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Full frame camera recommendations

hi all, tax return season:) looking to bump up to a dslr full frame camera. I'm going to take another look at the photo guide but I'm pretty sure the only recommendation was for a 4/ 3rds.
I see them ranging from 800 to 4000
thinking I'm willing to be somewhere in the middle
Any advise welcomed:-)


  • This helped me alot: . mirrorless seems big now. But lenses are where the $ should be spent. Good luck. Lots out there.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited January 2017
    @Flatty ; Good for you!  I'd love to have one.  I'm stuck with a crop factor camera, for now.  Summer   
  • I use the Canon 6D and it's an excellent camera. This is a full-frame entry level camera that has better low light ability than the Canon 5D mk III and produces less noise than the 5D mkIII, just!

    A second-hand Canon 5D mk II will get you a great camera that is a couple of iterations behind the latest and expensive 5D mk IV. The technology is not as good and it doesn't have all the features or the upgraded sensor of the latest cameras, but it's now at a very low price level for it's build quality and performance.

    The 5D mk III price is coming down because of the new mk IV and is a superb camera.

    I don't know much about Nikon except they produce superb cameras and lenses. The Nikon D750, D800 and D810 are all superb cameras and have some advantages over Canon when it comes to dynamic range. Some people prefer the skin tone colours of the Canon cameras over Nikon, so it's really a case of what kind of photography you're going to be doing most of the time.

    Always try the cameras in your hand first as their handling is different and can enhance your experience if you have a preference between the two makes. The menu system is very different too.

    The Canon L lenses are some of the best you can get and will improve the quality of your photos more than a wizz-bang super expensive camera and average lenses.

    Sigma make some very good quality lenses at a more affordable price than Canon or Nikon's own make lenses.

    I hope these links work. They all have excellent reviews of cameras and lenses.

  • FlattyFlatty admin
    @Alen thank you!!! I appreciate your reply. I'm leaning towards the 5D mark lll. I would LOVE the 6D! It's out of my reach.  
  • Forgot to mention..i really like the fully articulated screen on my camera. I highly recomend it. Especially if you are sorta tall. 
  • Although i do have my eye on a Sony Alpha 7r II because of the Lowlight sensor ability (backlit sensor). For landscape dawn and dusk shots. 
  • @Alan Thanks for posting that info. What is the advantage of full-frame over 4/3s? Is there a DSLR Camera w/lens in the $1,000 range that would be adequate?
  • FlattyFlatty admin
    I ended up buying a slightly used canon 5D Mark iii with a decent aftermarket warranty through eBay. Has three lenses for which two of the three are perfect for what I need. I looked at a bunch but felt this deal had the most bang for the buck. I want to give portraiture painting a serious go and after watching the MC portaiture video I realized how important the subject photo must be. 
  • I am envious! I want one too... hope you enjoy to work with her...
  • FlattyFlatty admin
    @EstherH , thanks;-) I hope it pays me back some day;-)
  • Hi BOB73,
    the advantages of a camera with a full-frame sensor are;-

    better image quality and a smoother gradation of tones.

    less digital noise at higher ISO settings, allowing you to shoot hand-held in lower light conditions with a reasonable shutter speed. Good for shooting wildlife and sports action.

    The ability to shoot a shallower depth of field ( DOF ) than a camera with a smaller sensor. Very good for isolating the subject or an important element in the photo.

    Generally better or professional quality lenses designed for full-frame cameras. They are larger and more expensive than consumer lenses.

    Generally better build quality and useful features.

    I find my Canon 6D has more detail ( even when quite heavily cropped ) than a camera with a smaller sensor. The photo below was heavily cropped, but still has plenty of detail. The uncropped photo can also be seen. I had a Canon 7D, which has a smaller sensor and a crop factor of x1.6 and I know this photo would have had the detail smeared and muddied, which is very annoying.

    This is an example of the 6D with Canon 135 f2 L lens and shows the shallow DOF that can be achieved with this combination.

    Another shot showing a Fallow Deer.

    What it comes down to is the amount of light the sensor is able to capture and the size and quality of the micro lenses on the sensor that capture that light. The larger the sensor, the better the quality of the image. A medium format camera will have better quality than a full frame DSLR and a large format camera will have better image quality than a medium format camera.

    What you photograph will have a big influence on the kind of equipment you need to realize your vision.

    The full frame cameras I would suggest at a reasonable price are:-

    Canon 5D mkii
    Canon 6D
    Canon 5D mkiii

    For a decent quality zoom lens I'd suggest:-

    Canon 24-105mm f4 L ( if you get a sharp copy you'll be very happy. It is more versatile than a fixed length lens. )

    For shallow DOF and a fast normal to medium telephoto lens I'd suggest:-

    Canon 85mm f1.8 ( a very good and cheap portrait lens )
    Canon 50mm f1.4 ( build quality is OK, not brilliant. A sharp and cheap normal view lens )
    Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A ("Art") ( expensive but very good )

    The 50mm lens on a full frame camera is the most like our own field of view. The 85mm lens is very good for portraits as it slightly 'flattens' the perspective and reduces distortions caused by the proximity of facial features to the camera.

    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks, Alan for taking the time to school me. I know others will benefit from it too. There's no doubt the full-frame is much better than my Kodak instamatic which was the only camera I had experience with before I discovered DMP. Before DMP I'd never thought about taking my own pictures to paint from. I'll have save a while before I can get one.
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