Looking to upgrade my camera need some help

So I am looking to upgrade my camera. I am not quite sure the way I want to go but I do know my budget is around $2500 give or take a few. So let me give some details.

Currently I have a Canon T7i (800D). As I get better and I learn more I am starting to see some of the limitations particularly in the challenging lighting of Landscape photography. Bracketing and Filters do help work around the limitations of this camera but with the trend in the way cameras are heading I don’t want to purchase more lenses and get stuck in the future not being able to upgrade later down the road. So I want to make a switch early before I sink too much $$ into a dead end.

I mainly shoot Landscape but I also have plans in the future to get into macro. These are the two types of photography that are my passion to the point where I am obsessed with it.

I am not a pro and really have no intentions to become one in the future (unless something changes) but I am a enthusiast.

I do like the portability of a crop sensor camera and I heard great things about Fujifilm here. Looking into Fuji they have great shadow and highlight performance for a APS-C which is awesome. For macro it seems like the X-T3 also has built in focus bracketing which can ease the process a bit. The problem I see with Fuji is that for the price of moving to this system assuming I go for the X-T3 is pushing into the realm of full frame so is it even worth it to go this route?

Nikkon Z6 with the 24-70mm f/4 seems like a good option. Great shadow/highlight performance. the 24-70mm would go very far for landscape. No real macro option at the moment without using a adapter. XQD cards are way too pricy…

Sony A7RII with a Tameron 28-75 f/2.8 I hear amazing things about this lens and camera. Menus apparently suck. Great options for lenses that are affordable due to them opening up the mount to 3rd party. For a old camera this thing is still quite pricy of a entrance.

Then there are the numerous amounts of DSLR options. All these setups seem to fall around the same price as the above 2 unless you can trust the used/refurb market which I am not sure I do from reviews I have seen :smiley:

Final notes as a Enthusiast full frame may not be the right choice I don’t know. All I know is they tend to perform better under certain circumstances like lighting extremes be it low light or “high dynamic range”

I am open to any input here. I don’t want to jump blindly to a purchase and regret it later.

If it is possible in your area, go and see the cameras you are interested in person in a store. Check how they feel in your hand and how easy is for you to change the settings you are interested in.

Once you decide on one or two models, try to rent it first. You will see if it fits you and the way you photograph.

2 Likes

You’re going to get recommendations for everything, because everyone loves the camera they have, more or less :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d figure out what lenses you want first, then if you want full frame or APS-C. If you’re good with 3rd party lenses, then the decision is easier, as the “good” 3rd party lens makers have lenses for almost every major brand (save Fuji).

Camera bodies come and go, and the latest camera body always seems to be the best… however, the latest camera body from any manufacturer is probably plenty good enough.

I would break it down like this:

Canon: great zooms, especially affordable L glass if you don’t need f/2.8. The 24-70 and 70-200 f4 L glass is super nice.

Nikon: can’t be beat on price/performance if you like prime lenses. First party adapter for F-to-Z mounts

Fuji: great color rendering & a great selection of kit lenses for starting out. Maybe the best kit lenses of any manufacturer.

Sony: G and Zeiss lenses are nice, but pricey.

I guess I should just tell you what kit I have:

Nikon D850 body
Nikon 24mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Tamron 70-200mm

Fuji X-T20
Fuji 23mm f2 (35mm full frame equivalent)
Fuji 35mm f1.4 (~50mm full frame equivalent)
Fuji 18-55mm f4 (kit lens)
Rokinon 8mm fisheye

Somehow the Fuji lens was more expensive than the Nikon lens. I love the color rendering from the Fuji, it has this film-like quality, but the colors from the Nikon are also nice, I’d describe them as realistic with a slight saturation punch.

The D850 kicks the crap out of the Fuji in terms of dynamic range and features, as it should being ~2.5x the price. But the Fuji is dead simple to operate and having dials and knobs for shutter, aperature, and ISO is really nice in that old school kind of way.

My Nikon kit is generally used when I’m going somewhere to specifically make photos, the Fuji is more of the day-to-day carry, and an extra body to have on photo specific trips.

If you care about the aesthetics of the equipment itself, Fuji beats everyone, I think.

4 Likes

I upgraded to this camera/lens from a D7000, mainly for the dynamic range. And boy, does it do that. A surprising benefit was the IBIS, in helping me to hand-hold down to 1/10sec with a bit of meditating. The 24-70/f4 is a phenomenal lens, the required distortion correction is a small trade for the resolution, IMHO. The only thing I missed with this kit from the D7000 and 18-140mm zoom was the reach, so I bought the AF-P 70-300mm; with the relatively small camera body, the FTZ and this lens isn’t too big to hand-hold (again with a bit of meditating…). I used a single 32GB XQD card until we went on vacation, felt a backup would be prudent, so I got another. Yes, pricey compared to what SD cards have come down to, but if you don’t use them for persistent backup you wouldn’t need a large stable of them.

Sitting square in the “enthusiast” camp, the move from DX to FX has really been nice. I don’t have to work so hard on my images anymore, as the dynamic range and resolution are so accommodating of the large variety of scenes I photograph. 24MP is fine for me, but for landscapes you might want to pixel-peep some Z7 images, see what they might offer. I do some landscape shooting, if I had just a bit more discretionary income I’d get a Z7 for that.

If you spend a lot of time with a camera in your hands, you definitely want one that’ll not fight you in post, and I’d say the Z6 would scratch that itch…

3 Likes

In OpenSource raw processing software, support for cameras with bayer sensors is better than support for xtrans-sensors. For example, for bayer sensors, there’s a quite good raw ca-correction available, but not for xtrans-sensors. Same for hot pixel correction, which is better for bayer than for xtrans.

4 Likes

Yes the Z6 is quite high on my list especially since I love the feel of the Nikkon and Canon bodies. I also prefer their color. From a cost perspective if the Z6 stood out for me over the EOS R simply because Nikkon seems to be focusing on affordable primes and F4 zooms where Canon on the RF mount seems to be pushing F2/2.8 $3K lenses so it is almost a necessity to adapt to get the more affordable F4 L lenses. The Z7 is way out of my price range the pictures it produces are supurb tons of detail. I also pixel peeped some Z6 images with the 24-70 F/4 and it too is quite amazing.

My main want for FF is for your same reasons. I think the Z6 24MP is more then good enough for me. I don’t see myself ever printing over 20x30 and a full frame 24mp is still a upgrade from my crop 24MP simply due to better light gathering if I understand things correctly. The weather sealing will be nice too. Always scared of my T7i going poof as it is all I have lol.

@heckflosse yes I understand this. This was another reason I was hesitant with Fuji is because a lot of software out there struggles with X-Trans. Even the paid stuff.

@Daniel_Catalina Currently not really a option. I do prefer the feel of the Nikkon and Canon cameras I have held those before. Currently everything around me is shut down including rental stuff. Only online stores are operating from what I have found. I do lean to the Nikkon and Canon feel for sure tho.

This is just idle speculation, but I think Canon has to push the larger glass so folks don’t feel so sad about the lower-DR sensors. With the Z6, I can easily push to ISO 6400 and take the dim exposures from that AF-P 70-300 f4.5-5.6 lens and not get unacceptable noise in the low end. It’s a low-light beast.

In that regard, I’m interested to see how that new 24-200 f4-6.3 lens performs. If I’d have known they were going to introduce it earlier, I would probably have waited for it vice the AF-P…

Do not get me wrong. RawTherapee and darktable con process xtrans file really well (ping @sguyader for details), but they still lack raw ca correction…

Yea my T7i (granted a APSC) becomes nearly unusable at iso 3200 need to stay below 800 ideally tbh from my experience. I would keep your eyes open some people are pretty confident they will be releasing a 70-200mm F4 Z lens this year or next. Just speculation tho. Thanks for the input tho. It is nice to hear someone happy with their choice. The internet is full of smack about everything that is not Sony so it is hard to find decent information.

Out of all the options I have been looking at Nikkon seems to be following my line of budget the best at least for lens options.

Don’t discount buying used. I purchased my macro lens used as well as a Sony A65 body and a Panasonic GX85 body. The savings can be fantastic. I have two A65 bodies, the MFT Panny GX85 as well as a Lumix LX100. I’m very happy with all of them. I think there are some good gear oriented photography sites where you’ll get tons of opinions. You can’t beat a local bricks and mortar store if there is one close by but by the same token, return policies on mail order are pretty bullet proof. All of the gear that I’ve purchased in the last 7 years has been online. As was the case years ago with IBM, you probably can’t go wrong with Canon or Nikon. I’m very happy with Panasonic and Sony. Fuji and Olympus also make fine products but in the end it is really all about the glass and what you need (v. want) as far as lenses go - you have to call it. Good luck!

1 Like

I bought a Fuji (X-T1, then X-T2) not because it had the best “this” or the best “that”. I spent a lot of time comparing cameras in my price range, using a mix of specific and global approach to the thing (I don’t know if it’s clear). But in the end what sold me to Fujifilm was that I like the philosophy of the company, the handling of the camera (I wasn’t interested in a “vintage style” camera, but I liked the way Fuji cameras operate with knobs), the build quality, the philosophy behind Fuji lenses (most are good to great optically, not the cheapest but not the most expensive). Of course x-trans technology has drawbacks, but to me it’s not enough of a pain compared to what I like. So, I’m really happy with Fuji, but I’m not a fan boy and I won’t advise anyone to buy a Fuji blindly. X-trans support in OSS is great in my opinion, and I don’t think software would prevent you to get great images from a Fuji.
Before entering the Fuji world, I had a Canon DSLR (the first Rebel, 300D I think) then a Pentax (K10D). Before that I had a Canon and a Pentax film cameras back in the 90’s. I loved each camera I had for it was.

2 Likes

The same in my case. When all the internet was complaining about having ‘worms’ in Fuji files I was wondering what that is, only to understand they were using Lightroom which did not processed the files quite right at the time.

@blj
Bill, I presume that you have already searched the Web? If not:


The Fuji GFX sounds very intriguing, except for the price :frowning:

Re your second interests: macros. How much macro? On a microscopic level, or what?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

I guess with new cameras from all the manufactures around one can make good pictures.
For me it’s all about the look and feel. Check the haptics by testing different models and then go for the one which fits best to your gut.
The best camera is the one which you love to take on a trip.
And then stick with it as long as possible.
My choice went to the olympus E-M1 back in 2013 (because it’s lightweight, as I like to hike) Since then I love that camera, though there are certainly better ones.
But as long as you cannot tell with which camera a picture was taken, as soon as the picture is hanging on the wall, I don’t care.

1 Like

@Claes Yea I saw that article. The GFX is a absolutely amazing camera from some of the shots I have seen. Oh yea price :smiley: and to think that is like the cheapest medium format digital camera on the market…

Ironically the camera I have is on that article. It is indeed a awesome camera until you get a high DR scene causing way too much stress trying to get the shot to be use able later on. In ideal situations the T7i takes one hell of a photo. Sadly in landscape ideal seems to never happen if so rarely lol.

For macro I am not looking for microscopic. Just the typical 1:1 magnification. From what I understand idealy a macro lens like Canon’s 100mm F/4L or 100mm F/4 USM(no IS on this lens) with a true 1:1 but could also be done with extension tubes or reverse mounts.

@wiegemalt crazy heavy is not ideal which is why I was leaning towards mirrorless on the full frame route.

Another camera that has also been peaking my interest is the Fujifilm X-Pro3. All be it expensive that camera looks like it would be a blast for landscape with Fuji’s excellent Primes which I can purchase over time. One thing I love is being able to shoot without the tripod when possible and some of the features in this camera seem really cool for quick composition in the ovf as long as you use lenses 24mm - 90mm ish I beleive. However, outside of this cool feature and a few others in there the X-T3 is more economical. But man I love how the X-Pro3 looks so sexy lol.

Currently with my T7i I have to kind of avoid the OVF a lot because the coverage is 95% and I find crap in my frame edges sometimes making me have to constantly review on the lcd then sometimes totally recompose. So I recently been just shooting from the LCD and it honestly is not as fun for me lol.

I do a lot of woodlands style hiking as well so sometimes a tripod just gets in the way in those situations.

I think that the Fuji 90mm macro is a great lens, considered as one of the sharpest Fuji lenses. It’s also great for portraits.
Now there start to be some interesting and pretty good lenses from third party lens makers, which have autofocus. It the case of Viltrox.
For landscapes you can find great manual lenses, such as the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2, which is also a great lens for astroscapes.

@sguyader So as I understand Fuji cameras work great with older vintage lenses? I am assuming there are a lot of adapters for the system? I would assume those 12mm lenses are newer lenses that just don’t support AF?

@blj see link in PM.

Samyang, Viltrox, Ilaowa… These are making new lenses. O my Viltrox has been able to reverse engineer the Fujifilm AF system I think.
There are some adapters, some very basic with no electronic contacts to use vintage lenses, some more sophisticated with electronic contacts and possibility to use AF lenses of other brands. Fringer adapters are reknown for that. Adapters allow to use Sigma or Tamron lenses in Canon EF mount for example.

I suggest going into the store several times to really handle the cameras you are interested in. Maybe rent for a weekend if you can. Most of what you mentioned is a significant upgrade over an 800D, so the question is more how and what you would like.

I have a Fuji X-T1 and it is a great camera. Maybe you should check a used yester-year camera to see if you like the Fuji handling? The Fuji primes and many zoomlenses are significantly ahead of most canon EF-S offerings but lighter and cheaper than Canon L glass. Apart from that I think a Z6 is a stunning piece of FX-tech.

You could also think of analog medium format for landscape. Some 645 camera with a load-out of film supplies could come in cheaper initially and at least competitive or better in the final IQ. 6x6, 6x7 and bigger is also possible for landscape, potentially for macro too…But the size of those systems is significant. Should not be underestimated though.

2 Likes