Upload & Sell: Off
My 15 yr. old son is taking a photography class and is using my old Minolta film camera. I shoot with a Canon T4i and have had various Canon crop cameras over the years but I never had a full frame digital. He understands the difference of the field of view between his film Minolta and my crop and wants to get a digital camera when his class ends.
He asked me which would be better, a used 5D for about $500 or a T4i for about the same money. He would share my lenses and I have some EF lenses so that's not a factor. He does not care about video. I told him the T4i has modern auto focus system, which I am guessing is much better than the 5D, I can shoot available light indoors, which I would imagine the 5D isn't as good as, and it has auto ISO.
He mostly shoots with a 50mm lens, though he also has a 28mm and a 200 mm lens.He enjoys sitting at the computer so I'm sure he would be shooting raw. For his type of shooting which is walking around town taking photos, would a 5D be a good choice, or would he be better off with a new crop camera.
As far as continuing with his Minolta, he uses a dark room in class, and does not pay for film. I'm not going to spend money buying and developing film for him.
For what it's worth I have always thought about full frame, but have never made the jump because I have felt that for my photography which is mostly taking photos of my family, friends, family outings and vacations, my Rebel type cameras work really well.
The 5D is a fine camera in terms of its ability to produce good image quality, but the t4i is, in many ways, a camera with more features that will be useful. A lot has changed in camera design since the introduction of the 5D, and quite a bit of that new stuff has made its way into entry-level cameras like the t4i.
Your son really does not "need" full frame at this point. The cropped sensor bodies can produce excellent image quality, including the ability to produce prints as large or larger than your son is likely to produce.
If he is set on using prime lenses - though this is not what I recommend at this stage - one of the older non-IS 35mm f/2 lenses would nicely substitute for his current 50mm, but the 28mm could work as well. The 200mm will provide a narrower angle of view on the cropped sensor camera, equivalent to using a 320mm lens.