Camera to satisfy "action" needs: 6D or 70D?

Started Feb 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Jonathan Brady
Jonathan Brady Veteran Member • Posts: 6,720
Camera to satisfy "action" needs: 6D or 70D?

First off let me say that I know that the 5D3 is the better choice all around but it's simply NOT in the budget. Additionally, if I'm going to stick with crop, I want the articulating screen and autofocusing for video so the 7D is off the table too. Finally, I have a 430 EXII but I prefer NOT using bounce flash for indoor pics as I like the look of the ambient light much better. So, hopefully that info saves you some time

Next, some background:

I currently have a 60D and as my 18 month old daughter grows, I've found that my focus has shifted (no pun intended) to capturing images of her - often at play. Prior to her being mobile and even as she was crawling and just learning to walk my 15-85, 60mm macro, and 40mm STM did the job well. However, once she picked up speed I found that I often needed something just a touch faster to focus - so I bought the 85 f/1.8. That seemed to do the trick and the focal length works REALLY well as it puts enough space between her and I that her unpredictability isn't much of an issue.

At the time her activities became more erratic and less predicatable, I converted (at the recommendation of forum goers) to shooting via back-button-focusing, in Al Servo mode, and high-speed continuous shooting. This has resulted in numerically more keepers but also numerically more trash-canners as many of the images are duplicitous or not the best "moment" of the burst. All of which is fine with me - it's digital after all!

Onto my quandary:

I've found that the little bit of focusing speed improvement of the 85 f/1.8 has allowed me to capture a few moments that my other lenses might have been just a very small fraction of a second to slow to grab - I'm wondering if upgrading to either a 70D or 6D would provide further improvements.

I'd like to go full frame as I do a fair amount of "in the house" photography and we don't have many well-lit windows - ok... we have NO well-lit windows - and at night with just the lights on, I'm often shooting wide open at the maximum ISO I'm comfortable with just to get 1/125 with the 85 f/1.8. I realize the 6D will gain me several stops in usable ISO indoors which is a huge benefit. The two downsides are that I'm now looking at 3 additional lenses (macro, standard zoom, and 135L) to replace/add to what I already have and I'm not sure the spread of the AF points is large enough to satisfy what I want to shoot (focus and recompose is impossible with a moving subject so I'm limited to those 11 AF points quite often). My question is - is the AF speed of the 6D fast enough - especially the outer points - to keep up with a toddler?

Also, the 70D has me highly intrigued. The improvements in both the OVF AF and DPAF make it seem like an ideal camera for me. Additionally, the improvement in noise characteristic mean I may be able to gain an additional stop of usable ISO indoors. My question here is - is the speed in acquiring focus improved with the 70D over the 7D? Also, are the outer AF points at least as good (or better) than the outer points of the 60D (I assume they're better but want to make sure)? Does Al Servo work any better with the 70D?

Obviously, the 70D is a MUCH less expensive upgrade as my current lens stable all works just fine so I'm leaning towards it being the better option. But I'm really curious about the ability of the 6D to keep up with my daughter as the IQ improvements are also important.

Thanks for any insight you're able to offer! Also, I tried to provide as much insight as possible but if there are questions I can answer to help you provide a better suggestion, ask away! Finally, I'll post this in the XD forum as well

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 7D
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