|My main camera bag|
My trusty Canon 5D has been my companion through many an adventure and has consistently provided portfolio quality images which have met the most rigorous demands of publishers and agencies. Mind you, images shot with my first DSLR, the 6 megapixel Nikon D70 are still selling through stock libraries. It’s not about megapixels!
My wife, professional photographer Magda Indigo stayed with Nikon. She bought the Nikon D7000 when it came out. In 2011 I also invested in a D7000. I wanted to try filming with a DSLR and really liked the ergonomics and handling of the Nikon, as well as the superb quality, which matches that of the 5D full frame. The D7000 is fast, light to carry and a I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with my old Nikon prime lenses from my film days; 24mm and 85mm, as well as using the new Nikon 50mm and versatile 18-105mm lenses.
For a while I have worked simultaneously with Nikon and Canon systems but it was becoming a lot to lug around and with baggage limitations on flights, also a logistical challenge. In terms of quality there’s nothing to choose between the two brands. Photographers make images, not cameras. Having said that, certain cameras offer more versatile options and help you achieve better image quality.
I have a superb range of Canon L lenses. This ultimately was the reason for choosing a Canon DSLR. Having made that decision the next one was, which Canon DSLR? I like working with full frame.
Why the Canon EOS 6D instead of the EOS 5D MK III?
- It costs significantly less than the 5D MKIII.
- The 6D has the same chip and offers a slightly better image quality in lab conditions than the EOS 5D MKIII (in practical terms nobody will see the difference).
- The 6D offers slightly better dynamic range (0.4 f stops), and better low light performance (less noise). I like shooting in available light and the 6D is a class leader in DSLRs in this category so an important plus point for me.
- The body is slightly smaller and 20% lighter, but when you stick a heavy L lens on the camera does it make all that much real world difference? I’m not sure that it does.
- The built in wifi and ability to shoot remotely from a smartphone or tablet is a pleasant feature.
- Built in GPS is nice for travel photos.
The 6D is designed for portrait and travel photographers which is what I do. If I shot sport or fast moving wildlife then having more autofocus points, faster reaction times and frame rates of the 5D III would perhaps have swayed the decision in its favour. As it stands there is nothing in the extra features of the 5D III that would merit spending the extra cash, which I’d rather use to to fund travel to places where I can make new images.
I hope that my story illustrates that choosing the right equipment very much depends on what you want to do, your budget and how you have built your system up over time. If you are starting out then think about the whole system that you would like to buy into. You can’t go wrong with any of the major brands, so it comes down to personal preference. Lenses are the single most important component of your system and over time you will find yourself using less and less gear. At the moment I am now only using three lenses with my 6D, which I am enjoying, and I have the 5D MK1 as my backup. If I need more equipment for a shoot I hire it.
I am certainly not obsessed with having the latest and 'best' of everything. Good images are made by photographers not cameras. Keep it simple.