camera peeps i need some help.

note: i know this post is long but i really NEED someone to read it and give me their honest thoughts.

don't ask me how, because i don't know what i did for david to agree to get me a new camera. but he did, (i think it means that my birthdays are covered for the next 10years or something to that affect. haha), and now i am stuck.

as most of you know i shoot with the rebel XTi and it's been a great little camera, it really has. i feel i have outgrown it. by a lot. i really want the 5D MarkII. but it's pretty much out of the price david is willing to spend on it. i could say, "okay i will save to get it" but that will mean it will NEVER happen and if it does it will be a LONG while before i will be able to get it, and BY then something better will probably have come out and knowing me i will want it and be posting how i wish i wasn't so poor blah blah blah. so now, i am left with two options. the impressive and new (but cropped sensor) canon 7D or the classic 5D (full frame!).

pros and cons to both.


it shoots VIDEO not just any video but 24p HD video. take a look for yourself what it can do ( it's the most amazing thing ever). i've been in the market for a video recorder as well but david always says we don't have money due to my expensive camera hobby. whatever.. deep down i know he loves that i have this hobby. now i get both with this camera.

i will be able to shoot at HIGH ISO with low noise. a super plus now that ashton is getting old enough for the museum and aquariums (low light situations).

wireless off camera flash. it has a built in flash transmitter for my speedlight. but not really needed. it's a plus.

faster AF control. i know i won't be shooting sports (not anytime soon at least) but my rebel has a hard time keeping up with ashton and he only crawls. (but i bet the classic 5D is better but not as good as the 7D).

cropped sensor.

classic 5D (not to be confused with the super awesome 5D MarkII)-

good camera. really good. it's been around for a while and used to be what everyone wanted not to long ago. i remember dreaming about it about a year ago but thanks to the 5D MkII the price has DROPPED considerably. it's a bit cheaper than the new 7D but it's used :o/

FULL FRAME!!!!!!!! this is really the part that is making it hard for me to make a choice. you see. full frame is awesome for my needs because it allows me to use my primes more often and the field of view is so much better than the cropped sensor view that the bokeh actually LOOKS better. and for bokeh freaks (such as myself) this is a huge deal for me.

other than not having any of the pros on the 7D's it's a great camera. i know high ISO will look better on the classic 5D because of the way the field of view is presented. the only way i think high ISO will be a problem is if i crop and i don't do that very often. i crop for square images and 8x10. but i keep it at the size it was at. i don't shrink the box to fit my image in it. if that makes any sense at all. and even then. again noise will only be a problem if i plan on printing the image at a super large size. which i don't think will ever happen.

for you newbies or non-camera savy people you are probably thinking, "it's a no brainer. go with the new camera that has a ton of neat features". i'm going to explain a little more why it's a difficult choice.

the crop factor:

image from digital photography school. read the entire article about crop sensors etc here.

the black (entire picture) is full frame. MY camera that i have now and the 7D is the green box. that's what the camera sees. BIG difference right? but it doesn't end there. though the bokeh (blurry background) DOF (depth of field) stays the same with cropped or full frame, the way it's viewed FOV (field of view) is different. full frame appears to have a shallower DOF thanks to the FOV.

images by gary gray. you can read the entire article about the above images on his blog here.

the image on the left was taken with a canon 30D (cropped sensor) and the right with a classic 5D (full frame). both had the same lens, set at the same settings, at the same distance. looks different right? well when you take portraits it makes the image look completely different. i have a few big favorite photographers that i look up too and until this moment when i am trying to decided to go full frame or stick with cropped sensor i realize the cameras they are using are full frames. i know the photographer has A LOT to do with an image. much more than anyone who doesn't own a DSLR realize. but i have been trying to get this bokeh look down like my favorites and was unable to do it, (some examples. 1, 2, 3 4, 5).now I KNOW why. i found a calculator online where you put in your info for a cropped sensor camera and it ends up telling you what you would need to get the same look as a full frame camera.

for example: i own the 50mm f/1.4 lens. if i used it on the full frame camera and got the most awesome bokeh you have ever seen! (TRUST ME) it would be next to impossible to recreate the same look on a cropped sensor. i would need to find a 30mm lens that had an f-stop of f/.9!! which doesn't exist. see the issue?

so i guess in summary. do i want the images I DESPERATELY want to achieve with a USED full frame camera, or do i want to settle for what i've mastered on a cropped sensor camera and have a pretty awesome video capability among other pluses with a brand new camera?! i need some guidance here people, so please let me know what you think. and now that i think about it. i have a hard time processing my images as it is. do i really want to have a ton of video that takes up a lot of space to process as well? hmm. please please please chime in.. even if you consider yourself a person who doesn't know a thing about cameras .thanks :o)

and for my mom, who just rolled her eyes at me (again) and sighed so loud i could hear it three states away, a picture of your munchkin: who by the way has learned to CLIMB before he could walk (pictures to come soon). i think you are going to be getting your little rock climber after all.


look at all the board books we will have to read! i love our library!


ashton LOVES maisy mouse. he pulled this book out himself. i don't know if he knew it was maisy mouse but it was the only book he ended up opening up and going through hahaha. could have just been coincidence.


  1. Coming from a photographer who upgraded from an Xsi to a used 5d, GO FULL FRAME!! You will never look back!!
    The camera will be new to you, and that's all that matters. :)

    Can't wait to see what you can do with it!

  2. My vote is "save". Do you NEED a new camera right now? You take amazing photos with the one you have. If you end up settling, you'll want to upgrade again when the bigger and better comes out. Put the money away now that you would put towards one of these cameras and start saving. Plus, cameras are always going down in price when the bigger and better comes out. Set your eye on the 5D MkII and keep it there!

  3. thank you for the compliment. but yes, i do need a new camera. i find myself annoyed with how slow and limited my camera is. i also would really like to be able to use my primes more often than never using them because of the cropped. i decided to go with the 5D and i am actually feeling really good about getting it. video would have been nice (main reason i really wanted it) and the ISO isn't really as a big deal since the 5D still does better than my camera regarding that issue. i'm thrilled to finally be shooting with a full frame.

  4. I didn't read any of this because once I saw the choices, there is only one option: the 5D. I would rather buy a used 5D than EVER use another cropped sensor camera again. Once you upgrade to full frame, using your rebel will be like nails down a chalkboard.

    I am glad that you wrote you're going with the 5D. I think it will REALLY transform your photography (it did with mine) and I can't wait to see your work!

  5. Sounds like you made the right choice! You know 10,000 times more about photography than I ever will, but for what it's worth, I think the full frame is the way to go. It's what I would go for, if I had the money.

  6. I just found you on Flickr and saw a link to your blog. Oh, my! You are an awesome photographer! I am so jealous of all your photography equipment! You rock! :)