I bought my first DSLR in July of 2017. My first time shooting with it was at Vermillion River near Matthiessen State Park. I’ve photographed over one-hundred concerts with it, made two refined fine art projects with it, including a full book. I brought it with me to the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Devil’s Tower. I used the camera out in pouring rain, and sub-zero temperatures, with coyotes nearby. I kickstarted my professional photography career with this camera. And almost a year and a half later, it’s time to move on to bigger and better gear. I named my camera Eurydice, after the wife of Orpheus, from the myth of Orpheus (go figure).
It’s a bittersweet feeling. Selling your first DSLR, which holds so many memories, will never be easy. The 80D is a fabulous camera for what it’s worth, but i have found it does not, and will not meet my needs as an artist and as a photographer.
This camera has been my “sidekick” for so long. It was almost always attached to me, hiding in my Sirui backpack (sponsor me please),along with my two L-series lenses, the 70-200 f/4L IS USM, and the 16-35 f/2.8L II USM. Both fantastic lenses, but much like the 80D, they do not suit my needs.
I don’t want to complain about these pieces of gear, as they truly are wonderful pieces of gear. But I feel it is necessary to give my reasons for needing to sell my gear and upgrade to a better camera.
The 80D, as good as it is, has lackluster low-light performance at high ISO, and clearly, I do a lot of concerts and low-light fine art work. Pushing up to 3200 ISO or higher leaves strange artifacts and color noise that does not look pleasant, even after correcting in Lightroom. Though the body design is comfortable, after having used a 5D MK III, the larger grip is so much more comfortable. The crop sensor of the 80D is also majorly limiting.. I’ve found myself wanting more view with the lenses I have, and the only way to get that is with a larger frame.
My friend Bela is most sad about me selling my EF 16-35 f/2.8L II USM. I’m not as sad as she is about it, but I will miss it. The ultra-wide-to-wide zoom is a godsend, but it’s not what I need. I’ve found myself working around 20-24mm on this lens more than 16 or 35. On a crop-sensor, that’s almost the same as a 35mm lens on a full-frame. What does this mean to me? That I should invest in a prime 35mm lens. The 16-35 also has a T-Stop of 3.5, which means it gets the same amount of light as an f/3.5 lens - one whole stop darker than what it should be - f/2.8. it maintains that depth-of-field of 2.8, but that darkening of a T/3.5 is really a burden.
The EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM is the one pice of gear I will miss just as much as the 80D. The sharpness on this lens is incredible. It’s stabilization is helpful beyond necessity. However, as good as this lens is, I need one with more longevity. One with more light, and one with more sharpness. I need an f/2.8 70-200 for my work. And on a full-frame? It’s fantastic. I found myself zooming out to around 100-135mm on my 80D, because 200mm was too close for my liking. I found myself wanting more field-of-view at 70mm, because the crop sensor cut out so much of the potential frame.
After selling all of this gear, I will be upgrading to a Canon EOS 5D MK IV. I know, I know, it’s the same age as the 80D, it’s got cropped 4K, it doesn’t have a flipping screen, it’s ONLY 30 megapixels (honestly, 30-36 megapixels is the sweet-spot for resolution).
The 5D MK IV does everything I need. Great resolution, maintains Canon’s fantastic color science, stupid fast and accurate autofocus, 7 frames-per-second, a big metal body, incredible low-light performance, and, of course, longevity. This camera, and its older 5D counterparts, has proven to be a workhorse in the field. That’s what I need. The 5D line is the “photojournalist’s camera.” It’s everything I need to be a professional photographer, and an artist with a camera.
I will be upgrading lenses, as well. Shortly before getting the 5D MK IV, I will be getting the Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC. Already proven to be a fantastic lens, and within that field-of-view i’ve already been working in with the 16-35.
Later, I will be getting the original Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC, as well as the Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 USM.
This week will be bittersweet. I will truly miss my gear, but I am happy knowing that what I am upgrading to will only push me forward faster.
Goodbye, Eurydice. I’m sorry I looked back.