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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-12-2019

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!
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Reputable Contributor
Posts: 691
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

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

If you like the small size of the SL1, I would recommend getting the newer SL2.  It is reported to have about 1 stop better high ISO capability. If you were happy before at ISO 1600, you would probably like ISO 3200 with the SL2. That is about as good as it gets now for APS-C "crop" cameras.

 

For even better high ISO performance you would need to go full frame with something like a 6D, 6D Mk II, 5D Mk III, or 5D Mk IV. 

Mike Sowsun
S110, SL1, 80D, 5D Mk III
Valued Contributor
Posts: 468
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

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

[ Edited ]

So what is the end use for the majority of your photos? Do they get made into prints? Snapshot sized or serious enlargements? Heavy cropping? Are the images being used professionally?

 

Or are the shots mostly shared and viewed online or on your monitor? When you spot noise in an image are you seeing it when viewed at 100%, 200% or even higher magnification?

 

Maybe post a couple sample shots here that you consider too noisy.

 

Just curious if you might be "pixel peeping", looking for issues that might not be nearly the issues you think they are. Moving up to a FF camera will likely reduce noise issues, as already noted. But it might be a fairly expensive upgrade between the new body and possibly some new, faster lenses. I don't know if you'll get the bang-for-the-buck you might be hoping for.

VIP
Posts: 11,213
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

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

Obvious choice is the SL2. It is an updated SL1.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 11,213
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

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

Now for this part.............

"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?"

 

Unless you are talking super teles like the ef 600mm or ef 800mm, zooms are the only game in town.  The day of the prime lens being king is over.  Zooms today give up very little to primes in IQ.

 

"... should I upgrade to a better crop-sensor body, or a full-frame body?"

 

Always a good idea. The 80D is the obvious choice if you want to stay crop sensor with its apparent crop factor advantage on the tele side.  WHatever lenses you have now will work on it, no problem. The biggest draw for you, the smallish size SL2, will become the biggest disadvantage if you buy some of the bigger zoom lenses.  Not that it is impossible but the smallish SL2 will not make as well balanced combo as the 80D or 6D Mk II will.

 

Your top choice on a lens for field work is the number 1, and the King of all zooms, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens. It has no peer and is as good as it gets. The is no better lens.  If its 200mm isn't lomg enough check out the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2. Keep in mind the crop factor associated with these lenses. The 200mm looks like a 320mm if compared to a FF. 600mm looks like 960mm. However, IMHO, both of these lenses would be a better fit on a FF like the 6D Mk II. Not that you can't do it on a SL2, I just feel the balance would be better.  Someone is bound to say the battery power will be an issue but don't pay any attention to it. The SL2 will work fine as it should with either lens. However a second battery for any camera is always a good plan.

 

Always shoot Raw.  Always post edit preferably with LR/PS and you are good to go.  Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 11,213
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

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

"a 24mm EF-S f/2.8, a 40mm EF f/2.8, and an 85mm EF f/1.8."

 

Sell these to help defer the cost of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens.  The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens  won't work on a FF anyway. The lens required to replace these FL's depends on which camera you upgrade to. 80D check out the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. Going 6D Mk II check out the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.  <---again a lens that is the best there is. It don't get any better.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
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