Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Dilema whether to upgrade to Canon 1DX

Philipwatson Avatar
10 Mar 2021 11:20AM
I currently use a canon 1 D mk iv and was wondering is it worth upgrading to a 1DX now or wait a couple of years and save up for a 1DX mkii, i Don't want to go mirrorless and i certainly don't want to go Nikon as this would mean changing my lenses. is the canon 1D mk iv still a good camera?
Thoughts please
sherlob Avatar
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 11:49AM

Quote: is the canon 1D mk iv still a good camera?

As an experienced user of this camera you should be well qualified to answer this question.

The crux I suspect comes down to the need for some honest reflection: does this camera still do everything you want of it and are there features in newer models that you think would offer a serious advantage to YOUR photography?

If the answer to this question is that the 1D Mk IV still does all you need then why upgrade? There may be valid reasons (e.g. wear and tear, reliability concerns etc).

If the answer is no: then list down all the features you think you really need and then start researching into your various options. E.g. is a 1Dx the only model you'd consider? What about some of Canon's mirrorless bodies? If a blistering frame rate is none essential then it may be worth looking at the 5D Mk iV or the 90D (don't be put off by the enthusiast badge).
Philipwatson Avatar
10 Mar 2021 12:05PM
Thanks for that, yes it does still meet all my requirements and has no reliability issues it still looks and works like new. I think it is just a case of kit envy and feeling pressure to "keep up with the Jones's". I think it may just be a case of upgrading my lenses to a prime 500/600 instead of my 400 f5.6.
sherlob Avatar
sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 2:26PM
I can understand where you are coming from. However, glass is likely to be a better investment in terms of residual value. I've been looking longingly at a 500mm f4 IS Mk1 prime for sometime - I just need to finance it! I'm loath to sell my Sigma 120-300 f2.8 due to its versatility (although it a massive beast).
justin c Avatar
justin c 19 5.2k 36 England
10 Mar 2021 9:38PM
A lot depends on what you like to photograph. In my opinion a 500mm or 600mm prime lens is quite a significant step up from a 400mm f5.6 and would wins hands down compared to a 1DIV to 1DX as far as upgrades go. It's hard to go back to anything else once you've shot with a big prime lens.
NeilSchofield Avatar
NeilSchofield Plus
16 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2021 10:46PM
If you aren’t focally challenged with a full frame body and can afford it the 1DXll is better than the original both in IQ and AF, if you are focally challenged then you could consider a 7Dll
justin c Avatar
justin c 19 5.2k 36 England
11 Mar 2021 9:40AM

Quote:Thanks for that, yes it does still meet all my requirements and has no reliability issues it still looks and works like new. I think it is just a case of kit envy and feeling pressure to "keep up with the Jones's". I think it may just be a case of upgrading my lenses to a prime 500/600 instead of my 400 f5.6.

If you fancy an upgrade and can afford to do so then why not, go for it.
But, upgrading to keep up with the Jones's is crazy. 99.9% of the population wouldn't be remotely interested in what equipment is used. It's the image that counts. There are countless amazing photographers that are, and have been using cameras like the 1D IV and much older cameras too and consistently producing superb images. On the other side of the coin there are photographers with very deep pockets with all the very latest, top end gear and haven't really got a clue, or are producing very mediocre images at best. Don't be fooled into the misguided belief by thinking that better gear always equates to better images. In the majority of situations, other than on the rare occasions where cutting edge technology may be a benefit, it doesn't and it's a very costly mistake to make.

I see you do a lot of bird photography. Stepping up to a 500mm prime lens will be a huge benefit, especially if you budget for a 1.4X extender as well and it will have a much, much greater benefit than going for a camera upgrade, IMHO.
Philipwatson Avatar
11 Mar 2021 4:11PM
thanks to everyone for their advice and comments
pixel_Painter Avatar
14 Mar 2021 11:33PM
I just managed to talk myself out of upgrading from my 2005 Canon 5D to the Canon 6D mk2, my reasoning is that the camera i have does everything i need and does give stunning images, i don't think a newer camera is going to improve my images in any way which is what counts.....the end result is the Final image.

It's alot of money outlay just to have a new camera and dare i say it.....attempt to keep up with the Jones's.

Just my thoughts.
ARI Avatar
ARI 20 602 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2021 7:43PM

My view is that I would spend money on the lens as I believe that this makes the picture and is aided/enhanced by the sensor.  I got seriously bitten by the photography bug well over 30 yrs ago.  Got a Canon EOS 1000 coupled with a Sigma 70-300 APO lens, I believe.  From circumstance, I treated myself to a 600f4 and 100-400 in mid 1990.  I was astounded by the picture quality.  Digital came along and EOS 1000 gave way to EOS 5D mk1 in 2010.  The 5D passed on a couple of years ago and was replaced with a 5Ds.  My photographic topic of choice is wildlife, hence I spend lots of time in bush environments.  The vehicle being my hide and camera bag.  The kit is subjected to the elements and rigors like being wet, rough handling.  The lens are at least 25 years old, the 600f4 still is sharp, newer versions of the 600 f4 have improvements in weight and some aspects of picture quality.  There may be more marked improvement in the newer version 100-400.  Both lens are still doing well but I am now on my third EOS body. In my travels I have been astounded by persons I have come across sporting EOS 1D,Nikon F4, F5 coupled with really cheap third party lens.  This combination will make flaws in the glass and technique  glaringly obvious.  This makes suffering from 'GAS', Bling and 'Keeping up with the Jones' syndrome obvious.  Main beneficiary is the camera companies.  In your shoes, I would be inclined to spend on the best glass you can afford as you will in all probability be suing it in 20 + years with not better lens about, but may well be on your third superseded body. Just my tuppence worth and if the current kit meets all your needs, spend your money on good glass that will outlast bodies in picture quality and you can invite the 'Jonesnes' of the world with 'Beat This!' picture quality.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the hobby, keep well and stay safe.
pixel_Painter Avatar
27 Mar 2021 8:03PM
Well after talking myself out of replacing my 5D with the MKIV version, my wife talked me back into it again and it happened.... Without doubt the better sensor is making a difference to sharpness so I would think picture quality comes down to both lens and sensor combo, however you already have a high caliber sensor so treat yourself to a fast long lens and you'll be set.
ARI Avatar
ARI 20 602 1 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2021 2:15PM
I forgot to mention that to help you decide, you could rent the kit and then decide if it fits in with your needs.
I am hooked on taking head shots of wildlife and have no interest in birds in flight, 5 fps is plenty but I want detail. My 'go to' kit is the 20+ year old 600mm lens attached with 15+ year old X1.4 tc attached to the 3 year old EOS 5DsR new boy. I am very pleased with the detail in pictures taken but believe that the lens is the primary contributor the picture quality of sharpness, detail and color rendition. A good sensor contributes hugely to the latter also.
Part of the fun is being faced with dilemmas. I had similar when choosing to replace my dead 5D mk1 with the 5DsR. I did not need a high fps but wanted high mp enable me to make large prints when needed, without interpolation. 5DsR won and has done me well.


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