Last night I won an annual photography competition that my local camera shop holds every year. The prize for first place was a brand new 1DX MK2 body. I really did not think I would win 1st. I was expecting to get 5th or 6th which would have gotten me a nice lens. But somehow I ended up winning.
Here is my dilemma. I am still very much a beginner photographer. I have taken a year long photo class in college and then just self taught from the internet, that’s it. I upgraded a few months ago to an M50 and have been very happy with it so far. I am obviously not at the level where I need or can even take advantage of the 1DX MK2. So I’m not sure what I should do with it. Here are the options that I have thought of
Keep the 1DX MK2, use it as my main camera and grow into it over time. (I realize that it would probably be years until I would actually be at a level that would warrant using the 1DX MK2 so this might not be the best idea. Also not sure I like the risk of breaking or damaging such a valuable camera that I don’t even need to be using.)
Sell the 1DX MK2 and buy a better camera than my M50 but still reasonable. ( I was considering the 6d MK2. I don’t actually know much about the 6D MK2 if just looked like a reasonable option because of where it falls into canons product stack based on price.)
Sell the 1DX MK2 and buy lenses for my m50. I have both the EF lens mount adapter and a speed booster for the m50 so I could get some pretty nice lenses. (My concern is that I’m not really experiencing enough to know what lenses I should get and would end up wasting the money on lenses that don’t make sense. I know that I want a telephoto lens but other than that I don’t know.)
Keep the 1DX MK2 unopened and save it until a few years down the line when it make more sense to use it.
The reason selling the camera and just pocketing all of the money isn’t an option is because I have recently become friends with the owner and employees at the camera shop and I am in the process of trying to get a job there. I don’t think the guys at the shop would think it was very cool if I just sold the camera right away and pocketed the cash.
tldr: I am a beginner photographer that happened to get a pro level camera (1DX MK2) for free and I don’t know what I should do with it.
Insure the 1DX Mark II, keep it and USE it! Buy a decent lens and then upgrade/add lenses as you can afford to do so.
The ONLY problem starting fairly early in your quest with a top of the line DSLR is it will be very hard to move down in the future 🙂 The 1DX2 is an excellent performer that will also be fine to learn and grow with.
And congratulations on winning!
A fundamental principle of acquiring a new camera is that better equipment will make any photographer better. How much better depends on how good you already are. The better you already are, the more difference better equipment makes. But a corollary of that principle is that the better your equipment, the longer it will take you to grow out of it. Probably you wouldn't have bought the 1DX2, and that would have been a perfectly sensible decision. But since fate has put it in your hands, it would be a shame not to make the best of it.
The only real drawback to the 1-series cameras is that they're so big and heavy. If you can live with its size and weight, then I agree with Rodger: keep the 1DX2 and use it. At your level of expertise, you may not get the full benefit immediately. But as your skills and experience grow, that camera won't hold you back.
I would keep it. I would buy the “nifty fifty” EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, or the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, and learn to use iit. It is more complex than your M50 by a long shot.
The hardest part will be getting used to carrying such a heavy camera. I like to use a camera holster for pro-size bodies so that. I can leave a pro-grade lens attached when it is stored away.
I bought my 1D Mark II when my daughter was still an infant in arms and when she was still really young I took her hiking several times with the 1D 2 and a couple of lenses, usually a 70-200 2.8 and 24-70 2.8. I guess getting used to carrying Anna in one arm and having a 1D2 and lenses made the camera by itself seem not so heavy. My takeaway is you will get used to a heavier body pretty soon and it has a really nice balance and feel.
When my daughter was 2 I did a short (4 mile hike) in the Smokies carrying her most of the way. I was feeling a little tired towards the end but met a couple coming off the Appalachian Trail and the woman had broken her arm, splinted it herself, and finished a 3 day hike. Complaining about the weight of an infant and a Canon 1 series DSLR seemed rather petty after meeting that hiker.
A 1 series DSLR provides a very nice balance with the longer and heavier fast telephoto lens. I shoot a lot of soccer and football with the 1DX 2 / 300 2.8 and the 1DX 70-200 2.8 pair and it isn't bad for 2 hours of shooting switching between these two handheld. A well balanced weight is much easier to deal with than a heavy lens on a lighter body. I am intrigued by the newest 400 2.8 that is lighter AND shifts the weight closer to the body of the camera; once it is out for a few months I will have to take a serious look at it because a 300 on a full frame is a little short at times for soccer.
Consider getting a 1DX 2 at this stage a gift from the gods and don't turn down this great opportunity.
Since you took a photography course, and apparently learned from it , I have to assume you arfe beyond the "icon" modes.
P, Av, Tv or M on the 1DX II will work the same as on any "lower" camera. Nothing forces you to use the features of the 1DX until you are ready.
If you Google Nina Bailey you can see that she has PDF guides learning and mastering the camera.
It is a big and relatively heavy camera, as noted above. But once you use it for a few hundred shots you will not want to part with it. It just feels right in the hand.
“Here is my dilemma. I am still very much a beginner photographer. I have taken a year long photo class in college and then just self taught from the internet, that’s it. I upgraded a few months ago to an M50 and have been very happy with it so far. I am obviously not at the level where I need or can even take advantage of the 1DX MK2. So I’m not sure what I should do with it.”
A beginner? A recent upgrade? What camera did you use prior to the upgrade, or in your class? How long did you use it?
I am thinking that you just may already have your answer. It sounds like you like the M50, but you may already see some of its’ limitations. This just adds to the reasons to keep the 1Dx Mk II. So, I will confirm your gut feelings for you. Keep it.
If you sell the camera, I think that you will never forgive yourself a year or two from now.
I would only want to use Canon L Series lenses with it, which cost a significant chunk of change. But, the quality of the professional lenses over most consumer lenses is readily apparent before you even mount one on a camera body. One gem of a consumer lens is the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, which lists for $125 the last time I checked. You can get buy it for much less at the Canon Online Refurbished Store.
Again, take the camera out of the box, and try it out.
"The prize for first place was a brand new 1DX MK2 body."
Absolutely keep and use the 1DX2. All other, everything else, is beneath the top of the line Mk II. It can start and do any thing you wish it to. Snapshots to full blown professional work. Rugged as a tank. Meant for years of service making great photos. I thought I was through upgrading cameras until I bit the bullet and bought a 1DX. I though the Sun and Moon set on my Mk IV but that wasn't true. The 1DX family is nothing short of fantastic. It is as simple or complex as you want it to be.
Sell all the gear you have to help fund the purchase of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. It is the best combo on Earth and the lens is one sale!
So it looks like Christmas has come a bit early for you this year. How about posting your winning photo so we can see what we're up against here?
How could you not want to keep and use a camera like that? As already mentioned above, you don't have to jump in over your head. Start with P, AV and TV modes and ease yourself into it.
The EF24-70mm sounds like a good choice to give a little flexibility while you're getting your feet wet. The 50mm f1.8 would be a good choice too if you're on a budget. Either way you decide, consider buying the lens from your local camera store instead of ordering it online if at all possible. Let them know you appreciate having a local camera store, even if it costs you a few extra dollars.
"...consider buying the lens from your local camera store instead of ordering it online..."
Great suggestion. Love it. Plus you get to try it out "before" you buy it. Plus the camaraderie for free.
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