Upgrading to FF: ?'s about D600 and 5DIII

Started Oct 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
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jrmint Regular Member • Posts: 129
Upgrading to FF: ?'s about D600 and 5DIII

I am ready to upgrade to full frame from a 7D and could really use your insights to supplement the research I’ve already done. In short, I want a set-up that does many things really well. In general order of enthusiasm, I shoot my kids and family events, landscapes, high school and youth club sports, and portraits for family, friends, and others who ask. I’m interested in getting into college sports, doing more paid portrait sessions, and experimenting more with astrophotography.

I love the 7D’s fast FPS for sports/action but would really like to have more flexibility with low light/high ISO shooting (sports indoors and under the lights, night landscapes, indoor available light people-shooting). I’ve been printing landscapes as big as 20x30 and feel a newer full frame rig would give me better IQ and less noise, but don’t think I need the D800’s 36mp and feel the frame rate would be a little slow for sports. I’m unimpressed so far with what I’ve read about the 6D.

I’m really torn between the 5DIII and D600 – both would be great cameras and I’m sure I’d love either one,  but maybe I’m missing something that would/should sway me one way or the other. Here’s what’s been on my mind – your thoughts on any of these issues would be much appreciated:

  • My perception is that the 5DIII may be the better “all-around camera” but it’s more expensive. I don’t mind paying the extra $ if it gives me what I need. Cost of switching systems would almost equal any savings of going with the D600, so it’s more a question of which would be the better camera/system for me.  
  • Many reviews are giving the D600 the edge in terms of image quality and dynamic range. That’s a big deal to me if it translates into noticeably better images. At what print size would a D600 show a noticeable IQ improvement over the 5DIII? And in what % of images would the advantage in DR be noticeable? If the tests really translate into better images, I’m interested.
  • My main concern with the D600 is the AF speed and accuracy for sports, particularly in low light. Do you know how the D600 AF speed/accuracy would compare to my current 7D? Would I end up wishing I went with the 5DIII because of the AF for sports?
  • Handling/ergonomics: for my tastes the slight edge goes to the 5DIII. It just feels a little better in my hands, but maybe that’s just because I’m used to the 7D. Not a big factor, but my wife might prefer the slightly smaller and lighter D600 when she grabs it for family snapshots.  
  • Many say to focus more on the lens line-up. I think I’d really love the Nikon 14-24mm for landscapes (perhaps more so than the very nice Canon 24 TS-E II I’ve tried). I love my Canon 70-200 f/4L but rumors and MTF chart for the Nikon version of this lens are also very promising. The newer 70-200 2.8’s from both seem equally outstanding. I feel like I know the Canon lens lineup well but know less about the lenses I would target from Nikon. Given my stated interests, does either Canon or Nikon have a distinct advantage for lenses? My impression is that it’s probably a wash, but correct me if I’m wrong.    

Thanks if you’ve read this far. I know I can get great results from either camera system, but if there are additional reasons for me to go with one over the other given my situation I want to know. This has been bugging me so much and I keep leaning one way and then the other; it’s been hard to focus on other things so any insights or recommendations would be much appreciated so I can get on with my life and photography.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D Nikon D600 Nikon D800
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