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by natureshooter606 on Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:08 pm
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Joined: 12 Sep 2020
Hello all,

I've been reading/browsing Naturescapes on and off for years (like, 15 years.... wow, time flies). But, this is my first post. I guess I'm the definition of a "lurker". Shame on me :-).

I'm not a professional photographer by any means, more of a serious hobbyist. I made a big investment in camera gear about 10 years ago and haven't bought a single piece of camera gear since. Why? It's hard for me to justify spending more money on camera gear when the setup that I have is perfectly good and allows me to captures beautiful images.

I have too much gear to list, but here's my primary setup (don't laugh too hard because like I said, I haven't bought anything in a LONG time). I'm a canon shooter:
[li]600 f/4[/li]
[li]100-400 IS[/li]
[li]70-200 f/4 IS[/li]
[li]Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro[/li]

Well... after all this time, I'm finally at the point where I'm considering some new gear. Why?? Well, I've never loved the image quality out of my 7d (it's kind of noisy, in my opinion) and the images always seem slightly, slightly soft compared to my 1dm2n. But, it's been acceptable for me. For "important" stuff I usually use my 1dm2n, and then use the 7d when I want something lighter/easier to carry/handle or if I really need the extra resolution. But over the past few years I've been finding that my gear is just getting SO far out of date that it's time for an upgrade... the resolution and ISO performance of the 1dm2n is becoming laughable by today's standards and the 7d has never been perfect for me either. But what's really pushed me over the edge is the new AF eye tracking (human and animal) of the R6 and R5. It blows my mind based on what I've seen online and it's getting me to think... "maybe now is the time to upgrade".

So here's the thing... I'm not sure which to buy. Can I afford either? Yes... I'm fortunate enough to be able to buy whichever I want, but I'm not made of money and both represent a very large expenditure for me that I'm not looking forward to (particularly the R5). I've seen the value of my 1dm2n and 7d go from thousands of dollars to practically worthless over the past decade while my lenses have (obviously) retained much of their value, so I always view lenses more of an investment and bodies of more of a "disposable" item like a laptop. So both the R6 and R5 feel like quite a lot for someone like me to be spending on something that will go to zero value over time. And the R5... I can do it, but I have a much harder time wrapping my head around that cost (particularly when maybe I should be putting that money into a nice RF lens).

I like to shoot birds, nature, landscapes, as well as fun people images (not studio, more like family and friends... casual, fun pictures). I also like to take fun family videos.

Everything about this suggests to me that the R6 is the way to go for me... EXCEPT.... I'm worried about the 20MP. (I know, I know, don't focus on MP... it's camera marketing... signal to noise ratio is better with fewer pixels, file sizes are easier, the buffer is deeper, etc. etc. I know all of this). The thing that's getting me stuck is: I'm used to a 1.3x or even a 1.6x crop sensor. And even with those bodies, I NEVER feel like I have enough magnification for my wildlife/bird photography. I have absolutely no need for 45mp images. Like, seriously... no need. I'm not printing giant prints... 20x30 is about as big as I'll ever go. BUT... a small voice in my head is saying "how cool would it be to get the R5 and be able to crop everything and STILL have high res images".  Particularly with going to a full frame sensor and the associated "loss" of subject size with my same lenses....

What do you all suggest I do? I really feel like the R6 is the wiser choice based on cost... if they were equal cost I'd probably get the R5 no questions asked. I also wonder if the R6 will become outdated sooner because the resolution is starting off so much lower (obviously I tend to hold onto my gear for a LONG time :-)  ). So that's another thing that's making me second guess and consider the R5 in addition to the ability to crop.

Really interested to hear any perspectives that you have to share on what makes the most sense for someone in my position.

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:41 am
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E.J. Peiker
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Posts: 85129
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
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If cost is not a factor, I would most definitely chose the R5. It's one of the very best mirrorless cameras on the market and when you crop it to the same pixel dimensions as the R6 you basically get an APS-C crop that has the same megapixels as the R6 which effectively gets you a 1.5x (ish) crop factor for those more distant or smaller subjects.

The R5 is perhaps the best all around mirrorless camera on the market right now rivaled only by the a7R4 and to a lesser degree the Z7. As for buffer, just set the camera to APS-C mode, still get 20mp files but with more "reach" and you will not have a buffer issue.

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