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5Diii or Glass?

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:46AM
So I'm all torn up now. I bought my first FF camera, the 5Dii a few months back and totally fell in love. Now I'm in a sort of a predicament. I've got some money burning a whole in my pocket for camera gear and I'm not sure which way to go. Keep the 5Dii or upgrade the body, or get some glass. Most of my earning come from close-up aerial images so as much as I'd love a killer tele lens.... I don't really need one. But I am planning on getting into aerial video work in which case the 5Diii seems the better choice.

My question is to those who have the iii and have played around with it. In my shoes what would you do... go for some more glass that I don't really need (though you can never have enough good glass kicking around just in case) or go for the better body? I guess to put it into perspective, my lens collection is pretty huge.... a 24-105 and a 50 1.8. That's it lol. But the 24-105 fulfills 99% of my needs as a stock photographer. It is the only lens I've needed to used for stock in the last 2 years.

You now know my lenses and my camera, but only one gets an upgrade. Which one?
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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:13PM
I have a 5d3 and a 5d2. I shoot a lot of weddings, where swapping lenses around is pain, so having two bodies makes sense. I really do love the 5d3. The biggest difference in the two bodies is probably the AF performance. With the 5d2, I mostly restricted myself to using the centre point only and while it's not ideal, it wasn't really massive pain. With the 5d3, I have a higher degree of confidence that shots taken at wide apertures using the outer Af points will be in focus. On the 5d3, I also love the silent shooting modes, handy for church services and street photography.

In terms of RAW image quality, there's not a lot in it. I'd say at best that ISO 800 and above, the 5D3 has maybe a third of a stop less noise, maybe half a stop on a good day. It's certainly not a reason to upgrade. Video wise, both seem pretty evenly matched to me too, though I guess some video contributors may have more input on that.

If I were you, I'd ask yourself what can you currently not shoot wit the 5d2 that you would need a 5d3 to shoot? Unless you have an overwhelming need to buy a body right now, I'd forget it. Bodies only tumble in value, whereas glass often retains its value quite well.

I'd probably look at a lens that allows you to shoot something different, say maybe the 17-40 f/4L, which is a nice wide lens for lots of applications from landscapes to architecture. Or a macro lens, which would open up a whole different world of photography, I have the 100mm f/2.8 IS and it is the sharpest lens I own, plus, it's an almost perfect portrait lens too. Much as I love the 5d3, I think you really need to have pushed your 5d2 to its limits before considering laying out all that cash on its replacement.

(Edited on 2013-01-20 14:49:23 by kelvinjay)
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:50PM

Nice portfolio - great collection of container ships and oil rigs.

You might look at a general purpose tele zoom as there must be many occasions when you simply can't get close enough or you want to zoom in closer for specific detail.  I've got the 70-200 F4 IS which is a wonder of a lens, but I'm looking very closely at the 70-300 F4-5.6 L as an alternative for the extra reach.  This newish lens has got some very interesting reviews and appears to be fantastically sharp as well as having the latest IS system which gives 4 stops of leeway.
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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:31PM

I think Kelvin's third paragraph is the "summary". That said, I just sold my II to buy a III because I really, really wanted the better AF. I haven't been disappointed - I love it. But if that one major difference hadn't been as important to me, I loved the 5DII a whole lot too.

Assuming - based on the points made in your post - the newer AF isn't paramount for you, I'd go for an additional lens. In my case the approximate difference between my sold 5DII and the new 5DIII was around $1500. There are several (at least) nice lenses in - and below - that price range.
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