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Thread: Canon 7DMKII vs Canon 5D MKIV - Image quality

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    Senior Member Photog82's Avatar
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    Canon 7DMKII vs Canon 5D MKIV - Image quality

    I know that the new 5D is not out yet but generally speaking, does the 5D have better image quality? So far for the most part I am happy with the 7DMKII and typically get very sharp photos and can zoom in a bit and still have good quality photos, depending on the lens. I've never used a full frame camera and am wondering if I should go for the 5D. Are there are side by side image comparisons of real photo situations of the 2?

    I shoot portraits and scenics.

    I shoot a lot of the Canon 35 1.4 MKII and love it; this may be an ignorant question but I'm assuming with full frame, I would need to get close to my subject to get the same affect as I would on my 7DMKII?
    Last edited by Photog82; 09-08-2016 at 02:25 AM.

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    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photog82 View Post
    I shoot a lot of the Canon 35 1.4 MKII and love it; this may be an ignorant question but I'm assuming with full frame, I would need to get close to my subject to get the same affect as I would on my 7DMKII?
    The 35mm on your crop sensor is basically a standard lens. No magnification. On a full frame it is a medium wide angle lens. A 50mm on the full frame would give you a similar angle of view and the 35mm on your 7D. When I say similar I mean approximately, not exact.
    The 5D would have better IQ especially in low light. Both are amazing tools in the hands of a good photographer. Rent one and see what you think but you may do better spending money on a lens or other gear to improve your tool kit.
    Mark

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photog82 View Post
    I know that the new 5D is not out yet but generally speaking, does the 5D have better image quality?
    Yes, but you may not see it in every circumstance. I jumped from the 7D to the 5DIII. At times I miss the 7D/EFS 15-85 combination. Smaller, lighter and produced some very nice images. But I have little doubt that the IQ coming off my 5DIII is better. However, if you were to line pictures up side by side, you will not notice the difference in every circumstance.

    A quick list of what I expect to be better about 5DIV over the 7DII in terms of IQ:


    • The 5DIV should follow the 1DX II and 80D with on chip A/D converters. By transitioning from analog to digital signal sooner, these sensors are generating less noise and more dynamic range at lower ISO.
    • The 5DIV appears to have a ~0.5 stop improvement in noise over the 5DIII. This would put it a full 2 - 2.5 stops better than the 7DII.
    • The FF sensor should also outperform the APS-C sensor in terms of tone and color sensitivity (~1-1.5 stops...ie, where you might be limited to ISO 1600 on the 7DII you can go to ~ISO 3200-4000).
    • Right away I noticed that this translated into more latitude when manipulating RAW files from the 5DIII compared to my 7D Mk 1.
    • 5DIV starts being diffraction limited at f/8.6 while the 7DII at f/6.6.
    • I've always considered the FF bokeh to be much better. This is difficult to compare due to the 1.6x crop factor, but even with the same lens, I thought it was better.
    • Pixel peeping, I thought the 5DIII was sharper than the 7D. Here is a look at the EF 200 f/2 IS @ f/5.6. And you can see that the 5DIII is a bit better. But I think the better comparison is when you have a lesser combination, so here is the 100-400 II with 1.4x TC.
    • HDNitehawk and others on different forums have played with the true "reach" benefit of crop sensors and I keep seeing that it is 1.2x and not 1.6x due to the pixels not being as good. The 5DIV has 1.17x higher linear resolution to the 5DIII. I am very interested to see if that correlates to a true 1.17x benefit.
    • Final benefit is lens selection. Bottom line is that most EF lenses were intended for FF. So there are more options that make more sense for a FF sensor than crop for different conditions.


    As I recall, you shoot professionally. I do suspect that you will not only see a difference in the files during PP, but might see a difference in larger prints. That said, all these differences are very incremental, if not a bit underwhelming. Great photos are being taken on APS-C sensors. Better images can be taken with FF sensors. Where you really start seeing the benefit, as Mark already mentioned, is when you start pushing ISO.

    As for comparative images, I would start with imaging resource's "comparometer"




    Quote Originally Posted by Photog82 View Post
    I shoot a lot of the Canon 35 1.4 MKII and love it; this may be an ignorant question but I'm assuming with full frame, I would need to get close to my subject to get the same affect as I would on my 7DMKII?
    Yep, as Mark mentioned, just apply the crop factor. A 35 mm lens on the 7D II will be equivalent to a 56 mm lens on the 5DIV.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 09-08-2016 at 11:09 AM.

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    Senior Member Photog82's Avatar
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    I think the hardest thing for me to get my mind around is this. I use the Canon 35 1.4 II for many of my portraits as well as the Canon 24-105 L. I realize that with the 35 it's basically a 50; but, if I put that on a FF, will I just need to get closer to my subject than I normally do to get the same effect? I have never used a FF so I just don't know what to expect.

    Not sure if it would help, but I am normally 4-5' away in this type of photo.
    Last edited by Photog82; 09-08-2016 at 02:54 PM.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photog82 View Post
    I think the hardest thing for me to get my mind around is this. I use the Canon 35 1.4 II for many of my portraits as well as the Canon 24-105 L. I realize that with the 35 it's basically a 50; but, if I put that on a FF, will I just need to get closer to my subject than I normally do to get the same effect?
    Yes.

    Say your composition is 4 ft wide and 6 ft high, with the 35 mm on a crop sensor you would stand ~6.2 ft away. With a 35 mm on a FF sensor you would need to stand ~3.9 ft away. Basically, with a cropped sensor, you will be standing 1.6x the distance further away than FF sensor to get the same composition/framing. Of course, other factors (perspective, bokeh, etc) will be different.

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    Senior Member Photog82's Avatar
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    Hmm, I understand what you're saying. I think the best thing to do is test one side by side. I'd consider the 50 or 85 series primes but they are so old and was not happy with the 50 1.2 when I rented it. I like shooting at 1.4 - 1.6 with these types of shots. Thank you for your help so far.

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    There are a couple of solid third-party full-frame options to consider. First, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is fantastic in the f/1.4-1.6 aperture range. Second, the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC out-performs the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 from an image quality perspective and gives you the benefits of VC (though VC won't likely be beneficial in-studio while using flash/strobes).

    Of course, both come with a small caveat regarding focus consistency. However, I've owned the Sigma 50 Art ever since it's release and I'm quite happy with it. It seems to be one of the better performing Art lenses from an AF perspective. And of course, focus accuracy & consistency issues can be mitigated by using Live View for focusing (which uses the actual sensor data to achieve focus).

    One more thing to consider - the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 is now listed as discontinued at B&H. That could mean an Art version is on the horizon.

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    The benefit of the 7D II is speed and just a little bit of reach when you are using your longest lens and having to crop.
    In about every other situation the FF will give you better results.

    The 35mm f/1.4 L was my walk around lens for years, until the release of the 24-70 II. It can produce very magical pictures on a FF body and IMO FF opens up its full potential. You probably will not be disappointed in the lens but may want to add a 50mm.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 09-08-2016 at 07:34 PM.

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    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    If you like to shoot at f/1.4 to f/1.6, it is usually because you like the blurred background and subject separation. It will be better and typically more pleasing with a FF. I think if you like to shoot wide apertures, it only gets better with FF.

    As for the difference just being the same as stepping forward... it was mentioned the perspective may be different. Well that can be a big difference. The angles are different, and may emphasize facial features completely differently. Which is why many like the 85mm focal length... because it portrays the facial features in a more pleasing natural way.

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    Senior Member Photog82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conropl View Post
    If you like to shoot at f/1.4 to f/1.6, it is usually because you like the blurred background and subject separation. It will be better and typically more pleasing with a FF. I think if you like to shoot wide apertures, it only gets better with FF.

    As for the difference just being the same as stepping forward... it was mentioned the perspective may be different. Well that can be a big difference. The angles are different, and may emphasize facial features completely differently. Which is why many like the 85mm focal length... because it portrays the facial features in a more pleasing natural way.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
    Good points; I'm hoping that Canon will release a new version of the 50 1.2 L and or the 85L at some point. I had a Sigma Art lens but did not get the same results as I do with the 35.

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