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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2018

What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

I need some help...
 
My beloved SL1 is, I think, starting to fail. (It gets twitchy about reading SD cards - as in, it won't turn on sometimes with a memory card in, regardless of size or brand card - and sometimes I have to turn it on and off a few times for it to agree to try autofocusing, regardless of the lens on it.) Given the sheer number of photos I've taken with it (I'm pretty sure I've rolled over 9,999 five or six times now), plus the entry-level price point, I'm guessing repair isn't going to be worthwhile.
 
I primarily shoot photos of my own family and of product shots for my small sewing business, but seasonally I also shoot field band photos of my daughter's band - at night, on a high school football field.  Tricky lighting.  The only lenses I have and use are prime lenses - a 24mm EF-S f/2.8, a 40mm EF f/2.8, and an 85mm EF f/1.8.  (Though there might be an ancient kit lens from my very first rebel kicking around my basement somewhere...)
 
My favorite feature of the SL1 is it's size, but it definitely lacks the ability to push the ISO for those low light photos.  I personally find anything past ISO1600 to be too noisy.  I do shoot RAW, and am comfortable editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop, I just prefer to start with a cleaner image than higher ISOs give me on this camera.  I suspect a higher end sensor would improve that, though I have no place local to go try out cameras to prove that theory.
 
My question is, should I upgrade to a better crop-sensor body, or a full-frame body? I have basically no budget, but I need a camera that works consistently so I'll find a way - I'm just definitely not on the "money is no object" end of the spectrum!  I am willing to buy used/refurbished.  The 6D looks like it might meet my needs, but I am open to suggestions.
 
And then as a follow-up, if I go full frame, what can I do for longer-reach field band photos, as my 85mm will no longer work for that?  (It isn't really long enough anyway even on a crop sensor, but it is fast enough!)  I'm a prime girl all the way, but I have considered a zoom for this but the fast ones are *so* expensive.  Would a full-frame body and an f/4 70-200 zoom lens be a reasonable combo, or am I going to need a faster zoom even with the full-frame?
 
Thanks so much for any advice!
VIP
Posts: 10,181
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

[ Edited ]

If you love your SL1 you know there is a Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera.  Everything has been upgraded in it over yours.

As for a lens upgrade I think you would really like and benefit from the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.   It is a constant, fast aperture zoom that covers most of the best range for a SL2.

 

"My question is, should I upgrade to a better crop-sensor body, or a full-frame body?"  First don't get sucked into the hype over FF.  If your current SL1 is doing what you want the newer SL2 will do it better.  There are reasons to go FF but you may not, doesn't sound like it form what you have said, have one of them.  On the other hand there isn't any reason why you shouldn't.  Big help ain't I ?

 

Full frame is going to be bigger, heavier and moe expensive.  Keep that in mind.

 

As far as shooting the band photos, something I do all the time, no biggie.  Use what you have and if it isn't the best choice, make it so in post editing.  How about using a 120mm lens for a pano?  Not the best choice?  Right.

 

_DX_2134-Pano_x.jpg

 

111.jpg

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 560
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

I would also recommend the SL2.

 

Your SL1 has a Digic 5 processor. The SL2 has a Digic 7 processor which will improve your high ISO photos. 

 

But for really clean high ISO nothing beats Full Frame. In addition to the cost of the 6D you would need to buy at least one new EF lens.

 

Your EF 40 STM could replace your EF-S 24 STM and your 85 1.8 USM could replace your EF 40 STM, so you really just need something like the EF 135 f/2 to give you the same field of view as your 85 did. 

Mike Sowsun
S110, SL1, 80D, 5D Mk III
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2018

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

So...I agree that an SL2 would be an improvement over my SL1 (especially if it works consistently.)

 

But these are the sort of band photos I'm trying to take.  The parents *really* like individual performer action shots, and that is something I'm struggling to get with the equipment I currently own.  These were all shot in RAW, ISO1600, f/4.0, 1/160s.  These particular ones are barely cropped because I was able to be on the sidelines instead of in the stands.  Cropping further just makes them noisy.  I feel like they could be better with a better sensor, but maybe it doesn't have to be in a full frame body?

 

band_samples01.jpg

band_samples02.jpg

band_samples03.jpg

 

 

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-29-2018

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

Yeah, I know if I change to a full frame I'm losing the 24mm lens.  Smiley Happy  Actually, I would *love* to switch to using my 85mm for portraits, but with my current crop sensor I'd have to be in another room of my tiny house to make that work.

 

Would I be better off with the 135mm prime, or - given the photos I posted above (I was surprised to see I had taken those at f/4.0) and what I'm trying to accomplish - would the 70-200mm f/4 L USM be a reasonable option?  Refurbished, they're both similarly priced and both weigh similarly a lot...

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,159
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

You will not lose your 24mm for as long as you have your SL-1.  If you’r shooting a night a lot, then a full frame 6D just might be the ticket for you. I recommend it.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 10,181
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

[ Edited ]

"Would I be better off with the 135mm prime, or - given the photos I posted above (I was surprised to see I had taken those at f/4.0) and what I'm trying to accomplish - would the 70-200mm f/4 L USM be a reasonable option?  Refurbished, they're both similarly priced and both weigh similarly a lot..."

 

IMHO, as always.  I have been shooting high schools, GEHS in particular for over 30 years.  I can tell you how I do it.  I shoot all school activities not just the band.  But mostly the band for sure.  Again, IMHO, the gear you have is not upo to the task.  If you really want to do this I would invest in a FF and the 6D Mk II is the least expensive way to go.  Once again, IMHO, the lenses you have are not helping.  

My gear through out the years has always included a 1 series.  Not exclusively but usually.  As you may know not all 1 series are FF. Most are croppers so FF in itself is not a cure all.  I currently still use a 1D Mk IV and it is not a FF camera.  My lenses of choice are the ef 24-70mm f2.8L II and the ef 70-200mm f2.8L II.  Secondary lenses I carry are the ef 16-35mm f2.8L II and Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 EX OS HSM.

 

"...would the 70-200mm f/4 L USM be a reasonable option?"   Again, IMHO, no this is not a good choice.

 

gehs.jpg

fireworks.jpg

 

How about in the rain?  Yup, they  don't stop FB and neither does our band.

rain.jpg

 

The most inportant factor here doing this is three things.  Location, location and location.  You indicated you had free range of the sidelines.  Great, but you also need to become up close and personal with Photoshop.  Good gear, good location and PS, how can you fail?

 

Ditch the primes and get, "My lenses of choice are the ef 24-70mm f2.8L II and the ef 70-200mm f2.8L II."  Even if you have to buy used these are the way to go.   The primes' day is done!

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎01-30-2018

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

<<Would a full-frame body and an f/4 70-200 zoom lens be a reasonable combo, or am I going to need a faster zoom even with the full-frame?>>

 

I cannot give you sufficient answers to your specific questions, but maybe some of my experiences may be useful in some way... 

 

I have a FF and do shoot a lot of high-school sports (football and soccer), including night time.  I typically capture the game action itself, which requires a min of 1/1000(ish) shutter speeds.  Occassionally, if I slow down the shutter for the non-action shots, I find that I can use f/4 on my 70-200 (it's a 2.8, but sometimes I want more DOF for group shots), but that's with a really slow shutter speed (i.e. ranges way less than 1/640, which is what yours were).  

 

So I think you are going to be pushing it for action shots on a nightime high-school field if you want to totally stop the motion.  If youre OK with the faster moving flags having some blur, you might be OK with f/4.  But as you say, some of those fields are rough when it comes to lighting, and from my experience, you're pushing the envelope if you also want lower ISOs to eliminate noise.  

 

Only last bit I can pass along is that I find most parents love the shots and care absolutely nothing about mild noise in the picture (the way I do), given they are shots that they cannot get with their smartphones.  I find that just applying some noise reduction in lightroom is fine.  

 

I wish you could rent a lens for one of the events before sinking in the cash, but you say there are none around you.  :-(  Are there mail order rentals? 

 

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎04-02-2018

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

[ Edited ]

I dont think I want to switch to mirrorless but could be convinced Would need to understand if  how I can use my current lenses Ive invested in a few good ones that i love [links removed per forum guidelines]

VIP
Posts: 10,181
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: What camera body should I upgrade to (from SL1)?

"I dont think I want to switch to mirrorless..."

 

Keep that thought.  You don't want mirrorless of all the choices out there it is the worse.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with, a lot of other stuff.
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