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planning upgrading from t3i

iphonemaster93
Rising Star

Hey guys!

So I've had my t3i for a while and I think I'm hitting the limitations in the t3i in terms of what I'm doing now. I've had the camera for about 1-2 years (was given to me as a xmas gift) and up until now, I've done automotive photography, nature photography, as well as portrait photography. I thought that the T3i was already a good enough camera for me to suit my needs but I realized I might need more now but I'm not sure. One night, I was doing rolling shots with a few buddies of mine and noticed in post processing, that there was a ton of grain in most of the pictures if I turned up the shadows (was shooting in betwen 1/10-1/20th of a second at F8.0 at 3200ISO. What are the benefits of upgrading from a T3i or do I just need a better lens? I was thinking of going to either a T4i or a T5i but at the same time, I want to go for a full frame sensored camera but I don't know if the types of photography I'm doing right now require such an advanced camera such as the 5D MkII  or if the t4i/t5i will be good enough. Also, do the lenses for the T3i work for the 5D MKII or do I have to purchase new lenses for it? I'm guessing the lenses for the T3i are compatible with the T4i and the T5i. Thanks!  

76 REPLIES 76

ScottyP
Authority
If noise/grain at high ISO is your main complaint, another Rebel will not be your solution. The T4i and T5i have practically the same sensor as your T3i, and none of the crop sensor cameras, not even a 7d2, are very much better in this regard. If hih ISO noise is the main issue, you need to go full frame to see significant improvement. I used to have a T3i and it looked awful at ISO 3200, and really I didn't like the grain and loss of detail at 1600 or 800 either.

You don't mention lack of complex autofocus for sports as a problem, and As that is the primary improvement you'd get in an updated crop body, such an upgrade might not have much value for you.

Before you consider upgrading anything, make sure you have first upgraded your lenses beyond the kit lenses. A full frame camera might get you image quality at 2 or 3 times the ISO compared to your T3i but a bright lens would do a lot better than that. A brighter lens would keep you out of those ugly high ISO ranges by letting about 4x or even 8x more light into your camera. And such a lens would also be sharper than the kit lenses, and would let you use a shallow depth of field for artistic effect too.

What lenses do you have?
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Hi.

No one else has answered, so I will address the part of your question I didn't address.

If you ignore the mirrorless "M" lenses (as most people in the U.S. Market do), they have only 2 lens mounts; the EF mount lenses and the EF-s mount lenses.

EF lenses mount on BOTH full frame bodies AND crop sensor bodies.

EF-s lenses ONLY mount on crop bodies.

A nice prime lens like 35mm f/1.4 from Canon or Sigma would make a good walking around lens on your crop and would work on a full frame body later on. One of the new EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lenses is only $120.00, and it would be a great portrait lens on your current camera. On a full frame camera it will still work and many people consider 50 mm to be a perfect standard length on full frame.

Take this example: At 50mm, your kit lens variable aperture 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 is at f/5.6 max aperture. An EF 50mm f/1.8 STM could go as wide as f/1.8. F/1.8 lens lets in more than EIGHT TIMES as much light in. That is over 3 stops of light, but your example was shot at f/8, so that would be OVER SIXTEEN TIMES MORE LIGHT, or 4 stops. Your grainy ISO 3200 could have been a nice sharp ISO 200, or you could have been running with a faster shutter speed, or some combo of the two.

And an f/1.4 lens would let 32x more light in than your f/8 ISO3200 example. That is five stops of light. You could have quadrupled your slow shutter speed and still have been shooting ISO 400.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

The reason why I had my ISO up at 3200 is because I typically do rolling shots anywhere from F8-F16 at ISO 100-400, depending on the time of day as well as what my shutter speed is set at. This was at around 8 at night so if I was shooting at anywhere below F8, I don't think I would have gotten the results I wanted. With all the other types of photography that I do, true I could use my 50mm and been shooting at anywhere below ISO 3200 but this won't be the only time I will be doing rolling shots at night haha. I also don't feel safe with mounting my DSLR on the outside of my car, otherwise I could be doing like a one second long exposure or longer. 

I have a 50mm 1.4, a 17-55mm 2.8, and the 18-55mm 3.5.

amfoto1
Authority

T4i or T5i will do you no good. They have essentially the same sensor and high ISO performance as the T3i. 7D and 60d use the same 18MP sensor, too. 

 

70D and 7D Mark II have a slightly newer 20MP sensor that might be slightyl more high ISO capable.

 

The T6i or T6S is the latest and greatest model, with a new 24MP sensor and a one or two generation newer processor. I haven't used it, so can't really say if it delivers more usable high ISOs.

 

Your best bet would be a full frame camera, which can be used at one to two stops higher ISO successfully... plus their images don't need as much enlargement, so any noise remains less apparent. The 6D is said to be the high ISO king of Canon models right now. It's able to autofocus (center point only) in considerably lower light than any of the above models, too.

 

Larger aperture lenses, either on your current camera or on an upgrade camera also would help. I don't know why you were using f8 for that shot you descibed... you could have used ISO 1600 and f5.6... or ISO 800 and f4. Or you could have used 2X as fast shutter speed, ISO 3200 and f4. Some lenses have f2.8, f2 and even f1.4 apertures. But one concern is that larger apertures also will mean shallower depth of field, which may or may not work, depending upon what you were shooting.  

 

I have to say, though, that I use 18MP 7D (same sensor and processor as your camera) to ISO 3200 and even 6400 at times. I shoot RAW, am very careful to avoid underexposure and apply some noise reduction in post-processing. I use a Noiseware plug-in with Photoshop, but know there are several other good NR s'wares too. I will sometimes do separate and stronger noise reduction in shadow areas, too.

 

And I know folks who have managed even higher ISOs with 7D... They do even more extensive and careful noise reduction work than me... applying it separately in each color channel, for example.

 

One mistake a lot of people make is being overly critical of their images. If you're looking at an image at 100% on your computer monitor, that's equivalent to making a five foot wide print and then viewing it from about 18" away. Of course you'll see noise (among other things)! Back off to 25% for more reasonable evaluation of things like noise, sharpness, and focus.  That's still equivalent to a fairly large print... say an 11x14.

 

Lenses.

Lenses.

LENSES.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"... not even a 7d2, are very much better in this regard."

 

Yes it is.

The new 7D Mk II has significantly netter high ISO than you Rebel.  The T6i is going to be somewhat better.

The biggest problem with high ISO is people severely under-expose the shot.  Understandable because it isn't often used unless the scene is very dark.  It is going to be difficult for any camera to do a great job.  There are just certain limits where nothing will work well.

I don't know exactly what you are shooting but faster lenses will help. Plus constant apertures are better.  I assume you just have the kit lenses with your Rebel?  I will say they are not worthy to use on a new 7D Mk II if you want the most it can provide. So whether you decide to go 6D (FF, a great high ISO camera) or not, you will need new lenses.

 

But do keep in mind all cameras have a limit to what is possibile.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

According to DXO Mark, the 7d2 gives less than one stop of low light high ISO image quality improvement.

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Canon-EOS-7D-Mark-II-versus-Canon-EOS-600D___977...

It is a great camera and I might get one for sports for its great autofocus, it's improvement in low light IQ is quite modest compared to what you would get going full frame, and it is nothing compared to what you would get by buying a brighter lens.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Here it is with all 3; T3i/600d plus 7d2 plus 6d.

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Canon-EOS-7D-Mark-II-versus-Canon-EOS-600D-versu...

The IQ of the T3i at ISO 800
is like the 7d2 at ISO 1100
and equivalent to the 6d at ISO 2400.

As big an improvement as the FF camera is for low light, even that is not nearly as effective an upgrade as going from a kit lens to a bright prime lens.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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