Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
AppleTango New Member • Posts: 1
Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

Hi All,

I'm getting a bit of gear acquisition syndrome so could do with some input on whether it is worth it for me to jump to full frame. It's always been the eventual goal and with the lack of travel I'm doing this year I am wondering if spending some of that travel money on a new camera might be well timed. Alternatively I'm wondering whether to upgrade my cropped body.

I only shoot stills, video is nice but not really a priority and I mainly focus on landscapes and nature/wildlife and it is mostly something I do while travelling with some astrophotgraphy and architecture thrown in.

My current kit is:

Sony a6300

Samyang 12mm 1.2 - this is my wide angle astrophotography lens. I love this little thing. Works great for interiors also.

Soy 18-135mm - My general purpose/travel lens and the one I get the most use out of

Sony 70-350mm - my safari/wildlife lens. Obviously this doesn't come with me everywhere and doesn't get huge use.

The only thing I think I am missing is a decent fast prime for street/night photography but overall I am quite happy with this set up. Everything fits in a backpack easily enough and it covers pretty much everything I do.

With the a6600 dropping in price I am tempted to upgrade mainly for the auto-focus (for wildlife) and the increased battery life. But I am also conscious that upgrading to another cropped body effectively commits me to crop sensors for a few more years as I can't really justify the spend to upgrade only to sell it all in a year or so.

I'd be interested in how people would recreate my kit in Full Frame. I guess I would stick with Sony as I hear the a7iii is great and has been dropping in price. I've also seen the lens market start to open up with Sigma and Samyang providing some lower cost lenses as alternatives to sony (particularly super zooms that don't take up the whole backpack).

With regards to a safari/zoom lens. I don't think a massive 600mm lens would be worth it for me both for practicality and price reasons and I only really use my 350 when I'm specifically setting out to do that. So one option I was considering was using an a7R3in cropped mode only for the superzooms. I generally only print at like A3 size and just for myself so it does seem like the lower MP on those shots might not be such a big trade off.

I do like the look of the a7c for it's compact size and lock on AF  but not sure it's necessarily worth the money at the moment and would mean using my superzoom in copped mode would probably not be worth the trade off in IQ (I'm assuming?)

I'm not looking for G master lenses or the best of the best gear, I am purely a hobbyist. Having said that, I understand it would be costly to switch but in my view it could be worthwhile as as a long term investment.

or maybe it actually is worth getting the a6600 for now and upgrading in a few years when current full frames drop in price? Certainly the cheaper option in the short term.

Interested in any and all opinions. Thanks!

Sony a6300
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Peter Foiles
Peter Foiles Senior Member • Posts: 1,940
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame
2

AppleTango wrote:

Hi All,

I'm getting a bit of gear acquisition syndrome so could do with some input on whether it is worth it for me to jump to full frame. It's always been the eventual goal and with the lack of travel I'm doing this year I am wondering if spending some of that travel money on a new camera might be well timed. Alternatively I'm wondering whether to upgrade my cropped body.

I only shoot stills, video is nice but not really a priority and I mainly focus on landscapes and nature/wildlife and it is mostly something I do while travelling with some astrophotgraphy and architecture thrown in.

My current kit is:

Sony a6300

Samyang 12mm 1.2 - this is my wide angle astrophotography lens. I love this little thing. Works great for interiors also.

Lots of options available

Soy 18-135mm - My general purpose/travel lens and the one I get the most use out of

The Tamron 28-200 will do nicely for this.

Sony 70-350mm - my safari/wildlife lens. Obviously this doesn't come with me everywhere and doesn't get huge use

Sony FE 200-600

The only thing I think I am missing is a decent fast prime for street/night photography but overall I am quite happy with this set up. Everything fits in a backpack easily enough and it covers pretty much everything I do.

Your backpack is going to be fuller and heavier with FF so make sure you are OK with that.

With the a6600 dropping in price I am tempted to upgrade mainly for the auto-focus (for wildlife) and the increased battery life. But I am also conscious that upgrading to another cropped body effectively commits me to crop sensors for a few more years as I can't really justify the spend to upgrade only to sell it all in a year or so.

I'd be interested in how people would recreate my kit in Full Frame. I guess I would stick with Sony as I hear the a7iii is great and has been dropping in price. I've also seen the lens market start to open up with Sigma and Samyang providing some lower cost lenses as alternatives to sony (particularly super zooms that don't take up the whole backpack).

Don't forget Tamron. A core kit could be Tamron 17-28, 28-200 and Sony FE 200-600 with perhaps one or two primes all put on a A7iii. If video is not a priority then the A7c is probably not the best choice.

With regards to a safari/zoom lens. I don't think a massive 600mm lens would be worth it for me both for practicality and price reasons and I only really use my 350 when I'm specifically setting out to do that. So one option I was considering was using an a7R3in cropped mode only for the superzooms. I generally only print at like A3 size and just for myself so it does seem like the lower MP on those shots might not be such a big trade off.

I do like the look of the a7c for it's compact size and lock on AF but not sure it's necessarily worth the money at the moment and would mean using my superzoom in copped mode would probably not be worth the trade off in IQ (I'm assuming?)

I'm not looking for G master lenses or the best of the best gear, I am purely a hobbyist. Having said that, I understand it would be costly to switch but in my view it could be worthwhile as as a long term investment.

or maybe it actually is worth getting the a6600 for now and upgrading in a few years when current full frames drop in price? Certainly the cheaper option in the short term.

Interested in any and all opinions. Thanks!

Note that the A7iv will likely be out sometime in 2021.

 Peter Foiles's gear list:Peter Foiles's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Olympus E-M5 III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +13 more
ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 7,070
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

My sense is you should stick with the A6xxx system.

My personal pick would be Tamron 17-28/2.8 & 28-75/2.8 with Sigma 100-400 and whichever primes suit, probably 55/1.8.  I’d get an A7Riv so that you can shoot in APSC crop mode and extend the effective range with 27Mpix.

I may well end up with this, but I’ll also have some primes, like the 90 macro and the whale of a Samyang 135/2.

It all depends on your priorities.

Andrew

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Infinite are the arguments of mages. Truth is a jewel with many facets. Ursula K LeGuin
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 ahaslett's gear list:ahaslett's gear list
Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill Olympus E-M1 Sony a7R Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 +27 more
JamminHyaku
JamminHyaku Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

AppleTango wrote:

Hi All,

I'm getting a bit of gear acquisition syndrome so could do with some input on whether it is worth it for me to jump to full frame. It's always been the eventual goal and with the lack of travel I'm doing this year I am wondering if spending some of that travel money on a new camera might be well timed. Alternatively I'm wondering whether to upgrade my cropped body.

I only shoot stills, video is nice but not really a priority and I mainly focus on landscapes and nature/wildlife and it is mostly something I do while travelling with some astrophotgraphy and architecture thrown in.

My current kit is:

Sony a6300

Samyang 12mm 1.2 - this is my wide angle astrophotography lens. I love this little thing. Works great for interiors also.

Soy 18-135mm - My general purpose/travel lens and the one I get the most use out of

Sony 70-350mm - my safari/wildlife lens. Obviously this doesn't come with me everywhere and doesn't get huge use.

The only thing I think I am missing is a decent fast prime for street/night photography but overall I am quite happy with this set up. Everything fits in a backpack easily enough and it covers pretty much everything I do.

With the a6600 dropping in price I am tempted to upgrade mainly for the auto-focus (for wildlife) and the increased battery life. But I am also conscious that upgrading to another cropped body effectively commits me to crop sensors for a few more years as I can't really justify the spend to upgrade only to sell it all in a year or so.

I'd be interested in how people would recreate my kit in Full Frame. I guess I would stick with Sony as I hear the a7iii is great and has been dropping in price. I've also seen the lens market start to open up with Sigma and Samyang providing some lower cost lenses as alternatives to sony (particularly super zooms that don't take up the whole backpack).

With regards to a safari/zoom lens. I don't think a massive 600mm lens would be worth it for me both for practicality and price reasons and I only really use my 350 when I'm specifically setting out to do that. So one option I was considering was using an a7R3in cropped mode only for the superzooms. I generally only print at like A3 size and just for myself so it does seem like the lower MP on those shots might not be such a big trade off.

I do like the look of the a7c for it's compact size and lock on AF but not sure it's necessarily worth the money at the moment and would mean using my superzoom in copped mode would probably not be worth the trade off in IQ (I'm assuming?)

I'm not looking for G master lenses or the best of the best gear, I am purely a hobbyist. Having said that, I understand it would be costly to switch but in my view it could be worthwhile as as a long term investment.

or maybe it actually is worth getting the a6600 for now and upgrading in a few years when current full frames drop in price? Certainly the cheaper option in the short term.

Interested in any and all opinions. Thanks!

Waiting for current fullframes to drop in price seems odd. Just buy an old fullframe, I have the A7rii and it is still an amazing camera that produces excellent results with fast and accurate AF today.

The first thing to decide is that your gear will be heavier and cost more money in just about every case, if you are willing to be alright with that FF is a great upgrade.

Keep in my your crop sensor gear isnt quite labelled accurately, 12mm on crop sensor is more like 19mm on FF for example. F2 on APS-C is more like F1.4 on FF, etc.

 JamminHyaku's gear list:JamminHyaku's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 FE +7 more
BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

I consider the A6600 to be a consumer trap unless you really, really need IBIS and can't scrape the money together for a refurb A7III.  The A6400 offers most of its features at a much lower price point.

The 28-200mm is an 18-135mm on steroids in every way, and you could pick up the Samyang 18mm F2.8 as an upgrade for the Sammy 12mm.  Sigma also offers a 100-400mm lens that is very sharp for less than a huge price.

That said, you have to figure out what upgrades are worth the money. Battery life isn't a big deal for A6X00 cameras (batteries are tiny), though I feel that the new AF tracking would be worth an A6300 upgrade.  Still, it would be frustrating to buy into an old sensor and crippled/old card slot in 2020.

Personally I'm looking at the A7RIII / Sammy 18mm F2.8 / Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 / Sammy 45mm of 35mm F1.8. After renting the A7RIII and 28-200mm, the combo is a HUGE upgrade over the A6400 and 18-135mm for IQ, but at a high cost.  The A7RIII's tracking isn't as good as the A6400's, but overall it's a more versatile platform.

 BrentSchumer's gear list:BrentSchumer's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8
Tommy S
Tommy S Contributing Member • Posts: 563
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

I will give you my perspective, why I want to switch to FF. The only reason in wide shots  - the better separation the subject from the background. With Tokina F2.811-20 and A6600 it is just out of range.

I know that wide or ultra wide lenses have lousy AF, nonetheless  F2.8 on APS-C will never be as good as 1.8 on FF (Sigma FE 14F1.8) in this regard.

In any other aspect as far as my action photography I see no reason to go FF.

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Tom S (Poland)
http://justimpress.me

 Tommy S's gear list:Tommy S's gear list
Sony a6600 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
MFiftysomething Senior Member • Posts: 1,026
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

I sold my A6300 and A6500 about a year ago but kept my APSC lenses - it am on the fence with Sony APSC  - I am not sure about the A6600  or  A7c.  I think they are both a bit lame and poor value for money at moment - Sony planned it that way I am sure as they want to push FF and protect higher models.

I think the lenses is where you have to make the decision APSC is still cheaper and smaller like for like, but not always by much.

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Sony RX100 V Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Fujifilm X-E3 Sony a7R III +2 more
BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

MFiftysomething wrote:

I sold my A6300 and A6500 about a year ago but kept my APSC lenses - it am on the fence with Sony APSC - I am not sure about the A6600 or A7c. I think they are both a bit lame and poor value for money at moment - Sony planned it that way I am sure as they want to push FF and protect higher models.

I'm going for a refurbished A7RIII as the sweet spot.

The A7RIV, A7SIII, and A9/A9II are well outside of any sane budget.

The A7III is good, but older. Resale value will plummet when an A7IV is released, and it's getting long in the tooth.

The A7C is repackaging old parts into an annoying form factor that will be frustrating as hell with any larger lens.  And the controls are cut down.  And it's more expensive. (Though it has that sweet new tracking).

A refurb A7RIII is a cheaper version of an already discounted model that can be sold at a slight discount to upgrade if the A7IV is stellar.  It features better parts than the A7III (EVF, display, sensor, etc), for a bit more than a new A7C or A7III.

I think the lenses is where you have to make the decision APSC is still cheaper and smaller like for like, but not always by much.

If you look at third party offerings, APSC is generally pricier for equivalent lenses.  You can get decent F1.8-F2.8 primes for $300 or $400 on FF (e.g. the 35mm Sammy is weather sealed and really sharp for $400), whereas Sony's APSC offerings are crazy expensive and quite slow ($900 for a 15-27mm F6 equivalent?  Almost $500 for an optically compromised nifty fifty?).  There are a few bright spots, but APSC mostly seems to be cheap bodies and expensive lenses.

 BrentSchumer's gear list:BrentSchumer's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8
mcslsk Veteran Member • Posts: 5,767
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame
1

Didn't read a single argument in your long text that would support your move to FF. Not even a move to the a6600, to be honest. If you really need IBIS, then look for a good price on the a6500 (which at least has a built in flash).

 mcslsk's gear list:mcslsk's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6500 Sony a7R III Canon EF 135mm F2L USM +53 more
Based Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame
2

AppleTango wrote:

Hi All,

I'm getting a bit of gear acquisition syndrome so could do with some input on whether it is worth it for me to jump to full frame. It's always been the eventual goal and with the lack of travel I'm doing this year I am wondering if spending some of that travel money on a new camera might be well timed. Alternatively I'm wondering whether to upgrade my cropped body.

I only shoot stills, video is nice but not really a priority and I mainly focus on landscapes and nature/wildlife and it is mostly something I do while travelling with some astrophotgraphy and architecture thrown in.

My current kit is:

Sony a6300

Samyang 12mm 1.2 - this is my wide angle astrophotography lens. I love this little thing. Works great for interiors also.

Soy 18-135mm - My general purpose/travel lens and the one I get the most use out of

Sony 70-350mm - my safari/wildlife lens. Obviously this doesn't come with me everywhere and doesn't get huge use.

The only thing I think I am missing is a decent fast prime for street/night photography but overall I am quite happy with this set up. Everything fits in a backpack easily enough and it covers pretty much everything I do.

With the a6600 dropping in price I am tempted to upgrade mainly for the auto-focus (for wildlife) and the increased battery life. But I am also conscious that upgrading to another cropped body effectively commits me to crop sensors for a few more years as I can't really justify the spend to upgrade only to sell it all in a year or so.

I'd be interested in how people would recreate my kit in Full Frame. I guess I would stick with Sony as I hear the a7iii is great and has been dropping in price. I've also seen the lens market start to open up with Sigma and Samyang providing some lower cost lenses as alternatives to sony (particularly super zooms that don't take up the whole backpack).

With regards to a safari/zoom lens. I don't think a massive 600mm lens would be worth it for me both for practicality and price reasons and I only really use my 350 when I'm specifically setting out to do that. So one option I was considering was using an a7R3in cropped mode only for the superzooms. I generally only print at like A3 size and just for myself so it does seem like the lower MP on those shots might not be such a big trade off.

I do like the look of the a7c for it's compact size and lock on AF but not sure it's necessarily worth the money at the moment and would mean using my superzoom in copped mode would probably not be worth the trade off in IQ (I'm assuming?)

I'm not looking for G master lenses or the best of the best gear, I am purely a hobbyist. Having said that, I understand it would be costly to switch but in my view it could be worthwhile as as a long term investment.

or maybe it actually is worth getting the a6600 for now and upgrading in a few years when current full frames drop in price? Certainly the cheaper option in the short term.

Interested in any and all opinions. Thanks!

Sounds like you dont need to upgrade at all. You mentioned youre a hobbyist and you probably just have GAS. Just get the cheap Viltrox 23/1.4 to fill your fast prime gap and hold off switching to FF for another year or so.

We are only in the first gen of entry level FF bodies from the manufacturers. Next gen will see more fleshed out bodies with more features as the competition ramps up. Theres no need to commit to FF prematurely now IMO. And you can always get a 2nd hand a7rIV cheap later down the track.

Despiser Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

I would wait for a7iv. I just picked up an A7iii on sale and tamron 28-200 for an all-rounder. It’s a good route if budget is a factor and you still want a recent system that doesn’t sacrifice much in capabilities. If you’re content with your current gear then wait for a7iv. Cost will likely be around $300 more than A7iii when it was released.

 Despiser's gear list:Despiser's gear list
Sony a7 III Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6
Stan in NH
Stan in NH Senior Member • Posts: 1,695
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

BrentSchumer wrote:

I consider the A6600 to be a consumer trap unless you really, really need IBIS and can't scrape the money together for a refurb A7III. The A6400 offers most of its features at a much lower price point.

The 28-200mm is an 18-135mm on steroids in every way, and you could pick up the Samyang 18mm F2.8 as an upgrade for the Sammy 12mm. Sigma also offers a 100-400mm lens that is very sharp for less than a huge price.

That said, you have to figure out what upgrades are worth the money. Battery life isn't a big deal for A6X00 cameras (batteries are tiny), though I feel that the new AF tracking would be worth an A6300 upgrade. Still, it would be frustrating to buy into an old sensor and crippled/old card slot in 2020.

Personally I'm looking at the A7RIII / Sammy 18mm F2.8 / Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 / Sammy 45mm of 35mm F1.8. After renting the A7RIII and 28-200mm, the combo is a HUGE upgrade over the A6400 and 18-135mm for IQ, but at a high cost. The A7RIII's tracking isn't as good as the A6400's, but overall it's a more versatile platform.

I have the A6400 and the A7RIII.  Ergonomics are much better on the FF, and the 42mp sensor allows for some very generous cropping.  Still, the little A6400 is a great camera and has real time AF tracking, which is more effective than the lock on AF used in the A7RIII.

I use both the Sony 18-135 and the 70-350mm on my FF, and they work very well in crop mode ... with really good IQ.  The 18-135 does vignette at 18mm, but that's easily taken care of in post.  The Sony 24-105 and 200-600 are the lenses most frequently used though, and both are tack sharp with very fast focus.

My ideal body would be the A7RIII with the same real time AF used by the A6400.  Lock on works well, but is not as consistent as the newer systems.  When I want to pack light though, the A6400 is tough to beat ... and an absolute bargain at its current price.

 Stan in NH's gear list:Stan in NH's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony a6400
BrentSchumer
BrentSchumer Senior Member • Posts: 2,892
Re: Need a sense check on upgrading to full frame

Stan in NH wrote:

BrentSchumer wrote:

I consider the A6600 to be a consumer trap unless you really, really need IBIS and can't scrape the money together for a refurb A7III. The A6400 offers most of its features at a much lower price point.

The 28-200mm is an 18-135mm on steroids in every way, and you could pick up the Samyang 18mm F2.8 as an upgrade for the Sammy 12mm. Sigma also offers a 100-400mm lens that is very sharp for less than a huge price.

That said, you have to figure out what upgrades are worth the money. Battery life isn't a big deal for A6X00 cameras (batteries are tiny), though I feel that the new AF tracking would be worth an A6300 upgrade. Still, it would be frustrating to buy into an old sensor and crippled/old card slot in 2020.

Personally I'm looking at the A7RIII / Sammy 18mm F2.8 / Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 / Sammy 45mm of 35mm F1.8. After renting the A7RIII and 28-200mm, the combo is a HUGE upgrade over the A6400 and 18-135mm for IQ, but at a high cost. The A7RIII's tracking isn't as good as the A6400's, but overall it's a more versatile platform.

I have the A6400 and the A7RIII. Ergonomics are much better on the FF, and the 42mp sensor allows for some very generous cropping. Still, the little A6400 is a great camera and has real time AF tracking, which is more effective than the lock on AF used in the A7RIII.

I use both the Sony 18-135 and the 70-350mm on my FF, and they work very well in crop mode ... with really good IQ. The 18-135 does vignette at 18mm, but that's easily taken care of in post. The Sony 24-105 and 200-600 are the lenses most frequently used though, and both are tack sharp with very fast focus.

My ideal body would be the A7RIII with the same real time AF used by the A6400. Lock on works well, but is not as consistent as the newer systems. When I want to pack light though, the A6400 is tough to beat ... and an absolute bargain at its current price.

Yeah, I really hope Sony releases a 42MP camera with the new tracking.  Or a 32MP camera.  There's a sweet spot between "yet another 24MP body" and "oh lord, can my hard drive take 60MP files?"

I'm going to miss the A6400's tracking, but it's overall handling was sort of a chore when you want to shoot full manual.

 BrentSchumer's gear list:BrentSchumer's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8
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