upgrade to full frame or not?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ray_simpson|1, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. I recently upgraded to an EOS 7D from a much used and much loved 30D. Had funds allowed I would probably have upgraded to full frame at the time.
    I now have the opportunity to upgrade (?) to a 5D Mk II that is in mint condition but would be interested in opinions as to whether I should or not. I have always considered that full frame is the place to be, but the 7D is such a good camera.
    I do not need the 8FPS that the 7D offers for the type of photography I do. I consider myself a competent photographer. I have been involved in a few exhibitions of my work and have some success and work to continue this progress, which is partly why I feel I should take the opportunity?
    Opinions please?
     
  2. Ray,
    You're going to get wildly varying opinions on this topic, and it has been discussed extensively here on photo.net. I have a couple of questions for you: 1) What do you think the 5DII will do for you that the 7D will not? 2) What kind of photography do you do?
     
  3. I have a 5D Mark II and don't regret buying it for a second..I also have a D800 and still use the Canon almost every day...it is a spectacular camera and I have never had any of the focus issues others seem to complain about...disclaimer...I am a professional artist, but not a professional photographer. However, I do know a good image when I see one. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with that camera.
     
  4. If you do decide to pick up a 5DII, Ray, may I suggest that you hang on to your 7D if you can.
    I have a 5DII and 7D, and find the dual format kit to be very useful. I tend to use my 50D while walking about when the light is good and I envision needing more reach. And I tend to use my 5DII indoors, where the light is often less than optimal and the camera-to-subject distances are shorter.
     
  5. I went from a 450D to a 7D and then a 5DMKII. I much prefer the images from the MKII. The 7D gets very little use now and is in "backup" status.
    Richard
     
  6. Richard said:
    I went from a 450D to a 7D and then a 5DMKII. I much prefer the images from the MKII.​
    That's the key point: what is it about these images that makes them 'much preferable'to those from the 7D? And I suppose a follow-up question would be, what sort of images are they?
    (Not arguing, btw - just keen to understand.)
     
  7. It depends on the lenses you have. If you have a good selection of lenses for full frame then you will not regret it. If your lenses were bought for APS-C - then they may not work out as well. Obviously EF-S lenses will not work at all but even your EF lenses will have a different angle of view.
    Tom I find the 5DII images are "better" than my 7D. Two areas really, firstly they are clearly better at high ISO - from 800 up the 5DII produces cleaner, sharper images. Secondly the 5DII images have a lot more exposure tolerance than those from the 7D. This is very noticeable at 400ISO or above where the 7D will either blow highlights or lose shadow detail in difficult situations. The 5DII allows a much better recovery in these circumstances. I know that DXO mark shows the same dynamic range up to 400 ISO but this is not consistent with my findings. If I am shooting sports or birds in flight then I will take my 7D or 1DIIN. For almost every other subject I will pick the 5DII. This is not to say the 7D is a bad camera - just that the 5DII has better IQ (although it is inferior in a number of other areas). The other thing I prefer about the 5DII is the wider angle of view from my lenses (they are all full frame) and the bigger viewfinder.
     
  8. I shot SLR / film for nearly 40 years, my first digital camera was a Kodak DC200 (1MP, really). When it came time to move to a digital SLR, I waited and bided my time. I saw the noise issues with the non full frame sensor cameras. As I waited, 2 things happened. They started to improve the noise correction of the smaller sensors and the price slowly came down on the full frame sensors.
    I read up on the noise correction - found that they give up sharpness to achieve that correction. I waited some more. Finally the 5D came out in 2005 and the noise levels (uncorrected) were astonishingly low. At the time I was using a Sony F828. I dumped that for the 5D and 3 different lenses. I upgraded to the 5D MII, then to the MIII when they first came out.
    Two main advantages that I see.
    • With the same resolution sensor, an APC sensor with noise correction turned off will have much more noise that a full frame sensor with it's noise correction turned off
    • Having shot 35mm film for years, I don't have to do that mental calculation to covert focal length.
    If you do decided to go to a non-full frame sensor camera, but are thinking about it in the future. I would recommend not going with any of the "S" lenses as you not be able to use them with the full frame camera.
     
  9. Tom: Excellent Questions (thanks for noticing)
    On the one hand there is just a global "feels good" kind of quality that I noticed right away when I made the switch.
    To break it down I would say the components that make up the "feels good" are the following:
    1. a more natural depth of field... I say more natural because the extra separation of the subject from surroundings seems that way to me. It is another step removed from what I would all an unnatural depth of field that comes with a point and shoot and to some degree an APS-C sensor. I don't have to go out of my way as much to get the look I like.
    2. a broader range of "workable" ISOs... the much noted better low light/less noise especially in the 1600 range.
    3. and something I can't prove (or even care to try)...they hold up better when approaching the limits of post processing. (I don't always get the perfect exposure)
    Other than that.... I just like it.... a lot!
    Richard
     
  10. I used to have the 7D but I sold it to purchase the 100L macro
    I currently use only the 5D Mkii and the only SLIGHT drawback I have with it is the autofocus
    I didnt have a problem with the autofocus UNTIL i used the 7D's
    after i used the 7D's and went back to the 5d's I felt like i was missing out on a lot...
    It haven't necessarily lost too many of the "moments" but focus and recompose is slightly annoying with the 9-point af system vs the i believe 19(?) of the 7D
    Since you've used the 30D i'm sure you've used the 9 point system and know what its like
    Also, I had alot of overlapping focal lengths because at the time I had a 16-35L f2.8 50L f1.2 and a 70-300L
    so at times I didnt really know which lens to put on which body when I went out because from 16-35 on a full frame then a jump to 85 with the 50 on a crop sensor kind of left a big gap..
    I don't regret having sold the 7D or using the 5D II
    but in a few years time, I'm going to upgrade to the 5D III when there is a used copy
    If I were you, I would upgrade BUT only if it's in your budget..don't go completely out of your way to upgrade from a 7D to a 5D ii
    I did because I wasnt using the back-up body at all..
    +it looks cooler to have a 5d II :)
     
  11. All of the above plus...

    in my experience it's easier to create "art" with a larger sensor.
     
  12. I have both. The 7D blows the 5D MkII into the weeds for sports and wildlife, due to much better AF and quicker handling, but the 5D MkII is much better for landscapes, portraits, night shooting, travel, etc.
     
  13. I'll say it like this as I have stated it before. It is not the tool but the person behind the tool that makes the great photographs that come from the camera. Here is one interesting article to read about the two cameras 7d and 5dmII . 7D Image Format ~ 22.3 x 14.9 mm (APS-C size) and 5DM2 Image Format ~
    36.0mm x 24.0mm (35mm Full-frame) Obviously a small difference of 3.1 Megapixels. I would say that the biggest enlargement I could make would be 3.1 Megapixels smaller then the other camera. Is the 5DM2 any better than the 7D depends on the applications you need the cameras for but 3.1 Mega Pixels shouldn't the reason you want the 5DM2 over the 7D. I use the Canon 60D myself and it works for all the applications I need it for. So there is a place here Borrowed Lenses and rent the 5DM2 for what ever time you think you need and do a side by side yourself and then make your purchase decision. Hope this helps!
     
  14. To discount the tool is silly. The very best sportsmen, musicians, artists, etc. use the very best tools that they can afford for the task that they excel in. If you're going to shoot landscapes, portraits, night street shooting and some high-ISO application, then the 5D MkII superior to the 7D.
    Given the right lenses, a skilled photographer can make images with the 7D that rival the images possible with the 5D MkII. They both are exceptional performers at the lower ISOs. The 7D actually has a bit of an advantage in detail resolution, due to its smaller pixel-pitch, but that advantage goes away when you start pumping the ISO beyond 800. If you never shoot night street scenes, then you'll notice very little difference in IQ between the 7D and 5D MkII and any difference you see will come down to the quality of your lenses and your processing.
     
  15. I upgraded from my 5DII to an iPhone 4s. Something you might consider as well coming from a 7D.
     
  16. OMG, I own a 7D, a 5D MkII and an iPhone 4s. The iPhone is fantastic when I don't have a real camera, but the files are not even on the same planet when it comes to resolution and IQ. There's no getting around the limited light gathering capacities of the iPhone.
    I highly recommend the iPhone as a backup, but not as a primary camera for most applications.
     
  17. [[If you're going to shoot landscapes, portraits, night street shooting and some high-ISO application, then the 5D MkII superior to the 7D.]]
    All of which assumes that your output would show any of these differences anyway. This is the crux of the "it's the photographer" argument that gear-measurbators so often ignore. If your output is not capable of showing these differences then the gear really doesn't matter. There is a content/task/output specific threshold that will be crossed when the tool becomes a significant part of the image capture process. Special tools are needed for special tasks; this should be obvious. But most non-professionals don't have special tasks. They have standard tasks, and many different tools can be used to complete them.
     
  18. >>> The iPhone is fantastic when I don't have a real camera, but the files are not even on the same
    planet when it comes to resolution and IQ. There's no getting around the limited light gathering capacities
    of the iPhone.

    Making compelling photos that speak is rarely about best resolution and IQ...
     
  19. I have both. The 7D blows the 5D MkII into the weeds for sports and wildlife, due to much better AF and quicker handling, but the 5D MkII is much better for landscapes, portraits, night shooting, travel, etc.​
    Is the most correct response so far. If I were you, I would listen closely to those who own both and are most familiar with their differences, or in most characteristics, their lack of differences. They are both very fine cameras intended for different kinds of photography. I would guess (without counting carefully) that 75% of the opinions comparing these two cameras are based on the fact that they own one or the other, without first-hand experience of the other. Their opinions are thus flavored by the need to defend the camera they own.
    You (the OP) have still not answered my original questions, which are: 1) What do you think the 5DII will do for you that the 7D will not? 2) What kind of photography do you do? The answers to those questions will greatly inform your decision.
     
  20. If you rely on distortion and heavy vignetting to construct images that "speak" then, by all means, use an iPhone. If you seek realism and accuracy, then the iPhone is a poor choice.
     
  21. Rob said:
    "All of which assumes that your output would show any of these differences anyway. This is the crux of the "it's the photographer" argument that gear-measurbators so often ignore. If your output is not capable of showing these differences then the gear really doesn't matter. There is a content/task/output specific threshold that will be crossed when the tool becomes a significant part of the image capture process. Special tools are needed for special tasks; this should be obvious. But most non-professionals don't have special tasks. They have standard tasks, and many different tools can be used to complete them."​
    Even at internet sizes, the differences between the 7D and 5D MkII at high ISO are readily apparently. Also, I find my 7D much more likely to show moire with shots like foliage in low light, even at moderate ISOs.
    I almost never know how I'll use an image when I take it. I've ended up doing 11"x30" two-page book spreads with images that I never thought would go beyond internet postings. Luckily I had the hi rez files to pull off the book. I'm now contemplating some even larger prints. The equipment and creating the highest rez file possible gives me the flexibility to do almost anything that I might choose in the future.
     
  22. >>> If you rely on distortion and heavy vignetting to construct images that "speak" then, by all means,
    use an iPhone. If you seek realism and accuracy, then the iPhone is a poor choice.


    That kind of processing, as well as many others, is certainly available to those that choose to use it - or
    not. And if your photography is about all realism and accuracy, well, that's your option as well. Most
    people however realize and understand that photography is not about realism. Unless one is into shooting
    forensics or MTF charts...
     
  23. The OP hasn't expressed an interest in impressionistic photography. It's debatable about whether most people seek realistic or impressionistic images. Hipstamatic is flying high, with lots of untalented noobs pumping out millions of distorted, poorly conceived and poorly composed images, just because it's easy and they can. Most of those are pure junk.
    OTOH, I must say, Brad, you are an exception. Your work has lots of power. However, its a niche that most on photo.net are pursuing, including our OP, I think. (He hasn't clearly defined what he's trying to do, so far as I can tell). I don't think that your images are what "most people" seek to make.
     
  24. [[Even at internet sizes, the differences between the 7D and 5D MkII at high ISO are readily apparently. Also, I find my 7D much more likely to show moire with shots like foliage in low light, even at moderate ISOs.]]

    I call complete BS on this statement. I am willing to bet good money that you, and most everyone else, would not be able to tell what is a 5D Mark II image and what is a 7D image for web-based content.
    [[The equipment and creating the highest rez file possible gives me the flexibility to do almost anything that I might choose in the future.]]
    This argument is nonsense. If you were truly interested in flexibility, you would not be shooting with a small 35mm-sized sensor.
     
  25. 5D MkII at ISO 3200:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/4963931271/
    7D at ISO 1600:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/4095598827/in/photostream/
    Rob also said:
    This argument is nonsense. If you were truly interested in flexibility, you would not be shooting with a small 35mm-sized sensor.​
    My system is designed to shoot telephoto at high speeds and I think that full-frame and APS-C formats offer the best compromise of handling, cost and lens availability. Could you offer a suggestion that would give me more flexibility?
     

Share This Page