Tanya wants to upgrade her Canon T3i, so naturally she sought a range of opinions.
Some questions she asked to me, but it sounds like she also asked the camera snobs.
I wrote a post a while back called, “How to be a camera snob.” It was a fun look at people who value their gear more than their photography. I was reminded of that post when I heard some of the snob advice.
Don’t get me wrong, the snobs aren’t malicious. They sometimes try to be helpful. But if you listen to the substance of their recommendations. You will hear camera snob.
Here are two of Tanya's questions with the camera snob approach and a more nuanced answer.
Q. I have a Canon T3i, and I’m thinking about upgrading to the Canon 6D. What do you think?
The camera snob nearby said, "No! Buy a Canon 5D Mark III and a 24-70 f/2.8 lens. You have to have them."
Is that a great option? Absolutely. Is it necessary for everyone? Not at all. Keep this in mind.
The camera snob...
...never asks about you. never asks what kind of photography you do; never asks your budget; never asks what is important to you in a camera. The camera snob’s answers aren’t about you. They are only about making the snob seem important.
...sees everything in binary. This is the good camera. That is the bad camera…if you are serious. In reality, 'it depends.' That’s why you have options.
...can’t defend his choices. Want to stump a camera snob? Ask why? Why should I spend an extra thousand dollars when this will do what I need? Why should I only shoot in manual mode? Why? You’ll get a vague “because it’s the best.”
Here’s a more nuanced answer.
The Canon 6D is a great camera. You will definitely see an upgrade in the quality of the images you can take. The full frame can provide richer colors better depth of field and other performance improvements. It will also require new lenses. If you can’t afford to upgrade your lenses, you might be better off with a top-of-the-line APS-C camera.
Q. One feature I really want is a swivel display. I like to take low to the ground shots and I don’t want to stick my head in puddles to do it. None of the Canon full frame cameras have this feature. (I read some scathing forums from ‘serious’ photographers about those of us who’d like this feature on a full frame camera.)
The camera snob...
...likes keeping an us-vs-them approach. If you are a serious “one of us”, you will buy this. If you are not serious, or “one of them,” why are we even talking?
...creates arbitrary ways of deciding based on how it always used to be. There is no reason a flip screen shouldn’t be on a full frame except it hadn’t ever been that way before. If the first one had it and the others didn’t, the snobs would feel reverse. It reminds me of Dr. Seuss's Sneetches with their Stars upon Thars.
...seeks status in the kind of camera he holds rather than the quality of work he creates. The Canon 5D Mark III is capable of taking great photos unless you are not a great photographer. Then it won’t be any more effective than last year’s entry-level camera.
Here’s a more nuanced answer. I just LOVE cameras with swivel LCD screens. This is one of those quality-of-life features that you underestimate until you use one. Ignore all the camera snobs who tell you otherwise. People who seek status in the kind of camera you have or in arbitrarily limiting features are just silly to me. Like you said, this is a feature that will help you take photos every day. That is most important.
Now… Is that more important than owning a full frame? In some cases, it might not be. Full frame cameras definitely improve quality, but is it enough to ignore the convenience of the flip screen? Not necessarily for the enthusiast shooter.
The Canon 70D and Canon 80D will provide a significant improvement over your Canon T3i. You will have the features that are most important to you, and you won’t have to invest in more expensive lenses until you are ready. Sounds like a good next step to me.