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Thread: Stay with the 7D or Upgrade?

  1. #1
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    Stay with the 7D or Upgrade?

    I have a Canon 7D which has been a great camera for me, and I am thinking about upgrading to a full frame model.

    Iím a photo enthusiast, and I currently own 4 Canon lenses: 24-105mm f/4 L IS, 70-200 f/2.8 L II IS, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens.

    I really want the 5D Mark III but itís too expensive. So my options are the 6D, a used/refurbished 5D Mark II, or stay with the 7D right now and save some more cash for the 5D Mark III.

    My questions are: 1) Am I going to see a significant increase in image quality going to the full-frame cameras? 2) Will I be loosing some important features of the 7D if I trade for the 6D or 5D Mark II? 3) Whatís a better overall value - the 6D or 5D Mark II?

    I would appreciate some feedback.

  2. #2
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    I've got a 7D, and I've used a 5D2, all i can say is:
    1 - yes (of course, that depends on your definition of "significant"). Low light especially, and even normal light, you will see a lot less noise. But you'll lose your 10-22mm (FF-equiv of 16-35), so you'll either need to buy a 16-35 (or 17-40) for the FF, or live with 24mm as your widest.

    2 - yes, AF. 7D's AF is great, especially for sports and bids and such, and tracking across multiple points. I've heard that the 6D is good in low light on the centre-point, but never used it. So it depends more on what you shoot, birds in the sun or things at night?
    Also, inbuilt flash, you may or may not use, and may or may not miss. I normally use my 430EX on-camera, but when it's not, having the ability to use the inbuilt flash as a trigger when the 430 is elsewhere can be invaluable (like in studios and such). Or just buy a long cord, or 580/600 to use as master, or another system like pocketwizard.

    3 - That's going to start an argument, but seemingly the 6D isn't so bad when compared to the 5D2. But it is more expensive. I'll leave that to people who've used both.
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  3. #3
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    IQ yes you will see a difference.
    But should you upgrade;
    We do not know what kind of shooting you do, so I wouldn't know which to tell you.
    Maybe an oversimplification but, the 7D AF is geared toward action shots and sports. If you shoot wildlife it might be the better option.
    The 5DII and 6D will be better for static and slow moving subjects. Portraits and landscapes would be examples.
    Those two differences would be the driving factor if I were deciding to change.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I recently upgraded from the 7D to the 5DIII. My understanding is that the 6D's sensor is as good if not a bit better than the 5DIII. So, yes, you should expect an improvment in IQ. In my experience, the biggest jump in IQ was going from a P&S to the 7D. Going from the 7D to the 5DIII is a much more marginal increase in IQ. So, unless you shoot a lot of low light, do not expect to be blown away. The increase in IQ, to an untrained eye such as my own, is more subtle than that.

    In general, I've noticed better colors, and smoother bokeh. I believe the increase in dynamic range is noticable in that I can pull more details in post, but also there is a "richness" that wasn't always there with the 7D. But, as already noted, the biggest difference is the noise. Not only is there less, but it is a finer grain, which is easier to correct in post. So, the game changer is low light photography. I am shooting at up to ISO 1600-2000 as if it was ISO 400 on the 7D. The quality is that good. Where the "2 stop" improvement breaks down a little in my mind, in a good way, is beyond that. I honestly didn't like shooting my 7D much past ISO 400. I'd occasionally go to ISO 800, even less up to ISO 1600. On a few well lit/fast shutter speed situations I did go to ISO 3200-6400, but I was usually not happy with the results. With the 5DIII, I am very happy with the results up to ISO 6400. I currently have my Auto ISO maxed out at ISO 12,800, and the results are pretty good there.

    So, that is game changing, indoor, dark forests, you can just get better shots. The other game changer with the 5DIII is the AF. Not just all the points, but they are smaller and more accurate than the 7D, especially in low light. I was testing the 7D against the 5DIII by switching out the 100-400L in a forest. The 5DIII's AF was faster, hunted less, and was more accurate. The extreme example was on bird in a darker area. I ended up with 0 keepers from 12 shots with the 7D. I ended up with 12 keepers out of 15 shots with the 5DIII (to give a sense of the low light, most shots were ISO 6400-12,800). The better the lighting, the better the 7D did. Also, the reason I suspect the 5DIII AF sensors are smaller than the 7D is that I could accurately focus through branches with the 5DIII where the 7D would osscillate between the branch and the bird.

    That said, you are talking about the 6D. So, you have to consider your shooting style and if the 6D has sufficient AF. If it doesn't, then I would wait and watch for sales on the 5DIII. However, if you shoot landscapes, portraits, around home, etc. Then I think the 6D would be fine.

    All that said, the 7D is an amazing camera. If all I shot was ISO 100-400 (maybe 800), I'd still be shooting the 7D.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 04-29-2013 at 02:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Hi, depending on how you use your photos you may see some difference between 7D and FF (5D2, 5D3, 6D) regarding "pixel tech stuff" like noise etc. But if you rarely make really big prints this isn't an issue. I doubt that many could tell if a small print (let's say up to letter size or so) origins from a 5D3 or a 7D photo.

    But a more substantial difference could be the way your lenses behave on a FF body. E.g. you would suddenly see improved subject to distance separation in a portrait taken with your 24-105 on a FF body compared to when you use it on the 7D. And this would be a noticeable improvement (if you like background blur). (By the way - If you're a background blur junkie you should definitely go FF.)

    On the other hand this "background blur gain" is a result of the fact that you have to get closer to your subject with the FF body to get the same framing of the portrait. And this "reduced reach" of your existing lenses could also be seen as a substantial drawback of the FF bodies. If you're able to keep the 7D for the occasions when you want the crop effect this doesn't really matter.

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    Thanks for the various feedback. I mostly shoot family pictures, portraits and events at Church, interior and exteriors of vehicles, and a few manufacturing shots. A lot of times, I’m shooting indoors with available light, at ISO 1600-3200. So, improved IQ at low ISO settings would be helpful.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike McK View Post
    Thanks for the various feedback. I mostly shoot family pictures, portraits and events at Church, interior and exteriors of vehicles, and a few manufacturing shots. A lot of times, I’m shooting indoors with available light, at ISO 1600-3200. So, improved IQ at low ISO settings would be helpful.
    You would see a noticeable difference switching to the 6D or 5D II.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    You would see a noticeable difference switching to the 6D or 5D II.
    +2
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  9. #9
    Senior Member thekingb's Avatar
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    Stay with the 7D or Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    You would see a noticeable difference switching to the 6D or 5D II.
    That's an understatement. I have a 7D and a 6D. Indoors and in low light the difference is often staggering and game changing. That's true, I'm sure, with the 5d3 too. I'd sell the 7d and 10-22 and get a 6D or the 5d3 based on what you said you shoot. I'm holding on to my 7d for outdoor action and wildlife because its servo AF is better than the 6d. But if I had a 5d3, I'd sell the 7d. Kinda wish I'd known that before I bought the 6d, but its wifi feature is really cool and doesn't exist on the 5d3.

    Here's a pic at ISO 12800. There's nothing remarkable about the photo except that it's at ISO 12800!


  10. #10
    Senior Member thekingb's Avatar
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    Stay with the 7D or Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by thekingb View Post
    That's an understatement. I have a 7D and a 6D. Indoors and in low light the difference is often staggering and game changing. That's true, I'm sure, with the 5d3 too. I'd sell the 7d and 10-22 and get a 6D or the 5d3 based on what you said you shoot. I'm holding on to my 7d for outdoor action and wildlife because its servo AF is better than the 6d. But if I had a 5d3, I'd sell the 7d. Kinda wish I'd known that before I bought the 6d, but its wifi feature is really cool and doesn't exist on the 5d3.

    Here's a pic at ISO 12800. There's nothing remarkable about the photo except that it's at ISO 12800!

    Here's another at ISO 12800.


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