Original 5D vs. Crop 7D Body - Please help!

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by summer_smith, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Soooo.....not to bring up an overdiscussed topic yet again, but I'd really like everyone's feedback / opinions on this decision. If one hopes to upgrade to a nicer full-frame sensor one day, is it worth getting the 5D original over the 7D simply so that the lenses we collect will be useful for the upgrade someday? Some facts:
    • Portrait / low light / some landscape / scenery / architecture / general action (kids running around, not sports or true wildlife photography) is what's important to me
    • I like shallow DOF in general, and have heard that full frame achieves this at smaller apertures than apc - should that be a factor?
    • I'm not heavily invested in any lens type, and this is what really draws me to the original 5d - so i can easily upgrade someday to another FF.
    • I really like that the 7D is newer and in general looks and feels like a modern camera with a ton of powerful features. The 5D is older, looks older, etc. - not sure if I'm being nitpicky on this front.
    • The two main things that are "negatives" in my mind for the 7D are 1) not full frame and 2) boy do I wish it had dual SD slots like the nikon d7000 - but i just like the handling, image rendering / colors, and controls of the Canon way more, which is why i've eliminated the d7000 from my list after much debate. So from the memory card perspective - no difference between the 5D and the 7D.
    Thanks in advance for your feedback!
  2. One more thing to add - I am on a budget and do like that I can spend a little less for a used 5D original and put more into lenses etc. vs. the 7D.
  3. http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00V7tz
    are just the first three finds here on Photo.net alone that come from a search for "5D or 7D".
    Your needs seem pretty well those of most photographers, so the older discussions are relevant for the most part.
  4. There are several threads covering this subject. I have a 5D but if I were you I would get a 7D. It probably works better and it is hard to tell the difference in the pictures. I do like the 5D, however.
  5. is it worth getting the 5D original over the 7D simply so that the lenses we collect will be useful for the upgrade someday
    You can get a 7D and only use lenses that can also be used on a FF.
    If you are on a budget let that guide you. Consider a refurb:
    If you are considering the 7D you should also take a look at the 60D.
  6. Second thought. Look at the 60D. Less expensive that the 7D but quite capable of doing most of what the 7D does.
  7. Buy the 5D Mk II. Unless you are into rapid-fire sports photography, IMHO there is no contest here. 21mp, high def. video, and the most reasonably priced FF dSLR on the market today. When the 5D Mk III comes out at ~$3,000 you'll wish you'd pulled the trigger when you had the chance.
  8. The 7D makes a lousy full frame camera. If what you want is full frame, then definitely get the 5D, because you'll eventually buy a full frame camera anyway. However, there's a lot to be said for eventually building a dual format system, so the 7D could be the beginning of that system.
    This article I wrote may help you to decide between the two formats:
  9. Thanks everyone. Sarah, loved the article you wrote (i read it before, about a week ago) and it's very informative. I think 5d II is the way to go for me but I'd really have to extend myself.
    Question to Bill and others - when the 5d III comes out (canonrumors.com seems to think it may be announced in the upcoming weeks), do you anticipate the 5d II used prices to come down? What usually happens?
  10. http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00WOR3
    I would guess the 5D mk III would be priced somewhat higher than the mk II, and in the short run mk II prices would not change much at all.
    In the Aug 2008, the 5D1 was selling new for $2,000 when the 5D2 was announced (5D2 initial price was $2,700 as I recall). 3.5 years later, an excellent condition 5D1 body is $1,000. So the price does drop, but slowly.
  11. ... when the 5d III comes out (canonrumors.com seems to think it may be announced in the upcoming weeks), do you anticipate the 5d II used prices to come down? What usually happens?​
    The 5D Mk II has already seen a slight price reduction along with instant rebates through larger sellers. As new models are introduced, the outgoing technology will almost certainly be depreciated further.
    However, if the Mk III price is in the $3,000 neighborhood, then you can be confident the Mk II units will disappear fast. And you can count on there being a back-log on the Mk III regardless of price or specs.
    Therefore, because of the factors noted above (and others), IMHO you are not hurting yourself by buying the Mk II now.
  12. As Sarah says, there's virtue in having a dual format system.
    I got a 5DII upon its release in late 2008, and recently picked up a used 50D. The latter is very good at lower ISO's, so I tend to use it outdoors for walkabout shooting. The extra effective reach of the crop body is advantageous for me outdoors, where my subjects tend to be further away, and I'm less apprehensive about using the cheaper body in adverse shooting conditions. For lower light (such as indoors) or more "critical" applications, I use my 5DII.
  13. Based on your description of needs, I'd say get a used 5D. I still use one for weddings. Had the shutter replaced recently and it is just like a new camera... The 5D original has lots of fans who say there is just something really nice about the file quality.
    However, I would recommend that one should always rent the camera one is considering before buying, to be sure.
  14. If you are not interested in wildlife or action I can't see why
    you would get the 7D over a cheaper more modern crop
    like the 60D as the main difference are the advanced AF
    and frame rate which you don't need.

    Then you have more cash towards lenses and that eventual
    full frame.

    I may be wrong but I suspect a 5D classic and a 60D/7D
    are not so apart in noise performance, but if you realy want
    full frame then a 5D may be a better route.

    A bit of background, I started out assuming I wanted full
    frame comming from a 35mm and MF film background, but
    had to get a crop (before the 5D came out).

    However, my interests changed to wildlife as soon as I
    realised how much more one could do in this area with
    modern DSLR systems. What I am saying is interests
    change and you can still get good dof control with a crop
    format if you get fast prime lenses.
  15. vbi


    As a owner of both the 5DMk2 and the 7D I have to agree with the benefits of a dual system. I use the 5D for studio, landscapes and high detail work because it's IQ and low light ability is far, far better than the 7D. I use the 7D for wildlife for it's extra reach.
    Interestingly, I have found my 24-70L to give better results on the 5D. It might be because of a focussing issue on the 7D which I am checking, but I suspect the smaller pixels on the 7D are more demanding on the lens. Strangely enough, my 100-400L shines on the 7D as well as the 5D, totally contrary to it's reputation for being a poor quality lens.
    Based on your stated application I would go FF - either the 5D or 5DMk2.
  16. The dual format system works for me, I've gone that way for the last 5 years.
    Vincent makes a couple of good points, the 100-400 shines on the 7D and the 5D and that the 5D or Mk 2 would be a good place to start.
  17. 4 years ago I chose the 40D over the 5D and 2 years ago I chose the 7D over the 5D2. I had several reasons but one of the main ones was AF. Put it simply, the AF systems in the 5D and 5D2 are primitive by today's standards (derived from the 2D). IMHO it is O.K. to good when you use the central AF point and simply lousy when you use the other AF points. Contrary, the 40D has a very good AF system while this of the 7D is simply superb.

    About a year ago I had a chance to buy a 5D at a very good price so I bought it. IQ and VF were as good as my 7D while the AF system performed every bit as I feared. Needless to say that I sold it very quickly.

    Another thing that I learned to love are some EF-S lenses. 4 years ago I traded the 24-105 L for the 17-55/2.8 IS, the 17-40 L for the 10-22 and the 100/2.8 macro for the 60/2.8. IQ is every bit as good and in some instances (17-40 and 10-22 is a notable example) IQ was better in the EF-S lens.
    Shallow DoF? I like it too and find APS-C to be shallow enough. In fact, I sometimes close the aperture to get more DoF. See attached pic as an example.
    If all this sounds to you that I do not like the 5D series you are right. I see them as great sensors wrapped up in a mediocre body. So, if you are mainly interested in great IQ for a modest price they are excellent and will serve you well. However, if you expect a good all-around camera and willing to sacrifice a bit of IQ (mainly in high ISO) for a lot of other useful features then the 7D gets my vote.

    Happy shooting,
  18. Wow, I really appreciate the additional responses - thanks everyone!
    Bill - thanks for the note on the pricing. So I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up about prices dropping quickly after release of a 5d III.
    Mark P - agree that dual format is probably ideal, but I have family obligations and don't have the budget for it right now. Maybe someday....
    Nadine, Vincent, Peter, Lester & Yakim - I've been told the same (go for the 5d or Mk II) by some friends who are pretty seriously into photography and are committed to the FF format. Those same friends also pointed out to me that the AF isn't all that great, just like Yakim says. I myself have used the original 5d and have found the images to be pretty good, although I did the same thing Yakim is stating - used the center point AF. Also I just really wish that the LCD screen was better. Yakim makes some very interesting points and is convincing in his/her arguments - what do you all think about what Yakim says? The lenses that he/she traded are priced about the same, but Yakim feels that the IQ is BETTER with the EF-S lenses. The shallow DOF sample posted is also pretty impressive. I guess that's what attracts me to the 7D is just that the features are more "modern", the AF is supposed to be way better, 100% viewfinder, battery life awesome, etc. etc. I don't have as much experience with the 7D outside of holding it at a local shop, but it feels great - very sturdy and I love the controls. Lester made a comment saying "why not the 60d?". I simply don't like the handling / controls of the 60D as much and prefer the original 5d over it. Just personal preference. Interesting point though that your interests changed over time more towards wildlife! You seem to be on the same page as Yakim with regards to going for the cropped sensor.
    In general based on your feedback so far, I feel like for what my interests are today - I'd be happy with FF. I MAY get frustrated by not having some of the better features of the 7D vs. the original 5D. Sounds like i'd be happier with a 5d ii, but ugh - I'd have to seriously think about it before spending over $2k for a body right now. Yakim confuses me a bit more by saying that i'll actually be happier with a 7D over everything else because it delivers the same as FF in every area with those EF-S lenses, except perhaps with IQ at higher ISOs. However, if I invest money into EF-S lenses (similar to how the comparable L lenses cost) I feel like i'm making more of a commitment to this format.
    FYI - the 7D is priced at ~$1350 right now on B&H and Amazon, a deal which I believe will be there until Feb. 4th. About $450 more than what I see a used 5d being priced at. Thanks again for the valuable feedback and let me know if you have any additional thoughts based on the discussion. :)
  19. What Yakim said...
  20. Just to clarify my earlier response, Summer, I wasn't suggesting that you necessarily adopt a dual format kit now, but rather was implying that whether you get a crop or full frame body at this time, you can always get the other later. This is precisely what I did.
  21. got it, thanks Mark.
  22. Out of the things you listed, the 7D is superior for low light, landscape/scenery, and general action. The 5D is only better for architecture if you use T/S lenses, otherwise the 7D wins again. The 5D will achieve more shallow DoF for portraits, but I'm with those that say APS-C can already go too shallow. More often than not I find myself stopping down my fast primes a bit. If you only shoot f/2.8 zooms then the FF DoF argument makes more sense.
    For portraits the 7D can also remotely fire Canon flashes. You can do a lot with a pair of 430ex II's and some stands/umbrellas off eBay.
    It should be noted that shallow DoF photography really taxes the AF system. The 7D is not only far superior here, but for still subjects it offers LiveView. You can manually focus in LiveView and make sure the plane of focus is exactly where you want it. For landscapes (deep DoF) you can easily check DoF and choose the optimum focus distance / aperture combination. Doing this rather than guessing and stopping down too far can gain significantly more detail in your landscape shots.
    At small to medium print sizes you'll be hard pressed to ever tell the difference between the two. Challenging subjects at larger print sizes will show the 7D to have a small but noticeable IQ advantage.
    The only place where you end up having to buy a crop lens is ultra wide angle. Otherwise you can stick to normal EF glass.
    You might want to consider a 60D, but I have to admit that the 7D is just a nice camera to own. IQ, feature set, and ergonomics are fantastic. It's a baby 1D with a sensor that offers 90% of what the 5D2 offers.
  23. I used to use the 40D, but have gone to the original 5D. I don't regret it for one minute. In terms of auto focus, I have never had any problems with the focus on my 5D. Maybe Yakim had a bad body with issues? I am getting into portrait work more and more, and this is where I feel the 5D image quality is way better than my 40D. I have never used the 7D, but I hear it is good as well. I find the image quality of the 5D is more "film-like" or just has a better fell about it, but that is comparing it to my 40D. You will love the shallow depth of field that full frame offers, as well! I am attaching a portrait I took at f1.8, using my 85 1.8.
  24. You will love the shallow depth of field that full frame offers​
    Full frame does not offer a shallow DoF, Paul - the lens does that. DoF is entirely a function of the focal length and aperture of the lens and the distance to subject.
    FF gives you a different field of view.
  25. Ms. Smith (no relation),
    As someone else pointed out if you get a 7D you can use all the same lenses that work on a FF camera. I have a digital Rebel and a film EOS. I just buy lenses that are compatible with both.
    One thing that hasn't been fully addressed in this thread is video. A 7D is an excellent video camera. Mated to a good lens it will blow all those consumer video cameras out of the water. In the video department the 60D has some extras that are absent on the 7D. Audio control is better on the 60D and it has a fold out screen. The 7D has HD video out so you can monitor your recording in Hi Def on a separate monitor while you record.
    The other thing is what are you going to do with this camera? I have owned a couple of digital Rebels over the years and I like them. The great thing about them is you can sell them after a couple of years and move up to the latest technology. You limit your depreciation downside. If you buy a camera for $600 the most you can lose is $600. And realistically the most you will be out is $200-$300 after 2-3 years. Even if you are in a professional environment you will sell the camera long before the shutter wears out. Keep in mind the image quality between the 600D, 60D and 7D is basically identical. Where do they differ? Build quality. Although I have never damaged by digital Rebels. Auto focus gets progressively better 600D<60D<7D. Again though I haven never had a problem with auto focus with the Rebels. If auto focus doesn't work I aim one of the auto focus points to an area of high contrast in the image and it locks in then I recompose. FPS gets progressively better.
    Based on some of the questions you've asked and some of the statements you've made it seems like you are an amateur that just wants a decent DSLR to shoot around with. I don't know why you would jump all the way to a 5D or a 7D. You might be surprised at how well a 600D/T3i fits your needs. Spending the extra money on a 7D or 60D will not make your pictures look any better. It will help you if you are shooting a track meet and want a fast shutter speed. If you are shooting your kids do not get a 5D. Get a camera with video capability. Trust me you will thank me later. Go to vimeo and search for 600D, T3i, 60D or 7D movies. You will be blown away and any thoughts about the 5D will evaporate.
    The other thing to consider is lenses. A 7D or 60D has features that help if you are doing pro level shooting. Meaning you are on the clock and have to pay for models, studio time, assistants, etc. You want to be able to access all the features of your camera quickly so you need all the extra LCD display and ergonomic features of a 7D or 60D. Again if you are shooting your kids or landscapes I have never lusted after those kinds of features with a digital rebel. The money you save can be put towards a great L lens or a couple of great primes. A Rebel with a great L zoom will take better pictures than a 7D with a crappy kit lens. Nobody in this thread will disagree with that. Furthermore you will keep that lens for life. I shot some pictures over Christmas with a lens my dad bought before I was born. Your digital camera body will depreciate to virtually nothing <10 years regardless of what body you buy. Buy a pro or semi-pro body if you are going to use it like a pro or semi pro. If you are just shooting your kids get the cheapest body that gets the job done (high image quality, video) and spend the rest on glass.
  26. Figuring out what format or camera is the best for one is all about prioritizing what is important to you. You can get all the second hand reviews you want, and they are helpful for picking up on things you might not have thought about, but when it comes right down to it, you need to make that priority list and 'do the math'.
    I know all about the supposed 5D focusing issues. However, I shoot wedddings, not wildlife, and for shooting weddings, I really have not had problems. I don't miss shots because of the AF. I learned to work the AF so I don't miss shots. What is important to me is the image quality, and the 5D delivered, and still delivers, the image quality I want. Everything else, I figure I can learn how to work so I get what I want--I just deal with it, in other words.
    I also think things become apparent to you when you actually use a camera, so if you haven't used a 7D, rent one. Test the heck out of it and then analyze. If your 5D use was long ago, rent one, and again, test the heck out of it and then analyze. I think things will become very clear.
    As for Yakim's comments, they are descriptive of his experience. Your experience may be different. Again--they are interesting and bring up things to think about, but should not be used to base a decision upon.
  27. @ Bill Blackwell:
    However, if the Mk III price is in the $3,000 neighborhood, then you can be confident the Mk II units will disappear fast. And you can count on there being a back-log on the Mk III regardless of price or specs.​
    When the Mk III is released, I'd think the price of used Mk IIs would drop almost immediately as a fair number of people rush to sell their old bodies in order to afford the new one. That, combined with what "new" supplies remain, should make the old model less expensive, rather than more so.
    I've observed this anecdotally in the market for used Macs.
  28. "Full frame does not offer a shallow DoF, Paul"
    Kieth, frame the subject the same way with a FF versus a crop sensor and you'll get shallower DOF with the FF because you'll be closer to the subject. Therefore, a FF will yeild shallower DOF. Paul is correct IMHO.
  29. I have both. The 5dc is a great camera when it came out and still delivers today after 6 years! In fact the picture quality still beat out lots of newer camera. Prime + 5dc = magical images! I love it. If mine breaks or got stolen, I will go out and buy another one. This camera does not have all the bells and whistles as the current crop of cameras which I like. As a pure unadulterated image making tool, the 5dc is hard to beat. Image files are highly maleable. Even the 5d2's does not take PP abuse as much as the 5dc's. I kid you not!
    The 7D is a modern camera. Still the best compact crop camera today since its introduction. No direct competition from Nikon or Sony. This is a fast camera with a plethora of customizable options. Big difference from the 5dc. If you are into shooting fast erratic movers, this is it. The AF performance is 2nd only to the 1dIV. Leagues ahead of other EOS cameras. Having said that, the 7D has a higher learning curve than most other EOS cameras. Set it up right and you will be rewarded. Use it as any other EOS camera then you will not see a difference. Combine with its re-configurable buttons, CFn AF options etc.... the 7D will react to quickly changing situations with ease.
    It is a tough choice. For me, the DoF and malleability of the image files makes the 5d a great choice for low light and portraits. The 7D is more picky. You need high end lens to pair with it whereas the 5d can deliver beautiful photos even with older lens. 5dc + 50 1.8 mkI is my portrait workhorse. But I do honestly feel as a general purpose camera, the 7D is more versatile. You get hdslr too. Canon has now included on-board flash commander with the 7D which is great for multi-strobe set up.
  30. Spending the extra money on a 7D or 60D will not make your pictures look any better. It will help you if you are shooting a track meet and want a fast shutter speed.​
    Sorry I made a mistake. I meant to emphasize the increased frame rate of the 60D and 7D over the 600D/T3i. The 60D and 7D also have a faster shutter. But it's not that much of a difference 1/4000 vs 1/8000. If you want to use your 1.4 lens wide open on a sunny day I guess you can use it one stop wider on a 60d or 7d.
  31. But I do honestly feel as a general purpose camera, the 7D is more versatile. You get hdslr too.​
    I'm glad someone else acknowledged the elephant in the room. If you have children and want to capture memories you absolutely must consider a Canon 600D, 60D, or 7D. They are some of the absolute best video cameras on the market. In one small package you have outstanding photo and video. HD video is going to be huge going forward. You may ultimately settle on getting a 5D but I would say please do yourself a favor and check out some videos on vimeo. The link is to a video shot with a T3i hand held with a kit lens. Far from ideal but check out the results.
  32. You should lean towards the 7D. In general, it is more user friendly. You can use both lens mounts with it. MUCH better LCD for chimping, more forgiving of not-so-great lenses, etc. It is an awesome camera with great video capability. Plus, it has much newer features.
    That being said, i shoot a 5D and LOVE it over the 7D I have available.
    I have also never had a problem with the autofocus.
    The 5D is awesome at 3200 ISO IMO and just seems to yield a better picture throughout the range. My Raw 5D files with no sharpening are sharper and cleaner than the 7D files even after leaving photoshop.
    Yakim's close-up of the eyes DOES feature a very shallow DOF. My only problem with it is that, even in the focused section, i dont see anything crispy enough to make me appreciate the shallow DOF.
    If features and usability are important, go with the 7D. If it is "all about image quality" and you want a camera that is a camera and nothing else, i would pick the 5D any day.
  33. I have just found the quick-and-dirty high ISO comparison (3200) I made between the 5D and the 7D a year ago. For this comparison I put the 60/2.8 on the 7D and 100/2.8 IS on the 5D to create similar AoV. I shot standard JPEG and standard NR at both cameras. No tripod was used as I usually shoot handheld. As I said, quick-and-dirty test.
    Here are the pictures and here are the crops. I'll let your eyes be the judge.
    And BTW, I'm a "he", not a "she". Not that it matters a lot. :)
    Happy shooting,
  34. Alwin, what's a 5Dc?
  35. Yakim, shoot both with Raw and postprocess each to it's best...then come back and post the samples. I've done this...the 7D is offers equivalent noise with higher resolution. I'm surprised someone would go though the trouble to do a test...and use jpg OOC with standard default settings. WOW.
  36. 5Dc is 5D classic.
  37. I can't find any mention of a Canon 5D Classic from Canon. If this is referring to the 5D...then it's just a 5D and should be called that....no need to make up names to make the camera sound special.
  38. Dave, I've already stressed that it was - by no means - a rigorous test. On the contrary, it was only a quick-and-dirty one. I only made it to get the feeling of the difference, nothing more. It took me about 5 minutes so there was actually no trouble at all. :)
    I also can't re-do the test as I sold the 5D rather quickly. Its AF system drove me nuts.
    Happy shooting,
  39. Of course there isn't a mention from Canon about the 5D Classic...'5Dc' is merely what a lot of people who own 5Ds are calling the 5D. I find it a stretch to think that they are calling it that just to make it sound special. They are probably calling it that to differentiate it from the 5D II in forums, where shorthand labels are useful. Like it or hate it but it probably won't change. I've seen it used in several different forums.
  40. I just chose a second-hand 5D that was babied over a new 60D. It has only been a few weeks but I'm pretty happy with my choice even though I gave up some sports and wildlife benefits (more so compared to the 7D). One thing I found out is that there are no drivers for computer systems such as Win7 64Bit. I wanted to update my name on the camera (the previous owner's name was stored in the camera) and to change it with Canon's EOS Utility I had to install Virtual PC and Windows XP on my machine so I could load the Canon 5D Win XP driver. It worked and my 5D now has my name but I did spend 4 hours googling and installing software to figure it out. With the latest firmware 1.1.1 (2008) you can use 16 and 32GB CF cards. I also got an excellent condition battery grip that allows you to shoot vertical and run off 6 AA batteries. Which is nice if you do fieldwork in remote places and can lug AA batteries but not an electrical source. In the back of my mind, my 5D will last me a good long time. When it dies I'll probably be so addicted to the full frame that I'll want a 5D II or whatever latest version is around at that time. Good luck. I hope you get a healthy camera if you go the 5D route. GL
  41. Full frame does not offer a shallow DoF, Paul - the lens does that. DoF is entirely a function of the focal length and aperture of the lens and the distance to subject.

    I'm shocked that such patent falsehoods could be uttered by someone who calls himself a photographer.
    By the way, thanks for posting the cartoon, Yakim. I hope it helps some photo.net members to lighten up a bit.
  42. I have a 5D on the way as we speak. Had one before and loved it. Was sorry I sold it and am rectifying the situation. I'm not a telephoto shooter and will have only a Tamron 28-75 to use on it. I most often shoot at 28 and will use the 75 end for the occasional portrait. Big pixels are good pixels. Yes this camera is a digital classic. :) I'm not buying a 7D because i don't want to buy and 8D next year. My 5D will still be taking fine photos lousy rear screen and all. ;>
  43. I really try not to post a response unless I can add something substantive of value to the original poster, and I don't like arguing whether this or that camera is better, because there is no true answer in all circumstances. However,
    "Full frame does not offer a shallow DoF, Paul"
    Kieth, frame the subject the same way with a FF versus a crop sensor and you'll get shallower DOF with the FF because you'll be closer to the subject. Therefore, a FF will yeild shallower DOF. Paul is correct IMHO.​
    As a practical matter, true, but technically Keith was also correct, as he did mention one of the factors influencing DOF was distance from subject. Shallower DOF is also an advantage only in fairly limited circumstances.
    The point needs to be made (since the original poster, Summer, indicated she does a variety of kinds of photography) that most of the time, greater depth of field is an advantage. It certainly is with landscape, macro, and tightly-framed telephoto work. I for one fight all the time to get greater depth of field in my photography....especially landscape work.
    As I said, there is no best camera, especially assuming a variety of kinds of photography are desired.
    Yakim, I really laughed at the cartoon. Thanks for that.
  44. I'm right about this, guys - I don't care about your contrary perceptions. DoF is nothing to do with the size of the sensor.
    Dennis read and understood what I actually wrote - thanks for that, Dennis.
  45. I'm shocked that such patent falsehoods could be uttered by someone who calls himself a photographer.​
    "Patent falsehoods"?
    Back to photography school for you then, Mark - this is basic stuff.
    Here's something on the subject from Cambridge In Colour, a widely respected source of photographic knowledge, with my emphasis:
    As sensor size increases, the depth of field will decrease for a given aperture (when filling the frame with a subject of the same size and distance). This is because larger sensors require one to get closer to their subject, or to use a longer focal length in order to fill the frame with that subject.​
    See the point being made? The bigger sensor requires a different field of view for the same framing.
    It is getting closer to the subject in order to increase its size in the frame and match the field of view of the smaller sensor - the closer proximity to subject throwing the background into greater defocus - that incidentally provides the shallow DoF.
    It's hardly rocket science, Mark...
  46. Oh - and you can apologise any time you like for effectively calling me a liar.
    One last time, just for the avoidance of any doubt: DoF is not an explicit function of the size of the sensor.
  47. Big pixels are good pixels. Yes this camera is a digital classic.​
    My first DSLR was the 1D which is also referred today as the 1Dc (1D classic). It had 4MP on an APS-H sized sensor. You want big pixels? These were huge.
    Yakim, I really laughed at the cartoon. Thanks for that.​
    Your welcome. I thought everybody knows it as it is a very old joke. But some good things never go out of fashion, no matter how old.
    Happy shooting,
  48. Putting aside the theoretical side of the DOF argument (I'm not an expert on this), I think the practical implications of the statement that a full frame sensor gives shallower DOF are worth mentioning. Looking at the lenses available to use, and shooting the equivalent field of view, the same aperture value on a full frame provides shallower DOF, something I hadn't known about until recently
    For example Canon 7D with Sigma 30mm @ f/1.4, 10feet subject distance, DOF = 1.82ft
    To get the same field of view on the Canon 5D I could use the Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, and at the same subject distance of 10feet the DOF is only 1.02ft (I know I should compare with a 48mm lens = 30 x 1.6 would give 1.11ft, but this doesn't exist in Canon's line up)
    So trying to get some equivalence in field of view I end up with shallow DOF being more easily achievable on the full frame camera.
    Take the f/2.8 zooms as well (17-55 on crop, 24-70 on FF), you end up with a similar result
    7d @ 50mm, f/2.8 - DOF = 1.29ft
    5d @ 80mm, f/2.8 - DOF = 0.79ft
    I'm not too bothered by the reasons behind this, but the practical implications are useful to reflect on - for example you could buy a 5D and 24-105 f/4 lens which would wide open give you similar DOF to using one of the f/2.8 zooms on the 7D (also used wide open), assuming you are shooting similar field of view e.g. using focal length 1.6 times longer on the 5d. However you would have a more flexible zoom range, L quality build on the 5D option
    I'm sure the theory behind this has little to do with the sensor size, but I think sometimes we should worry more about practise than theory
    Yakim - great cartoon, hadn't seen that before
  49. OMG. Summer, if you look at previous posts on this subject of full frame versus crop the discussion usually always degenerates into the same sometimes hostile discussion. I have used somewhere over 12 Canon bodies and I don't know how many lenses both film and digital for quite some time and in my own business. I also used Bronica Medium format bodies for a long time to do weddings and in overseas travel. I think there are distinctions without a real difference in product for most uses between the two formats formats on the 5D and 7D. I think that what I did in weddings and for a newspaper that either of these bodies would work just fine. Just hand me the camera and I will go do the job. I have, for a number of years shot very large swimming meets with a 5D. I think the 7D would do a better job for this purpose. However, the 5D is the best camera I own for the job. It works and I continually produce an acceptable and usable product. I own the 5D because almost fifteen years ago I locked myself into Canon L lenses and full frame bodies. IMO the L lenses work better on a full frame. If I owned a 7D I would use EF-S lenses. I think you will do well with either camera.
    Just another thought. I used a Canon XTi for several years as a backup. This past November I traded the XTi and lenses for a Sony NEX 5n. It is a third the size of a DSLR but Sony makes the sensors for Nikon and it is the same 1.5 crop sensor as some Nikon DSLRS. The pictures it makes are significantly better than the XTi and make very nice 19x13 prints and match the 5D in normal size printing and the web. There are slow lens limitations with the Sony but the mirrorless design allows for a significant expansion of software capabiltiy that leads, IMO, in expansion of camera capability. I think there may be a significant changes in the next generation of Canon cameras also. I do not know what direction that will take, however. I think, and this is just my opinion there is a significant change already on-going with more on the way with a major rush to these smaller cameras. So I have dual systems as I have three lenses for the Sony but now one of them is not Canon, I am somewhat sad to say.
    I don't think you can make a bad decision. I do not like the LCD on my 5D as it is small and I can't see it in bright light. There is a mirror mod that Canon makes for free and if you buy the 5D it should be done as some mirrors without it have come loose. You can tell the mod by observing black vertical metal retainers on each side of the mirror. I like the 5D viewfinder. The AF works. I use centerpoint usually. The camera works well for swimming at 3200 ISO and the pictures look good on the web. Handle the cameras. They are both good decisions. I don't know how long Canon will continue to support the 5D. I don't think you will be able to tell the difference between pictures between the two cameras for any normal usage up to maybe 16x20. IMO the best camera for the job is the one you own. I agree with Nadine. I also think that when you are in business the best can be the enemy of the good. The object is the picture and both will do a much better job than what I had when I started doing weddings fifteen years ago.
  50. Dick Arnold, an otherwise good post that was marred by a puzzling statement...
    IMO the L lenses work better on a full frame. If I owned a 7D I would use EF-S lenses.​
    I own a Canon cropped body and a 35mm canon SLR (full frame obviously). I have never owned an EF-S and my Canon primes and L lens work fine on both bodies. Sure the 10-22mm EF-S would be wider than the 17-40mm L on the cropped body but I get along fine with the 17-40mm L. One the long end the lenses are even longer on the cropped body. So you take a hit on the wide end and get a bonus on the long end.
    I also used Bronica Medium format bodies for a long time to do weddings and in overseas travel.​
    This is an interesting statement. I too own a full Bronica setup. I thought the debate about DOF in this thread was appropriate. As a medium format shooter I would caution anyone to be mindful of DOF when making sensor size selection. As another poster stated I am often fighting against narrow depth of field when I am shooting. I love slow low grain emulsions and fast primes. I can't tell you how many images I have ruined because I used f2.8 on a medium format camera with a normal lens (ie 35mm 50mm equivalent). I'm not sure how some people shoot but I just keep grabbing primes out of my bag until I get one that gives me the field of view I want on a particular camera. Sometimes I'm going through this exercise with three different cameras with three different sensor/film sizes and three different ISOs. Invariably on the camera with the larger sensor/film I will end up with a narrower depth of field. The actual technical physics reason why is largely irrelevant. I just know it will happen and if I want to avoid it I use the cropped sensor camera. I do appreciate someone giving the real reason behind the phenomenon but after you explain bring the discussion back to the practical. If you are shooting landscapes or children running around extra DOF is a boon.
    By the way another reason to give serious consideration to the DOF gain of a cropped sensor is DOF control on Canon cameras is atrocious. It is way simpler and faster to do it on a fully manual Bronica camera from the 80's. Honestly how many people use hyperfocal on Canon bodies?
    I think there are distinctions without a real difference in product for most uses between the two formats formats on the 5D and 7D.​
    Again except HD video. I keep saying this OP. Please check out the video capabilities of the 7D, 60D and 600D. I think as a mother you will truly appreciate this feature.
    Anyway if in the end you decide you simply must have a full frame Canon then by all means get the 5D. The point is to be happy and as Dick Arnold said you should be able to take fantastic pictures with either camera.
  51. James. The 17-40 and the 24-105 L lenses serve me much better at their true wide angles than they would on a crop body. I do a lot of wide angle shooting. You are absolutely right about longer L lenses. They work better at crop lengths like the 7D as I alluded to when I stated that the 7D would be better shooting swimming. I agree about the video. I have it on the NEX but have not used it much yet. I did weddings with the Bronicas and my lenses were 2.8. I only used two most of the time; 50 and 75 mm. You are absolutely right about short depth of field which was good for weddings but is a problem when I shoot swimming at 2.8. Head in focus and feet blurred sometimes.
  52. Sarah, very good article. I'm glad I found it!
  53. I use both cameras for pleasure and business. I love the feel of the 7D solid, rugged, but right now it's in the shop being analyzed for various issues. When it was working I would rather carry it, than my 5Dc which is very slow and bulky in certain situations.
    However, if you put the 5Dc in Continuous Shooting Mode it can perform adequately enough. What I love about the 5D is what other people love about it. Full Frame, better depth, simpler functions, relatively rugged, looks great with a grip, no complicated lens conversions, you can crop to hearts delight.
    For sports, birding and even for weddings the 5Dc just does not cut it. I know allot of people might say the 5D is a great for weddings. Sure it is, when everybody is standing or sitting still then it shines.
    But when people are flying down the isles and you want to capture that, the "plunk, plunk..., plunk" of the 5D, does not match or even come close to the "rat-tat-tat "of the 7D and some of the Nikon Cameras.
    As far as looking into the 60D, I would rather plunk down my money on the very underated 50D which is made of metal rather than plastic and has a very good IQ.
  54. On the question of ef-s lenses compared to ef, from the
    MTF charts the EF-s lenses tend to be as good or slightly
    better in the centre than the ef lenses, but the reverse is the
    case in the edges and corners, this is just a function of the
    designed image circle. I wouldn't get too hung up on
    theoretical sharpness however.
    The other thing is how you want your lenses split, I use a
    10-22 and 24-105 on the 7D and find this a very convenient
    system although others would claim they hate it.
    It is true that a larger format gives slightly less dof given the
    same AOV, partly due to the longer focal length and partly
    the difference in appropriate Circle of confussion size.
    However, less dof can be a boon or a curse depending on
    the situation. Any difference can mostly likely be overcome
    with a faster lens on the smaller format.
    The main reasons for full frame are better noise
    performance and tone smoothness and same generation
    cameras. This is probably only signifficant if you plan to
    print larger that A3+.
  55. Oh - and you can apologise any time you like for effectively calling me a liar.​
    Keith, your point about DOF and sensor size is well taken, and I apologize for the excessive stridency of my remarks.
    But I don't apologize for calling you a liar, because I didn't call you a liar. Lying imples intention, and I did not claim that you intended to mislead your interlocutor. Did you intend to bully him? Most decidedly yes. But you didn't intend to mislead him.
    I don't have any problem calling out bullies, and I'm sorry to say, Keith, that you are a bully. I'm also sorry that the subtle nuances of the English language seem to escape you. Perhaps bullying and ignorance go hand in hand.
  56. Suppose you have $20k and you want to buy a vehicle. Do you buy a 10-year-old used landrover with a V8, or do you buy a sporty brand spankin' new 4-cylinder sedan?
    5D - you get the full-frame sensor. It will allow for shallower dof, despite the obfuscation in this thread.
    7D - you get better AF, weather sealing, video, live-view, AF micro-adjust, sensor cleaner, big LCD, a few more megapixels, pop-up flash (for what it's worth), and a few more bells and whistles. And, you get a warranty. And it takes both EF and AF-S lenses.
    The overall "image quality" is roughly the same. No matter which you choose, you're not going to be disappointed. Both are awesome cameras.
    However I do want to steer you away from buying a 7D and EF lenses only, with the idea that you'll upgrade to FF some day. I say: pick a format and commit to it. Don't struggle with full-frame utrawides as a standard zoom for a crop camera. It's a poor compromise, and IMO the worst choice out of the bunch.
  57. Wow, lots of interesting comments mixed in with some silly bickering. :) Thank you all once again for all of your feedback - love the discussion and I appreciate the many points brought up that I hadn't thought of.
    Arie - I'm inclined to agree with you because what you say seems to be consistent with what others say - 7D w/ certain EF-S lenses seems to be highly recommended. I guess whichever format I choose, I should commit to it and get the best lenses for that format.
    Regarding the comments on video - I have no doubt that the 7D would produce some amazing video (the samples on the web are impressive), but I think my current video equipment is adequate for my needs (taking video of my kid etc.) I'm really looking for something to take great stills with.
    Dick - thanks for the reminder / heads up on the mirror mod on the 5D! Very useful.
    I appreciate Yakim's argument and his sample photos (thanks for the cartoon btw! funny). However at this point I'm feeling more aligned with Nadine, Keith, and others who love their 5Ds. I have a feeling I'm going to still want FF in the long run and I'd rather start with an affordable FF box to begin with and take advantage of the savings by getting some good glass - primes to start with. I don't get the impression there is a right or wrong here, just personal preference. If my hobby goes far maybe someday I'll get something that has both the FF format AND the bells/whistles. Or maybe I'll realize that I want the cropped format after all as some have suggested. :) Anyway I'm still reading your thoughts so feel free to continue the discussion; it's all relevant to me until I actually make the purchase anyway. Hope you're all enjoying your weekends!
  58. As I said in my first post, there is no single right answer for all and if you feel the 5D is for you - Go for it. It has great IQ at a very affordable price.
    That said, the 5D lacks two things which I consider essential in a DSLR: Anti dust system and LV. My first DSLR was the 1D which lacked them and when I moved to the 40D I swore I'll never buy a camera without them. For me it is like AC in a car when you live in a country with a hot climate. Does it have anything to do with the car's dynamic abilities or safety characteristics? Absolutely not. Would I buy one without it? No way.
    BTW, I do live in a country with a hot climate. :)
    Happy shooting,
  59. Interesting! How much of a concern is dust on the sensor on a 5D?
  60. Summer. With me, I don't have a problem. I use a squeeze type bulb blower while never touching the sensor to blow off loose dust and particles. I have never cleaned the sensor with liquids and my 5D performs fine. I occasionally but not very often pick up spots on my pictures that need attention. I am careful(most of the time) to keep the sensor pointed down while changing lenses and not to do it in dusty environments. It is however something you should take into consideration as I think senor cleaning mechanisms are effective in the new bodies. These mechanisms do not guarantee clean sensors as there are deposits that defy shaking and require liquid cleaning whether the camera has a cleaning system or not.
  61. Much has been written about the DOF difference between crop and full frame, and whether it actually exists or not. I don't want to write more, I'll just present an example. The subject is my cat, who was kind enough to pose inspecting the tip of a light stand. The background is some trees and a chain-link fence.
    Lens for both photos was 70-200 f/2.8, mounted on a tripod with a collar. The lens and subject did not move between these photos. Both photos were shot at f/2.8. The cameras were a 5D and a 30D. EXIF is intact.
    5D at 200mm:
    30D, to preserve framing, was zoomed back to 125mm:
  62. How much of a concern is dust on the sensor on a 5D?​
    I used to clean my 1D sensor once or twice a week. I hardly used my 5D so it was about once a month. With my 40D and 7D it's about once a year. How much it's an issue to the specific photographer is of course very personal.
    Happy shooting,
  63. Cleaning the sensor for dust is somewhat dependent upon the climate where you live. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and I have never wet cleaned my 5D sensor. I use the bulb blower method plus a Sensor Pen when necessary. The 5D is known to be a dust catcher. However, I shoot weddings every weekend (almost) and check the sensor weekly. I may clean it about every 2 weeks. I change lenses fairly often. Dust will not show up on the sensor in photos, unless you are using f8 or smaller apertures. If you routinely use f5.6 and larger apertures, you'll pretty much never see dust except for huge pieces.
    Mind you, by 'cleaning', I mean checking, and then using the Sensor Pen and blower bulb, not wet cleaning.
    I own a 40D, which I also use for weddings. It has a cleaning cycle and that's nice. I use the built in cleaning cycle and perhaps the Sensor Pen every month or so.
    In any case, I hardly think cleaning a sensor is high on any priority list--certainly not over image IQ, anyway.
  64. I live in SE Georgia, so it's not exactly dusty here, and I wet cleaned my sensor twice in the time I used 5Ds, despite using the cameras in a variety of outdoor environments (from the beach, to swamps, to on top of bridges) professionally. The vast majority of the time, a blower was all that was needed, and, I did that perhaps once every couple of months.
    I frequently hear the 'dust vacuum' complaint, but I found that either it 'wasn't that bad' or I wasn't neurotic enough to have a conniption fit over every last speck. Frankly though, for a hobbyist, I doubt that even the worst environment, and worst lenses (cheap zooms) would so terribly impact your shooting. Worst case it becomes a regular maintenance issue.
    To me, the more important difference is addressed by the pic of the cat (an excellent illustration of the DOF difference). Notice that while there isn't a huge diff. in the trees (though def. noticeable - esp. the building, on the verge of being distracting in the crop picture, despite the distance from the focal plane), the DOF from the crop sensor unit keeps the entire cat in moderate focus, whereas the 5D's shallower DOF isolates just the cat's head. Having the ability to do that is a critical reason to shoot FF, and one of the primary reasons I chose to. For portraiture in particular, that kind of difference is hugely important. It's not to say that you can't produce excellent portraits w/ a crop sensor camera, it's just that the physics limit your capabilities.
  65. thanks again for the feedback. The cat photo samples are really interesting - from a portrait perspective i definitely like the 5d sample better.
    with regards to the dust, i don't live in an excessively dusty environment so i guess proper / routine maintenance should do the trick on a 5D without too much hassle.
  66. Both the cameras are good. There are different advantages of corp sensor ( APS C ) over FF Sensor specially when you are using low quality lenses as their quality deteriorate at corner of the image. (read this http://adrienchan.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/the-advantages-of-a-crop-sensor-dslr-over-a-full-frame-dslr/ ) I am an amateur photographer and using 7D. I love its AF and customizable buttons.
  67. Just yesterday I edited through a submission of photographs on homeless. The pictures were shot by a top photojournalist who shot with two 5D cameras plus 24, 50 & 85 (all L). The image quality was superb and the photographs excellent. It would be difficult to duplicate the look of those pictures with a crop-sensor camera since most were shot wide open. The quality of the raw images (what I was editing) was fine and there were certainly no issues. (I shoot with 5D2 + 7D, fyi). I think you should go for the 5D.
  68. Thought I'd chime in since I bought the original 5d recently and also own the T2i (550d) which image-wise is very similar to the 7d. I will speak on image quality since the 5d and 7d bodies and functioning are very similar, save for the 7d's speed and LCD. As far as color goes, the 7d may be able to generate images a bit more striking and bold...but the 5d will deliver more natural-looking photos, similar to 35mm film than a crop body. The DOF difference will be subtle, but there the 5d wins a bit. With 50mm and telephoto lenses you'll see a nice shallower more natural looking image than with a crop body. Most would probably agree though that either of these cameras paired with a nice prime would be better than the other with a consumer zoom, so make sure you are using decent lenses.
    One important note - The 5d's subtle full frame qualities will be lost if all your photos are only published online. No one can see much difference in the images on their computer...if you plan on doing big prints, that's when you'll see the 5d's full frame benefits.
    If you compare the two cameras in person, you'd probably pick the 7d. The LCD will blow your mind hole. The video feature may come in handy, making it a better value than the 5d. Also, it is true that dust is really bad on the 5d...i have to clean mine all the time.
    Wide-angle lenses will be more affordable to attain for the 5d, and really the only wide-angle lenses for the 7d are zooms which will not deliver images as good as primes.
    hope this and the hundred other comments helps!
  69. I will speak on image quality since the 5d and 7d bodies and functioning are very similar, save for the 7d's speed and LCD.​
    I can not agree with this statement. Apart from what mentioned above the 7D has truckloads more features, better BQ, better AF, more buttons (better ergonomics), video.... you name it. Very little is similar IMHO.
    Wide-angle lenses will be more affordable to attain for the 5d, and really the only wide-angle lenses for the 7d are zooms which will not deliver images as good as primes.​
    The 10-22 is actually better than the 17-40 and 16-35/2.8 Mk I. The good primes (Canon's 17/4 and 24/3.5 II and Zeiss 21/2.8) are far from cheap.
    Happy shooting,
  70. "The 10-22 is actually better than the 17-40 and 16-35/2.8 Mk I. The good primes (Canon's 17/4 and 24/3.5 II and Zeiss 21/2.8) are far from cheap."
    Oh really!
    I owned crop sensored 550D, tried 10-22mm Canon, and 10-20mm Sigma, both have severe distortion and the image quality is far from good. I sold it, and now I own the 5D with 17-40mm, it's way better combo for shooting landscape. And for more money you can get the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 or Tokina 16-28mm 2.8, both are outstanding lenses to shoot landscape. Bottom line is that IQ and low light noise wise there isn't a dslr with crop sensor (maybe Nikon D7000/D5100), can even match that of the 5D I.
    I am not gonna deny 7D is a far superior camera overall compare to 5D, it has all the advanced Canon technology except for its sensor, the Canon APS-C sensors are light years behind the ones from Nikon. The AF system from 5D I and 5D II are just pure crap (even low end Canon and Nikon dslr have similar or better AF system), and the LCD from 5D I is far below average.
    The important thing is that 5D and 7D are for different purposes, with the fast AF system and 8 FPs, 7D is more of a sports/wildlife/general purpose camera; but the superior IQ of 5D allows it for portrait/wedding/studio/landscape shots.
    Lastly, the fast wide angle primes are expensive, but you get what paid for, the Canon 24mm 1.4 and 14mm 2.8 are for specialized uses. Don't be get angry and start making things up just because you can't afford them.
  71. Yes really!
    Why do you doubt that if you had some experience with a certain lenses then everybody else must have the same experience as well? Simple things like different experience, different usage and copy variation could all play a part here.
    You want details? Here are they:
    When I switched from 1D to 40D I started looking at EF-S lenses. First I traded my 17-40 for 10-22. While testing (before trading) I noticed that the 10-22 was slightly sharper at the corners and had better flare resistance. The sharpness difference was not big but the flare resistance was. I wanted a wider lens (which was my driving force behind the whole idea of the trade), I got it and got a better IQ as a bonus. No brainer.
    Later I tried a friend's 16-35/2.8 Mk I. Same story. The 10-22 was again slightly sharper at the corners and better flare resistance.
    Distortion figures on all three were similar and negligible (remember, all were used on 40D). I could fix it in PP but I never felt the need.
    Please note that I'm not trying to say the 17-40 and 16-35 Mk I are bad lenses. Far from it. All I'm saying that when trying out these copies the 10-22 came out superior. I had the 17-40 for 2 years on my 1D and a few months on my 40D and it performed very well. I have the 10-22 for 5 years now (40D and 7D) and it performs extremely well. In fact, at times I feel sad that I don't shoot a lot of landscapes to use it more.
    BTW, the flare resistance issue was very important for me as I live in a very sunny country and the wider the angle, the more difficult it is to avoid the flare without significantly changing the composition and framing.
    Happy shooting,
  72. Quick update to those of you that are interested. Wound up going with the 5D and it's on its way to me. Couldn't get past how awesome the photos that I took are on the one that I tried out - I just had to go full frame, despite Yakim's persuasive argument. Tough choice, but I went with the camera whose photos I liked when I tried out - and despite the lack of bells and whistles on this one, I'm hoping that in the long run that will make me into a better photographer.
    Anakin: I directly compared the photos from the 5D i used to the Nikon crop sensor cameras you mention, and I think the the 5D blows them away. Plus I like the handling / controls on Canon cameras so much more. I'm surprised by your comment that even the 5D II's AF system is lacking - didn't realize that. it does appear though that the 7D's af is great. why do you say that canon's apc s sensors are light years behind Nikon?

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