A decision that greatly improves the photographers when it comes time to buy or upgrade their DSLR or mirror-free camera is whether to buy a new crop sensor camera or an older, used full-frame camera. There are arguments for both sides so let's dig in.
If you are reading this article you are probably already familiar with the differences between monitors and camcorders. If you are not, you should check out our full article on the subject, but in short, there are two main formats of DSLR and mirror-free cameras: 35mm or full frame and crop sensor or APS-C. Full-frame cameras are based on 35mm movie standard while APS-C cameras use a sensor that is approximately two thirds of size. Professional cameras usually use full image sensors while consumer and entry cameras use crop sensors.
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] Brand new cameras, like the Canon 5D Mark IV, cost a few thousand dollars. Even the Canon 6D Mark II starts at $ 1
The thing is that you can buy used fullscreen cameras for crop sensor money. You can get a good Canon 5D Mark II, one of the most successful professional cameras ever made for around $ 600. A Canon 5D Mark III, the camera I use, can be smaller than a grand if it's a bit beat up or about $ 1,300 if it is in good condition. This means that in particular to improve the photographers there is a choice to do.
Consumer and Professional Cameras
As I mentioned above, fullscreen images are used in professional cameras while green sensors are used in consumer cameras. The differences between the two are worth highlighting.
- Construction Quality: Professional cameras are designed to take a beat. They are made of aluminum alloys, often have weatherproofing and generally work everywhere. Consumer cameras are meant for holiday and family pictures. They are made of plastic, and a real rainstorm may not be good for them.
- Better controls: Consumer cameras have many automatic modes, so you do not have to worry about taking pictures. Professional cameras give you much more manual controls. Expected to see things like dedicated shutter speed and aperture dial, custom presets and a more ergonomic layout.
- Multiple Slots: Multiple memory card slots let you shoot to two cards at once, so all your photos are backed up. Consumer cameras have only one.
- Different lens holders: Consumer and professional cameras have different lens holders. In general, the entire frame lenses will work on green cameras while the reverse is not true.
- Better auto focus: Professional bodies – or at least the latest ones – tend to have better autofocus with more points than consumer bodies. [OmduharmångaDX-ellerEF-S-objektiv19659014] And we have not even talked about image quality yet!
Although things get a bit trickier and really depends on which two cameras you compare. For example, a 5D III has a 22.3 megapixel full frame sensor while the T7i has a 24.2 megapixel breeding sensor. Both have the same ISO range of 100-25 600. 5D III, even though it's older, definitely has a superior sensor. On the other hand, 5D II has a 21.1 megapixel sensor and an ISO range of 100-6400. In good light, it is better than a T7i, but in low light it is much less cut and dried.
As a general rule, I would say that any full-frame camera released in the last decade is, if not as good as, at least in the same ballpark as a whole new crop sensor camera in most situations. Camera quality is slightly less than lens quality.
What You Lose by Buying an Elder Hand Camera
It's probably clear that as long as a full-frame camera is not too old or too bad, it's likely to be better in many ways than a whole new crop sensor camera. Again, things are not sewn yet.
When you go with an older camera, you'll get a lot of new features. An incomplete list of things you probably will not get include:
- Wifi or Bluetooth connection
- A touch screen
- A tilt rotation screen
- 4K, high speed or slow motion video
- A fast blasting mode – which is a matter of shooting sports or wildlife photography
These may or may not be things you will miss. You also do not get the comfort and protection that comes with buying a brand new product. We'll look at where to buy a good used camera next but do not expect an extended warranty or a replacement if something breaks.
Where to Buy a Used Camera Used
Buying a Used Camera may be a little risky. You do not really know what you get, especially if you buy from any stranger from Craigslist.
My advice is to buy from one of two places: your local camera store or a reputable online marketplace like MPB.com and B & H.
With your local camera store, you can check in and check out the cameras. The staff will also be able to advise you about your options. They will have been cleaned and checked out everything they sell so they are unlikely to try to sell you a broken camera. They can even offer some kind of guarantee.
It is similar to MPB.com and B & H. They are two of the largest used camera's online marketplaces. Something that they make, they have tested and made sure it's in working order. MPB.com offers a six month warranty while B & H offers 90 days.
You pay a bit of a premium purchased locally or from MPB.com or B & H, but in my opinion it's worth it.  So, what to choose?
What option you join is up to you. If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you are looking for the assurance that the image quality has not changed massively over the last two years or that a touch screen is now considered an important feature – do not worry. Good cameras are built to hold and if you buy one that has become famous and has a warranty, you will be fine. I think manual control, robust building and larger sensors are worth the balance, especially if you're planning on getting better on photography. If you go this way, check out our guide to move to a complete frame camera.
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On the other hand, cameras have come in recent years. If you want the latest features – and I can not fault you, Wifi control is great – then you need to get a new camera. The latest vegetable cameras are incredible, so join that suits you best.