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Thread: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted

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    7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    My first DSLR was the 50D, I upgraded from it to the the 5D Mark II of which I have x2 each now. At that time there was no 7D. The IQ from the 50D to the 5D Mark II was extremly noticable. I could crop off the full frame and have better IQ than the 50d.


    So what I do, I have a 500mm F4L with the Gitzo tripod and Wimberly head to go with it. And I do take alot of wildlife pictures. When I get a good print I like to blow it up on the Pixma Pro to 13 x 19, even crop if possible.


    I know the specs of both so no need to rehash it. That the 7D has a faster frame rate, that it is a crop body and there is a crop factor involved with the big lens.


    Here is what I do not know, and want to know. Would the 7D give me the kind of quality I want to do the large prints. Would I notice a conciderable drop in IQ from my 5D

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    I just gave a family a 16x20 print created with the 7D. Honestly, the original image was soft--I was using an LCW Variable ND filter that, I

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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk
    I could crop off the full frame and have better IQ than the 50d.

    That is the same experience I have, but only at high ISO. Cropping the 5D2 to the same angle of view as the 50D results in only 8 MP (vs 15 for the 50D), but at high ISO (e.g. ISO 6400) those 8 MP have noticeably less noise. For me this is important because I do a lot at very high ISO.


    However, at lower ISOs (e.g. ISO 400), I think that the 50D has significantly better image quality. The noise is about the same, and the 50D has far more detail (as expected with twice the pixel count).


    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk
    Would the 7D give me the kind of quality I want to do the large prints.

    Generally, yes. The 7D is almost the ideal camera for a wildlife photographer. One wildlife advantage that it has over the 1D4 is smaller pixels. It takes away the 5D2's noise advantage, so unlike the 50D, it is superior to cropping the 5D2 in every way (including noise).


    That said, there are some circumstances where the 5D2 is slightly better.<span style="font-size: 11.6667px;"]The 5D2 will have slightly stronger contrast before you get into post, but this can usually be equalized in post processing with the right sharpening and contrast enhancement.


    <span style="font-size: 11.6667px;"]
    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk
    With the crop factor I would say I am comparing a 7D non croped picture shot compared to the same lens croped down off the 5D.

    In that comparison, even the 50D will blow away the 5D2 for detail and contrast, at low ISO. The 7D will blow it away at low *and* high ISO.

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    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    NiteHawk, As I understand your question, you are seeking opinions regarding the 5DII vs the 7D for Wildlife photography; this is what I base my response on. For reference, please know that I own the 7D, I own the Pixma Pro 9500 (older one), have owned the 50D, I have never owned or used the 5DII and wildlife is my photographic genre of choice.-------Nor can I seem to get my fingers to work tonight which is why this is the third time I have attempted to respond to your question--[:S].


    1. Wildlife photographers never seem to have enough reach. That said, the 5DII and the 500L will provide 500mm of reach. The 7D and the 500L will provide 800mm (percieved) reach.


    2. Without doing the math, the general impression is that you will getbetter IQ with a 7D, than you will cropping a 5DII to the same size as a 7D.


    3. With a tack sharp image, the Pixma-pro will yield a tack sharp print at 13x19----And my sharpening skills are novice at best. If you are any good at sharpening, the pixma-pro/7D combo is capable of yielding very impressive 13x19prints.


    4. As I understand it, the 5DII and the 50D have a similar AF system. If this is true, the AF system on the 7D is far superior and more beneficial for wildlife photography, especially moving subjects.


    5. There is a lot of difference bewteen 5 frames per second and 8 frames per second when shooting fast moving animals and BIFs--for this, the 7D is superior.


    6. The 7D can't compete with the 5DII when it comes to full frame Image quality and noise managment.


    Finally, for Wildlife and for the reasons stated above, I chose the 7D over the 5DII---and have never regreted it. If I was shooting in studio, weddings, portraits, low light etc, the 5DII wins, but for wildlife and sports, I think the 7D has the clear advantage.


    Hope this helps,


    Bob
    Bob

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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    Sean


    Thanks for the perspective. The local store in town will not rent equipment, there a store in one of the suburbs of the city that claim they rent cameras. About a 30 mile drive but I may call them up and make the trip.


    Daniel


    I do not think the ISO and Noise will be an issue. I know the 5D Mark II would be superior, in those areas I do do not think it will matter that much. Even with the 5D when it starts getting dark and the ISO goes up, the images are not the quality I am looking for. The contrast difference you talked about may, I would be interested in seeing the difference.


    Bob


    You are right about the auto focus being superior on the 7D, this is a plus. The frame rate would be as well, as the 5D Mark II is &lt;4. The 5D autofocus is superior to the 50D however, even though it may be the same system, the 50D has a lot more missed pictures than the 5D does. Don't ask me why, I just know this by experience.


    I guess when it comes down to it, its like Sean pointed out. "see if the 7Ds files live up to your (my) expectations"


    It seems a lot of people think the 7D is the way to go for wildlife.





    Thanks for responding guys.


    Rick

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    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted




    <div>


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning
    The 7D will blow [the 5DII] away at low *and* high ISO.
    </div>



    Hey Rick-


    Daniel's word is nearly law in these parts, but if it would help I'd be happy to shoot the same scene from a tripod with the lens of your choice (listed in my profile) and both the 7D and 5DII, at a couple of ISOs (perhaps 100 and 3200), and send you the RAW files. Let me know...


    FWIW, I love my 5DII for portraits and landscapes, but when I'm heading out looking for birds and wildlife, it's the 7D over my shoulder every time.


    --John

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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    John


    I would be very appreciative if you would do that.


    The two lens I see that would be a good comparison would of course be the 100-400mm L


    or


    The 100mm F2.8L Macro. The prime might give more accurate results than a zoom for the comparison, but it would have be at a F stop narrow enough to get rid of the vignetting this lens has on full frame when wide open and it would need to be some farther distance from the camera (not macro).


    Thanks for the offer.


    I have a feeling I am getting ready to spend $1600


    Rick

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    Senior Member Bill W's Avatar
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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    Rick; concerning renting. About a year ago I was fed up w/my combo of the 40D and 100-400 photographing birds in low light situations....a.k.a. a New England winter.


    So I did my own little test; I rented the 7D and 5D MK ll from LensRentals (link here on this site). Great service, in fact I just returned the 70-200 IS 2.8 MK ll....I wanted a comparison between the MK l and the MK ll. This was my 6th time renting from them.


    I was renting at Calumet, but the drive to Cambridge Ma. (about the same as your drive) was a pain and the availability was limited....so I tried LensRentals. UPS delivers right to your door....you have to sign on delivery.....and then when it's time to return the equipment, there is a UPS office 5 minutes away from me. The whole process is simple and convenient.....give them a try.


    BTW......I went w/the 7D for it's great AF (much better than the 5D MK ll) system's ability to quickly lock onto birds. Both cameras improved the 100-400 ability in low light and I'm no longer frustrated w/the dull gray low light of the NE winters.


    I've also enlarged some photos taken w/the 7D to 10x30 (pano) and 16x20....they look great to me and garner ooh's and ahh's from friends and family when they see them....not very scientific, but satisfying. LOL


    Regards


    Bill

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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk
    The contrast difference you talked about may, I would be interested in seeing the difference.

    Since the 7D always trounces the 5D2 when you have to crop to the same angle of view (8 MP on the 5D2), I'll only give you an example of the situation where you don't have to crop the 5D2. This only applies when you are able to get closer with the 5D2+500, or you are able to switch to a longer lens (e.g. 800mm f/5.6). To simulate the scenario, I'll use separate lenses:


    5D2 + 300mm f/2.8 @ f/4 vs 7D + 200mm f/2 @ f/2.8


    The crops are slightly larger in the 5D2 image because of the slight difference between 18 MP and 21 MP (only 8% linear resolution difference). As you can see, the 7D images are lower in contrast, but not by much. With the right post processing, you can probably make it indistinguishable from the 5D2 image. But again, this is only in the circumstance that you do not crop the 5D2 image at all or use a TC.


    Think of the 7D as a perfect 1.6X TC. It doesn't add any additional aberration, it doesn't slow down (or stop) autofocus, and it doesn't make the viewfinder any darker. All it does is magnify the flaws in your lens. Since the 500mm f/4 has few flaws, this is not much of a problem. I would have thought that the 7D would handily trounce the 5D2+1.4X TC, because real life teleconverters aren't perfect (though their distortion and chromatic aberration can often be corrected in post), but in this case (200mm lens) it looks like even with the 1.4X TC, the 5D2 is sharper:


    1Ds3 + 200mm f/2 + 1.4X TC @ f/4 vs 7D + 200mm f/2 @ f/2.8


    However, you still have the slower-autofocus and other TC issues. The results may also be a lot different for your 500mm lens).


    Hope that helps.

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    Re: 7D vs 5D Mark II for wildlife advice wanted



    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning
    Think of the 7D as a perfect 1.6X TC. It doesn't add any additional aberration, it doesn't slow down (or stop) autofocus, and it doesn't make the viewfinder any darker. All it does is magnify the flaws in your lens. Since the 500mm f/4 has few flaws, this is not much of a problem. I would have thought that the 7D would handily trounce the 5D2+1.4X TC, because real life teleconverters aren't perfect (though their distortion and chromatic aberration can often be corrected in post), but in this case (200mm lens) it looks like even with the 1.4X TC, the 5D2 is sharper:

    Daniel


    The 200mm lens in the comparison is a very high quality sharp lens. The 500mm F4L is an awesome lens as well. With the 1.4 teleconverter on the 500mm I can not perceive any loss of sharpness or Image Quality when using the 5D Mark II. With some other L series lenses I think you would have seen the 7D outperform the teleconverter. The 2x is a different story, it rarely performs to what I expect.


    In the crop comparisons you pointed out, I am not sure in a real world situation I would notice any difference in quality from either camera. That said the autofocus system and the frame rates would be the deciding factors.


    The 7D being the better camera for wildlife use is a hard one to get in my mind. I upgraded to a 5D Mark II before the 7D existed. At first thought you would think it would be a step backwards. I have been waiting for the 1Ds IV to come out, and hoping it would have a very fast frame rate and be able to process pictures quickly so I don't hit the "BUSY" signal.


    Thanks for the input, it gives me a lot to think over.





    Rick

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