New camera. Go full frame?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
AstroVagabond
AstroVagabond Senior Member • Posts: 1,100
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
2

Right you are. I was a Canon full frame shooter but when COVID hit and I could no longer bring people into my studio I became a YouTube creator.

I sold my Canon FF and L lenses to fund the X-T4 to produce 4K video for our three channels.

Survival is about being willing to change.

When I see someone entertain the FF question my response will always be go FF and answer your own questions through first hand, hands on experience.

I had my FF experiences and glad I made the decision to answer my own questions about the value of FF for my photography missions.

 AstroVagabond's gear list:AstroVagabond's gear list
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OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

Martin_99 wrote:

bluekat wrote:

lokatz wrote:

bluekat wrote:

lokatz wrote:

bluekat wrote:

My question is will ff give me more versatility in post processing? I shoot raw and love to push things in editing. I’m not sure how much difference the jump to ff would make if any.

Quite honestly, any current model will give you more processing room than what you currently shoot with, as sensors saw a lot of development progress in recent years. The Z5/6, with one of the best sensors in the market when it comes to dynamic range, will give you A LOT more wiggling room there.

The question is what you shoot and what kind of ISOs you need? The Z bodies are very good for landscape shooting where you usually use base ISO, but so are many other models that do not necessarily have to be full frame. Where the qualities of a good FF sensor really come to shine IMO is when higher ISOs are needed, say when street shooting in dim light, taking pics during the blue hour, or doing some astro shooting.

I've always been reluctant to use higher iso. Showing my age, I think this comes from my old film days. I've been experimenting a bit more with this. My hikes are often in forest settings in the cloudy Pacific Northwest. I struggle to get sufficient shutter speeds often. (At least I think this is the reason for some of my blurry images.) I do a lot of sunset pics and if I'm not to lazy to get up in the morning, sunrises too. I've dabbled with astrophotography. I now live in a low-light rural setting and have done one attempt at shooting the Milky Way. This is something I hope to do more of.

Right now I just dabble in a bit of everything. But I think my love is nature/landscapes and architecture.

Well, in that case, I encourage you to think beyond the body itself: your AF-P 70-300 is an ok lens, at least with shorter FLs, but no more than that.

What really sets the Z series apart, in spite of the sensors' low-light performance, is the extraordinary quality of the lenses, which even includes the "kit lenses". If you expect to upgrade lenses, you're going to love taking the Z route. If you plan on hanging on to your old lens(es), you'll still have the extra post processing wiggling room, but sharpness and overall IQ still won't be what you may be aspiring to.

Long story short: I would go with a Z50, maybe even a decent Nikon DSLR (the D750 is a strong low-light performer that won't break the bank) if you don't plan to add newer lenses. Otherwise, Z6 is the best answer you'll get.

(I own Nikon, Canon and Sony cameras and am waiting for an Olympus/OMDS one to arrive, so not much of a brand bias here...)

My thoughts with the 70-300 was I could use it for now, but replace it later, perhaps something with a little more reach. That was the main advantage I see. I am fond of Nikon, but I am open to other systems as well. DLSR is an option too, but I lean towards mirrorless. A little less weight, and the EVF is a little better for my old eyes.

My opinion to sell also 70-300 was based on necessity to buy adapter for it. If you would decide to buy a combo Z5/Z6 with 24-200, with 24Mpx sensor, you can crop to 300mm without issue anyway. Maybe better to buy 100-400mm in the future instead.

I don’t mind getting the adapter to use with the 70-300 if it gives me a telephoto to use while saving up for a longer lens. I only use this lens when I go out for birds at the local refuge, otherwise a 24-200mm would be fine for most other uses.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 3,871
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
1

bluekat wrote:

Martin_99 wrote:

bluekat wrote:

lokatz wrote:

bluekat wrote:

lokatz wrote:

bluekat wrote:

My question is will ff give me more versatility in post processing? I shoot raw and love to push things in editing. I’m not sure how much difference the jump to ff would make if any.

Quite honestly, any current model will give you more processing room than what you currently shoot with, as sensors saw a lot of development progress in recent years. The Z5/6, with one of the best sensors in the market when it comes to dynamic range, will give you A LOT more wiggling room there.

The question is what you shoot and what kind of ISOs you need? The Z bodies are very good for landscape shooting where you usually use base ISO, but so are many other models that do not necessarily have to be full frame. Where the qualities of a good FF sensor really come to shine IMO is when higher ISOs are needed, say when street shooting in dim light, taking pics during the blue hour, or doing some astro shooting.

I've always been reluctant to use higher iso. Showing my age, I think this comes from my old film days. I've been experimenting a bit more with this. My hikes are often in forest settings in the cloudy Pacific Northwest. I struggle to get sufficient shutter speeds often. (At least I think this is the reason for some of my blurry images.) I do a lot of sunset pics and if I'm not to lazy to get up in the morning, sunrises too. I've dabbled with astrophotography. I now live in a low-light rural setting and have done one attempt at shooting the Milky Way. This is something I hope to do more of.

Right now I just dabble in a bit of everything. But I think my love is nature/landscapes and architecture.

Well, in that case, I encourage you to think beyond the body itself: your AF-P 70-300 is an ok lens, at least with shorter FLs, but no more than that.

What really sets the Z series apart, in spite of the sensors' low-light performance, is the extraordinary quality of the lenses, which even includes the "kit lenses". If you expect to upgrade lenses, you're going to love taking the Z route. If you plan on hanging on to your old lens(es), you'll still have the extra post processing wiggling room, but sharpness and overall IQ still won't be what you may be aspiring to.

Long story short: I would go with a Z50, maybe even a decent Nikon DSLR (the D750 is a strong low-light performer that won't break the bank) if you don't plan to add newer lenses. Otherwise, Z6 is the best answer you'll get.

(I own Nikon, Canon and Sony cameras and am waiting for an Olympus/OMDS one to arrive, so not much of a brand bias here...)

My thoughts with the 70-300 was I could use it for now, but replace it later, perhaps something with a little more reach. That was the main advantage I see. I am fond of Nikon, but I am open to other systems as well. DLSR is an option too, but I lean towards mirrorless. A little less weight, and the EVF is a little better for my old eyes.

My opinion to sell also 70-300 was based on necessity to buy adapter for it. If you would decide to buy a combo Z5/Z6 with 24-200, with 24Mpx sensor, you can crop to 300mm without issue anyway. Maybe better to buy 100-400mm in the future instead.

I don’t mind getting the adapter to use with the 70-300 if it gives me a telephoto to use while saving up for a longer lens. I only use this lens when I go out for birds at the local refuge, otherwise a 24-200mm would be fine for most other uses.

Just be aware, that if you go fullframe route, you will loose reach, as your 70-300 work as 105-450 FF equivalent on your crop sensor camera. But you probably already know it.

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | C (X-mount) Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS +2 more
Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 5,084
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

bluekat wrote:

I’m looking to update my camera/gear. I have a d80 with a 18-135 and a 70-300 lens, and a Sony a5000.

I’m looking at the z50, z5, or a used z6. Other brands are a possibility, but I already have some Nikon gear. I’m leaning on going full frame for low light performance, better dynamic range, etc.

My question is will ff give me more versatility in post processing? I shoot raw and love to push things in editing. I’m not sure how much difference the jump to ff would make if any.

Any thoughts on this or camera suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

To get the same sort of reach with full frame as you have with APS-C is going to require some big and expensive glass.

For myself, I shoot full frame, but mainly because I like to use legacy wide-ish primes that are only properly wide with full frame. I don't think there is anything intrinsicly 'better' about full frame over APS-C - I think a newer sensor and some wizzy RAW conversion software could get you what you are looking for in editing.

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Forum Pro • Posts: 15,128
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

AstroVagabond wrote:

Full frame will give you hands on experiences you have not had yet as a photographer.

Full frame will let you push to the side all the "why you need it, why you don't need it" opinions and conversations.

Full frame will let you answer the questions you have from the perspective on how you use your cameras, not how others use their cameras.

Full frame will put you on a journey on how to leverage the benefit of full frame and see first hand if those benefits are ultimately of value to you the photographer.

Full frame will let you cross over the line from being led by the opinions of others about the value of full frame to the side where you become authoritative about the impact of full frame on your photography mission.

Substitute "medium format" for "full frame" in all instances.

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OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
1

In his case the dynamic range improvement will bedramatic, mainly because he have old sensor, see below. More than 3 stops is significant. Noise reduction is similar story. Nothing against bright lenses though

Wow, I didn't realize the D80 was that far behind on DR.

This. I think even the lowliest of modern camera will outperform my poor D80. It is a bit "long in the tooth".

btw, "he's a she. 

OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
1

AstroVagabond wrote:

Full frame will give you hands on experiences you have not had yet as a photographer.

Full frame will let you push to the side all the "why you need it, why you don't need it" opinions and conversations.

Full frame will let you answer the questions you have from the perspective on how you use your cameras, not how others use their cameras.

Full frame will put you on a journey on how to leverage the benefit of full frame and see first hand if those benefits are ultimately of value to you the photographer.

Full frame will let you cross over the line from being led by the opinions of others about the value of full frame to the side where you become authoritative about the impact of full frame on your photography mission.

Good food for thought.

AstroVagabond
AstroVagabond Senior Member • Posts: 1,100
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

Jacques Cornell wrote:

AstroVagabond wrote:

Full frame will give you hands on experiences you have not had yet as a photographer.

Full frame will let you push to the side all the "why you need it, why you don't need it" opinions and conversations.

Full frame will let you answer the questions you have from the perspective on how you use your cameras, not how others use their cameras.

Full frame will put you on a journey on how to leverage the benefit of full frame and see first hand if those benefits are ultimately of value to you the photographer.

Full frame will let you cross over the line from being led by the opinions of others about the value of full frame to the side where you become authoritative about the impact of full frame on your photography mission.

Substitute "medium format" for "full frame" in all instances.

Works for me although I've never had the thought of medium format enter my head.

But if someone has where they question its value on their photography mission they should grab the bull by the horns and dive in so they can resolve the question through first hand, hands on experience, become authoritative and lead instead of being led by the opinions of others.

No argument from me.

 AstroVagabond's gear list:AstroVagabond's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T4 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +3 more
OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
1

I don’t mind getting the adapter to use with the 70-300 if it gives me a telephoto to use while saving up for a longer lens. I only use this lens when I go out for birds at the local refuge, otherwise a 24-200mm would be fine for most other uses.

Just be aware, that if you go fullframe route, you will loose reach, as your 70-300 work as 105-450 FF equivalent on your crop sensor camera. But you probably already know it.

Yeah. This is one of my main reasons for thinking of staying with a crop sensor. That little extra bit is nice. I enjoy going out to shoot birds/wildlife, but that's the only time I need that much reach. It's hard to decide which is most important.

Don Karner Senior Member • Posts: 1,781
Re: It is long in the tooth, but.....
1

I took some of my highest selling images with the lowly D80.  Although I've moved on to newer cameras, I'm still making prints of my D80 images from days gone by.  With careful processing the images from the D80 are quite usable.

But I predict you will really like newer equipment.

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OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

Bob Janes wrote:

bluekat wrote:

I’m looking to update my camera/gear. I have a d80 with a 18-135 and a 70-300 lens, and a Sony a5000.

I’m looking at the z50, z5, or a used z6. Other brands are a possibility, but I already have some Nikon gear. I’m leaning on going full frame for low light performance, better dynamic range, etc.

My question is will ff give me more versatility in post processing? I shoot raw and love to push things in editing. I’m not sure how much difference the jump to ff would make if any.

Any thoughts on this or camera suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

To get the same sort of reach with full frame as you have with APS-C is going to require some big and expensive glass.

Unfortunately, I don't think big - expensive glass is in my future. I enjoy my long lens, but much of my photography doesn't need that much reach. For my purposes a slow/average telephoto will have to do. The smaller aps-c cameras would be useful when I'm cycling/hiking as well--a consideration, but not a necessity  to stay small.

For myself, I shoot full frame, but mainly because I like to use legacy wide-ish primes that are only properly wide with full frame. I don't think there is anything intrinsicly 'better' about full frame over APS-C - I think a newer sensor and some wizzy RAW conversion software could get you what you are looking for in editing.

I borrowed my brother-in-laws 8-10mm ( I think that was the size). That's my only experience with a wider lens. It was fun shooting with it and I'd like to get something like that in the future.  I use Lightroom and photoshop. I haven't tried much else.

OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: It is long in the tooth, but.....
2

Don Karner wrote:

I took some of my highest selling images with the lowly D80. Although I've moved on to newer cameras, I'm still making prints of my D80 images from days gone by. With careful processing the images from the D80 are quite usable.

But I predict you will really like newer equipment.

Thank you. I hope so. I have spent the past few years mostly taking phone photos and want to get back to being more purposeful in my photography. I needed the break, but I’m ready to be back. 🙂

Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 5,084
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

bluekat wrote:

Bob Janes wrote:

bluekat wrote:

I’m looking to update my camera/gear. I have a d80 with a 18-135 and a 70-300 lens, and a Sony a5000.

I’m looking at the z50, z5, or a used z6. Other brands are a possibility, but I already have some Nikon gear. I’m leaning on going full frame for low light performance, better dynamic range, etc.

My question is will ff give me more versatility in post processing? I shoot raw and love to push things in editing. I’m not sure how much difference the jump to ff would make if any.

Any thoughts on this or camera suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

To get the same sort of reach with full frame as you have with APS-C is going to require some big and expensive glass.

Unfortunately, I don't think big - expensive glass is in my future. I enjoy my long lens, but much of my photography doesn't need that much reach. For my purposes a slow/average telephoto will have to do. The smaller aps-c cameras would be useful when I'm cycling/hiking as well--a consideration, but not a necessity to stay small.

For myself, I shoot full frame, but mainly because I like to use legacy wide-ish primes that are only properly wide with full frame. I don't think there is anything intrinsicly 'better' about full frame over APS-C - I think a newer sensor and some wizzy RAW conversion software could get you what you are looking for in editing.

I borrowed my brother-in-laws 8-10mm ( I think that was the size). That's my only experience with a wider lens. It was fun shooting with it and I'd like to get something like that in the future. I use Lightroom and photoshop. I haven't tried much else.

Maybe try some of the month-long free trials for DXO-PL or Capture 1 - At the very least it may leave you appreciating your current software and just might give your older kit a new life for minimal cost.

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Forum Pro • Posts: 15,128
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

bluekat wrote:

AstroVagabond wrote:

Full frame will give you hands on experiences you have not had yet as a photographer.

Full frame will let you push to the side all the "why you need it, why you don't need it" opinions and conversations.

Full frame will let you answer the questions you have from the perspective on how you use your cameras, not how others use their cameras.

Full frame will put you on a journey on how to leverage the benefit of full frame and see first hand if those benefits are ultimately of value to you the photographer.

Full frame will let you cross over the line from being led by the opinions of others about the value of full frame to the side where you become authoritative about the impact of full frame on your photography mission.

Good food for thought.

Here's some more.

Look at my gear list. I've been an event pro and a travel/landscape semi-pro for 20+ years. In all that time, I've never thought, "Gee, I really need a camera with more dynamic range." I shot Micro Four Thirds exclusively for seven years until two years ago, when I added a 35mm-format Sony kit alongside my MFT kit for one specific reason: I occasionally needed to shoot moving subjects at events in very dim light, without flash, requiring ISO up to 25,600 with f1.4 primes.

Had I not faced those rather extreme available-darkness requirements, I'd still be shooting MFT exclusively today. And, in fact, I keep my MFT kit for travel and walkabout use in good light.

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OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

Jacques Cornell wrote:

bluekat wrote:

AstroVagabond wrote:

Full frame will give you hands on experiences you have not had yet as a photographer.

Full frame will let you push to the side all the "why you need it, why you don't need it" opinions and conversations.

Full frame will let you answer the questions you have from the perspective on how you use your cameras, not how others use their cameras.

Full frame will put you on a journey on how to leverage the benefit of full frame and see first hand if those benefits are ultimately of value to you the photographer.

Full frame will let you cross over the line from being led by the opinions of others about the value of full frame to the side where you become authoritative about the impact of full frame on your photography mission.

Good food for thought.

Here's some more.

Look at my gear list. I've been an event pro and a travel/landscape semi-pro for 20+ years. In all that time, I've never thought, "Gee, I really need a camera with more dynamic range." I shot Micro Four Thirds exclusively for seven years until two years ago, when I added a 35mm-format Sony kit alongside my MFT kit for one specific reason: I occasionally needed to shoot moving subjects at events in very dim light, without flash, requiring ISO up to 25,600 with f1.4 primes.

Had I not faced those rather extreme available-darkness requirements, I'd still be shooting MFT exclusively today. And, in fact, I keep my MFT kit for travel and walkabout use in good light.

That's good to hear this about Micro Four Thirds. I'll give them a look as well. I actually use a smaller set up most of the time. My A5000 is my go to camera for biking, and had considered just adding some lenses for it, but I miss having an EVF and don't like the menu system all that much. Mostly I'm wondering how much I would gain going FF, but I'm thinking that just a little newer technology would make a big difference regardless of sensor size. Thanks

OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?

Maybe try some of the month-long free trials for DXO-PL or Capture 1 - At the very least it may leave you appreciating your current software and just might give your older kit a new life for minimal cost.

I'll have to do that. I have played around with stuff in the past - couldn't tell you which programs now, but I know some were fun, and gave interesting results.

rsn Contributing Member • Posts: 785
Where is your starting point

Pick two of your wish list goals, sunsets, sunrises, astrophotography, nature, landscape and architecture. Then figure out what lenses you will want/need for these two goals, include filters (landscape) and what have you.

Then ask yourself - realistically - how large is going to be your largest image on the screen or printed. If the answer isn't very large, then APS-C will fit the bill nicely.

Then consider the camera, and for bigger bang for your buck consider used, either KEH, mpb, Facebook market place (this in my semi-rural location is better than I thought it would be), or Kijiji or the like. When I purchase locally used, I meet up at McDonalds during a busy hour since you are expected to show up with cash.

I have both full frame and cropped sensor cameras and gear. The more I use my Fuji gear the less I feel I need my full frame camera gear.

If you are older, you will over time be happy you chose lighter gear.

If you are interested, seriously, in landscape photography - learn to like your tripod.

 rsn's gear list:rsn's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-T1 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 35mm F2.0 Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM +11 more
OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Where is your starting point

rsn wrote:

Pick two of your wish list goals, sunsets, sunrises, astrophotography, nature, landscape and architecture. Then figure out what lenses you will want/need for these two goals, include filters (landscape) and what have you.

Good idea. I have been narrowing things down a bit, but a more targeted approach would be good.

Then ask yourself - realistically - how large is going to be your largest image on the screen or printed. If the answer isn't very large, then APS-C will fit the bill nicely.

I want to do some printing. I started down that road years ago, but life got in the way and haven’t done anything since then. My biggest print was a 16x20, and would maybe go a tad bigger, but that would probably be as far as I would go. Most prints would be smaller.

Then consider the camera, and for bigger bang for your buck consider used, either KEH, mpb, Facebook market place (this in my semi-rural location is better than I thought it would be), or Kijiji or the like. When I purchase locally used, I meet up at McDonalds during a busy hour since you are expected to show up with cash.

I’m ok with buying used. The z6 I was looking at is used. 🙂

I have both full frame and cropped sensor cameras and gear. The more I use my Fuji gear the less I feel I need my full frame camera gear.

I like Fuji. My first digital camera was a bridge camera from Fuji. I’ve been looking at the x-s10, and xt-30(?). One of these would probably be my first choice if I ditch all my Nikon gear and stick with aps-c. I’ve heard they produce some nice color. Definitely on my list. I haven't looked at lens options for them though.

If you are older, you will over time be happy you chose lighter gear.

If you are interested, seriously, in landscape photography - learn to like your tripod.

Lol. I’m 62, so yep old. I have a nice tripod, but it is pretty dusty. My real reason for not using it like I should is I feel conspicuous carrying it around. I know that's a terrible reason.

rsn Contributing Member • Posts: 785
Re: Where is your starting point

bluekat wrote:

Lol. I’m 62, so yep old. I have a nice tripod, but it is pretty dusty. My real reason for not using it like I should is I feel conspicuous carrying it around. I know that's a terrible reason.

I'm 74 and lug around a tripod, don't get beat out by a 74 year old.

 rsn's gear list:rsn's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-T1 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 35mm F2.0 Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM +11 more
OP bluekat Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: New camera. Go full frame?
1

Wanted the say thanks everyone for all the information and recommendations.

Spent the last few days mulling everything over, looking at various cameras. Ended up finding a used Nikon Z6 online. Not quite the z7, but I think it will be a good upgrade from my D80. I still need to get a good normal length/walk-around lens. That will be my next step. 

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