Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
rah7puva
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Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
10 months ago

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!)  I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*).  I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge.  Please help. thanks!

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PenPix
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

Well... you liked the 5D, why not buy that one?  Although I'm curious about what lens you used with those cameras?  The lens is a major component of a camera system that is often overlooked.  If you buy the wrong lens for the 5D, it might be worse than the APS-C cameras.

Given the same aperture, DoF will be shallower with a FF camera.  Stepping down to increase DoF will negate the ISO advantage of a FF camera over the APS-C.  Everything is related!  If you're not willing to gain a little knowledge, you're going to end up with a $6000 camera system that you will hate taking with you because of it's size, weight, and cost!

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Leonard Migliore
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

High quality is not known as depth of field. High quality is known as high quality. Depth of field is known as depth of field.

So do you want a lot of depth of field or very little depth of field? I bet you want very little depth of field. This puts a lot of demand on the photographer's skills because, in general, the camera doesn't know where to put the focus range.

For pictures of children running around, I prefer a lot of depth of field. That way you get the whole kid in focus. And you get a greater percentage of good shots.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.

That seems strange to me. The 7D and D7000 are very good cameras. Not quite as good as a 5Dii but certainly close if the lenses were equally good.

  1. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).

Was the 5Dii good enough for this? One area where full-frame is superior is low light capability. But even a great low-light camera can have trouble in the situations you describe. Flash is generally the best solution here.

  1. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Well, do you want a full frame camera or do you want something small for when you're traveling with the kids? You have to pick one here. Full frame cameras are big. The Sony a7 is the smallest but there's no lenses for it yet. You know how big a 5D is.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

I suggest the best place to put your money is to hire a photographer.

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Jack Hass
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

Your last sentence should make you think twice about even owning a camera. You do realize the camera cannot read your mind right? Lets say your kids are running fast, you will need at least a 1/500th SS to freeze the motion to an acceptable level. How does that camera on auto know what SS to choose? How does it know you need your lens @F/2.8 instead of F/8? If it chooses F/8 you can forget that thin DOF, so no, auto mode is not what you want.

If you think just bc it's FF it will save you from user error you really need to educate yourself. With that being said, by all means, buy a nice expensive camera. There is nothing wrong with buying beyond yourself so you have room to grow in your skill without having to upgrade too soon. Just make sure you learn how to use it, or your photos will be as bad as if you used a phone camera  .

As for your wanting small, FF, and good AF, give it up. The smallest FF you will find is the new Sony models a7/r, but you won't get the AF you want or the lenses you need. If you want constructive suggestions, buy either the Canon 6D or the Pentax K3. A K3 with a F1.4 lens will have the same DOF as the 6D with an F2 lens, very thin. Both cameras AF in very low light. The K3 is much cheaper, the 6D has better noise performance. The 6D will also be considerably larger and heavier with bigger lenses.

At the risk of offering wasted advice to a troll thread, i suggest you buy one of those two and get some fast lenses, and start practicing. My guess is in time you will enjoy it so much you will want to learn more, and auto mode will become a curse word to you.

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Surb
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

1&2.)  I'm a Canon guy and shoot my kids whenever I get to be around them so I can't make any recomendations for Nikon.  My recomendation would be a 5Dmkiii with a 70-200 IS II lens.  Expensive combo but very fast focusing with great quality photos given you take the time to learn composition.  It may or may not be expensive for you... it was very expensive for me but I'm still glad I have that combo to use for my children.  I don't make money taking photos, I just cheerish any moment I can capture with my children which is why I pulled the trigger on the above combo. It has great ISO performance compared to a 7D so it will help you indoors

2.) Faster lens and shooting primes will help you with low light that have lower f/ values.  So will a flash

3.)  Size- like the previous poster mentioned, quality or size, not both

4.)  Full Auto- if you are willing to spend the amount of money on a 7D, 5Dxxx,  and a good lens, spend some time on the forums, youtube, read some books etc. and learn composition, lighting and your camera.  A few hours of you time learning and practicing will by far give you better results than a full auto point and shoot.

FYI- I have lost more shots on Full Auto than I ever have shooting manual because the camera has no idea what I want. It just wants to get the camera into proper exposure.  It has no idea I'm taking a photo of a running kid, snail, fighter jet, etc.  At a bare minimum, at least learn what AV and TV will do with your camera and shots.  If you want "the shot" rarely will you find it with Full Auto.  You will get a lot of shots... but not "the shot".

My .02

Surb

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jayrandomer
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Examples of what you're looking for would be helpful.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

The 5d2 is many things, but "great at action" isn't really one of them.  The 5d3 is essentially the 5d2 with much better AF.  Have you considered that?

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

That's not the way it works.  Cameras are like cars in a way--the more you spend past a certain limit the harder they become to use well.  If you want to spend $$$ to make up for photographic knowledge, buy some books or take a class.  You should consider that before spending too much.

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rah7puva
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to jayrandomer, 10 months ago

Thank you all. I do actually have some knowledge about the cameras and what f-stop, aperture, etc means - so I'm not just someone asking for a blanket question. This is why I've tried so many different cameras. I also know how to get depth of field out of my 2+ year old cell phone camera, and my Canon S95. BUT, I'm looking for a simple point-and-shoot type to give me amazing picture on full auto so that I can spend more time with my kids instead. I'm assuming all of you know more than I do.

If you used all the cameras I mentioned above and shot random things on full auto like a point and shoot, you will be amazed how 5DII was able to read my mind and take great pictures, with a lot of depth of field. The lens was the kit 25-105 L lens. Sure, not perfect, but 80-90% of the time the pictures will turn out great....I mean superior in terms of depth of field, low light, etc. It was significant'y better than a 7D or Nikon 7100. I'm sure Nikon D600, another full frame can do the same. I like the suggestion about the 5DII but it's a bit more complex than 6D and my wife probably wouldn't figure it out (esp the video function). 5DIII is out b/c that's way too expensive.

Yes, I get it, if you know how to take pictures and use your camera well then you can take amazing pics with any camera. But this also takes setup time.....I want to eliminate setup time and take pictures quickly. Maybe because all of you know too much that you can't dumb it down??? (not meant to be offensive). I do appreciate your recommendations and thoughts though!

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rah7puva
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to Leonard Migliore, 10 months ago

Leonard Migliore wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

High quality is not known as depth of field. High quality is known as high quality. Depth of field is known as depth of field.

true, but 7D, D7000/D7100, 5D all have high quality images.  But only 5D was able to produce high quality with a lot of DoF

So do you want a lot of depth of field or very little

depth of field? I bet you want very little depth of field. This puts a lot of demand on the photographer's skills because, in general, the camera doesn't know where to put the focus range.

For pictures of children running around, I prefer a lot of depth of field. That way you get the whole kid in focus. And you get a greater percentage of good shots.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.

That seems strange to me. The 7D and D7000 are very good cameras. Not quite as good as a 5Dii but certainly close if the lenses were equally good.

I actually used the basic 24-105mm L lens that came with the camera.  And the difference was amazin.

  1. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).

Was the 5Dii good enough for this? One area where full-frame is superior is low light capability. But even a great low-light camera can have trouble in the situations you describe. Flash is generally the best solution here.

I was actually able take pictures indoors at night time with a full frame w/ depth of field and no blurry pictures w/o flash.  If you know a small camera that can do this I would love to know!

  1. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Well, do you want a full frame camera or do you want something small for when you're traveling with the kids? You have to pick one here. Full frame cameras are big. The Sony a7 is the smallest but there's no lenses for it yet. You know how big a 5D is.

How good is Sony A7?  Yes, I rented 5DII for several weekends, and Nikon 7k.  I also used to own a 7D and didn't like it.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

I suggest the best place to put your money is to hire a photographer.

Haha - thx

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rah7puva
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to Jack Hass, 10 months ago

Jack Hass wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

Your last sentence should make you think twice about even owning a camera. You do realize the camera cannot read your mind right? Lets say your kids are running fast, you will need at least a 1/500th SS to freeze the motion to an acceptable level. How does that camera on auto know what SS to choose? How does it know you need your lens @F/2.8 instead of F/8? If it chooses F/8 you can forget that thin DOF, so no, auto mode is not what you want.

If you think just bc it's FF it will save you from user error you really need to educate yourself. With that being said, by all means, buy a nice expensive camera. There is nothing wrong with buying beyond yourself so you have room to grow in your skill without having to upgrade too soon. Just make sure you learn how to use it, or your photos will be as bad as if you used a phone camera .

As for your wanting small, FF, and good AF, give it up. The smallest FF you will find is the new Sony models a7/r, but you won't get the AF you want or the lenses you need. If you want constructive suggestions, buy either the Canon 6D or the Pentax K3. A K3 with a F1.4 lens will have the same DOF as the 6D with an F2 lens, very thin. Both cameras AF in very low light. The K3 is much cheaper, the 6D has better noise performance. The 6D will also be considerably larger and heavier with bigger lenses.

At the risk of offering wasted advice to a troll thread, i suggest you buy one of those two and get some fast lenses, and start practicing. My guess is in time you will enjoy it so much you will want to learn more, and auto mode will become a curse word to you.

Thanks.  I now officially ruled out Sony A7!

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rah7puva
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to Surb, 10 months ago

Surb wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.
  2. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).
  3. Size - I know I want a full frame camera but I want something small for when I'm traveling w/ the kids.

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

1&2.) I'm a Canon guy and shoot my kids whenever I get to be around them so I can't make any recomendations for Nikon. My recomendation would be a 5Dmkiii with a 70-200 IS II lens. Expensive combo but very fast focusing with great quality photos given you take the time to learn composition. It may or may not be expensive for you... it was very expensive for me but I'm still glad I have that combo to use for my children. I don't make money taking photos, I just cheerish any moment I can capture with my children which is why I pulled the trigger on the above combo. It has great ISO performance compared to a 7D so it will help you indoors

2.) Faster lens and shooting primes will help you with low light that have lower f/ values. So will a flash

3.) Size- like the previous poster mentioned, quality or size, not both

4.) Full Auto- if you are willing to spend the amount of money on a 7D, 5Dxxx, and a good lens, spend some time on the forums, youtube, read some books etc. and learn composition, lighting and your camera. A few hours of you time learning and practicing will by far give you better results than a full auto point and shoot.

FYI- I have lost more shots on Full Auto than I ever have shooting manual because the camera has no idea what I want. It just wants to get the camera into proper exposure. It has no idea I'm taking a photo of a running kid, snail, fighter jet, etc. At a bare minimum, at least learn what AV and TV will do with your camera and shots. If you want "the shot" rarely will you find it with Full Auto. You will get a lot of shots... but not "the shot".

My .02

Surb

Is 5DIII worth the price over a 6D?  I can afford a 6D but not so much a 5DIII.   And what I mean by "the shot" I mean getting that split-second smile or the split second movement or image I want to capture.  I can manipulate AV and TV but by that point the shot has come and gone.

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D Cox
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to Jack Hass, 10 months ago

Jack Hass wrote:

Finally, I'm planning on using the "Full Auto" feature (*gasp!!!*). I want to spend more $ to make up for my lack of photography knowledge. Please help. thanks!

Your last sentence should make you think twice about even owning a camera. You do realize the camera cannot read your mind right? Lets say your kids are running fast, you will need at least a 1/500th SS to freeze the motion to an acceptable level. How does that camera on auto know what SS to choose? How does it know you need your lens @F/2.8 instead of F/8? If it chooses F/8 you can forget that thin DOF, so no, auto mode is not what you want.

The answer is to go to the Scene menu and pick "Sports/Action" mode.

But there is a good chance that the Intelligent Auto Mode (or similar name depending on the manufacturer) will detect the fast movement and put the camera into Sports Mode automatically. Certainly movement detection is part of the algorithm.

Auto mode may well be exactly what you want.

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Klaus dk
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Please clarify, trying to understand
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

I'm really confused by your claim that FF will give you "better" DoF. Do you mean that

  1. more background blur is better, becuse it gives better subject isolation, or
  2. that a deeper depth of field is better, because it gives you more autofocus latitude with the fast moving kids?

What lenses did you have on the 7D and the Nikon?

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Jim Cassatt
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

You want a full frame camera, but want something light to travel.  The things that make a full frame camera big and heavy are the lenses that go with it.  A 5D MKIII with a 50 mm f1.4 lens is not that big and heavy.  Replace that with the 24-105 f4L IS and it is big and heavy.  Add a telephoto like the 70-200 f2.8 L IS and the camera is really big and heavy.

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joejack951
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

High quality is not known as depth of field. High quality is known as high quality. Depth of field is known as depth of field.

true, but 7D, D7000/D7100, 5D all have high quality images. But only 5D was able to produce high quality with a lot of DoF

Think about the words "depth of field." You keep using the term "DOF" incorrectly (I think) because you don't understand what the term is referring to. A lot of people are drawn to large sensor cameras because for a given field of view, they are able to create a more shallow depth of field than a smaller sensor camera. However, that requires using an appropriate lens and at the proper f-stop. It also means more effort on the part of the photographer to select a correct focus point.

If you truly want a lot of depth of field, large sensor cameras have no advantage over a smaller format (like m4/3 for example). In some cases, large formats are at a disadvantage, especially the 5DII with its banding issues when shadows are pushed.

So do you want a lot of depth of field or very little

depth of field? I bet you want very little depth of field. This puts a lot of demand on the photographer's skills because, in general, the camera doesn't know where to put the focus range.

For pictures of children running around, I prefer a lot of depth of field. That way you get the whole kid in focus. And you get a greater percentage of good shots.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.

That seems strange to me. The 7D and D7000 are very good cameras. Not quite as good as a 5Dii but certainly close if the lenses were equally good.

I actually used the basic 24-105mm L lens that came with the camera. And the difference was amazin.

If you had used an f/2.8 lens on the APS-C cameras, the difference would been nil. A fast prime (or a fast zoom like the Sigma 18-35/1.8) on the APS-C cameras would beat the 5DII in terms of producing the shallowest DOF.

  1. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).

Was the 5Dii good enough for this? One area where full-frame is superior is low light capability. But even a great low-light camera can have trouble in the situations you describe. Flash is generally the best solution here.

I was actually able take pictures indoors at night time with a full frame w/ depth of field and no blurry pictures w/o flash. If you know a small camera that can do this I would love to know!

Again with the incorrect use of depth of field. And again, if you were using f/4 on full frame, anything f/2.8 or faster on APS-C would match or beat it.

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rah7puva
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to joejack951, 10 months ago

joejack951 wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

rah7puva wrote:

Please help. I'm looking for a camera to take pictures of my kids running around. They move fast (but not birds flying fast) and I want to make sure I can capture "the" shot. And I want high quality - aka Depth of Field.

High quality is not known as depth of field. High quality is known as high quality. Depth of field is known as depth of field.

true, but 7D, D7000/D7100, 5D all have high quality images. But only 5D was able to produce high quality with a lot of DoF

Think about the words "depth of field." You keep using the term "DOF" incorrectly (I think) because you don't understand what the term is referring to. A lot of people are drawn to large sensor cameras because for a given field of view, they are able to create a more shallow depth of field than a smaller sensor camera. However, that requires using an appropriate lens and at the proper f-stop. It also means more effort on the part of the photographer to select a correct focus point.

If you truly want a lot of depth of field, large sensor cameras have no advantage over a smaller format (like m4/3 for example). In some cases, large formats are at a disadvantage, especially the 5DII with its banding issues when shadows are pushed.

So do you want a lot of depth of field or very little

depth of field? I bet you want very little depth of field. This puts a lot of demand on the photographer's skills because, in general, the camera doesn't know where to put the focus range.

For pictures of children running around, I prefer a lot of depth of field. That way you get the whole kid in focus. And you get a greater percentage of good shots.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Full frame camera (or one that acts like one) - I'm going to take picture of kids so Depth of Field is critical. I've tried 5Dii, 7D, Nikon 7k..... and several others, and the 5Dii pictures look as if a pro took them. Hands down - Not even close.

That seems strange to me. The 7D and D7000 are very good cameras. Not quite as good as a 5Dii but certainly close if the lenses were equally good.

I actually used the basic 24-105mm L lens that came with the camera. And the difference was amazin.

If you had used an f/2.8 lens on the APS-C cameras, the difference would been nil. A fast prime (or a fast zoom like the Sigma 18-35/1.8) on the APS-C cameras would beat the 5DII in terms of producing the shallowest DOF.

  1. Fast speed and great low light capability. Kids move quickly and I want to be able to capture the best shots (point-and-shoot fail!) I'm also looking for great low light capability (at home, at night).

Was the 5Dii good enough for this? One area where full-frame is superior is low light capability. But even a great low-light camera can have trouble in the situations you describe. Flash is generally the best solution here.

I was actually able take pictures indoors at night time with a full frame w/ depth of field and no blurry pictures w/o flash. If you know a small camera that can do this I would love to know!

Again with the incorrect use of depth of field. And again, if you were using f/4 on full frame, anything f/2.8 or faster on APS-C would match or beat it.

My apologies, you are correct. Yes, I am looking for a shallower depth of field. Meaning I want my focal images to be crisp and clear and everything else blurry.

Agreed on APS-C with f/2.8, and Sigma 18-35/1.8 sounds great but the question is whether there's a smaller camera that can support that lens (or similar).  If I have to get a DSLR then I would just go w/ a 6D or 5DII w/ an f/4 lens right?  I'd love to know if there's a Sony A7 type of camera that can perform similarly to C sensor w/ f/1.8 zoom.

Thanks!

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rah7puva
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Re: Please clarify, trying to understand
In reply to Klaus dk, 10 months ago

Klaus dk wrote:

I'm really confused by your claim that FF will give you "better" DoF. Do you mean that

  1. more background blur is better, becuse it gives better subject isolation, or
  2. that a deeper depth of field is better, because it gives you more autofocus latitude with the fast moving kids?

What lenses did you have on the 7D and the Nikon?

Apologies - I wasn't very clear.  The images from a FF camera set on auto (with a kit lens) provided much shallower DoF than images from an APS-C camera w/ the kit lens, also set on auto.  Meaning more background is better for me.

As for kids, I'm just trying to make sure the shutter and auto-focus is fast enough to capture "fast" moving kids.

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joejack951
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

My apologies, you are correct. Yes, I am looking for a shallower depth of field. Meaning I want my focal images to be crisp and clear and everything else blurry.

Agreed on APS-C with f/2.8, and Sigma 18-35/1.8 sounds great but the question is whether there's a smaller camera that can support that lens (or similar). If I have to get a DSLR then I would just go w/ a 6D or 5DII w/ an f/4 lens right? I'd love to know if there's a Sony A7 type of camera that can perform similarly to C sensor w/ f/1.8 zoom.

Do you want a small camera body or a small camera/lens combination? Do you even need to swap lenses? Do you know what focal length(s) you want?

Given the current poor lens selection for the A7, I struggle to recommend that camera to anyone. The kit zoom is slow and the primes are hideously priced (perhaps they perform relative to their cost but not everyone cares to pay that much money for slightly increased performance compared to other systems).

There's no cut and dry answer to your questions as posed. There are tradeoffs to everything either in size, capability, or cost. If you want true pro looking images, get a full frame DSLR and all f/2.8 zooms (at least a 24-70 and 70-200). You'll love the image quality and shallow depth of field you get, but you might not like the cost or size.

If you want to trade off a little lens speed for size, you can use f/4 zooms instead of f/2.8. If you want to go even smaller, prime lenses can be an option and get you even shallower depth of field than an f/2.8 zoom.

If primes are on the table, you can equal f/4 DOF on FF with an f/2 lens on m4/3 (or beat it with an f/1.4 lens on m4/3). APS-C can do the same with f/2.8 or f/2 lenses respectively.

The possibilities are almost endless, constrained usually by someone's budget, tolerance for size/weight, and desire for certain features.

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Leonard Migliore
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You won't notice the camera
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

rah7puva wrote:

Agreed on APS-C with f/2.8, and Sigma 18-35/1.8 sounds great but the question is whether there's a smaller camera that can support that lens (or similar). If I have to get a DSLR then I would just go w/ a 6D or 5DII w/ an f/4 lens right? I'd love to know if there's a Sony A7 type of camera that can perform similarly to C sensor w/ f/1.8 zoom.

Your goal was to find a camera smaller than a 5D with a 24-105 that does as good a job in low light. Something like a Nikon D7100 with the Sigma 18-35 would probably be comparable. But that Sigma lens is longer and heavier than the Canon 24-105 so you wouldn't be better off. And the D7100 body isn't much smaller than a 5D either.

The smallest camera body that might do you some good is the Olympus OM-D with a 12-40 f/2.8. But you would have to try that one out; I'm pretty sure it won't come up to a full-frame Canon.

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Surb
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

Worth the cost... only you are able to do that.  I'm deployed overseas and making good money right now so me justifying was worth the cost.  Haven't used a 6D but to break the bank for a body and not be able to get decent lenses with it would be taking a step back in my eyes.  I have seen nothing but great reviews for both cameras.  6D won't be as fast focusing as 5diii but it has (from what I have read) a great high ISO for low light.

From your other responses I have read, a faster lens 2.8 for zooms or 1.4 prime lens will be your better bets for lenses.  A faster lens will give you a great DOF with even a lower end camera no problem.  I've been shooting a T4i with 85 1.8 and 50 1.8 and have good DOF/bokeh/blurry background... however you want to call it

Either save or go with a lower end body and better lens.  Nothing worse than having to catch up with finances when an emergency comes up because you broke the bank on a camera.  Not saying you won't appreciate a better body, everybody would but stay in financial means.

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Klaus dk
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Re: Full frame camera recommendation - but diff requirements
In reply to rah7puva, 10 months ago

As far as I know, no other interchangeable zoom than the Sigma 16-35 f/1.8 goes below f/2.8.

Some enthusiast fixed lens cameras are quite bright in the wide end, but because of the smaller sensors, the DoF will still not match that of FF.

You can get 18-55 or 18-55 f/2.8 for APS-C, which will have same DOF as f/4 on FF.

If you want a large sensor, then the Sony A7 is the smallest camera, but the size and weight of FF lenses will be more or less the same, because they have to cover the same image circle, so the weight of the final combo will not differ much between a Sony A7 and a Canon 6D.

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