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Gear Upgrade: Buy Canon 70D or more lenses for t3i?


thisisrmm
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Hello all!  I would like to preface this post by saying that this is actually my first time on these forums, so thanks in advance for this awesome community.  Also, I'm somewhat of an intermediate filmmaker, and you can check out my YouTube channel to see where I'm at (youtube.com/thisisrmm).
 
As with the title of this post, I'm trying to figure out where my money would be better spent, upgrading to a 70D or buying more lenses?  I have my own personal pros and cons for both, but first, here is what I currently shoot with:
 
Canon t3i w/ Magic Lantern
Canon 18-55mm (kit lens)
Canon 50mm 1.8
 
I've set aside a budget of $1000 to make upgrades, so I'm not sure where my money is better spent.
 
Reasons for upgrading to the 70D:
-  I eventually plan on upgrading to full frame in the future; not sure if buying desired lenses made for APS-C's like my t3i (Tokina 11-16mm) is worth the money if I'm upgrading
-  I can stick with this camera for longer, with it being a full frame (not having to worry about crop factors and what not)
-  From my own research, a better camera overall
 
Reasons for buying lenses:
-  I'm pretty run-and-gun with my setup, so I've been somewhat relying a lot on the kit lens, which definitely helped me learn a lot about DSLR video, but I'm looking to take a step up in the category
-  Lenses definitely outlast cameras, so I figured that might be a better investment considering that I have this kind of budget set aside
 
Cons for 70D:
-  If I buy this camera (body-only), the only compatible lens I'll have is the 50mm f/1.8 until I can afford to buy my desired lens of choice (Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8)
 
Cons for buying lenses:
-  If I buy the Tamron 24-70mm, it'll be in somewhat of a weird crop for me to use with my t3i
-  If I don't settle with the Tamron, I'm somewhat lost on what lenses to buy within my budget that would work well on APS-C and eventually full frame whenever I make the upgrade
 
I'm sorry for the lengthiness of this post, but just looking to provide as much detail as possible.  Thanks to anyone willing to help a new guy out!
 
Best,
thisisrmm
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Don't get the 70D unless you need the AF. Get a used 5D Mark II and shoot raw with Magic Lantern.

 

The Tamron 24-70 F2.8 is a great lens, I have it and it's better than the Canon L equivalent for less money... it's wasted on a 70D. You need to appreciate it on full frame so that's why I say go for the 5D Mark II... it's only a bit more than new 70D if you find an old one on eBay.

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This is such a funny thread to appear just now, with the other thread on fire about Canon.

 

To the OP: I had a T3i (with ML), the 50mm 1.8, 18-55 kit, 35mm f2 and the Canon 28-135 IS. I sold it along with the lenses and replaced it all with a Panasonic G6 and some old Nikon manual primes (and later a Nikon D5300 as well). Best decision I ever made.

 

The T3i is fine, but the 70D is NOT an upgrade in video quality. Unless you are prepared to shoot RAW none of the Canon DSLR's make sense for video. If you don't want to shoot RAW swap brands. Really. I'd recommend going for a mirrorless camera (Lumix or Sony).

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there is not much differance in image quality between the T3I and the  70D both are apsc sensor

 

so its not a ugrade getting the 70d

 

I would get a Panasonic g6 or gx7 huge improvement in image quaility and peaking and a superb evf

 

or just keep your T3I and get some more lenses with the money you have allocated

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Yes Andrew, Canon users are ignorant and don't know the difference between sensor sizes. That's the exact reason why they succeed selling cameras. You nailed it.

Anyway to OP:

We cannot make such a decision for you at all. You have to choose which one you need more based on your own current work.

-Do you find image quality the limiting factor in your video making now? Are you unsatisfyed with it?

-Or it the lenses you find yourself lacking whilst shooting?

Answer that qurstion and you have your answer.

But in both cases, if your answer is that you want higher image quality, the 70D is not what you want to get. It's a much better camera in every single aspect than the t3i, but video image quality is not one of them. It has marginally cleaner images at high ISOs, less than a stop, maybe half. Not worth it at all for an IQ upgrade. You will not notice any difference and neither will your audience. It's a great stills camera but this is a video forum, therefore we don't recommend this camera, there are better solutions for shooting video.

If you want higher IQ, then look at getting into a Nikon system, specifically the D5300, which has a hugely improved IQ vs the t3i. And since you don't have a serious investment in Canon lenses, I would say sell the 50mm, 18-55 and t3i, and get a D5300, an 18-55mm and a 50mm 1.8 D. A great little package with higher image quality. Plus these two lenses cover almost all shooting situations, it's how I shoot, with a wide angle zoom for detailed shots and a fast prime for people, that's it. All the other lenses stay in the bag. This way you will have similar lenses range but with better image quality and more features. A good deal.

-If you find IQ is enough and you feel limited by lenses, then go buy your needed lens much better than a new body. You'll have to decide what focal length you lack and miss, is it extreme telephoto? Is it ultra wide angle? If it's telephoto I advice adding the 55-250mm STM IS to your kit, and experiment with that, a great cheap lens. If it's ultra wide angle you miss, then get a Canon 10-18mm STM IS, a fantastic 299$ lens.

It all depends on what you think you miss whilst shooting. If image quality is good enough, and lenses are not limiting, then I strongly suggest investing into Audio equipmemt and lighting gear. These make an enormous difference in your final production value, so don't forget these if you don't already have good kits.

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As with the title of this post, I'm trying to figure out where my money would be better spent, upgrading to a 70D or buying more lenses?  I have my own personal pros and cons for both, but first, here is what I currently shoot with:
 
Canon t3i w/ Magic Lantern
Canon 18-55mm (kit lens)
Canon 50mm 1.8
 
I've set aside a budget of $1000 to make upgrades, so I'm not sure where my money is better spent.

 

I'm not quite sure what a t3i is, but I assume it's either a Canon 6x0D or 7x0D APS-C body. I don't see much point in spending your money in a 70D. That would be more like the same old same old with some new bling. In general, and especially in the long run, it would make more sense to invest in lenses, tripods, lights, light stands and stuff. The kind of stuff that you'll always need and stuff that will last a long time, regardless of your camera choices.

 

As for the Tamron 24-70mm, why not going for the Tamron 2.8/17-50mm and/or some prime (like Samyang/Rokinon VDSLR) lenses instead? That Tamron ought to be good enough a lens for that system, it would be a more practical choice for the APS-C body, and you can easily trade it for something else, if/when you actually go for a full frame body at some point. Which may not even be totally necessary. Besides, the Samyang cine primes (with a couple of exceptions), for example, have big enough an image circle to fill the FF sensor.

Think of your gear acquisitions as practical business decisions rather than GAS-induced wishful thinking. Think of what you need today and next week to get along and ahead, rather than what you'd love to have some time in the future.

 

Or, if you insist on Canon gear and going for a FF system asap, and you're okay with the hassle and extra workflow of the Magic Lantern route, I think you might want to look for a used 5D3 instead of the 70D, like suggested above, and use one with or without the ML hack.

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I had a T3i and I changed it for a 70D. Same image quality.

I didn't know EOSHD: then I read an Andrew's article about the G6, I bought it and IMMEDIATELY I knew that it was sooooo better then the Canon! 
Why? 60p for slow motion, focus peaking, freedom to use old Canon lenses (and all the lenses you want) that you can't use on new Canon cameras. 

After a week I sold all my Canon stuff, I bought some old Canon FD lenses and I had all the features I expected from my Canon. Funny that with 7DII those feature still miss!

If you don't want to sell the T3i for a G6 (of for a GH4) just take it and don't "upgrade" to the 70D, because it's not an upgrade.

p.s.: here Andrew's article: http://www.eoshd.com/2013/07/panasonic-g6-review-the-gh2-redux/

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I would spend my money on used lenses. Lenses with Nikon F mounts are ideal becuase they can be adapted to many cameras (and actual Nikkor glass is usually a good value, too).

One little known advantage of the T3i -- it is one of the few cameras that has a Tragic Lantern build.

Tragic Lantern allows control of the h264 GOP (group of pictures) setting, so one can shoot h264 with all I-frames.  In this scenario, each frame is essentially its own jpeg picture, with none of the blocky interframe artifacts that often plague h264 encondings.

Here's an article that further explains things.  As mentioned in this article, the early "TL 1" build for the T3i/600D allows more control of the h264 settings than the later builds.

With both Tragic Lantern and Magic Lantern, one can also boost the h264 bit rate to one's liking.

I think that the 5D mkIII is the only Canon HDSLR that offers "out-of-the-box" h264 with all I-frames.  Don't know whether or not Canon offers any control of h264 bit rate on the 5D mkIII.

I only know of two other cameras with TL builds:   the 7D; and the EOSM.

I have the EOSM, and

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Wow, there's a fork of Magic Lantern? Interesting.

 

I had a good chuckle at the thought of the 70D being fullframe. Unfortunately it's not.

 

Personally at 1k I'm not sure. I'm not sure investment into Canon is any decent at this rate, but 1k doesn't seem enough for a system switch either. How about investing in some audio gear?

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Wow, there's a fork of Magic Lantern? Interesting.


Sort of... the Magic Lantern developers/forum-moderators effectively killed it.

 

Personally at 1k I'm not sure. I'm not sure investment into Canon is any decent at this rate, but 1k doesn't seem enough for a system switch either.


Part of the beauty of Tragic Lantern's h264 control is that it allows capture at full HD (or the Canon HDLSR-h264 variant of full HD) in files that have quality similar to that of higher bit rate mjpeg. TL can yield fairly rich 1920x1080 frames from the T3i, 7D and EOSM.
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thisisrmm,
 

The real question is what do you intend to do with this camera.  If you are heavily into stills then perhaps sticking with Canon or maybe going over to Nikon might be what you need to do.  But if you are mostly video then switching to another system might be your best bet.

 

I came from a Canon T3i.  I still own it for stills.  But I got a BMPCC during their sale this summer.  I use it with a BMPCC EF Speedbooster.  I am not sure your ef-s lens can be modded to work on the Speedbooster.  I have an $800 EF-S lens and it was easy to mod.  I modded it in less than a minute non destructively.  Regular EF Lenses work as is.  So I use the BMPCC for all my video work and the T3i for all my stills work.  For the money I couldn't find a better solution.

 

If you are interested I may be able to get you a deal on a new BMPCC.  25%-30% discount... depending on shipping, method of payment, etc.

 

Anyway think about it.  First figure out EVERYTHING you want to do with the camera and then ask what to buy/keep.

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  • 4 months later...

id starts with a used 5D mark 2! after you really do a check in the condition of the camera, 

try not to buy from a proffesional photographer /videographer  because it will have 1 million takes on it, since the camera has been around for ages.

try to find one from a camera enthusiast that kept it in top shape! 

70d/old 7d 60d rebel etc are not worth it the 5d mrk 2 is much better.

you can also do the awesome ML raw, but its hell to process and edit.

 

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