Should I sell my 7D and buy a 5D2?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #1
    With the price of the 5D2 now very reasonable in Canada, I'm tempted to sell my 7D and EFS lenses for a 5D2 kit.

    While it would be an upgrade in image quality, it would be a downgrade in focus and metering. But since I largely shoot landscapes, portraits (of my GF), and vacation snap shots, I wonder if the trade-offs would be ok.

    I'd be swapping a 7D with 17-55 f2.8 for a 5D2 with 24-105 f4. So for every-day walk around shooting, I'd be loosing a stop of light on the lens but gaining a stop of ISO sensitivity.

    I would keep my 35L (for low light) and 70-300L, but ditch the EFS 60mm and 10-22 (neither of which would be missed).

    Thoughts? Am I likely to be blown away with the image quality, frustrated by the dated focusing, or not really notice any difference at the end of the day?
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    Do you mostly use a tripod or do you mostly shoot handheld? If you're doing the latter, which usually means using auto-focus, then I would probably stick with the 7D; it's a lot more fun for shooting handheld. The 5D Mark II is more fun when it comes down to processing images. You can pull more out of a single raw file with it and will have more leeway with cropping.

    I spend most of my time shooting landscapes and almost always bring the 5D2 along for those outings, but I bring the 7D when I know that a tripod will be impractical or forbidden or when I think I might need its fast burst rate.

    In short, they're two very different cameras, and each has its strengths. The 7D is no slouch in the landscape department, but it really shines when handholding the camera is necessary.
     
  3. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #3
    Interesting perspective... I do hand-held shooting when on vacation or walking around on the weekends. I also shoot hand-held pics of my GF when we go out sometimes - she likes pics of herself :eek:. And then I use a tripod when I'm doing a self prescribed "assignment" type shoot.

    What would I find frustrating about the 5D2 in a hand-held scenario?... is it the focus system (points and speed) in the 7D that makes it better for this kind of thing? With the 7D I almost always use a single focus point and move it around with the joystick... to avoid focus and recompose... something I think the 5D2 also supports, albeit with fewer points to choose from. From what I hear, most 5D2 shooters just focus and recompose using the centre focus point which is the only one they trust. :eek:

    I rarely utilize the burst rate capabilities of my 7D and could live without that.

    Even for my type of subjects which are often promoted as being the strengths of the 5D2, I'm starting to think that there are too many trade-offs involved with switching now. Maybe a Mk3 will make it a no-brainer. :confused:

    EDIT: By the way your 500px portfolio is absolutely stunning! Your work is out of this world! How many of those pics were shot with the 5D vs 7D? :)
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    The focusing should only really be an issue when light is low, though the 7D has the same -.5EV spec, I think the newer algorithm and faster CPU mean more success down past -1EV. If you're not routinely shooting around -2EV and not shooting fast moving sports, I think you'll be ok. You might want to rent one to try it out though- that'd give you a certainty on how it works for you. Looks like about $175 for a day or $250ish for a week depending on where you rent.

    Paul
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #5
    Yes, the focusing. The 7D is much better at focusing in low-light situations, as Compuwar mentioned (and those situations are the norm for me). Swapping out the 17-55 f/2.8 for an f/4 lens will only exacerbate the problem, of course, since the camera focuses at the widest aperture of the lens (so an f/2.8 lens will make the job of focusing that much easier on the camera).

    Then there are the little niceties of the 7D that come from it being a newer camera: more buttons, better weather sealing, a nicer feel in the hands. And don't forget that it has a pop-up flash, which can be very handy, especially if you need it to trigger a slave flash.

    It does exhibit a bit more noise than the 5D Mark II, but if you're not delivering high-res files to clients or agencies and rarely print poster-size images, then it's not a big deal. The color and dynamic range on the 5D Mark II are also a bit better, and those are benefits that do show at any size.

    Yeah, you're in no hurry. You have a great camera right now, so I would just wait and see what might come out later that might interest you a whole lot. You also have some great EF-S lenses. I just don't see you gaining a whole lot by switching right now.

    Awww, shucks... thanks. :) I think maybe two of them are from the 7D. The birds definitely are (the 7D's AF tracked them beautifully for me). The blue hour shot of the church ("Above and Beyond") is also from the 7D.
     
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    #6
    While I'm not as lucky as Phrasikleia to have both the 5DII and 7D in my possession, I did just switch from a 5DII to a 7D.

    Simply put: I grew tired of missing the focus on shots. I shoot mainly portraits (at least I try to) with a smattering of landscapes, and in my post processing I got so tired of checking out some of my favorite photos (determined from the 3" screen) only to discover the focus was slightly off, which on the 5DII is quite noticeable because when the focus is on it is TACK SHARP. I did a LOT of center point focus and recompose which doesn't give you entirely sharp photos, with the center point being the only cross sensor it was by far the most reliable. I'd shoot an entire series of portraits using one of the outer points and almost every single one was not focused accurately.

    So I switched to a 7D. Instantly I'm getting a much much larger percentage of in-focus shots. The AF speed is really not a factor with portraits/landscapes as the actual speed is determined by the lens itself (the tracking speed/accuracy is where the 7D is phenomenal) however, the ability to use any focus point is huge, and they're all accurate.

    Now, there are things I miss about the 5DII, namely my lenses are all different now and I need to get myself a semi-pricey 10-22mm to get back the ultra wide my 17-40 gave me on a full-frame.

    So... my advice? Keep the 7D. It is a much more modern camera in features over the 5DII. If you've got some money to spend, get some lighting.
     
  7. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    #7
    I went from a t1i to the 5DII earlier this year just after the double disaster hit Japan. My original plan was to wait for the 5DIII to come out. Canon had just issued one of their price reduction offers, like now, so I went ahead and got the 5DII and sold the T1i. The 7D had not come out yet when I bought the T1i. Most of the blogesphere is pointing to the spring of 2012 for release of the 5DIII. It should have an updated AF system and may have an upgrade in video. My guess is that the price will bump and push the new camera over the $3K range. So it all comes down to whether you want to wait another year and get the newer and probably more expensive model, stick with the 7D or make your move now and get the price reduced 5dII. The 5DII is still a good camera and probably will still be worth something in resale even a year from now. My advice is to rent a 5dII w/ 24-105L f4 lens (a really, really great walk around lens IMO) and really take it out for a heavy test drive and see what you think with regards to the type of photos you take. I am still learning how best to use my 5DII since getting my hands on this one 6+ months ago. Good luck in whatever you decide.
     
  8. Razeus macrumors 601

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    #8
    Why would you invest that much money in a 3 year old camera with a 6 year old AF system? The D700 is a better camera.

    The 5D Mark II issues are many, mostly with the focus system - it misses.

    Then you have the AF points in which 7 of them are all grouped around the center AF point, not distributed properly, say along the rule of thirds lines.

    Then the center point is the only point that is cross type. So you might was well forget about the other points for focusing and do a focus and recompose. Lame. Especially for the $2500 they STILL want for a 3 year old camera.

    What makes this worse is that the AF is SLOOOOOOOW. Don't use it for action photography. There's a reason why it's use mostly for portrait and landscapes.

    You're better off waiting for the 5D Mark III and keep the 7D (it's a way better camera than the 5D Mark II) or just get a D700.
     
  9. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Sigh.

    The D700 is not a better camera. It's a different camera.

    The D700 cannot record HD video. In fact, it cannot record video of any kind.

    The D700 cannot be used with autofocus f/1.2 primes (because they don't exist for the F-mount).

    The D700 has far fewer pixels than the 5D2, meaning less ability to crop and/or produce large prints.

    Whether any of these things matter to you is up to you.

    Perhaps you can print "large enough" with the D700's 12MP; fine, but the fact is that, all other things being equal, the 5D2 will always give you larger prints at higher resolution (and a much greater ability to crop while retaining sufficient resolution).

    Perhaps you don't care about ultra-fast prime lenses. Fine, but I do.

    Perhaps you don't need to record video. Fine, but many people do (and produce network television shows and features films with the 5D2).

    See what I mean?? The D700 is a great camera (and, to be fair, came out before the 5D2), but to say it's "better" than the 5D2 is silly. It's different. That's all. Each camera has its own strengths (5D2: high pixel count, HD video, access to an excellent system of fast AF primes; D700: excellent AF system), and weaknesses. It's up to each individual photographer to decide which set of strengths and weaknesses he or she can live with.
     
  10. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #10
    So what are the other issues then?
     
  11. Razeus macrumors 601

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    #11
    Missing focus is the main issue in my book. Everything else I can work with. Sub-par AF is a deal breaker.
     
  12. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #12
    I have both, my 5D MKII's get MUCH more use than my 7D. I almost never use my 7D, it's pretty much just a backup.
     
  13. Razeus macrumors 601

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    #13
    Megapixels is irrelevant. I doubt he'll use the camera to big huge prints. If so, 12MP is just fine. I'm pretty sure his photos aren't going passed the web.

    Don't think he cares about ultra fast primes. 1.2 is not needed nor realistic for 99% of users. Even if it was, that doesn't change the fact the 5D Mark II has serious AF issues, only to be magnified using f/1.2...

    HD Video argument is mute. Photographers aren't concerned about HD Video capability. Videographers looking for a cheaper HD system maybe, but not photographers. To your note, Canon is the king of HD video however.

    The point of a camera is it's ability to take pictures fast and accurately. The 5DMarkII is not that camera. He's better off with the 7D and its superior AF system, or if wanting to go full-frame, the D700. Hopefully, the 5DMIII will have the 7D's AF system, only a bit more improved.
     
  14. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #14
    I don't know if you have any actual experience with a 5D MKII, but you're dramatically overstating this.
     
  15. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #15
    No kidding.

    ----------

    First, it's "past" not "passed".

    Second, they're not irrelevant. They allow for cropping while maintaining resolution. And no matter what else you say, you can always make a larger print @ 240 ppi from a 5D2 image than a D700 image. Always. Whether you personally make prints large enough to make use of all of those pixels is neither here nor there. The fact is, the pixels are there if you need them.

    That explains all the tack sharp images I'm getting with my 85 f/1.2L, I suppose. Have you ever shot an f/1.2 prime on a 5D2? Heck, have you ever used a 5D2 at all?

    Again, I'm not talking about what the OP wants (I'd get the 5D2, FWIW). You said "the D700 is a better camera". Those were your words. And I take issue with them. And the inability to use ultra-fast primes (and, until very recently, the quality of Nikons primes overall in comparison to Canon's) is a strike against the D700; it's one area in which the 5D2 is better.

    "Moot", not "mute".

    Again, the fact is that the D700 cannot do video at all. That's a strike against it, vs. the 5D2.

    Again, that must explain why I'm getting such sharp images from my 5D2, right?

    Look, the 7D (and the D700) have better AF systems than the 5D2. No argument from me on that point.

    But for my uses, I don't care. The centre point is sufficient (and when I've used the outer points, I've found them suitable for most conditions, too).

    The point of a camera is to capture an image, full stop. A Leica M9-P does not have autofocus at all...but it sure captures nice images, though (and serves a specific purpose...much like a 5D2, right?), especially with a nice MF prime in front of it.

    Buy the camera that suits your needs. A sports photographer is not buying a Hasselblad H4D, are they? Conversely, a commercial fashion photographer probably wouldn't buy a 1DmkIV. ALL cameras are compromises in some way. That doesn't necessarily make one or another camera "better"; it just makes it different.
     
  16. Razeus macrumors 601

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    #16
    Are you done whining? :rolleyes:

    The OP asked if he should sell his 7D for a 5DMII. I've stated my reasons against this and clearly said to stick with the 7D and wait for the 5DMIII. He's giving up too much tech for a 3 year old full frame with a AF system inferior to his 7D and any Nikon system.

    How can the D700 lacking video functionality be a strike? I re-read the OP and no where did he state he was doing video. So thus, this "feature" is not relevant to the discussion, but I'm guessing your debate class was inferior to mine.
     
  17. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Are you done spewing nonsense?

    My points are relevant to your statement that "The D700 is a better camera". It's not. It's simply different. You didn't clarify that by saying "The OP might prefer a D700 for these reasons", which would have been a nuanced, thoughtful response. You simply said the D700 is better, full stop; a silly, all-or-none response.

    Suddenly you're the OP's attorney? Defend your point, why don't ya?

    Two people have asked you if you've ever used a 5D2, and you've failed to answer. My guess is that you haven't, and you have no idea what is possible with that camera. My guess is that you've spent a whole lot of time reading Internet reviews and spec sheets, and not spent nearly enough time actually using these cameras. If you had used a 5D2, you'd know that it's perfectly capable of focusing (yes, even with the outer points) and perfectly capable of producing images that are every bit as good as those produced with the D700.

    It's also capable of many things the D700 is not capable of, which I still haven't heard you admit. The converse is also true, of course.

    The D700 is good at what it does (low-cost FF with an AF system capable of tracking fast action) and the 5D2 is good at what it does (huge resolution for cropping and/or large prints and HD video). Why does it have to be one is better than the other? They're different. That's the only point I'm trying to make here.

    ----------

    But I thought the issues were "many". Why don't you defend what you've said.

    What are these supposed "issues", for those of us that are producing crummy photographs due to the 5D2's sub-par AF?
     
  18. Razeus macrumors 601

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    #18
    Oh, so you want more reasons why the D700 > 5D Mark II?
    Well, no built in flash, as where the D700 has one AND it acts as a master to drive other flashes. This is because Nikon's flash system is vastly superior to that of Canon.

    So that's my 2nd biggest reason. If you're into flashes, Nikon is where it's at.

    Other reasons are just my qualms, but:
    Ergonomics. It's simply easier to get to things on the Nikon
    More FPS.
    Built in grid in the viewfinder
    Virtual horizon (since the OP does like to do landscapes)
    built in chromatic aberrations corrections
    better low light performance.
     
  19. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    See, now we're having a discussion.

    1. I've never personally needed the pop-up flash. I do understand that a lot of folks use it to control external flash. Great feature if you need it; I have Pocketwizards, so I don't. This one is a push for me.

    2. Ergonomics...this is absolutely a personal thing. How do you quantify if something is more or less ergonomic.

    3. More FPS. Again, horses for courses. I don't need 8fps to shoot family portraits or events.

    4. Grid in the viewfinder. Great if you're a landscape photographer. I'm not.

    5. CA corrections. I shoot RAW. I use Lightroom to get rid of any CA. Frankly, I wouldn't want the camera doing anything to my images.

    6. This is really nitpicking. I've seen it go either way. Moreover, once you downscale 21MP to 12MP, any extra noise on the 5D2 is getting binned. If you can see any extra noise in a good sized print, I'd be shocked. This is not 5D2 VS. D3S, where I'd completely agree.

    Anyway, each point you make could be a plus for the D700, depending on the user. None of them matter one bit to me. I'd much rather have the 21MP, the HD video, and the access to Canon's primes.

    Different, not better or worse.
     
  20. duncanapple macrumors 6502

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    #20
    OP - sounds like with your uses a 5DII has your name all over it. The moment I sold my rebel XS and took a look through the wide bright view finder of the 5D I knew I made the right choice.

    About the only thing the 7D does better is AF performance and FPS. And don't let all the internet hype fool you. While the AF of the 5D isn't up to 1D or 7D specs, its not like the camera can't get an in focus shot lol. A quick google search will get you billions of tack sharp 5DII photos. The AF works, period. Is it ideal for sports, no. Will it shoot stationary objects or even (relatively) slow moving people, absolutely.

    5DIII will undoubtedly be a better camera, and I am sure will get a better AF system to silence the tide of (largely unfounded IMO) criticism, but it wont be out for another ~6 months if the rumors are true, and availability will be scarce. Not to mention the price will prob be over 3K vs the current selling price of the 5DII of around 2K. When factoring in resale of the 5DII, you dont have much to loose getting the 5DII now, using it in the mean time, and selling it in a year or two when the 5DIII is out, demand has caught up, and we see the first price drop.

    Bottom line, the 5DII is a great piece of equipment - the proof is in the photos :)
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Just as a matter of principle, I would try to suppress your gear lust and wait out until the 7D is long in the tooth, it is a terrific camera. In the meantime, save up the necessary cash for a 5D Mark III or IV. Even though there may be some improvements in IQ, they will be noticeable only in more challenging situations: if you shoot at low ISO with good glass (which you do have), there will be little improvement. You have proper lenses on a modern camera, and unless you're missing something very specific, I don't haven't seen any particular reason in your post why you have to upgrade to the 5D Mark II.

    If you like portraits, the improved AF system of the 7D may actually help you. When I upgraded from a D80 to my D7000, I noticed a marked improvements in AF accuracy: I can nail more shots and set the focus exactly where I want it to be. Two weeks ago, I was shooting a wedding and I was impressed by the number of keeps. Going from a 7D to a 5D Mark II would roughly be the reverse in terms of AF system.
     
  22. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #22
    Hope I'm not hijacking the thread but I was wondering whether it would be possible to add the 550d/600d (assume they have the same autofocus) into this comparison.

    I currently have a 600d and haven't been able to use a 7d.

    Is this 5dii autofocus better than the 600d as I really find focusing an issue for me on the 600d?
     
  23. -hh, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

    -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #23
    Let me know when you're thinking of selling off your backup 7D; I'm going to want to pick up another one (before they're discontinued) to fit my UW housing system.


    I had to make the same decision last year; the underwhelming reviews of the 5D2 vs the 5D (for AF performance) were a major consideration, as was also a trip report from Antarctica where a bunch of them failed. Given that my interests are more of moving stuff (wildlife) than studio work, the choice of buying the camera with the better AF system - - almost regardless of the magnitude of the difference - - was pretty obvious.



    By the same token, fully manual focus cameras from 30 years ago were capable of getting 'tack sharp' images too. However, there is a general expectation that a higher-end camera which features AF should have more than a merely 'decent' AF system.

    The crux of this debate is the dilemma the consumer is faced, with sometimes having to take a leap into the dark unknown for what his personal real world applies performance is going to be.

    I think the rumors I've heard makes the guess for the 5D3 (and 7D2) to be probably ~11 months out (at Photokena). From a technology standpoint, merely dropping the current 7D's AF system into the 5D body would be a clear improvement...and had they done that with the 5D2, I probably would have gone with my original plan. I've still not used any 5 for more than a few 'fat finger' test shots, but my impressions have been that my old 20D's were pretty comparable in the AF department. Of course, there's also the historical context to consider too: Canon had an AF mess on their hands with the 1D series, so it was pretty natural to decide to keep the 5D2 out of the fray.


    -hh
     
  24. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #24
    No one expects a Leica M9 to be a good sports camera. Could you shoot sports with it? Sure, but it would be less than ideal.

    But the point is, no one says "Man, why did Leica omit AF from the M9? How can I be expected to make good images without a modern 45-point AF system?" Leica intended the M9 to be the best street photography camera in the world. And it is. In so doing, they made a camera that is not well-suited for other types of photography.

    So why does everyone expect the 5D2 to be all things to all people? Could the 5D2 be used for sports? Sure, but it would be less than ideal.

    The 5D2 does exactly what it says on the tin; no more, no less. So does the M9, and so does any camera.
     
  25. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #25
    So what are these things you can work with then?
     

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