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Old Apr 3, 2011, 8:43 PM   #11
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Mark is most certainly right. A T2i/550D or T3i/600D would undoubtedly surpass all your current expectations, and would be a good camera to keep for the long term.

Do remember though that the full frame Canon 5D Mark I (Classic) is available on the used market at remarkably low prices, remembering that when new it cost what a 5D2 or a D700 does now. Although it doesn't have many of the features found on later cameras that are designed to make your life easier or more fun (!), it will deliver image quality that not even the newest cropped-sensor cameras can equal.

Remember that lenses designed for full frame will work on a crop camera, but those designed for a crop camera will NOT work on a FF one, so don't spend lots of money on crop lenses if you think you might change to FF in due course. And don't buy lenses for Nikon or Canon if you think you may change to a different make of camera.

I was aware of all of this when I bought my first DSLR. I'd been using film SLRs for many decades and digital compacts for maybe eight years. My requirement was for the best available-light images I could reasonably get, and at that time that meant getting the Canon 5D. A year on the Nikon D700 had come out and was better in that regard, so if I had bought then I would have got the Nikon. About the same price as the Canon. I still use that 5D and it still delivers superb images, and I see no need to replace it. I bought the 7D for its other features and characteristics, but for ultimate picture quality I always reach for the 5D. And now they are available for silly money. If I were starting now, knowing what I do, there is no doubt that I'd get a used 5D.

Once the replacements for the 5D2 and D700 have come out, expect the value of the old models to drop markedly. I doubt whether my 5DC will drop a lot more because it's already dropped a lot. At that point a used D700 might make good sense, if you decide to go Nikon. But remember that the resolution is only slightly over half what the 5D2 offers, and for the sort of photography you mentioned that will be significant.
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Last edited by peterbj7; Apr 3, 2011 at 8:49 PM.
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Old Apr 4, 2011, 1:54 PM   #12
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First I want to thank all the members of this forum for taking time sharing your expertise and experience.
During the late 80s and 90s, I photographed a lot with ff nikons, worked in the lab etc but I never jumped on the DSLR bandwagon. Instead I have slowly trickled back via a variety of digital compacts, working my way through more and more advanced models. I just feel that the ff world is a tad richer in most aspects, if not all, allthough you have to pay for it.

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Old Apr 4, 2011, 3:46 PM   #13
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There are really 3 contenders:

1. Sony A900
2. Canon 5D2
3. Nikon D700.

All similarly priced, the A900 is the low-ISO king with fantastic resolution and the amazing Zeiss lenses. The D700 is the low-resolution high ISO king, with the best AF and undoubtedly the best camera. The Canon fits in the middle as the best all-rounder and its ground-breaking FF video.

All 3 are tremendous cameras, and you can't really go wrong with any of them. So try to get your hands on them before making a decision. Think about the lenses you want to buy too, it might be that the choice and price of lenses is more important than the body.
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