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Low Light Landscape Photography

Kisola1975
Apprentice
What camera would work best for low light landscape photos? I’m currently shooting a 5D MII and need an upgrade.
Thanks
K
2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

@Kisola1975 wrote:
What camera would work best for low light landscape photos? I’m currently shooting a 5D MII and need an upgrade.
Thanks
K

I started working as a landscape, travel and wildlife photographer about 40 years ago, so I hope I have some experience to draw upon in my opinion. 

 

Personally, without inquiring further into what you produce - particulaly in terms of image size, I would recommend the Canon EOS R6.  The sensors on the new crop of MILCs are really excellent for low-light work.  Now, the R5 has more pixels at 45MP, but reviews, and my own experience. is that the R6's 20MP has about 1 EV, better performance.  I have both units and they are excellent.

 

I would suggest watching THIS review by Gordon Laing.

 

 


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

View solution in original post

I have the EOS 5DMkIII, IV, DsR and the R5 and R6 units.  I still shoot with all of them and I would be the last to say that they are not all great cameras.  However, the question, as I understand it, is what should one invest in if seeking to make a long-term purchase for landscape that will provide high-quality prints, work with existing optics but be able to take advantage of future developments in optics (since this is a long-term thing).

 

Without doubt, using a tripod is a habit I would expect experienced landscape photographers to embrace, so I didn't press that one.  One can STILL get good images from any of the above units.  However, it is clear that the new generation of sensors from the latest generation of MILCs is superior to the old ones and there are other benefits as well.  That is why I provided the link to the review so that the OP could make up their own mind based on documented testing and not just our opinions: which I think is the best service we can render.

There are other benefits to going to the R-series.  The legacy EF lenses will work perfectly fine with the new bodies, via the Canon EF-RF lens adapters, however it is clear that the new line-up of superior optics is going to be in the RF lens catalogue, so embracing the R-mount is an investment in the future as well as securing the past.

I am not sure about my esteemed colleagues, I am speaking from extensive use and testing of these bodies with different lenses (see my profile for my rather extensive gear list) so I am speaking form personal experience as well as relying on unbiased reviews.  For further ones I recommend checking out Dustin Abbott's You Tube reviews of the R bodies and lenses.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

View solution in original post

26 REPLIES 26

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

@Kisola1975 wrote:
What camera would work best for low light landscape photos? I’m currently shooting a 5D MII and need an upgrade.
Thanks
K

If you are not going mirrorless, this is the only Canon DSLR that I would be for landscape photography

 

DB3DC3A6-EADB-4E22-A553-EC2A98BE91C0.jpeg

 

Pair that with a good tripod with a great head, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II/II USM, and you will be set for years to come.  

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

The 5D IV and 5DS/5DS R will both do a very nice job for landscape photography.

 

Like Ernie, I am not yet ready to make the move to mirrorless.  My primary use is sports and none of Canon's mirrorless offerings provide what I am looking for in a sports camera body.  I despise all of the electronic viewfinders I have tried, Sony's top offering comes the closest, but it still is far from what those of us who shoot sports with both eyes open prefer.  I also like having the 3,000+ image per battery capability of my 1DX III even when shooting in well below freezing temperature. 

 

When the advantages of mirrorless outweigh the disadvantages, then I will make the move but the technology isn't there for sports shooters yet-at least for the characteristics most important to me.

 

If you want to make a significant move upward in quality for landscape from what a 5D IV or 5DS will provide, you need to consider the medium format offerings from other manufacturers. 

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Like Rodger, I am not yet ready to make the move to mirrorless.  Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

With all due respect to my colleagues, their responses appear to be based on their personal preferences and situations: mine are not.  While I absolutely respect their right to make decisions for them, we are providing advice that is relevent to someone else.  I always look outside of my own preferences, and look at the issue from the point of view of the person seeking advice and that is critical

 

So far, I have seen comments based on personal opinion but with no specific material to provide support for this.  I would have more sympathy with this if they could provide unbiased references to reviews that indicated a valid and documented shortcoming of the new units. I wonder how much experience they have in using the new bodies?  I have considerable experience in using both.  The only reservations I have seen were with the initial rollout when Canon over-hyped the 8k video performance of the bodies for long clips, resulting in over-heating issues.  However, this was mitigaged by later firmware upgrades. I do not consider that signficant in this case as the use of the camera in this case is for low-light stills landscape.

 

I have already stated that I own and use the 5DIII, 5DIV, 5DsR, and while they are fine cameras, for someone who is (from what I can gather) preparing a long-term investment, they are old news.  I also have and use the R5 and R6 bodies, and they are fine bodies - I have had absolutely no issues with them.  There are masses of reviews indicating the peformance of the new R-series bodies and the clear consensus is that they are superior in many ways to the legacy bodies.  The clincher in this case is the expectation that this is a long-term investment. 

 

It is clear to this point, that Canon are not investing in the legacy EF lens range, but they are coming out with outstanding new glass with the RF mount.  Getting an RF-mount body at this stage allows the OP to use their existing EF lenses perfectly well and then get RF glass if they so choose in the future.  The option proposed to stick with DSLRs elminates this option.

 

My responses are based on an analysis of the expressed needs of the OP, those responses have been clearly expressed in neutral terms and backed up by references to the most unbiased reviews I can find.

 


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

"My responses are based on an analysis of the expressed needs of the OP,..."

 

I will have to differ there Trevor. You are expressing what you like best just like everyone else of us does. So many people get caught up in a single spec and can't really see beyond it. Yours seem to be IQ.  The fact you can site sources that support your opinion does not prove it to be the best go for everybody. Perhaps it is for the OP. However, perhaps it isn't. While IQ is important it not the end all of photography. It may be a fact that the new mirrorless and R series lenses are sharper but it doesn't mean the EF stuff isn't viable.  They are and will be, and their cameras, for quite some time yet.

 

I'll give you an example in my own case. I owned the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. I sold it in favor of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. Now by all rights and your thoughts I should have never done that. The Sigma is way sharper than the Canon. But is it a better lens. IMO, no it is not. The Canon is by far a better lens for me.

 

How a person intends on using his/her work is so very important, too. If you are putting photos on FB your iphone is good enough. If you need poster size prints, not so much. The way Rodger and I use our gear makes the 1 series gear the better choice today. Maybe not tomorrow but it is true today.

 

All your new gear and all your proof are fine for Trevor but it may not and is not for all of us. The OP included. The OP is getting more than a single minded opinion this way.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Ernie, my friend, with the greatest respect I think you are doing me an injustice here. It seems to me you are either not reading my posts or cherry picking objections to fit your own reality.

 

"My responses are based on an analysis of the expressed needs of the OP,..."
I will have to differ there Trevor. You are expressing what you like best just like everyone else of us does.
WRONG
I have bent over backwards to try to be as objective as possible and make sure any opinion I express us as valid and unbiased as possible, and counched for their needs. I don't want the OP to make a purchasing decision based on an expressed preference on what I have or use!  I am giving advice in the context of an opinion from looking at sources of information to which I can refer so that it can be considered on its own merits.  I want them to take information that I provide that I try to be as relevant and as validated as possible and consider the pro's and cons after reviewing the supporting material and make up their own mind.

To that end, I expressed what I understood to be the requirements of the OP so that we were all clear about the context within which I was making comments thus: "the question, as I understand it, is what should one invest in if seeking to make a long-term purchase for landscape that will provide high-quality prints, work with existing optics but be able to take advantage of future developments in optics" (since this is a long-term thing). The latter comment was based on the cost of new gear and the fact that the last camera is quite long in the tooth - implying the gear purchase is a long-term one.

 

So many people get caught up in a single spec and can't really see beyond it. Yours seem to be IQ.
WRONG
This is not just not seeing beyond IQ. I examined sensor size, dynamic range - if I had stopped there the EOS 5DIV or the 5DsR would still be good contenders, however I then looked at the long-term viability of the system as an investment in the context of being able to use new lenses in the future to maintain the viability of the purchase. This was the clincher for going to the RF mount.  So, this is not just not seeing beyond IQ. I was evaluating such things as the value of investment to achieve future compatibility.

 

The fact you can site sources that support your opinion does not prove it to be the best go for everybody.
I NEVER SAID IT APPLIED TO EVERYBODY!
I am NOT, repeat NOT making blanket suggestions for 'everybody' I am responding specifically to the set of parameters I understood and expressed as my context for this thread. I clearly said this. However, the material I have presented is relevant to this discussion.

 

Perhaps it is for the OP. However, perhaps it isn't. While IQ is important it not the end all of photography. It may be a fact that the new mirrorless and R series lenses are sharper but it doesn't mean the EF stuff isn't viable. They are and will be, and their cameras, for quite some time yet.

I never said that the EF stuff was not viable, in fact I said that they are great cameras, but the question really is are they the best camera for this situation given that it is likley to be a long-term investment.  I am not attacking a class of camera, I am trying to find the best tool for this specific job.

 

I'll give you an example in my own case. I owned the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. I sold it in favor of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. Now by all rights and your thoughts I should have never done that. The Sigma is way sharper than the Canon. But is it a better lens. IMO, no it is not. The Canon is by far a better lens for me.

You are making massive assumptions in this statement based on a biased and invalid interpretation of my motives and professionalism as a photographer and coach for sales staff. Your example is irrelevent because you are arguing against an opinion I have never had the chance to make or are likely to make.  What you buy or not is your own affair.

 

How a person intends on using his/her work is so very important, too. If you are putting photos on FB your iphone is good enough. If you need poster size prints, not so much. 
You are picking an argument where none exists.

I have said so in my posts and in the link I provided a document I wrote in post #18. Here let me quote what I wrote in that document:

"The end product is what is important. There is a massive difference in necessary camera investment between creating large, high-definition prints and posting on social media.  Camera companies tout Mega Pixel value, but for most purpose too many MP demands better computers, more storage space etc.

Producing images to be seen on screen is becoming more and more common in the general photographic community. Social media often degrades images for which the subtleties of technology are far less critical. Even for those producing digital output for larger screens, megapixel count is far less relevant as they will do just fine with much smaller file sizes, while of course that is not what the camera makers would have us believe."
When I refer to the difference it should be obvious that on one hand a high resolution system (camera and lens) is best for large, hi-resolution prints and Art.  On the other hand creating images for social meda demands much lower end gear.

 

The way Rodger and I use our gear makes the 1 series gear the better choice today. Maybe not tomorrow but it is true today.

IRRELEVANT

This thread is not about how you and Roger use your gear any more than it is how I use mine.  The fundemental flaw of any advice is to base it for someone else how we use our equipment.  I have never specifically referred to how I use the gear in this thread.  I have simply said that I have the gear I have to show that I am not unfamiliar with it,  and I have also said I stil use DSLRs as well as the MILCs to indicate that I am biased in neither direction. 

 

All your new gear and all your proof are fine for Trevor but it may not and is not for all of us. The OP included. The OP is getting more than a single minded opinion this way.

Again, this is not about 'all of us', it's about this specific situation, as it should always be...

The OP SHOULD be getting more than one opinion, but it must be better than a bald statement that what one or two people use is the best way. 

I have gone to considerable effort to find references that are as unbiased as possible to give a balanced evaluation of the performance of the equipment and where possible provide comparison.  I have failed to see any such effort elsewhere.

 

You are defending your own equipment choices by attacking my posts. I am not in any way commenting on what you have or choose to use - that is your affair.  The performance and viablilty of equipment for a specific set of parameters is another matter.

 

I have said on several occasions that I have a technical interest in the development of camera equipment and that I hold that interest separately from considering the skill required to take photos.  I still have a huge respect for the Canon DSLR system - I still shoot with 20 y.o. cameras (I was doing so today when you wrote this). 

 

This is not about the gear on its own, its about the best investment a person making an update to their  gear can provide based on purpose, current investment, future-proofing and the range of elements that one wants for a specific genre of photography.  I clearly stated the elements I was addressing: Sensor size and capacity, dynamic range and compatibility with future lens developments.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Always on the lookout for relevant information, HERE  I have found a video from a studio, landscape and animal photographer who is talking about the Canon EOS 5DsR camera. Without doubt it IS an excellent camera - and I still use it myself.  The ability to drill down into the image is excellent, given enough light.

 

The question only the OP can answer is their intent in keeping the camera body and intending to upgrade lenses in the future.  I have written about this, so I shall not belabour the point.  That has more to do with economics and future compatibilty than resolution at this time.

 

Prices seem to vary and so I would suggest cross-checking the costs of 5DsR bodies in your area if you are interested.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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