Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Camera Help Needed

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From previous comments on posts I’ve gathered that I have some professional or semi professional photographer readers. I’m sure there are plenty of you who are great amateurs too who know a thing or two about cameras. I need your help and input, please!

I started using a DSLR about 4 years ago and got the amateur “entry model” Canon ESO 400D, aka Canon Rebel XTi or Canon KISS Digital X (depending on which country you’re in). My baby has served me well having used it daily all that time.

Now I’m ready to pass Rebel on to Wille, who’s really excited to get him, and upgrade to a more advanced or semi professional model. But which one? I don’t know whether to upgrade one step, two or maybe even three. Cameras are expensive and I want to get good value for my hard earned cash but I also don’t want to skimp and feel the need to switch again in a couple of years time. I think I’d rather pay a little more to get the camera I can use for several years to come. So we can become buddies you know, like Rebel and I.




The two strongest contenders that I’ve narrowed it down to after doing some research are Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark II. There’s quite a big difference in price between them with the 7D being the “cheaper” of the two. The 5D Mark II is full format though which I would love. Oh, and yes, I’m sticking to Canon, I’ve always been a Canon girl even back in the pre digital days with a T50 hanging around my neck.

How do I chose? I’ll mainly use the camera for interior shots and close-ups and I want to start trying some (home) studio photography too. Also, what lenses would you recommend for what I'll use them for? I’ll definitely get a 50 mm f/1.4 but I’ll need a zoom lens too.

So, all you photographers out there, professional or otherwise, I’m all ears! Thank you!

mages from Canon.


  • tinajo says:

    Jag har ju Canon 7d själv och är MYCKET nöjd (bytte upp mig efter flera år med Eos350D). Bilderna blir riktigt bra på autoläget om man har bråttom och inte hinner ställa in – men möjligheter till inställningar är så stort, ISO:n presterar bra (tycker jag kan dra upp jättemycket innan det syns minsta brus) osv. Dessutom kan man filma med den om så önskas, alltid bra att ha. 🙂
    Tror inte du skulle ångra dig om du skaffar den, du kan ju kika på min blogg om du vill se fotoexempel – alla bilder är tagna med den. 🙂

  • ami says:

    I shoot with the 5DMkII and I love it. The only drawback is of course, the price. But considering how much you blog and how widely your blog is read, I think it would be a worthwhile investment. The full frame sensor can’t be beat, and once you shoot with it you’ll wonder how you lived without it! It also functions really well in low light situations, should you find yourself in one. The 50mm 1.4 is great, and you might also like the 24-70mm but is almost just as much as the camera! Try the 28mm 1.8 and the 35mm 2.0. They are both fixes lenses but are more cost friendly :). Also, I went from shooting with an xti for a year to the mkII so I think you’ll find it very easy to switch too. Excited to see what you end up choosing!

  • I have shot with both the 7D and the 5D Mark II, I preferred the 5D! It just is *that* much more of a professional tool. I think that the Mark III is coming out soon though, so either wait for that, or wait for that so that the price of the Mark II comes down 😉

  • I’m in low light situations everyday from October to March! Yesterday I fell asleep in my armchair at 6.30 pm because it was so dark outside! Sounds like the 5DMkII could help in that situation then!

  • I saw that and am hoping the II will come down in price substantially :).

  • Zosia says:

    Benita, thank you for this post. I know far too little to answer your questions, but I will be glad to read the comments and advice your readers will leave.

  • Edit Omars says:

    Canon 5DM II….better in low ISO, full frame.
    Canon 5DM II is going out of market soon, instead Canon 6D is coming.
    You can read more about it here:

  • Thanks, that’s a great comparison and I’ll be sure to check out the 6D too!

  • Out of Ours says:

    The 5D Mark III was released in Australia not so long ago and is a BIG hit. The Mark II might go down in price once the Mark III has been released in Sweden (if not already) and this is the one I would go for. Have a look at this – while the 5D Mark II or III is more expensive than the 7D it’s a clear winner in any comparisons I’ve made. I currently have mid-range 60D, but the 5D Mark III is definitely on my wish list! Good luck deciding…

  • Judith says:

    I’m shooting with the 5D M2 currently, in all kinds of situations (press stuff and other clients), and my next camera will be the 5D M3. But that’s all for reasons that won’t affect you much, you really don’t need to spend that much money. As Edit mentioned, the 6D is coming soon, and that’s the one I’d recommend. You will love having a full format camera, it gives a very different quality to the pictures and that can’t quite be imitated with APS-C sensors (not to mention that with lenses meant for full frame, but used on APS, you always lose precious mm in width you really need for interior shots). It also has even better low ISO capabilities than the M2.
    The things that are often seen as drawbacks by gearheads are actually bonus points for you:
    – 20 MP is plenty, I hardly ever use the 24 my M2 has. The lesser pixel count also makes for prettier files while using low ISO
    – smaller and lighter than MII: brilliant! Because with heavy glass you really love a lighter body (I love the 24-70, but after a day of shooting my arm hurts). The smaller size also means you’ll be able to hold it more comfortably than the M2.
    – that it only has one cross-sensor won’t affect you, you don’t do indoor sport (unless when chasing the cats, of course)
    – slower fps in RAW – see above. you can take all the time you need.
    And features you’ll love: integrated wireless. You can send the pics to the computer and don’t have to take out the card. Less cables!
    I love my M2, but if the 6D had existed back when I bought it, I would have bought it instead in a heartbeat. If you can take just a little while longer, do get that one. You’ll be very happy for years to come.

  • Judith says:

    Oh, and what I forgot: I think the Rebel doesn’t have the thumb wheel, but all of the other cameras mentioned do have it. You will love it and wonder how you ever were satisfied with the buttons on the Rebel 🙂
    I’m also not sure if you already have a detachable flash, since the Rebel has the pop-up one. If you get one, don’t buy the very heavy beasts of the 580-line. I have those, but they always stay at home while I take the 430EX with me. It weighs a lot less and gives all the light you’ll need. With your all-white walls you can take beautiful pictures with reflected flash easily. Maybe spring for a TTL-cord (doesn’t need to be Canon, the ones from other producers actually often have a sturdier build), then you can also shoot while holding the flash and get light from a certain angle, but still have the camera do the math. I remember you already used diffusers before, so you already know they’re a worthwhile investment.

  • maja says:

    Sorry cant help, I am a Nikon-Girl 😉

  • Ooh, thank you so much! Great input!

  • Neda says:

    I´will tell you the same thing all my photographers friends told me when I made them the same question. There is very little diference between the cameras and they are updated very offten, so the important thing invest in the lenses and usually the kits come with very dark ones.
    Good Luck

  • I love my 50mm, f1.4, but for interior photography I would want to have a wide angle or just a “shorter” lense than the 50mm. I don’t know which ones to recommend but perhaps it was something to concider 🙂

  • strikkelise says:

    I have a 350D which has been faithful to me for several years, but my wish to upgrade hasn’t exactly shrunk reading these comments!

  • I know, makes you want to run out and try them all right now!

  • This is exactly what I was going to say. I used to shoot with the Canon 20D (looong time ago) and was excited to upgrade to 5D MII. And while the full frame and ISO 6400 are super super nice, I still will not forget the excitement of putting an L-lens on my 20D and seeing the huge difference a good lens makes.
    It was like a hazy film got lifted. And you can def tell when you go to work on the images in Photoshop that the L lenses just take in so much more information, so that there is so much more to work with.
    I got the 24/104 4f L lens. The L makes all the difference 🙂 I later got the 28/70 2.8f L which was an even better buy bc it goes to that lower aperture. Downside is that my camera is now HUGE and HEAVY… so that is something to consider also.

  • I have a kit kens for my 400D and when I got the 50mm 1:8 it was a huge difference so this time I’ll make sure pay more attention to lenses.
    At work I have the 18-200 mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS and it’s so heavy that I never like to take that camera anywhere…

  • Kimberly says:

    5D Mark II all the way. You’ll be happier in the long run with it. My boyfriend just purchased his 5D Mark II and is extremely happy with it. He did a TON of research and actually showed me a video of how great the full frame sensor is in low light. I’ll see if I can find it for you and post the link.

  • Kimberly says:
    I lied – it was the Mark III that he purchased. But still, the Mark II will be a good buy. 🙂

  • It’s hard to know how to choose – but my husband (a pro photographer) has the 5D Mark II (upgraded from 5D Mark I) and he says it’s a pretty big difference even between those two models. I know it doesn’t help your decision, but I’ve used his 5D Mark II and it’s definitely fun!
    Either way, I’m sure you’ll have fun with a shiny new camera! Upgrading is always fun and the investment is almost always worth it!

  • elin says:

    Gå rett på 5DMark III – det er helt fantastisk i de lysforholdene vi har store deler av året. Med 50mm f/1.4 har du det du trenger for å leke med eller uten studio utstyr.

  • Kathryn says:

    I just bought the Canon 5DmarkII and also love it (I couldn’t wait for the 6). I splurged on the lenses and bought a 24-105 mm lens and a 16-35 mm f2.8 because I wanted to do a lot more wide angle interior shots. They are both great lenses for low light situations (we have a lot of fog in SF in the summers). I would splurge on a wide angle low light lens if you can. It’s worth every penny! Here are shots I took with the new camera of our kitchen:

  • Suzanne says:

    Beautiful!! Kathryn – our link doesn’t work with — added period at the end, so here it is
    Alas, I am in desperate need of an upgrade, as well, and am considering switching from Nikon to Canon, after hearing so many good things from friends, as well.

  • Wow, beautiful kitchen AND photos! Will make a note of those lenses for sure.

  • Linda27 says:

    My Canon 5D mk II is my real buddy even though I own a 1D for sports and fast stuff (kids). But because of the full frame sensor, you will really have to invest in good quality lenses, as you will really notice the difference between an L lens and the kit stuff…
    I am happy with my 24-105 as a walk around lens and for interior shots. To get the full benefit of a superior camera/lens you will have to shoot RAW, I don’t know if you are doing that already?

  • I just recently started shooting RAW with my 400D to prepare for my new purchase. Those files are so huge though!I think I’ll have to get a new external harddrive to save them.

  • m k says:

    i think if you are wondering between the 7D and the 5D mark II, you’re perfect companion might be just around the corner.
    if i were you i’d wait for the 6D release (in finland it will be december). it’s directed exactly to the group that wants all the benefits of full frame but doesn’t need the motor (a more frames per sec) that professionals want. plus wi-fi! so even by the time it will be released it might be in the same price range as the 5D mark II, it will be still more new and only lacking of those 2 megapixels that you will see in the filesize being a tiny bit smaller than with the mark II.
    also, at the same time i must say to have seen everything from 2 to 72 megapixel cameras (and all the cameras mentioned here) or rather what you can do with them and the files and admit you don’t have to upgrade all the way if you are unsure. the equipment doesn’t make one a better photographer, it can help, but the technical understanding is the key. you could just up to the next enthusiast level, to the 60D.
    against all, i am not one for this pressure of needing to upgrade, i’ve seen some friends sell stuff to get better equipment that they might not really have needed, but then if it has made them feel better, i guess one should be pleased.
    this being my opinion on having worked pre and post-digitally in newspapers, magazines, studios and on the art field.

  • Someone else tipped me off about 6D so I’ll definitely check it out too. My plan is to get the camera in December so I’m hoping the release will be then over here too.
    I totally understand that the gear doesn’t make the photographer but at the same time there are limitations to the camera I have which are bothering me quite a lot like the unability too shoot well in low light conditions which I understand will be better with the models mentioned.
    Thank you so much for the input!

  • Patrick says:

    I think the 6D is overpriced for what it is, it’s close to the 5D mkIII in kit cost alone. I suggest you go with the Canon 5D MkII or the MkIII if you can afford it. Although what you save on the kit you can spend on a decent lens. I’d recommend the Canon 50mm 1.4 to go with the 5D.
    I’d also recommend you buy your camera here: I live in the UK and ordered my mkIII on a Wednesday night. It arrived Friday morning from Hong Kong. They also take care of any import duty.
    You can pick up the 5D for peanuts now –
    They’ve also just released the mirrorless EOS-M which can use all the canon lenes. It has a cropped sensor but is really compact and much cheaper.
    If you’re serious about the pictures though the 5D will give you much better colour depth and of course the detail is second to none.
    My wife designs home furnished products and I use the 5D for all product photography. Check out the images here:
    What’s your budget? I can recommend a good setup

  • This is great, thank you so much! Initially I was worried about warranties because I’ve bought cameras on site in Hong Kong where the warranty ended up not working in Sweden but they seem to have a good system. I’ll dig a little deeper and compare prices to Sweden. And, yes I agree with you I think the 5D MarkII is the way to go for me!

  • TinaRawatta says:

    An other vote vor the MII here.
    Just switched from the 5DMI to 5DMII and its a big step. I use to shoot a lot in low light too, and the MII is so awesome at high ISO.
    My lenses are the 17-40/4, 24-70/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8.
    The 24-70/2.8 is my allround lens, it also has a Macro function I´m using often. Indoor it´s not wide enough, thats why I got the 17-40/4 which I love. And for a great depth of field I´m often using my 70-200/2.8 at 200/2.8 🙂
    Both cameras are good working horses, but I guess as mentioned above, the 5DMII is more professional…
    Greetings from Austria