I am pretty serious with photography as my hobby. About 6 months ago I migrated from my compact to a DSLR - Canon 50D. Since my business takes me around the world, most of the time I am shooting landscapes and people.
I am quite happy with the results. However, the more I dwell, I sometimes wonder if it would have been a good idea to opt for a full frame body, like say. Canon 5D or Mark. Of course it would have cost me. Since I had a budget, I decided to spend on a good quality lens (24-105, f4, ultrasonic, IS, series L) rather than the body.
Was I stupid? If so, what do I need to do to make the best of the situation. Trade in will be costly.
Hello Prakash, I am a serious hobby photographer too - and after years of using film SLRs, I upgraded to a DSLR (Nikon D300) last year. It is not a full frame, but I have become used to the more 'widescreen' aspect of these photos.
Remember that full-frame cameras will work best with lenses that can utilise the full frame, so you may need to upgrade more than just the camera body. Also (speaking of Nikon) the full-frame D700 does not have a 1.5 lens magnification, whereas the partial frame D300 does. This for me is a factor, as by taking a lightweight 200mm lens, I suddenly have a 300mm - good for the weight conscious traveller.
Cameras are been upgraded by both Nikon and Canon with such regularity, that even if you changed in two years time, you could get a significantly better piece of equipment. I would keep what you have and use the opportunity to upgrade to a full-frame in a little while - and by then, their price will have dropped.
I second Shane's opinion - I too own a D300 - and a few lenses now.
But upgrading to a full-frame camera will require that I replace all these lenses - which will get very costly. If I had been buying recently - I think I actually would have held out a little longer - I'm looking forward to seeing Nikon's answer to Canon's 5D Mark II - which has HD video capabilities - think Hollywood style video with low depth of field, on prosumer budgets. (I'm hoping to take something below the waves - another hefty price tag for the underwater housing)
We live in interesting times - where we can consider upgrades such as these every few years. I think the difference that you will see going from compact to DSLR right now will overwhelm any regret at not having spent the additional money - and when you come to upgrade - you can then make a decision then on whether to upgrade body and lenses or just the body...
Thanks Shane & Ali. You have the taken the weight off my head... and the shoulders. I have been witness to some great pictures posted by you guys. Keep them coming.
To give a slightly different perspective, when Ali switched to the D300 I waited and switched full bored to the D700. I have absolutely loved the ability to shoot at incredibly high ISOs without any negative consequences. My old D80 was almost useless at ISO 400 and my D700 works incredibly well at ISO 32000.
I will admit that the cost to upgrade all of my lenses was pretty high. I did keep the old lenses and upgraded my D80 to a D90 and use that as my backup camera, the one I'll take into riskier settings. But, I'd have to say that the move to full frame was an awesome one. I love it and will never go back!
You have left me confused!
Anyway, budget restrictions for now will ensure that I live with my 1.6.
I think Mike is saying: if you have the money - then full frame is better.
This doesn't mean that your purchase was a bad decision - note that he is talking about upgrades from existing DSLRs.
Enjoy it - and remember that it's not the camera that counts - it's the pictures 😊
I'd be interested to know the other benefits of a full frame version - shooting at a very high ISO is one factor. I've also read it is pretty snazzy with very wide angle shots.
I am already feeling good, Ali. Thanks.
I was looking through Ken Rockwell's site - he has some strong opinions on aspects of photography (a good thing I believe) and he shows two comparisons between the D3, D700 and D300:
ISO 3200 Comparison
This concurs what Michael and Kelley said about the low light superiority of the D700. It is interesting to see that there is almost no difference in normal light conditions.
Under normal conditions, outside when its sunny there is no reason to shoot full frame unless you just love the wide angle stuff. The 14-24mm lens does some ridiculous wide angle stuff that is tons of fun. But, super-wide angle, has its place and isn't always usefull.
On the other hand, I still use my D90 for anything long distance because of the crop factor. My 80-400mm lens acts as a 120-600mm lens on the D90 which is AWESOME!!