Camera Quest: on the hunt for the perfect camera

Camera Quest: on the hunt for the perfect camera

Is there anything in the world more frustrating than shopping for a new DSLR camera? It ranks right up there with buying a car on my ughhhhhh scale of purchases I really don’t like making.

I have a Canon 450D body (aka a Canon Rebel XSi) which was a gift a few years back, and while it’s a fine enough entry level DSLR, it just doesn’t have the chops for what I want and need in a DSLR. I need something meatier. I need more. I need to go on a camera quest.

But… I don’t even know where to start. I’ve read dozens of photography equipment review blogs, I’ve skimmed my favourite blogs for posts about their own camera set-ups, I’ve consulted friends and spent hours looking at specs on retailer sites, and I still have no idea where to begin.

Camera enthusiasts, please help me sort through this vague list of key points and turn them into a clear idea of what I should be looking at:

  • I’d prefer a Canon body: all my existing lenses, mounts and fiddly bits like macro rings are for Canon bodies, so I have a kind of halfhearted brand loyalty thing happening here.
  • Full frame would be nice, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
  • It won’t ever be taken out of the studio. It’s going to spend most of its entire life on a tripod, because…
  • It’s primarily going to be used for product photography. I’m consolidating all my hacked together half hearted self-taught knowledge base of taking reasonably ok bottle shots, and taking some classes and assisting some product photography pros in Sydney. My goal is to start a side business of product photography in the new year.
  • Wireless, maybe? I’ve seen some really smooth pro setups using a wifi-enabled body to create a workspace that’s less of a tripping hazard and that sounds handy for my tiny home studio. I’ve sent my laptop flying more than once because I stood on the tethering cable. Hilarious for everyone watching, not so great for my laptop.
  • Maybe a flip-out back screen, if those are even still a thing. It’s one of those features I never think about until I realise it would’ve been a handy thing to have.
  • Video recording. As anyone who has met me can attest, I have neither the face nor the voice for Youtube, but the option to record reasonably high quality videos would be nice to have. You know, just in case.

I think that’s all the specifics I can think of. Oh, apart from price: I have about AUD$1750 to play with, give or take a bit. I’m not really sold on any body + lens bundles out there as the bundled lenses generally aren’t suitable for my needs, but I’m open to any suggestions.

Camera experts and enthusiastic amateurs, please give me all your advice!

(Also if you’re in the market for a budget DSLR that’s great for family and lifestyle blogger snaps, I’m selling my 450D. Impeccable condition!)

There are 4 comments

  1. Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous

    I showed your post to my husband (he’s a bit of a camera enthusiast) and he recommends the 70D for your requirements. A few questions he have for you
    1. Are your current lenses for full frame or cropped frame? If you have cropped lenses and are happy with them, then stick to a non full frame because once you have a full frame camera, you cannot go backwards and use them on the full frame camera.
    2. how long are you intending to keep the camera for? If you’re keen to keep it as long as possible, he recommends the full frame because generally the light sensor body is better.

    My current camera is a 6D which I use for the blog. It’s a full frame. Btw, I typed all those above as he’s telling me all that so apologies if the sentences don’t make sense.

    1. swatchgirl

      I finally found and rescued your comment! Excellent advice, thank you.

      I only have a couple of cropped lenses which are being punted onto ebay right now, and the rest of my collection is full frame. My upgrade cycles are glacially slow (a winning combination of being a cheap tightwad and being anal retentive about looking after my stock) so the advice about getting a long working lifespan out of the body is perfect.


  2. Victoria Nelson

    The Canon 6D is your new bestie then! I absolutely love this camera, and if you already shoot with Canon then your lenses are compatible except any EF-S lenses you might have which will not be compatible with a full frame camera. If you want to get some idea of what this lens can do, pretty much everything on my website was shot with this camera.

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