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Thread: New Canon EOS 7D versus 5D Mark II

  1. #1
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    Default New Canon EOS 7D versus 5D Mark II

    OK...after much research, I was sold on the Canon 5D Mark II as THE camera I wanted prior to moving to Alaska. With L-series lenses, the pics it takes are stunning. 21 MP and HD video to boot.

    Then...along comes the Canon 7D. Only 18 MP, but 8 fps versus 3.9 for the 5D Mark II. Both have HD video and lots of other options. Big difference is that the 7D is almost $1000 cheaper.

    So, what's the opinions of the pro's here. The 8 frames per second burst appeals to me for action shots. I am leary because I've seen pics from the 50D (a medium price camera), many of which I thought were blurry and out of focus. Like I said, I'm sold on the 5d Mark II, just thinking about the 7D. Haven't seen any real world shots, yet.

    Thoughts.

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    Default Canon Sugar Plums

    Hey Rick,

    I am not a pro but...........No doubt the 5D Mark II is a great camera, as (hopefully) the 7D will be. I have been thinking about purchasing the 7D to compliment my 50D (which, along with my L series lenses, I have been very happy with). Some of my reasons to buy the 7D include the fairly fast fps capability, the movie capture feature (yesterday I could have captured a bull Moose ripping an Alder apart), the focus tracking, and the improved weather protection. I plan on sticking to the small sensor format just for the extra push one gets on their lenses (I like that extra reach as I prefer to photograph wildlife). But there are many more people out there who know more about cameras than I do. You might have a look at photo.net There has been quite a bit of banter going back and forth on their forums about this very subject. You might gain a bit more insight there.

    Tracey

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    Tracey, thanks for the reply. I've also seen lots of banter going back and forth about the 7D. More or less, though, there aren't many real world images out there yet for comparison.

    A disadvantage I've heard is that the 7D crops images, whereas the 5D is a FF camera.

    At this point, the advantage in my eye is the increased burst rate. Maybe I've answered my own question. If you are going to spend $10,000 for lenses, it is best to have a good camera and a back-up.

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    The 7D is a crop sensor camera like the 50D/40D/30D, etc. The most apparent result being a cropped field of view compared to a full frame camera. This makes long lenses appear to act like even longer lenses, but also requires much shorter lenses to get a wide angle view. Hence, a normal zoom for a 7D would be the 17-55mm, instead of 24-70mm for full frame camera, and a good wide zoom would be 10-22mm instead of 16-35mm.

    Other effects generally result from smaller photosites on the sensor of the 7D, with the result being increased noise at high ISO. Supposedly the noise is quite low in the 7D, but still more than the 5DII. Since smaller sensors are generally used with shorter lenses to retain the same field/angle of view, they effectively result in increased depth of field (DOF is the depth of the in-focus range). Sometimes you want more DOF to keep everything sharply in focus, but other times you want LESS DOF to make your subject pop out sharply from a blurry background. DOF is controllable with the lens aperture and subject magnification, but the control for a shallow DOF image is effectively reduced about one stop with the small sensor. Another general disadvantage of a small sensor is reduced dynamic range between the darkest grays and brightest whites. This last effect varies according to design, but is probably better on the 5DII.

    The biggest advantage of a small sensor camera like the 7D is reduced price. Large sensors are still very expensive to build.

    Of course if you buy that 5DII, you would need larger, longer, heavier, more expensive lenses to achieve the same magnification if you are shooting distant subjects. So the advantages don't all go to the 5DII.

    Also, doesn't the 7D specs show some increased video function? I can't remember, but it seems like it has some better video AF or something.

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    Jim brought-up the most important points about the main differences between the 7D and the 5D. The 5D II has a full size sensor, while the 7D doesn't.

    If what you want is speed such as wanted for sports photography where most photographers "spray and pray," then the 7D has a great advantage over the 5D II. So, for taking bursts of photos of moving subjects the 7D is superior.

    Now, lets say that you type of photography mostly is portraits, landscapes, studio, etc., and you want the best IQ, then the 5DII has an advantage over the 7D.

    Since I use a Canon 40D, the 7D would be a great improvement over it. It's much faster is all respects, although IQ would be similar if not better. However, the 40D is fast enough for my needs (birds, a few landscapes, etc.). Upgrading to a 5D-series primarily for landscapes, portraits, and such is in my future, while still using the 40D as usual.

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    Thank you everyone for the replies. I've learned some things, which are quite important considering the expense involved in this decision.

    Like Jim mentioned, I'd also noticed the great depth of field capabilities of the 5DII, but didn't know the terminology. That is what got my attention about that camera.

    The burst rate on the 7d, though, appeals for bird shots and wildlife in motion shots.

    All in all, I think I've decided now and will save up first for the 5DII.

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    Everyone shoots different and has different needs, but I rarely use the 6.3 fps on the 50D. I use the slower setting for about 3 fps. I find that adequate for almost anything I shoot. So, for me the 8 fps would be a waste of card space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickf View Post
    Thank you everyone for the replies. I've learned some things, which are quite important considering the expense involved in this decision.

    Like Jim mentioned, I'd also noticed the great depth of field capabilities of the 5DII, but didn't know the terminology. That is what got my attention about that camera.

    The burst rate on the 7d, though, appeals for bird shots and wildlife in motion shots.

    All in all, I think I've decided now and will save up first for the 5DII.
    What you may have seen with the depth of field capabilities of the camera are not camera dependent - but are dependent on the lens itself.

    You probably like the way a shallow depth of field looks (nice blur to the background) and that is with a fast lens for subjects that are at greater distances from you. I assume you like the shallow depth of field that makes subjects really stand out:


    I am not one to get in on the camera debate - just wanted to clarify that point for you if that was a big selling point that you are interested in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wxmanSam View Post
    What you may have seen with the depth of field capabilities of the camera are not camera dependent - but are dependent on the lens itself.
    Well, yes and no. The precise Depth of Field depends on the lens and on the size of the sensor (i.e., the camera). The same lens used on two cameras with different sized sensors will result in a different DOF for similarly framed images of the same scene.

    Hence a photographer doing portraits who wants extremely shallow depth of field might well want to choose a camera with a larger sensor. Yet a photographer who mostly shoots macro at 1:1 or greater magnification might opt for a smaller sensor to get more depth of field.

    You probably like the way a shallow depth of field looks (nice blur to the background) and that is with a fast lens for subjects that are at greater distances from you. I assume you like the shallow depth of field that makes subjects really stand out:
    It is true that for any given sensor size, longer focal lengths (actually greater magnification) and larger apertures do reduce the DOF.

    And not exactly incidentally... that picture of a cat is more than just a wonderful example. What a great shot of a cat! Cats, much like babies, are easy subjects for photography because virtually any snapshot is still worth looking at... but that photograph is a work of art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd_Davidson View Post
    Well, yes and no. The precise Depth of Field depends on the lens and on the size of the sensor (i.e., the camera). The same lens used on two cameras with different sized sensors will result in a different DOF for similarly framed images of the same scene.

    Hence a photographer doing portraits who wants extremely shallow depth of field might well want to choose a camera with a larger sensor. Yet a photographer who mostly shoots macro at 1:1 or greater magnification might opt for a smaller sensor to get more depth of field.

    It is true that for any given sensor size, longer focal lengths (actually greater magnification) and larger apertures do reduce the DOF.

    And not exactly incidentally... that picture of a cat is more than just a wonderful example. What a great shot of a cat! Cats, much like babies, are easy subjects for photography because virtually any snapshot is still worth looking at... but that photograph is a work of art.
    Sometimes working midnight shifts really screws with my thought process. You are absolutely correct... I sometimes forget about those full frame cameras as I am still with a good ol' 1.5x crop.

    I can't claim the picture - just found that as a good example on wikipedia.

  11. #11

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    Well I just pre-ordered a 7D for delivery in October.

    I have a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 EFS lens that only works with 1.6 sensors, and plan to stick with that series. My other two lenses will work great with the 7D.

    It's going to replace an XTi, which will get relegated to back up duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Well I just pre-ordered a 7D for delivery in October.

    I have a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 EFS lens that only works with 1.6 sensors, and plan to stick with that series. My other two lenses will work great with the 7D.

    It's going to replace an XTi, which will get relegated to back up duty.
    Congratulations!

    The 7D is quite a nice camera. Also keep in mind that you can use any of the Canon EF lenses with your 7D, although you will have to choose what you want. For example, with my 40D I use a Tokina 12-24mm lens for most of my landscapes. Other lenses I use:

    -Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. This is a very fast and sharp lens that replaces the kit lens.
    -Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM II. One of the best lenses considering that it costs around $700.00. I use it for moose and other wildlife nearby, and birds in flight.
    -Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM. Not a low-light lens, but since there is plenty of daylight during the summer months, it's great for wildlife and birds.

    If you don't mind manual focusing and stopping-down lenses, then you can use a lot of manual lenses from Nikon, Vivitar, Leitz, etc. You would have to buy a Canon EOS lens mount, but just about any old manual lens would work. Some manual lenses from Leitz don't have to be stopped-down, just manually focused. There are also some EOS mounts that are designed with the electrical contacts to communicate with the camera, but still have to be focused manually since these have no motors built-in.

    Ray

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    Ray,

    Always loved the images from your wide angle Tokina. My next lens purchase will be some sort of wide angle in the 10-20mm range.

    I bought the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS to replace a Tamron 17-50mm that never lived up to it's reputation on my camera. I need to send it back to the factory.

    My EF lenses are a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L and the Canon 100-400mm 4.5-5.6 IS L

    I'm a bit of an IS slut.

    Lots of picture taking from boats will do that to a guy.

    As far as manual focusing... guess I'll learn a bit about that when shooting video. Otherwise I never use manual focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Ray,

    Always loved the images from your wide angle Tokina. My next lens purchase will be some sort of wide angle in the 10-20mm range.

    I bought the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS to replace a Tamron 17-50mm that never lived up to it's reputation on my camera. I need to send it back to the factory.

    My EF lenses are a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L and the Canon 100-400mm 4.5-5.6 IS L

    I'm a bit of an IS slut.

    Lots of picture taking from boats will do that to a guy.

    As far as manual focusing... guess I'll learn a bit about that when shooting video. Otherwise I never use manual focus.
    Well, the 70-700 f/2.8 is a great lens, so you have the base covered there, and so the 100-400. I hear a lot of good comments about the Canon 10-20. Sigma is supposed to have a real good one too, but sometimes Sigma lenses are a little off focus. This is not a big problem since Sigma usually corrects the problem in short order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale White Cracker View Post
    The 7D's swan song is it's vastly improved AF,especially in AI Servo. For most of what I do,I definately prefer the 1.6x crop factor,as opposed to fullframe.

    The 5D MK II is pretty sluggish in AF,even in substantial light and feeding it F/2.8 L glass.
    Tow completely different cameras. The 7D would be good for sports, shooting birds, etc., while the 5DII would be good for taking photos where burst modes aren't an issue. For example, studio, landscapes, cityscapes. A 5D II plus a 7d (or 40D, 50D) would make an excellent pair.

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    Fast/reliable AF isn't a concession in any application. I'm slow to embrace fullframe hype,despite driving a 1Ds in conjunction with my 40D,XTi and the dabbling I've done with the 5D II.

    Killer AF negates burst rates of lesser wares,unless OOF is of keen interest to you. Gunning studio,landscapes and city scapes is simply a matter of lens selection ala crop body,whether it 1.6x or 1.3X. Same goes FF.

    The "dreaded" FF action shot,ala my 1Ds and a white 70-200 F/2.8.



    Though FF can shine in niche applications,such as fitting a fair fish into the frame,from the backdeck.



    In extrapolation,the 7D brings a bunch to the table,for modest investment. I'm happy to muse vignetting,bokeh and the like,as per crop/FF comparisons,mainly because I've BT/DT.

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    Default I'm just one step away from the village idiot with cameras, but...

    The 5D shoots pretty much fast enough for me:








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    I remember the days of film cameras when sports photographers would just wait for the right moment to focus the camera manually and then shoot a burst of photos. The idea was to hopefully capture a "winning" photo or two that were in focus. The 5D-series with 3.5 fps speed is in fact fast enough for most photographic situations, including bird-shooting.

    Now, I would not mind at all my 40D plus a 5D II. I would use the 5D primarily for landscapes, and portraits (including photos of birds). What I would be looking for with a 5D is not necessarily speed, but tonal depth and quality, which is superior to the same on my 40D regardless of what lenses I use.
    ------
    That said, I used my 40D for these (EF 400mm f/5.6L):


    And this one with a Rebel XT and the kit lens years ago:

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    Default I dont know if this helps illustrate or not..

    Here are the rest of the series of the eagle. I was shooting standing in the boat while I was idled out in the current and trying to keep from grounding my jet on a gravel bar. If I remember rightly, he only pumped his wings this one time then soared off into the woods. The thing shoots as fast as I can find the target (while steering with my knee!)

    5D II with EF 70-200 F2.8 lens








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    In relation to sensor size and DOF, plus differences between cropped and full-size sensors are clearly explained in the article below:
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ensor-size.htm
    As sensor size increases, the depth of field will decrease for a given aperture (when filling the frame with a subject of the same size and distance). This is because larger sensors require one to get closer to their subject, or to use a longer focal length in order to fill the frame with that subject. This means that one has to use progressively smaller aperture sizes in order to maintain the same depth of field on larger sensors. The following calculator predicts the required aperture and focal length in order to achieve the same depth of field (while maintaining perspective).
    It means that one doesn't have to move to a camera with a FF sensor to reduce DOF, since DOF can be controlled with lenses alone. For example, the EF 50mm Canon lens used wide open on a 7D (also 40D, XTi, 30D...) produces a razor thin DOF. It can be so thin that focusing on a person's nose could blur the person's ears.

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