Need: Camera Nerds

Before anyone says it, the most important part of any photograph is the eyes behind it. The equipment does not make the image. I know this, I believe this.

I also know that my Canon 10D is getting long in the tooth and started throwing errors. And the AF is starting to get sketchy at times. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it through the last four years. I’m thinking of moving up to a USED Canon 5D or Canon 1D MkII. Can anyone share an opinion on this, positive or negative?

I’ve never used a 5D but have heard great things about the full frame sensor providing great image quality. I have used the 1D MkII and know how heavy it is. It’s also insanely fast with the AF and the full size body balances lens weight quite well. The 70-200 2.8L mounted on my 10D seems pretty secure…yet I can still picture the lens mount ripping off the camera body if I don’t support the lens enough.

Being completely honest, there is a certain vanity that comes with the full body size – it’s clearly not a recreational camera. The 5D is far easier to disappear with…unless you have a white L series lens, which always stick out like a sore thumb.

So the price of a used 5D isn’t much lower than a 1D MkII. Pretty close actually. Which would you pick?

(yes, I’d consider a Nikon, but I can’t afford a D3 or D700).


12 responses to “Need: Camera Nerds

  1. I’d get the 5D. Oh wait! I have a 5D!
    It all depends on what you want to do with the photographs. 5D will provide you with fantastic quality and is lighter than the 1D (after a few hours of shooting a wedding, you might welcome the lighter side…)
    On the other hand, a lot of photographers are upgrading to the Mark III and selling their Mark II so you might be able to get a good deal.
    To play devil’s advocate, have you considered the Nikon D3? My brother who is a professional photographer as well but had no digital equipment, just purchased one. The images at 3,200 ISO show incredibly little grain (you would not need a flash ever again but for fills!) ISO goes up to 6,400 (25,600 with boost) Unbelievable!
    You can also select a variable ISO which will automatically vary ISO value according to your settings (I think that is just revolutionary!)
    Ultimately, the camera has to be a right fit in your hand. I prefer the Canon. My brother the Nikon.
    One thing about the D5 though: no self cleaning sensor.
    It is all about what you will photograph, what your needs will be terms of prints.
    One last thing I’d like to say about the Mark II. It is an unforgiving camera. You will need to invest in VERY good glass otherwise it will not be worth it.
    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I want to shoot paid work on the weekends (weddings/portraits) and continue to take everything else in the world on my own time. I don’t do sports, however.

    I’ve seen used 5D’s for $1400 – $2000, used Mk II’s for $1400 – $2500. And yes, price is an issue. If I was smart, I’d start carrying two cameras with me to weddings and avoid potential disaster. Like this past weekend, where the 10D inexplicably crapped out on me for the first time in four years…10 seconds before the kiss. Yep, missed that moment. Good thing I was just a guest.

    If I had the money, I would probably go for the amazing D3 and call it a day (and then sell my kidneys to pay for some ED lenses).

    Alas, I don’t have the money for bodies and lenses, so the Canons look to be the better choice. I plan to continue renting the L series glass for paid work…until I get enough paid work to justify the purchase.

  3. Then, I would really get the 5D if I were you.
    Here is a big tip for you: do not buy your used equipment from a professional photog. They don’t take care of their equipment well. Find an enlightened amateur who does not shoot much (shutter life = 100,000 per Canon!)
    You might also want to check B&H for their used equipment.
    2 bodies are a must when shooting weddings + you can go from one lens to the other quickly. Factor the rental of a body in your wedding price until you can afford one then factor the price of your second body in your new pricing.
    Hope this was helpful.

  4. please tell me you’re kidding about 100,000 shots per CAnon…. I think I’ve done that in the past month.

  5. smack…you better sit down. 100k is for the 5D. The 20D is about 60-80k. The 10D is 30-40k. The Rebel line is not officially rated by Canon, but I’d wager the newer ones are comparable to the 20D.

    Maybe you should do fewer parties. Or use your camera phone.

  6. I just got my starter SLR, a Rebel XTi with a 70-200 lens. It’s all about the glass baby. I’ll upgrade the body when the time comes.

  7. breathlessmini

    “I can still picture the lens mount ripping off the camera body if I don’t support the lens enough.” I never considered that =)

    Um, also, how many pics does the Nikon last for because I have surpassed 80K… I may have surpassed 100….

  8. Mt. Brooks, Ahoy in your rowboat.

    I am visiting with a blindfold. But, first I have to gush all over you for giving that link to Mr. Toledano’s site on his father over at natcrack’s site. Flat out the most amazing amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Have experience, tho much different, with these issues and found it truly a gift. So, thanks so much for that.

    Second, I have the same camera as you, along with a Powershot SD850 IS digital elph. I am reading this post with the same impulse, urge to upgrade, limited funds. But, I hear “lighter” from nathaliewithanh and I swoon. This camera 10D is heavy!

    Maybe I’ll take my blindfold off now and read some more.

  9. Eve – good choice. Love that lens.

    BreathlessMini – there’s no good way to shorten your name. I could call you BM, but…err…anyways. For the Nikon D70, I’ve seen people claiming anywhere from 40k to 80k. I’d guess it’s closer to the 80k side, perhaps more.

    Pat – Ahoy to you as well. The blindfold is not necessary. Content here is not nearly as bad as you’re imagining. Thanks for the return visit.
    As for camera weight, the 5D is actually heavier than the 10D, but not nearly the beast that is the 1d MkII. It’s the lens that really does it anyway. And then the external flash. It adds up.

  10. I’m in big trouble. I don’t want my D70 to die =( Will it just stop taking pictures?
    Bmin or Mini both work.

  11. I just checked and I am at 42,600 pictures on the Nikon and only 5,000 on the Canon. Meanwhile, the Mavica served me well with about 23,000 pictures.

  12. How do you check how many pictures? Of course, it would probably help if I read the manual. But, then I’d have to find it. Thx.

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