Why I Bought A 4 Year Old Camera
Recently I was chatting in a photo forum and mentioned that I am loving my new Canon 5D MK2. Someone noticed and said, “do you mean the MK3?” When I told them no, I recently bought a new MK2 I got flamed with questions of, “WHY?!?!” Well let me explain…
You see, I had been shooting on a Nikon D300 since November of 2008, and it had served me well. At the time of my purchase I was shooting a lot of things that involved movement and on-camera flash (I was shooting a lot of “underground” hardcore punk rock shows). The D300 coupled with an SB900 served me perfectly. As time went on though I broke away from shooting these kinds of shows, and broke away from using on camera flash. Slowly but surely I found myself shooting more stuff in natural light, or with off camera flash. I dreamed of purchasing a D700 for a while, but as time went on and life ran its course, my financial situation never permitted the upgrade.
Fast forward 4 years and now I primarily shoot portraiture and fashion editorials. I was no longer utilizing the 52 point AF system of the D300, and in fact I had reverted back to primarily using my center AF point as I did when I shot film on a Nikon N90s. I often found myself shooting wide and cropping in, which at 12mp wasn’t always the best idea. It was time to look for more. I knew I wanted to make the jump to full frame, but I had some options to weigh. On the Nikon side my options were the D600 or the D800 (I had no desire to drop the kind of money I would need on a D4). The D800 had me salivating, but the thought of having to buy way more hard drive space and ram to handle those file sizes is what turned me off. The D600 had it’s own set backs, and at the time the sensor dust issue was a giant turn off for me. On the Canon side there was the 5D MK3, MK2, and the 6D. The MK3 was awesome, but at $3500 at the time, it was a little out of my price point (I was trying to keep this purchase below $2500 if at all possible). The 6D was nice, but as with all new technology, I didn’t trust it yet. Also the 1/180 flash sync speed of the 6D was appalling to me. That left me with the MK2.
The MK2 has an inferior AF system compared to the MK3, but when I am just using it with the center AF point and for pretty still subjects, it is beyond perfect. The MK2 doesn’t have as good of low light performance as the MK3, but comparing ISO 2000 of my old D300 vs the MK2, there is no contest. The MK2 doesn’t have a burst rate like the D300 or the MK3 but I am not shooting action, and thus I have no need for this. Finally, the file size of the MK2 files is almost double that of the D300 files, but not so extreme that I was looking at massive upgrades for my computer. At the time of my purchase too, the MK2 could be had for $1500. It was a no brainer for me.
At the end of the day, I don’t even think that the camera makes the photo, but rather the photographer does. With that being said though, the upgraded features of the MK2 over my D300 definitely make taking photos much easier for me, and make my job a lot easier in many situations. Technology is going to constantly evolve, and at what point do we say, “ok, this is good enough,” for me, that was with the MK2.
My name is Anthony Tripoli, and I proudly bought a 4 year old camera.