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canon 6d upgrade to ...?


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I currently have a canon 6d.  I have the sigma art 35, canon 85 1.8, canon 24-105 f4 and canon 70-200 f2.8ii for lenses.  I mainly shoot my 4 young children.  I usually use my 35 inside and 70-200 outside.  I need a better focusing system.  I am trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and upgrade to canon 5d mark iv or selling everything and switching to Nikon D750.  My lenses are holding me back a bit to switch because I love my 70-200 but I can't get over $3500 for a camera body.  Is it worth it?  I know I could purchase a 5d Mark iii but I don't really want to purchase a camera put out on the market the same year as my 6d so I guess my question is would you go for the new mark iv or switch over to Nikon even though that camera model is 2 years old. There are a lot of good deals going on for the Nikon d750 so it is so hard for me to decide.  TIA


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This is a tough one. Switching can be expensive, for obvious reasons. In my humble opinion, I would recommend a 5D Mark III body. The Mark IV is nice, but it's not an earth-shattering upgrade from the Mark III. It's more of a "natural progression" upgrade. Now, I will say, Nikon cameras tend to have a better focusing system in their lower-end bodies, so I can understand wanting to switch. So let's break a few things down with the Nikon equivalents of what you currently own:

  • Sigma Art Nikon Version: $899
  • Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G: $476.95
  • Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR: $1096.95
  • Nikon 70-200 f/2.8E FL VR: $2796.95 - The reason for this lens, is that the new 70-200 behaves more like your Canon 70-200 f/2.8L. When Nikon rebuilt the 70-200 from the ground up to fix the vignetting issues at f/2.8 & 200mm, (with the VR I version,) they introduced "focus breathing," meaning you can't get as close to the subject as you used to. For the purists out there who like filling the frame, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II lens at 200mm, performs more like a 135mm would, for lack of a better term. So while you can get the older 70-200 f/2.8G VR II lens for less money, I just want to make you aware of what you are getting into. You will need the newer and more expensive Nikon 70-200 to get similar results that you get with your Canon 70-200.

So far the total in lenses is (Drumroll Pleeze...) $5269.85. That's JUST for the lenses. Now add the cost of a D750 at the normal price of $1996.95 and we are talking $7266.80, plus applicable tax & shipping. For that money, you can get a Canon EOS 1D X Mark II for less money than switching. In fact, it's right around for the cost of the Nikon lenses. The 1D X Mark II has a professional grade focusing system that is light-years ahead of your 6D. (...and people wonder why I hate recommending the Nikon D610 and Canon 6D bodies, as they are meant to be outgrown, but I digress...)

Here is the thing, Nikon is hurting. Their QC has gone way down and the market isn't buying new cameras like they once were. It seems that the Clickin' Mom's Generation is looking for their "Forever Camera," or has finally realized on just how much a PITA it is to make a profit. No, I'm not being sexist, the biggest market driving sales for around the last decade have been female photographers and those "Cutesy Name Photography" businesses aren't buying cameras like they used to. For the guys, there really hasn't been a major update for us to give the "Tim the Toolman Grunt." So it's leveled off for the guys as well. The camera manufactures have finally taken notice and hopefully things will turn around. Stock-Holders need to be kept happy.

I really think a couple of new FX bodies are going to be released in 2017, perhaps finally a true D700 replacement or more than likely a Nikon D810 update. That's why the D750 is so cheap. Even the D810. They are looking for revenue and to clear out stock. Nikon just doesn't put out sweet deals for nothing. Something is cooking up their sleeves. So I'd hate for you to switch, invest all that money, only to have Nikon release a better camera body than a D750, which would suit your needs better. The AF System in the D750 is much better than the D610, but not as good as the one in the D810. The AF system in the D810 is from the Nikon D4s. The D750's AF Points are clustered together in the center of the viewfinder, the D810's AF points are further spread apart. So before jumping ship, PLEASE FIND A D750 AND PHYSICALLY HOLD IT. Go through the menus and give it a test drive. See how it feels in your hands.

Here is how Nikon has their lineup situated, FX (Full Frame) is on the left, DX (Crop) is on the right:

  • D610 --> D3400
  • D750 --> D5300
  • D810 --> D7200
  • D5 --> D500

So as you can see, and this is what really irks me with Nikon, you have to pay to play. The D750 is a fine camera, but if you need more, even if it's just something as simple as a more robust AF system, you have to upgrade to the D810 with it's 36MP massive Raw files. Oh...want faster fps and a awesome focusing system? Sorry, we need to upgrade to the D5. Can't afford a D750? The D610 for you then!!  Complete with all the lack of features.

Now we have to take into consideration of what kind of money that you are going to get for your lenses. The Sigma, even though people RAVE on how great it is, it's still a 3rd party lens and you might get $700 for it, maybe even less.  Like $600 or so. It's still a Sigma. The Canon 70-200 that you have? About $1600-$1700 used. Canon 85mm f/1.8? $300-ish. 24-105? Call it $800 or so. My estimate for your lenses is going to be $3000-$3500. That leaves you with a $1769 loss, and then you still have to purchase the body, in which the final cost would be around the $3800 mark, give or take. I'm being optimistic and using $3500 for your lenses, minus the cost of the Nikon equivalents, plus the price of a D750 at $1999. My numbers added up to $3768. Oh, I forgot about the Canon 6D. In excellent shape, you could get $1100 or so. If it has normal wear, around $1000. So the final number should be less than $3000. That said, a new 5D Mark III is $2249, which is about $500 less than the total amount of what it would cost you to switch. See where I'm coming from?

In my humble opinion, I'd get a Canon 5D Mark III and rock the shit out of it.

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Thank you so much Brian for your funny but honest answer.  I was laughing when I read clickinmoms bc I am on that forum as well but I have to say I love the Damien way so I knew this was THE place to ask about camera bodies.   B and h had the Nikon d750 around $1800 with extras but I too was thinking I'm going to purchase this and then they are going to release the next big updated camera soon! Then I would be disappointed.   Would you think switching would be worth it if Nikon made a true update to the legendary  Nikon d700?   Also I'm assuming you would believe that a future canon 6dii would be lackluster as well.   Any insight if and when canon may would offer rebates on the iv or discount the iii more?   I would like to upgrade sooner vs later but I am good waiting a couple months if you think prices may change at the 6 month mark after the iv was released.   Also, I would like to pick your brain on a good wide angle zoom?  I've been thinking of selling off my 85 bc I rarely use after purchasing my 70-200 and the 24-105 bc I'm always at the wide end using this lens.   Oh and I finally understood focus breathing. I had not a clue what that was when I was reading reviews.  Finally i loved your Tim the Toolman grunt bc my husband just told me last night he likes to stay brand loyal instead of going back and forth although he doesn't care about my camera at all. He is a car guy!  

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OK, Nikon Rumors had a article on a "Test Sensor" being put into a D750 body and a few sample images were released. The Sensor was about 20.2MP, or somewhere around there. That puts it into a D5s category (due for the 2018 Olympics) or even a D700 replacement.

(Excuse me for a second, BWHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! LMAO!!! A Nikon D700 REPLACEMENT?!!?!!! Oh, THAT IS funny!! Bwhahahahah....deep breath.... BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!)

OK, I'm back.  Perhaps a D5 sensor will make its way into a D810 body, but this is pure speculation on my part. The truth is, I don't know what Nikon is going to do next. I don't think Nikon knows what it's doing next. LOL!! That said, the D810 is really a fixed D800, and is getting a bit long in the tooth. The D750 might see an incremental update as well. Nothing earth-shattering, sort of like going from a Nikon D5200 to a D5300. As far as a true D700 replacement, Nikon has stated the D810 IS THE REPLACEMENT. Like many others, I don't buy this. They stated for years that the D7200 was the replacement for the D300s, then they finally released the D500 and THAT body is definitely the replacement for the D300s. The D810 is nothing like what the D700 was...a baby D3. Nikon isn't going to repeat that mistake unless it was on purpose. (If you added the battery grip to the D700 and used the battery from a D3/D3s, you could increase the fps from 5 to 8. The D3 was 9fps. Of course the D3 had A LOT more menu options and features, in addition to a 2nd CF slot, though the sensor was the same so the photos pretty much looked the same, which killed D3 sales.)

OK, I'm rambling. Here is what I think: Don't ever think that Nikon is going to release a true update to the D700. They are sticking with the "Pay to Play" method and are trying to avoid the "Last Camera Syndrome" at all costs. What is the last camera syndrome? It is what the name implies. The thinking of, "I just want to purchase a camera and not outgrow it. The next camera that I buy better last me at least 10 years or more because I can't afford forking out $2000-$3000 every couple of years..." Unfortunately, today's DSLR cameras are computers that think they are cameras. Gone are the days of inheriting Grandpa's Nikon F2 and a box of lenses, and be able to use them right away. Manufactures want you in the market sooner rather than later. That's why camera bodies only seem to last 3-4 years before they start having quirky issues. (Locking up, being sluggish, and doing other weird things.)

Bottom Line on switching over: Only do it if you think there is real merit to switching. It needs to be a logical decision, not an emotional one. It can't come from the "This stupid fucking camera!!! It won't focus!! That's IT!! I'm switching to Nikon!!!" way of thinking. The Canon 6D is a entry-level full frame camera. It's the "Digital Rebel" in the full frame lineup and is meant to be outgrown. The goal is to eventually piss you off and force you to purchase a larger body, which has more features. So instead of spending $3200, you end up spending over $5000 at the end. Guess what? It seems to have worked. LOL!! If you do switch over to an equivalent camera-class, you are going to end up right back where you started, which is the "This stupid fucking camera...."  phrase. Trust me. You need to to big or go home and that comes with a large price-tag.

For Canon to really lower the price on anything, the US Dollar (assuming that you are located in the United States) would have to be REALLY STRONG against the Japanese Yen. I don't think the 5D Mark IV is going to drop much. If it does, I'd expect it to be at the $3200 price-point, which is what the 5D Mark III was for a long time. At $2249 for a 5DMk3, it might go to $1999/$2099 and that's when they are completely discontinuing it. Again, wishful thinking. Both Canon and Nikon are hurting and people aren't buying cameras like they once were, that's why the 5D Mark IV is $3499 instead of $3299. Even Nikon's prices are more expensive these days, with the brand new 70-200 @ $2800 being a prime example.

Bottom Line: If the Canon 5D Mark III drops in price, it's only going to be about $100 less, so I'd still buy one right now.

For a Wide Angle Lens, I'd look at the Canon 16-35 lens. They have a f/4 and f/2.8 version and depending on what you use it for, will determine which lens. For example, if you are shooting landscapes and are at f/8 and f/11 a lot, then it doesn't make sense to buy a f/2.8 version. That said, if you shoot indoors or are into Astrophotography, than the f/2.8 version is what you are buying. If it were me? I'd get the f/2.8 version, then again, I have expensive tastes and shoot weddings in addition to my landscape stuff so f/2.8 is what I go after. Sell the 85mm and put that money towards the 16-35mm f/2.8. 

PS: I wasn't being a jerk with the "Clickin' Mom's" statement. I'm dead serious about the fastest growing market for the last decade has been women when it comes to cameras. It's not just the cameras and lenses, but all the accessories, the cute camera bags / straps and the explosion of photo workshops / classes that are out there today.  If it weren't for the Clickin' Mom's (and a few other groups) Generation, I feel that the camera market would look vastly different today.

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Thank you so much Brian.  I've decided to wait a month or so just to see if there will be a newer D750 coming out soon.  If not, I will decide btwn the Mark iii and iv.  All of your advice  has been greatly appreciated! :)

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@Tenille: Look towards the end of Feb. / beginning of March 2017 for any "big" releases / updates. Nikon has a habit of making announcements then. Followed by a August / Sept. release of some sort.

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I bought a used D700 a few months back. I added the D3s battery to the grip, so it shoots at 8fps now, which is helpful with my son's Baseball games. I also have the Nikon 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 VR II to go with it. Those lenses make a BIG difference. Oh, and I'm not humble-bragging. It's taken me several years,  more than one tax return, a loan (which is paid off) and several weddings / gigs to purchase the "Nikon Trinity." It was not easy, I had to find a way to make it happen.

My next camera purchase is probably a used D3s in decent shape. The skin tones from a D3s are fantastic and it still holds its own for a camera that came out in 2009. If I were to upgrade to a camera body that had 24mp or more, I'd have to upgrade my 2009 iMac. So for the moment, I'm still living in 2009 technology-wise.

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