Switching Camera Pains, any advise?

Dear community, I recently upgraded from a Nikon D7000 + 35mm f1.8 + 55-300mm f4.5 to a much more expensive Canon EOS R + RF 28-70 L2 lens set up. I mainly shoot fashion and portrait photography, I’m a beginner/intermediate amateur.

The main reason I switched was because I wanted to go mirrorless (avoid chimping) and get better autofocus. The new set up delivered on this, but I find that the photos I am taking are not as good as my old prime lenses and “cheap” telephoto. The auto ISO seems to overshoot on the Canon (I ruined a big part of a photo session because of this due to overexposure), the bokeh I feel is not as intense (I am surprised given that people describe that lens as a prime lens quality zoom lens), the camera and lens are so much heavier too, which I think limits my stamina/concentration.

My question is, should I just keep going at it with the new set up or reconsider going back to the old one? As they say, these days there are no bad cameras and this lens in particular should be a Rolls-Royce (maybe I just don’t know how to get the best out of it). But I wonder if I made an expensive mistake by switching. I feel a bit discouraged and like I am letting my models down sometimes! Any advise would be appreciated :slight_smile:

If you don’t like the bokeh, there are good primes for every system. Bokeh is very subjective, some like it smooth, some swirly, some like onion rings… There’s no definite “right” answer, but each lens can only pick one of those options. I’m sure Canon builds one you’d like.

As for your EOS R, I can’t comment. Never had one, nor felt the need for such a system. But if you were happy with the bokeh on your APS-C 35 f/1.8, perhaps you don’t need the even wider apertures afforded by a full frame camera.

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Fashion and portrait? Ditch autoexposure, especially auto-ISO, ASAP. Make sure to enable the exposure histogram (I’m assuming Canon has this for liveview, pretty much any mirrorless does…) and overexposure zebras.

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Something a surprisingly low number of canon shooters is aware is that you can have exposure compensation together with auto iso (in manual mode) with some canon cameras. It works for my 5D4, and I would wonder if they removed the feature for more modern cameras. On the 5D4 you have to define a key combination for this, as both wheels are used for other purposes and there is nothing preconfigured. I have it on pressing “set” and the front wheel.

This is so extremely useful that I totally rely on that, and often struggle with my RX100M2 which does not even have a proper auto iso.

Hope that helps :smile:.

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Interesting experience. I also had a D7000 a few years ago, with almost the same lenses: 35mm 1.8dx and the ubercheap, all-plastic 55-200. I remember being so surprised by the performance of the 55-200: super light, effective VR and very good results. Since then I’ve always had a soft spot for vulgar, plasticky and cheap telezooms; when I moved to Fuji I got the mid-class 55-200 f3.5-4.8, but then I downgraded to the 50-230mm xc lens (new for only €160!) and compared to the more expensive 55-200 I couldnt really see the differences for the type of photos I take.

Anyway back to your question; that D7000 was ok but really everything clicked together when I went to the full frame bodies (D600 first, now D810). So I don’t really miss that particular Nikon body… maybe mine was a flawed unit, its AF wasn’t really precise and I always had backfocusing issues esp. with the 35mm. After moving to the bigger full frame Nikons I continued to explore the path of smaller bodies to bring them along on hikes and trips etc; I have used Fujis for a while (X-Pro1 and then XT-2) until very recently, when annoyed by the poor build quality of these Fujis I, once again, moved on and bought myself a Canon EOS RP and the little RF 50mm 1.8 lens.

To me Fuji still wins in terms of look and appeal but after having experienced faulty dials and buttons (how is it possible to have so many “pros” declaring these cameras as full-on DSLR replacements, I don’t know) I decided to try Canon and see if the utilitarian look is linked to better build quality.

Anyway, the first impression is really good; the sensor may be “old” but it’s excellent in all terms – as perhaps all the sensor made in the last few years; I never had any issue with the D600 sensor for example, and I certainly didn’t experience a massive jump in terms of quality when I replaced it with the D810. The low dynamic range that all reviewers were stressing? I don’t know what’s the problem really – perhaps they should start metering with more care?

I’m a darktable user but while I wait for CR3 support I’m using ART and I’m seeing wonderful colors and excellent quality with minimal processing (I’m hesitating now to compare directly these Canon files with the Nikon and Fuji because I’m using different software for processing).

Alright, getting to the point… sorry for being so long, perhaps I simply wanted to write a bit about cameras today…

What I know from the readings I’ve been doing before buying my EOS RP is that your combination (EOS R + 28-70/f2) should really be delivering flat-out excellent results. Keep in mind that my original plan was to get the 24-230mm knowing full well about distortion and generally ‘poor’ quality of this ultrazoom – but also knowing that to me, the camera-lens combination is a tool to “get the shot”; if I need top quality I will then use my D810 with better lenses. However after having shot a few times with the RP I’m really surprised by the results so I’m now questioning my original idea and consider getting instead the better 24-105 f/4 to have a bit more reach and flexibility.

About auto-ISO I can’t comment on that as I normally set the ISO myself (I have set the lens ring to change ISO on my 50mm). If you don’t like certain aspects of this 28-70 and its weight, why don’t you consider changing it for a pair of primes, like the 50mm 1.8 and the 85mm f/2? Perhaps you could still make a profit with this exchange. I don’t know if for your type of shooting having a zoom lens is an absolut must. Have you considered the 24-105 f4 too? less expensive than your beast, and everybody says it’s a top quality lens (but maybe f4 is too small to get good subject/background separation).


How could the auto ISO “overshoot” and cause overexposure? Being live view all the time that should make that immediately apparent, letting you immediately correct for it.

Size is indeed an issue with the 28-70/2; I would never buy that solely due to the weight. Try an RF 50/1.8 if you want something more comparable to your old Nikon 35/1.8 DX.

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