Good AF at cheapest price?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jamie_robertson|2, May 27, 2015.

  1. Hi guys,
    I currently use a 5D MkII and a 1D MkII. I use the 1D for birds in flight and the 5D for everything else. I could really do with a few more pixels than the 8MP of the 1D and I am wondering what the cheapest way to go about it would be.
    Used 1Ds MkII bodies are relatively cheap and I assume they have the same AF as my 1D MkII but I'm not sure if I could live with the slower frame rate.
    I could sell both of my cameras and go for a used 5D MkIII but, again, the slower frame rate may annoy me.
    What about the original 7D? How does the AF compare to that of the 1D MkII?
  2. I had both a 1Ds (mk1) and 7d at one point, and thought AF was generally better on the 1Ds. I was mostly using
    an older, non-usm lens though, a 50/1.8 (mk1); maybe it's different with more modern lenses. There's a difference
    between a faster AF motor/mechanism (but perhaps doesn't lock on as often) and AF that is slower, but more sure.
    Suppose you need both fast and sure for birds in flight!
  3. For BIF, sell everything and buy a 7D MkII. With bare lenses, the AF is right there with the 1DX. I keep the 1.4x TC-III on maybe half the time. The 2.0x TC-III is not usable for most BIF, but is great for perched birds. The high pixel-density gives your effective reach a substantial boost. Forget the original 7D, because it's AF is inconsistent. I've owned or own the 5D MkII, 5D MkIII, 7D and 7D MkII. The 7D MkII is, by far, the best for BIF.
  4. David,
    Aside from the crop factor, how does the AF of the 7D2 compare with that of the 5D3? I was under the impression that they were very similar.
  5. The AF of the 7D2 and the 5D3 are very similar with a bare lens. They're both equally good with the TCs; however, with the 5D3 you're more likely to try the 2.0x TC-III for the reach, but it'll slow the AF initial lock miserably. Also, with the 7D2, you get 10-fps, which is huge for get the ideal wing positions for BIF.
    I use the 7D2 for all BIF and the 5D3 for landscape, portrait, travel and street photography. You can build a lens kit around the 7D2 for those purposes and you lose only the 5D3 slightly better performance above ISO 1600. Both are excellent up to ISO 1600.
  6. Thanks David,
    I need to keep my full frame camera so buying an additional 7D2 would be an expensive solution. At the moment I use the 300mm f4L with and without the 1.4x and I find it just about perfect on the 1D2. I'll have to do some thinking.
  7. Well, a 5D MkIII is way better than a sharp stick in the eye:
    Shooting full-frame in focal length limited situation is challenging. If you click on this image and go to Flickr, you'll see that I was using my 500mm plus the 2.0x TC-III. It's a fight to achieve initial focus and keep it on. The 5D3 performs great with an f/4 lens and a 1.4x TC-III.
    If you could get $600 out of your 1D2 and find a used 7D2, I think the differential would be about the same as selling everything to buy the 5D3. I owned the 5D2 and it's images are as good as the 5D3 in almost all circumstances. You have to get above ISO 3200 to start seeing much difference. The AF is the only reason to move from the MkII to the MkIII, IMO.
    With the 7D vs. the 5D, the need to use the teleconverters is greatly reduced, but a full-frame alternative is not all bad.
  8. I have the 5dMk3 and the 1Ds mk 3. I kind of prefer the 1Ds Mk3 for nature, although the weight is probably twice
    as heavy as the 5DMk 3. If you like video I'd take the 5d mk3. If you don't care about video and you want fast
    shutter clicks, go with maybe the 1D mark 3 or 4 at 10 to 12 frames a second. Or is it 14 frames a second?

    I think that the lens choice is often more important than camera choices.
  9. Only the 1DX does 14-fps in JPEG-only mode.
  10. I also own the 5D mk 3, 7D and more recently the 7D mark 2. I would concur with David on the 7D mk 2 for BIF. Relatively speaking the 7D2 has a lot of bang for the buck with its AF and frame rate. IQ isn't half bad either! The 20mp allows for the inevitable cropping if you are shooting a lot of birds.
  11. I think the 7D2 option would be too expensive for a camera that I would only use occasionally. As you can see from the title of this thread, I am looking for an economical solution. It's a shame the AF of the original 7D can't compete with that of the 1D2. A 1D4 would be nice but then the price would be the same as the 7D2. Lots to think about.
    Thanks folks.
  12. Jamie, since you shoot BIF "only... occasionally", then I'd say go with the, sell all and buy 5D MkIII solution, and include a good EF 1.4x TC-III to stretch your lenses. Both are on the used market at considerable savings.

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