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I own a Canon 1000D. I've been using it for the past 4 years. Naturally I've outgrown its limits, and I'm saving up to potentially purchase a full frame camera.

Taking in consideration as this would be a big investment, please advise. Is moving to full frame a good idea, or should I consider something like a 550/600D?

Also if not Canon, do I shift to Nikon for any of these reasons?

  • Price
  • Resolution
  • AF points
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closed as not constructive by mattdm, Paul Cezanne, MikeW, Itai, John Cavan Mar 31 '13 at 13:01

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

There are millions of people using full frame, and millions of others using cropped sensor - knowing nothing about you, there's no way we can answer the question. What limits have you outgrown? What sort of photography do you do? – MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 20:47
Also, a camera body is not a long term investment. Lenses are to a degree, but bodies wear out and become obsolete. – MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 20:48
And when you say "wait for full frame", wait on what? Are you saving up for it? – MikeW Mar 30 '13 at 20:49
I'd be saving for a good tilt/shift lens over a camera body in that event. – John Cavan Mar 30 '13 at 21:45
And that said, worth considering that there's a lot of levels of nice camera between a 1000D and the more expensive full-frame price point. – mattdm Mar 30 '13 at 21:51

I just like to point out that the camera body is one of the least important parts in taking the photo.

For architecture an ultra-wide lens will make a huge difference in what you can shoot, a friend was generous enough to lend me the Canon 10-22 when I needed to photograph my home and I couldn't have done a good job with a kit lens.

I have the 550D and I can't comment on the resolution of the 1000D - but unless you are printing really big prints I would expect the resolution to be enough.

For outside architecture photos I would suggest a good tripod and an ultra-wide lens:

  • ISO - not relevant, you'll do long exposures in low light
  • Focus - not relevant, with such a wide lens everything is in focus anyway.
  • Price - painful, the Canon 10-22 (or a similar third party lens) costs much more than a 550D

For inside architecture an ultra-wide lens is even more important and you have several options about lighting

First priority, controlling light: get a off-camera flash or there (note: it will take quite a bit of learning to use those flashes)

  • ISO - not relevant, you'll be using flash
  • Focus - not relevant, with such a wide lens everything is in focus anyway.
  • Price - the ultra-wide lens is still by far the most expensive part of the kit, cheap Chinese flashes and accessories from eBay work just fine but you can't get a cheap good ultra-wide lens

Second priority, slow exposure: use a good tripod

  • ISO - not relevant, you'll do long exposures in low light
  • Focus - not relevant, with such a wide lens everything is in focus anyway.
  • Price - a good tripod isn't cheap but again the lens will be the most expensive part

Third priority, high ISO: here nothing will work as well as a last generation full frame camera (such as the 6D), you still need an ultra wide lens (but not the 10-22, it will not work on full frame cameras)

Note: previous generation full frame (5Dmk2 for example) are not as good as current generation (6D,5Dmk3) in low light

  • ISO - different people have very different noise tolerance but I think the 550D works well in ISO 800-1600, maybe with a little noise reduction in post, according to reviews the 6D is quite acceptable at ISO 12800
  • Focus - not relevant, with such a wide lens everything is in focus anyway.
  • Price - expensive

Note: this answer covers only Canon models because I use Canon and don't follow Nikon models.

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You could also consider Tamron 10-24 which costs about half of that of Canon 10-22 – GoodSp33d Mar 31 '13 at 10:14
Canon has now a 10-18mm for cropped sensors, which is quite affordable and has an incredible image quality for its price – santiagozky Jul 27 '15 at 11:12

My answer will not give you an advice like Buy or not this because as others comments it depends on many factors.

I can give my opinion about two things:

Nikon Full frame or stay to Canon:

I cannot say to change the brand except if you see a very needed feature that one brand have that is not equivalent in the other.

I am a Nikon lover and and I just want to give my opinion about the full frames of Nikon: they are not mature except if you take the D3 or D4 (even the D4 is a regression about the battery life).

If I compare with my old D300, all D700/ D800 or D600 are very expensive for what they give and they all have some design errors that I think unacceptable for that price range:

  • D700 eyepiece does not cover 100%
  • D800 /E max frames/sec at 4fps is quite slow
  • D600 at 5.5 fps is still lower than the D300(s).

In my opinion the Full frame from Canon are superior in that (e.g. the 5D mark III).

For the cropped vs full-frame:

As other said "it depends" but I would say simply:

  • If you mainly shoot nature photography (insects with macro lenses; birds, wild animals...) --> cropped is the best (because the crop factor)
  • if you make landscape and like the extreme wide angle; like to push the ISO high because shooting in low light without flash --> Full Frame.

You have to know that switching to full frame will make you to invest more money than just the camera body: if you have many lenses for cropped bodies, you have to renew all your lenses. For all brands their full frame lenses are more expensive.

The advantage to stay with a Canon like 550D or 650D is that you can keep your lenses you used with the 1000D. In the other hand Canon have others more professional bodies like 60D and 7D which have the cropped sensors as well.

UPDATE: Now Nikon seems to found some improvement of the D800/E as they launch a D810 which does not have the bypass filter (equivalent to D800E) and with a improved maximum speed (5fps at 36Mpix) which seems to look like a perfect camera for architectural and able to do other things as well). That is erase all my negative comments Nikon full frame... the only negative point is the price but we cannot change that except waiting and waiting...

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Design errors? Hmm... Not buying that. The D800 is 36mp, so at 4 frames per second it pushes 144mp worth of data over the bus which, compared to the D4, is only marginally slower in the amount of information pushed per second for substantially less cost. The D600 is 24mp and the D300 is 12mp, and the D600 failure is being a half an image slower? Wow, picky, it pushes almost twice as much data to the card as the D300. The D700? Widely regarded as one of the best cameras Nikon ever made and your fatal flaw is the viewfinder coverage? You're numbered in the handful there. – John Cavan Mar 31 '13 at 4:15
Yes I agree that technically they are very good, but for a semi-pro level camera (within their price range) it is just for me unacceptable to have not a 100% coverage and the speed to be so slow (d800). I assume my subjective point of view becasue I am not a professional who can own all the nikon cameras for each purpose but I heard the same comments from other users as well, then I am not alone thinking that. – ruffp Apr 7 '13 at 9:00
What you don't seem to understand, however, is that changing these things may either not be possible or will significantly change the price point. – John Cavan Apr 7 '13 at 13:19
Yes I totally understand that limitations. But in my opinion Canon made a better choice for a "all purpose" full frame camera by choosing less pixels (22mp), and a 100% coverage eyepiece for a good balanced price. After all it is not only the quantity of megapixels which make the good quality of a camera like the compact with their 20x zoom... – ruffp Apr 8 '13 at 21:16

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