Thoughts and opinions on DSLR for stills

Discussion in 'Cameras' started by Dave King, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Now that I'm going to be using the Sony 760 for video I was curious as to what everyone is using is for stills. I have access to a 7D but its pretty heavy. I know there are many choices but I was curious what's the best quality for the weight? I also know there a big difference between 25 megapixels for a video camera, and 25 megapixesl for a dslr. I don't want to make my copter into a heavy lifter or get the BL's close to maxed out.

    thanks in advance.


    Dave
     
  2. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    What do you want to do with the stills? Something for the web or mid size prints the 7D would be fine.
     
  3. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    DSLR for the realty and survey markets.
     
  4. Chris Shaw

    Chris Shaw New Member

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    I nice lightweight Canon T3i, T4i, or the new T5i either one and the Canon 10-22mm lens (16-35mm equiv) and you're golden.
     
  5. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

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    Cannon 5dmk III with 24mm lens seems to be the norm
     
  6. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    What about the 60D? It seems pretty light as well.
     
  7. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Dave for the stills what is the final use of the images? If they are going to be printed how large on regular basis? Why don't you think the 7D won't do the job with its 18mp, though it is an APS-C sized sensor with the inherent magnification of the lens? There are a lot of folks that are using the Canon 5DmkII or MkIII. It is a great still and video camera. But you already have video covered. So the guidance needs to be done based on the use of the image.

    If it is web only you could use something in the 11mp range. I've got 24x36 prints that are spectacular from a Canon G11 which is only a 10mp point a shoot. Need a 4ft x 6ft print then 24mp or even 36mp might be needed. Really depends on the usage.
     
  8. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    Ive had the 7D since it came out and has been a great camera. I used to fly it on my Droidworx AD-6 on shoots and thats a much smaller copter than the CS8. It lifted the weight fine, but the CS8 does it much better. The 5DmkIII is a little bit heavier but the stock CS8 doesn't notice the difference. The T4s-T6s will be lighter but is basically the same camera, as well as the 60D. The 7D is just built stronger and therefore a little heavier. Between all these options I'd say spend the money elsewhere.
     
  9. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    I fly my CS8 almost exclusively for stills. In the beginning I used a 5D MII with a 16-35 lens. I found most of my shots to be taken from the wider side of the range and was looking to minimize weight for flight times. I ended up buying the new 6D since it is about half a pound lighter than the 5D MII and reviews claim it shoots better stills (but worse video). Then I bought the 20, 24 and 28MM lenses (24 and 28 are image stabilizing) to get rid of the heavy 16-35 I was flying. Its a noticeable difference in weight and the flight times are definitely higher.

    I have also flown a T2i both from the CS8 and my prior helium balloon system. I used the 10-22mm that Chris recommended and had very good results with that as well. Weight is an even bigger factor on the balloon system because the size of the balloon was huge to get any decent lift - which is why I did not use a 5D MII on that one. Since I am an architectural photographer (both interior and exterior) I was excited to be able to fly a higher end FF sensor after ditching the balloon - but I would not hesitate to recommend a T2i - T51 with the 10-22 - I did a lot of good work with that set up.

    One advantage on the new 6D is the built in WiFi. You can easily change camera settings after you are all set up on the CS8 from your phone. I have not tried to see how far the camera can send a signal yet, but I bet a lot of aerial stills could be seen live by someone from their phones / iPads if you wanted to go that route. I mostly use it if I am going to adjust the exposure comp a couple clicks (I shoot in aperature priority mode and under expose 1/3 or 2/3).

    Let me know if I can be of any further help to you...or if you want to see any sample stills taken with any of the combinations of cameras or lenses.

    Michael
     
  10. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Gary I have used the 7D on two video's that I produced and its performed great. I did stills and video and the stills were excellent. It's just heavier and more costly and comparing but I wanted to get the input of the professionals here as well. It weighs in at 820 grams (just the body) and is $1700. I see that the 60D is 755 grams and is $900 and the T4i is $800 and is only 520G. The T5i is $750 and 520 grams. I realilze that sometimes there's more to it than specs (Like durabilty for example)

    Looking at the specs all the cameras above all seem to have the same sensor size and image quality for stills. I wanted to invest in a camera that could give me large prints if the customer asked for them even though it may not be a regular request.
     
  11. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    If you use the 6D wifi make sure you check that while it is turned on using WiFi you don't get any degradation of interference with your flight control system since it is likely that it is on 2.4ghz wifi frequency.

    mx-20 HoTT technical data
    Frequency band 2.4 … 2.4835 GHz

    Canon 6D Wifi
    Freq Channels
    2.412 to 2.462Ghz 1 to 11
     
  12. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    HI Michael

    Thanks for the great information. I would love to see some images for a comparison.
     
  13. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Brad
     
  14. Brad Meier

    Brad Meier Active Member
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    Sorry, I re-read your post. I took at is you had a 7D. If your shopping for a DSLR then yes a lighter T3-4i is the way to go. I had the 7D when I got into copters so of course thats what I used. If you want full frame, the 6D as its much lighter than the 5D.

    Also, right now I wouldn't recommend purchasing a 7D just because they are older and going for half price on Ebay. No need to buy "new" older technology
     
  15. Matt Aurisy

    Matt Aurisy New Member

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    Be aware that the 6d got terrible reviews for video. Awful moire and increased rolling shutter from the 5dII and 7D. If you need a full frame dslr for only stills and have a bunch of canon glass already the 6D would be a solid option.
     
  16. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Dave,

    Here you go. I happened to have one stretch of beach that was photographed twice within a month or two with different cameras and lenses. Other than that, none of the comparisons are of the same property. They are going to be done at different times of day with different amounts of direct sun on the properties.

    I think in the end you will determine that any modern camera and halfway decent lens can get the job done for still photos. There are more choices on lenses if you go with a full frame sensor like a 5D MII or a 6D - at least more ways to get to the same focal length. If using a full frame and wanting something like 20mm, you could use a 16-35, 17-40 or a 20mm prime. On a cropped sensor like the T2i-T5i you would need to use the EFS 10-22 and multiply focal length by 1.6 - setting lens between 12 and 13mm. Nothing wrong with this (I did it for a long time), but when you would ever upgrade to a full frame sensor your EFS lenses can not be used.

    Matt is right about the video on the 6D - downgrade from the 5D MII or MIII. But if you think you will use your Sony 760 for all your video work (or at least not need to turn to your DSLR) than the 6D would be the lightest Canon full frame and has great image quality for your still shots. This is what I use most of the time with the 20mm lens on it.

    If you want more images to look at to help decide which way to go, send me a message with your email and I can send you more.

    Good luck - hope this helps.

    Michael
     

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  17. Mike Duval

    Mike Duval Member

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    Those are some gorgeous shots Michael! Thanks for sharing them. Glad to hear that the 6D has been working out for you.
     
  18. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    Thanks. I have been very pleased with it.
     
  19. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the info and pictures.
     
  20. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    You're welcome Dave - my pleasure.
     

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