60D vs 7D's AF systems

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by geoffpowers, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. I plan to upgrade from my 20D to either a 60D 7D. My main passion is sports photography. I need a new camera that has better focus capability. I miss an awful lot of shots with my 20D's AF system and am looking for a replacement with more accuracy and consistency (if I ever win the lottery, then a 1D Mk IV will find a new home in my bag).
    I've seen photo.net discussion threads comparing these two bodies' features. Most respondents favored the 7D because of its "better, faster" AF system, as well as frame rate and weatherproofing.
    Exactly what is the operational difference between the two cameras' AF systems?
    Thanks!
     
  2. I don't know for sure, but I think the 60D probably has the same AF system as your 20D. Go to a Best Buy or camera store and play with a 7D, then you'll see the difference in AF. Its hard to explain why its better, its just a completely different system that you have to see for yourself, and its amazing.
     
  3. Actually the 60D 9 cross sensors, and is basically the same AF array as the 40D/50D. The 20D has 1 cross sensor and 8 single axis sensors. Having all crosses makes a big diff in low light and low contrast. In good light you won't see much difference.
    The 7D has 19 cross sensors, so you have a denser cluster of AF sensitivity. There less chance of your subject falling between the AF points, especially during AI servo. Also, the 7D has 5 different AF modes vs 2 for the 40D/50D/60D. My fav mode is spot AF whereas the AF point is greatly reduced, allowing pin point accuracy for macro and shallow DOF shots (e.g., full sized point can grab an eyebrow rather than the eyeball as it covers both). The other biggie is the 7D has duo CPUs for faster processing, allowing 8FPS vs 5 for the 60D and more responsive AF.
    The biggest negative for the 7D is also the AF: it's totally different than the XXD series and requiring a couple weeks of study and practice to figure which of the 5 modes and many mode options work for you.
    I've had a 60D in the house for a few days (bought for my wife) and it's a nice camera but the reduced button interface is disappointing if you're coming from a XXD series. She loves the smaller form factor but you need to use the QCS for WB, FEC and a few other features that once had dedicated buttons.
    My 7D review:
    http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/canon_eos7d.htm
     
  4. I recently upgrade from a 20D to a 7D and can recommend to 7D for anything involving action AF, the impression I
    have is the 7D AF is closer to the pro cameras, there are lots of customisable features that do require study but I
    found it works very well out of the box.

    The 60D I can't offer first hand experience of but it seems to be positioned more as a xxxD camera in terms of
    features.
     
  5. For sports, I'd say the 7D is the better tool. I played with one briefly earlier this year. Very impressive, especially in the AF department.
     
  6. The 60d have fast AF, But when I tried BIF and sports with it, Set the af to ai servo and all af points activated, I feel that the 9 point Af is lacking. So during that time I was thinking of buying a 7d :).
    Other than that, The 60d is a great camera on it's own, Especially when the need for the swivel screen arises.
     
  7. Thanks, everyone, for your answers and input. It looks like the 7D has the AF capabilities that I want. By the time I'm done paying for it, Canon will probably have come out with an 8D!
    I plan to read Peter's review as soon as I click on "Submit".
     
  8. Geoff, if price is important to you, as it is for me, then try the Canon Loyalty Program route.
    My cost of the 7d was about $1175. Purchased directly from Canon USA, (refurbished as new, 3 month warranty) using the Canon Loyalty Program. Additional cost was one "broken" EOS Elan film camera, sent back to Canon USA. Will use the savings to purchase more L glass. Cameras will go obsolete quickly, but glass (ex. my 1987 50mm f1.8 MARK 1) will be around much longer.
     
  9. Great review Puppyface!
    Here's what I wish the 7D included:
    1. ISO 25 capability so I wouldn't need a ND filter to slow down a lot of shots. ISO 25 and a CPL could give me the slow speeds I need to do things like smooth out running water...
    2. Auto Exposure Bracketing in five shot bursts, rather than three shot bursts. Better for HDR compositing...
    3. Finally... I wish that the photographer could choose a grouping of five (or so) sets of camera parameters and be able to choose these with a dial or a button. Sort of like the "dummy" modes of portrait, sports, etc. on the earlier cameras only with the capability of the photographer to designate the parameters. As an example, one parameter could be Aperture priority exposure, mirror lock-up and long exposure noise reduction for night shots other parameters could be the way the photographer likes to set up the camera for sports shots, for panos and for HDR compositing. You could select any way you want the camera to shoot by selecting it on the dial or using a single button...
     
  10. Richard, the 7D does have three custom mode settings that will do exactly what you're talking about in point #3. After setting the camera up they way you want, you can "register" it to one of the three custom spots on the mode dial.
     
  11. 3. Finally... I wish that the photographer could choose a grouping of five (or so) sets of camera parameters and be able to choose these with a dial or a button. Sort of like the "dummy" modes of portrait, sports, etc. on the earlier cameras only with the capability of the photographer to designate the parameters. As an example, one parameter could be Aperture priority exposure, mirror lock-up and long exposure noise reduction for night shots other parameters could be the way the photographer likes to set up the camera for sports shots, for panos and for HDR compositing. You could select any way you want the camera to shoot by selecting it on the dial or using a single button...​
    The 7D says, been there 'n done that!
    I have the three C position loaded with my fav groups of settings. For example I have F2.8 Av, AI Servo, high speed wind and expanding AF points on C1. You can even register special settings on random buttons: I have spot AF on the DOF button. No matter what mode I'm in, touch DOF and the center point goes into Spot mode. Release and it returns to the prior AF mode.
     
  12. Thanks to E.R.Averitt for reminding me about the Canon Loyalty Program. A while back I bought a refurbished digital Rebel for my son at a great price. It's worth looking into!
     
  13. YMMV, but mine came to me in pristine condition, not a mark on it. Even though my warranty has since expired, there has been no problems to date, with this camera(7d).
    One thing about refurbished gear, is the fact that Canon techs (human) have already examined and adjusted it to factory specs., rather than a untested model just off the production line!
     

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