Eos 5d II AF tracking abilites and 5d/7d in low light

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by marco_palladino|1, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. As ex 1ds serie happy user I recently changed to an eos 5d 2 as my main body (it is lighter) and am very satisfied of it, mean the quality of files is great, the best of it is you don't spend lot of time in pp with 5d files (RAW). I was very concerned about the AF abilities of this camera but after intesive use I can say the AF never missed a shot. The assisted central point is very very effective.

    This summer I had to cover a lot of sport events (I don't usually shoot that genre) so I obviously rented some more suited stuff, the most frequent camera was then the 1D MkIV. But in many occasions I also used the 5d paired with the very good 35mm 1.4 and was very pleased by the results. In very low light the 5d AF is very very good. As example I link this gallery (which I hope it is nice to see due to the sexy female subject ;-): http://fotobiettivo.photoshelter.co...-a-Nociglia/G0000IqRD.fylrJQ/C0000tnx1zGq6eYk) and of about 40 shots ALL were very preciselly focused. This situation was very dynamic, she moved very fast. Another example subject is volleyball where I used the said combo for wide views (as in this: http://fotobiettivo.photoshelter.co...an-Cassiano/G00007HjHQ1_4cs0/C0000i7SdJfcBCcw). The last 5 pics.

    Again, the AF was perfect..only, the tracking capabilities of the 5d AF simply don't exist. What I did was to track manually (adjusting the focus manually but with AF on, you can do it with the 35 1.4) and follow the subject, then focus/shot immediatly (AI SERVO of course). This way the AF didn't miss a hit. With the 1D you can start focusing long before and track the subject, then shoot (and of course can use also other points than the central, which is very good for composition ready out of the file). So, do you think this is normal or am I missing something about AF of 5D?
    Second question, I'd like to add a 7D now which I expect to be similar to 1d for tracking abilites (IS IT?), only I'm not sure about its abilites in low light (AF AND ISO/DYNAMIC RANGE). And quality-wise I don't think its files are on pair with 5D's (those from the 1dIV are neither from what I've seen), but, occasional sport events can happen, do you think it is a good combo (I know it 's been asking toons of time...sorry).

    Would be a second 5d2 THAT MUCH better suited (difference in price is not high) for all except sports? I'm appealed by the 1.6 factor what would make the 85 1.8 become a 135 when needed. I use primes of course, zooms only for some professional photography (which isn't so important).
    5d3 is out of target, I don't want to spend so much for a damn fast-aging camera (would do for lenses), the professional applications dont' justify such expenses for me.

    Thanks in advance, I always receive very accurate and wise responses in this forum. :)
  2. I think you need to weigh whether your are likely to need an identical backup body in another 5DmkII, or whether you
    need the extra boost of the 1.6 crop. The 7D's image quality is nothing to sneer at, especially considering you could be
    cropping your 5DmkII images (and losing resolution in the transaction) to make up for the crop factor. I wouldn't worry about that
    in making the decision. I think your functional needs are more pressing.

    So ask yourself some questions... What is your current backup body or bodies? What's wrong with it? Are you rough with
    your gear? Can you afford to go without a full frame camera during a shoot, should something happen to your 5D? Do
    you have wide angle coverage for a crop body? How often do you need more reach? How often do you anticipate
    shooting sports?

    As for the 5DmkII AF...your experiences are consistent with mine. It is fine 99% of the time. It struggles a bit with tracking.
    I wouldn't say it lacks any ability to track, but it isn't really any better than my cheaper and older 40D. It also isn't any
    worse, provided you use the center AF point. It is also a little touchy on those outer horizontal/vertical points, but not out
    of line with what I expect from a camera in this price range.
  3. OTOH, the 7D has a LOT of tracking ability. As Joshua says, it's IQ is pretty good, and the advantages of a dual format system are nothing to sneer at. While currently I shoot w/ a pair of 5D2s, I used to shoot w/ a 5D and a 50D, and used the 50D's speed to considerable advantage. With the added AF capability (plus a smidge more speed, and a decent buffer), the 7D is likely to cover all of the holes in your 5D2's coverage.
  4. I've shot with the 5D2 since it came out. I use the centre point only, leave it on AI servo and use back button focusing. It's by far the best way to use this camera. The outer AF points are a joke and should be avoided unless you're shooting with a 12mm lens at f/32 ;-)
    I also find the silly hidden AF assist points reduce the accuracy of the focus. I leave them turned off and have far better success.
  5. At moment I have a 30d as backup but it is to become a 3rd gear just for safety or to be given to others, I'd like to add a second body for journalism and travel since i really love to shoot with primes (both for quality and classic perspective they give), so a combo is needed. There are many used 5d2 on market which are really affordable (the price of a new 7d). I've used all the xxD serie and the central point of the 5d2 is definetly much better, according to my own experience of course. I had a 1ds2 in the combo before and it was perfect, but it is too heavy and big for that use and doesn't share the batteries so I sold it. The 7d seems perfect..on paper, but..real raw files I've seen were always disappointing (I never used one by myself, mybe the technique was bad, don't know). 7d is also appealing for some occasional sports if they occur, so I don't have to rent sport-suited gear for just some simple event. But (again:but), 5d is so much better and FF is a must, expecially for wide/normal FOV (I always look for minimal DOF there, with tele is not so important). I start to hate Canon for not producing a FF camera ALSO fully capable for occasional sports (at least some other cross points and a better tracking) in a decent price range (aka Nikon d600). 5d's AF is very good but simply isn't usable for sports. On paper, 6D is using an AF that is not much different from 5d's, that's out of any reason! What's the sense of that camera? Why don't they just put the 7d's AF on it..damn! 5d3 with 45 points etc etc and 6d with 19, that could be so resonable even from a commercial point of view...bah!
  6. If the 6d were to have the 7d's AF system, then what's the point of the 5d3? Oh yeah 1/4000th, SD card, single-function buttons....etc

    The 7d is a very capable camera. However the pixel density means you have to be good at nailing the exposure or it will eat you alive.
    I think partnering the 5d2 with a 7d makes for a great combo. They even share the same battery.
    Else you can also consider a used 1d3. Is 10mp enough?
  7. I had a 1ds2 which was perfect in combo, but huge(not shared) batteries and not exactly something to walk around with. Sold it. The idea was to have a second body for all pourpose but also capable for sports if needed, since 5D isn't. I like the high density of a 7D sensor for making some crop when not otherwise possible BUT I put aside 2 files 1 from my current 30D and 1 from a 7D at ISO1600 and I like the 30D's more, they seem less "plastic". This is only personal taste of course, I'd have to do a comparison with same scene, same light and same lens..but I suspect the less pixel density is much more suited IF you don't crop, and I generally don't.

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