New Camera Input - DSLR/Mirrorless, APS-C/Full Frame

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ClickJ
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New Camera Input - DSLR/Mirrorless, APS-C/Full Frame

Post by ClickJ » Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:34 am

Hello!

I browsed some of the other topics pertaining to equipment advice but most of them are older and cameras have come a ways since then, so I wanted to get some fresh input on cameras.

I made it to my first airshow in 20 years last year and it was one of the most fun outings I've had with my camera, so I'm really looking forward to getting back to some more (already got my 2021TOM photo pit pass!).

Currently I have a Nikon D5300 and Nikon 10-20, 35, and 70-300mm lenses along with the 18-55 kit, and a Sigma 18-300.

Aviation isn't my primary genre (more general, landscape, some wildlife, etc.) so I'm not looking for a camera that will necessarily be most suited for that above other types of photography - but it's something I would really like to do a lot more of so it will definitely weigh quite a bit on my decision. I'm looking to upgrade for better low light performance, IBIS, weather sealing, and having an overall newer camera so that I have an updated platform to start buying better glass for.

I was hoping to get some insight on a couple of specific points but I also welcome any input you may have on the subject in general! I saw in the most recent post about equipment that there were a lot of crop sensor and DSLR users.


DSLR vs. Mirrorless
I'm almost certain I will be going the mirrorless route but I wanted to see if anyone had experience/feedback on viewfinder lag/refresh issues tracking fast-moving planes. The viewfinder not being able to keep up is my biggest hesitation to go mirrorless.

Crop vs. Full Frame
Photography is just a hobby for me so I can't justify the cost of full-frame glass, plus I like the size of crop lenses as well as the crop factor. I'm trying to get an idea of the trade-off between those two though when it comes to focal length, just in case - I know it will depend on the equipment, but for example: what would the image quality be like shooting at 300mm on a crop body, vs. shooting the same image at 300mm on a full-frame and then cropping in so the subject was roughly the same size in both photos?


I really like my Nikon and love the way their cameras that I've held feel in-hand, but I'm not sold on their mirrorless crop offering or lens selection right now - so I currently have the Fuji XT-4 at the top of my list.

I appreciate your help! Looking forward to making the transition from lurking in the shadows to being an active member of the forum.

-Jason
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RyanS
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Post by RyanS » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:08 pm

I don't have any specific input to offer as I've never shot with mirrorless before and I've only borrowed full-frames, but just wanted to say welcome! I asked Dave to chime in as he has been looking at Canon mirrorless with an adapter for his lenses.
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Post by RFDGuy » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:31 pm

ClickJ wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:34 am Hello!

I browsed some of the other topics pertaining to equipment advice but most of them are older and cameras have come a ways since then, so I wanted to get some fresh input on cameras.

I made it to my first airshow in 20 years last year and it was one of the most fun outings I've had with my camera, so I'm really looking forward to getting back to some more (already got my 2021TOM photo pit pass!).

Currently I have a Nikon D5300 and Nikon 10-20, 35, and 70-300mm lenses along with the 18-55 kit, and a Sigma 18-300.

Aviation isn't my primary genre (more general, landscape, some wildlife, etc.) so I'm not looking for a camera that will necessarily be most suited for that above other types of photography - but it's something I would really like to do a lot more of so it will definitely weigh quite a bit on my decision. I'm looking to upgrade for better low light performance, IBIS, weather sealing, and having an overall newer camera so that I have an updated platform to start buying better glass for.

I was hoping to get some insight on a couple of specific points but I also welcome any input you may have on the subject in general! I saw in the most recent post about equipment that there were a lot of crop sensor and DSLR users.


DSLR vs. Mirrorless
I'm almost certain I will be going the mirrorless route but I wanted to see if anyone had experience/feedback on viewfinder lag/refresh issues tracking fast-moving planes. The viewfinder not being able to keep up is my biggest hesitation to go mirrorless.

Crop vs. Full Frame
Photography is just a hobby for me so I can't justify the cost of full-frame glass, plus I like the size of crop lenses as well as the crop factor. I'm trying to get an idea of the trade-off between those two though when it comes to focal length, just in case - I know it will depend on the equipment, but for example: what would the image quality be like shooting at 300mm on a crop body, vs. shooting the same image at 300mm on a full-frame and then cropping in so the subject was roughly the same size in both photos?


I really like my Nikon and love the way their cameras that I've held feel in-hand, but I'm not sold on their mirrorless crop offering or lens selection right now - so I currently have the Fuji XT-4 at the top of my list.

I appreciate your help! Looking forward to making the transition from lurking in the shadows to being an active member of the forum.

-Jason
Hey Jason, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you but in the Canon camp. I cant really speak for much of whats going on with the new Nikon Mirrorless stuff, but Id imagine its probably not too different than the Canon equipment.

I've been looking into R5 and R6 both full frame. There's a rumor of an R7 crop body mirrorless coming quickly too. Running a full frame body with a 300mm lens will get you some stuff at shows for sure, but may be a bit on the short side. Most of us shoot 400mm (or bigger) lens on crop bodies which with the crop factor are essentially like shooting with over 500mm of zoom. Depending on the MP of the body you choose you may be able to live and just crop in a bit. I know the R5 is 45MP so there'd be plenty of room to crop.

I know Canon makes an adapter so I can use all my old EF lenses on the new RF bodies. Results and reviews say the quality doesn't not really suffer. I cant speak for Nikon or others on this part at all, but i wouldn't be shocked if they did the same.

There are a couple of big pluses to the mirrorless that Im excited to try though. Their low light performance seems to be quite good. Plus the canons finally have in body stabilization (some say it matter some dont) which will also help with the low light equation because you can shoot lower shutter speeds and still get sharp pics.

Plus 20fps on the silent shutter which is crazy fast and if you want to use the mechanical its still a quite fast 12fps. Most mirrorless seem to be able to pull off fast frames.

Video. Some people use them for video, which may or may not be something your looking for the in body IS also helps with stabilization for this. We have actual camcorders so we dont really use our for this, but I've read some solid things about the new capabilities of the mirrorless video and when i get one I'm going to at least try it out to see what I can get, but for the most part i use mine for stills.

I've had a few people say they're worried about a rolling shutter issue (google it) that used to be an issue for older mirrorless cameras, but I havnt seen any big complaints about the new bodies on the market.

But overall I believe my next body will be a mirrorless, I just need to figure out which one I want to get. Plus Id imagine Ill start with my current lenses but slowly transfer over to the new lenses rather than just drop lots of $$$ all at once.

David
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ClickJ
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Post by ClickJ » Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:22 am

Ryan, thank you for the welcome - I appreciate it!

David, thank you for your input. I think that's a great idea to start with your current lenses and upgrade as you can, Nikon makes an adapter as well and I've definitely given that some thought. You mention a possible R7 crop body, maybe that will spur a higher-end Nikon one as well! I wouldn't be opposed to a Canon crop with the features I'm looking for, either. I've been thinking about upgrading for a while, but I'm trying to be careful about pulling the trigger on moving to a new system just because it "checks the most boxes" out of what's available...I keep telling myself that it's OK to wait another year to see if something that's a better fit comes along if need be.

I am also looking forward to better low-light performance and a better FPS although my bar is currently set pretty low for both of those so it gives me some room expectation-wise (my current camera can crank out up to 5fps if the stars align!).

Thanks for mentioning the rolling shutter issue, I am going to keep that in mind. Compared to where I'm at now, I think I would still be in a good spot if I had to use the mechanical shutter to prevent that and I'd still be quite far ahead in FPS, but it will be good to keep an eye out for.

I went out to the camera shop this week to get a feel for the XT-4 but they didn't have one in stock, so I set up a rental over New Years for the XT-4, a 16-80, and a 100-400 lens. Unfortunately I won't have anything too fast to shoot, but the airport here has a great viewing area so I'll try it out there and I can get an idea of the ergonomics. That will be the longest lens I've shot with, even if I decide completely against the camera after trying it out I'm excited to get some shots with that lens!

I hope you will also let me know what camera you end up going with and how you like it once you make that decision. Have a great Christmas!
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Post by RyanS » Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:43 pm

ClickJ wrote: Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:22 am I went out to the camera shop this week to get a feel for the XT-4 but they didn't have one in stock, so I set up a rental over New Years for the XT-4, a 16-80, and a 100-400 lens. Unfortunately I won't have anything too fast to shoot, but the airport here has a great viewing area so I'll try it out there and I can get an idea of the ergonomics. That will be the longest lens I've shot with, even if I decide completely against the camera after trying it out I'm excited to get some shots with that lens!
In Michigan with a great viewing area - are you in Grand Rapids?
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Ryan Sundheimer
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ClickJ
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Post by ClickJ » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:51 pm

I am! I’m in Holland actually but GR is the airport I was talking about.
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wfooshee
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Post by wfooshee » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:56 pm

I've never shot with the D5300, but I had a D5000. Same line, but the 5300 is much newer, with better AF and some other features. The 70-300 you have is plenty of lens, especially on a crop-sensor camera.

I upgraded from my D5000 to a D7000 and never looked back. The D5000 missed focus about half the time at air shows, and my first show with the 7000 missed ZERO out of 1100 shots! I would expect the D5300 to focus as well as the D7000, did, though, since it has the upgraded AF with more focus points; my D5000 only had 11 AF sensors.

Beside the AF advantage I experienced with the D7000, I had a much higher continuous frame rate. I've now upgraded to a D7200, which is even faster and has a bigger buffer, so I can shoot sequences and get "that perfect shot." Maybe. :-)

When those jets are going by and throwing vapor in the high-speed passes, that vapor is instantaneous poofs. This frame was from a sequence at 6.5 frames per second. The previous and following frames have NO vapor! Frame rate is king, although you end up with a maybe 1 in 20 keep ratio; lots of culling!
Image

Current D7X00 camera is the D7500, but when I upgraded from my D7000, specifically for better buffering (the D7000 stopped after only 8 or 9 frames continuous,) I selected the D7200 over the D7500 for a couple of reasons, firstly only a single memory card slot in the D7500.

My own personal recommendation is that you stay with your Nikon glass, as the 70-300 is plenty long for airshows. The D7200 is not available new, but plenty of good used ones are out there. If you want the best crop-factor DSLR out there, spring for the D500, but that may be out of reach in the budget, as it was for me. Either way, moving away from Nikon means new glass, which adds to the cost. Glass is forever, bodies aren't.
Last edited by wfooshee on Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ClickJ
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Post by ClickJ » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:52 am

Thank you for the feedback! That's a great shot. The buffer in my 5300 starts slowing things down so quickly that even with jets I felt like I had to think about which part of the pass I wanted most because I wasn't going to get the whole thing...so I am definitely looking forward to improvement in that area.

I'm glad you mentioned those other Nikons. When I decided to start seriously looking at cameras I didn't even consider them because I wrote them off as "too old" especially with the rise of mirrorless, because I wanted a more recent platform to start getting better glass for - but I do like the variety of lenses available for my Nikon and you're right it would be nice to keep using my current lenses, even if I gradually replace them with higher quality ones. I decided to take a closer look at some Nikon crop bodies after reading your post. I know none of the decent cameras from the last several years take bad pictures, I might have to remind myself of that more often while going through this.

Unfortunately my camera rental I had planned over New Years was a swing and a miss, I had them ship it to the local UPS store for pickup on 12/31, and early that evening I got a "Delivery attempted but business is closed" message from UPS because their store was closed for New Years that day. The soonest I could get it delivered was Jan. 4, so I cancelled that rental and re-ordered for delivery this Thursday and added a D500 along with the Fuji. Going to take them both for a spin this weekend, and see how I like them!
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Post by RyanS » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:58 pm

ClickJ wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:52 am Thank you for the feedback! That's a great shot. The buffer in my 5300 starts slowing things down so quickly that even with jets I felt like I had to think about which part of the pass I wanted most because I wasn't going to get the whole thing...so I am definitely looking forward to improvement in that area.
Memory cards also play a huge role in this. Whatever body you get, it's worth looking up what card models perform best with it and only buy them from a legit source. I've gotten more counterfeit cards from Amazon than real ones, so I only buy from places like B&H now.
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wfooshee
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Post by wfooshee » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:17 pm

ClickJ wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:52 am I'm glad you mentioned those other Nikons. When I decided to start seriously looking at cameras I didn't even consider them because I wrote them off as "too old" especially with the rise of mirrorless, because I wanted a more recent platform to start getting better glass for - but I do like the variety of lenses available for my Nikon and you're right it would be nice to keep using my current lenses, even if I gradually replace them with higher quality ones. I decided to take a closer look at some Nikon crop bodies after reading your post. I know none of the decent cameras from the last several years take bad pictures, I might have to remind myself of that more often while going through this.
You're in exactly the same position I was a few years ago when I had the D5000. Not enough camera performance for what I wanted to do. I had the D7000 for quite a while, but even though its "wall" was higher, I still hit the wall and then got the D7200. (Couldn't afford a D500, and the D7500 was missing a couple of features I wanted to keep.)

Now that you're renting a D500, I think your decision is going to be a pretty easy one. That'll be your camera, whatever it takes to get one! :lol: it will amaze you!

And yes, as stated above, highest quality cards!!!
Last edited by wfooshee on Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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