"Upgrade" from 5D2 to 70D???

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
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Grevymon
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"Upgrade" from 5D2 to 70D???
6 months ago

Hello all, I'm looking for suggestions on my current upgrade scenario.  I'm a hobbyist who really enjoys photography of my family and vacation moments.

First, my DSLR history:
1) My first DSLR was a 40D with a 17-55mm lens.

2) In 2009, I replaced the 40D with a 5D2 with 24-105L and 35L (f/1.4). This was my full-frame upgrade moment at the time, and I sold off all my EF-S gear.

3) This past Christmas, I bought a 70D with 18-135 STM lens. So many user reviews raved about the 70D as such a well-rounded camera, so I had to experience it for myself.

4) I already own several Canon flashes (270EX, 430EX2, 580EX2).

What I shoot:
1) Lots of candid and posed pictures of my family, including my two 8-year-olds. This includes things like school on-stage performances, birthday parties (blowing out candle on birthday cake in dark room), and just general everyday memories.

2) We really enjoy hiking in nature (Canadian Rockies, Banff, Jasper, Grand Canyon, Sedona, etc...) with a backpack, so I always want to keep my weight and gear minimal. I try to take only a single lens (24-105L on my 5D2) and usually bring a small tripod (like a Gorillapod SLR). My flash use is mainly for fill in the outdoors, so having a built-in flash can save me a lot of weight. Indoors, of course, require an external flash for bounce).

My thoughts regarding both cameras:
1) I shoot only RAW, then post-process in Lightroom. Of course, there is no denying that the 5D2 takes cleaner low-light pictures. I took comparison test-shots of a scene with a single lit-candle at ISO 6400 on a tripod, intentionally underexposed by 2-stops, then pushed the exposure back to normal (back up 2-stops) in Lightroom. The 5D2 has less grain than the 70D, but it's not a night-and-day difference (if I grade the 5D2 low-light capability as an "A," then the 70D is a "B."). The 70D does not include the noise banding of the 5D2. Also, the 70D has richer colors than the 5D2 at all ISO.

2) Other than image quality, the 70D is better than the 5D2 in all other ways that I care about. Such as the autofocus, flip-out touch screen, continuous shooting speed, video, bonus zoom-range of EF-S lenses, and lighter weight.

3) Although I want the cameras to be "well made," I don't need the camera to have pro-caliber heavy-duty construction (magnesium vs alumimum body, etc...). Sturdy heavy-duty construction usually translates into lots of weight, so this becomes a pain in the rear end during travel. Also, I tend to treat my gear with lots of care and have never banged nor dropped my camera or lenses (I treat them like personal property, not work tools).

4) The 5D2 is an oldie-but-goody, and there is no denying the technological progress of a 2013 vs 2008 camera. The 5D2 does one thing really well, but 70D does a whole bunch of things well.

5) I like not having to carry a flash during the daytime for the 70D. On my 5D2, I always had at least the 270EX attached, then swapped to the 430 or 580 EX at night. It was a real pain to need an external flash ALL THE TIME on the 5D2!

Am I insane for pondering whether to "upgrade" from the 5D2 to 70D? Trade full-frame for EF-S? Or is this a downgrade, but I'm just not seeing clearly

. Am I going to regret this? My wife has a Sony NEX-5N, which has about the same picture quality as the 70D.

Since I'm a hobbyist, I can't justify keeping both camera bodies. I bought the 70D with the 18-135 kit lens for $1250. If I keep the 70D, I would sell my 5D2 with 29000 shutter clicks (while it still has some value, before it's totally obsolete). I'm definitely keeping my 35L (for low light), but have not decided if I should sell my 24-105L lens.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts?

Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 70D Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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