Which FF camera for night photography on a budget?

Started Aug 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
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BirdShooter7 Senior Member • Posts: 2,131
Which FF camera for night photography on a budget?

Lately I have become interested in night photography and it has quickly become apparent (I think) that APS-c isn’t really the best way to get the results that I am after. For this reason I am in the process of looking into a full frame camera. Since I am already invested in Canon lenses I would probably want to stick with a Canon camera.

Here is an example of the type of photo I am interested in taking:


In this example I used an ISO of 1600 and a shutter speed of about 1 minute. The lens was the EF-s 10-22mm at 10mm and wide open at f/3.5. I played around with a lot of different exposures when taking this photo and found that if I used lower ISO or shorter exposure times the stars just really didn’t show up like I wanted. The problem with the 60 second exposure time is that the stars and Milky Way start to smear. The other problem is that I like to have a little color in the rocks in the foreground. Unfortunately, the high ISO performance on the 7D isn’t the greatest and at ISO 1600 I am getting a lot of noise in the rocks.

In addition I find that I need a really wide lens to capture as much of the Milky Way as I want. I had a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens with me for this photo but on the 7D the field of view is just way too narrow to get the sort of shot I am after.

What I think I need is a camera that does better at ISO 1600 or even 3200 so I can reduce exposure times. The FF body also would allow me to use a 14mm f/2.8L and 24mm f/1.4L that I have access to and give me the full field of view. Both of those lenses are MK1’s but I think they should give me an advantage over the EF-s 10-22.

So now with all that said, I will get to my question. My budget is pretty limited, especially considering that this is not a type of photography that I expect to make any money from. So while it would be great to run out and get a 5d3, the cost is just too high. The next obvious choice is the 6D but again a new one is just out of my budget unless there is some substantial advantage to it over a used 5D2 or a 5D. It looks like a 5D2 could be had for $1000 - $1200 on the used market for one in reasonable condition. It would be a stretch but I could swing the expense if there was a decent advantage to it over a used 5D, which looks like it is selling for $500 - $600. So is a 5D worth really looking at or would it just be throwing $500 away considering the type of photography I hope to do with it.

I am open to other options and appreciate any insights into gear for this type of photography.



Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D
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