Gear Advice

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    Rachelle Nones

    I have less than $2,000 to spend and want to purchase my first full frame Canon camera.
    Any suggestions? I am willing to consider used. Sources? Best place to buy?
    I am using it for studio photography and some video.

    Ryan Madaris

    @rachellen, I’m afraid I can’t give much advice on a full frame Canon, because I use a crop-sensor Nikon D7000, but I’ve had good results buying used photography equipment from mbp and KEH. I’ve also heard good things about Adorama.

    Hope that helps! šŸ™‚

    Rachelle Nones

    Thank you. It is helpful.

    Ezra Morley

    Yep, and are both highly recommended places to buy used gear. They carefully inspect all the used gear before you buy it, and they have excellent support and return policies if something does go wrong. I’d much sooner buy from them than a random seller on eBay or Amazon where you never know what you’re getting.

    If you’re specifically looking for Canon gear, definitely check out “Canon Price Watch:” They keep track of all the different sellers and tell you where you can get the best deal on any particular item you’re looking for.

    Also make sure you don’t ignore the official Canon site! They sometimes have some very good refurbished deals. You can find their refurbished section here: [BEWARE: the Canon website’s cover image for the Labor Day Sale is not “family friendly,” it is VERY indecent!!]

    Here’s a direct link to a FF camera within your budget that shouldn’t have any inappropriate images on the page:

    Do you currently have any full-frame compatible lenses to use with your new camera? If not, do you have any Canon lenses at all?

    Josiah Waldner

    A few questions-

    1. Why do you want a full frame? They are certainly superior to crop sensor cameras in low light, but I nearly always use base ISO in my studio, using a tripod and exposures of up to half a second. The lighting is nearly always controllable in a studio setting.
    2. What do you use the images for? If they are for web advertising, megapixels are not much of an issue. If you plan to make large prints, you may need more mp’s. I can print a 30×20 image from my 21mp camera.
    3. Crop factor- I enjoy shooting wildlife, and I really like the fact that having a crop sensor camera extends the reach of my lens. But when I want to shoot with a wide angle, it would be really nice to have a full frame. My widest lens is a 12mm, which on my camera translates to about 20mm.
    4. Have you considered mirrorless? Currently, Canon does not offer a full frame mirrorless currently, but there are rumors that one is coming very soon.
    I have a Fuji X-T1 and I love it. My biggest knock against it is Fuji lenses are expensive. Not more so than Canon’s L series, but they offer few lower end, affordable lenses. With adapters, however, it can use nearly any lens ever made, due to its extremely short focal flange distance. I can use old film lenses available for cheap that have great image quality. They do not have autofocus, but most mirrorless cameras have a focus assist mode that is very quick. It will not do the work of autofocus for very fast subjects, but I have used it successfully in weddings, and found it to be fairly quick and extremely reliable. Not to mention their tiny size and light weight! They are about like a point and shoot in handling, as long as you don’t need to stick it in your pocket.

    That said, I looked into getting a full frame Canon, and I found the 6d to be a nice camera for a decent price. The newer 6d mark 2 has more megapixels, better autofocus, and a few other upgrades, but for me it was not worth the increased price. Older 5d’s are inexpensive, reliable, and easily found. A Mark 3 or 4 would probably be my pick. I would check B&H’s preowned section, and local craigslist. I have found some really good deals on Ebay as well, but there are plenty of scams and ripoffs to look out for too.
    Hope you find a great camera for your needs!

    Rachelle Nones

    I don’t intend to chuck my crop sensor. I will probably use it for road trips and photographing landscapes. But, I plan on doing more studio work. I want to create photographs to hang in my apartment and also to sell on canvas or as metal prints. I intend to invest more in lenses than the body but I would like a full frame for that purpose.

    I did consider mirrorless but since it will be for studio work I don’t care about the weight and size so much.
    I think I am leaning towards purchasing an older Mark 5 or 4 as you suggested or maybe going to Canon’s site for a refurbished camera. I once bought a refurbished camera and it was fine as were the refurbished lenses I’ve purchased at times.

    I read that since refurbished are inspected so closely when fixed that sometimes they are less risky than a regular purchase.

    David Frazer

    You mentioned that your intended use is for studio work, and you haven’t really talked about what gear you already have, so I thought I would simply mention that what will make a much bigger difference in the final results than the camera body is the lighting system. What you you already have in terms of flashes, strobes, continuous lighting, umbrellas, reflectors, etc?

    Another thing to consider is what kind of studio work you going to be doing. Would it be mostly individual portraits, group portraits, or product photography? This can change what you need in terms of backgrounds.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by David Frazer.
    Rachelle Nones

    Ezra, Wow. Thank you for this very useful information. I wish I had known about that Canon price watch site when I was purchasing all of my lenses for my crop sensor Canon DSLR camera. That is priceless information and I might add this forum has been more helpful than a paid membership photography club’s forum.

    Rachelle Nones


    For my crop sensor camera I already own a wide angle lens, a zoom lens, the kit lens, and the nifty fifty prime lens.
    I’ve also invested in reflectors, a light meter, two floor lamps, a white balance card, gels, etc.
    My favorite lens to use is the “nifty fifty” prime lens.

    Canon was my first SLR camera. I owned a Canon that used film (mostly shooting black and white photography) before moving on to my current digital Canon. I will be shooting black and white and color evenly now. I love Canon and am loyal to the brand.

    I’ve complete several courses in product and studio photography so I’m pretty well versed in what is needed
    in terms of lighting and other elements.

    I intend to mostly photograph objects that aren’t moving and I will be using natural light. No flash.
    What I intend to photograph: flowers, vintage items, vases, pottery, etc.

    I know that some photographers use Lensbaby to photograph flowers but I’d rather invest in a full frame
    camera and a good standard lens.

    Kina Lamb

    @rachellen, I think @josiahw already mentioned it, but I recommend šŸ˜€

    Kina Lamb

    @rachellen Also, when I got my first camera, daddy just searched ‘used camera stores’ and we drove to the closest one! šŸ˜€ I had a good experience there and got my first camera for $300 off, (which was much appreciated!! šŸ˜€ ) but I can’t say that every store will be good šŸ˜€ But you probably already thought of that šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜€

    James Staddon

    Canon does not offer a full frame mirrorless currently, but there are rumors that one is coming very soon.

    , the Canon EOS R is now here!

    since refurbished are inspected so closely when fixed that sometimes they are less risky than a regular purchase

    I hadn’t heard that before. Interesting. I’ve not had any problem with refurbished. Most of my gear is refurbished.

    Iā€™d rather invest in a full frame camera

    It’s definitely worth investing in full frame, and to have two cameras to switch between. I haven’t been keeping up with technology enough to know which is the best full frame Canon at this time specifically, but I’ve been very pleased with my 5DII and I’m just waiting for it to give out before upgrading to the III or IV. šŸ™‚

    Rachelle Nones


    Yep. I was hoping (maybe dreaming) that once they introduce the mirrorless that some people will sell off their old full frames like the Canon 5D, etc., and there will be more to choose from.

    I always feel that when I am trying something new that I should purchase on the low end because I am likely to abuse the equipment more since I’m just learning to use it. Plus, it’s gentler on the budget.

    I’ve bought some refurbished gear and never had a problem. I did read once that most refurbished electronics usually had minor problems that are easily fixed and then they are very thoroughly inspected after they fix the problem. Most new cameras coming off of an assembly line are not as thoroughly inspected as a refurbished camera is so they might have a defect and slip through. I’m starting to believe that because I have had some trouble after purchasing some new electronics like phones but never a problem with refurbished purchases.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

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