Upgrading from Canon SL1 to Canon 5D

Delta 374

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Hi

I have been shooting with my Canon SL1 for about 2 years now, before I shot maybe a year with a Nikon D3200. I have been planning on upgrading to full frame for quite a while now, and tried to amass a few full frame lenses before the move (like the Canon EF 100-400mm L).

I am trying to decide what kind of full frame I really need based on my uses. I like to do travel photography, and I really enjoy milky way photography. I was initially looking at the Canon 6D, as it is pretty much the most well known camera for astrophotography. However, even with my Canon SL1 and a small aperture (around 3.5-4) I can get pretty decent photographs of the Milky Way with surprisingly less noise then I had expected.

With a full frame camera I was also planning on buying a Rokinon 14mm F2.8, which should improve the brightness of the galaxy, and the wide angle combined with full frame allowing more exposure time.

I became very interested in the initial Canon 5D, as it has a very appealing price of around $300 or so used and I really don't need all the features of the Canon 6D (like GPS, WiFi). I just care purely about image quality. All over other various forums I see the main detractor of the 5D is just its age and feel, and I could care less about these qualities. I feel that it being a full frame camera should give it an improvement over my SL1 inherently.

Would the original 5D be suitable for my needs, and would it be a significant improvement over my SL1?

Thank you!
 

JonA_CT

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If you're interested in astrophotography, the higher ISO capabilities of the 6D would be an important consideration for you. The 5D caps out at 1600 ISO. Most of the best astrophotography shots I've seen posted here are 3200 or even higher. It allows the shutter speed to be higher so that the stars can appear as pinpoints rather than with small trails.

I also wonder at this point what kind of life a 5D might have remaining it it. The newest one you could find might be almost a decade old, and I'd imagine that shutter count might be of concern.

That being said...for certain things, the 5D still does a great job. @DanOstergren captures beautiful portraiture with his, and might have further insight for you.
 

DanOstergren

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Keep in mind that the 5D Classic is 12 megapixels. Depending on what you plan on doing with your photos, this could pose some limitations in resolution. Just something to consider.

I use a 5D Classic for portraits, and for the most part I have no complaints. 12 megapixel file sizes are nice because they take up less hard drive space, and that's something that I really love. It also performs really well in most lighting situations, but noise can get out of hand once you get past ISO 1000, and even at ISO settings lower than 1000 it can be very unforgiving if you have to correct an underexposed image. I'm not talking "grain" either, I'm talking about ugly, pixelated digital noise that's difficult to remove without killing image detail. Ugly in my opinion at least. In my personal opinion, if you're going to be shooting at high ISO settings and intend to do extensive post work, newer technology might be a better fit for you. I'm not a gear expert though, this is just based on my personal experience using this camera for portraits.

JonA mentioned that this camera is getting up there in age; it was released 12 years ago. At this point I think people should be considering something newer because even a couple of years difference could be worth it, and the difference in cost could still fit in your budget. If all you have is $300 to spend, maybe save some extra $$ and wait until you can get something that will last you longer and have more refined camera tech.
 
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Delta 374

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Thank you both for the replies. I am leaning towards the 6D, wish it could be cheaper! Low light work is the reason I wanted to move to full frame, so I should probably wait.
 

jaomul

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There's always the 5d mark ii which might make a good second hand option if it was cared for
 

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