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Thinking of getting a full frame camera and lens

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  1. #1

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    Thinking of getting a full frame camera and lens

    I've still got my entry level cropped Canon 550d with a holiday lens from at least 5 years back. It's been great for me, but I'm looking for something a bit better.

    I've got 2 packages in mind:

    1. Canon 5D Mark III with the Canon 24-70mm F2.8 II USM

    2. Sony A7 II with Sony 24-70mm f2.8

    Tbh I'm getting a little fed up with the size and weight of my current 550d that's why I've been looking at the Sony.

    Both packages retail here for roughly approx HK$27000, but I can get a sizeable discount (approx 25-30%).

    If I was back in UK, I'd probably opted for the Canon 5D due to I borrow lens from my family. Here in HK, everyone's either using Nikon or Sony. I know I can get lens adaptors, which is another reason I can opt for the Sony and still use my existing lens.


    Does anyone have any suggestions?


  2. #2

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    Okay, a little food for thought as I'm in the process of deciding the transition myself. I'm coming from a full-frame Nikon D750 and I have all the f2.8 lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200). I've pored over this issue for the past month but a lot of the revelations also apply to the Canon system.

    - weight advantages for the A7 series tends to disappear when you get to the f2.8 lenses. For the most part, they are just as heavy and more expensive than their Canikon counterparts. You can't really get around the physics of optics when designing lenses of this size. They are all generally that big and heavy because of the fixed aperture.

    - weight advantages DO become more evident with primes and smaller aperture zooms (e.g. f4), mainly because the body makes up a larger portion of the total weight with lighter lenses. The ~260 gram advantage of the body will be more evident with your lighter primes (in which, I believe Sony has slightly lighter primes).

    - in-body image stabilization (IBIS) of the A7 II is a huge boon. I also use a m4/3 body with IBIS and it's incredible for getting shots at low shutter speeds for still subjects. This point is kind of moot though if you're only ever going to shoot with the f2.8 zooms because they all have built-in IS. If you are going to shoot with primes without IS or adapt lenses of other systems... this advantage cannot be understated for hand-held shooting or video.

    - Price is another thing to consider, Sony lenses are generally significantly more expensive than Canon's. The 70-200 f2.8 is a good example. Canon has a top notch 70-200 f2.8 but is even cheaper than Nikon's. Floating around HK$10,000. Given the price the Sony put on the 24-70 f2.8, the 70-200 will likely be much more than Canon's. Keep in mind that you're not just choosing a camera body, but you're buying into a complete lens ecosystem.

    - Lastly, I would point out that the Canon 5d MIII is growing a little long in the tooth. It's a widely used camera but to be fair, it is now a 4 year old camera that is long overdue for an update and should probably see an update within the next year or so (though 5D users have been holding their breath for a while now). The features of the A7 II is just more up to speed with current generations of cameras.

    Now with that said, I've decided for myself that the f2.8s might not just be worth the weight and instead I want to shoot as light as possible using a full-frame body and light f4 zooms and fast primes. Throw in IBIS and I'm really sold on the A7 system. I think for yourself, you'll need to think about what lenses you plan on shooting with (f2.8 zooms, f4 zooms, primes, adapted lenses) and what your priorities are in terms of weight and cost. I think really, these two systems are neck in neck in terms of IQ.

    Finally, a shameless request. I'm also an expat based in Hong Kong and looking to make my A7 purchase asap..... any way I can hop on that 25-30% discount?? I'd be hugely grateful! And wouldn't mind helping you through the buying/deciding process.

    shri likes this.

  3. #3

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    You're getting tired of the size/weight of an APS-C camera and lens, but are considering full frame? The Sony is small by FF standards but it's not compact by any means, and any 2.8 zoom is going to be big.

    Main question is why do you want a full frame camera? There should be some more compelling reasons that "cause it's better". Usually because you need better low light performance or you tend to crop like mad and so need lots of resolution. In fact besides those two reasons, I can't think of any other good ones.

    imparanoic and vale like this.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydag
    Okay, a little food for thought as I'm in the process of deciding the transition myself. I'm coming from a full-frame Nikon D750 and I have all the f2.8 lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200). I've pored over this issue for the past month but a lot of the revelations also apply to the Canon system.

    - weight advantages for the A7 series tends to disappear when you get to the f2.8 lenses. For the most part, they are just as heavy and more expensive than their Canikon counterparts. You can't really get around the physics of optics when designing lenses of this size. They are all generally that big and heavy because of the fixed aperture.

    - weight advantages DO become more evident with primes and smaller aperture zooms (e.g. f4), mainly because the body makes up a larger portion of the total weight with lighter lenses. The ~260 gram advantage of the body will be more evident with your lighter primes (in which, I believe Sony has slightly lighter primes).

    - in-body image stabilization (IBIS) of the A7 II is a huge boon. I also use a m4/3 body with IBIS and it's incredible for getting shots at low shutter speeds for still subjects. This point is kind of moot though if you're only ever going to shoot with the f2.8 zooms because they all have built-in IS. If you are going to shoot with primes without IS or adapt lenses of other systems... this advantage cannot be understated for hand-held shooting or video.

    - Price is another thing to consider, Sony lenses are generally significantly more expensive than Canon's. The 70-200 f2.8 is a good example. Canon has a top notch 70-200 f2.8 but is even cheaper than Nikon's. Floating around HK$10,000. Given the price the Sony put on the 24-70 f2.8, the 70-200 will likely be much more than Canon's. Keep in mind that you're not just choosing a camera body, but you're buying into a complete lens ecosystem.

    - Lastly, I would point out that the Canon 5d MIII is growing a little long in the tooth. It's a widely used camera but to be fair, it is now a 4 year old camera that is long overdue for an update and should probably see an update within the next year or so (though 5D users have been holding their breath for a while now). The features of the A7 II is just more up to speed with current generations of cameras.

    Now with that said, I've decided for myself that the f2.8s might not just be worth the weight and instead I want to shoot as light as possible using a full-frame body and light f4 zooms and fast primes. Throw in IBIS and I'm really sold on the A7 system. I think for yourself, you'll need to think about what lenses you plan on shooting with (f2.8 zooms, f4 zooms, primes, adapted lenses) and what your priorities are in terms of weight and cost. I think really, these two systems are neck in neck in terms of IQ.

    Finally, a shameless request. I'm also an expat based in Hong Kong and looking to make my A7 purchase asap..... any way I can hop on that 25-30% discount?? I'd be hugely grateful! And wouldn't mind helping you through the buying/deciding process.
    Thanks for this information, will ask if I can add anyone else to the order, whenever I place it.....

    Yeah, after much more discussion with FF users around me, the Sony A7 will give me slightly less weight and the IBIS, but I am concerned with the battery being able to only take around 300 shots.

    I've read the rumours of the upcoming Canon 5D Mark IV but the price seems to out of my budget.

    I've looked at the Canon 6D as well, a big saving there but j find the specs to be not much of an upgrade to what I have now.

    I'm willing to go for an little bit of extra weight, especially on the lens which I can interchange, for bit more longevity and more purpose use, (and pay a little bit more) that's why I'm opting for the 24-70mm f2.8 lens.

    The cheapest option with the equipment I've mentioned would be to the Sony A7II with a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 fitted with an adapter, which is the exact combination one of my colleagues use. The only downside to it is that the auto focus is a tiny bit slower.

    As mentioned, the extra cost of the Sony lens is offset by the cost of the cheaper A7 vs the 5D.

  5. #5

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    Don't forget another thing in favour of the Sony is that you can adapt and play around with all sorts of interesting rangefinder glass: Leica obviously, but also the Canon Dream Lens (GIYF), and many others. The usual caveat of nothing wider than 35mm applies here to avoid issues out at the edges.

    Biggest downside to Sony is that they are the biggest spergs/morons in the universe where firmware, menus, and device haptics are concerned. Ask yourself do you want a camera which is instinctive to use or a computer you point at things to take photos with.

    I wouldn't be buying heavily into Canon or Nikon full frame just right now unless I happened to be a pro sports or wedding photographer or reporter.

    Why not also look at the Fuji offerings? Fuji make truly superb lenses, and it's arguable whether anyone needs Full Frame these days. Also Fuji gets menus and haptics. Not to the degree Leica gets these right, but still pretty damn good.

    Also if you want really good micro-contrast and start seeing your photo victims with a bit more 3D 'pop', you want good prime lenses. Tends to work better than even the 'pro zooms' from Canon and Nikon. Assuming you have time to get the shot with the lens you want. Being a rank amateur who can still eat if I don't get the money shot, I swap lenses sometimes and also use my feet.

    Last edited by Kinch; 01-05-2016 at 01:16 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    You're getting tired of the size/weight of an APS-C camera and lens, but are considering full frame? The Sony is small by FF standards but it's not compact by any means, and any 2.8 zoom is going to be big.

    Main question is why do you want a full frame camera? There should be some more compelling reasons that "cause it's better". Usually because you need better low light performance or you tend to crop like mad and so need lots of resolution. In fact besides those two reasons, I can't think of any other good ones.
    Both reasons to be honest. My low light photography in the past has resulted in tons of photo ending up being deleted, and wishing I had better photos that I could actually keep to help preserve the memory.

  7. #7

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    Why not consider a faster lens for your current body? I have a f1.8 prime lens that's excellent for indoor photos on my Canon APS-C body.

    Lord Dashwood likes this.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinch
    Don't forget another thing in favour of the Sony is that you can adapt and play around with all sorts of interesting rangefinder glass: Leica obviously, but also the Canon Dream Lens (GIYF), and many others. The usual caveat of nothing wider than 35mm applies here to avoid issues out at the edges.

    Biggest downside to Sony is that they are the biggest spergs/morons in the universe where firmware, menus, and device haptics are concerned. Ask yourself do you want a camera which is instinctive to use or a computer you point at things to take photos with.

    I wouldn't be buying heavily into Canon or Nikon full frame just right now unless I happened to be a pro sports or wedding photographer or reporter.

    Why not also look at the Fuji offerings? Fuji make truly superb lenses, and it's arguable whether anyone needs Full Frame these days. Also Fuji gets menus and haptics. Not to the degree Leica gets these right, but still pretty damn good.
    Yes, with the use of adopters and IBIS I can have more leeway in terms of lenses with the Sony; I'm sure I have an old box of old lenses somewhere back in UK.

    Ive heard that Sony updates their firmware quite often. Is this still the case?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proplus
    Both reasons to be honest. My low light photography in the past has resulted in tons of photo ending up being deleted, and wishing I had better photos that I could actually keep to help preserve the memory.
    Also tossing in the Nikon D750, D800/810. Pentax K1 has just been released/announced and sounds really interesting if you can deal with the limited lens options.

    Personally wouldn't touch the Sony because I find EVF to be horrible to use, but that doesn't seem to be a common problem. At least their roadmap is looking a bit more long term with their recently announced 2.8 lenses- Sony has otherwise been in the habit of bouncing all over the place with product development.

    Nikon low light ability is amazing. Sony should be equal or better (but I've not tested it).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    Also tossing in the Nikon D750, D800/810. Pentax K1 has just been released/announced and sounds really interesting if you can deal with the limited lens options.

    Personally wouldn't touch the Sony because I find EVF to be horrible to use, but that doesn't seem to be a common problem. At least their roadmap is looking a bit more long term with their recently announced 2.8 lenses- Sony has otherwise been in the habit of bouncing all over the place with product development.

    Nikon low light ability is amazing. Sony should be equal or better (but I've not tested it).
    I read up on the Pentax K1 last night, and I stopped reading after the article mentioned its weight, esp compared to other models.

    I'll have the opportunity to play with a Nikon D750 this week, it's what another colleague uses to do wedding photography.

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