What is the upgrade for the Canon T3I?

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QOTD from Amy: ""I am a new photographer, and my photography business is SOARING this year so far. I honestly feel frustrated at times because I can't seem to get the shots that I have envisioned in my head. I have a macro lens, and a 50mm which are great, but I am fairly certain that it is because I have the Canon T3i crop sensor camera, which was meant to be my "starter camera" and I truly think that I am outgrowing my this camera. What is the best UPGRADE for me camera-wise, AND will I be able to tell a major difference between my crop sensor and a full sensor? "

Cate: You can tell a major difference between the two. I suggest you walk into a camera shop and look at the same point in both and see how HUGE of a difference it is. The main thing is the area that you can capture pictures is much larger, you dont have to be as far away with primes, and the light is so much easier to grab. I can almost do an entire wedding with no flash at full frame. I have a D700 and sing its praises, but if your canon... get the 5DMark2... its a good price now.

Amanda: With a crop sensor all you have to do is step back a little bit. It really shouldnt matter whether or not you have a crop or full frame. I have both and I can honestly say I prefer the crop frame a little more. It makes me more aware of where my crop is in camera and that I need to make it look good before I take the picture as oppose to cropping out of camera.

Melanie: The biggest difference, other than focal length, IMO, is how a FF handles noise. The noise from higher ISOs is spread out more over a FF sensor. I shot this photo around ISO 2000 and didn't have to apply noise reduction (shot w/5D Mark II, Canon 85mm f/1.2). 


Jenn:  I always felt like I was "missing" something in my shots...and frustrated that my shots weren't what I was seeing... until the first time I picked up a full frame and looked though it. I have a D700 now and I can't look back. To me, it makes a huge difference... I'm still frustrated with my shots a lot of the time (user error!!)...but that feeling like something was wrong or missing.... gone.

Yohan: I laught when I read the comment of Jfs Photoguy. There's MAJOR differences and that's why they cost ALOT more! *sight* 1- the Dynamic Range is better with a FF, more détails in blacks more details in whites, less chance to clip your whites. 2- ISO like they said in other comments, You gain at least 4 stops in ISO performance compare to the best DX. 3- Fonctions! you have more fonctions with a FF, 4- DOF is better with FF. Jfs Photoguy, please, please! don't comment on stuff you don't know or you think you know. FF are better camera and it's proven. I have a D7000 and let me say that the day I'll have a full frame, I will be the most happy guy in the world. Tell me I'm wrong and that in a drak dark church your D7000 will outrun a D700. I dare you!

Amber: I went from a Rebel XS to a 7D this year when I took my hobby into a professional business. I do love my 7D! For me it came down to a few things for why I went crop sensor. 1) Couldn't afford the extra $1000 for the mkII over the 7D. 2) If I had to get the mkII I'd have to upgrade to EF glass, of which I only had ONE piece. 3) Fps in the 7D was greater than the mkII and the mkIII, it was just something I needed for what I shoot.

In the end though, I don't regret buying crop sensor. I read a LOAD of reviews and even talked to people on the street or when traveling if I saw they had a mkII and asked them about it. The lady I spoke to had a mkIII and a 7D and still loves her 7D just that little bit more because it gives her that little bit extra reach. I also read a lot of reviewers saying that it comes down to the glass and not necessarily the camera. It's all about how the light passes through the glass, the camera just captures that. Infact, I just bought the Sigma 30mm f1.4 for my 7D so that I can have that extra room indoors for lifestyle photography. I found the 50mm f1.8 on my camera a bit limiting.

Karen:  IMO, I love my Canon 5D mkIII, and I love my 7D as well. But if I had to chose...hands down the mkIII would win just bc of the extra ISO, its extra functions and noise reduction it gives me. But I think its all in the the "way and whys" you use your camera that makes a person look for specific cameras, and it's abilities to give you what you're looking for. Learn what you have, and step up from there. You'll only be ahead when you finally make your choice. Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Yohan:  Yes the glass is for something and maybe 2/3rd of the image quality is due to the lens. If I take your point Amber, there's no reasons why a FF camera should be on the market, because they just "capture the light that passes through the lens" a good old Nikon D70S should do the trick. You can agree with me by sa saying that IF you had de money you'll have bought a FF camera. Also, I can't conceive a "pro" (that make a living from photography no other revenue) will just work with a crop sensor. That's a non-sens.

Christy: It depends on what it is you cannot achieve with your current setup. Is it the equipment, or the technique? What are you getting, and what are you envisioning? I could never get what I wanted until I splurged on the 70-200 2.8 to give me the compression, shallow DOF and bokeh I wanted. I envision other shots in my head, but I know exactly what lens I need to purchase to achieve that look.

Crystal:     I think this also depends on your "eye". I am one of those people that has 20/10 vision so I can see a HUGE difference between the T3i, the 20,30,40,50,60 d series, then the 5d (mark II or mark III) series. I upgraded from a 40d to the mark III and feel like I'm in HEAVEN. It did take some time getting used to changing my distance from my clients, but now that I've adjusted it's soooo awesome. However, to a client who doesn't have an eye for it, or someone who always looks at photos on their smart phone, they are not going to notice a difference. And hands down, they will pay for the photographer that is more creative with their shots than the one with the better camera.

Melanie: @Jfs photoguy - LOL. You're just wrong. 

And for the people that talk about the extra 'reach' with the crop sensor, just remember that you lose on the wide end.

Jamie:  I love my 7D!!

April:  I upgraded last year from my Rebel xTi to my 7d. I know it is a crop sensor camera, but I have been able to successful move into professional work with it just fine. I think the truth of the matter is that camera equipment costs a lot of money and you have to find a happy place where you have what you need to succeed without blowing the budget. Feature wise, I am so glad that I chose my 7d over the possible 60d in my price. I actually bought it through Canon's refurbished line and used an old brokencamera as a send in with their loyalty program and only paid $1050. That was win number one. Feature wise. minus the larger frame size of course, the 7d had more focal points and was faster than the mark II. These things were huge for me...I hear the mark III is amazing though. I have held in my hands the rebel and the 7d and it is AMAZING how much better the 7d feels. I had no idea what a difference even holding a larger camera was for my ability to capture great images. The additional features really are amazing. Anyway, I have focused on the more important things that I have heard which is getting good glass. I took the money I saved and have invested in an L lens that I am happy with. I also bought a 60mm Canon lens that is only good on crop sensor, but is even better than the L lens I have. The sharp factor is out of this world. The sharp eyes it produces is really quite phenomenal. Actually shockingly great portraits. When shooting outside, noise isn't a problem so portraits are fantastic. Another tip I learned this summer from another professional was using the cloudy setting whenever you are outside instead of even sunny or AWB. Shocking how much of a difference that made on the colors in my work. A lot less color editing, love! Someday I will move up to the full frame camera of all our dreams, but I refuse to let $3,000 hold me up from being a decent photographer in the mean time. I would have to say that not being able to get a full frame camera yet has encouraged me to work harder at my skills to get full frame achievements out of my crop sensor camera. In my opinion I am really stinkin' close :).

Shonta: ♥ my 7d. No complaints:)

Christopher: Yes, you can shoot landscapes with a crop body. You can also shoot them with a cell phone, or a pinhole camera, or a Brownie Hawkeye. The fact remains, a Full frame has advantages for landscapes. A 3/4 has advantages for wildlife--especially birds and butterflies.

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