Canon EOS 7D: the best amateur camera?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dallalb, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. I've read many threads on the Net about this camera and many discussions on Photo.net about 7D vs. 5D II... Leaving some old debates (like crop vs. fullframe sensor) and considering all the aspects involved (included price), could you state that the new EOS 7D camera is the "best" option for an amateur photographer? Many claims that the 5D II is stronger in landscapes and low light shots, but is the 7D (and good technique) really so behind in the real world?
    Thank you for sharing your opinion and experience.
    Alberto.
     
  2. If "one" does not understand controlling light, and depth of field with aperture and shutter speed to begin with . . . then any camera set on "A" is the "best" option for an amateur photographer.
    I recall reading in the forums here, (my opinion too!) that the equipment "does not necessarily make the "photograph!""
    Outstanding photographs are made every day with some of the most basic and cheapest camera's.
     
  3. The best camera is the one that you have in your hand when you want to shoot. Either the 5D or the 7D will do produce exceptional images. With the right lenses, the 7d has some edge in action photos. It seems to focus a bit faster. With the right lenses, the 5D, with its full frame sensor, delivers superb wide angle shots and great low light performance. But either will do great work in almost all situations. The biggest variable is you. My advice? Buy one, shoot more worry less..
     
  4. You are way off, it is a used Bronica ETRS :). No, seriously, it is what's behind the viewfinder that counts. You pick the tool that best fits your need. Make sure you have enough money in your budget for a good selection of lenses that fits your need, then decide on a body. If I could choose between e.g. a 7D with a kit lens, and a 50D with a couple of L lenses, I'd take the latter.
     
  5. I use a Rebel XSi and a 5DII. And based on my street-shooting needs, they are best. It's subjective.
     
  6. I always thought that Leicas were the definitive "rich amateur" cameras...
     
  7. It is really not possible to label any single camera as "the best" for the sort of photographers you mention. It is a fine camera that will work well for quite a few people in the category you describe, but there are a number of other bodies that could be better for particular photographers depending on a host of factors.
    It is wise to be suspicious of "best" descriptions that are offered in such a general way.
     
  8. Are amateurs anyone who does not make a living from photography? Does it include people who just want a box camera?
    That being said, when I asked the Magic Eightball site if the 7D camera was the best, it answered "YES"
     
  9. "Are amateurs anyone who does not make a living from photography? Does it include people who just want a box camera?"​
    I suppose the answer to both, in my case would be yes!
    I've been doing this for 30+ years, and I still consider myself an amateur!
    "It is really not possible to label any single camera as "the best" for the sort of photographers you mention. It is a fine camera that will work well for quite a few people in the category you describe, but there are a number of other bodies that could be better for particular photographers depending on a host of factors.
    It is wise to be suspicious of "best" descriptions that are offered in such a general way."​
    Good advice!
    That being said, when I asked the Magic Eightball site if the 7D camera was the best, it answered "YES"
    When I asked the Magic Eightball if my 50D was the best . . . It said to "try again later!"​
     
  10. Thank you, but maybe I was not clear in my question. I'm not a beginner, I know the basis of photography and I shoot with a 35 mm film camera in fully manual mode (please refer to my portfolio). I'm an amateur in the JDM definition: "anyone who does not make a living from photography". I'd like to upgrade to digital and for a long time I struggled with some debates as "crop vs. fullframe" and so on... I simply want to buy the "best" camera I can affort, because with digital I cannot change my roll of film to modify the final output. On the base of what I've read so far I concluded that maybe is the Canon 7D my "best" digital camera, because it has an affortable target price (for my budget) and it can give me reasonable high quality results in different situations. I know there are better performers in specific situations, but every choice is always a compromise... Is this choice a good compromise or will I have regrets to buy the 7D instead of waiting for more money to buy a 5D II, for example?
     
  11. Alberto, the "best" camera for every amateur fits their budget. By that criteria, the Rebel or the G11 or some Powershot is a better fit than either the 7D or 5D2. If either will fit your budget, then they're so different that the "best" will depend on how you plan to use it. If you can't afford a 5D2, then the 7D is "better"; however, if you plan to shoot birds in flight, wildlife, action sports, etc. then the 7D is "better" regardless of price. OTOH, if you can afford it, the 5D2 is "better" for portraits, scenics, street shots, flowers, archetecture, etc.
    Are you looking for validation so that you can report to your wife that you made the "best" purchase? If so, then tell us which camera you like the best and someone here will give you a written report saying why it is indeed the "best" camera for you. ;-)
     
  12. Alberto,
    Now that we are all done with our "Humor," we could better help answer your questions;
    • Knowing what lenses you already have
    • what type of shooting do you do, i.e., Portraits, Landscapes, Wildlife etc., etc.
    • How much "post processing" are you familiar with, etc., etc.
     
  13. For me the 'better' camera would be the 7D plus a good lens rather than a 5DII and mediocre lens.
     
  14. Alberto said:
    "I'd like to upgrade to digital and for a long time I struggled with some debates as "crop vs. fullframe" and so on... I simply want to buy the "best" camera I can affort, because with digital I cannot change my roll of film to modify the final output."​
    Two thought, since you're coming from film, you're coming from full-frame. Is there a reason that you want a crop-sensor? It'll be a change from what you're used to. I'd only suggest the change if you tell us that your frustrated with the lack of effective "reach" of your lenses. If there's no disatisfaction there, then crop vs. FF is merely a monetary choice.
    You're mistaken about the ability to change the character of digital images as you can with film. Shoot in RAW and you can change the character after the fact, going from accurate color to super saturated color to black & white to sepia, all with the same image. If you want to go from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, you simply turn a dial rather than getting out your changing bag. The flexibility of digital is one of the great attractions. Also, once you've invested in the camera, lens and CF card, then altenative exposures of the same event cost NOTHING, NADA, $0000 because you don't have to pay for film for every image. This is useful in all shooting, but invaluable for wildlife, where you might shoot several hundred images of the same subject, hoping for the best pose and light in the eye, etc.
     
  15. If you are used to 35mm cameras, get the 5D-II, because of the large viewfinder. Switching to APS-C is a "downgrade" in terms of viewfinder size and usability. Just check out both cameras yourself and see how YOU feel about them -- if the 7D feels right for you, go for it. But keep in mind that many other dSLRs are excellent picture-takers, too -- a used EOS 40D (or old 5D) leaves you plenty of money for high-grade lenses, which you will use much longer than any digital body.
     
  16. As Beuh mentioned . . .
    Yes there is considerable difference in the viewfinder of my EOS 3 an my 50D without a doubt!
    But, I do find the "Live view" very handy, especially when on a tripod for "these old eyes."
    So that too, may be something you want to consider.
    It took me better than 2 years to decide which digital body I wanted. Of course then the bodies that I could afford to consider was between the 20D and the 40D. Then the 50D came along, and the 5D was available, now there's the 7D and the MarkII's, etc., etc., and the "rumor" of a 60D!
    My point is, . . . there will always be something "attractive" across the fence, but that's not to say that I probably wouldn't have been just as happy with a 20D! "Some things only improve with age!"
    Best advice, . . . alot of reading, and keeping abreast (informed) of the similiarities from one body to the next, paying attention (or taking notes) as to the exact same features from one body to the next, weighing the cost difference's etc., etc.
    And, yes . . . there is much "good advice" to be found within these PN Forums which is invaluable because no marketing advertisment will ever give you the shortcomings of a product!
     
  17. could you state that the new EOS 7D camera is the "best" option for an amateur photographer?​
    There is a broad range of amateur photographers. For the beginning photographer, I wouldn't say any camera is better than another. Until you learn the basics of photography and how to use a particular camera to its fullest potential, no camera will be any better than another. Now if you're talking an amateur that knows all the rules of photography and is very good with a camera and uses all the tools available to him/her, then the 7D would be the best APS-C choice available right now, at least for Canon. Some could argue that its the best APS-C camera on the market, and others would argue maybe for the Nikon D300s. It just all depends what you need to get out of the camera and how you use it. One may be best for one person, but not for another.
     
  18. The original 5D would be a smooth, "cheaper," transition from film since it has a FF sensor and used ones go for a little over a grand. Also, I think they've pretty much leveled off in price, so when you decide you want the 5D II or want the 7D instead, you will more than likely be able to get all your money back.
     
  19. The 7D is the best APS-C sensor based DSLR that Canon makes. It is a serious performer with AF and sports a 100% viewfinder.
    The 5DMKII will have superior image quality to the 7D at all ISO settings, especially for discriminating fine detail. The 5DMKII viewfinder shows 98% of the sensor area, very close to the 7D.
    If you don't own any Canon lenses buy the 5DMKII if you can afford the camera with good lenses.
    If you purchase the 7D be sure to purchase good lenses.
    In short either body requires good lenses to produce the best output so include that consideration into your budget.
    Good Luck!
     
  20. It looks like to me your shooting style doesn't really require faster AF which 7D provides over 5kmkii.
    Also, since your coming from EOS3, FF camera will work the best with your current lenses(whichever they may be, but you've been using them with your eos3 with good results).
    So, I'd say go with 5dmkii or even 5dmki(if price is a big issue for you).
     
  21. Alberto,
    I second Nathan's suggestion to get a used 5D (original version). I was in your shoes a few months ago - long time film user looking to dip his toes into DSLR work. I came across a good condition 5D for roughly $1000, less than half the price of the 5DII and almost half the price of the 7D. This left me with enough money to invest in a 24-105L, and I couldn't be happier with the setup. The IQ of a 5D is outstanding. You lose out a little in ISO capabilities. The 5D goes upto 3200 but honestly 800 is about as far as you should use it unless you are adept at using noise reduction software. That said, for most purposes you won't need more than 800 unless you do a lot of sports or low light work. You don't have the benefit of Live View with the original 5D or video recording. I can see the benefit of Live View if you do a lot of macro work. If you do mostly street photography, Live View is pointless.
    Cheers,
    Kayam
    P.S. Also, for what its worth, I agree with Nathan - the prices on the 5D seem to be relatively constant. If I look at Craigslist for e.g. I see a lot of 5Ds with similar (actually higher) asking prices than what I got mine at.
     
  22. I personally think that the 7D is definitely one of the finest cameras on the market and one of the best that Canon has ever made. Combined with a photographer who has taken the time to study its manual and learn all of the fine points of its operation, it is a phenomenal tool with massive capability. It's a camera that can handle a wide range of photo opportunities from fast action to landscape as well as low-light shooting. Where some cameras are able to do certain things very well, the 7D can do a lot of things very well, making it a superb choice for almost any situation.
     
  23. The 5DMKII will have superior image quality to the 7D at all ISO settings, especially for discriminating fine detail.
    God I get tired of this myth.
    At low to mid ISO it's not possible to distinguish between large prints made from 5D mkII and 7D images, given proper post processing. (APS sensors need a bit more sharpening.) You can confirm this by studying and printing the Imaging Resource samples, the dpreview samples, etc, etc. Amateur Photographer came to the exact same conclusion in their March 6, 2010 issue.
    Buy a 5D mkII if you need to make large prints from high ISO shots and/or if you want to use certain lenses at their intended focal lengths, such as Canon's f/1.4L wide angle primes or T/S lenses. Buy a 7D for just about everything else. For most people it really is that simple of a decision.
     
  24. I will at least partially second Daniel's comments. There is an residual 35mm film effect that still has a viral meme effect on these discussions.
    The same generation 35mm size sensor and APS-C sensor with equivalent "ppi" ratings are going to be practically impossible to tell apart from the image without the exif data. Most empirical tests by magazines, etc., seem to back this up. The major difference, if any, would be in the theoretical possibility that the smaller sensor might have a little more trouble with "noise" than the larger one, from variables having to do with spacing of the individual sensors, heat, etc.
    By the way, there's no need to get huffy about the answers you got. As many were at pains to point out, this is not a question that can be answered in a universal sense, since your own taste, habits, and background are going to shape what is best for you -- something quite different than what would be best for me or other people.
     
  25. Alberto comming from film I would suggest the 5DII over the 7D. I am a long term (and current) film user and have both the 7D and 5DII. I almost always use the 7D for sport but if I pick up a body for general use I go with the 5DII 80%+ of the time. If I was in your position the decison would be harder but I had the 5DII before I added the 7D. Either body will deliver great results but if you shoot film and have the lenses you like then the 5DII will be a better transition as your lenses all behave the same. The 5DII also has a bigger brighter viewfinder (DSLRs do not have as bright and large a viewfinder as SLRs - surprisingly the viewfinders on my EOS 1V bodies are bigger and perhaps slighty brighter than the 5DII)
     
  26. The 5DMKII will have superior image quality to the 7D at all ISO settings, especially for discriminating fine detail.
    God I get tired of this myth.
    Sorry but this isn't a myth.​
     
  27. When every new camera is released I marvel at the feature set. But the reality is that most of it I never use and hence more features often get in the way. Evaluate you style of shooting and work out which features you think you will really need in practice.
    The 7D is loaded with features, but I have no need for its AF or low light abilities. Some obvioulsy do. You might find that a rebel is sufficient. Up to 13x19 print sizes all DSLRs with 10 or more megapixels are virtually indistinguishable.
     
  28. Donald, while it may not be a myth, it's an empty statement absent serious considerations of print size and cropping. For anything that comes out of a desktop printer there is no effective difference at low ISOs. Furthermore, if I have to crop a 5Dii image to the FOV of a 7D image, the 7D should win at just about every ISO.
     
  29. Thank you for the interesting and honest suggestions! My current lens setup is a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX DG Macro and a Canon EF 70-200 f4 L. I'd like to replace my Sigma with a wider zoom lens, to get better IQ around focal of 24 mm and so I struggle between two options:
    1) Buy a 5D II and keep the Sigma (but how does it perform on it?) and waiting for a new lens, like the Canon 17-40 f4 L;
    2) Buy a 7D + a Canon EFs 10-22 and sell the Sigma.
    These choices are closely related to budget available.
     
  30. I don't have to have the "best," only that which is good enough for what I want to do.
    When I see persons claiming that this or that camera or lens is the best, I just want to go to some quiet place and shoot my old Canon AE-1 (film) or Olympus E-20 (digital). The "best camera" is the one that one will shoot.
    I have newer, better cameras now, but none has given me more satisfaction than those two old workhorses.
    --Lannie
     
  31. Furthermore, if I have to crop a 5Dii image to the FOV of a 7D image, the 7D should win at just about every ISO.​
    That's why we have interchangeable lenses, so that we don't have to do dumb things like that.
    --Lannie
     
  32. Buy a 5D mkII if you need to make large prints from high ISO shots and/or if you want to use certain lenses at their intended focal lengths, such as Canon's f/1.4L wide angle primes or T/S lenses. Buy a 7D for just about everything else. For most people it really is that simple of a decision.​
    A simpler rule would be to buy the crop sensor camera if you want to shoot with more magnification. For just about everything else, use the FF sensor camera.
    --Lannie
     
  33. Alberto
    Try them both on a camera store (if there is one accessible to you). You may get an idea which one is best for you.
    As for your choices, I'll take either of them. I like the AF system and built in speedlite commander of the 7D and I like the IQ of the 5DII than 7D (that is my own taste). But at the moment I am still enjoying and contented with 5D classic + 40D combo. I bought myself a ST-E2 to stop thinking of the 7D's speedlite commander. :)
     
  34. Donald - Sorry but this isn't a myth.
    Really? What do you know that dpreview.com, imaging-resource.com, Amateur Photographer, and I do not know?
    Please, enlighten everyone with your tests which contradict all the tests performed by all of the above. You do have tests which clearly prove your point, do you not?
    I get into these same types of debates over certain lens comparisons (i.e. 85 f/1.8 vs. 85 f/1.2L; 15-85 vs. 24-105L; Tokina 11-16 vs Canon 16-35L). People will insist X is better than Y if they are taught that it should be (i.e. but it's an L, or a full frame!) or if they spend more money on it. It's called the placebo effect, something that's not limited to medicine. The cure is to actually pay attention to the results of professional testers regardless of preconceived notions about what should be.
     
  35. Landrum - That's why we have interchangeable lenses, so that we don't have to do dumb things like that.
    Price of Canon 300 f/4L IS: $1,250
    Price of Canon 500 f/4L IS: $6,140
    Some people can't drop $6k on a lens, and do "dumb things" like use a crop camera or crop a FF image to get the FoV they need.
    A simpler rule would be to buy the crop sensor camera if you want to shoot with more magnification. For just about everything else, use the FF sensor camera.
    Yes, spend more money on the camera that has fewer features and equal print quality. Then spend more money again because Canon FF WA glass often struggles at the edges and corners where cheaper APS-C lenses do not. Sounds brilliant.
     
  36. "The 5DMKII will have superior image quality to the 7D at all ISO settings, especially for discriminating fine detail"
    Maybe for shooting static object.
    You want to compare 7D AF with 5D II AF for sports...which one will get more blurry shots ?. So in this case "The 5DMKII will have superior OOF image quality to the 7D at all ISO settings blah blah blah" LOL.
     
  37. just a thought on viewfinders. i shot film slides for 32yrs, that is the equiv of today's FFdslr. when i switched to digital i bought a 1.5 c sensor dslr. if i ever noticed or cared about the viewfinder difference it was gone the first day. and in a very few hours. after that point i never even thought about it. the viewfinders are just something you get used to. after all it is not as though you are going to take a couple dozen pics with the c sensor dslr then go back to using film in a slr. you are going to be shooting many thousands of pics through that c sensor dslr. now, after using the c sesnor dslr for 8 yrs i do not even think about the viewfinder difference if any. it is just something i am now used to.
    on whether you go after a FFdslr or a crop dslr. base it on the % of wideangle vs telephoto images you take. even a c dslr with the right lens can get pretty wide. with film i never felt the need to go wider than 17mm. that is about 12mm on a c dslr, and that is certainly buyable. on the other hand the ease of getting some very long lenses as a side benefit with a c sensor cannot be underestimated. really big glass costs a bundle. and you get the long mm as a free gift with a c sensor.
     
  38. I agree with the though of going with a FF digital since you are currently using film. Given what is in your portfolio here on photo.net I don't see any thing that would suggest that a crop sensor is the best for you.
    Since the 5D MkII is a little much for your budget I would suggest finding a first gen 5D. I think the image quality will be a little better than the 7D, but with out all the bells and whistles. The 5D seems to match up well with your shooting subjects and style.
    Not to bash the 7D, it is a fine camera and you would do well with it. And it has features like AF that are better than the 5D. However, IMO you would do better with a FF.
     
  39. Some people can't drop $6k on a lens, and do "dumb things" like use a crop camera or crop a FF image to get the FoV they need.​
    Daniel, I use a crop sensor Canon as well (and love it), but I have to admit that my fave is still my 5D II. As for what to do about really long (read: "expensive") stuff, I happened onto two great used lenses on the old auction site, one a Nikon manual focus 600 f/4, as well as a Sigma 300 f/2.8--the latter of which has AF but no IS. I don't have any six-thousand-dollar lenses (or anything remotely close to that), and I respect those who get great results exclusively from the crop sensor cameras. More power to them (no pun intended). Some of the best photographers out there use only crop sensor cameras.
    I have some pretty good shots of the moon that I got with a 50D, using the 80mm APO ED objective of a telescope (total cost without mount: $500) as the lens. There's more than one way to skin the fuzz off a peach if you have little money, as I do.
    I should have said that I sometimes use a crop sensor Canon, but I do not buy EF-S lenses--although I have seen great results from those who do so in order to shoot wide angle.
    There is the factor of the low-noise, high ISO shots to consider, however, and the pixel density of the 50D and 7D is just too high to match the 5D II in that category. The sad fact is that no single camera can do it all, but the 5D II comes as close as anything that I have personally used.
    --Lannie
     
  40. Lannie,
    Have you compared a 16x24 at iso 100 on both cameras? Or even iso 200? I have yet to find anyone who could tell the difference between the two. Not disagreeing with you...but in real world use, I'm not seeing any difference. My prints where on HM Photorag 308 on my Epson 3800. Both images slightly uprezzed to 240 ppi on print.
     
  41. When comparing the 5D II with the crop sensor cameras, I should have added that high ISO capabilities are the real trump card for persons like myself who like to shoot in low light and who hate to have to use flash.
    For those who do not have those preferences, perhaps there is no compelling reason to shoot FF. I have found the 5D II indispensable for the kind of work that I like to do, but to each his own. As for lenses, if one really wants good IS, I have to recommend the relatively new EF 100 f/2.8 IS, which together with the 5D II can darn near shoot in the dark--with remarkably low noise.
    --Lannie
     
  42. No, I have not, Dave, and I believe that, if I were a wildlife or sports photographer, I would shoot only the 50D or 7D and not fool with FF. It is the low light situations that one can capture with modest focal lengths that determine my own choices. Of course, if I had to sell my 5D II to pay my bills, I console myself that even the 50D is not a bad little camera. I would almost have to get a good EF-S wide angle lens to make it work for me, however.
    As for prints, I have to say that I sometimes got pretty good results with my Olympus E-20 on 13x19 paper--and on my old Epson 2000P. I have yet to fire up the 3800 that I bought some months back. I hope to give it a try this summer--and print all kinds of stuff from several digital cameras.
    --Lannie
     
  43. Alberto,
    After browsing your portfolio, I'm able to comment...
    You use EOS 3 (stunning !), you are more of a landscaper and open wide areas catcher...
    You probably own a few good lenses (in your presentation photo I see the 70-200 1.4)
    5D II will make you feel at least the same as by now . (full frame, full coverage)
    7D will make you start a new life, when lenses are bought in 35 mm equivalent... (and you'll have to look at your existing lenses, as being different)
    As you're quest relates to an amateur photographer, as someone said: 50D + a bunch of L lenses.
    I go even deeper and suggest 20D, 30D (second hand at a good price) + a bunch Lenses: bodies go, lenses remain !
    :)
    Take care and be inspired in your purchase !
    Thanks !
     
  44. It may sound silly nowadays with all these high end cameras....but I'd still love to have an Olympus E20
     
  45. I took a look at your portfolio and think if you don't need the speed (fps), I would go with the 5dmkII. You got the "Vision". You prob. will end up wanting to upgrade to a ff dslr down the the road if you were to purchase the 7d.
     
  46. Wow, people do get... excitable... over this stuff.
    To me, it comes down to: do you want the large frame or the small frame? You didn't say what you're going to do with the camera. If you're not printing posters of images taken at high ISO, the image quality of either of those cameras is going to be more than enough. (If you want posters of images taken at high ISO, go full-frame.) The 7D with its 1.6x crop factor is going to better for tele and the 5DII with its 36x24mm frame is going to be better for wide and more familiar to you, coming from 35mm film.
    It's a personal preference - there's no "best". Ask 10 people what the best camera is and you'll get 10 different answers.
     
  47. Yeah, I don't see how anyone can look at Alberto's portfolio and think anything other than film or full-frame. The guy loves light, texture, color, detail, scenic, subtlety and he's coming off a top film camera. Why in the world would he want a 20D or even a 7D? There's just nothing in his porfolio that points anywhere to anything other than the best IQ possible. He'd be ok with a 7D (I own one) but he'll be overjoyed with a 5D MkII (I own one), IMHO.
     
  48. Dave Luttman you are right that does sound silly!
     
  49. Daniel Lee Taylor get a grip, all other things being equal the 5DMKII will produce finer detailed images than the 7D. There are several tests on the internet that demonstrate that. If you are interested in looking at the tests then Google for it!
     
  50. It may sound silly nowadays with all these high end cameras....but I'd still love to have an Olympus E20.​
    Dave, I'm happy to say that mine still works--and I even found a brand new battery pack for it a couple of months back--made by Olympus. (Oh, did it cost!)
    I think that most of us overbuy. I was rarely happier than when I was out with that clunkly old 5 MP monster--and most of my photos on PN were made with itl.
    Donald, I understand your enthusiasm for the 5D II, but Daniel actually makes some good points. Wouldn't it be nice if life were so simple that there was one answer for everything and everybody? The fact is that persons' needs are different.
    --Lannie
     
  51. Best for what?
     
  52. This is a good food for thought thread.
    Alberto, I would say judging from the work you have shown that in most cases you will be hard pressed to see any significant difference in image quality. Perhaps a bit at higher ISO shots (if printed large). You're discounting the old debate of crop vs full frame, and mention budget as a factor (isn't it always? :)
    I think given that the image quality is pretty indistinguishable for the most part that your considerations probably come down to other elements. And I think crop vs full frame would possibly be one of those elements. I had a similar debate before I bought my 5DMKII. I considered a crop sensor camera and before I even compared any image quality or look, I looked through the viewfinder and that did it for me. The cropsensor viewfinder just looked tiny. Full frame for me.
    But that was before Live View was as ubiquitous as it is today, so maybe even that is not as much an issue. But I still always want as large a sensor as possible. I shoot most often wide open or close to it and focus falloff is important to me. And being able to see where that focus point that encompasses only 3/4 of an inch is falling. For landscape, this may not be an issue.
    A 5DMKII is $800 more than a 7D. Budget can be a slippery term. Yes, 7D is in my budget, but if I really wanted to (or could get permission to...he-he) I could stretch to the 5DMKII if I wanted. So a real question could then be for that $800, what would I buy to complement the 7D instead? Maybe a 7D with a 17-40/4 works better for me than a 5DMKII without a 17-40/4.
    I think for your work, a 7D is going to work fine compared to a 5DMKII.
    But I will also say - everyone is different. Yes, there are numerous options, different cameras, lenses, etc. Whatever floats your boat is justifiable if in the end it helps get you where you want to be as far as the results are concerned. And how it does that is different for each of us.
    The other bottom line is - go to a camera store and try them out. Look through the viewfinder, check the interface out, take some sample shots.
    Steve Hendrix
     
  53. Alberto, Steve's reminder of the higher initial cost of buying the camera body is always a reminder to me that the real costs will come with the purchase of lenses--typically more and more of them over time. Since most persons seem to wind up with both a full-frame and a crop sensor camera sooner or later, however, I tend to recommend buying (1) a full-frame camera first and (2) lenses for FF cameras--except for the occasional EF-S lens for wide angle on crop sensor cameras., if the need ever arises. (I virtually never shoot wide on crop sensor cameras, but I do have good glass for FF wide angle.)
    If you have lenses made for film cameras, that would be yet another reason to stay with full-frame, everything else being equal.
    I can only say that, in my case, I went full-frame (the 5D and before that the Kodak 14n with Nikon glass) with DSLRs before buying the 50D. I have never regretted that choice, and I only went to the crop sensor camera when I wanted more magnification. If you do not require that extra magnification, then the initial choice would be an easy one for me: buy full-frame. I really think that you would like it better for most shots.
    --Lannie
     
  54. Donald Bryant , Apr 30, 2010; 01:09 p.m.
    Daniel Lee Taylor get a grip, all other things being equal the 5DMKII will produce finer detailed images than the 7D. There are several tests on the internet that demonstrate that. If you are interested in looking at the tests then Google for it!​
    Donald, I'd love it if you did it for me. Could you point out the test sites that showed the 5D2 to be better on a 16x24 compared to the 7D. When I did it, no one could tell the difference....except for one thing....the edges and corners were FAR better on the 7D. I used a 24L on the 7D and 35L on the 5D2.
    Have you?
     
  55. Donald, what the data indicate is that the FF camera does some things better, and that the crop sensor camera does other things better. I have seen no study that says that one or the other is best for all types of photography under all conditions. That is the reason that over time persons are likely to want to have one or more of each. If one can only afford one DSLR? Well, then one must look at what type of photography is most important to one.
    --Lannie
     
  56. Just finished reading all the pro and con on what to buy. Alberto, I wish you luck with whatever your purchase, and I can almost guarantee , you will be happy with either camera. I was in BEST BUY today looking at the two cameras being discussed. I am going to buy the 7D. I will be going from a 30D to the 7D. I have six lenses, of which 5 are Canon. My favorite lens is the Canon 17-55 2.8 IS USM lens. It won't work with the 5D2 and neither will my Sigma 10-20 WA lens. Do I have a longing for full frame, maybe, but I went from the Rebel 300D to the 30D and I now will go to the 7D. I have been taking pictures since my use of a French box camera on the streets of Vienna Austria in early 1946. I have had, and still have a Leica IIIg with four lenses, and a Nikon F Photomic T with four lenses, among my 18 cameras. Good luck and please let your viewers know what you decide.
     
  57. Post your results here David and I'll concede.
     
  58. For what it's worth, I have a Zeiss 85 1.4 that is giving me great results edge to edge on the 5D II--even wide open. I used to have the Canon EF 85 1.2 and got nowhere near the same results--even stopped down. Therefore the problems that can sometimes be seen on the corners with some lenses are quite likely due to lens deficiencies, nothing inhering in the camera itself. All that, however, was at 85 mm--hardly a wide angle lens.
    I do know that the original EF 24mm f/1.4 struggles a bit in the corners when shot wide open, but is much less a problem when stopped down. I do not know what the case is for the new Mark II version.
    All of the above is very subjective, however, and I am not sure that careful lens tests would give the same results. If anybody has the data for the various lenses at various f-stops on both FF and crop sensor cameras, I would like to see them.
    --Lannie
     
  59. After reading all these posts, I'm thinking.. gosh.. is this just different opinions or being harsh on other ppl's opinion?
    Let's talk about this statistically, there are a lot of professionals who are using both 5dmkii and 7d. I'm sure there are more photogs on 5kmii who wants to use it as both photos and films, but ppl who shoot wedding and landscapes use 5kmii a lot. I think its simply wrong to say that all those ppl are wrong to choose 5kmkii which produces same quality prints, similar features and much more expensive than 7d. I totally agree everyone has different opinions on the equipments, but thats your own opinion.
    Just another opinion. =)
     
  60. Interesting discussion, folks! David Stephens, thank you for looking at my portfolio: I think you understood very much about me by looking at my shots. I think that you read in my mind!
     
  61. Daniel Lee Taylor get a grip, all other things being equal the 5DMKII will produce finer detailed images than the 7D. There are several tests on the internet that demonstrate that.
    I've named the sites and reviews that support my opinion. Name yours.
     
  62. The guy loves light, texture, color, detail, scenic, subtlety and he's coming off a top film camera.
    Given two 16x24" prints, one from a 5D mkII and one from a 7D, both shot at low to mid ISO and optimally processed, you would not be able to tell any difference in "light, texture, color, detail, scenic, subtlety" if your life depended on it. How many different ways must this be said? Amateur Photographer came to this conclusion. You can come to the same conclusion by printing the Imaging Resource or DPReview test samples. Dave Luttmann has tested both and come to pretty much the same conclusion. And I tested both and came to this conclusion, hence my purchase of a 7D.
    You say you own both. Have you ever actually tested them, equalizing all factors and producing 24" prints?
    Alberto asked: Leaving some old debates (like crop vs. fullframe sensor) and considering all the aspects involved (included price), could you state that the new EOS 7D camera is the "best" option for an amateur photographer?
    The answer is yes. The 5D mkII is a great camera. But given the IQ, feature set, and cost of the 7D, the 5D mkII becomes something of a specialty camera for those who need the best high ISO performance or who own certain lenses like the T/S lenses or f/1.4L wide primes.
    Why in the world would he want a 20D or even a 7D?
    Let me give you an example of real world choices and results. If he gets a 5D mkII he said he will then save up for the Canon 17-40L as he's on a budget. If he gets a Canon 7D he said he will get the Canon 10-22.
    * The 7D + 10-22 is roughly equal to the 5D mkII + 17-40L, but costs less.
    * If he were to skip the 10-22 and get the Tokina 11-16 he would have a combo that would produce noticeably superior IQ (sharpness and fine detail, corner to corner) than a 5D mkII + 17-40L, and would even edge out the 5D mkII + 16-35L II, all at a lower cost. (I own both the 17-40L and the Tokina 11-16.) Everyone telling him that a 5D mkII has noticeably superior IQ is confining him to choices that will leave him with noticeably inferior IQ on wide angles and scenics, the very application where it is claimed the 5D mkII is better! Fine detail? Texture? Subtlety? Not in the outer frame of a 17-40L shot on full frame. This will be noticeable in print.
    Nothing in his portfolio says "full frame". He's not even pushing the ultra wide angle end yet, which was traditionally the domain of full frame before lenses like the Canon 10-22 and Tokina 11-16. And he's not shooting high ISO scenes (i.e. clubs, bands, night sports, etc). Does he own a T/S lens? No? Then nothing that was produced in his portfolio required full frame.
     
  63. Alberto said:
    Interesting discussion, folks! David Stephens, thank you for looking at my portfolio: I think you understood very much about me by looking at my shots. I think that you read in my mind!​
    I'm mainly focused on birds and wildlife, but the things that you're doing is where I'd like to go with my scenics. I invested in a high end ballhead and have started working much more on my scenics. Seeing what you're doing I could learn a lot from you and will watch your portfolio.
    Having said that, I agree that you could justify either the 7D or 5D MkII; however, I own both and would always reach for the 5D2 when I'm doing anything other than birds and wildlife. People can argue about pixels all they want, but when I show a 1080 image from the 5D2 on my 52" Sony Bravia HDTV I'm NEVER dissapointed with the IQ. At high ISO, viewed in this format, the 5D2 blows away the 7D, generally. They're very, very close at low ISOs.
    Arguing about comparative IQ at low ISO is good and useful, but get above ISO 800 and the 5D2 sets itself apart from the 7D. So, if you handfhold in low light, like dusk and dawn, then that'll be valuable.
    If you can afford it, then I think you'll prefer the 5D2. The AF issues are very minor for the work that you do, IMHO.
     
  64. I've shot for many years, in the newspaper industry. I shot the EOS1, 1n, 1v, before going digital.
    I did a lot of research before going digital, as the company I work for does not supply the photographers
    with equipment, we are expected to supply our own. Some things I learned:
    1: The megapixel race is just a race. In order to double the resolution, you have to quadruple the
    pixels. For example, going from 4 mp to 16 mp will double the resolution.
    2: The reason a DSLR has better image quality than a powershot, is because of the sensor size.
    A larger sensor has less chromatic aberrations, because the light doesn't "bleed" over other sensor
    sites. And it records more image detail.
    3: The post processing of the images in-camera.
    That was of course then, and this is now.
    Now cameras have much better noise reduction, and post processing is much better.
    But considering what I have read from previous posts, you are doing a lot of landscape type of
    photography.
    For that reason, unless you are looking to do HD video as well, I would suggest the original 5D.
    It will give you the same view on your lenses.
    I'm certainly not giving the 7D a bad review, as that is the camera I'm currently looking at for my
    job. The type of photography I do, for the paper, is based on speed. I've gotten used to the
    1.3 FOV from the 1D series, although I'm not really sure I can get used to the 1.6 FOV. But with
    todays economy, I can't really spend the $5k for the 1v MKIV. And I really need to update due to
    the current CPS standards for membership. And I have to supply the equipment I use.
    I hope the information I've supplied will help you in your decision. But I can say that Canon is
    pretty much ahead of others in digital photography. Some Nikon users might disagree. :)
     
  65. Camera selection is a very personal choice and although most won't admit it, the primary factor is financial. You get the best camera that fits your budget and for many that camera is the EOS 7D.
    Seven years ago I was in a better financial situation and purchased the Canon EOS 1Ds which was my first professional digital camera. That camera continues to serve me well but is now technologically outdated. I purchased the EOS 7D in December and although it took a while to get used to the crop frame sensor, I quickly adapted. The exposure system and color rendition is superior to my original 1Ds, but the RAW images appear softer with more visible noise than I was used to. Learning to tweak the images in ACR (especially ACR 6.0 that ships with Photoshop CS5) I can now produce images I an completely satisfied with. The addition of HDR video is moving me (creatively) in a new direction with even greater possibilities.
     
  66. Thank you very much for your precious suggestions! Daniel and David, althought you have different opinions I would thank you very much for your honesty: I think both are true. The conclusion might be that both these cameras are very good products and the choice might be a matter of taste. I realize that switching to digital from film with one of these cameras is a great upgrade in many aspects. I'm aware that a good camera does't make a good photographer, but a good photographer with a good camera can expand his possibilities to new photographic subjects! It's a hard choice!
    Daniel, do you this that the Tokina 11-16 performs better than the Canon 10-22?
     
  67. Thank you Alberto. I'm looking forward to your reactions a week or two after you decided and had some time in the field.
    Next questions... which post processor and how should manage your settings differently in digital vs. films? There is so much written on these topics that you need to immerse yourself it making those decisions. I will definitely say that, given your standards, you'll want to shoot in RAW and then control an fine tune the conversion to jpeg. Your Canon will come with Digital Photo Professional, which is excellent technically, but clunky and slow. Lightroom is the very most popular and very good. I use something called DxO Optics Pro, which is by far one of the least popular, but I love it.
    Photoshop is a POWERFUL but incredibly dense and complicated tool. You use it after RAW conversion to fine tune your images after RAW conversion. For scenics, you may seldom pull out Photoshop. Generally I'd recommend starting with Photoshop Elements and only moving up to full Photoshop if you find that you need it. Either way a starter course will be a giant help to getting started; however, Elements is intuitive enough to pull out of the box and muddle through on your own to a high degree. Full PS may be the least intuitive program ever invented.
    Keep us updated, my friend. Once you get through a small transition phase, I think you'll experience new freedom that will translate positively into your results.
     
  68. Thank you David for your suggestions. I'm not scared about post processing, since I use a hybrid workflow from several years: I shoot film but then I scan only my best with Nikon's 5000 ED scanner (in .tiff 16 bit) and post process with Photoshop CS3. I have a quite good knownledge of this software. The new "thing" for me will be the use of a raw converter, since I'm aware that I will shot in raw...
     
  69. That's great. You'll get happy results immediately.
    Exposing in RAW requires a slightly different approach than film. Look at the histogram and over-expose slightly, such that the histogram moves to the right without running up the right side. Go too far and you blow out the highlights and they can never be recovered, but exposing a little hot will preserve details and allow you to pull the intensity down in RAW conversion, add saturation, etc. The key is knowing the histogram, if you don't already, and "exposing to the right" without blowing out highlights.
     
  70. Daniel said:
    Given two 16x24" prints, one from a 5D mkII and one from a 7D, both shot at low to mid ISO and optimally processed, you would not be able to tell any difference in "light, texture, color, detail, scenic, subtlety" if your life depended on it.​
    And he could not be more right.
    The utter claptrap written about the supposedly glaring IQ difference between FF cameras and well processed 7D images makes me gag: it's not just not true, it's palpably untrue.
    A well executed 7D photo is the equal - in terms of any parameter by which you'd want to consider the image - of any image from any FF camera you care to choose; and, as I've pretty conclusively demonstrated here before now (7D vs. Nikon D700), miles ahead of some, at any ISO you care to choose.
     
  71. Keith, many of us don't limit ourselves to low ISOs and 16x24.
    Ideally I shoot all my scenics with the tripod, but there are times at sunset or sunrise where I might not have it and need to handhold at ISO 1600 or pre-dawn light might dictate ISO 3200. Yeah, I've gotten "good" results with my 7D at ISO 6400, but the 5D2 would have been better had it had the reach I needed. The 7D vs. 5D2 comparison seems particularly adverse at ISO 1600, where the 5D2 is still cruising and the 7D is showing its first hints of strain.
    Also, more and more of us have advanced into the 21st century and now own and use HDTVs to view our images at 1080 on a 52" diagonal screen. You CAN see the differences there. It's not quite as dramatic as back in the day when I'd mix a 44cmx44cm slide in with my 35mm slides, but you can see it. I would venture to guess that more people are now using their HDTVs to view their images than are printing 16x24" prints.
    The 7D is a wonderful camera and I own one, but at realistic, yet high, ISOs the 5D2 is superior. Once you get used to that capacity, you use it. There's not one bit that's palpably untrue about what I just said. Some of you guys insist on measuring and comparing new cameras with old standards that are no longer state of the art.
     
  72. Folks talk about 7d and reach but given a fixed lens 200mm for example and use it on the 7d or 5d is the 7d image noticeably better than the 5d image crop and enlarged to match the 7d ?
     
  73. Alan, if all you need is "reach" then taking a 5D2 image and cropping it gives you roughly the equivalent of the 7D. The problem is if you need accuracy, quick AF and speed, then the 7D steps forward. I shoot a lot of birds and birds in flight. The AF of the 5D2 is considerably slower, particularly with a 1.4x TC attached. The larger subject in the 7D viewfinder makes it easier to keep the AF points on a subject that's moving.
    There's also the cost of lens to consider. If you want to gain a superior image, then you need to invest in longer lenses. I have a friend using a 5D2, so to get equivalency to my 7D/500mm f/4 combination with the 1.4x TC, he's got the 600mm f/4 plus the 1.4x TC. His lens cost thousands more than my already expensive 500mm f/4. Down at 200mm the lenses won't break the bank, but when you get to the fast 400mm and above, you're talking major bucks.
    I love my 5D2 and used it for bird photography for a while, but the 7D is the body that's attached ot my BIG lens.
     
  74. You just said that cropping was equivalent so why do you then compare the cost of 500mmf4 vs 600mmf4 ?I.e, I can use the 500mmf4 on the 5d and crop for a near equivalent (with regards to quality) image.
    The auto focus is a different (and real) issue one should consider when making a choice between the two cameras but not related to my question.
     
  75. Alan asked:
    "You just said that cropping was equivalent so why do you then compare the cost of 500mmf4 vs 600mmf4 ?I.e, I can use the 500mmf4 on the 5d and crop for a near equivalent (with regards to quality) image."​
    Because if you want a "superior" IQ of the ff sensor, then you'll pay for it in glass. Cropped equivalently will only yield the same IQ.
    If you already own a ff or want the ff advantages for scenics and other areas where the ff excels, but you only want to "dabble" in things where the 7D excels, then this cropping approach is a valid approach. I tried it for a while, but much prefer working with my 7D for birds because of the larger subject in the viewfinder, high burst rate and faster AF.
    I actually think that my bird images with the 7D are superior in IQ to my bird images with my 5D2. I don't think it has to do with the sensor, but more to do with seeing the larger subject in the viewfinder. Also, I can take 8-images per second, greatly increasing the odds that one of them will be "special." Still, either tool works, but the 7D has major advantages for birds and some wildlife.
     
  76. I simply want to buy the "best" camera I can affort, because with digital I cannot change my roll of film to modify the final output.​
    Do yourself a favor, if money is a factor, get the cropped sensor, and no matter what get yourself lightroom or aperture at a minimum, and then preferably get photoshop. Pretty much everything I used to do in the dark room with film (and WAY more) can be accomplished digitally in Light room. It is AMAZING.
     
  77. Nyah, nyah,
    I'll show you mine, if you'll show me yours first!
    So are you, but what am I?
    GENUG, Enough. It will work no matter which way you go, so make an existential moment out of it and just do it.
     
  78. Thanks JDM! Somewhere in all these arguments about the smallest differences in technical specs, the whole point of photography (images!) gets lost.
    Show me a stunning image (content, composition, lighting, emotion, impact, etc.) and I couldn't care less about pixel peeping and the tiny differences between this or that excellent camera. Clearly there are no real clunkers out there (and even the clunkers have their fans - Holga anyone?!) and most of these arguments tend to be more about pride of ownership, test charts and justifying expensive purchases than making images.
    With regard to the OPs question - there is clearly no "best". A rich, skilled and enthusiastic amateur may buy a Hasselblad HD2 and love it - it would be wildly inappropriate for an amateur who is looking for a small, pocketable camera for his vacation. The concept is silly at best. A 7D is a wonderful camera and if it hits your price point, is not too big and you can afford the lenses you need to take the shots you want, then go for it - you won't be disappointed. I really don't understand the need to disparage other people's choices though - that seems extremely insecure to me.
     
  79. No, the best camera ever was the EOS 5.
     
  80. Sure, let's just for argument's sake say it's the best right now. But next year another model will be the King, then your 7D will be old. Can your ego handle that? That's the real question. Just shoot, man.
     
  81. I can't wait for the 5D MkIII... Undoubtedly it will be a full frame camera with all the new bells and whistles of the 7D. :)
     
  82. Just as a newbie to this forum, it is an interesting debate, but rather fruitless...as mentioned above, the Canon EOS 5 is the best!
     

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