Art and Photography

Can anybody recommend system/body/lens/mount for these specific tasks?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 16th, 2016 4:14 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 10, 2013
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Toronto, ON

Can anybody recommend system/body/lens/mount for these specific tasks?

While this thread might fall into general "what camera should I buy" territory, I think with my specific needs, it should be easy for you professional and amateur guys to recommend me something.

My needs are very simple, yet I am having a hard time choosing not only brand, but also hard time in choosing:
-mirrorless vs DSLR
-FF vs crop vs m4/3 vs Canon M vs Sony E

The specific things I mentioned above are portrait photography and landscape photography. I love these types of photography and I actually admit to be a bokeh prostitute.
I have absolutely no interest in macro, sports, video, weather sealing, high speed shutter. Even such positive things such as lens availability from Canon and Nikon are pretty much non existent for me because my photography needs are very specific and don't require anything more than a good prime and ultra wide angle.

Price range: anything $1000 or less for complete package for portrait and landscapes. But I would rather keep it less than $1000.
Oh and 1 more thing: I am not a pixel peeper, so realistically all my images will end up on instagram and facebook and for private photo collection. Nothing more than that.
Thank you very much for your help.
10 replies
Deal Addict
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Jun 17, 2012
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For 1K, I think FF would be out of your price range.
[OP]
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Nov 10, 2013
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Toronto, ON
gontori wrote:
Dec 13th, 2016 1:05 pm
For 1K, I think FF would be out of your price range.
I am OK with buying used though.
Would 5D still be considered OK camera for Instagram and web pictures? It can be had for so little money. Paired with perhaps 50 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 primes?
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Jun 15, 2012
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The orignal 5D, although it is fullframe, came out in 2005 and is now surpassed by entry level dslr's in performance. It's exposure latitude is beaten by a T6i. Not that old is bad, a friend of mine built a flourishing portrait side business with a Nkon D90.

Also, the 50 f/1.4 often has focus issues once it's mishandled with pressure on the protruding inner barrel, poor design. Another friend of mine has one and AF is completely off. If Canon, you're better served by the 50mm f/1.8 STM for portraits, and the 10-18 for wide angle landscapes.I have a 50 f/1.2 and I rarely go less than f/2, except at weddings where I might shoot f/1.6 (I bought it for the creamy bokeh).
If doing headshots, ideally you want an 85 f/1.8. The shorter the focal length, the closer you are, the more distortion. Google image 'portrait distortion and focal length" for examples.

A $1K budget is tough if shopping dslr's because a decent tripod and WA lens will consume at least half.However, I question if aps-c is even necessary considering your intended audience of small scale social networking. If I wanted a dslr on a moderate budget, I would start with a D5500 but that would be for print work. If ILMC, an A6000, Sony mirrorless lenses are expensive though. I do not know enough about MFT models to recommend.

Whether portraits or landscape, learning some editing really helps.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2008
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Varian wrote:
Dec 13th, 2016 2:10 pm
I am OK with buying used though.
Would 5D still be considered OK camera for Instagram and web pictures? It can be had for so little money. Paired with perhaps 50 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 primes?
The old 5D would still cost you $400-500 now, and you better pray that it will last more than few thousand shots.
Many 5D are used by professional photographers before, and they have been taken hundreds of thousands shots, and 5D is known for the focus and mirror issues.
Unfortunately, Canon no longer provide service to the original 5D anymore. So if anything happens to it, you will be very frustrated.

I wouldn't recommend any newbie with budget to start with used 5D. You might end up getting every shots not in focus, and you wonder how come your photo is so soft...
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Aug 12, 2004
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What is your photography level? The best gear in the world won't matter if you don't understand the basics such as the exposure triangle and plan to shoot in Auto. You can't also say that you are not a pixel peeper while asking if you should get full frame...you are saying a lot of words, but these questions wouldn't be coming from someone with a certain level of experience.

Portrait photography and landscape photography are on complete separate ends of the spectrum. A decent ultra wide lens will cost you close 500-1000$ on its own, as would a good prime lens outside of 50mm (an 85mm or 135 mm lens is your optimal portrait focal length).

You can do it on a budget if you really look, but the best solution for that is to check for deals on Kijiji, where you can get a decent camera, and 2 mid quality lenses with these focal lengths. No one here can really help you on that end as this is bargain hunting and prices can vary, and the brand will not matter so much in that part. Go with 3rd party lens makers such as Sigma which still offers good lens with lower but decent build quality.

I cannot see it happen for 1000$ or lower though without heavy compromise.
Newbie
Jul 23, 2009
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Nikon d5200, 50mm /1.8, and a Tamron/Sigma 17-50 /2.8 or Tokina 11-16 /2.8 - should be under $1000 if you get the lenses used.

The Tokina will get you really wide for landscapes, or the 17-50 is fairly wide, but its strength is that it's a solid general use lens. 50mm is a great portrait length on APS. The d5200 has a shutter delay option which works as a mirror lockup when you want it, has a very decent AF system, and the image quality is excellent.
[OP]
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Toronto, ON
AncasterRFD wrote:
Dec 13th, 2016 4:44 pm
The orignal 5D, although it is fullframe, came out in 2005 and is now surpassed by entry level dslr's in performance. It's exposure latitude is beaten by a T6i. Not that old is bad, a friend of mine built a flourishing portrait side business with a Nikon D90.
Thank you. I really had no idea current crop censors are similar to such old FF bodies.
AncasterRFD wrote:
Dec 13th, 2016 4:44 pm
If Canon, you're better served by the 50mm f/1.8 STM for portraits, and the 10-18 for wide angle landscapes. I have a 50 f/1.2 and I rarely go less than f/2, except at weddings where I might shoot f/1.6 (I bought it for the creamy bokeh).
Again, thank you. I used to have 50mm 1.8 non-STM and the pentagon bokeh rings really annoyed me. I guess there really is no distinguishable difference between 50 1.4 and 50 1.8 at instagram sized images for me to warrant 50 1.4. I surely hope if I go Canon, the new 50mm 1.8 STM will be good enough.
AncasterRFD wrote:
Dec 13th, 2016 4:44 pm
A $1K budget is tough if shopping dslr's because a decent tripod and WA lens will consume at least half. However, I question if aps-c is even necessary considering your intended audience of small scale social networking.
I would rather not have tripod (yes, I know it would help, but too bulky for travelling), That leaves me with $1000 for body/UWA/one or two 1.8 primes for bokeh portraiture. That is squeezable, no? Lets say I buy this: cheapest Canon body + 10-18 IS + 50 1.8 STM + 85 1.8, All used, should fit my budget more than enough no? I checked the prices on new, and it came to $1500. Used should be able to squeeze, no?
oajlu wrote:
Dec 14th, 2016 11:42 am
The old 5D would still cost you $400-500 now, and you better pray that it will last more than few thousand shots.
Many 5D are used by professional photographers before, and they have been taken hundreds of thousands shots, and 5D is known for the focus and mirror issues.
Unfortunately, Canon no longer provide service to the original 5D anymore. So if anything happens to it, you will be very frustrated.
Thank you. I did not think that if the shutter fails, Canon will not fix it out of warranty. Definitely a pass then.
Firebot wrote:
Dec 14th, 2016 6:47 pm
What is your photography level? The best gear in the world won't matter if you don't understand the basics such as the exposure triangle and plan to shoot in Auto. You can't also say that you are not a pixel peeper while asking if you should get full frame...you are saying a lot of words, but these questions wouldn't be coming from someone with a certain level of experience.
I am not a pro or anywhere near one. My level I would say is somewhere below intermediate. I know all the aspects of 101, 102 and 103 of photography I would say. The reason for such questions where I don't even know if I need FF or m4/3 is because I have been out of the loop for a long time. I haven't taken a single picture on the past 2-3 years from anything other than iPhone. When I was buying my long sold DSLR in 2008-2009, there wasn't really much choice..you either went FF or crop and that was all there is to it. Now, there is a lot of choice and that's the part I seek help...for someone to tell me if for example even a pro level P&S is enough for me, or do I need at least m4/3 for that.
Firebot wrote:
Dec 14th, 2016 6:47 pm
You can do it on a budget if you really look, but the best solution for that is to check for deals on Kijiji, where you can get a decent camera, and 2 mid quality lenses with these focal lengths. No one here can really help you on that end as this is bargain hunting and prices can vary, and the brand will not matter so much in that part. Go with 3rd party lens makers such as Sigma which still offers good lens with lower but decent build quality.
I cannot see it happen for 1000$ or lower though without heavy compromise.
Thank you. That's what I figured as well. A cheap crop body + 10-18 + 50 1.8 STM + 85 1.8 should be sufficient, no ?
oldscotch wrote:
Dec 15th, 2016 4:16 pm
Nikon d5200, 50mm /1.8, and a Tamron/Sigma 17-50 /2.8 or Tokina 11-16 /2.8 - should be under $1000 if you get the lenses used.

The Tokina will get you really wide for landscapes, or the 17-50 is fairly wide, but its strength is that it's a solid general use lens. 50mm is a great portrait length on APS. The d5200 has a shutter delay option which works as a mirror lockup when you want it, has a very decent AF system, and the image quality is excellent.
Can I ask why Nikon? It seems to me, both 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 are more expensive by roughly $100 USD each on Nikon side. Not to mention, Nikon doesn't have anything close to Canon 10-18 IS?
When I was going over online shops and adding items to see the total, the Canon route was always cheaper.
When comparing new (in order to compare apples to apples), a cheapest body + 50 1.8 + 85 1.8 + UWA was always cheaper on Canon end.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2008
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thing about ff vs crop is even though it's an ancient ff, you will get a ff look that you can't get with a crop. having said that, plenty of choices below 1000 if you are willing to get an old body and old lens, especially so if you are ok with going manual focus.
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I wouldn't go D5200, if landscapes are still one of your things along with portraits, you want a touchscreen, even better, one on an articulating screen. In fact, I retract my recommendation on a D5500 which has one. In Live View and Manual Mode, you can't change the Aperture (what? that's absurd, we're in "Manual"!), there's no Exposure Preview in LV, and it does this wonky forward/back focus in LV. Start video at 10:00



Those are deal breakers when I want to shoot landscapes using the back LCD. I would point you instead to a T5i or T4i, paired with a WA 10-18 STM, you'll get snappy touchscreen focus, press the E-preview button at the front, and you'll see how dark/bright your image will turn out, adjust your Aperture on the fly in Manual Mode, and you can practically put it on the ground and articulate the screen up to see it, you don't have to lie down on your stomach.

Yes! You need a tripod. Using the 1/focal rule, there are lots of times shooting landscapes you will go slower than 1/10s (using a 10-18 @ 10mm), otherwise you get camera shake if you're trying to do that handheld.
A tripod is certainly necessary if you do exposure bracketing or HDR in post, when you're combining multiple images.

If it wasn't for landscapes that you want to do too, then I might veer you to the D5500 and why the poster above mentions Nikon. While you're unlikely to push +5EV, just look how much exposure latitude it has. Compare (clockwise) 5D, T5i(700D), D5500, and T6i.
That's how sensors have progressed since the 5D, and how much recovery you get in the Nikon especially if you underexpose by mistake.

Image

However, used Nikon lenses are slightly more than Canon as you observed. As for the Tokina 11-16, it's very unlikely you'll shoot a landscape at f/2.8 because you'll often employ hyperfocal focusing, the sweet spot often f/8 to f/11.
It also seems several users state it does not focus accurately with the viewfinder when you want to use it versus Live View (using the back screen) so there may be copy issues.
https://photographylife.com/lenses/toki ... -pro-dx-ii

Again, I don't know enough about MFT, my take is purely on the DSLR front and that Sony lenses are expensive within your budget. Canon T4i/T5i based on your wants.
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Jul 23, 2009
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Varian wrote:
Dec 15th, 2016 8:21 pm
Can I ask why Nikon? It seems to me, both 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 are more expensive by roughly $100 USD each on Nikon side. Not to mention, Nikon doesn't have anything close to Canon 10-18 IS?
When I was going over online shops and adding items to see the total, the Canon route was always cheaper.
When comparing new (in order to compare apples to apples), a cheapest body + 50 1.8 + 85 1.8 + UWA was always cheaper on Canon end.
There's no particular reason for Nikon, you can't go wrong with either. If your landscapes are going to be day and evening, then you're right, you can't beat the Canon 10-18 for the price. If you are thinking of shots at night with the stars, then it's all about light gathering and you'll want the extra stop and a bit gained with the Tokina.

The Nikon 50 and 85 /1.8 lenses are more expensive than their Canon counterparts, but they're also better. Like I say you can't go wrong with either system, that's just what a NIkon version would look like because that's what I'm more familiar with.

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