Camera?

So, as my camera is quickly dying, I have to figure out what I’m going to do. I can’t really afford to buy a new one, but photography is one of the few hobbies I have that I really enjoy. So, let’s just assume I can find a way to purchase a new, sub-$2000 camera body. Which one should I get?

There are four choices: 7D, T4i, 60D, and no camera until next bodies are released later this year/early next year.

Canon 7D
Originally released in 2009, the Canon 7D is due for a replacement. This is a crop sensor camera, with a similar sensor as the T2i it would replace. The advantage of the 7D is that it has a more professional body, better auto-focus system, and faster continuous shooting. It also has built-in wireless flash transmitter, which could be super useful for me in progressing my skills as a photographer.

The downside of purchasing this camera is that all the memory storage I have wouldn’t work as the 7D uses Compact Flash, and I only have SD memory. This would mean an additional purchase of $200.

This is also the most expensive of my current choices at $1450 plus taxes and shipping.

Canon T4i
Released in June of this year, this is the newest camera on my list, but it is a Rebel, much like what it would replace. It does have some advantages over the others on the list, including the new Digic 5 image processor, which should give decent noise performance.

It uses SD memory, which means all the memory cards I have would be useful. It has a screen that can move, which can be useful. It also has the new hybrid AF feature that allows auto-focus during video with the new lenses that have come out. Since I’m not really big on video, this isn’t a make or break feature for me.

This camera is slower than the 7D, doesn’t have an advanced auto-focus system, nor is it tough/long lasting in comparison to the other two options.

It is the least expensive on the list at $875 plus taxes and shipping for the body.

Canon 60D
Released in 2010, this is really just a remodeled version of the T2i that it would be replacing. It has the same sensor, and similar auto-focus system. It has the articulating screen like the T4i. It uses SD memory like the T4i. It has a slightly faster burst rate for taking photos than the T4i, and a much larger buffer, meaning it can take more pictures before it has to stop and wait for the memory to clear to the card.

It has a magnesium body, which is similar in build quality to the 7D, and much better than the T4i.

IT doesn’t have the ISO range of the T4i or 7D. It has the older Digic 4 image processor, like the 7D (but the 7D has two of them). It was really built as a more durable T2i.

It is currently around $975 plus taxes and shipping, or $100 more than the T4i and nearly $500 cheaper than the 7D.

Wait
I could wait. It would mean that I wouldn’t be able to do much photography, and definitely no photo shoots until I get a new body. The advantage of waiting though is that there are multiple rumors that Canon will be releasing at least two more new bodies before the end of the year.

One of those bodies could be a replacement for the 7D. Unfortunately, this replacement will likely be $2000 before taxes. The upside is that I could save up the difference during this time to afford this new body.

This is just a rumor though, and it could be as much as eight months to a year before a new body is released as Canon has released the T4i, 5D Mark III, 1DX, 1DC, and the EOS-M mirror-less body this year alone.

Your Opinion?
So what do you think? What should I do? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or select a poll option. If you have questions, feel free to post them as well, as I really would love help sorting through my options.

10 Replies to “Camera?”

  1. 7D likely will get updated in the short term, but the 7D as-is is an amazing camera. CF isn’t that costly, and you should shop around and/or consider used 7Ds. Also – all pro cameras shoot CF (some are adding SD) – so if that’s a problem, then stick with consumer gear and just grab a T3i or even T2i and carry on. (SD sucks and is slow.)

    You’re welcome to make use of my 40D if you’re in a pinch.

    1. I was wondering if you would respond/have an opinion. Trying out Greg’s 7D was definitely fun. I don’t think SD is sucky, but I do agree that it is slow compared to the upper limit of CF cards.

      Even if the 7D does get updated in the short term (still potentially as long as 1 year down the road), it will probably be CF again knowing Canon, meaning that if I bought it, I would have to switch memory types anyways.

      Really, I would like to get something either more durable or more feature filled, hence my choices/options. The random errors wasn’t my only issue with my T2i, the grip has separated, it won’t control my 430ex II flash, and it seems to have problems with exposure. So I would rather not pick up another T2i.

      I do find it interesting that you basically said 7D (mark II or current) or T3i/T2i. You didn’t even seem to consider the T4i or the 60D. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the offer. I don’t want to wear down any one else’s gear if I can avoid it. And how many cameras do you have!?

      1. actually – I have to revise my previous statement – I suspect the 7D _won’t_ get an update as result of the new firmware coming down the pike.

        The T-line is consumer, so it barely matters which you get.
        The 10-series is now high-end consumer, still more about whizbang features than photographic utility.

        I don’t forsee CF disappearing from pro anytime soon, but for #NYNYmcat, I picked up a 32GB 133X card at Factory Direct for like $40 last week – it’s fine. (And 64GB 400X at B&H yesterday for $200, but I didn’t need it πŸ˜‰ Memory should be considered a consumable expense and shouldn’t weigh on your decision at all.

        SD *is* slow, hence why new interfaces like XQD are coming about. But CF is basically PCMCIA which is roughly IDE which isn’t that different from ISA πŸ˜‰
        – either way – it’s consistently getting faster, and moreso than SD. Modern UHS1 cards are running, what, 5 years behind the performance of CF cards?

        I admit, I have to laugh when I see people put grips on Rebels and 3000/5000 series cameras – unless you’re at a dead standstill in terms of photographic maturity, you’re basically wasting money blinging out your Civic – you _will_ upgrade – you probably made the wrong decision in the first place given your skill level. (Unless you really want the small body and can live with the _terrible_ ergonomics on ’em…)

        The 60D and T3I are basically a firmware difference. Both have the same sensor as the 7D but none of the brains or ergonomics.

        Really – for you, the question is how quickly do you get a 7D, and new or used?
        And if you don’t need/care about video, just grab a 40D or a 5D Mk1 (if you have FF lenses, which you do.) or find a cheap MkII (~$1500) that’s not too banged up.

        How many cameras do I have? I think I’m up to about 14ish? (if you count phone’s ‘n tablets) http://counterphoto.com/blog/gear-equipment/

        I wouldn’t offer if I didn’t mind. The rules are simple – for mucking about, just use it, maybe buy me a coffee. For paid/compensated/comissioned gigs, there’s a rental agreement.

      2. I meant the faux-leather hand grip wrap, not the bigger grip for portrait shooting, which I do own, but never use. No matter what, I’m going to wait until Photokina is over in September to see if Canon makes any announcements because everything I’m reading says that they’ll announce a new body there.

        You are probably right that I should go to the 7D, BUT it ends up being twice the price. I don’t do photography for money. It is “just” a hobby. Should I really spend $2k when I can do things at the limit of my photography skills for $1k? What will having a 7D do for me other than last much longer than a Rebel?

        I am not a fan of used bodies (used lenses make sense to me) but like you said, bodies are just consumer electronics, and as such, they all feel like they have a bit of that planned obsolescence/failure in them, so unless the savings were massive, it wouldn’t be worth it for me to roll the dice on something without warranty.

        I guess my biggest thing is… since I’m not pro like you and have no intention on doing photography for money… what do I really need? (don’t say camera phone. :P)

    1. Well that’d always be the case – camera bodies are just consumer electronics (even pro models) – so, barring any more tsunamis & flooding, they’ll always get cheaper.

      Good lenses on the other hand, are not – and many of mine have appreciated.

      1. I am already pretty set with lenses at this point. Most of the photography I do works fine with the 50mm f1.4 or my 24-105 f4 IS L. I would love to get a 70-200 at some point, but there is no point looking at lenses until I buy a body that is working without issue.

    2. Interesting point. If the new 7D or the 5D Mark II replacement is outside my price range, I would probably get a bit more off the 7D. Prices on the 7D have already come down a bit though because of the 5D Mark II continuing to be in the market despite the new Mark III, so I don’t know how much more it would drop. Maybe enough to afford the CF memory without digging deeper into my pockets… Hmm…

  2. You got some smart friends here with good advice – I’d like to share a few thoughts – SD memory really isn’t that bad – how fast do you need to shoot? A class 10 card handles my 5DM3 shots just fine unless i get REALLY trigger happy and they are cheap!! One way to upgrade to 7D but use your existing cards is a little CF converter- I have used this exact converter in my 7D and it works fine http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QY0M7C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=dpr-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004QY0M7C There was another brand I tried using and results were not so good. Works for video and stills and again, unless you are shooting high speed bursts, it works just fine. I agree that the 7D is probably going to stick around past Photokina- 60D however may get updated and as you mentioned maybe a FF 5DM2 replacement – so many options and we are talking less 45 days before we know – That all said, I bough my 7D used and feel buying used bodies is a nice way to save money, and with the 7D being as cheap as it is now, good buy for sure.

    1. Thanks Tobias, I appreciate that. I definitely will be waiting until after Photokina, but then I’ll move quickly on either the 7D or the newly released body as long as it is under $2k. πŸ™‚

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