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60D a good choice for a second body

sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 8:42AM
Hi all,

I'm in a little, but very pleasant conundrum. I have been given a not insignificant sum to spend in Jessops, however I'm not too sure what to use the cash for. I'm happy with most of the lenses I own, and whilst I'd love to upgrade a couple of them to L series the truth of the matter is that even with sum I have been given I'd had to add a grand or so... So well that option is out.

I'm thinking I might treat myself to a second body to complement my 5D mk11. The 5D is a fab camera and I use it for the majority of my photography, however I have dabbled with wildlife work and I'd like to do more - and for this the 5D is weak (it's just not it's intended purpose). In these circs the full frame sensor, 9 point autofocus (with one cross sensor) and low frame rate is a disadvantage.

Obviously upgrading to the 5d mk111 would sort these issues, but I'm afraid that isn't an option - I just don't think Canon have gone anywhere near far enough with this upgrade especially when compared to the Nikon D800. Also 3 grand is just too much money right now. The 7D would be my next choice, but again this is out of the price range I would consider for a second body - given the amount of use it's likely to get. I'm therefore thinking that the 60D may be a suitable compromise. I'm still going to have more than double the money I have been given, but it would appear to offer a fair balance between spec and price. My question is - am I likely to be wasting my money? Would I be better investing in say a 50mm f1.4 or even a 70-300 IS zoom. Both lenses would be nice to own, but I really don't think the 50mm would get much use, and the 70-300 would be great when I go travelling, but that is only for usually 2 weeks each year...

I'd appreciate your opinions.


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Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
31 May 2012 9:12AM
How about a good 2nd hand 50d, that would be my weapon of choice......As good as the 60d, but without all the video shenanigans of the 60d......I've two of them and bought what must have one of the last new 50d's in the country deliberately over the 60d as I didn't want/need the video......Just an idea.

Get a good one, with as low a shutter count as possible, then invest the rest of your cash in the more important glass......Job's a good un'

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 10:34AM
You don't say what lenses you own already,but given that you like the idea of the 70-300mm I presume you don't have many (if any) telephoto lenses. And from your comments about cost I presume it is the non-L version.

The 5DII is OK for wildlife - you don't need blazingly fast AF or hyper frame rates (they obviously increase the keeper rate but think what people used to do 20 years ago!) and I have seen casual wildlife togs happily using the 5DII and accept its limitations, so first of all get the glass you think you need (or want). The 70-300 is a very decent performer for the money with a 3-stop IS and like many reviews I put its performance at f5.6/f8 pretty close to the 70-200. And it sounds like it would be useful for travelling and wildlife.
I have successfully used my 30D with both the 100-400L or the 70-300 (non-IS) for birds in flight and got some nice shots and the AF/fps is on a par with the 5D. So if you can swing the extra for a used 50D (about 400?) then add that to your arsenal r you could dip your toe into second bodies with a used 30D (about 220). I certainly find a second body with lens helps a lot - I often have my 7D/100-400 when I am out shooting birds but have the 100mm macro on my 30D for the times I see a macro shot that will not last long enough to change lenses.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 11:24AM
Lenses first, it would be useful if you can list your lenses Adam so people can spot suggestions for spending your 1000

However I'd say forget the 50 1.4. - I've got one and it just doesn't get used. Last time was two years ago for hand held shooting nighttime Christmas lights wide open (which it worked well for). Yeah it's good for some portraits but so are my Sig 24-70 2.8 and Can 24-105 L and they are more flexible.

As for bodies, what about a second hand one series body? Machine gun shooting, built like a tank, built in portrait grip, weeks of battery life, fab accessories in the box, look great at meetings and boost your self-esteem Smile

I can't bear to part with my 1D MkII yet it never ever gets used! Fab backup camera though, you'd pick one up for 600 or less.
I have a 60D and its a great camera. fantastic image quality from a APS sensor camera. However for wildlife its not going to be much quicker than your 5D mark ii. neither is the 50D which has even slower focusing. your best bet is the 7D. It has to be the best APS camera on the market for fast focusing. and you would have to pay over 5000. to get faster. i know its about your budget . but jessops do 6 months interest free finance. maybe worth considering
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
31 May 2012 12:00PM

Quote: neither is the 50D which has even slower focusing

Slow focussing is in most part down to the lens you happen to be using.......I don't know how everyone else works, but wildlife and macro stuff I use mostly manual focussing anyway.....

sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 12:25PM
Thanks for the input - some interesting ideas.

I'm in a very fortunate position - I've been collecting my Canon gear for quite a number of years and have amassed a good range of kit so far. Incl. 17-40mm/ 24-105mm/ 100mm macro/ 50mm macro (although AF is broken)/ 70-200 f2.8 non IS/ 100-400mm. Both tele lenses are super, but heavy and bulky - hence my thoughts about the 70-300 - however when not travelling abroad the size factor isn't too much of an issue. I also have a couple of more specialist creative lenses and a decent compact. I rarely use flash, and although I'm interested in doing more strobism the chances of this happening in the next couple of years are minimal - hence I don't feel the need to add a second strobe to my 550ex.

I take the point about buying a second hand body, but to be honest my main purpose here is to use my gift vouchers as constructively as possible. My thinking is - what will I use more an additional lens or a body? Or even a whole series of odds and sods... Like I say I know I am fortunate - I have the gear I need. The 60d would get some use as I'd probably keep it with one of the tele lenses on it (and this may mean i am more inclined to use these lenses - something id like to do), and the vouchers effectively mean I am able to get this at a heavily discounted price. Would I pay my money on this if I didn't have the vouchers? No. I don't think I would. But I wouldn't be burning to buy any kit either...

Like I say a vey fortunate condundrum.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 12:40PM
Another option is to not spend it just yet, check the expiry date and wait in case a current piece of kit breaks. Of maybe if Canon brought out a mirrorless camera or a 70D next month would you be tempted?

Also You don't mention a tripod, though looking at you work you must have one - upgrade this to a carbon fibre one?
Or a new Lowpro bag? The Nifty 50mm f1.8?

It gets tricky sometimes, when you can afford a bit but not a lot, i've bought all the cheap gadgets i can afford and now just long for the L glass i can't afford - if it was not for studio lights and light metres i'd have nothing to buy - kidding a bit here Wink

Happy spending whenever.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 12:53PM
I can see why you are looking at the 70-300 when you may want a decent zoom without the size and wieght of those two zooms.

I get the feeling you are stil not quite sure about your priorites but that is probably why you posted the question is here is my thinking if ti were me.
The 60D is a bit smaller but not hugely so that would make me take it out where I would not take the 5DII, so the main advantage is having it with me pre-loaded and ready to use which means I am carrying 2 bodies plus 2 lenses and the immediate choice would be the 60D with 100-400 and the 5D with macro or short zoom. But for maximum picture quality I would put it the other way round - the 100-400 on the 5DII as this offers superior cropping for wildlife and the 60D for more controllable wide-anlge and macro. The AF/fps performance of the 5DII is not so far behind the 60D that this is not feasible. With the 17-40 on the 60D you would lose the ultra-wide but given you are probably taking landscapes you will have time to swap if you need to.

Another situation is light zoom set for walking around: as above the 60D+lens is not massively smaller than the 5DII+lens so a bigger size advantage will be having the 5DII+75-300IS instead of 60D+70-200 f2.8. And use your compact for side angle.

I still think the 70-300IS is the slightly more versatile option for an immediate purchase. I suggested a second hand body only as a cheap way to see if the 'dual body' kit would suit you because it can be more inconvenient and if that means you never take a dual-body I think the 60D offers no real advantages to you.
MarkBroughton 10 286 1 England
31 May 2012 1:02PM
Hi Adam,
If you want to have a play with a 60D before making your choice you are welcome to borrow mine and take it for a spin, for however long you need. I love it, and am really happy with the results I get from it.
Get in touch if you want to arrange it
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
31 May 2012 1:09PM
Just another thought and something you might want to think about. The 60D doesn't take compact flash cards I believe, so you'd might have to go and spend a whole shed load of money on SD cards as well.......

Although I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong....

Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
31 May 2012 1:12PM
Problem is if you get a second body, would you bother taking it out when you have 5D2 as you know 5D2 will always give you better IQ?
When I have 5D2 and 40D, I thought I would keep the 40D, but I never used it as I know 5D2 will give me better IQ despite slower AF.
MarkBroughton 10 286 1 England
31 May 2012 1:16PM
Good Point Ade, and yes you are fully correct, the 60D is SD / SDHC only. Takes the same batteries as a 5D mkII though I'm sure.
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 1:53PM
Curiously many of these thoughts equate to my own musings. Perhaps the 70-300 may be the better option - it requires less additional layout. Sadly the vouchers only have a short expiry date so I need to use them sooner then later.

Still undecided...
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
31 May 2012 2:10PM
Fully agree with Cole, I too always choose the 5D2 because of the better sensor (even if it's slightly slower at some things).

Maybe if I covered a sports event I'd use both at the same time - one for wide shots, the other with a telephoto permanently attached.

In reality the extra body is just a back up in case the 5D II breaks down.

Have you got a compact? I mean a compact compact - one that you can carry without noticing it, that actually goes in your jeans pocket with your keys.

My last upload wouldn't have been shot with any of my other equipment. Phone hasn't got the reach and all of my other cameras are too big to carry 24/7. It's one of my fave pics of the last year.

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