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HELP WITH PICKING A CAMERA FOR PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

LucyG
Contributor

Hello, I need help with picking a camera. After days of research I narrowed down to 3 cameras : Canon full frame 6D, Canon 80D and Canon Rebel t6s.

I would like to start a photogrpahy busniess in Florida. Obviously, low light conditions are not the case as I would shoot using natural light that here has plenty. I would mainly shoot families and kids.

I read that the body is not as important as the lens you use but I also don't want to buy a mediocre equipment but neither break the bank as I am an amateur. I did a photography course long ago and I read a lot trying to educate myself about the best settings to each situation. I've been also a photo enthusiast most of my life mainly for landscapes. But I still have lots to learn. It is hard to say what my budget Is. I can afford the $999 that cost the first two cameras but I wonder if it is wise for the begginingto spend that much to see if this business will work out. I read Canon 80D is super fast and provide crisp high quality pics. In the other hand I read that full frame is a must for portrait photography but the 6D seems the only point in favor is the fact of being full frame but lacks on many features of the 80D and even the T6.

If I buy one of the more expensive ones I want to not spend too much in the lens but the basic in portrait lens : a 50mm or 85mm prime lens, one for full body and above shoulder shots and one good to capture more environmental portrait photos. If anybody can recommend the lens too I would be so grateful ! I love the photos with a lot of blur at the background.

Anyway, PLEASE, need help : CANON 6D, CANON 80 D or CANON T6 ? Thanks !

28 REPLIES 28

"It is the "moving" which causes the change in depth of field.  Depth of field is determined primarily by three things.

 

#1  Focal length of the lens (not the equivalent focal length... the true focal length)

#2  Focal ratio of the lens

#3  Subject distance from the camera (specifically from the camera's image plane)."

 

Perhaps an AOV chart will help you understand. Here is one for you to check out.

chart.jpg

 

I feel the 80D with the ef 24-70mm f2.8L is the best choice considering price and quality.  That is why I suggested it.  I still think so in spite of your rather protracted reply.  I could go for the ef-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens if the cost is still too much.

I also imagine the OP will use the gear for more than just portraits.  That is why the primes have no place here. Not for starters.

 

"...either the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM or the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM..."  No not never in this lifetime would I even mention either of these let alone consider one.

 

Now, I suppose the OP is totally confused and probably abandoned this thread for no good reason as what you try to lay on folks simply doesn't exist.   Do you know how many weddings, Senior photos and portraits I have done with a 1D, 1D Mk II, 1D Mk III and 1D Mk IV, yes, crop sensor cameras? I made a living doing that.  If you pick the right lens with the right AOV (look at the chart, my friend) all will be right with the world.

 

There is no doubt you are a great mind in astrophotography.  You make beautiful pictures but you are over thinking this part of photography.  The problem simply doesn't exist.

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

Great info thanks ! I am going to digest all of these over the weekend and learn so much. It seems much easier to understand with this chart than with all that I was reading over Internet. It was getting too confusing ! Any questions, I will get back to you if you don't mind. The greatest things you learn from other photographers and I am so glad I signed up for this forum !

" It was getting too confusing !"

 

The thing to remember is, if you don't have a FF 35mm format camera, 'crop factor' doesn't exist.  Nothing in photography requires you to compare your camera to any other camera.  Rebels and xxD series cameras do not crop anything as what you see in the view finder is exactly the photo you will get.

The funny thing is nobody compares the other way.  Meaning comparing the current FF cameras to medium format cameras. If you did, the FF camera is now the crop camera. So you see how dumb and confusing this can be when it is totally unnecessary.

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

Thank you so much in the input ! Awesome information for me....This weekend I am going to read carefully all this info and learn as much as I can. I took part in photography course long ago in Europe and I need to refresh my knowledge from zero again. Even got 3 books in basics in Photography to get updated 🙂 I need to decide on my gear soon and start practicing !!!! Thanks again 🙂

Tim said,

This is NOT to say that you can't take beatiful portraits with a crop sensor camera.  You can... but you have to know what the crop-sensor is going to do to the depth of field and what you can do to compensate."

 

This is where I believe we conflict.  The AOV will be the same however you will need to open the aperture to achieve the same DOF.  Let's say you were shooting at f8.  You would need to use f5 but the AOV is the same. This is because a lens is a lens, is a lens and can not change its physical characteristics.  Say a 50mm vs a 30mm for instance.  But nothing is cropped.

 

Depth of Field (DoF), Angle of View, an...lculator _ Points in Focus Photography1.jpg

 

Depth of Field (DoF), Angle of View, an...lculator _ Points in Focus Photography21.png

Of course the photographer could just, heaven forbid, move a bit and not need to change aperture. 

 

And this supposes there is some inherent need to compare your Rebel camera to a FF camera.  Consider the photographer that never uses or has used a FF camera.  Do they need to compare or should they just learn how to use their Rebel?  

 

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

You are comparing apples to oranges, Ernie.  You are comparing different focal lengths and aperture settings.  Your “facts” are at best very misleading.  

 

I think a better example would be using the same aperture on the different camera bodies.  Look at the results for your 10 foot distance at f/8 now.  

 

First the APS-C body.  DOF is almost four feet.

 

ACDCE6BF-4DD0-42C4-B184-ADA4443B3663.jpeg

Next, the full frame body.  DOF is about 1.5 feet.

 

 

  1. 07485DF1-BE9A-4A98-851C-5A93B31AFB1A.jpeg

 

 

Significant difference.  The portrait photographer would want to have the smaller DOF.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Of course, the Angle Of View, or AOV, is the same in my above example.  

 

80mm x 1.0(crop factor) = 80mm - for the full frame sensor.

 

50mm x 1.6(crop factor) = 80mm - for the APS-C sensor.

 

The significant difference in the DOF numbers translate into more bokeh with the full frame sensor body.  

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"The right mouse button is your friend."


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Tim said,

This is NOT to say that you can't take beatiful portraits with a crop sensor camera.  You can... but you have to know what the crop-sensor is going to do to the depth of field and what you can do to compensate."

 

This is where I believe we conflict.  The AOV will be the same however you will need to open the aperture to achieve the same DOF.  Let's say you were shooting at f8.  You would need to use f5 but the AOV is the same. This is because a lens is a lens, is a lens and can not change its physical characteristics.  Say a 50mm vs a 30mm for instance.  But nothing is cropped.

 

Of course the photographer could just, heaven forbid, move a bit and not need to change aperture. 

 

And this supposes there is some inherent need to compare your Rebel camera to a FF camera.  Consider the photographer that never uses or has used a FF camera.  Do they need to compare or should they just learn how to use their Rebel?  

 


As I’m not retired, I can’t always respond quickly to forum posts (my employer keeps me busy).

 

While you say “this is where I believe we conflict”, you then go on to provide an example which was basically my entire point.  Does this mean we agree?

 

You divided the focal length by the crop factor to get back to the same angle of view.  But in doing so you changed the depth of field... and then you reduced the focal ratio to compensate for that as well.  And that was my point. 

 

If the only change you make is the camera sensor size, then you only changed the angle of view (you would not have changed the depth of field).  But now that you no longer have the same angle of view, you wont get the same composition.  To get the same composition you *either* have to change the focal length of the lens OR change your camera-to-subject distance.  Either change alters the DoF.

 

You might be able to change the aperture to compensate for that (but this assumes you don’t exceed the aperture limits of the lens).

 

Full aperture stop differences are based on the powers of the square root of 2 (approximately 1.4x).  Canon’s crop factor for APS-C lenses is 1.6x.  It’s not identical... but not too far off.  This means if you use the same focal length but change the camera body from a full-frame to a crop-frame body, then your bokeh is reduced by slightly more than than the difference of 1 f-stop (and your depth of field is increased by that amount).

 

As for the comparison of what’s full-frame mean in comparison to other cameras... it’s completely arbitrary.  But so is the “yard stick” or the “mile”.  A standards for lengths, volumes, weights, are based on some arbitrary thing where someone or some organization decided what the standard unit would be.

 

In photography, the size of a frame of 35mm film (36mm x 24mm) is “full frame”.  That’s not my choice or your choice ... it’s the industry choice.  The Canon APS-C sensor has a crop factor of 1.6x (meaning the diagonal measure of the sensor is the diagonal measure of a full-frame sensor (approximately 43mm) dividend by 1.6.   You asked what a medium format camera’s crop factor would be.  That’s easy... a 6cm x 6cm sensor has a crop-factor of 0.5x.  Throw of the dimensions of any camera (regardless of how big or how small) and we can determine it’s crop factor.  If it’s smaller than a full frame camera then it’s crop factor will be greater than 1.  If it’s larger than a full frame camera then it’s crop factor will be smaller than 1.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Work?  I changed the spelling a bit to suit my needs, I now spell it like this, p-l-a-y.  Smiley Happy

 

"Does this mean we agree?"  It does if you admit the same photo can be made with either format camera if the right lens is selected.  That is my main most point.  Whether you adjust the f-ratio or you move your feet.  The exact same DOF can be possible, actually no matter which camera format you use.  Physical limits of manufacture, of course apply.

 

Consider a person, new to photography, doesn't own or have any desire to own a FF DSLR.  They have no interest or need to know what 1.6x is.  They simply need to know how their camera operates and functions with their lens(s).

 

IMHO, crop factor is a term that should have never been created. Especially since 'crop sensor' cameras crop nothing.

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


@ebiggs1 wrote:

 

  It does if you admit the same photo can be made with either format camera if the right lens is selected.  That is my main most point.  Whether you adjust the f-ratio or you move your feet.  The exact same DOF can be possible, actually no matter which camera format you use.  Physical limits of manufacture, of course apply.

 


I think your point is the whole point of the debate.  It is not always possible to adjust the f/stop or move further back to get the same shot.  The “physical limits of manufacture” that you cite could be described is the whole point.  

 

The full frame sensor is going to be more flexible when it comes depth of field.  I do not think many portrait photographers are trying to use a full frame with an aperture setting of f/8 to shoot portraits.

The 6D is currently on a fire sale at the Canon Online Refurbished store, as is the 6D2, and 5D3.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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