Deciding on a New Camera: 5D MII or 7D?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by emorydunn, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #1
    Now before anyone pelts me with "this has been asked before" statements, I have searched and I know it has only been asked once (and the answers didn't help).

    So, onto the story:
    I'm a photography student and I'm looking to upgrade to a newer camera. Currently I've got a Canon 10D and I'm pretty happy with it. But, I am starting to notice that it isn't doing quite what I want specifically when it comes to low light situations.

    For replacements I've been looking at either the 5D MII or the 7D (hasn't everyone?). Now, I've done my homework on both of these, reading reviews and spec sheets and even reading these forums. I've narrowed the dilemma down to sensor size, video capabilities, and price.

    Both have video, but the 7D seems to be easier to use.
    I've wanted to upgrade to a full-frame camera, but it is a lot more expensive. Which ties into price: the 7D is $100 less than the 5D.

    So, as a result I'm really battling between full-frame and easier video (leaving price alone for a minute). So really what I'm asking is: Is the extra $1000 worth it to upgrade to a full-frame sensor?

    And so for the video, I'm 90% photographer and 10% videographer and it's really more of a "that could be handy at times" but is enough of something I want that I think it's a necessary.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    Have you looked at this?

    Just remembered it from Engadget from yesterday.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    There is really no substitute for sensor size. I doubt you will see much different in the printed photos if you change out one crop-body SLR for another. But going with a larger sensor means less noise and different depth of field characteristics.

    I noticed this back with film, there was a huge difference between my 35mm camera and my Medium format camera.

    If you do video buy a video camera even if it is a second hand Mini DV.
     
  4. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #4
    @thegoldenmackid, No I haven't seen that.
    @ChrisA, I don't do enough video to warrant carrying a separate camera "just in-case," but it would be handy at times. And as for the sensor, I know full-frame is a lot better, but is it worth the extra $1000?
     
  5. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #5
    How about option number 3, $1000 cheaper than a 7D, a 5D Mk I. You are saying video isn't that important, but you are paying 1-2K to have it on your camera. A 5D Mk I is still a beautiful camera and frees up a lot of your budget for glass (or a video camera).
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    what, precisely, is lacking with your 10D? why do you want a 5D? is APS-C limiting you in any way? do you print?

    keep in mind that the 7D and 5D have two completely different purposes.

    if you rarely ever use video, consider it a bonus and not a deciding factor.
     
  7. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #7
    In my opinion, definitely the 5D Mk II. The 7D has about the same IQ as the D300s at higher ISO so means its nothing revolutionary besides the huge MP count.

    So between the 7D and 5D Mk II, if you shoot low light often, then the 5D Mk II is a no brainer. I remember using my friend D700 and its remarkable how much detail and how high you can crank up the ISO on a Full Frame camera.
     
  8. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #8
    I had this same dilemma the second the 7D was announced. I jumped on a waiting list and was ready to pull the trigger when it arrived. Then, I sold my other car and jumped right away to the 5DII. My main reason was my subject: People.

    The 7D is a fast camera, fast frames, fast ISO, fast focus - it's a terrific bargain for action shooters that can't jump on the 1D MkIV wagon. However, I rarely need speed.

    I needed IQ and low light - so I picked the 5DII. While I'm still envious of some of the newer fancies that the 7D offers, I'm glad I got the 5DII. I know the 7D offers great IQ, but the crop just doesn't match Full Frame - not gonna happen.

    So, my answer to your question is what do you shoot? Action, or people?

    PS- The 10D is long in the tooth and you will definitely appreciate an upgrade. I jumped up from a 20D and the difference is remarkable. At this point you are holding yourself back in a few areas (low light, overall IQ etc) with the 10D. Both of these cameras will do you well for several years, so you don't have to worry about that so much.
     
  9. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #9
    For all that have mentioned it: The reason I want (not need) video is for the times when I think "A video camera would be handy to have right about now."

    As for the 10D, the smaller sensor isn't really an issue by its self, and I'm fine continuing using an APS-C sensor. But I've been doing a lot of shoots in low light, indoors and cranking up the gain all the way makes the photos unusable.

    As for what I use the camera for, it's a mix. I do a lot of nature photography but I also do a lot of journalism where having a camera that can shoot fast is good.

    I want a full-frame camera, but I'm not sure if I can justify the price. I never even considered the 7D until I started seeing reviews and looks at the specs. Plus with all the little extras that the 7D has it's making the decision much harder.

    Thank you all for your help thus far.

    EDIT: @wheezy, yeah the 10D is pretty old. And no matter what I get I won't be upgrading at least until I'm out of college, so I probably will have the camera for another 4-6 years.
     
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #10
    The 5D mkII still has 3+ fps, which for nature and photojournalism should be fine.

    You mentioned cranking the ISO up all the way to get good shots in low light. Sensor size makes a difference, but so do lenses. If you are shooting with a crappy lens, putting that an any new camera is still going to give you hardship.

    A good 5D (original) and a 24-105 f/4L could be a great walkaround lens, coupled with a 50mm f/1.4 for low light. I don't think I saw your lens setup so it is hard to judge what glass might help.
     
  11. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #11
    @Grimace, I don't have the best lenses in the world but they're not bad. And as near as I can tell they're fast enough for low light shots. I can post a list if you want.

    But, before I go and buy either camera I'll go to a shop and test them out.
     
  12. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #12
    It would be helpful to know the lenses that you have right now -- not only because we might make recommendations but also because EF-S lenses won't work on a 5D.
     
  13. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #13
    I don't have any EF-S lenses, they don't work with the 10D. But I've got a
    • Tamron 17-35mm
    • Canon EF 100-300mm
    • Canon EF 28-105mm
    • Canon Compact-Macro EF 50mm
     
  14. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #14
    If it's going to be another 4-6 years.... get a new 5DII, the full frame + better iso noise will serve you well. And it's plenty fast for the occasional photo-journalistic adventure. For speed I was thinking more sports, cars, auto-racing, stuff where tracking things going 100+mph is important...

    However, you could use some, well, at least one, fast prime. the 50 1.4+Original 5D would set you back about $1500 and give you full frame, good noise and a fast prime that, on a full frame, is generally great for overall everyday photos. I don't really know how much longer of a life photographers will get out of an original 5D... but it is a very solid camera that still delivers amazing pictures so... I don't know.
     
  15. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #15
    Yeah, I haven't done any sports photos in a long time, and I never deal with things going over 100mph. But yeah, since I'm a student a new camera every couple of years isn't going to happen. The 10D I have now is my dad's old camera and I think I've had it for at least three or four years and it's served me well.

    Yeah, I know I need a prime lens. It's on my list.
     
  16. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #16
    That Tamron lens will be FAR wider on the 5D than the 7D.

    If video isn't a concern and you don't need to do prints larger than 24x36 then an original 5D should be a consideration. Optically, it is as good as the mark II - and you'll have a lot of money left over for some new glass. Glass makes the images, not as much the camera itself.
     
  17. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #17
    I'd like to have video, it's not the big feature I'm looking at but it is something I want. And yeah, on a full-frame the Tamron will be very wide.
     
  18. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #18
    I wouldn't do anything but FX/FF now, but that's just me :).
     
  19. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #19
    I will say that those lenses will make a lot more sense on 35mm...

    have you ever used a 5D? I don't know how the 10D is, but everything about it is slower compared to APS-C - fps, viewfinder blackout, shutter lag...maybe even the menu (the original 5D's is slower than the 30D's, anyway). you may or may not find it suitable for your style.

    is it necessary for you to get one of the newer cameras? why not save the money and go with a 40/50D or 5D, and just wait for the newfangled video SLRs to drop in price? speaking of which, there's a hack to get video on the 40D. no audio and not HD, but it's still good quality.
     
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #20
    Yup, same too. I used my friend 5D before and my friend D700 and I just love how bright, big and clear everything becomes, it feels like I can focus on my shots better.

    Of course there was a negative feedback me using both the 5D and D700 :eek: It made me fall in love with the D700 controls and ergonomic (took me quite awhile to understand Nikon Dxxx controls [felt right at home when I used the 5D] but when I got it, I just love it) I love the D700 controls and ergonomic so much that I am making the switch to Nikon within a couple of months.

    Sadly, due to the cost of switching, I decided to stay DX and get some FX glasses before getting a FX body.

    I'm not sure if its just me or what, but it seems I never felt comfortable using Canon main control dial (u know, the biggest wheel dial beside the LCD) and I tried from the xxD to the xD series :(
     
  21. emorydunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #21
    Toxic, All of my lenses (except the Tamron) are my dad's old lenses from when he switched to Olympus from Canon, so I haven't bought any.

    I'm looking to upgrade cameras not just because the 10D is getting very old but it's starting to limit my photos. For example last week I was shooting a film festival inside a theatre and the only way to get the shutter speed low enough (on all of my lenses) was to turn the ISO up to at least 800 which is one step lower than the max.

    As for upgrading to an older model I figure that since I plan on keeping it for a long time I may as well go for the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles like video.

    wheelhot, I actually like the main dial on Canons plus I'm not looking to switch to Nikon. I've got all Canon glass (obviously) plus the university I'm at only has Canon so it makes it easy to rent lenses.
     
  22. Kronie macrumors 6502a

    Kronie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #22
    What do you shoot?

    Sports, action, tele, get the 7D

    Landscapes, low light, portraits, 5DMKII

    Your current lenses fit full frame better than a 1.6 cameras. If you plan on keeping those lenses I would just get a used 5D.

    Or if you have money to burn and absolutely have to have video I would get the 5d MKII /24-105 kit. Sell the 28-105 and the 17-35 to bring the price down.

    I have a 5DMKII and a 40D and between the two the 5D is the clear winner as far as IQ, noise at higher ISO's, and DOF.

    40D is great for action (6 FPS) and reach.
     
  23. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #23
    Good for you (wasn't planning on getting you to switch if that what you was thinking), I just can't stand the main dial. Yup, my friend loves the main dial, I'm the opposite, so like what people say, both are great cameras from great companies, except the ergonomics will depend on personal preference :D

    And yup, the Canon lens you have is enough to make ur move to FF. Tell us what you get :D
     
  24. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #24
    For those interested, here is an interesting "debate" about DOF

    http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00URJn
     
  25. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #25
    I have only had a few weeks with my 7d and so far I think it is a very good camera for the price, but the image quality still isn't what the 5d can produce. With the full frame sensor it just gives you a better image (in my mind).
    The differences are pretty subtle though, there isn't a glaring difference between the two.

    Camera's and even the images they produce are very personal, since everyones style is different it really just depends on the person using the camera. I would rent both and take some test shots to see what images fit your style best.
     

Share This Page