DSLR Comparison: Canon 5D Mark III vs 70D vs 700D vs 650D

I was recently asked to give my recommendations for a camera upgrade today with short notice, so please do not consider this an in depth review! My research was done purely on the internet and I didn’t get a chance to try these cameras out. (UPDATE: I have since tried the 7D and 700D out whilst on safari – both great cameras and they didn’t change my opinions below)

The person requiring the advice currently owns an old Canon DSLR and four lenses. Being a Nikon shooter myself I don’t know that much about the latest Canon systems so I had to rely on other review websites such as DPReview.com and Dave Dugdale’s brilliant Learning DSLR Video channel.

I obviously wanted to recommend some Nikon cameras to them but the hassle of having to get new lenses wouldn’t make it worth it.

They consider themselves an experienced amateur and their requirements were:

– HD video
– high quality photos
– survive on safari trips
– will work with existing lenses
– and be good enough to potentially be the last camera they ever buy

That last requirement was a bit ambitious given how quickly camera technology is progressing these days and that they didn’t want to spend more than £600 on the new body.

After quite a bit of (hurried) research the winner was the 700D and here’s why:

The 5D Mark II and III are brilliant cameras (79% and 82% on DPReview respectively) but were too expensive (about £900 and £2000 respectively).

In a few years time at a lower price the 70D probably would have been my recommendation but it just doesn’t have enough significant upgrades to justify paying this much right now.

So it was between the 650D and the 700D. They are almost identical – both have flip-out touch screen LCDs (very handy for video), they record full HD video, 18 megapixels and have APS-C sensors. They are also a bargain and around half the price of the 70D and 5D Mark II.

The 700D wins here because at the time of writing it was cheaper on Amazon than the 650D even though it is a newer camera!

Along with this recommendation I pointed out that the more expensive models have such a price jump for a reason – full frame sensors on the Mark II and III, better build quality and weather resistance, more frames per second, more focal points etc

And that going for the cheaper cameras has the added risk that you will end up having to upgrade again sooner that you would with the more expensive model.

But for someone on a budget, looking to upgrade an old DSLR and keep all their lenses, the 700D is a great camera for the price.

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