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Upgrade for T3i?


My Canon T3i has been sitting on the shelf for a few years because it will no longer read memory cards. Anyone have this issue?

I shoot almost daily at work on a 6dmarkii with 24-70/2.8L and a 70-200/2.8L, both by Canon. We also have just purchased a 90D with kit lens. I'm weighing options for a possible upgrade for my T3i. I don't have many lenses personally - 50/1.8 and the meh Canon kit lens 18-55 that came with my T3i. I also have a Tamron ef-s 70-300.

Over the years, I have rented the 80D and 5DMarkiv for work. I felt like the Mark IV was a wonderful camera but overkill for me. I love my 6Dmarkii at work, but it tends to be slow with sports.

I rarely shoot in RAW and only sometimes do video. I am well-versed in shooting manual and have I'm interested in upgrading to something that will replace my T3i for personal use, including travel (with hiking, climbing, and general outdoor stuff), and a camera that I can use as our family grows. I sometimes do event and portrait work for pay on the side and think it could be fun to be a second shooter with a wedding photographer with this potential upgrade. I love to take journalistic style shots. I have done some research on mirrorless but not sure what's right for my needs. I don't want to buy something that will be overkill for me. Any advice is much appreciated!



If the 6D Mark II or the 90D are insufficient for your needs, then almost every other camera might be "overkill".  The next step up from a 6D Mark II is the 5D Mark IV or a 1D Series.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


This is certainly one of the best times of the year for someone looking to buy a new camera.  


You have shot with many of Canon's best DSLRs.  Comparatively speaking any of them 80D, 90D, 6D2 or 5D4 are light years beyond the capabilities of your T3i, so no wonder they feel like "overkill" or perform far and above what you currently own personally. 


You don't have much invested in lenses, so you could probably go either way APS-C or FF.  


Based on your intended use, I would probably recommend a FF body.  You've not provided a budget.


I won't buy mirrorless (yet) but am not going to try and talk someone else out of it.  There are pros and cons there.


I'm puzzled by your statement 6D2 is slow for sports.  Slow like how?  Focus acquisition?  Sounds like you are using that body with some of Canon's best performing lenses. What isn't it doing for you? 


If I was in your shoes, and wasn't going to buy mirrorless, I'd buy a 5D4.  Its a proven workhorse and great all around camera.  It checks the majority of boxes for your use cases.  If journalistic creativity is more important (above all else), the 1DX2.  Its a big camera, and might be considered heavy by some.  Your family and friends will label you as the serious camera guy.  If packing for a vacation doesn't include a dedicated camera suitcase, the 1DX series is not for you.  When I get on a plane, my personal carry on item is my camera gear.  Man Happy      


If you want to hang on to the few leses you have the 90D is your next option.   But again we are back to budget.


I'm not going to talk mirrorless because I wouldn't buy any of them.  Thats a personal choice.   


And what Wadizzle mentioned regarding what you feel is potentially overkill is true. 


You've identified your intended use....  now you need to decide what you are going to spend.   



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The 5D4 sounds like a good possiblity.  I have one and it's great.  On the other hand, if you are wanting sports performance or tracking of fast moving objects at a distance, then you might get a bargain on a 7DMkII.  Its tracking system I have personally found to be superior to that of the 5D4.   As a crop-sensor camera it will give your 70-200 a Field of View equivalent to that of a 112-320mm lens.


I also use mirrorless, but have not yet ventured into the full-frame EOS R range of full-frame bodies.  I agree that sticking with a DSLR for the time being is a good idea as you can use the EF lenses on native bodies and they should be cheaper these days as people migrate to mirrorless.  One day you may go the mirrorless route without pain as you have no investment in serious glass

cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"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


How satisfied were you with your T3i?  If it served you as well, did as you needed the obvious answer is a new T8i.  Also, the lens will be an upgraded version.


A better answer with some of the later statements you made makes the 90D the better choice. Not that it is the better camera, it is, but it is built much more robustly. Some weather sealing, etc.  A plus for anyone thinking of a more professional direction.


However, if you are thinking long run, a mirrorless camera system is the best choice.  It is the direction of photography.  There will be little to no DSLR development going forward.

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