The Great Debate

In the coming months I plan on spending quite a bit on upgrading some of my equipment.  During my research I have become incredibly torn.  I currently use a Canon T1i as my main camera body.  Those of you that know much about cameras will know that it isn’t a top of the line camera, and is widely considered a pro-sumer camera. It isn’t a professional camera completely, and it isn’t a pure consumer camera either.  This is mainly because it has a 1.6x crop sensor instead of a full frame inside.  Basically it means that it has a built in zoom so I have to stand further back to get up close pictures, but it allows me to get a further zoom on any telephotos while shooting sports for example.

For the last few months I have been convinced that I would buy a Canon 5D Mark II as my next camera body for my next upgrade.  It is a full frame camera and is probably the most widely used Canon ever by professionals.  It is pure and simple a fantastic camera.  Now; however, I am torn.  I’ve been doing a lot of research and testing a lot of lenses.  The conclusion is that I will most likely get the best image quality from buying high quality L series lenses ( L is Canon’s professional line of lenses)  and keeping my current camera body.  I already use L series lenses, but there are some different zoom ranges that I would like to have, and perhaps pick up a prime. (Prime is a fixed lens that doesn’t have any zoom and in theory produces sharper images)

The biggest debate comes from the full frame though.  Being able to get in closer on images, and being able to produce a bit more image quality (with an L series lens attached) makes the 5D Mark II very attractive.  But, my main concern right now is attracting more clients.  The images that I produce right now will be what brings in clients.  If getting high quality lenses will give me better image quality than a new body, shouldn’t it be a no brainer?  Do consumers really care about what camera body you use to shoot their images, or whether or not you have a full frame? I don’t think so on average.  I mean sure, there will be a few who judge you solely by the camera body they see attached.  This is especially true when they have a more expensive camera on their own.  To be honest, it is quite embarrassing for me at times when people ask what I shoot with.  I know it shouldn’t bother me and I should only care about how my images come out, but it does.

In the end, I do have some professional quality lenses now that would really shine attached to the 5D Mark II.  The T1i does a very good job and would probably be just fine for shooting another year, especially adding in some new L series glass. While I continue to debate in my head, here is a video that does a good job of showing whats more important, lenses or bodies.  Remember though, he is using probably the worst lens you can get for a Canon to test the 1D Mark IV.

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