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09-15-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
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Outdated pro cameras -- today's value buy

I hear lots of people wanting pro features (build, weathersealing, AF, fps) in the lower/middle end cameras. But few seem to consider the option of buying a used pro body. If you aren't too worried about the max # of megapixels, you can get some pretty decent bargains out there if you are willing to compromise a little.

For instance, in Canon land, we have:
1D (4MP, 1.3x crop)
1Ds (11MP, full frame!)
1D II/IIN (8MP, 1.3x crop)
1Ds II (16MP, full frame)

The original 1D may not look good on paper, but the autofocus and fps performance is still quite up to date. They are built well enough that you can hammer nails with them. The shutter will go for 200-300k usually, and costs $300 or less to replace if needed. I've seen them go for $400-600 lately. The original 1Ds is 11 megapixels full frame with a weak AA filter so the output from it is pretty stunning still. Yeah, higher ISO it's not so hot, but if you want a good performing full frame camera that can make very nice, large prints it's hard to beat for under $1k.

The Mark IIs are more of the same, a bit better, a good bit more expensive. Still, the 1D II is under a grand and for that you get pro AF, weather sealing, 8 fps, and 8 megapixels which should suffice for many.

In Nikon land, you can look at the D2X and such cameras which give you a lot of performance for the money these days.

If you want to go really quirky, a Kodak DCS/14n is like $500-600, 14 megapixels full frame. Yeah, it's a pain to use and a little weird, but the output at low ISO can still be amazing. Full frame landscape camera on a real budget? This might be your guy!

I don't know if it's people not wanting to buy used, the assumption that used pro camera = worn out, or what, but few appear to pay attention to these options.

Here are a few threads from POTN where you can see these cameras still performing well:
1D Classic Lovers !!! - Canon Digital Photography Forums
1DS Mark II Admirers, congregate! - Canon Digital Photography Forums
1DS MkI owners unite! - Canon Digital Photography Forums
1D Mk II and Mk IIn Owners Unite! - Canon Digital Photography Forums

Fun reading and maybe it'll help push someone over the edge.

09-15-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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I'll never buy any Kodak again

I'll never buy any Kodak logo'd camera again.

Dig alittle and you'll find Kodak stopped supporting their full frame dslrs years ago. No parts, no service = no way.

Good advise on the canon made pro spec dslrs though. Not for me, but they are cheap and available.
09-15-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Yeah, the Kodak you're pretty much on your own with, but it's hard to beat FF and 14MP for that kind of change. There was the later SLR/n with very similar specs, but I think they are still a little costlier.

Personally, I'd up the investment a bit and get the 1Ds though.
09-15-2009, 10:37 AM   #4
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The 5D is now around $1,000 too, and it's only 4 years old.

Don't forget the Contax N Digital...the very first full frame camera, but entirely gone now (You can find them on Ebay for about $1000 sometimes).

09-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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The 5D is a good camera, but I was looking more at the pro camera spectrum where you get the solid build and great AF, neither of which the 5D posseses. (The ones I see usually fetch $1200-1400 too.)
09-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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Indeed 5D is not "pro"

Indeed 5D is not "pro" spec'd. Neither is 5D mark II.

Still I'm quite pleased with 5D Classic. For me it was simply about getting a full frame to make my ultrawide angle lenses perform as designed. No complaints.


QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
The 5D is a good camera, but I was looking more at the pro camera spectrum where you get the solid build and great AF, neither of which the 5D posseses.
09-15-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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Oh, no disagreement that the 5D (I and II) is a great, great camera. But my intention here was to offer some options to think about for those who crave the AF/fps performance. The 1Ds series doesn't have the high fps but the AF system is the same as the 1D and it's superb.
09-15-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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Indeed, all the canons you offered up all autofocus at f8 right?

Indeed, all the canons you offered up all autofocus at f8 right?

f8 versus f5.6 autofocus would be nice to have. Not sure I need it with what I own but it seems to be on everyones want list, so I want it too

You can autofocus your 400mm 5.6L with a 1.4x on your canon probody right? That seems to be a spec reserved for "pro" line.


QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Oh, no disagreement that the 5D (I and II) is a great, great camera. But my intention here was to offer some options to think about for those who crave the AF/fps performance. The 1Ds series doesn't have the high fps but the AF system is the same as the 1D and it's superb.


09-15-2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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Yeah, all 1-series do. My 1Ds2 focuses fine with the 1.4x and 400/5.6 though AF speed does take a bit of a hit. Though, I have wedded the 400 to my 50D these days since I get a much lighter package and can shoot the lens at 5.6 which helps. Really wish it'd AF with the 1.4x though since that'd give me 560mm on a crop body... can always use the "tape trick" but birds in flight are demanding enough on the AF system as it is.
09-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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a 1Ds still pulls a high value for whatever reason
09-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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I see them under $1k regularly which isn't bad for a FF setup with killer AF performance.
09-15-2009, 11:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I see them under $1k regularly which isn't bad for a FF setup with killer AF performance.
i see them for ~1500 CAD, with an extra battery or two with around 20-30K acctuations.

i'm just not a fan of buying a seven year old piece of electronics that, as much as everyone will disagree, is meant for use and abuse.

atleast with my film camera the most important aspect is not even the camera!

plus, sensor technology has come a long way, its not JUST the FF aspect, i want the dynamic range as well.

has DxO ever done up a 1Ds?

EDIT: i just looked up the DxO, the 1Ds is definetly lacking compared to a 5D mkii or a D700 in terms of DR
09-15-2009, 12:03 PM   #13
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Just go look at some shots/prints rather than DxO graphs. It's still a very very capable camera, and costs less than half the price of a D700 or 5DII. At lower ISOs it performs about the same as a 5D classic, which I don't see many complaints about.

As I stated earlier though, you're not getting a "free lunch" -- there are compromises when you get something older tech like this. But, that doesn't mean that for certain people/purposes they're not a great deal.
09-15-2009, 12:22 PM   #14
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Good idea, but the problem is that you still have to change or add a different system to shoot with those pro cameras.
09-15-2009, 12:25 PM   #15
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Well, this *is* the off-brand forum. And on the Canons you can always use M42 glass...
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