Sell my 7D to fund a 5D Mark III or keep it and buy a 6D?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by michael_h|4, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. I consider myself a serious hobbyist, and this is the year I'm stepping up to full frame. I've been loving my 7D for nearly three years ever since I gave up my 20-year Nikon habit. Specifically, I love the fast frame rate (8FPS) for shooting wildlife and the many AF points. Those are both things that the 6D lacks. I also have a decent investment in high performance/high capacity CF cards. So I've decided that the only way I'd buy a 6D is if I were going to keep the 7D as my action/telephoto camera.


    For roughly the same amount of money, I could sell the 7D and step up to the 5D Mark III. I really like the build quality of the Mark III: The LCD is beautiful compared to the 6D. It has 6FPS and many more AF points-- essentially giving it all of the wildlife action capability of my 7D.


    Neither camera is going to make me a better photographer. The question is: Would you rather have two excellent camera bodies that serve different purposes or one absolutely awesome one that can do everything well? I'm especially interested in hearing from 7D owners and former 7D owners who have stepped up to one or both of these full frame cameras.
     
  2. I own the 7D and the 5D MkIII and previously owned the 5D MkII. The AF of the MkIII is so much more accurate and consistent than my 7D that my keeper rate for birds and wildlife tripled. I now shoot with my 500/f4 on the MkIII and a 70-200mm on my 7D. The 8-fps is nice, but your accuracy with the MkIII will be so much better that you won't miss it.
    The 6D looks like a really good deal for landscape, low light, portrait and most other uses, but for wildlife, I think that the 5D MkIII will trump it.
    It's nice to work with two bodies, but if I were budget limited and knowing what I know, I'd go with the 5D MkIII as my only body.
     
  3. I used a 7D with a 5D II, and was considering getting rid of both and getting a 5D III. In the end I decided to go down the two bodies route with the 7D and 6D for the following reasons: first and foremost, because the 6D is smaller and lighter, which suits me better, and also the WiFi and GPS are really useful to me; but also because the higher frame rate of the 7D is usual for me, and the extra reach of the crop sensor.
     
  4. Unless I was working professionally and needed a spare, I would rather have one body and put the bulk of my available money into lenses.
     
  5. I don't understand the question. You want to "step up" to full frame for what purpose? If you want full frame for something specific any of the FF bodies, 5D, 5DII, 6D, 5DIII will do it, but you'll lose the extra "reach" if you sell the 7D. In actuality you won't... you'll just crop your FF shots to get the same images you were already getting with the 7D. You will get fewer FPS so I can't see how a 5DIII is even possible for what you like to shoot.
    If you want FF then a 5DII or 6D makes way more sense if you get to keep your 7D. The 5DIII is a great camera but it won't replace a 7D for the reasons you already elucidated.
     
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “Would you rather have two excellent camera bodies that serve different purposes or one absolutely awesome one that can do everything well?”​
    I would rather have two excellent camera bodies which serve different purposes: however, to make that kit efficient, one must tailor the Lens Cache to optimally suit.
    What lenses do you have?
    WW
     
  7. I have both the Mark II and the 7D but only shoot birds with the 7D due to the extra length I get, which on my 100 - 400 L lens is significant. I see no reason to use full frame and lose the extra length as I shoot mostly wild life and birds. Full frame as on the Mark II I use for portrait and wide angle and landscapes.
     
  8. Crop-sensors DO NOT increase focal length, they merely change the field of view to a narrower angle. It's the same as taking a full-frame image and cropping it. "Reach" is not increase by using a crop-sensor.
    Pixel-density can change the number of pixels on a final cropped image in a focal length limited situation, usually yielding higher detail resolutions, but at the expense of noise (particularly in the case of the 7D). There are many, many crop sensor cameras with less resolution than any of the 5D and the 6D.
    As for two-bodies vs. one, I like two when I'm shooting sports or wildlife because I can very quickly go from 700mm down to 70mm without delay. For travel photography, portraits or shooting scenics, I just carry one body, the 5D MkIII.
     
  9. That was my thought as well. By all repute, the 5D3's AF is significantly better than the 7D's, but if your 7D is serving well currently, than you'll be hard pressed to see any benefit to it's use (like buying a Porsche to drive 55mph in the slow lane - which a hyundai accent is perfectly capable of doing).
    However, your lens selection is of critical consideration to help answer this question for you. If, for example, you have a 100-400, but rarely find yourself at it's long end, then a sole 5d3 may be an ideal camera for you. OTOH, if you have a 70-200 and are constantly at 200mm, then you may be served better by a 6D + your 7D. IDK, you tell us.
     
  10. You're part right, David - of course it doesn't change the focal length, but narrowing the angle of view IS increasing the reach by definition.
     
  11. 97 times out of a hundred I'd say get a 5D Mark II or a 6D but in this case, with your requirements, I would save up a little longer and get the 5D Mark III to supplement the 7D. I don't think you will be satisfied with anything less. Good luck!
     
  12. For wildlife, you already have a very good DSLR, with the 7D. I see no advantage in going full frame in this regard.
     
  13. For wildlife, you already have a very good DSLR, with the 7D. I see no advantage in going full frame in this regard.
     
  14. As a widlife photographer if you opt for the 5D3 option then you need to decide if the loss of reach will be important to you, and if so, how this will be ameliorated. Will a cropped 5D3 image suffice? Can you crank out the zoom a little more or will you need to by a new 600mm lens? The difference in imaging between the 6D and 5D3 seems small so I think the decision lies between the effects on your images of tossing the 7D and the superior AF of the 5D3.
    If you are keen on wildlife I would go the 7D+6D way, if wildlife is only a small part of your photography I would go the 5D3.
     
  15. I have a 7D and a 5DIII. They serve very different purposes for me. I wouldn't want to give up this two format kit. So, here's a thought - why not get a 6D and try it? If it works for you, you're done. My wife has the 6D and loves it. If you're not satisfied, sell both and get the 5DIII.
     
  16. You're part right, David - of course it doesn't change the focal length, but narrowing the angle of view IS increasing the reach by definition.​
    No it does not. A 20D/30D has no more reach than a 5DII/5DIII/6D/1DsIII because the pixel density is the same (for all practical purposes). If you want more reach, then you need a 50D or, better, one of the 18Mpixel bodies such as the 7D. Yes, the extra reach then comes at a price in terms of higher noise, and whether that is a good tradeoff depends on circumstances.
    The forthcoming availability of f/8 phase-detect AF on the 5DIII adds a further option to the mix by allowing an Extender 1.4× to be used with the 100~400, giving almost exactly the same reach as a 7D+100~400 without the Extender. Presumably that option will not be available with the 6D – there has been no suggestion that its AF system would be upgradeable in the same way as the 5DIII and 1DX.
    Like Mark, I have a dual-format kit, now 5DIII+7D, but I am open to the possibility that the extra capabilities of the 5DIII may make the 7D less useful than it was with the 5DII. Then again, I recognise the attraction of built-in wi-fi and GPS on the 6D – it is a pity that Eye-Fi use on the 5DIII does not allow remote control of the camera.
     
  17. No it does not. A 20D/30D has no more reach than a 5DII/5DIII/6D/1DsIII because the pixel density is the same (for all practical purposes). If you want more reach, then you need a 50D or, better, one of the 18Mpixel bodies such as the 7D.​
    By inference, I think you're also saying a 5DIII would give you more reach than a 5D. Correct? While I see your point, somewhat, I don't think that's what most people mean by "more reach." "Reach," to most people, including me, is a reference to the minimum angle of view that fills the frame.
    Yes, the extra reach then comes at a price in terms of higher noise, and whether that is a good tradeoff depends on circumstances.​
    And THAT is another bubbling point of controversy, depending on whether you're talking about noise at the pixel level or noise at the image level! Many people would disagree with you.
    I think at some point we just have to cut each other some slack and resolve to understand and acknowledge what others mean, without reference to how they say it.
     
  18. A camera/lens combination has more "reach" if the final image puts more pixels on the subject rendered at the same size. Crop-factor has nothing to do with reach, but pixel-pitch does. Pixel-pitch is the density of the pixels on the sensor. If you take a full-frame body and a crop-sensor body with the same pixel pitch, they'll have the same "reach." To make the final imag of the FF camera the same as the crop-sensor camera, you'll crop the original image and end up with the same number of pixels on the subject and the same resolution of detail. There's no controversy here, that's the science.
    The Canon 7D is a camera that has a higher pixel-density than either the 5D MkII or MkIII. I've owned all three and in most situations (even when I expose to the right, which I do almost all the time) the 5Ds seem to have around a stop more dynamic range before noise starts to become and issue. DxO Mark shows these differences and I see it in my images. Our sensitivities to noise vary, with some, like me, really bothered by chromenance noise and others could care less. When I shoot at ISO 1600, I'd much rather work with my 5D MkIII files than my 7D files. I find that my efforts to apply NR to my 7D images reduces detail such that I try to compromise and leave a little noise to preserve the detail. With a 5D MkIII file at ISO 1600, even after cropping to the 1.6 crop of the 7D, I end up with more detail at lower noise. YMMV.
    Here's a great review of the 1DX that compares the IQ to the 1D MkIV. I prefer the 1DX at all ISOs, but the differences get very dramatic at higher ISOs. http://arihazeghiphotography.com/blog/eos-1dx-field-review-and-impressions/ Not only is the 1DX full-frame, but the 1D MkIV has considerably higher pixel-density. The sensors are a generation apart and the DX has much more processing power, but the point is, the DX's "reach" is at least as good as the MkIV's and better in many circumstances if you look at the final IQ.
     
  19. Paulo Bizarro, Jan 16, 2013; 04:57 a.m. said:
    For wildlife, you already have a very good DSLR, with the 7D. I see no advantage in going full frame in this regard.​
    I own both. The reason to go with the 5D MkIII over the 7D is that its AF system literally blows the 7D into the weeds. Your keeper rate will triple with this upgrade. The AF system is more accurate, more consistent and more flexible. Going to 6-fps from 8-fps, I thought I'd miss the extra speed, but the accuracy more than makes up for the slower fps.
     
  20. The 7D sensor is 22.3x14.9mm, or 332.27mm². The 5DMkIII sensor is 36x24mm, or 864mm². Thus the 7D sensor is about 38.5% of the surface area of the 5DMkIII sensor. So to get the same field of view as the 7D you would have to crop down to 38.5% of the image captured by the 5D MkIII. 38.5% of 22.3 megapixels is about 8.5 megapixels. So an 18mp image taken with a 7D is an 8.5mp image when using a 5DMkIII and cropping. Put that way, it is a significant resolution difference - I'd say more significant than the difference in noise up to at least ISO1600. That is why saying a crop sensor (newer crop sensors with respectable mp counts) has "more reach" is valid, though technically inaccurate.
     
  21. I own a 7D and a 5D original. I go for the 5D for portraits and where I need wide angle. I use the 7D for wildlife, macro and things like the International Space Station.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/16349812&size=lg
    I enjoy having both. In your case a 6D would be the wiser option, I think.
    As others have said, lenses are a better investment than bodies.
     
  22. James, you're saying that lower pixel-pitch and higher pixel-density adds reach, whic is what I said. Crop sensors, per se, don't add "reach", they merely change the field of view.
    Compare actual finished (cropped) results between the 7D, the 5D3 and the 1DX (even high pixel-pitch) and in real world nature and bird shooting, particularly birds in flight, and the 7D doesn't come close. AF and high-ISO performance trump any pixel-pitch advantage in the real world of shooting birds, at least in my experience.
    Not that I won't buy the 7D MkII. If it gets a vast improvement in AF performance and a little help in high-ISO performance, it'll be a killer body for bird photography.
     
  23. As others have said, lenses are a better investment than bodies.​
    Yes, "others have said" it. Again and again. How about throwing in... "the best camera is the one that's with you" and "it's the photographer not the camera."

    All of this is true, but I posted a question about one body vs. another (and got plenty of valuable answers that I appreciate). I've spent plenty of money on glass. My three go-to lenses are my 17-40 4.0 L, my 50 1.4 USM, and my 100-400 4.5-5.6 L. I recently added the 100 2.8L macro which I love for portraits and beginner macro.

    Bodies may be less significant than lenses or skill, but they are a necessity nevertheless. I have borrowed a 5D Mark II enough times to know that full frame can make a major difference in the results I can get with my existing lenses. I appreciate all of the insights about the pros and cons of each of the two options I'm weighing.
     
  24. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    If most of your photography is day trips from home you can arguably get by with one body. If you're spending a heap of time and money travelling to far-flung places, it makes sense to carry two bodies that will fit your lenses and cards. Even if body 2 scarcely ever leaves your hotel room and is not as capable as your main camera.
     
  25. isn't this a bit of a fantasy, a 3 yo 7d? For roughly the same amount of money[​IMG], I could sell the 7D and step up to the 5D Mark III.
     
  26. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If those four lenses you mentioned are the answer to my question, then that lens kit would be quite a nice base to consider adding a 6D or 5DMkIII, as a partner to your 7D.
    I can envisage a lot of natural pairs for travelling around with two bodies.
    For example: the 17 to 40/4 and 100/2.8; the 50/1.4 and 100/2.8 and the 17 to 40/4 and 50/1.4.
    Personally I would also like to add something wide and fast – and I have a passion for the 24/1.4 – but that’s just me.
    WW
     
  27. Most of the replies to your query only discuss what you might do with either just the 5DIII or with a 5DII and 7D. I think a major advantage of having two bodies is insurance: when we were last in Europe we had a camera stolen. Fortunately, we had two, and as I always back up every night we only lost that day's images as well as the camera itself.
    If you're taking wildlife photos you're presumably going of the beaten track from time to time. You'll never drop a camera? You'll never have one which stops working for one reason or another?
    If this was my choice, I'd keep the 7D and save a little longer and supplement it with the 5DIII - the best of both worlds :)
     

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