I've been into photography for almost 7 years now and have been using the Canon 550D all along. I love it and have recently purchased a 1.4 lens which makes my photos even better. However, with my camera being really old and wanting my work to look better and more professional, I'm thinking of selling my Canon 550D upgrading to either a Canon5D mark II, or going mirrorless. I'm torn between wanting something lighter and easier to use and carry around, and crazy image quality. Also, if I were to sell my used Canon 550D which works perfectly fine but looks used (a few scratches here and there), how much should I sell it for?

I appreciate all feedback and advice, thanks! :)


... have been using the Canon550D all along. I love it

Well take it from me, if you like using a 550D, you'll probably hate using a much bigger and heavier 5D2 (and bigger and heavier lenses will be needed as well).

There is nothing you apparently need that a 550D (or a similar newer model) can't do that a 5D2 will.

and have recently purchased a 1.4 lens which makes my photos even better.

Ah the first sign of the real problem ... not including photographer skill in the equation.

Your photos don't get better because of a lens. They get better because you know how to use it and how to compose a shot, frame a shot and use light.

Concentrate on this.

However, with my camera being really old and wanting my work to look better and more professional

The way it works is simple : if you have the skills your photos will look professional if you shoot them with any half decent camera. If you don't, then no amount of new camera body or lens will make them better.

You're making a classic mistake : associating "better photos" with "better equipment". It's all about skills, composition, framing and light.

My experience with people saying the things you are is that what they really need is to take more interest in the composition, framing and lighting of shots. This is harder to do because there's no quick fix, but it pays off.

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    Better gear => better images is valid only if the photographer's skillset and dedication reaches the limits of the(ir) gear. Otherwise upgrading photographer gives more significant improvement than upgrading the gear. – Crowley May 3 '17 at 16:01

Expanding on the StephenG's answer.

There is a huge leap between any XXXD and 5D/6D bodies. X denotes any digit used in Canon's designations.

The former are equipped with an APS-C sensor and EF-S mount. The latter are full-frame bodies with EF mount.

Another problem you face when upgrading is that EF lenses are compatible with both EF and EF-S mounts but EF-S lenses can only be used with EF-S bodies.

The reasons are:

  • EF-S lenses go deeper into the body because there is more room. Both the sensor and the mirror are smaller.
  • There is no need to care about the image quality in corners of the fullframe frame - there is no sensor there, anyway, so the lens's image circle is smaller.

That means, when using an EF-S lens on a full-frame body you would risk the mirror hitting the lens and you would have vignetting (black) in the corners, because the lens's image circle won't cover the full sensor. That's why Canon builds EF-S lenses so they won't mount onto 5D/6D bodies.

On the other hand, using an EF lens on an EF-S body is overkill, you have perfect/good/acceptable signal even in places where you cannot gather the data. If you plan on upgrading to full frame, it is a good way to go, because you can keep the lens. Otherwise you have to buy new lens too. But the lens is likely to serve a different purpose on full frame, because the crop factor will make it look 1.6x wider.

When switching to mirrorless, you have to change all the lenses to EF-M ones or use adapter rings. Otherwise you will push the lens directly to the sensor!

Repeating StephenG's advices:

  • Improve your composition skills with your actual gear.
  • Improve your lenses and other gear (flash units, tripod, filters,…), if you want to go to full frame, focus on EF lenses. If you are OK with an APS-C sensor, stick to EF-S, the lenses are cheaper and lighter.
  • Improve your lenses and other gear.
  • Improve your composition skills with actual gear.
  • After all that, then upgrade your camera body.
  • ...

Be sure that you have already found the camera's limits. In other words, be sure that when advancing to next step there is no other way how to improve your images but advancing to the next step.

Do not hesitate to attend workshops dedicated to your favourite style of photography. They will show you what you are doing wrong, where your limits are and how far you can go with your actual gear.

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  • @inkista Thank you for the comment. This completely ruined my "easy introduction to Canon body levels". – Crowley May 3 '17 at 16:36
  • I tend to think in terms of the standard of modern entry level DSLR compared against the standard of equipment available in the "classic" film era when so many masters were at work with 35mm film. I can't help thinking they did more and better with more difficult and generally less technologically advanced equipment than most modern photographers can. My gut feeling has always been that if someone can't shoot well with any DSLR (even the first ones) then they won't do much better with the later ones or the full frame models. Just my gut feeling, however. – StephenG May 3 '17 at 20:35

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