I am aiming for (no pun intended...lol). As far as software I have worked some with Lightroom 4 and a little with Photoshop (Still so much to learn!) but I am getting a license at work for the latest full adobe creative cloud suite so I will have access to the latest versions of all of their software. (Any other software suggestions would be great!).

    As stated earlier I am not opposed to spending the money (within reason of course) I just figured if I have the means to do it then maybe both wouldn't be a bad idea. While the 40D is capable it just seems there are some good advantages to upgrading so that is why I am considering it. Plus after 7 or so years it would be nice to have something more advanced although I know many people suggest to put money more into lenses versus a newer body.

    Any other suggestions or advice would be most welcome.

    Thanks again!!
     
  5. GForensic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    #5

    Sbeaudoin,

    Thanks for the response!

    First off.....great shot! That is what I would love to aspire to someday. As just mentioned...The gentleman at the store recommended the 15-85mm for stills or cars on display. I attend a huge corvette show in PA every year on top of a bunch of local car shows and I think this would be a great use for it. Also, I understand where you are driving at (no pun intended...lol) with the longer lenses for track action which would come after some more heavy practice. With this in mind (Track action) if I do upgrade the body as well would the Canon 70D be suitable for taking these types of shots like the one you included or should I also look at something like the 7D that you mentioned?

    Thanks!!!
     
  6. sbeaudoin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #6
    The Canon 70D should be able to do those kinds of shots. The 7D Mark II has more frames per second. Help to get shots like this one (wheel in the air) that are already difficult to catch with the high fps of the 7D Mark II. When looking for a lens, try to get the fastest lens you can afford. You have to shoot at 1/1000 th of a second for track action. Easy on a sunny day. On a cloudy day, it means that you have to go at higher ISO. Specially if you use an extender. The 1.4x make you loose one stop.
     

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  7. dwig, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015

    dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #7
    DO NOT MESS WITH MULTIPLE RAW CONVERTERS !!! That is something that only the very experienced users should attempt. While learning, you need to stick with one good tool, or carefully integrated set of tools, or you'll impede your learning. Adobe's LightroomCC and PhotoshopCC are a great companion set and will do extremely good work. I would recommend that you rely on Lr to manage your library of files and to do all of your RAW conversion. When needed, simply output for Lr into Ps for Ps specific editing.

    Only after you are have reached a very good level of skill with Lr should you consider looking at any other RAW tool that may or may not be more to your liking. If you aren't skilled with Lr, you can't evaluate other tools adequately.

    As sbeaudoin stated, the 15-85 may be very useful for cars on display, you will need a very long lens, preferably a fast one, for shooting race action. Also, the higher frame rate of a new body is one very valid reason for potentially upgrading.
     
  8. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #8
    I wouldn't get all capital letters about it; after all, when comparing a Canon JPEG out of the camera to an Adobe-converted RAW you'll be using (and unavoidably comparing) raw conversions. And the same will happen with OS X if you do even a QuickLook on a photo in the Finder. So you already have three to compare without even trying.

    But since you'll have Adobe's stuff, go for it. The others are different, but at the end of the day the beauty of RAW is that you can arrive at the same result.

    Those long fast lenses the pros use get spendy really fast. For all the reasons stated. But if your goal is getting good race shots, then go to amateur events. You can get much closer, which helps. There are still safety issues, of course. Or try a local autocross. Use a spotter, and you can get really close, and with still photos it's a great way to get great action shots.

    And as to the body, it would give you decent video. Not super great (no high speed, etc) but enough if say someone gives you a ride and you wanna document it. And remote shooting with the wifi/smartphone can be pretty cool. I once put my camera in a precarious spot, with me in safety, and took some nice wheel-going-by pix. You can use other remote shutter stuff, but you've always got the smartphone anyway.
     
  9. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #9
    While this is quite true, it side steps the issue at hand. The OP mentioned having CC and then asked for suggestions for other software. He's stated that he wants to learn how to produce better images. His learning will be greatly impaired if he experiments with various RAW conversion tools instead of first working to get very competent with one single tool or integrated set of tools (e.g. Lr & PS, ...). Only when one is very competent with one tool should they consider researching other tools. This was true with wet process photography (e.g. stick with one film and one processing regimen, ...) and remains to with digital.
     

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