My significant other has a Canon EOS 600D, I have a Sony NEX 7. We would like to consolidate, i.e. purchase one (better and more up to date) camera we share. We've had a discussion about which system to go for, and she's made it clear it's important to her to stick to a camera with mirror and she prefers the handling of the Canon, which means staying with Canon and getting rid of the Sony and the E-mount lenses.

I'd like to surprise her with a new camera for Christmas, but am unsure which EOS model would be the best fit for our requirements. I have looked at the 80D, 7D mark ii, 5D mark iv and 5DS in detail. I would expect a new purchase to carry us through at least the next 5 years without getting the feeling we should upgrade again.

Our main use cases are:

  1. For her job, she frequently has to take pictures of building sites and the interior of houses and flats. She's always complained about missing a wide angle lens (we will get one). A tripod is used about 60% of the time for these pictures.

  2. Also for her job, photos taken by us frequently end up in newspaper adverts and large banners hung outside building sites. While the 18 / 24 megapixels of our cameras have so far been sufficient for the purpose, I suspect having more will enable her to be more free in her ad / banner designs.

  3. During our travels, we take pictures of landscapes, people, plants and animals. We do occasionally have posters printed of photographs we like and hang them in the office.

  4. While high speed photography has never been really important for us, there's a fairly good change that nephews/nieces will be around soon, and while toddlers usually aren't lightning fast, it would be nice to have a speedy auto focus and serial rating.

We own the following lenses: EF-S 55-250, EF-S 18-55 and SEL1855, SEL16F28, SEL30M35, SEL18200 - the SELs we will get rid of and purchase corresponding EF/EF-S lenses (I'm going to miss the SEL18200 though).

The 80D and 7D mark ii are the cheaper ones I've looked at. I believe they would still cover quite a lot of our requirements. What deters me is that 5D and 5DS seem to have much newer technology, and I'd love to have a full frame camera. The 5DS and 5D are on par in terms of price, and it's obvious that the much higher resolution of the 5DS would allow huge posters/ads/banners - yet it is marketed as a specialist camera and I wonder what the drawback is. The 5D seems a good choice - but then there's the doubt about the lower resolution compared to the 5DS.

I would much appreciate an answer telling me which model would be best choice for our specific requirements - I do realise that this question is somewhat open to opinion, yet I hope I've made the situation clear enough to allow for factual answers (and avoid getting the question closed).

It has been suggested that this is answered by another question, which provides a general overview of the differences between EOS cameras. While this is helpful information, I fail to see how it answers my question, which is which of four models most accurately fits my specific requirements.

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    Exactly what is it about the 600D which you think is limiting your photography? If the answer is "I don't know", then the correct course of action is not to buy a new camera. – Philip Kendall Dec 4 '16 at 15:27
  • What I don't like about the 600D is the autofocus - frequently, it doesn't do what I want it to (in contrast to the NEX 7) and isn't as fast as I would like it to be. It seems to perform less well than the NEX 7 in darker conditions. Also, I believe a newer model would provide better stabilisation, from which I hope to gain a larger proportion of decent pictures. – Lying Dog Dec 4 '16 at 15:50
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  • @LyingDog For your purposes the 5D Mark III does pretty much everything the 5D Mark IV does. Remaining new 5D3 inventory is going at bargain prices right now. There's not really that much difference between 24 and 30 MP - about 17% in terms of linear pixels. – Michael C Dec 6 '16 at 4:06
  • The drawback to the 5Ds (and the 5Ds R variant) is shooting speed and larger file sizes. Forget keeping up with any nieces/nephews shooting the 5Ds. The 7D Mark II and 5D Mark III/IV would all be more capable there. – Michael C Dec 6 '16 at 4:11
up vote 2 down vote accepted

EOS 80D and 7D mkII are APS-c cameras; so while you can go wide angle, the best way to go wide is a Full frame camera. The cameras mentioned above have a crop factor of 1.6.

FULL FRAMES if you can afford, will certainly be better for the taking photos that are wide-angle. However, the full-frame camera will most certainly need a lens or two, as you don't have an FX lens. I suppose since you're already looking into 5D series, money isn't that big problem.

Resolution beyond a point won't matter, 50 MP 5DS will be dragged down by the printer used by the newspaper press, for that the 600D is already more than you need.

For 5D mk IV vs 5DS, there is the Pixel size ; same sensor size and lesser pixels, keeping all things means the pixel size on the latter is greater which in turn allows it to capture more lightPixel size vs Pixel count

Since one of your requirement is indoor,better low light performance can be a factor.

  • Thank you, this is helpful information - making it very hard to decide which of the two replies to mark as answer. I will go for the 5D Mark IV, it seems the best fit. – Lying Dog Dec 5 '16 at 17:15
  • The lens cost of wide angle is also more expensive with full frame. An APS-C only 10-22mm lens gives the same FoV on an APS-C camera as a 16-35mm lens on a FF. To go wider than that on a FF gets really expensive (e.g. EF 11-24mm f/4 L). – Michael C Dec 6 '16 at 3:58
  • Correct, but you simply can't go THAT wide in APS-C without spending similar amount of money in APS-C either. Besides if the OP can afford a 5DS, I'm sure he'll want top shelf item anyway. – arun-that-plays-chess Dec 6 '16 at 21:50

From your comment, you say that the main things you want from a new body are improved autofocus speed and improved image stabilisation. My view is that you almost certainly want to be getting better lenses, rather than a new body.

Image stabilisation: this is easy. Canon's image stabilisation is implemented in the lens, not the body, so changing body is going to make diddly squat difference to the image stabilisation you get.

Autofocus speed: the two lenses you are using are the kit lenses. You don't say if they're the STM versions or not, but it doesn't make much difference as they're both versions are slow focusing. Replace the 18-55 with (for example) the 17-55 f/2.8 and you'll discover your AF performance is much quicker without changing a thing your body. As an aside, if you did go for the 5D or 5DS, you'd have to be buying new lenses anyway as EF-S lenses aren't useable on full frame cameras.

  • As a sports photographer I think it does merit a slight counter-point to the above. Yes, some lenses focus MUCH faster than others, and absolutely this is a good thing, but it is an often over-rated aspect. When shooting sports one is rarely focusing from 3' to 50' and back to 3' quickly; instead one is tracking as people move. I have yet to see any lens that is not adequate to tracking most sports. And TRACKING is far more about the body than the lens. I cannot speak to canon, but in Nikon land, there is a huge difference across the line in the ability to track fast moving subjects. – Linwood Dec 4 '16 at 16:42
  • My own counterpoint: The above said, in sports, it is all about light. As kids move up to night games, and in any arena, you will find you have woefully inadequate light regardless of the gear. Better lenses with wider apertures will make a huge difference; F2.8 is really needed in many venues even with decent high ISO bodies. Only outdoors is F5.6 usable to get quality stills. – Linwood Dec 4 '16 at 16:44
  • This is very helpful information I'm grateful for - and I do hope you'll forgive me, but I will mark arun's reply as answer because it specifically addresses the advante of full frame for wide angle. It's an important aspect I was dimly aware of, but not clear about. – Lying Dog Dec 5 '16 at 17:14
  • I don't think there's any good evidence presented in that answer to show that full-frame cameras are better for wide angle. You can pick up the EF-S 10-18mm for much less than the EF 17-40. – Philip Kendall Dec 6 '16 at 9:26

The 5D MkIV is the best all-around camera in your list and will hold up the best with age.

You have cheap lenses so you would want to upgrade those regardless of which body you buy. You might keep the older 600D and lenses as a backup though.

If you can afford it, the 5D MkIV and "L" lenses are the best that Canon makes. A complete outfit could run you US$10,000 though.

5D MkIV

16-35mm f/2.8L III

24-70 f/2.8L II

70-200mm f.2.8L IS II

(for example)

Add in fast memory cards, extra batteries, Canon Speedlights, a good carbon fiber tripod, and insurance for it all.

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