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

knitgirl
New Contributor
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!
22 REPLIES 22

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. [link removed per forum guidelines]

Was a pricepoint ever established? 

 

Everytime I suggest something here, the person posting often says, "thats out of my budget".  The last time was a $298 refurb body directly from Canon. 

 

So, now that we know what kind of pictures the OP is looking to take and how they want to use their camera, can we establish a pricepoint, so we aren't suggesting things that are below or above what the user wants to spend?  I played with a SL2 last week that was installed in a photobooth at one of my clients.  Nice little body, super compact too.  There is value in both platforms..  APS-C and FF and like Ernie mentioned previously, if APS-C is meeting your needs, stick with it. 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2(v1.1.0) ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 2080 FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw

Tronhard
Respected Contributor

I tend to agree with Rick (Shadowsports) on this one... we have no idea of the OP's budget and that is a critical piece of information.

 

That said, from what I have viewed in this thread a Canon SL2 (offering considerable performance upgrades over the SL1), combined with a 70-200 F4 lens would give a much better reach for the images of individuals on the field.  The other lenses would work as they do with the SL1.  Based on the images the OP has posted those seem to be working out well for her.

cheers Trevor

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri

Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me


@Tronhard wrote:

I tend to agree with Rick (Shadowsports) on this one... we have no idea of the OP's budget and that is a critical piece of information.

 

That said, from what I have viewed in this thread a Canon SL2 (offering considerable performance upgrades over the SL1), combined with a 70-200 F4 lens would give a much better reach for the images of individuals on the field.  The other lenses would work as they do with the SL1.  Based on the images the OP has posted those seem to be working out well for her.


Budget?  The OP mentioned considering the 6D in the original post.  I understood the question to be, SL2 or 6D.  With a EF 40mm STM and a EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, there is not much to hold you back from going full frame.

As for the 70-200mm f/4L, I have never used it, so I can offer no opinion.  I went for the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM right from the start.  I had already learned my lesson about buying the “next best” lens, instead of the one I really wanted.  I am sure the 70-200 f/4L is a quality lens, and can do pretty decent job shooting Friday Night Lights with a 6D.  

While the posted SL1 images look pretty good, its’ AF sensor may not realize the full potential of a fast lens.  The SL bodies are also pretty small, so I would suggest using a monopod with a 70-200mm, or larger, lens.  Moving up to a 6D and a 70-200, from a SL1 and 85mm, is going to feel like a cinder block.  Again, I would suggest a monopod for when your arms get tired, which they will.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

"...  for really clean high ISO nothing beats Full Frame."

 

You can't say this as a blanket statement. You have to specify exactly which models you are comparing. Would you take a 1D and its FF sensor for high ISO or a 7D and its crop sensor ? I know that's extreme but it makes the point.

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


@sienna2506 wrote:

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.


Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂


@athman8 wrote:

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 redbox showbox apk morpheus


Hi, athman8

 

I'm totally agreed with you.

imtomalex
New Contributor
Canon 6D - not only is it a beautiful full-frame sensor, but you could (probably) use your existing Canon lenses and other accessories. Thanks & Regards, Live NetTV

"...you could (probably) use your existing Canon lenses..."

 

You can't use ef-s lenses on a 6D or 6D Mk II.  She can use her ef 85mil.

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

You should only upgrade when you need to. Chances are good you won't wait that long or be that sensible. 😉

So, basically, to me, it comes down to a few "tipping points" as to when "upgrading" (more realistically you may be sidegrading [e.g., crop to full frame], or expanding [e.g., adding mirrorless to a dSLR rather than replacing it]) has been worth it for me. You will find these reasons not unlike those that decide when it's time to purchase a car. In order of most-sensible to least they are:

  • When your current camera dies and you have nothing to shoot with.

  • [Personal "worth it" metric--your eventual value may vary] When the sum of the new camera body's tier and generation counts above/after my old one is at least 3, and my old body is getting near that 100k click mark.

  • When your frustration level with your current gear makes letting go of money you've set aside more than worth it--and you've done enough research to know how the new gear eliminates (or reduces) the frustration. [May involve discovering previously-unknown/unresearched tradeoffs after purchase that may equalize frustration more than envisioned].

  • When you can find a rockin' deal (usually used or refurb)

  • Just because you **bleep** well want it that bad.

  • here

However. Keep in mind that nearly ANY other piece of gear you can purchase will hold value longer and better than a camera body. Lenses, flashes, and support gear can be used across multiple cameras. They tend not be replaced every 1-3 years, and they also tend to hold value better on the used market. Camera bodies depreciate even while they're still new.

And, in addition, experience and training often count for more when it comes to image quality than any piece of gear. If the goal is to get better photographs, then your money may actually be better spent on airline tickets, or a seminar, or books and training videos than on any camera body.

 

Thanks