Investing in a 6D or 5D Mark III

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
Keith Z Leonard Veteran Member • Posts: 6,105
Re: Investing in a 6D or 5D Mark III

Jovits wrote:


For the past 2 years I've used different DSLR's but none of them were professional. Lately , my passion for photography got stronger and started reading books, taking classes etc. I felt like it is the time for me to get an upgrade to a full frame sensor and invest a little bit more in lenses as well.. But I have some trouble deciding wether I should get a Canon 5D Mark III or 6D. Tough question right? I'm more interested in portraits, glamour/fashion photography (since I travel a lot I might use it for some street photos as well) . I'm most likely not going to take nature/sport/landscape photos.

From your uses the 6D should be a great choice, the 5D3 is excellent but it really shows the differences in AF performance and video use.  If you are not so into that stuff the 6D should suffice.

I have around $4000 dollar to spend ( I could go a little over that) . At this moment on I could get the :

Canon 6D (Body only) for about $1700 US
Canon 5D Mark III (Body only) for about $3250 US

After reading a lot of different reviews and forums I'm aware of the differences between these two fine cameras. However , I still have trouble choosing.

If I get the 5D Mark III , I won't have so much money to spend on lenses. The most I could get is the kit lens which is a 24-105mm f/4.0 IS and maybe go a little over my budget and get a 85mm f/1.8 as well.

The 24-105 f4 is a very good lens for general purpose use.  I like it a lot for travel.  For portraits though I like primes and my 70-200 f4.  Primes are a lot of fun, so consider if you want to spend your money on a great zoom or a higher end prime lens.

If I get the 6D, I would be able to get a 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (around $2000) and also I could get the 85. f/1.8 as well.
My question is , should I get the 5D Mark III with that kit lens and wait until I have some extra money to get other lenses or get the cheaper 6D and get my first professional lens right away?

To be honest, I'm not very familiar with other brands lenses (such as Tamron or Sigma) and not sure if I should consider these, but the price looks really good on them. (for example the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 is only around a $1000)

The Tamron f2.8 VC 24-70 is a good lens, falls shy of the image quality of the Canon 24-70 f2.8 II, but it has VC, so that's more of a trade off to me, and it's certainly cheaper.  The Sigma is an older lens design from them and isn't very good at f2.8.  I anxiously anticipate a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 OS Art lens.

Keep in mind that a "professional lens" is a lens used to make money and can be any lens.  I know of quite a few pro's that use the 85 f1.8.  The 85 f1.2L and Sigma 85 f1.4 are "better" but bang for your buck it's tough to beat the f1.8.

The reason I keep talking about the 24-70 because I would use it as my main lens . I now there are other lenses for portraits and I will get them in time, but I need a start now.

It's a tough choice to make, aperture+expensive vs larger range+cheaper.  I went with the 24-105 mainly because it's a little bit wider and longer than the 17-50 f2.8 OS I used (happily) on crop.  I found the range to be a bit too limiting on the tele end on crop, but like the constant aperture.  With the thinner DOF and better noise performance of 35mm format 5D3 I get quite similar images from the 24-105.

If you feel like your approach is to get specialty lenses for specific purposes as time goes on the 24-105 might be a good choice.  The 24-70 is excellent and expensive, you should buy it to use it a lot of the time.  There are quite a few happy folks who use the 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 lenses for just about everything.  The counter argument is if you plan to buy primes that cover the same range it might be a bit redundant...then the cheaper 24-105 f4 with the greater zoom range might be more useful as the goto 1 lens only solution for trips.

If Canon follows the pattern they should come out with Mark IV around the end of next year. I was thinking maybe I could get the 6D now with the pro lens and by the time Mark IV comes out I'll have more lenses and money already, so I can sell the 6D and get the Mark IV ( which I assume would be a no doubt better camera then these two I'm talking about right now)

Maybe, I don't usually plan my current purchases around their impending "obsolescence".  The 5D3 is better than the 5D2, but the 5D2 is still a very respectable camera for many uses.  The mk 4 will likely have more pixels and better DR, not sure by how much.  The AF of the mk 3 is fantastic, the image quality is impressive, there will be improvements but it's most likely not going to be night and day unless you are an obsessive personality.

The only thing I personally miss from 6D is the advanced AF system, which I think would come really handy in portraits.

Maybe, portraits don't typically demand a super advanced AF system unless you are taking portraits of active kids, which I call sports.  Focus and recompose usually works well in a portrait situation unless you are shooting super fast primes wide open like a f1.2 or f1.4 lens.  The center AF point of the 6D is actually slightly better than that of the 5D3, it's just that the 5D3 has 40 other AF points that are better than the other 10 from the 6D.  The 5D3 is a more well rounded camera, the dual card slots is handy, top notch AF, faster bursts, better video, etc....but the price tag can be heavy for a lot of people.  A better lens or some lighting gear would likely improve your portraits more than the differences between the 6D and the 5D3.  Now for sports, for-gettabout-it.

I hope you guys could follow my thoughts and I really appreciate any advice/help you can give!

 Keith Z Leonard's gear list:Keith Z Leonard's gear list
Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EOS 400D +16 more
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