Help me choose a new camera (R6? R5?)
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Author:  natureshooter606 [ Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Help me choose a new camera (R6? R5?)

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 But over the past few years I've been finding that my gear is just getting SO far out of date that it's time for an upgrade...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.

Author:  E.J. Peiker [ Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:41 am ]
Post subject: 

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.

Author:  Tom In Arizona [ Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:37 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi natureshooter...

Since you have the budget to go with the R5, I would go for it. I, too, struggled with spending that much for an upgrade from my Canon 5D IV, but after reading voluminous posts, reviews and videos about the R5, I decided to "go for it" last Friday. I'm due to receive it on Wednesday. My main considerations were the Animal Eye Auto Focus and the 45 megapixel sensor which for bird photography doesn't get much better than that. I also agree with E. J.'s comments above regarding the ability to crop to obtain more "reach." I also think that investing in the R5 will serve you well by preserving value since you don't upgrade too frequently.

Also, don't forget you'll want to invest in CFexpress card(s), a new card reader, and an EF-to-RF adapter, etc. It never seems to end. Good luck with your decision, and either choice should definitely show improvement over your current bodies.


Author:  Ed Cordes [ Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have been using an R5 for about a month and absolutely love it. The Animal Eye Focus and tracking is everything it is said to be. I don't care about video so all the overheating frenzy is just not important to me. To me, the 45 MP is very important - not because I make large prints, but because I can crop the heck out of the image and still get excellent results. To me, 20 MP just wouldn't do it. I have found my 100-400 II works wonderfully with the adapter. The R5 really allows the 1.4 TC to work well also. If your 100-400 is a version I you may find it doesn't have the resolution to match the R5 capabilities, so think about that. On the other hand, your 600 should also work very well. I am using a 500 F4 version I with outstanding results with and with out the 1.4 TC. So, I would advise you to go with the R5. If you find your 100-400 is not up to par then you will have to weigh the balance between the Version II or the RF 100-500. Hope all this rambling helps.

Author:  natureshooter606 [ Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you E.J., Tom, and Ed for the advice and opinions. I'm sorry that I've been MIA for a little bit here... but I've been digesting your advice and doing a bunch more of my own research in the meantime as well. And.... I can now report that as of this evening, I am a proud new owner of an R5. You all are so right about the extra ability to crop.... that's what pushed me over in the end. I can't wait to give this thing a spin and see how it performs. Coming from a 1dm2n and a 7d, I think I'm in for a big treat. Hopefully this body lasts me a good long while too.

Tom - you are right... the cards... batteries.... card reader... adapter.... wow it does just keep going!!  :-)

Ed that's a great point about the 100-400 v1. I've been thinking that I might have to trade mine in/sell it and replace with the v2... I've heard there's a big, big difference so that's probably the move. I've been really quite worried about my 600mm IS v1... I'm not sure how it compares to the newer versions. But it's a big relief to hear from you that it probably still will be acceptable paired with the R5....   while I was able to make the R5 work, there is absolutely no way I can pay 5 figures for new big glass....

Author:  Neilyb [ Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:28 am ]
Post subject: 

I agree with what has been said. If money is no object then the R5 rules the roost right now, animal eye AF would make my life much easier as would the extra speed over my R. Don't worry about the old 600 IS, mine was fine on my R with adaptor. Does the body outresolve the lens, probably?! Will you notice, probably not!?

Compared to the 7D I think you will quite happy. :)

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