PetaPixel

Pro DSLR with Cheapo Glass versus Cheapo DSLR with Pro Glass

It’s a pretty common question: if you had to choose, would you rather have a top-of-the-line DSLR with a cheap lens or an entry-level body with pro glass? Kai of DigitalRev attempts to answer the question through a hands on experiment in this humorous and educational video.

His conclusion is that unless you need to specific high end features of pro bodies (e.g. full frame sensor, high ISO performance, fast focus and burst shooting), then you’re probably better off going with a cheaper camera and more expensive lenses. Lenses hold their value much better than camera bodies, and there isn’t too big of a difference in image quality these days between entry level and pro DSLRs — especially when using high quality glass.

(via Reddit)


 
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000722787104 Piet Ps

    why Nikon strap and shirt?

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the problem, the lenses and bodies he uses are beat to death. They are not new, they have been dropped in some cases.
    Although I agree with the results, the testing protocol is suspect due to the equipment he is using. I think that if he used all NEW equipment the difference was would have been greater.

  • Zachary Fam

    Cause he’s a Nikon fanboy -__-

  • Jeff Rhine

    Cheap DSLR, Pro Glass.  Glass is the only thing that will hold its value.

  • Rick Bennett

    “testing protocol”? It was a humorous video meant to make a point not, a dpreview graph of chromatic aberration vs aperture.

  • Rick Bennett

    “testing protocol”? It was a humorous video meant to make a point not, a dpreview graph of chromatic aberration vs aperture.

  • Rick Bennett

    That was a fun video. Totally agree: if you’ve only got $3k to burn, spend 600 on the body and 2400 on glass, not the other way around.

  • http://www.purveyorofdifferent.com Scott M

    I would buy a cheap DSLR AND cheap glass.  Then use your extra money to buy beer and CF cards.

  • http://www.purveyorofdifferent.com Scott M

    I would buy a cheap DSLR AND cheap glass.  Then use your extra money to buy beer and CF cards.

  • phantom

    that is to fannnny but he is talking about a CANON camera and LENS lol

  • http://profiles.google.com/bennydanny Benjamim Daniel

     The video was posted on 15/10/2010.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bennydanny Benjamim Daniel

     The video was posted on 15/10/2010.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bennydanny Benjamim Daniel

     The video was posted on 15/10/2010.

  • http://drewshannon.net Drew Shannon

    For awhile, I was using a 24-70mm f/2.8L lens on my Canon Rebel Xsi, and other than noise performance, I was really happy with the gear I was using.

    I ended up selling the lens because it was a bit too bulky for my needs, but that’s a whole other story.

  • Lee Vy

    He’s kind of an asshole mocking the fisherman. Also the 550D isn’t really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    +1 for more money alloted towards glass than towards the body. Right now, with my kit, the split has been aproximately 1/4th of kit value spent on the body, and 3/4th spent on the glass. All glass is 2.8 or better. Granted, the body is no slouch either, but definitely, if you had to make a hard choice, go with a cheaper and decent body($500-$700), spare batteries, memory cards, and spend the remainder/bulk on glass.

  • Ola

    What is the point of IS if you shoot action?

    What is the point of 18 unsharp MPs because the AF didn’t coop?
    Remeber, IQ is the _least_ important aspect of an image. Unless everything else (composition, correct focus, and so on) is in place, it is meaningless.

    If the pro-body can get the shot, and the cheapo get it a bit OOF and a bit to late, the pro-pic will be better, despite some chromatic fringing and lens blur.

    What had happened if you were to shoot some skate-boarder with a 50/1.8?

  • Ola

    What is the point of IS if you shoot action?

    What is the point of 18 unsharp MPs because the AF didn’t coop?
    Remeber, IQ is the _least_ important aspect of an image. Unless everything else (composition, correct focus, and so on) is in place, it is meaningless.

    If the pro-body can get the shot, and the cheapo get it a bit OOF and a bit to late, the pro-pic will be better, despite some chromatic fringing and lens blur.

    What had happened if you were to shoot some skate-boarder with a 50/1.8?

  • Ola

    What is the point of IS if you shoot action?

    What is the point of 18 unsharp MPs because the AF didn’t coop?
    Remeber, IQ is the _least_ important aspect of an image. Unless everything else (composition, correct focus, and so on) is in place, it is meaningless.

    If the pro-body can get the shot, and the cheapo get it a bit OOF and a bit to late, the pro-pic will be better, despite some chromatic fringing and lens blur.

    What had happened if you were to shoot some skate-boarder with a 50/1.8?

  • http://twitter.com/PlasticWig Joshua K

    I think hes more of a Leica lover than anything.

  • Mits

    Hang on a sec. on the 550D he’s shooting with either a 24-70 f/2.8 or the 24-105 f/4 IS (a bit of a redundant choice IMO, but that’s neither here nor there). But the shot taken at 2:57 into the video, he’s using f/2.2. Is that supposed to be f/22 or is he using a cheap prime in addition to the L glass?

  • Mits

    Hang on a sec. on the 550D he’s shooting with either a 24-70 f/2.8 or the 24-105 f/4 IS (a bit of a redundant choice IMO, but that’s neither here nor there). But the shot taken at 2:57 into the video, he’s using f/2.2. Is that supposed to be f/22 or is he using a cheap prime in addition to the L glass?

  • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

    I think the lesson should be to buy the ‘body only’ camera and spend your money wisely on a lens based on how you shoot. Primes are wonderful for me with their low price and high quality.

  • http://twitter.com/Myrddon Henning Nilsen

    And I thought reddit reported on new things.

  • http://twitter.com/BANANAMANANAS Josh Ladella

    lol this is hilarious. I love this guy.

  • kdv

    Correction:

    Buy your camera with the kit lens!
    Sell the kit lens and make a small profit.
    Then use the profit to buy your prime lenses!

  • Steve Potter

    Um, that’s been the case pretty much forever, at least for the 45 years that I’ve been a photographer. Put you money into the lenses; the body hardly makes any difference.