Should I buy a Canon 5D or a Nikon D7000?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnny_m|1, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Which would you buy today if you were not invested in either system. I have a chance at either coming up and I am leaning towards full frame, but it is an older camera, so I'm not sure. Portraits is my main aim with the camera I end up buying.
  2. For my $, probably the Nikon. A 5D today will likely have some mileage on it vs. a brand new, under warranty D7000. Have you handled these cameras? the ergonomics on one vs. the other may 'speak' to you.
    Both cameras are very capable. Lens selection could be a differentiator--what lenses would you pair with each?
    The D7000 is a bit more feature-rich including built-in flash, video, high-res rear LCD, live view. If you're planning on using TTL flash, Nikon's CLS is perhaps a little better-regarded.
  3. The 5D is still a good camera, even now, but what are you going to stick in the front of it? The lens is really as important as the camera and IMHO Canon's glassware is lagging behind these days on a price-for-price basis.
    The other thing to weigh up is that full-frame gives you more control over depth-of-field, which may or may not be important to you. Personally I think it's extremely important to be able to easily control the amount of blurring of the background, especially for portraits, but confirmed DX users will doubtless argue otherwise.
  4. I was going to get a Sigma 50 1.4 or the Canon 50 1.4 (possible the 85 1.8). I'd put the the Sigma on the D7k as well. I have handled the D7000 and the 5D Mark II, but not the Mark I.
  5. I was going to get a Sigma 50 1.4 or the Canon 50 1.4 (possible the 85 1.8).​
    That make's it a little easier... the Canon 50mm f/1.4 isn't a great lens (the Sigma is a winner though). That said, the 50mm on a cropped sensor camera is more of a portrait lens than it would be on a full frame camera.The 85mm would be the better choice on a full frame camera as the 50mm would be a bit short.
    That said, asking this on a Nikon forum will give you a Nikon bias. Ask on the Canon forum and you will get a Canon bias. In every imaginable regard except one, the Nikon D7000 is a better camera: build, ergonomics (by way of controls on the camera body instead of menu driven), better sensor (DxO labs), /much/ better AF system (though for portraits alone I am not sure that is a make or break deal), better metering and list really goes on and on. However, the one regard in which the 5D will have an edge: bokeh. A full frame camera will throw the background more out-of-focus than a DX sensor camera. This is generally desirable in portrait photography. Choose wisely.
    I shot Canon for 8-years, switched to Nikon in 2008 and can't fathom going back. I much prefer Nikon.
  6. The display on the 5D (MKI) is horrible - colors are terrible. It is good only for checking composition and highlights. Take a look at it before you consider one. While the camera may be an older model, the picture quality is still superb.
    If the size of the viewfinder is relevant and you prefer a large one, go with the Canon. Otherwise the D7000 is possibly a better choice. I used the 5D for two years and the Mark II for one. I found its AF system (if you use only the center point) fast [enough for sports] and extremely accurate.
  7. I don't like the way the Canons handle in my hands, so I'd stick with a Nikon... but that's me.
    The 5D is also pretty old technology at this point.
  8. The classic FF focal length for portraits are 85 to 105 for head and shoulder, and 135 or more for head shoots. You have clearly more prime lens options when going FF.
    50 mm on D7000 is a little short and 85mm on the long side. A fairly good option with D7000 is to go with the 24-70 2,8 or as a cheaper alternative Tamron 28-75 2,8. A battery grip make the set more balanced, especially with the Nikkor lens.
  9. @John Why did you switch?
  10. @Bengt What about the Sigma 30 1.4 on cropped?
  11. disclaimer: you may not get too many pro-Canon opinions on this forum.
    the 5D was a good camera in its day, but 3fps would be way too slow for what i shoot. if i wasn't invested at all in nikon, i'd look at the 5d mkII, but you'd be getting a worse AF system than the d7000, plus the price tag wouldn't leave as much left over for lenses.
    i think one can easily make a strong case for the d7000 as a portrait shooter and all-around camera.
    as for lenses, i have the sigma 50/1.4, but i don't really like 50 on DX for portraits (too short). i'd consider the tamron 28-75 and sigma 50-150 as "DX portrait zooms," and the 58/1.4 voitglander or tamron 60/2 macro as "DX portrait primes." also, the 35/1.8 and sigma 30/1.4 are good for slightly wider portraits on DX, with the 30 having better out-of-focus background renditions and slightly more sharpness. the 24-70 is also good on DX for portraiture, but for the price you could get the 28-75, the 50-150, and the 35. if you're not shooting events, the 24-70 might be overkill to some degree.
  12. Johnny, I have the Sigma 30/1,4 and like it a lot. Very sharp even at 1,7 and it have a very pleasing bokhé. Its good for portraiture when you want to show the enviroment as well. Obviously, you have a short object distance and some people will not feel comfortable with that.
  13. You're asking a Nikon forum if they prefer Nikon or Cannon. I think that your results may be skewed just a tad
    Anywho, I vote the Nikon D7000. It is a fine camera.
  14. Skewed? Well, I own a D3, 5D II, and D90. I own a lot more Nikon gear than Canon, and I'd say, if you're comfortable with manual focus (and that's a big, honking "if")...
    • Canon 5D
    • Katz Eye split image screen
    • Nikon 105mm f2.5 Ai-S (about $150 on the used market), with Canon adapter. This will probably be the lens you use the most, depending on how "traditional" you are).
    • Samyang (aka Vivitar, Polaris, and one or two others) 85mm f1.4, with Canon adapter. A classic "short portrait" good for waist-up shots and couples.
    • Nikon 50mm f1.2 Ai-S or Voigtlander 40mm f2.0 for environmental shots.
    • Canon or Nikon 180mm f2.8 for something longer, tight headshots and stuff...
    You could go partially autofocus with Nikon...
    • Sigma 30mm f1.4 (autofocus) for the environmentals
    • Voigtlander 58mm f1.4 (manual focus) as a "short portrait"
    • Nikon 85mm f1.8 (autofocus) or Samyang 85mm f1.4 (manual focus) for a longer portrait lens.
    If you have to have auto focus on all lenses...
    • Pentax K5
    • Pentax 77mm f1.8 limited
    • Pentax 55mm f1.4
    • Pentax 31mm f1.8 limited or Sigma 30mm f1.4
  15. Canon's glassware is lagging behind these days on a price-for-price basis​
    That ain't the way I see it.
    Regardless, even if I hadn't already switched to Canon from Nikon, I'd do it all over again.
    In my case, I have lots of old non-AI Nikon lenses and enjoy using them on my Canon EOS cameras as well as M42 MF lenses, and old C/Y MF lenses, and Exakta MF lenses, and ... You get the idea. Plus the current Canon glass is so good, even without limiting yourself to the L stuff.
    I do architectural photography a lot, and Canon just keeps ahead of Nikon in offering lenses for these kinds of things. It was different in 1965, but today is another story.
  16. bms


    Another vote for D7000 if you're not absolutely fixed on FF. A great camera, I use it as a 2nd body next to the D700.
  17. Canon 5D Mark 2. Because it is full frame and if you would like to enlarge above 12X18 then you should go full frame.
    Secondly if you need telephoto lenses then canon gives more options and they are less expensive then Nikon.Here i am not talking about cheap lenses, like Canon 70-200/F4 comes in 2 versions(IS and NON IS and this is 5 star lens.

    One more thing about large sensor is that gives high dynamic range. but if you are not going to print big and you do not care about FX then "NIKON RULES"!!!!
    All landscape photographers use Canon 5D.
    **- NIKON still makes best FX , though it is very expensive.
  18. Canon 5D classic, if you can get a good used one, is still a great camera for portraits. I agree with the opinion above about Canon's vs Sigma's 50 1.4: get the Sigma.
  19. if you would like to enlarge above 12X18 then you should go full frame​
    Why would you say this? I've printed as large as a 20x30 with little to no visible pixelation from a 12.1 Megapixel D300s...I've also printed 20x30 from a 6.1 MP why wouldn't you be able to do so from any other 1.5x or 1.6x crop camera?
    As far as the OP's question...I'd go with whichever camera I feel I like better. Ergonomics, handling, and controls make a huge difference to me and my reason for sticking with Nikon throughout the years... (Since my Canon AE-1 broke).
  20. First decide on the system you want to be in, then a body.
    I'm partial to the Canon system for a number of reasons, but you can accomplish your photographic goals with either system. There are no major advantages either way. Look at their lens libraries, accessories, and general trends in body design.
    You can do portraits equally well with either FF or crop. The Sigma 50 f/1.4 is an excellent lens. If you do go into the Canon system, so is the 85 f/1.8 and the 135 f/2L.
  21. All landscape photographers use Canon 5D.​
    Kind of a bold statement, isn't it? And... uh... not actually true...
  22. Just some facts about the 5D used. I have one. Buy a 5D with a serial number beginning with 2 or higher. Apparently Canon corrected the initial LCD greenish cast on the one series numbers on the later serial numbers. The LCD is small and very hard to see in bright light. 5Ds have had a problem with the mirror coming loose. Canon has corrected this with a free modification where they applied vertical retention bands on either side of the mirror. Buy one with this mod done. It may have been done at the factory on later models, I am not sure. I am very satisfied with the color and resolution of the pictures I get from this body. I do portraits with it. It does not have live view. It feels very solid in my hands. Just my opinion but for most work the difference between full frame and later 1.6 crop bodies is a distinction without a difference. The difference does show in larger prints and better high ISO noise charactersistics, I believe. ISO 3200 is the highest the 5D goes. I regularly shoot swimming competition in poor, high contrast light at 3200 with it and get usable pictures.(I know it is not and ideal sports body but it works in this situation). I have studio lights and I control backgrounds with lighting rather than Bokei on most pictures, I do not know how long Canon will support the 5D with software upgrades. I am content to live with this body for a few more years. However I have mostly L lenses and my 17-40 f4L works fine with it making true wide angle pictures. Full frame or crop decisions depend a great deal on what lenses you own. If you have crop lenses you should probably buy a crop body. I have mostly full frame lenses and they work at their true focal length without cropping the image on the 5D. .
  23. Johnny, for portraits, a full frame camera will give more background blur, if all other factors are the same.
    The reason? Lens to subject distance will be shorter w/ FF.
  24. Oh, this should be mentioned: if you do decide to get the canon 5D classic, ask the seller if the mirror assembly has been previously repaired by Canon. If it has not been repaired, there is a chance that the mirror may fail on you someday. This is a known issue with the 5Dc, and Canon has acknowledged the issue and they offer free repair and shipping.
    I bought my 5Dc used, and after 1.5 years of use (about 10K+ actuation later), the mirror fell off during a shoot. Panicked, called Canon, they acknowledged the issue immediately, they emailed me a UPS shipping tag, and the camera came back in 10 days with the entire mirror assembly and focusing screen replaced. Free of charge. They also cleaned the sensor.
    I know it sucks, but despite this setback, I still think 5Dc is a great camera. I don't know if this issue only affects 5Dc with certain build date/year. The upside is, you get a new mirror assembly...especially nice if the body has high actuation. It's almost like getting a new engine for your old car for free.
    Moral of the story: if the 5Dc's mirror has not been previously repaired, have a second body on hand in case...
  25. Even as a canon guy, if i didn't own any items from either system in this case i would buy the new nikon vs. the used/don't know where its been few year old canon.
  26. The Nikon, mostly because that Canon's more than 5 years old and that's a very long time in digital. I do not base my opinion on Nikon vs. Canon, which is really a personal preference thing. And another thumbs-up for the Voigtlander 58mm, assuming you don't mind manual focus - it's an excellent focal length for portraits on DX cameras, works out to about 85mm equivalent.
  27. "The reason? Lens to subject distance will be shorter w/ FF" - That's not the reason at all! Sorry to be pedantic, but I really can't stand to see misinformation like this being perpetuated on the web, and besides, the above quoted statement makes absolutely no sense.
    The real reason that FF gives a shallower depth of field (for a given angle of view and with the same lens to subject distance) is simply that the lenses needed are longer in focal length, and therefore the physical aperture sizes are bigger for a given F-stop. The out of focus circle-of-confusion at the image plane is directly related to the actual physical diameter of the aperture - not its F-number. The magnification of the image is also greater with FF, and when you plug all those numbers into a depth-of-field formula you find that for any given F-number, DoF decreases as the format (and ergo lens focal length) increases. There's roughly one stop difference in DoF between the DX and Full-frame formats.
    For example: If you were shooting at f/2.8 on FF, you'd need to open up to f/2 on DX to get the same restricted DoF. And since most lenses perform better at f/2.8 than they do at f/2, the image quality on FF will be better, even though the DoF remains the same. At the other end of the scale the DX format suffers from diffraction softening of the image one stop earlier than for full-frame.
  28. While I do have a couple D7000s, they have an exposure issue once in a while as mentioned in other posts. It's for real. Also keep in mind that most complaints about Sigma lenses come from photographers that have Canon bodies. I have lots of Sigma lenses and don't seem to experience problems like the Canon users experience.
  29. Johnny, for portraits, a full frame camera will give more background blur, if all other factors are the same.
    This is often cited, but not really valid. Technically it's true but practically you often have to stop down a bit with portrait lenses on crop to get enough DoF. DoF is razor thin wide open with my Sigma 50 f/1.4 and Canon 85 f/1.8 on crop.
  30. Andy L: The Nikon, mostly because that Canon's more than 5 years old and that's a very long time in digital.​
    That's you. For me, I would still get that used (in good condition) full frame over a brand new cropped sensor camera for the same amount of money. It doesn't matter that the 5Dc's sensor and chip technology are last's still a very capable camera by today's standards.
  31. I own the 5d classic, and I believe they are among the best bargains you can get on the used market. Newer cameras
    will give you higher iso, video, higher frame rate, but the 5dc will give you outstanding files with excellent resolution
    and very subtle tones, up to 1600 iso, at a price that is hard to beat. Isn't it all you really need for portrait
    photography? You should try one before making a final choice.
  32. I wish I could try one. I don't know how I'd go about doing that though with a five year old camera.
  33. I wish I could try one. I don't know how I'd go about doing that though with a five year old camera.
  34. I'm a Nikon guy but I really like Canon lenses. They offer some things Nikon doesn't for example:
    17-55 f/2.8 has IS and is cheaper
    50 1.2L
    400 5.6L (Nikon only has 80-400 zoom)
    However the Nikon bodies are just way ahead in my opinion and the Cam 3500 AF system is why I use Nikon cameras.
  35. I assume, 5D has no AA-filter and has indeed, has finer details of pixel resolution. It has much smaller pixel density and would not stretch the picture so much and the optics blemishes would not be as much evident (CA... etc). Speed, anti-dust protection, AF are on D7000 side. Compare their colour rendition and skin-tones side by side.
  36. AFAIK, all current Canon DSLR has anti alias filter built-in.
  37. I assume, not sure, this filter must me weaker in 5D (although it is not a current model), and I (and every Olympus shooter whom I know) do not like JPEG quality of 7000D. Dpreview shows this. Shooting RAW 7000D is able to show fine details. The latter is more universal camera.
  38. The D7000 is a great little camera. It has a better, larger, higher rez LCD. The D7000 offers better resolution and higher dynamic range. It offers dual SD slots. For pretty much everything except extreme shallow DOF, the D7000 is superior. If you get the Sigma 30 f1.4, Sigma 50 f1.4 and Nikon 85 f1.4, you'll have a great set of primes for the the D7000.
    Oh, and there is no such thing as the "5D Classic." Canon never made a "Classic"'s just a 5D. I don't see anyone here calling the 1Ds the "1Ds Classic." As well, the 5D does indeed have an AA filter, albeit a weak one. Thus, you're more prone to moire and specular artifacts than with the D7000.
  39. @John Why did you switch?​
    At the time, our primary camera(s) were Canon 40Ds, having starting out with the 10D. Over the years, we went from the 10D to the 20D to the 30D to the 40D, with an occasional Rebel thrown in as well. I would process weddings from Nikon and Fuji shooters as well during that time and it seemed to me that the Nikon glass was sharper. However, at the time, the low-light/high ISO performance of Nikon/Fuji was horrible. During out time with the 40D, I was getting upset with thee camera's AF performance and it's inconsistent meter- especially when flash was involved. We typically shoot manually with the flash in TTL and in hindsight, our flash output was all over the place. Then Canon introduced the 50D. Did it have better metering? No. Did it have a better AF system? No. And about that time we had done a collage graduation ceremony and took a money shot of three girls, arms around their waists, one showing their diploma. The three filled the frame taken with the 40D and the 24-70 f/2.8. Nothing to back focus on, nothing to front focus on, yet the shot was out of focus. For me, that was the last straw: I got tired of battling the camera to get a picture. And Canon gave us the 50D: more mega-pixels. I didn't need that. I needed a better camera. And even the 5D essentially had the same metering and AF system as the 40D, so no improvement there. So we picked up the D90: better metering, better AF, and most importantly: more consistent especially where TTL flash was concerned. Shortly after that, we got our fist D300. At that time, Canon didn't have anything that competed with the D300. I fell in love with that camera: many of the controls are on the camera body. I suddenly found myself using the camera more. I wasn't fighting the camera. One example, changing a focus point. On my Nikon's I use the dial to move left, right, up, down or press the center to take me back to the center. On the Canon, I had to scroll one way or the other through all the focus points (of course on the 40D there were only nine compared to 51 on the D300!), to change focus points. Changing the focus point on the Canon just wasn't as easy. Setting a custom white balance isn't as easy. Setting up bracketing isn't as easy. Changing your AF mode or your metering mode isn't as easy. Again, with one camera I was fighting the camera, and with the other I wasn't. And BTW, my number of out-of-focus shots has dropped considerably since we switched. Sure, it happens every now and then, but one thing I remembered in the beginning: if the Nikon doesn't think it has focus, it simply won't take the picture. The Canon tended to be a bit more liberal.
    Now, all of that said, Canon finally released a camera to compete with the D300 when it introduced the 7D about one-year after the 50D. The 7D was Canon's game changer: better AF and better metering (according to Canon's literature). As well as 39-focus points and some other improvements as well. It just came to the game too late for me: I am quite happy with my Nikon's.
    But between a 5D and a D7000, it really boils down to what system you want to invest in. The pull of full frame is enticing in terms of "blurring" the background. And while that is a very nice advantage, it is the only advantage the 5D enjoys or a D7000. And heres the thing, Nikon from the D300s and up, Nikon uses their "best" systems: AF, metering, etc. Historically, on Canon, their best is reserved for their top two bodies. Meaning you look at the current 5D Mark II: essentially the same system found in the "xxD" series only full frame and more megapixels (which can be important if you need them). Whereas the Nikon D700 uses Nikon's best systems in a full frame camera that is smaller than their professional cameras. I much prefer that mentality myself.
    In any event, that is why I switched: AF, metering, better consistency shot to shot. And then I fell in love with how I could use the camera.
  40. @ Dave Luttman, thanks for splitting the hair on the nonexistence of the "classic" 5D.
  41. "Oh, and there is no such thing as the "5D Classic.""
    :) The word "classic" is the one word I never want to see or hear in connection with digital electronics. It's a euphemism for 'obsolete'.
  42. "...if the Nikon doesn't think it has focus, it simply won't take the picture."​
    John, it's been awhile since I handled a D90, but there should be an option to switch to AF with shutter release priority rather than focus priority.
  43. "...if the Nikon doesn't think it has focus, it simply won't take the picture."
    That was in the control back MF-26 (don't remember its exact model number) of Nikon F90, back in 1995.
    "I would process weddings from Nikon and Fuji shooters as well during that time and it seemed to me that the Nikon glass was sharper".
    No, 135/2L, 85/1.4L, 35/1.4L are very sharp, the first is sharper than 135/2DC of Nikon, you won't detect this or judge from wedding PJ photos, in the lab only. For that, there are lenstip and dpreview.
  44. 5D Mk 2 is studio-landscape oriented camera, IMO, so beloved by wedding shooters.
  45. A Nikon D3100 will blow away 5D in IQ ,only my opinion though you can't crop as you could with full frame.
  46. John, it's been awhile since I handled a D90, but there should be an option to switch to AF with shutter release priority rather than focus priority.​
    There is is. I was merely pointing out my experiences using Canon vs Nikon. When we used Canon, we had a lot of out of focus images and it was annoying. When we switched to Nikon, that issue virtually went away. I would say that the Canon system focuses faster (splitting hairs) but the Nikon system focuses more accurately. Again, that is just my user experience (and I prefer accuracy).
    No, 135/2L, 85/1.4L, 35/1.4L are very sharp, the first is sharper than 135/2DC of Nikon​
    Well, almost anything is sharper than the DC lenses! My experience with DC lenses is that they don't start to shine until you get to at least f/5.6. It is just a different type of lens. And I am not suggesting that Canon doesn't have sharp glass, especially when you start bringing up better glass. But apples-to-apples (or as close as you can come), when I processed Nikon or Fuji images, they, overall, were sharper images. I realize this is somewhat vague, but I might be looking at 1000 images from a wedding shot with a Fuji or 1000 images from a wedding shot with a Canon and overall the Fuji images would be sharper. There would have been a variety of lenses used in both cases. Also note that while, IMHO, the Fuji images were sharper, I very much disliked Fuji's Raw files. In the case of weddings, very little headroom compared to Canon or Nikon. So much so, IMHO, I wouldn't shoot with a Fuji camera. And back in those days, a Nikon or Fuji camera had horrible ISO 1600 performance compared to Canon. Today, the table has turned and Nikon enjoys a better high ISO performance. In any event, those are my experiences, so as they say, your mileage may vary.
  47. Agreed Luke. I don't know where this "classic" comes from. It's just an old 5D....nothing classic about it. I guess I can say I had a 1D2 Classic and 1Ds Classic.
  48. Dave, you're discussing useless semantics about a made-up designation that help differentiate between the old 5D and the current 5D Mark II. It's meant to help with the flow of discussion so as to spare other posters asking the question "Which 5D are we talking about?" It's used by many other posters as well, and readers intelligent enough should know the purpose of the made-up designation and spend less time arguing about the non-existence or the etymology of the "classic" designation.
  49. can't be serious.
    Try this...... I have a Canon 5D. I have a Canon 5DMk2. Can you tell them apart?
    The only reason people use the "Classic" term is because they feel it's something special. It isn't. It's a 5D. It doesn't help the flow of conversation. Rather than making up a name for a camera...just use it's makes for less keystrokes!
  50. I disagree. It's simply to tell them apart. It's more natural than writing 5dmk2 or 5dmk1. classic is easier.
  51. Dave, no, I must not be serious because this is not a serious discussion at all. It's actually a silly one. But since you ask, it helps tremendously to mention "classic" or something else once in the beginning of the post and later refer to it as simply a 5Dc or 5D[something]. Read my postings above, and you'll see that's how I tend to make life easier for the OP and other readers to understand my post. I guess I could also refer to them as 5D1 and 5D2, but then esteemed individuals like you probably will shoot it down and say there is no such thing as a 5D Mark 1.
    Try this...... I have a Canon 5D. I have a Canon 5DMk2. Can you tell them apart?​
    I can. You can. But can the same be said for others in the audience of all levels? You write for your audience in general, not for yourself or the minority. If I gave the advice that the 5D has an outstanding recall for its mirror assembly, isn't it better for the general audience to know that I am talking about the older version 5D and not the current 5D Mark II? Hence, the usefulness of the made-up designation, whatever it may be.
    "Classic" because it's special? You said that. I didn't.
  52. John, I agree, consumer, low-end glass of Nikon was and is sharper, both 50mm are better, 35/1.8G is sharper than 35/2 canon and many more. Canon has a huge range of lenses and does not hurry up to improve the whole range of lenses. There are some jems though that must be carefully selected (like 135/2L). 85 mm are both good, 100mm is good. Even with 7000 one can take stunning portraits, no problems it is no FF, just attach the new 85/1.4G or a micro-NIkkor 60/2.8G - shoot RAW and all. 7000 is a more capable camera. 5D is somewhat weak as a camera now. And it has no focusing correction (fine - tunung) ? 7000 - is a choise.​
  53. I like the line of Pentax that Joseph gave, way way before discussing the word 'classic'. If I were not invested into a system these days, i would very seriously look at Pentax, their current line-up is very tempting and they've got some mighty nice primes.
    Whether Canon or Nikon has sharper lenses is a silly debate. Both have some epic lenses. Both have some seriously mediocre lenses. Both some bargains, some overpriced items. You should judge lens for lens, brand-wide statements have really no value whatsoever.
    Yes, that does not answer the D7000 versus 5D. It's a silly shortlist. How about the EOS60D? Not too shabby either. Go try out some Canons and some Nikons, you'll know soon enough what works for you.

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