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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: houston1852 on October 18, 2012, 01:53:13 PM

Title: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: houston1852 on October 18, 2012, 01:53:13 PM
I have a t2I.  I've always been very happy with it, but I would like to buy a new camera.  Basically so I don't have to switch lenses as much.  I shoot pretty much anything.  Mainly wildlife, nature scenes, and old buildings.  I thought if I'm buying a new camera maybe go for the 5dmrk2.  I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?
As far as lenses go, I have a canon 24-70 2.8, 100-400L, 10-22, and 100 2.8 macro.  I think if I go with the 5dmrk2 my 24/70 would be great, but id also have to find an equivalent ultra wide angle.  Are the low light capabilities of the 5d2 really worth me adding that camera, keeping in mind I still plan on carrying my t2I on my hikes?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Axilrod on October 18, 2012, 02:03:10 PM
Yes you'll lose some reach, as your 100-400mm on your T2i is giving you a very long field of view.  To duplicate the view you get at 400mm on your T2i you would need a 640mm lens.  If you're shooting wildlife it may be worth keeping, or upgrading to a 7D instead.  Your 10-22 has the wide end covered pretty much.  Yes the low-light capabilities of the 5D are an advantage, but how much wildlife are you going to be shooting at night?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on October 18, 2012, 03:34:49 PM
I have a t2I.  I've always been very happy with it, but I would like to buy a new camera.  Basically so I don't have to switch lenses as much.  I shoot pretty much anything.  Mainly wildlife, nature scenes, and old buildings.  I thought if I'm buying a new camera maybe go for the 5dmrk2.  I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?
As far as lenses go, I have a canon 24-70 2.8, 100-400L, 10-22, and 100 2.8 macro.  I think if I go with the 5dmrk2 my 24/70 would be great, but id also have to find an equivalent ultra wide angle.  Are the low light capabilities of the 5d2 really worth me adding that camera, keeping in mind I still plan on carrying my t2I on my hikes?
I'd sell the 10-22 and replace it with the 16-35mm L if you get a 5D MK II. 
I keep my 7D for the longer reach, but its not a huge benefit.  My 7D and 100mmL is a benefit for macro shots wince I get all 18mp on the cropped image.
Personally, if I had to make a choice, the 7D would go and the 5D MK II / MK III would stay. 
Another possibility for you is a used 1D MK III.  It is better all around, but no super wide lens for aps-H.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 18, 2012, 03:57:53 PM
It depends on how you define "reach". Technically speaking, when only factoring in the crop factor, the answer is "No, a cropped sensor like APS-C does not necessarily increase reach." Using a cropped sensor will definitely reduce your angle of view relative to a full-frame camera, as you are cropping the outer edges of the relative frame.

When it comes to discussing reach, what is more important is pixel density, or to be explicit pixel density in the context of a narrower angle of view. I'll get to the specifics in a moment. In most cases, APS-C sensors do have smaller pixels than full frame sensors. As such, historically, it has indeed been true that APS-C type cameras offer greater reach than FF, but with the advent of high density full frame sensors like the D800 and even more so Canon's 46.1mp prototypes that are supposedly out in the field, this is no longer guaranteed to be true.

An ideal comparison of FF to APS-C from a reach standpoint would be to compare the 18mp 1D X and the 18mp 7D. Both cameras have the same number of pixels, and the same image size output. The 7D truly has "greater reach" not only because it has a narrower angle of view, but specifically because it has much smaller pixels. The 1D X has 6.95 micron pixels, while the 7D has 4.3 micron pixels. For the exact same image area, in a photo taken with the exact same lens, the 7D will produce more detail. If the 7D also had 6.95 micron pixels, despite it's narrower angle of view it is not actually extending your reach. The 7D would produce 3208x2144 pixel images that contained the exact same detail as a 1D X image cropped to the same dimensions.

From a pixel-size standpoint, the 7D has about a 60% "reach" advantage over the 1D X, and a 45% reach advantage over the 5D III. If we compare the D800 with the 7D, the 7D's reach advantage shrinks to a mere 7%.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 18, 2012, 04:40:37 PM
I have a t2I.  I've always been very happy with it, but I would like to buy a new camera.  Basically so I don't have to switch lenses as much.  I shoot pretty much anything.  Mainly wildlife, nature scenes, and old buildings.  I thought if I'm buying a new camera maybe go for the 5dmrk2.  I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?
As far as lenses go, I have a canon 24-70 2.8, 100-400L, 10-22, and 100 2.8 macro.  I think if I go with the 5dmrk2 my 24/70 would be great, but id also have to find an equivalent ultra wide angle.  Are the low light capabilities of the 5d2 really worth me adding that camera, keeping in mind I still plan on carrying my t2I on my hikes?

The short answer is yes, as a practical matter the t2i will provide a meaningfully superior image compared to a 5D2 image that has been cropped to the same FOV -- when the ISO is relatively low, the lighting is good, and the image properly exposed, etc.  This is because in this situation the t4i "puts more pixels on the image".   I mentioned all those disclaimers because  - as the available light decreases and ISO goes up, there will be some point where the cropped 5D2 image will be better (even though the final result may not be worthy of a large print)

It escapes me who provided the comparison on this forum (hats off to whomever that was), but it has been established with reasonable credibility that the 7D (which uses the same 18MP sensor as t2i) provides  "just noticeably better IQ" (my interpretation) compared to a 5D3 image cropped to the same FOV -- in optimum lighting conditions where the 7D shines.  So -- given the small IQ improvement of  the 5D3 over the 5D2 (see http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-DSLR-Camera-Review.aspx (http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-DSLR-Camera-Review.aspx)) I would say yes you can expect photos from the T2i to be better than those of the 5D2 cropped to the same FOV -- again where the lighting is good, the image is properly exposed and you are shooting at 400 ISO for example.

My observation, however, is that adding the 5D2 to your bag would be more about adding new capabilities to your arsenal, not about loosing reach.  They are different cameras optimized for different situations.   As the above review shows, the 5D2 can provide significant IQ improvement over the 18mp crop (7D/T2i) esp in high iso situations and if  you CAN move in closer. Especially if the light is poor, then 5D2 is a no brainer advantage. 

Bottom line is that the combination of the two bodies will allow you to optimize IQ in many more situations, avoiding the use of the t2i when it is disadvantaged, and reaching for it when the situation calls for it. In well lit distance-constrained situations where you can't get closer, reach for the t4i.  As ISO increases, though, the 5D2 will start to become more attractive, and especially when you are NOT distance constrained (say, old buildings in low light)  it will produce better IQ than the t2i.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Basti187 on October 18, 2012, 05:27:16 PM
I currently own a T2i as well and do lots of wildlife shooting, so I did quite a lot of research, my advise don't get a 5dm2 as the autofocus is just shitty, no improvement over the t2i, so depending on your budget i'd say go for a 5d mark iii, or IF you don't mind waiting another half a year or longer wait for the 7d mark ii to be released. Another option would be to get a 7D, but it has the same sensor as the t2i which wouldn't be much of an improvement than the obvious AF and FPS.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jthomson on October 18, 2012, 05:28:33 PM
I currently use a T1i which has  15.1 MP sensor.  the 5D3 has approximately 47% more pixels so I would only be giving up small amount of reach but would add several stops of ISO.  I find I am more limited by noise at ISO  1600 on my T1i  than by the  reach.

I was going to wait for the  7DII but maybe the 5D3 would be a viable upgrade.
I'm mostly into bird photography so  how does the AF system of the 5D3 compare to that of the current 7D for birding?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 18, 2012, 05:46:42 PM
I've compared 5DII cropped to APS-C framing to 7D, and found the IQ to be a wash. With minimal processing, the 7D had more sharpness/detail, and the cropped 5DII had less noise.  Noise can be traded for sharpness, of course. The main difference is that the 7D is 18 MP while the cropped 5DII is 8 MP - fine for web and small prints, less desirable for large prints.

Still - I'd not recommend the 5DII for birds/wildlife due to the AF.  The 5DIII is a different story.

An APS-C sensor vs. FF is sometimes called a 'perfect teleconverter'. But that's theory - generic APS-C vs. generic FF.  I have directly compared my 7D with 100-400mm to my 1D X with a 1.4xIII behind the same lens, and at ISO 100, there's no real IQ difference, while at ISO 3200 the 1D X with TC is clearly better.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: tnargs on October 18, 2012, 06:07:10 PM
How is a 5D mk2 going to meet your need to not switch lenses as much?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Kernuak on October 18, 2012, 06:29:22 PM
I've compared 5DII cropped to APS-C framing to 7D, and found the IQ to be a wash. With minimal processing, the 7D had more sharpness/detail, and the cropped 5DII had less noise.  Noise can be traded for sharpness, of course. The main difference is that the 7D is 18 MP while the cropped 5DII is 8 MP - fine for web and small prints, less desirable for large prints.

Still - I'd not recommend the 5DII for birds/wildlife due to the AF.  The 5DIII is a different story.

An APS-C sensor vs. FF is sometimes called a 'perfect teleconverter'. But that's theory - generic APS-C vs. generic FF.  I have directly compared my 7D with 100-400mm to my 1D X with a 1.4xIII behind the same lens, and at ISO 100, there's no real IQ difference, while at ISO 3200 the 1D X with TC is clearly better.
I didn't make any direct scientific comparisons between the 7D and 5D MkIII last week, but looking at the wildlife images I took on the first day, the 5D MkIII was noticeably better, probably as much due to the AF capabilities as the low light. It was so much better, that the 7D barely came out of the bag again, it just came out for some closer (or rather cropped view) macros shots of a dragonfly's head and some wood ants. I'm planning on doing a full review of the MkIII, now that I've finally had a chance to use it properly in the field, instead of just test shots of things that aren't part of my real world photography. I've done brief blog posts before, but I want to spend more time on it now. I got over the problem of reach by using a 2x extender when needed instead of a 1.4x and the image quality was just as good as the 7D with the 1.4x, with the ability to push the ISO higher (I went to ISO 5000, with cleaner images and higher shutterspeeds than the 7D at ISO 1600). The MkII would be less of a difference though, mainly because of the poor AF in comparison, but also, I wouldn't push the ISO quite as high as the MkIII. IQ-wise at lower ISO, it should be a match for the MkIII, if you can focus quick enough.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: houston1852 on October 18, 2012, 06:34:18 PM
How is a 5D mk2 going to meet your need to not switch lenses as much?

I am really appreciating all the replies on this.  I'm gradually starting to understand, but it's gonna take me reading these posts a few more times before I fully get a grasp on it!  As for not switching lenses as much, I just meant I plan on carrying 2 cameras with me.  Most likely keeping my 400 on one, and 24/70 on the other.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 18, 2012, 06:50:32 PM
I just think the motivation to carry two bodies is more about broadening the toolset to optimize more situations-- so your best bet is to understand where the two bodies excel and where they are weak.   If it were (just) about the convinience of lens changing, then you could pick up a refurb t2i for less than the 5D2 and achieve your goal.  In any case, as a way of trying to simply some of the comparisons,  consider:

1.  a crop body focuses the image on a smaller sensor (hence the term). Here you get the full number of pixels "on the image" but at an IQ disadvantage in some situations (due to, among other things, higher pixel density) where the larger sensor will produce better results

2. cropping the FF image to match the "reach" of the crop body could be considered starting with "better" pixels but throwing some of them away to match the field of view of the crop body.  Hence Neuro's results showing a wash between the cropped 5D2 (about an 8 mp image) and the uncroped 7D at 18mp (nice information thanks Neuro).  Accepting these data, one can only imagine how much better the uncropped 5D2 image can be compared to the 7D esp in those situations that favor the FF
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 18, 2012, 06:52:09 PM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 18, 2012, 07:04:15 PM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

This really depends on the ISO setting. At lower ISO settings (sub ISO 1600), I would say the 7D generally wins. It has noise, but the greater number of pixels on subject will usually more than make up for that fact. Noise becomes sub-detail, making it a lot easier to remove (i.e. moderate noise removal tends to have zero effect on actual useful detail). It is only when you get into super ISO 1600 settings that the 5D II would consistently win because of its lower noise. Anything at or beyond ISO 3200 is pretty much dead territory for the 7D...it just doesn't hold up well unless you have a lot of light, in which case you can usually opt for alternative solutions to getting light onto the sensor in trade for a lower ISO setting.

Also, don't forget with a 5D II, you'll have to crop any photo taken with the same lens by about 45% to match the 7D. Assuming you put as many pixels on subject as possible, a 45% crop on the 5D II (leaving 55% of the image remaining) will definitely increase the effects of noise. Now visible noise is also depends on what tonal range it exists in. If you are taking photos of higher key scenes, then cropping the 5D II is probably find. If you are taking photos if lower key scenes, or scenes where smooth gradients are primarily 18% gray tone or less, then noise could very well be a bigger problem on a cropped 5D II than on an uncropped 7D...assuming you get as many pixels on subject as possible (i.e. fill the frame with your subject.)

I would agree that the AF system on the 5D II is very wanting. I would actually pick up a 6D over a 5D II these days if I wanted a cheap FF body (assuming one wasn't willing to convert to Nikon for the D600).
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: CharlieB on October 18, 2012, 07:19:47 PM
So the basic question -

Is the FF with some crop applied, as good, the same, or better than a 1.6 crop body shooting whole sensor.....

I think you'll find that a 5Dmk2 cropped, will be much better than your T2i.  Not tested the same, but just having a feel for cropping with my own 5Dmk2.

Having said that - Profeel.com has 5Dmk2 for $1750 - not totally bad price.  And they have the 7D for $1229 - which I just got from them.  Both are "with shipping".  They shipped my 7d the same day.

I plan on using the  7D as my crop body - mostly for the focusing and FPS, not so much for the reach.  I chose it because it control layout closely matches the 5Dmk2 and because the battery is the same (and I'd have two chargers the same, to charge up a pair of batteries at once).  Maybe less than spectacular reasons...  but it will work for me.  I didn't really want to bank on the any replacement having a totally different control layout.  It matters to me that things are almost fluidly integrated, no thought to use one or the other.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 18, 2012, 07:22:09 PM
Whatever you do don't get a 5d mkII. When doing focal length limited stuff where you're going to wind up cropping you have to look at pixel density of the sensor to get the best result. 7D- 1.6 (crop) x 18MP = 28.8MP (full frame equivalent). 5ds you get 22 or 23 MP.  I recently upgraded my t2i to a 1d Mkiv- 1.3 (crop) x 16.1MP =20.9 MP full frame equivalent. While I do miss the extra MPs practically my image quality has improved a bit for my type of shooting which is primarily birds and some mammals/reptiles/macro stuff. My image noise has improved by ~1 stop at higher ISO's (the higher you go the better the noise improvement is) and my dynamic range at lower ISOs has also improved.  In really bright light with great glass you can probably get better pics with a 7d/t2i if you have great glass, a ton of light to work with, if you are severely focal length limited and have a stationary subject but in 95% of shooting situations you're going to be happier with the 1d Mkiv. I payed $3000 for a used 1d Mkiv and I recommend this purchase over the 5ds because of higher fps, similar image quality (each will shine in different situations), similar FF equivalent MP and its a GD tank and I will definitely be running it into the ground.  The autofocus on the 5dmkIII is a good deal easier and most people get better results with it.  I personally believe if you devote tons of time to the 1d mkIV autofocus you will wind up with slightly better results. Its important to notice that I've been missing more exposures recently because I'm still learning the metering on the camera and the autofocus will take atleast months to get used to. If you shoot jpegs (not really what I recommend) forget everything I said and get a 5dmkIII. If you want the absolute best and have the money to spend get the 1dx, (now they announced f8 autofocus, which I really wish I had known about when I bought the 1d MkIV) you wont miss the MP much but it sounds like this may not be practical. Otherwise, IMO, a used 1d MkIV is your best buy.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: BK on October 18, 2012, 07:31:12 PM
I added a 5DMII to my T2i about a year ago. I agree with pretty much all that's been said here. But I thought I'd add a few thoughts.

1. I've found that the AF on the 5D pretty much the same as the T2i in use and may actually be slightly degraded. Given what I shoot it's not that much of a handicap to me. I find that if I have enough leeway in my DOF that I tend to do a lot of focus and recompose to compensate for the mediocre AF.

2. I found I didn't miss the reach given what I shoot. You can closely approximate what the 100-400 would look like on the 5D by limiting it to 250 on the T2i.

3. My biggest bonus in keeping the T2i was that it felt like a point and shoot especially with a 50 1.8 on the camera. I take the 5D anywhere I intend to make nice photos. But I keep the rebel with me pretty much all the time.

4. In addition to the reach difference you'll also find a difference in DOF. I find that there is just something special about some of my 5D shots that I just can't replicate with the T2i.

Good luck with your choice!
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 18, 2012, 07:31:21 PM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

This really depends on the ISO setting. At lower ISO settings (sub ISO 1600), I would say the 7D generally wins. It has noise, but the greater number of pixels on subject will usually more than make up for that fact. Noise becomes sub-detail, making it a lot easier to remove (i.e. moderate noise removal tends to have zero effect on actual useful detail). It is only when you get into super ISO 1600 settings that the 5D II would consistently win because of its lower noise. Anything at or beyond ISO 3200 is pretty much dead territory for the 7D...it just doesn't hold up well unless you have a lot of light, in which case you can usually opt for alternative solutions to getting light onto the sensor in trade for a lower ISO setting.

Also, don't forget with a 5D II, you'll have to crop any photo taken with the same lens by about 45% to match the 7D. Assuming you put as many pixels on subject as possible, a 45% crop on the 5D II (leaving 55% of the image remaining) will definitely increase the effects of noise. Now visible noise is also depends on what tonal range it exists in. If you are taking photos of higher key scenes, then cropping the 5D II is probably find. If you are taking photos if lower key scenes, or scenes where smooth gradients are primarily 18% gray tone or less, then noise could very well be a bigger problem on a cropped 5D II than on an uncropped 7D...assuming you get as many pixels on subject as possible (i.e. fill the frame with your subject.)

I would agree that the AF system on the 5D II is very wanting. I would actually pick up a 6D over a 5D II these days if I wanted a cheap FF body (assuming one wasn't willing to convert to Nikon for the D600).

I was talking about cropping the 5D II to match the 7D. When compared the two I was using lower ISO settings. The 7D is just marginally better, not substantially. To get it better you have to do more post processing to bring it out than you do the 5D II. So if you are shooting JPEG in camera I would say the 7D is not going to be better at all.

I have had these discussions in the past, until it finally got to the point that I compared. The logic is that the higher pixel density is going to Me_Me_Me substantially the lower pixel density of the 5D II. The logic makes sense, but in real terms it isn't the case. Do keep in mind, I did say "marginally better" I didn't say the 7D's would be worse.

The 7D is the better wildlife camera. I am not sure the T2i would be, you have to weigh out the AF system and frame rate as well. You can have all the pixels in the world, if the camera can't track a BIF will it make a good birding camera?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 18, 2012, 07:37:30 PM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

+1

I'd take the 7D over the 5DII for birds/wildlife/sports.  But compared to the 7D, the 5DIII has better AF, much better high ISO M, and gives up just 2 fps.

When I got my 5DII, I kept my 7D for birds/wildlife. After getting the 1D X, I sold the 5DII.  Now, I'm not sure I will keep the 7D...the IQ is no where near the 7D, and with the new 1D X firmware I can now AF at 1200mm... 

Outside of a backup body, why keep the 7D?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 18, 2012, 07:41:20 PM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

+1

I'd take the 7D over the 5DII for birds/wildlife/sports.  But compared to the 7D, the 5DIII has better AF, much better high ISO M, and gives up just 2 fps.

When I got my 5DII, I kept my 7D for birds/wildlife. After getting the 1D X, I sold the 5DII.  Now, I'm not sure I will keep the 7D...the IQ is no where near the 7D, and with the new 1D X firmware I can now AF at 1200mm... 

Outside of a backup body, why keep the 7D?

To loan to people, you never know when your best drinking buddy might need a camera. You sure don't want to just have one body and have to let him take off with your 1D X.

Also you never know when 1920mm focal length might be handy.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 18, 2012, 08:38:10 PM
This article from Roger Clark, a well-respected scientist and designer of image sensors, might be helpful. It explains and visually demonstrates how pixel density, ISO, noise, and overall light sensitivity relate and work:

http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/ (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/)

Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 18, 2012, 09:07:36 PM
This article from Roger Clark, a well-respected scientist and designer of image sensors, might be helpful. It explains and visually demonstrates how pixel density, ISO, noise, and overall light sensitivity relate and work:

http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/ (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/)

A couple quotes from your linked author;

"Crop factor and the associated focal length multiplier only affects field of view. They do not affect telephoto reach.

Effective focal ratio is a bogus concept. A cropped sensor does not suddenly multiply the lens focal length with the same f/ratio."

"The bottom line in my opinion: given a focal length limited situation and desire for as much detail as I can get, a camera with small pixels, like the 7D is the what I would choose. Not shown in the test, but given a non focal length limited situation where you can change position to get the subject to fill the sensor, a larger sensor (e.g. full frame) with the most pixels is the what I would choose. But if money were not an object, a compromise pixel size is a good option, if one chooses a high quality sensor like those in pro-series cameras."

Interesting though is his test is on the moon, a rather bland subject. If comparing a good wildlife camera I would think you would want to test with a subject with a bit more color variety and a possibly in the same neighborhood.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: gmrza on October 18, 2012, 09:16:07 PM


Outside of a backup body, why keep the 7D?

For your kids ;-)

OK, my son is 6, and there is no way I would give him the 7D to play with, maybe the 350D (which is still sitting in the cupboard). - Admittedly, when I was 6 my father was occasionally letting me use (what was then) his Zeiss Ikon...
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 18, 2012, 10:11:01 PM
This article from Roger Clark, a well-respected scientist and designer of image sensors, might be helpful. It explains and visually demonstrates how pixel density, ISO, noise, and overall light sensitivity relate and work:

http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/ (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/)

A couple quotes from your linked author;

"Crop factor and the associated focal length multiplier only affects field of view. They do not affect telephoto reach.

Effective focal ratio is a bogus concept. A cropped sensor does not suddenly multiply the lens focal length with the same f/ratio."

"The bottom line in my opinion: given a focal length limited situation and desire for as much detail as I can get, a camera with small pixels, like the 7D is the what I would choose. Not shown in the test, but given a non focal length limited situation where you can change position to get the subject to fill the sensor, a larger sensor (e.g. full frame) with the most pixels is the what I would choose. But if money were not an object, a compromise pixel size is a good option, if one chooses a high quality sensor like those in pro-series cameras."

Interesting though is his test is on the moon, a rather bland subject. If comparing a good wildlife camera I would think you would want to test with a subject with a bit more color variety and a possibly in the same neighborhood.

Well, the nice thing about a bland subject is the fine details, minutia, are easy to find and compare. In a complex scene of a bird or wildlife or even landscapes, it is MUCH more difficult to make an objective comparison. The moon has very distinct, fine features but is otherwise simple...so the details, and the differences in the details that exist, are easier to pick out. Like the fine differences in detail and color that the 7D picked up, but which the 5D II did not.

Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan. But money...well...it tends to be THE object most of the time for most people, and objectively, the 7D offers a lot more than people really give it credit for (especially for a nutty nature fan. ;))
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 18, 2012, 11:00:26 PM
This article from Roger Clark, a well-respected scientist and designer of image sensors, might be helpful. It explains and visually demonstrates how pixel density, ISO, noise, and overall light sensitivity relate and work:

http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/ (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/)

A couple quotes from your linked author;

"Crop factor and the associated focal length multiplier only affects field of view. They do not affect telephoto reach.

Effective focal ratio is a bogus concept. A cropped sensor does not suddenly multiply the lens focal length with the same f/ratio."

"The bottom line in my opinion: given a focal length limited situation and desire for as much detail as I can get, a camera with small pixels, like the 7D is the what I would choose. Not shown in the test, but given a non focal length limited situation where you can change position to get the subject to fill the sensor, a larger sensor (e.g. full frame) with the most pixels is the what I would choose. But if money were not an object, a compromise pixel size is a good option, if one chooses a high quality sensor like those in pro-series cameras."

Interesting though is his test is on the moon, a rather bland subject. If comparing a good wildlife camera I would think you would want to test with a subject with a bit more color variety and a possibly in the same neighborhood.

Well, the nice thing about a bland subject is the fine details, minutia, are easy to find and compare. In a complex scene of a bird or wildlife or even landscapes, it is MUCH more difficult to make an objective comparison. The moon has very distinct, fine features but is otherwise simple...so the details, and the differences in the details that exist, are easier to pick out. Like the fine differences in detail and color that the 7D picked up, but which the 5D II did not.

Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan. But money...well...it tends to be THE object most of the time for most people, and objectively, the 7D offers a lot more than people really give it credit for (especially for a nutty nature fan. ;))

You did see his degree is in Planetary Science, so no surprise his subject is the Moon.

One of the problems with photographing the Moon is the lack of contrast. For the most part it is a bland flat orb of reflected light. If you are shooting during the early or late phases you can get more shadow for detail. Contrast is one area that the 5D II and 1D IV are much better than the 7D. I have several thousand pictures of the moon on my computer from all three bodies.

I have to discount his comments about loss of color because that has not been my hands on experience.

I don't disagree with his conclusions either. I only say that the margin of IQ between the 7D and the 5D II cropped is very narrow, and not as wide as some believe. From my perspective when talking sensor only, the crop body is only preferred over full frame when you have your longest lens mounted and you have no more focal length.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 18, 2012, 11:08:12 PM
Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan.


"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here. Who the f--k do you think you're talkin' to?"

 :P
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: moreorless on October 18, 2012, 11:18:29 PM
I have a t2I.  I've always been very happy with it, but I would like to buy a new camera.  Basically so I don't have to switch lenses as much.  I shoot pretty much anything.  Mainly wildlife, nature scenes, and old buildings.  I thought if I'm buying a new camera maybe go for the 5dmrk2.  I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?
As far as lenses go, I have a canon 24-70 2.8, 100-400L, 10-22, and 100 2.8 macro.  I think if I go with the 5dmrk2 my 24/70 would be great, but id also have to find an equivalent ultra wide angle.  Are the low light capabilities of the 5d2 really worth me adding that camera, keeping in mind I still plan on carrying my t2I on my hikes?

I'd say the main thing you need to consider is which aspct of your photography your looking to improve.

The 5D2 probabley would not help you much for shooting wildlife unless you can get very close where as it would improve IQ for closer subjects and in low light.

If you wanted up  improve that aspect perhaps consider the 7D or 1D3 used? you'dnot gain any resolution but would gainy improved AF and FPS.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 18, 2012, 11:34:12 PM
This article from Roger Clark, a well-respected scientist and designer of image sensors, might be helpful. It explains and visually demonstrates how pixel density, ISO, noise, and overall light sensitivity relate and work:

http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/ (http://clarkvision.com/articles/pixel.size.and.iso/)

A couple quotes from your linked author;

"Crop factor and the associated focal length multiplier only affects field of view. They do not affect telephoto reach.

Effective focal ratio is a bogus concept. A cropped sensor does not suddenly multiply the lens focal length with the same f/ratio."

"The bottom line in my opinion: given a focal length limited situation and desire for as much detail as I can get, a camera with small pixels, like the 7D is the what I would choose. Not shown in the test, but given a non focal length limited situation where you can change position to get the subject to fill the sensor, a larger sensor (e.g. full frame) with the most pixels is the what I would choose. But if money were not an object, a compromise pixel size is a good option, if one chooses a high quality sensor like those in pro-series cameras."

Interesting though is his test is on the moon, a rather bland subject. If comparing a good wildlife camera I would think you would want to test with a subject with a bit more color variety and a possibly in the same neighborhood.

Well, the nice thing about a bland subject is the fine details, minutia, are easy to find and compare. In a complex scene of a bird or wildlife or even landscapes, it is MUCH more difficult to make an objective comparison. The moon has very distinct, fine features but is otherwise simple...so the details, and the differences in the details that exist, are easier to pick out. Like the fine differences in detail and color that the 7D picked up, but which the 5D II did not.

Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan. But money...well...it tends to be THE object most of the time for most people, and objectively, the 7D offers a lot more than people really give it credit for (especially for a nutty nature fan. ;))

You did see his degree is in Planetary Science, so no surprise his subject is the Moon.

One of the problems with photographing the Moon is the lack of contrast. For the most part it is a bland flat orb of reflected light. If you are shooting during the early or late phases you can get more shadow for detail. Contrast is one area that the 5D II and 1D IV are much better than the 7D. I have several thousand pictures of the moon on my computer from all three bodies.

I have to discount his comments about loss of color because that has not been my hands on experience.

I don't disagree with his conclusions either. I only say that the margin of IQ between the 7D and the 5D II cropped is very narrow, and not as wide as some believe. From my perspective when talking sensor only, the crop body is only preferred over full frame when you have your longest lens mounted and you have no more focal length.

Well, there are subjective feelings about IQ, and objective comparisons of IQ. Your "feelings" about the 5D II and 1D IV's contrast, at least at the moment, are just that. I was trying to add some objective evidence to the conversation with my link to Roger's article, and I think his evidence speaks for itself.

Regarding moon photography, I too am a moon aficionado. I photograph it all the time with my 7D. Out-of-camera "contrast" is actually something highly dependent on which "camera settings" or "camera profile" you use in your RAW editor. It is also something that is very easy to tweak post-process without any loss of detail. Contrast is certainly not a problem with the 7D, either with neutral white balance, or with enhanced color. All of the following photos, exposed VERY far to the right (so the moon was almost a white disc), looked extremely flat and drab "strait out of camera", appearing to lack any detail at all. I import with the Canon Neutral Camera Profile. With a neutral white balance, bit of exposure tweaking, clarity, vibrance/sat (for the color enhanced versions) and some curves adjustments:

http://500px.com/photo/13321795 (http://500px.com/photo/13321795) (B&W)
http://500px.com/photo/13321799 (http://500px.com/photo/13321799) (Color)

http://500px.com/photo/13008253 (http://500px.com/photo/13008253) (B&W)
http://500px.com/photo/12964733 (http://500px.com/photo/12964733) (Color)

http://500px.com/photo/13008271 (http://500px.com/photo/13008271) (B&W)
http://500px.com/photo/13008277 (http://500px.com/photo/13008277) (Color)

I'd advocate that much the same information is present in each camera, regardless of whether it is a 5D II, 1D IV, or 7D. Despite higher full-well capacity in the 5D and 1D, there is little difference in actual dynamic range between all three cameras. All three are also 14-bit cameras, so there is little difference in the quantization output. The 5D II and 1D IV probably have a higher gain (more electrons per output level), but all that serves to do is mitigate some of the potential benefits of a higher full well capacity (such as greater ADC bit depth without the need to quantize fractional electrons...the other benefit would be S/N). A higher S/N, which leads to a lower per-pixel noise, for the 5D II and 1D IV is mitigated when a 7D image is normalized to the same size. In terms of pixels on subject in a focal-length limited scenario, the 7D actually captures the most total overall light since the moon covers more total pixel in it's frame relative to the 5D or 1D frames.

I would offer, for the benefit of the OP, that the 7D is essentially synonymous with the T2i (from a "reach" or "pixels on subject" standpoint), as they both use the same sensor.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 12:09:55 AM
Out-of-camera "contrast" is actually something highly dependent on which "camera settings" or "camera profile" you use in your RAW editor. It is also something that is very easy to tweak post-process without any loss of detail. Contrast is certainly not a problem with the 7D, either with neutral white balance, or with enhanced color. All of the following photos, exposed VERY far to the right (so the moon was almost a white disc), looked extremely flat and drab "strait out of camera", appearing to lack any detail at all. I import with the Canon Neutral Camera Profile. With a neutral white balance, bit of exposure tweaking, clarity, vibrance/sat (for the color enhanced versions) and some curves adjustments:



I think that is one of the points. The 7D has allot of headroom to be "tweaked".
So a person with far less PP skill than you wouldn't necessarily see the same results out of his 7D would he?

Still, my opinions are based on actually owning all three bodies and actually using them in the field taking wildlife pictures. The 7D gets taken because of its AF system over the 5D II, if I owned a 5D III and its AF system was as good as they say I would take it over the 7D. Right now I take my 1D IV over the 7D and and 5D II. We can read the so called "experts" opinions but in the end, it is the pictures I take that provide the final proof for me. So yes, my opinions are just that opinions of the 3 bodies based on the 80,000 pictures they have put on my computer in the last 3 1/2 years. Some of us prefer to find out for ourselves what is best.


Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 12:17:48 AM
I have a t2I.  I've always been very happy with it, but I would like to buy a new camera.  Basically so I don't have to switch lenses as much.  I shoot pretty much anything.  Mainly wildlife, nature scenes, and old buildings.  I thought if I'm buying a new camera maybe go for the 5dmrk2.  I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?
As far as lenses go, I have a canon 24-70 2.8, 100-400L, 10-22, and 100 2.8 macro.  I think if I go with the 5dmrk2 my 24/70 would be great, but id also have to find an equivalent ultra wide angle.  Are the low light capabilities of the 5d2 really worth me adding that camera, keeping in mind I still plan on carrying my t2I on my hikes?

Usually but not because of the crop per se but just because they usually have a denser sensor than the same FF models of any given era. The key is to have a higher density of photosites per area.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 12:21:59 AM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

This really depends on the ISO setting. At lower ISO settings (sub ISO 1600), I would say the 7D generally wins. It has noise, but the greater number of pixels on subject will usually more than make up for that fact. Noise becomes sub-detail, making it a lot easier to remove (i.e. moderate noise removal tends to have zero effect on actual useful detail). It is only when you get into super ISO 1600 settings that the 5D II would consistently win because of its lower noise. Anything at or beyond ISO 3200 is pretty much dead territory for the 7D...it just doesn't hold up well unless you have a lot of light, in which case you can usually opt for alternative solutions to getting light onto the sensor in trade for a lower ISO setting.

Also, don't forget with a 5D II, you'll have to crop any photo taken with the same lens by about 45% to match the 7D. Assuming you put as many pixels on subject as possible, a 45% crop on the 5D II (leaving 55% of the image remaining) will definitely increase the effects of noise. Now visible noise is also depends on what tonal range it exists in. If you are taking photos of higher key scenes, then cropping the 5D II is probably find. If you are taking photos if lower key scenes, or scenes where smooth gradients are primarily 18% gray tone or less, then noise could very well be a bigger problem on a cropped 5D II than on an uncropped 7D...assuming you get as many pixels on subject as possible (i.e. fill the frame with your subject.)

I would agree that the AF system on the 5D II is very wanting. I would actually pick up a 6D over a 5D II these days if I wanted a cheap FF body (assuming one wasn't willing to convert to Nikon for the D600).

I was talking about cropping the 5D II to match the 7D. When compared the two I was using lower ISO settings. The 7D is just marginally better, not substantially. To get it better you have to do more post processing to bring it out than you do the 5D II. So if you are shooting JPEG in camera I would say the 7D is not going to be better at all.

I have had these discussions in the past, until it finally got to the point that I compared. The logic is that the higher pixel density is going to Me_Me_Me substantially the lower pixel density of the 5D II. The logic makes sense, but in real terms it isn't the case. Do keep in mind, I did say "marginally better" I didn't say the 7D's would be worse.

The 7D is the better wildlife camera. I am not sure the T2i would be, you have to weigh out the AF system and frame rate as well. You can have all the pixels in the world, if the camera can't track a BIF will it make a good birding camera?

I posted a series of test files a while back that would definitely disagree with that assertion and so did Romy (liquidstone). 7D has a real advantage for reach (and it's even a trace less noisy per sensor area than the 5D2 although not than the 5D3/1DX).

I can try to dig up the files ago, I may have posted them on this site in the past, definitely in other forums, too.


Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: weixing on October 19, 2012, 12:24:12 AM
Hi,
    Since crop sensor use only the central region of the image circle where the lens perform the best, its should produce sharper image when using an EF lens. So theoretically, when there is enough light, a crop camera with EF 300mm F2.8 will give better IQ (mainly sharper image) compare to a full frame camera with a EF 400mm F2.8 (both will have similar FoV), right?

    Have a nice day.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 12:33:21 AM
I have done the comparison as well. Comparing the 7d to the 5d II image cropped to match, the amount of improvement you gain with the  7d is marginal. If you have no PP skills it is non existent as the 5d II will be better.  To make the 7d file marginally better requires more processing than the 5d II. The difference is not enough to matter.

The difference that does matter is the AF system of the 7D and the high frame rate which makes it a better wildlife camera.

This really depends on the ISO setting. At lower ISO settings (sub ISO 1600), I would say the 7D generally wins. It has noise, but the greater number of pixels on subject will usually more than make up for that fact. Noise becomes sub-detail, making it a lot easier to remove (i.e. moderate noise removal tends to have zero effect on actual useful detail). It is only when you get into super ISO 1600 settings that the 5D II would consistently win because of its lower noise. Anything at or beyond ISO 3200 is pretty much dead territory for the 7D...it just doesn't hold up well unless you have a lot of light, in which case you can usually opt for alternative solutions to getting light onto the sensor in trade for a lower ISO setting.

Also, don't forget with a 5D II, you'll have to crop any photo taken with the same lens by about 45% to match the 7D. Assuming you put as many pixels on subject as possible, a 45% crop on the 5D II (leaving 55% of the image remaining) will definitely increase the effects of noise. Now visible noise is also depends on what tonal range it exists in. If you are taking photos of higher key scenes, then cropping the 5D II is probably find. If you are taking photos if lower key scenes, or scenes where smooth gradients are primarily 18% gray tone or less, then noise could very well be a bigger problem on a cropped 5D II than on an uncropped 7D...assuming you get as many pixels on subject as possible (i.e. fill the frame with your subject.)

I would agree that the AF system on the 5D II is very wanting. I would actually pick up a 6D over a 5D II these days if I wanted a cheap FF body (assuming one wasn't willing to convert to Nikon for the D600).

I was talking about cropping the 5D II to match the 7D. When compared the two I was using lower ISO settings. The 7D is just marginally better, not substantially. To get it better you have to do more post processing to bring it out than you do the 5D II. So if you are shooting JPEG in camera I would say the 7D is not going to be better at all.

I have had these discussions in the past, until it finally got to the point that I compared. The logic is that the higher pixel density is going to Me_Me_Me substantially the lower pixel density of the 5D II. The logic makes sense, but in real terms it isn't the case. Do keep in mind, I did say "marginally better" I didn't say the 7D's would be worse.

The 7D is the better wildlife camera. I am not sure the T2i would be, you have to weigh out the AF system and frame rate as well. You can have all the pixels in the world, if the camera can't track a BIF will it make a good birding camera?

I posted a series of test files a while back that would definitely disagree with that assertion and so did Romy (liquidstone). 7D has a real advantage for reach (and it's even a trace less noisy per sensor area than the 5D2 although not than the 5D3/1DX).

I can try to dig up the files ago, I may have posted them on this site in the past, definitely in other forums, too.

LOL, ok I will dig up all my test pictures that I have taken. Then we can debate how much your "real" advantage is compared to what I consider a "marginal" advantage. There is the chance that what I consider "marginal" may even be better than what you consider a "real" advantage.

But in the end, the answer to this question is that the 7D trumps the OP's original camera he has and the 5D II for wildlife. The reason is the AF system and the frame rate. Any other benefit isn't as substantial as that one.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 12:47:11 AM
Hi,
    Since crop sensor use only the central region of the image circle where the lens perform the best, its should produce sharper image when using an EF lens. So theoretically, when there is enough light, a crop camera with EF 300mm F2.8 will give better IQ (mainly sharper image) compare to a full frame camera with a EF 400mm F2.8 (both will have similar FoV), right?

    Have a nice day.

It would actually be closer to the 500mm with FF. 1.6 x 300mm would be 480mm.

I think if you did side by side examples you would prefer the FF. I know I do. You could test the 85mm vs the 135mm, I have seen where people have done this test and the FF comes out on top.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 19, 2012, 12:56:33 AM
Out-of-camera "contrast" is actually something highly dependent on which "camera settings" or "camera profile" you use in your RAW editor. It is also something that is very easy to tweak post-process without any loss of detail. Contrast is certainly not a problem with the 7D, either with neutral white balance, or with enhanced color. All of the following photos, exposed VERY far to the right (so the moon was almost a white disc), looked extremely flat and drab "strait out of camera", appearing to lack any detail at all. I import with the Canon Neutral Camera Profile. With a neutral white balance, bit of exposure tweaking, clarity, vibrance/sat (for the color enhanced versions) and some curves adjustments:



I think that is one of the points. The 7D has allot of headroom to be "tweaked".
So a person with far less PP skill than you wouldn't necessarily see the same results out of his 7D would he?

Still, my opinions are based on actually owning all three bodies and actually using them in the field taking wildlife pictures. The 7D gets taken because of its AF system over the 5D II, if I owned a 5D III and its AF system was as good as they say I would take it over the 7D. Right now I take my 1D IV over the 7D and and 5D II. We can read the so called "experts" opinions but in the end, it is the pictures I take that provide the final proof for me. So yes, my opinions are just that opinions of the 3 bodies based on the 80,000 pictures they have put on my computer in the last 3 1/2 years. Some of us prefer to find out for ourselves what is best.

Again, I was just trying to add some objectivity to the discussion. Personally, I'd still take the 1D IV as well. "Overall", it is the better camera, no way around that. I totally agree that there are other factors to consider, and the 1D IV brings a lot of additional factors to the table (including a pretty incredible AF system that includes f/8 AF, meaning it has the potential to use 2x TC's on f/4 lenses, which could offer a whole additional level of "reach" beyond what the 7D can.)

I just think the 7D gets a really bad rap when it is not really deserving of it, and I try to provide concrete evidence to the contrary whenever I can.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: weixing on October 19, 2012, 02:27:04 AM
Hi,
Hi,
    Since crop sensor use only the central region of the image circle where the lens perform the best, its should produce sharper image when using an EF lens. So theoretically, when there is enough light, a crop camera with EF 300mm F2.8 will give better IQ (mainly sharper image) compare to a full frame camera with a EF 400mm F2.8 (both will have similar FoV), right?

    Have a nice day.

It would actually be closer to the 500mm with FF. 1.6 x 300mm would be 480mm.

I think if you did side by side examples you would prefer the FF. I know I do. You could test the 85mm vs the 135mm, I have seen where people have done this test and the FF comes out on top.
    Hmm... I just wondering: will image shoot with a crop sensor resolve more details than a full frame camera using the same lens at the same distance?? Meaning will I see details on image shooting with a crop sensor that didn't appear on image shoot with full frame sensor using the same lens at the same distance?

    I'm very interested in this as I'm currently thinking of whether to get a full frame or not for birding. Currently, I'm using EF 400mm F5.6L with 60D. The problem I had with 60D are basically noise (I confess I'm obsess with noise, so I seldom shoot above ISO 1600...  :( ) and AF at dim light... miss quite a few opportunity at some rare birds when they appear at time when light is low, so I think getting a 6D (when it become available) might improve on this (I can't afford any of the > 400mm lens) and I like the idea of have a GPS coordinate tag with my image...  ;D Also, I can keep my 60D as a backup camera since most of the accessories can be share.

    Have a nice day.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: epsiloneri on October 19, 2012, 02:32:58 AM
Just adding my moon comparisons of 7D vs. 5D2+TC1.4x (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=1118.msg15022#msg15022) to the thread.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: TexPhoto on October 19, 2012, 02:47:02 AM
Is the crop 7D going to have more reach? Yes of course.  But of course you can just crop the FF image for more reach also.

is the 7D going to yield more pixels vs. the cropped 5D/ yes of Course 

Is it going to yield more detail? Depends if the lens is sharp enough. And the 100-400 is not known for sharpness at 400. So maybe not.

On my 400mm f2.8 IS I, my 7D has way more reach and detail than my 5D II (now III)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 03:01:23 AM
LOL, ok I will dig up all my test pictures that I have taken. Then we can debate how much your "real" advantage is compared to what I consider a "marginal" advantage. There is the chance that what I consider "marginal" may even be better than what you consider a "real" advantage.

But in the end, the answer to this question is that the 7D trumps the OP's original camera he has and the 5D II for wildlife. The reason is the AF system and the frame rate. Any other benefit isn't as substantial as that one.

(http://sunsetbayphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v69/p1143979030.jpg)

make sure to click as much as needed to get to the full original image size

You don't think the top and bottom (7D) show noticeably more detail captured than the 5D2/5D3 (center)?
And look at Romy/liquidstone's various tests....

And the thing is, if you say the 7D has no reach advantage over a 5D2 then you must also agree that usage of TCs is always a waste....
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: sandymandy on October 19, 2012, 05:05:52 AM
Of course there is more detail because the dollar is bigger in the photo. If you use a microscope there will be TONS of more detail...
get what i mean? Such test photos only make sense when the final output is the same.

7D just gives u more detail in aka you dont have to move closer to the subject to get the field of view you want. 80mm lens on 5D and 50mm lens on 7D should give equal results. But not EXACTLY cuz the bokeh will also look different etc.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: studio1972 on October 19, 2012, 05:37:51 AM
I currently own a T2i as well and do lots of wildlife shooting, so I did quite a lot of research, my advise don't get a 5dm2 as the autofocus is just shitty, no improvement over the t2i, so depending on your budget i'd say go for a 5d mark iii, or IF you don't mind waiting another half a year or longer wait for the 7d mark ii to be released. Another option would be to get a 7D, but it has the same sensor as the t2i which wouldn't be much of an improvement than the obvious AF and FPS.

The 5D2 AF is far superior to the T2i.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: serendipidy on October 19, 2012, 05:47:42 AM


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Eimajm on October 19, 2012, 09:00:11 AM
No crop sensors don't add reach, a 400mm is a 400mm no matter what size sensor it is put on. It will give the same optical effect if you are at the same distance. You will see the difference when you display (print) your images; for instance comparing the 1DX and the 7D, both 18MP sensors. Imagine you take a picture at the same distance with both cameras, subject filling the frame of the 7D. You then crop the 1DX to the same framing. Your photos will look exactly the same, however when you print then out @ 300dpi the 7D will be roughly A3 size the 1DX slighly under A4 (18MP vs 7.2). What if you only print out at A4? You downsize the 7D and upscale the 1DX image a tiny amount, you then have exactly the same image (not accounting for pixel quality).

If your intention is to print and display your image at A3 300dpi, then your 7D requires no upsampling; the 1dX image will require considerable upsampling and will more than likely introduce artifacts which will degrade the overall quality of the image. So the benefit of the 7D over the 1DX is only when displaying images at large sizes like A3 where large scale upsmapling a cropped 1DX image is likley to intorduce unwanted artifacts which would degrade the image to that lower than the 7D (never tried this but would think it would).

Ever seen those beautiful bird portraits with the buttery smooth background taken with a FF and 600mm, you can't do that as well with a crop and 400mm lens at the same (similar) distance (640 effective focal lens). A FF allows you to get closer to the subject and still retain the same framing as crop with shorter lens, therefore the bokeh is far better and is a more desirable quality in photographs which is the benefit of FF with long lenses. I'm not going to mention any more benefits of FF like cleaner files as we all know about that...
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 19, 2012, 09:16:48 AM
And the thing is, if you say the 7D has no reach advantage over a 5D2 then you must also agree that usage of TCs is always a waste....

First of all, the money shots :D  there can't be compared meaningfully because they are not the same FOV, and therefore do not target the same output result.   For the purpose of advising the OP we are talking about the final output IQ of a 5D2 image that has been cropped to match the FOV of the 7D or t2i.  One has to ignore the pixel count and pixel densities, because these numbers by themselves do not meaningfully predict the outcome of such as test. 

secondly, I have to admit I'm struggling a bit to see the equivalence of using optical multpliers versus cropping the final image.  The comparison is interesting, to be sure, and valuable in its own right, but is not nearly as simplistic as stated. To be sure, optical multiplication introduces side-effects of its own but these are heavily dependant on the TC itself and the native lens to which it is attached.  Taking those into account, the advantage is that with careful choices one can present a larger image magnification to the sensor,  decreasing the FOV opticallly while taking full advantage of the sensor's native resolution and IQ.  This technique will advantage the FF body, and represents a very different test case than the OP has presented.   For example, take a photo, properly exposed and framed of course,  with the t2i and a 300 f/2.8 lens.  Then add the 1.4 III to the lens and mount the combination on the 5D2 body and crop the resultant image to match the 1.6 crop factor of the t2i.  is there any doubt as to which will produce a superior result in more situations?  To take the experiment further -- mount a 2x III to the 300 f/2.8 and take a photo with the 5d2, then take the TC off and take the same photo with the t2i, croping the result to match the FOV.  5D2 wins.

All that aside, in conversations about "reach advantage" the optical vector to the discussion is irrelavent anyway because it misses the point.  the point is that in distance constrained situations, where the limit of optical magnfication has already been reached (think "I'm gonna have to crop even the 7D image just a bit"), one cannot suddenly outfit the FF body with a different optical system to answer the question.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 09:31:01 AM
LOL, ok I will dig up all my test pictures that I have taken. Then we can debate how much your "real" advantage is compared to what I consider a "marginal" advantage. There is the chance that what I consider "marginal" may even be better than what you consider a "real" advantage.

But in the end, the answer to this question is that the 7D trumps the OP's original camera he has and the 5D II for wildlife. The reason is the AF system and the frame rate. Any other benefit isn't as substantial as that one.

(http://sunsetbayphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v69/p1143979030.jpg)

make sure to click as much as needed to get to the full original image size

You don't think the top and bottom (7D) show noticeably more detail captured than the 5D2/5D3 (center)?
And look at Romy/liquidstone's various tests....

And the thing is, if you say the 7D has no reach advantage over a 5D2 then you must also agree that usage of TCs is always a waste....

First, where did I say it had absolutely no reach advantage?

In your test you are comparing a flat evenly lit two dimensional object, with most wildlife I photograph are unevenly lit three dimensional objects. In an example like you offer you can compare the resolution you may get with the higher pixel density of the 7D and of course you will see more resolution, but there are many other aspects that go in to IQ and the final picture. You can't just take one aspect and claim it explains all.

I bought the 7D after listening to all of the people that beat the number drums and form the parade to march up and down the street telling everyone how great the 1.6 crop is based on numbers. After all I wanted the best wildlife camera I could get so why not give it a try. To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal. No matter how much I wanted to I just couldn’t join the parade. I can’t join the parade today either, sorry.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 09:36:08 AM
Hi,
Hi,
    Since crop sensor use only the central region of the image circle where the lens perform the best, its should produce sharper image when using an EF lens. So theoretically, when there is enough light, a crop camera with EF 300mm F2.8 will give better IQ (mainly sharper image) compare to a full frame camera with a EF 400mm F2.8 (both will have similar FoV), right?

    Have a nice day.

It would actually be closer to the 500mm with FF. 1.6 x 300mm would be 480mm.

I think if you did side by side examples you would prefer the FF. I know I do. You could test the 85mm vs the 135mm, I have seen where people have done this test and the FF comes out on top.
    Hmm... I just wondering: will image shoot with a crop sensor resolve more details than a full frame camera using the same lens at the same distance?? Meaning will I see details on image shooting with a crop sensor that didn't appear on image shoot with full frame sensor using the same lens at the same distance?

    I'm very interested in this as I'm currently thinking of whether to get a full frame or not for birding. Currently, I'm using EF 400mm F5.6L with 60D. The problem I had with 60D are basically noise (I confess I'm obsess with noise, so I seldom shoot above ISO 1600...  :( ) and AF at dim light... miss quite a few opportunity at some rare birds when they appear at time when light is low, so I think getting a 6D (when it become available) might improve on this (I can't afford any of the > 400mm lens) and I like the idea of have a GPS coordinate tag with my image...  ;D Also, I can keep my 60D as a backup camera since most of the accessories can be share.

    Have a nice day.

What can you afford?
The 1D IV used would be my first thought. Superb AF system and IQ.
I wouldn't get the 5D II for birding, it is a still camera.
If the AF system of the 5D III is as good as they say but lower frame rate.
The 7D would be the next logical step up if you are looking birding camera. Take the 1D IV leap if you can and it is that important to you.

Edit; I would put more weight in the AF system than the sensors when picking one of these bodies.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 19, 2012, 09:43:28 AM
No crop sensors don't add reach, a 400mm is a 400mm no matter what size sensor it is put on.

To be precise,  you are correct in that the sensor itself does not change the optical characteristics of a given lens, but for the purpose of addressing the OPs inquiry, and for understanding the effects of the crop body as a practical matter  -- I believe it is fair to use the term "reach" because this term is applied loosely and refers only to equivalent FOV.  It does not mean "precisely equivalent result,  in every way,  to using a longer lens on a FF body"
[/quote]
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 19, 2012, 09:47:12 AM
To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal.

Agreed. 

Real world, same lens, cropped 5DII vs. 7D, no meaningful IQ difference except the number of MP you're left with after cropping.  Real world camera performance, 7D beats 5DII hands down for birds/wildlife. 

Real world, FF camera with better performance (e.g. 5DIII, 1D X) and longer vs. 7D and shorter lens, no contest, 7D loses out.

Real world, can't afford longer lens on FF camera with better performance, shorter lens on 7D is still pretty damn good.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: sawsedge on October 19, 2012, 09:52:51 AM
Is the crop 7D going to have more reach? Yes of course.  But of course you can just crop the FF image for more reach also.

is the 7D going to yield more pixels vs. the cropped 5D/ yes of Course 

Is it going to yield more detail? Depends if the lens is sharp enough. And the 100-400 is not known for sharpness at 400. So maybe not.

On my 400mm f2.8 IS I, my 7D has way more reach and detail than my 5D II (now III)


My 100-400 is excellent at 400, wide open.  And coupled with my 5D3, the images are much nicer than what came out of my 50D.  I attribute a good part of that to the AF of the 5D3.

So to the OP, you have an excellent lens lineup.  I think good AF is a major factor for wildlife.  I'd go with either a 7D or 5D3 for the AF... or 1D4, 1DX if you can afford such.  If you go full frame, replace the 10-22 with a 17-40 unless you need the extra stop of the 16-35.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 09:57:22 AM
To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal.

Agreed. 

Real world, same lens, cropped 5DII vs. 7D, no meaningful IQ difference except the number of MP you're left with after cropping.  Real world camera performance, 7D beats 5DII hands down for birds/wildlife. 

Real world, FF camera with better performance (e.g. 5DIII, 1D X) and longer vs. 7D and shorter lens, no contest, 7D loses out.

Real world, can't afford longer lens on FF camera with better performance, shorter lens on 7D is still pretty damn good.

And the 1D IV vs......

It lost its f/8 edge over the 1D X. 
So now it comes down to an extra stop of usable ISO vs a 1.3 crop factor?
The reasons I haven't upgraded are becoming fewer.
Against the 5DIII I would think the 1D IV would be preferred.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: RLPhoto on October 19, 2012, 10:11:14 AM
Yes, It does add a bit of reach.

I can Crop far further into my 7D frame than my 5D3 frame, and still get a good image.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 19, 2012, 10:22:54 AM
And the 1D IV vs......

It lost its f/8 edge over the 1D X. 
So now it comes down to an extra stop of usable ISO vs a 1.3 crop factor?
The reasons I haven't upgraded are becoming fewer.
Against the 5DIII I would think the 1D IV would be preferred.

For birds/wildlife, I'd take a 1DIV over a 5DIII, and a 1D X over a 1DIV.  Initially, I had been considering replacing my 7D with a refurb 1DIV.  But after shooting for a while with the 1D X, I dont' really see the point...
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 19, 2012, 11:12:09 AM
And the 1D IV vs......

It lost its f/8 edge over the 1D X. 
So now it comes down to an extra stop of usable ISO vs a 1.3 crop factor?
The reasons I haven't upgraded are becoming fewer.
Against the 5DIII I would think the 1D IV would be preferred.

For birds/wildlife, I'd take a 1DIV over a 5DIII, and a 1D X over a 1DIV.  Initially, I had been considering replacing my 7D with a refurb 1DIV.  But after shooting for a while with the 1D X, I dont' really see the point...

And now that the 1D X officially supports 5-pt f/8 AF, the key advantage the 1D IV had over the 1D X is now gone.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: K-amps on October 19, 2012, 12:07:59 PM
Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan. But money...well...it tends to be THE object most of the time for most people,

Even with enough funds... we'd be a the mercy of the Flourite crystals that refuse to grow any faster...  :P
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: insanitybeard on October 19, 2012, 12:52:19 PM
To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal.

Agreed. 

Real world, same lens, cropped 5DII vs. 7D, no meaningful IQ difference except the number of MP you're left with after cropping.  Real world camera performance, 7D beats 5DII hands down for birds/wildlife. 

Real world, FF camera with better performance (e.g. 5DIII, 1D X) and longer vs. 7D and shorter lens, no contest, 7D loses out.

Real world, can't afford longer lens on FF camera with better performance, shorter lens on 7D is still pretty damn good.

Amen to that.
The more expensive full frame cameras should perform better- otherwise, why pay all that extra money? I can't afford more than my 7D for the forseeable future but it's good to know that it's performance relative to what it costs is pretty good. YMMV- there are plenty of posts dissing the IQ of the 7D after all, but we can't all afford full frame. It's all relative.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 19, 2012, 01:15:27 PM
To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal.

Agreed. 

Real world, same lens, cropped 5DII vs. 7D, no meaningful IQ difference except the number of MP you're left with after cropping.  Real world camera performance, 7D beats 5DII hands down for birds/wildlife. 

Real world, FF camera with better performance (e.g. 5DIII, 1D X) and longer vs. 7D and shorter lens, no contest, 7D loses out.

Real world, can't afford longer lens on FF camera with better performance, shorter lens on 7D is still pretty damn good.

Amen to that.
The more expensive full frame cameras should perform better- otherwise, why pay all that extra money? I can't afford more than my 7D for the forseeable future but it's good to know that it's performance relative to what it costs is pretty good. YMMV- there are plenty of posts dissing the IQ of the 7D after all, but we can't all afford full frame. It's all relative.

I agree with that, too. The 7D only really wins in focal-length limited situations. The larger your pixel, the better the native output is going to be, regardless. I wasn't trying to say the 7D was better than the likes of the 5D III or anything from the 1D series. Simply that it doesn't get the credit it deserves for what it DOES offer, and its pretty good all things considered...in a focal-length limited scenario.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 02:44:53 PM
Of course there is more detail because the dollar is bigger in the photo. If you use a microscope there will be TONS of more detail...
get what i mean? Such test photos only make sense when the final output is the same.

7D just gives u more detail in aka you dont have to move closer to the subject to get the field of view you want. 80mm lens on 5D and 50mm lens on 7D should give equal results. But not EXACTLY cuz the bokeh will also look different etc.

Yeah but the dollar bill is bigger because it gives more reach, which is the whole point!
You only care about reach when you can get any closer and in that case teh 7D tosses more details on your subject than the 5D2/5D3, for instance. OTOH, if you are framing some landscape shot or if you can get close enough to the bird or whatever to frame as you wish on FF then the 5D2/5D3 do better than the 7D and, in fact, I used my 5D2 for a lot more total shots then I did my 7D, but, real world too yes, my 7D put better detail on subjects when I was distance limited.


Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: rpt on October 19, 2012, 02:49:42 PM
Like somebody said earlier in this thread you need to factor in pixel density. Otherwise you can't really say if you got more reach or not...
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 02:52:43 PM


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o
and they turn into this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg (http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg)

after you get the 24-70 II (or basically any new Canon product, even a lens cap  ;D)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 02:58:37 PM
And the thing is, if you say the 7D has no reach advantage over a 5D2 then you must also agree that usage of TCs is always a waste....

First of all, the money shots :D  there can't be compared meaningfully because they are not the same FOV, and therefore do not target the same output result.   For the purpose of advising the OP we are talking about the final output IQ of a 5D2 image that has been cropped to match the FOV of the 7D or t2i.  One has to ignore the pixel count and pixel densities, because these numbers by themselves do not meaningfully predict the outcome of such as test. 

No, the OP is asking about reach, what he can do when distance limited, nobody cares about your FOV when you are distance limited, FOV is meaningless when you are distance limited.

He wasn't asking about what lens to use to get a certain landscape shot to give him the same FOV shot from the same spot.


Quote
secondly, I have to admit I'm struggling a bit to see the equivalence of using optical multpliers versus cropping the final image.  The comparison is interesting, to be sure, and valuable in its own right, but is not nearly as simplistic as stated. To be sure, optical multiplication introduces side-effects of its own but these are heavily dependant on the TC itself and the native lens to which it is attached.  Taking those into account, the advantage is that with careful choices one can present a larger image magnification to the sensor,  decreasing the FOV opticallly while taking full advantage of the sensor's native resolution and IQ.  This technique will advantage the FF body, and represents a very different test case than the OP has presented.   For example, take a photo, properly exposed and framed of course,  with the t2i and a 300 f/2.8 lens.  Then add the 1.4 III to the lens and mount the combination on the 5D2 body and crop the resultant image to match the 1.6 crop factor of the t2i.  is there any doubt as to which will produce a superior result in more situations?  To take the experiment further -- mount a 2x III to the 300 f/2.8 and take a photo with the 5d2, then take the TC off and take the same photo with the t2i, croping the result to match the FOV.  5D2 wins.

a single 1.4x TC won't even quite make up for teh 7D reach advantage and here is the point if you can manage to get close enough to the subject with whatever lens and TC you have then you are not reach limited

when you are limited then he just pops the 1.4x or 2x TC on his 300 2.8 and shoots with his t2i and then does better than his 5D2 with that same combo being shot on his distant bird or moose or t rex or whatever



Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: rpt on October 19, 2012, 03:01:07 PM


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o

and they turn into this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg (http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg)

after you get the 24-70 II (or basically any new Canon product, even a lens cap  ;D)
@serendipidy, I hope the picture on top was not the flip side of your $20 bill :)


@LTRLT, :) what can I say? You are really rallying the troops aren't you?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 03:01:23 PM
I bought the 7D after listening to all of the people that beat the number drums and form the parade to march up and down the street telling everyone how great the 1.6 crop is based on numbers. After all I wanted the best wildlife camera I could get so why not give it a try. To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal. No matter how much I wanted to I just couldn’t join the parade. I can’t join the parade today either, sorry.

Well all I can say is my results are different in real world shooting. I notice it shooting birds and such too. And look at what Romy/liquidstone has to say on the matter, he is a famous bird photography from the Phillipines.

I most often do get real world better detail if I use 7D vs 5D2 using the same optics or if I compare using a bare long prime to one with a TC on it.

If you can't get it to work for you in the field then you can't, but that is definitely not the case for everyone.

Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 03:03:44 PM


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o

and they turn into this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg (http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg)

after you get the 24-70 II (or basically any new Canon product, even a lens cap  ;D)
@serendipidy, I hope the picture on top was not the flip side of your $20 bill :)


@LTRLT, :) what can I say? You are really rallying the troops aren't you?

actually the $20 and $1 were mine, i misquoted (i fixed the post now)
they were the flip sides to my $100 first after I bought a Canon spare battery and second after I added the 24-70 hah
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: rpt on October 19, 2012, 03:09:47 PM


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o

and they turn into this:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg (http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8082002857_bd58157188_o.jpg)

after you get the 24-70 II (or basically any new Canon product, even a lens cap  ;D)
@serendipidy, I hope the picture on top was not the flip side of your $20 bill :)


@LTRLT, :) what can I say? You are really rallying the troops aren't you?

actually the $20 and $1 were mine, i misquoted (i fixed the post now)
they were the flip sides to my $100 first after I bought a Canon spare battery and second after I added the 24-70 hah
:)
As long as you have the 20 and the 1 and not two 10.5s you are good...
Have a great weekend (in case I crash...)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 19, 2012, 03:18:56 PM
I bought the 7D after listening to all of the people that beat the number drums and form the parade to march up and down the street telling everyone how great the 1.6 crop is based on numbers. After all I wanted the best wildlife camera I could get so why not give it a try. To me end results matter, the rest is just specs and hype that sells cameras. I took both cameras with me in the field and whenever the chance arose I tested both. Armed with actual field knowledge and samples I concluded in the end the benefit is only marginal. No matter how much I wanted to I just couldn’t join the parade. I can’t join the parade today either, sorry.

Well all I can say is my results are different in real world shooting. I notice it shooting birds and such too. And look at what Romy/liquidstone has to say on the matter, he is a famous bird photography from the Phillipines.

I most often do get real world better detail if I use 7D vs 5D2 using the same optics or if I compare using a bare long prime to one with a TC on it.

If you can't get it to work for you in the field then you can't, but that is definitely not the case for everyone.

First, I really don't care what Romy/liquidstone has to say in the matter. He doesn't take my pictures for me. I am sure he is a fine photographer. I have been reading the reviews and comments about the 7D and 5D II since before they were released. I doubt after 3 1/2 years of reading these reviews that anything Romy/liquidstone is going to throw out that is new and cutting edge.

Second, I said from the start the 7D would be the better wildlife camera. Where did I say I couldn't get it to work for me?  I am not sure what you are debating other than I said the IQ improvement is marginal in real life situations and somehow to you the term "marginal" just isn't good enough.

Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 19, 2012, 03:56:35 PM
And the thing is, if you say the 7D has no reach advantage over a 5D2 then you must also agree that usage of TCs is always a waste....

First of all, the money shots :D  there can't be compared meaningfully because they are not the same FOV, and therefore do not target the same output result.   For the purpose of advising the OP we are talking about the final output IQ of a 5D2 image that has been cropped to match the FOV of the 7D or t2i.  One has to ignore the pixel count and pixel densities, because these numbers by themselves do not meaningfully predict the outcome of such as test. 

No, the OP is asking about reach, what he can do when distance limited, nobody cares about your FOV when you are distance limited, FOV is meaningless when you are distance limited.

well, the OP was asking about effective reach with existing lenses on a FF body, in the context of cropping the FF image to yield equivalent final output of the crop body.  For this objective, equivalent FOV and IQ of the final equivalent-size output is the measure of success. 
Quote

He wasn't asking about what lens to use to get a certain landscape shot to give him the same FOV shot from the same spot.

correct;   In the paragraph that follows, I point out how different this is from the OP's objecitve.
Quote
Quote
secondly, I have to admit I'm struggling a bit to see the equivalence of using optical multpliers versus cropping the final image.  The comparison is interesting, to be sure, and valuable in its own right, but is not nearly as simplistic as stated. To be sure, optical multiplication introduces side-effects of its own but these are heavily dependant on the TC itself and the native lens to which it is attached.  Taking those into account, the advantage is that with careful choices one can present a larger image magnification to the sensor,  decreasing the FOV opticallly while taking full advantage of the sensor's native resolution and IQ.  This technique will advantage the FF body, and represents a very different test case than the OP has presented.   For example, take a photo, properly exposed and framed of course,  with the t2i and a 300 f/2.8 lens.  Then add the 1.4 III to the lens and mount the combination on the 5D2 body and crop the resultant image to match the 1.6 crop factor of the t2i.  is there any doubt as to which will produce a superior result in more situations?  To take the experiment further -- mount a 2x III to the 300 f/2.8 and take a photo with the 5d2, then take the TC off and take the same photo with the t2i, croping the result to match the FOV.  5D2 wins.

a single 1.4x TC won't even quite make up for teh 7D reach advantage and here is the point if you can manage to get close enough to the subject with whatever lens and TC you have then you are not reach limited

extending the results that have been posted here, the 1.4x TC on high quality native glass will produce a better image than the 7D using the same lens without the TC, even accounting for the necessary crop of the FF image to obtain the same FOV 
Quote

when you are limited then he just pops the 1.4x or 2x TC on his 300 2.8 and shoots with his t2i and then does better than his 5D2 with that same combo being shot on his distant bird or moose or t rex or whatever

thats the point in question:  will the t2i really do better than the 5D2 with the same optical system attached?  The point of results posted earlier is that cropping the 5D2 image to produce the same final output size produces IQ that is remarkably similar to the 7D, with perhaps only a small (if any) advantage to the 7D.  That result may be debateable, but is the basis of my point.

if he has a 1.4x and not using it, then he is not distance limited. You are only distance limited when the same optical system is used on both cameras.   The point of results posted earlier is that when truly distance limited, the FF image can be cropped to the same FOV of the 7D and produce results that are better than the numbers imply.

Therefore, if you are not distance limited for the 7D, and you have a 1.4x in your pocket, then adding the 1.4x to the 5D2  should produce even better results than the 7D because the 5D image requires only a small amount of crop in post to acheive the same FOV.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 05:20:44 PM
No, the OP is asking about reach, what he can do when distance limited, nobody cares about your FOV when you are distance limited, FOV is meaningless when you are distance limited.

well, the OP was asking about effective reach with existing lenses on a FF body, in the context of cropping the FF image to yield equivalent final output of the crop body.  For this objective, equivalent FOV and IQ of the final equivalent-size output is the measure of success. 
Quote

"I worry about losing reach on my wildlife pics.  Would I really lose reach or can I just crop all the way down to what I would get with my t2I?"

FOV doesn't matter in this case, pixel density does


Quote
Quote
when you are limited then he just pops the 1.4x or 2x TC on his 300 2.8 and shoots with his t2i and then does better than his 5D2 with that same combo being shot on his distant bird or moose or t rex or whatever

thats the point in question:  will the t2i really do better than the 5D2 with the same optical system attached?  The point of results posted earlier is that cropping the 5D2 image to produce the same final output size produces IQ that is remarkably similar to the 7D, with perhaps only a small (if any) advantage to the 7D.  That result may be debateable, but is the basis of my point.

From my results yes it definitely would (and others have had the same findings such as Romy) although others, as above have not for whatever reason.  You do need to really nail the focus and make sure to keep the shutter speed good.
 
Quote
Therefore, if you are not distance limited for the 7D, and you have a 1.4x in your pocket, then adding the 1.4x to the 5D2  should produce even better results than the 7D because the 5D image requires only a small amount of crop in post to acheive the same FOV.

Yeah, as all have said, if you are NOT distance limited then a 5D2 does better, but he was asking if he'd lose anything, which implies distance limited.

As for the 1.4x TC on 5D2 vs a bare lens on the 7D, I'm not sure. I think the 7D is more like a 1.9x crop factor or so so 1.4x TC would still be a ways off, granted the 7Ds heavy split greens make it a trace softer at 100% for a rtypical 18MP APS-C but I tend to doubt that would make up for that much, but I'd have to check and my numbers may be off, just going by vague recollection.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 19, 2012, 06:23:26 PM
As for the 1.4x TC on 5D2 vs a bare lens on the 7D, I'm not sure. I think the 7D is more like a 1.9x crop factor or so so 1.4x TC would still be a ways off, granted the 7Ds heavy split greens make it a trace softer at 100% for a rtypical 18MP APS-C but I tend to doubt that would make up for that much, but I'd have to check and my numbers may be off, just going by vague recollection.


if the 7D's crop factor deviates substantially from Canons 1.6x, that would be good to know :D .    That aside, the various different results discussed here are interesting to note.  Some are reporting equivalent IQ when the 5D2 image is cropped to match the 7D FOV.  Accepting that, the 1.x4x TC on the the 5D2 would easily outrun a 7D with the bare lens, assuming good optics of course, becasue this approach advantages the FF. 

I think there is some confusion over terms as well.  when I refer to FOV being important in distance limited situations, I refer to the goal of the final output.  regardless of the tool employed, if the desire is an 11x14 print of the moose portrait, then you will crop the image in post to whatever level it takes to acheive the right framing and FOV that meets the objective of the photo, and then you will size the final output to 11x14.  In this situation the FF image will be cropped to about 39% of the original number of pixels, compared to the 7D.  It is astonishing that an 8mp image from the cropped 5D2 can be convincing against the 18mp impage from the 7D. 

When you look at numbers, the 7D wins substantially over the cropped 5D2,.  when you look at photos, the result is apparently much different. 
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dtaylor on October 19, 2012, 06:34:00 PM
Some are reporting equivalent IQ when the 5D2 image is cropped to match the 7D FOV.

At low to mid ISO...nonsense. They're probably sharpening the files the same or not sharpening at all, and basing their judgement on that mistake. And/or getting hung up on photon shot noise that disappears with a light NR pass.

That said...the difference is small to nonexistent unless you both crop further and print large. I've got 20" surfing prints made from 8-10 MP crops out of 7D files. Never would have made it that large with a 5D2, 5D3, or 1Dx (given the same lens). Anyone who questions that the 7D provides extra reach can go ahead and try to make 20" prints from 2-3 MP FF crops. The difference in IQ will be quite obvious.

But...I've only rarely had to both crop further and print large. If you're just trying to match APS-C's reach...not any further...then the differences just won't matter, especially when printing 8x10, 11x14. But even at 20" you can get away with it. Wildlife and sports do not stress resolution like a landscape. It might sound hard to believe, but 8 vs. 18 MP isn't that big of a deal in a 20" print of a surfer or deer, given proper post processing.

So yes, crop sensors really do add reach. But the differences are only apparent under extreme circumstances.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 19, 2012, 06:34:07 PM
As for the 1.4x TC on 5D2 vs a bare lens on the 7D, I'm not sure. I think the 7D is more like a 1.9x crop factor or so so 1.4x TC would still be a ways off, granted the 7Ds heavy split greens make it a trace softer at 100% for a rtypical 18MP APS-C but I tend to doubt that would make up for that much, but I'd have to check and my numbers may be off, just going by vague recollection.


if the 7D's crop factor deviates substantially from Canons 1.6x, that would be good to know :D .    That aside, the various different results discussed here are interesting to note.  Some are reporting equivalent IQ when the 5D2 image is cropped to match the 7D FOV.  Accepting that, the 1.x4x TC on the the 5D2 would easily outrun a 7D with the bare lens, assuming good optics of course, becasue this approach advantages the FF. 

I think there is some confusion over terms as well.  when I refer to FOV being important in distance limited situations, I refer to the goal of the final output.  regardless of the tool employed, if the desire is an 11x14 print of the moose portrait, then you will crop the image in post to whatever level it takes to acheive the right framing and FOV that meets the objective of the photo, and then you will size the final output to 11x14.  In this situation the FF image will be cropped to about 39% of the original number of pixels, compared to the 7D.  It is astonishing that an 8mp image from the cropped 5D2 can be convincing against the 18mp impage from the 7D. 

When you look at numbers, the 7D wins substantially over the cropped 5D2,.  when you look at photos, the result is apparently much different.

No I meant the 7Ds actual how many pixels per duck crop factor vs the 5D2 is more than a 1.4x extender, I think more like a 1.9x TC.

From what I've seen it does win noticeably over the 5D2 when distance limited and I'm not the only one to say that. If some don't see it what can I say, either they don't notice a difference until it is super big, like more than using a 2x TC big or something is going wrong or who knows what.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 19, 2012, 08:52:52 PM
As for the 1.4x TC on 5D2 vs a bare lens on the 7D, I'm not sure. I think the 7D is more like a 1.9x crop factor or so so 1.4x TC would still be a ways off, granted the 7Ds heavy split greens make it a trace softer at 100% for a rtypical 18MP APS-C but I tend to doubt that would make up for that much, but I'd have to check and my numbers may be off, just going by vague recollection.

if the 7D's crop factor deviates substantially from Canons 1.6x, that would be good to know :D .

Hmm, as far as I know, it is a 1.6x crop factor. The sensor in the 7D is 22.3x14.9mm, vs. the 36x24mm of a FF sensor. As a matter of ratio of diagonals: 7D diagonal = 26.82, 5D II = 43.27 -> 43.27/26.82 = 1.6133, or a crop factor of ~1.6x.

From a pixel density standpoint, the 5D II has 6.4 micron pixels, while the 7D has 4.3 micron pixels. You can fit 1.488, or ~1.5 7D pixels into each 5D II pixel. Seems, from a pixel standpoint, the 7D is approximately like a 1.5x TC vs. the 5D II, which is a little better than an actual 1.4x TC. As a ratio, the 7D gets you about 7% more reach.

Oops, forgot to square the 7D's pixel ratio. You can actually fit about 2.25 7D pixels (1.5^2, since it is a matter of area, not simply scalar pixel pitch) into each 5D II pixel. So, I guess that means the 7D has a reach similar to a 2.25x TC? As a ratio, the 7D gets you about 60% more reach (which sounds a hell of a lot better than the 7% I came up with a moment ago!! :o ) So the 7D does indeed offer a hell of a lot more detail for any given lens than the 5D II does.

The 7D's FoV is indeed a 1.6x crop FoV. The 7D's intrinsic reach, thanks to its pixel density, is roughly the same as a 2x TC.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: TexPhoto on October 19, 2012, 11:38:31 PM
Is the crop 7D going to have more reach? Yes of course.  But of course you can just crop the FF image for more reach also.

is the 7D going to yield more pixels vs. the cropped 5D/ yes of Course 

Is it going to yield more detail? Depends if the lens is sharp enough. And the 100-400 is not known for sharpness at 400. So maybe not.

On my 400mm f2.8 IS I, my 7D has way more reach and detail than my 5D II (now III)


My 100-400 is excellent at 400, wide open.  And coupled with my 5D3, the images are much nicer than what came out of my 50D.  I attribute a good part of that to the AF of the 5D3.

So to the OP, you have an excellent lens lineup.  I think good AF is a major factor for wildlife.  I'd go with either a 7D or 5D3 for the AF... or 1D4, 1DX if you can afford such.  If you go full frame, replace the 10-22 with a 17-40 unless you need the extra stop of the 16-35.

I'm sure your 100-400 is great. I used one before and it's a really nice lens.  It's an excellent lens for what it costs.  But if you are not seeing more detail from significantly higher pixel density, either one camera is focusing incorrectly, or you reached the lens's ability to resolve detail with the lower density camera.  I don't have a 50D and can't speak to it's focusing ability, but it does not not have the ability to tweek focus, your 5DIII does. Correcton, the 50D does have focus adjust.  Did you use it?

The 100-400 does not compare well with prime lenses in the same focal lengths

http://thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=327&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0 (http://thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=327&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=113&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=7&APIComp=0)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 19, 2012, 11:46:15 PM
I don't have a 50D and can't speak to it's focusing ability, but it does not not have the ability to tweek focus, your 5DIII does.

Actually, the 50D does have AF Microadjustment, although the 60D does not.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 12:26:25 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 01:22:07 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

Nice! :D

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

Camera shake? Tripod shake? The 7D has one of the smallest DSLR pixel pitches, only surpassed by Sony's 24mp APS-C sensors (which are actually 1.5x crop, so the difference is not as much as it sounds.) Like people have been saying about the D800: It really shows the lack of quality in your glass. ;) Same goes for the 7D, only more so. At 100% crop, while the 7D WILL have more detail than the 5D II, unless you have the best glass money can buy that offers an MTF to match, it'll appear a bit soft. I don't think it has anything to do with an overly strong low-pass filter. I think it is simply that you need an order of magnitude better camera stability (along with a great lens) to produce ultracrisp 100% crop output like the 5D II can. The 5D II, with its 2.25x larger pixels, is somewhat forgiving. The 7D is entirely unforgiving. Normalize image size, either direction, in a focal-length limited scenario and the benefits of the 5D II IQ will largely disappear (although not entirely...it definitely has better very high ISO performance...i.e. ISO1600+ performance).

I own the EF 100-400mm lens and use it for my bird photography. I also rented the new EF 300mm f/2.8 L II IS a couple months ago. Even with a 2x TC attached, the 300mm lens (@ 600mm w/ 2x) blew my 100-400 to smithereens. There was zero contest...Canon's latest glass is almost an unholy level of good. With the 1.4x TC for 420mm, it was like a match made in heaven with the 7D. The results were unbelievable. I used to blame the 7D for my IQ problems. Now, I blame the 100-400mm lens. Don't get me wrong, it is a great lens, but its an old lens, and its age most definitely shows when used on the 7D. I'd say any lens not a recently released (post-2009 release) and a Mark II generation with 4-stop IS at least (if it has IS) will show its age with a 7D.

It is up to each individual to decide if THAT particular trait of the 7D, its unbelievable demand on lenses, is a positive or a negative. The 7D has the potential to trounce even the 1D X for reach and detail, but you would need a kit so expensive you'd probably feel like a twit using the 7D with that kit. ;P
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 20, 2012, 02:38:31 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

And it also cost less than the 5D2 and is a newer model  and 7 is a larger prime number than 5 so it is actually 197.2x the resolving power of a 5D2 when not distance limited and 10,371.032x the resolving power when distance limited.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 20, 2012, 02:40:11 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

Nice! :D

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

Camera shake? Tripod shake? The 7D has one of the smallest DSLR pixel pitches, only surpassed by Sony's 24mp APS-C sensors (which are actually 1.5x crop, so the difference is not as much as it sounds.) Like people have been saying about the D800: It really shows the lack of quality in your glass. ;) Same goes for the 7D, only more so. At 100% crop, while the 7D WILL have more detail than the 5D II, unless you have the best glass money can buy that offers an MTF to match, it'll appear a bit soft. I don't think it has anything to do with an overly strong low-pass filter. I think it is simply that you need an order of magnitude better camera stability (along with a great lens) to produce ultracrisp 100% crop output like the 5D II can. The 5D II, with its 2.25x larger pixels, is somewhat forgiving. The 7D is entirely unforgiving. Normalize image size, either direction, in a focal-length limited scenario and the benefits of the 5D II IQ will largely disappear (although not entirely...it definitely has better very high ISO performance...i.e. ISO1600+ performance).

I own the EF 100-400mm lens and use it for my bird photography. I also rented the new EF 300mm f/2.8 L II IS a couple months ago. Even with a 2x TC attached, the 300mm lens (@ 600mm w/ 2x) blew my 100-400 to smithereens. There was zero contest...Canon's latest glass is almost an unholy level of good. With the 1.4x TC for 420mm, it was like a match made in heaven with the 7D. The results were unbelievable. I used to blame the 7D for my IQ problems. Now, I blame the 100-400mm lens. Don't get me wrong, it is a great lens, but its an old lens, and its age most definitely shows when used on the 7D. I'd say any lens not a recently released (post-2009 release) and a Mark II generation with 4-stop IS at least (if it has IS) will show its age with a 7D.

It is up to each individual to decide if THAT particular trait of the 7D, its unbelievable demand on lenses, is a positive or a negative. The 7D has the potential to trounce even the 1D X for reach and detail, but you would need a kit so expensive you'd probably feel like a twit using the 7D with that kit. ;P

yeah the 300 2.8 even with TCs is great on the 7D for that sort of thing
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: Cannon Man on October 20, 2012, 02:51:34 AM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.

I have used all cameras and i would much rather crop pictures from a 5D II because of one simple reason.
The image quality from a rebel is simply put A LOAD OF CRAP. Doesn't matter how much reach you get if you only get to keep 1% of the pictures because of poor imqge quality. You can zoom in with 5D II pictures a whole lot and the image quality is still awesome!
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: tapanit on October 20, 2012, 03:16:19 AM
Assuming money was no object, a 1D X with a 600mm f/4 L II IS and a pair of Mark III TC's is definitely the way to go. I don't think money can currently buy a better set of gear for a nature fan.
Money is not the only limitation. I use my 7D a lot in wilderness hikes, and the key limitation there is weight. Added to camping gear, food &c, 7D with 100-400 and one or two smaller lenses and light-weight tripod I end up carrying over 30kg in my back for a week - while I just might be able to cope with a 1DX, there's no way I could take a 600mm f/4.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: heptagon on October 20, 2012, 03:16:57 AM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.

I have used all cameras and i would much rather crop pictures from a 5D II because of one simple reason.
The image quality from a rebel is simply put A LOAD OF CRAP. Doesn't matter how much reach you get if you only get to keep 1% of the pictures because of poor imqge quality. You can zoom in with 5D II pictures a whole lot and the image quality is still awesome!

And why exactly are your pictures shot with a rebel so bad? Is it because of the sensor or because you can't focus right?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 09:47:34 AM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.

I have used all cameras and i would much rather crop pictures from a 5D II because of one simple reason.
The image quality from a rebel is simply put A LOAD OF CRAP. Doesn't matter how much reach you get if you only get to keep 1% of the pictures because of poor imqge quality. You can zoom in with 5D II pictures a whole lot and the image quality is still awesome!

Simply put, the 7D and the T2i, all other things being equal (i.e. ignoring other quality attributes such as the AF system), in a focal-length limited scenario, DO offer better IQ (mathematically, which can be seen in the real world when used right). The 7D will produce images with 225% the amount of detail as the 5D II for any given focal length. No amount of upscaling of the 5D II image, regardless of whether they still look good, can compare to that. The quality of the image sensor is not dictated by the quality of the camera body it is housed within. The 7D is a professional-grade camera, even if it is Canon's cheapest professional-grade camera. The exact same sensor in the 7D is also used in the T2i, as well as in every other 18mp APS-C camera Canon makes.

If you are getting a mere 1% of keepers with a camera like the 7D or even the T2i, then the problem is not the camera...it's the user.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 10:17:31 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

Nice! :D

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

Camera shake? Tripod shake? The 7D has one of the smallest DSLR pixel pitches, only surpassed by Sony's 24mp APS-C sensors (which are actually 1.5x crop, so the difference is not as much as it sounds.) Like people have been saying about the D800: It really shows the lack of quality in your glass. ;) Same goes for the 7D, only more so. At 100% crop, while the 7D WILL have more detail than the 5D II, unless you have the best glass money can buy that offers an MTF to match, it'll appear a bit soft. I don't think it has anything to do with an overly strong low-pass filter. I think it is simply that you need an order of magnitude better camera stability (along with a great lens) to produce ultracrisp 100% crop output like the 5D II can. The 5D II, with its 2.25x larger pixels, is somewhat forgiving. The 7D is entirely unforgiving. Normalize image size, either direction, in a focal-length limited scenario and the benefits of the 5D II IQ will largely disappear (although not entirely...it definitely has better very high ISO performance...i.e. ISO1600+ performance).

I own the EF 100-400mm lens and use it for my bird photography. I also rented the new EF 300mm f/2.8 L II IS a couple months ago. Even with a 2x TC attached, the 300mm lens (@ 600mm w/ 2x) blew my 100-400 to smithereens. There was zero contest...Canon's latest glass is almost an unholy level of good. With the 1.4x TC for 420mm, it was like a match made in heaven with the 7D. The results were unbelievable. I used to blame the 7D for my IQ problems. Now, I blame the 100-400mm lens. Don't get me wrong, it is a great lens, but its an old lens, and its age most definitely shows when used on the 7D. I'd say any lens not a recently released (post-2009 release) and a Mark II generation with 4-stop IS at least (if it has IS) will show its age with a 7D.

It is up to each individual to decide if THAT particular trait of the 7D, its unbelievable demand on lenses, is a positive or a negative. The 7D has the potential to trounce even the 1D X for reach and detail, but you would need a kit so expensive you'd probably feel like a twit using the 7D with that kit. ;P

Well, actually I wasn't that serious.

But you are correct about the supertele's. While the new II versions are super sharp, so were the old versions. The improvement with the new 2x convertor is great as well. I have the version I 300mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/4. The 100x400 can't even be considered in the same class with these lenses. Just like the difference you saw with the lenses, the 7D and 5D II are not even in the same class with the 1D IV, not just in AF but in many other ways.

The 7D and all crop bodies do have draw backs when photographing wildlife, because it seems we always give up something to gain something. We gain some resolution and AF ability over the 5D, (Not 4.5 times the resolution though and not a full 2.25 either :P). Then we loose some some of the range we have with DOF. We loose some of our light which makes it a harder battle when trying to get enough speed and keep the ISO low. Our range of ISO is much tighter because of noise, most wildlife moves in the early morning or evening and this makes those times tougher. The 7D picture files tend to have a flatter appearance than the 5D II and most certainly the 1D IV's, creating that illusion of depth (the 3D look everyone talks about) is much harder to create with the 7D than the other two bodies. Then there is the Post Processing, with a 7D file I have to work it to make it all it can be where the 1D IV I almost have to do nothing.

Here is probably a big reason that the 7D isn't all that the specs make it out to be. I believe the 7D sensor is a fine sensor however I also believe that Canon has purposely dumbed down the files from the 7D with their firmware so that it would not produce files that initially come out looking better than the high end bodies. Notice the 1D X vs 1D C debate going on in another thread, and the complaints that they feel Canon is charging $6 to $7K more for just firmware.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 10:46:37 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

Nice! :D

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

Camera shake? Tripod shake? The 7D has one of the smallest DSLR pixel pitches, only surpassed by Sony's 24mp APS-C sensors (which are actually 1.5x crop, so the difference is not as much as it sounds.) Like people have been saying about the D800: It really shows the lack of quality in your glass. ;) Same goes for the 7D, only more so. At 100% crop, while the 7D WILL have more detail than the 5D II, unless you have the best glass money can buy that offers an MTF to match, it'll appear a bit soft. I don't think it has anything to do with an overly strong low-pass filter. I think it is simply that you need an order of magnitude better camera stability (along with a great lens) to produce ultracrisp 100% crop output like the 5D II can. The 5D II, with its 2.25x larger pixels, is somewhat forgiving. The 7D is entirely unforgiving. Normalize image size, either direction, in a focal-length limited scenario and the benefits of the 5D II IQ will largely disappear (although not entirely...it definitely has better very high ISO performance...i.e. ISO1600+ performance).

I own the EF 100-400mm lens and use it for my bird photography. I also rented the new EF 300mm f/2.8 L II IS a couple months ago. Even with a 2x TC attached, the 300mm lens (@ 600mm w/ 2x) blew my 100-400 to smithereens. There was zero contest...Canon's latest glass is almost an unholy level of good. With the 1.4x TC for 420mm, it was like a match made in heaven with the 7D. The results were unbelievable. I used to blame the 7D for my IQ problems. Now, I blame the 100-400mm lens. Don't get me wrong, it is a great lens, but its an old lens, and its age most definitely shows when used on the 7D. I'd say any lens not a recently released (post-2009 release) and a Mark II generation with 4-stop IS at least (if it has IS) will show its age with a 7D.

It is up to each individual to decide if THAT particular trait of the 7D, its unbelievable demand on lenses, is a positive or a negative. The 7D has the potential to trounce even the 1D X for reach and detail, but you would need a kit so expensive you'd probably feel like a twit using the 7D with that kit. ;P

Well, actually I wasn't that serious.

But you are correct about the supertele's. While the new II versions are super sharp, so were the old versions. The improvement with the new 2x convertor is great as well. I have the version I 300mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/4. The 100x400 can't even be considered in the same class with these lenses. Just like the difference you saw with the lenses, the 7D and 5D II are not even in the same class with the 1D IV, not just in AF but in many other ways.

The 7D and all crop bodies do have draw backs when photographing wildlife, because it seems we always give up something to gain something. We gain some resolution and AF ability over the 5D, (Not 4.5 times the resolution though and not a full 2.25 either :P). Then we loose some some of the range we have with DOF. We loose some of our light which makes it a harder battle when trying to get enough speed and keep the ISO low. Our range of ISO is much tighter because of noise, most wildlife moves in the early morning or evening and this makes those times tougher. The 7D picture files tend to have a flatter appearance than the 5D II and most certainly the 1D IV's, creating that illusion of depth (the 3D look everyone talks about) is much harder to create with the 7D than the other two bodies. Then there is the Post Processing, with a 7D file I have to work it to make it all it can be where the 1D IV I almost have to do nothing.

Here is probably a big reason that the 7D isn't all that the specs make it out to be. I believe the 7D sensor is a fine sensor however I also believe that Canon has purposely dumbed down the files from the 7D with their firmware so that it would not produce files that initially come out looking better than the high end bodies. Notice the 1D X vs 1D C debate going on in another thread, and the complaints that they feel Canon is charging $6 to $7K more for just firmware.

While I agree about the 7D photos looking a bit drab right out of the camera, I wouldn't go so far as to blame canon directly for explicitly making it so. The 1D IV has about twice the maximum saturation point as the 7D, and the 5D III has about three times the maximum saturation point of the 7D. That leads to a much higher S/N, which leads to richer results and less noise at all ISO settings. I also believe the 7D has a slightly weaker CFA than the 1D IV (although the 5D III also has a weaker CFA), which is more about improving S/N as much as possible with those tiny pixels than purposely drabifying the output.

Personally, when I've used a 5D II, I felt it's color output was also a little drab too, although not quite as much as the 7D. The 1D IV RAW files I've played with all felt much richer, in every aspect (especially tonality, shadow falloff), than any other Canon camera I have used, by a significant degree. Canon intentionally puts more effort into the 1D series of cameras, so it should be expected that they would put more effort into every aspect, including IQ, over the cheaper relatives. I suspect that the lower quality of Canon's non-1D cameras is more a facet of their cheaper cost, and less intensive per-camera quality control and fine craftsmanship than you get with the vastly more expensive 1D bodies. I have not used a 5D III, but from what I can tell, its native camera output is more becoming of its price tag, so maybe Canon is starting to put more effort into their second-ranking cameras now (and I wouldn't be surprised, given the kind of competition they are experiencing from all sides).
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 11:17:52 AM

While I agree about the 7D photos looking a bit drab right out of the camera, I wouldn't go so far as to blame canon directly for explicitly making it so.

Who would we blame other than Canon. I blame Canon, they are responsible for all of our camera woe's.
It is about product placement, if you owned a camera company wouldn't you have a staff that combed over your newest bodies IQ to make sure it fit in its slot and didn't outperform the cameras above it?
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 20, 2012, 11:33:23 AM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.  :P ;)

(Said the guy who's 7D is gathering dust...)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 11:42:23 AM

While I agree about the 7D photos looking a bit drab right out of the camera, I wouldn't go so far as to blame canon directly for explicitly making it so.

Who would we blame other than Canon. I blame Canon, they are responsible for all of our camera woe's.
It is about product placement, if you owned a camera company wouldn't you have a staff that combed over your newest bodies IQ to make sure it fit in its slot and didn't outperform the cameras above it?

But there are so many other ways the 1D-series bodies outperform. Canon doesn't NEED to "protect" their flagship line like people seem to think they do. It is a matter of workmanship. If you want the supreme, creme of the crop, hand-picked, hand-crafted quality, you have to pay for it, no which way about it. I would offer that the 7D is largely automated in manufacture, where as all of Canon's highly expensive products, like the 1D series bodies and all of their high end L-series telephoto lenses (as well as many of their other telephoto lenses, like the TS-E line) are meticulously hand crafted and hand tested. That's why there are so few of them on the market...they are CRAFTED, rather than simply MANUFACTURED. You get what you pay for. If the choice is between $7000 or $1300, of course the $7000 camera is going to outperform on every level, in significant and nuanced ways. That doesn't mean the $1300 camera can't or won't do some things better, though.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 20, 2012, 03:15:46 PM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.

I have used all cameras and i would much rather crop pictures from a 5D II because of one simple reason.
The image quality from a rebel is simply put A LOAD OF CRAP. Doesn't matter how much reach you get if you only get to keep 1% of the pictures because of poor imqge quality. You can zoom in with 5D II pictures a whole lot and the image quality is still awesome!

you'd be surprised.... filter and re-scale them to put the same pixels per bird or use NR until detail is even on both and the 7D makes a nicer file than the 5D2 when distance limited in terms of noise and errors, you end up with a tiny bit BETTER SNR and less de-bayer artifacts and moire and such, i may be able to dig up my examples

now the 1DX has such superb SNR that even scaling the 7D to the same detail you will still end up with a bit worse SNR there (although again less de-bayer artifacts and such) but when noise is not a really major issue the 7D will pull in a lot more detail than the 1DX give same subject, subject distance, lens, shooting location and proper shutter speed and focusing to get the most out of each system.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on October 20, 2012, 03:19:01 PM
The 7D has majorly split greens on the CFA so there is a trace of softening during debayer in order to avoid severe mazing artifacts (remember all the mazing artifact complaints the first few weeks of the 7D release before the raw converters were updated to take into account the large degree of green split). It is amazing that the raw developers found a way to only barely pinge resolution and not massacre it considering how split the greens are, as it, it's just a tiny bit of micro-contrast lost compared to what a non-split green 18MP aps-c sensor could deliver.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 04:20:43 PM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.

I have used all cameras and i would much rather crop pictures from a 5D II because of one simple reason.
The image quality from a rebel is simply put A LOAD OF CRAP. Doesn't matter how much reach you get if you only get to keep 1% of the pictures because of poor imqge quality. You can zoom in with 5D II pictures a whole lot and the image quality is still awesome!

you'd be surprised.... filter and re-scale them to put the same pixels per bird or use NR until detail is even on both and the 7D makes a nicer file than the 5D2 when distance limited in terms of noise and errors, you end up with a tiny bit BETTER SNR and less de-bayer artifacts and moire and such, i may be able to dig up my examples

now the 1DX has such superb SNR that even scaling the 7D to the same detail you will still end up with a bit worse SNR there (although again less de-bayer artifacts and such) but when noise is not a really major issue the 7D will pull in a lot more detail than the 1DX give same subject, subject distance, lens, shooting location and proper shutter speed and focusing to get the most out of each system.

To date, I've been blown away by 1D X upscales. DR aside, people have been comparing 1D X upscales to D800 natives, and the 1D X still seems to take the sharpness and detail crown as frequently as the D800. Not sure if a 1D X would hold up as well to say double the D800 size...if you really need massive enlargement capabilities, the D800 (or whatever 40mp+ camera Canon releases in the future) are really the only way to go if you can't afford MFD. But it is surprising it maintains its sharpness and detail to literally double it's size.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 06:46:00 PM
So there we have it, then 7d isn't just a little better than the cropped 5d II. It, not only 1.6 better, not only 1.9 times better, not only 2x  better, it's a full 2.25 times better.

But wait, can it even be better than that? Well yes, you see it's frame rate is double the amount of frames the 5D II will do, so 2 times as many pictures at 2.25 times the resolution means you get an average of 4.5 the resolving power of the 5D II.
 :o

How in the world did I not notice such a wide advantage when I was using it?

It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.  :P ;)

(Said the guy who's 7D is gathering dust...)

I didn't know how bad I really was till today.

You do realize that the 7D has a pixel density 2.58 times that of your 1D X. This of course will make it 2.58 times better.

Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 07:01:24 PM

While I agree about the 7D photos looking a bit drab right out of the camera, I wouldn't go so far as to blame canon directly for explicitly making it so.

Who would we blame other than Canon. I blame Canon, they are responsible for all of our camera woe's.
It is about product placement, if you owned a camera company wouldn't you have a staff that combed over your newest bodies IQ to make sure it fit in its slot and didn't outperform the cameras above it?

But there are so many other ways the 1D-series bodies outperform. Canon doesn't NEED to "protect" their flagship line like people seem to think they do. It is a matter of workmanship. If you want the supreme, creme of the crop, hand-picked, hand-crafted quality, you have to pay for it, no which way about it. I would offer that the 7D is largely automated in manufacture, where as all of Canon's highly expensive products, like the 1D series bodies and all of their high end L-series telephoto lenses (as well as many of their other telephoto lenses, like the TS-E line) are meticulously hand crafted and hand tested. That's why there are so few of them on the market...they are CRAFTED, rather than simply MANUFACTURED. You get what you pay for. If the choice is between $7000 or $1300, of course the $7000 camera is going to outperform on every level, in significant and nuanced ways. That doesn't mean the $1300 camera can't or won't do some things better, though.

You are half right, the super telephoto lenses are hand crafted by master craftsmen in japan. They have to be because of the nature of the process.

However the 1D bodies do not have to be hand crafted by expert craftsman. They are not custom fitted and individually made. They are a collection of pre made parts that can be assembled by several pre-teens working 16 hours a day on an assembly line. If you go to Canon's corporate's website they list an Affiliate that assembles their camera for them.
No doubt they have a higher level of QC on the 1D X, it is not hand crafted. One of the reasons it is better is the firmware, it has 2 main processors rather than 1. Two processors you can pack in twice as much work for your firmware.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 20, 2012, 07:34:20 PM
The aps-c sensors do not give you more reach but they do have a much higher pixel density than most full frame cameras.  Pixel density= crop factor x MP of the sensor. If you are cropping all the time and have atleast some decent glass you're going to get better results with the sensor with the most pixel density assuming decent light. When you are cropping RAW pics this way (JPEG is a completely different story) you will get virtually the same result of a cropped pic with any of the canon sensors (in a bunch of earlier FFs worse results) so you might as well get a 7d, t2i, t3i, t4i, 60D etc... and put some more megapixels on your image. Yeah the focus sucks but that's why if you go to Bosque to watch the profesional bird photographers there will be some guys out there who know that and will be out there with 7Ds on 800 f5.6 's or 600 f4 + 1.4x TCs. You'd see a hell of a lot more of them if canon released a crop body with decent  f8 autofocus. Taping pins is a crappy workaround. One camera seems like it might be rendering everything I just said invalid: the 1dx now that they upgraded the firmware. Bastards at canon should have told me they would do that before I picked up a used 1d MkIV.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 07:38:47 PM
The aps-c sensors do not give you more reach but they do have a much higher pixel density than most full frame cameras.  Pixel density= crop factor x MP of the sensor. If you are cropping all the time and have atleast some decent glass you're going to get better results with the sensor with the most pixel density assuming decent light. When you are cropping RAW pics this way (JPEG is a completely different story) you will get virtually the same result of a cropped pic with any of the canon sensors (in a bunch of earlier FFs worse results) so you might as well get a 7d, t2i, t3i, t4i, 60D etc... and put some more megapixels on your image. Yeah the focus sucks but that's why if you go to Bosque to watch the profesional bird photographers there will be some guys out there who know that and will be out there with 7Ds on 800 f5.6 's or 600 f4 + 1.4x TCs. You'd see a hell of a lot more of them if canon released a crop body with decent  f8 autofocus. Taping pins is a crappy workaround. One camera seems like it might be rendering everything I just said invalid: the 1dx now that they upgraded the firmware. Bastards at canon should have told me they would do that before I picked up a used 1d MkIV.

You could swap and trade up to the 1D X.
When you do Canon will announce a 7D II with the same AF system as the 1D X's and a new super improved crop sensor, and you will regret upgrading. It is...a never ending cycle.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 20, 2012, 08:15:59 PM
So the basic question -

Is the FF with some crop applied, as good, the same, or better than a 1.6 crop body shooting whole sensor.....

I think you'll find that a 5Dmk2 cropped, will be much better than your T2i.  Not tested the same, but just having a feel for cropping with my own 5Dmk2.

Having said that - Profeel.com has 5Dmk2 for $1750 - not totally bad price.  And they have the 7D for $1229 - which I just got from them.  Both are "with shipping".  They shipped my 7d the same day.

I plan on using the  7D as my crop body - mostly for the focusing and FPS, not so much for the reach.  I chose it because it control layout closely matches the 5Dmk2 and because the battery is the same (and I'd have two chargers the same, to charge up a pair of batteries at once).  Maybe less than spectacular reasons...  but it will work for me.  I didn't really want to bank on the any replacement having a totally different control layout.  It matters to me that things are almost fluidly integrated, no thought to use one or the other.
I've compared my t2i crops to a bird photographer I bump into a lot with a 5d II. My t2i usually wins if I can get the damn thing in focus and find the bird with my lens which is much easier with the FOV of the 5d II. 7d gets the same results on the crop but you wont be jumping off a bridge trying to get the rare warbler in the bush in focus. I got a 1d MkIV and now he's jealous.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 20, 2012, 08:23:23 PM
The aps-c sensors do not give you more reach but they do have a much higher pixel density than most full frame cameras.  Pixel density= crop factor x MP of the sensor. If you are cropping all the time and have atleast some decent glass you're going to get better results with the sensor with the most pixel density assuming decent light. When you are cropping RAW pics this way (JPEG is a completely different story) you will get virtually the same result of a cropped pic with any of the canon sensors (in a bunch of earlier FFs worse results) so you might as well get a 7d, t2i, t3i, t4i, 60D etc... and put some more megapixels on your image. Yeah the focus sucks but that's why if you go to Bosque to watch the profesional bird photographers there will be some guys out there who know that and will be out there with 7Ds on 800 f5.6 's or 600 f4 + 1.4x TCs. You'd see a hell of a lot more of them if canon released a crop body with decent  f8 autofocus. Taping pins is a crappy workaround. One camera seems like it might be rendering everything I just said invalid: the 1dx now that they upgraded the firmware. Bastards at canon should have told me they would do that before I picked up a used 1d MkIV.

You could swap and trade up to the 1D X.
When you do Canon will announce a 7D II with the same AF system as the 1D X's and a new super improved crop sensor, and you will regret upgrading. It is...a never ending cycle.
Yeah, that ship has sailed already. I refuse to waste more money on cameras. Some people are focal length limited but I am bank account limited and pissed off wife limited. Next thing I know I will be trading the 1dx for a 7d II or a 1dS, canon will be rich, I will be poor, divorced and lacking testes. Now to start bothering her about the glass instead of enduring beatings about trading camera bodies. She's reading what I'm writing and isn't so happy.  TTYL.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 20, 2012, 08:28:50 PM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 08:47:44 PM
You could swap and trade up to the 1D X.
When you do Canon will announce a 7D II with the same AF system as the 1D X's and a new super improved crop sensor, and you will regret upgrading. It is...a never ending cycle.
Yeah, that ship has sailed already. I refuse to waste more money on cameras. Some people are focal length limited but I am bank account limited and pissed off wife limited. Next thing I know I will be trading the 1dx for a 7d II or a 1dS, canon will be rich, I will be poor, divorced and lacking testes. Now to start bothering her about the glass instead of enduring beatings about trading camera bodies. She's reading what I'm writing and isn't so happy.  TTYL.

Err...  ???
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 20, 2012, 08:48:36 PM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Even in the case of upscaling, the 1D X would hold up very well to the 7D, and at twice the ISO or more. Definitely no contest.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 20, 2012, 11:02:08 PM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Well if we apply some good old DxO type summary evaluation (meaning it will have little to do with reality)

The 1D X processors are 4 times faster than the one in the 7D, and the 1D X has 2 of them. So that would be 8 x better.
But then you take the faster frame rate the 1D X is 1.5 x better than the 7D.
Then take the improved ISO, definitly 3 stops so 3 x better.
And finally take back the the 2.58 pixel density of the 7D.

So 8x1.5x3/2.58=13.95 The 1D X is 13.95 times better than the 7D.

Does it make sense? As much as if you think  you would see a full 2.21 times increase in resolution using the 7D vs the 5D II.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 21, 2012, 02:49:10 AM
I'm confused about most the comments here.
Comparing a REBEL and a 7D to 5D II or 1DX is just not happening.
That's the problem, you never compared. When cropping a rebel or 7D (same sensor) on the same glass/FOV it beats the 5D II any day. 5D III crops are a bit better at high ISO situations but when you have a ton of light most people will like the rebel crops assuming identical FOV/glass. Either way the differences aren't huge but this is a great place to kill time and argue. The 7D/rebel crops will even beat the 1dx in some weird super crop/large print situations with lots of light and a lower contrast subject. You pretty much have to engineer those situations.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: mb66energy on October 21, 2012, 05:31:33 AM
My 2 ct:

Crop sensors can add more reach:

      18 MPixel Crop x 1,6 x 1,6 = 46 MPixel FF  equiv

IF

  - the lens is capable to feed the high pixel density sensors
  - the collected number of electrons per pixel is high enough (enough light)
  - motion blurr (camera shake, object/subject movement) is not limiting

BUT

under normal conditions I don't see a large advantage
of the 18MP of my 600D over the 10MP of my 40D --
except some situations where fine detail is recorded
with the lens and helpful for the image.

One point about higher pixel densities -- i have to check
it by a direct comparison between 40D and 600D:
Monochrome light sources (like lasers or especially LEDs
and some rare objects with narrow spectral properties)
suffer from bad detail/artifacts due to the Bayer pattern
of the sensors. Here a factor 2 in pixel number should
help to make these artifacts less visible. So in these special
cases a higher pixel density might help to suppress these
artifacts/increase the percepted sharpness/fidelity of an
image.

The best solution would be a 48MPixel FF body and a
RAW processor which allows to store the RAWs afterwards
as 48, 24 or 12 MPixel RAW according to the image type/
post crop factors to reduce computer storage consumption.
A further step into a "one-camera-for-nearly-all-stuff-aproach".
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 21, 2012, 09:07:03 AM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Well if we apply some good old DxO type summary evaluation (meaning it will have little to do with reality)

The 1D X processors are 4 times faster than the one in the 7D, and the 1D X has 2 of them. So that would be 8 x better.
But then you take the faster frame rate the 1D X is 1.5 x better than the 7D.
Then take the improved ISO, definitly 3 stops so 3 x better.
And finally take back the the 2.58 pixel density of the 7D.

So 8x1.5x3/2.58=13.95 The 1D X is 13.95 times better than the 7D.

Does it make sense? As much as if you think  you would see a full 2.21 times increase in resolution using the 7D vs the 5D II.

The 7D has dual Digic 4, not one. Your normalization is flawed and I don't believe your Scores have validity.   :P
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 21, 2012, 11:42:05 AM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Well if we apply some good old DxO type summary evaluation (meaning it will have little to do with reality)

The 1D X processors are 4 times faster than the one in the 7D, and the 1D X has 2 of them. So that would be 8 x better.
But then you take the faster frame rate the 1D X is 1.5 x better than the 7D.
Then take the improved ISO, definitly 3 stops so 3 x better.
And finally take back the the 2.58 pixel density of the 7D.

So 8x1.5x3/2.58=13.95 The 1D X is 13.95 times better than the 7D.

Does it make sense? As much as if you think  you would see a full 2.21 times increase in resolution using the 7D vs the 5D II.

The 7D has dual Digic 4, not one. Your normalization is flawed and I don't believe your Scores have validity.   :P

 :-[ Oh no, it does have an error there are two processors. It would only be 7 times as good.


 
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 21, 2012, 12:34:33 PM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Well if we apply some good old DxO type summary evaluation (meaning it will have little to do with reality)

The 1D X processors are 4 times faster than the one in the 7D, and the 1D X has 2 of them. So that would be 8 x better.
But then you take the faster frame rate the 1D X is 1.5 x better than the 7D.
Then take the improved ISO, definitly 3 stops so 3 x better.
And finally take back the the 2.58 pixel density of the 7D.

So 8x1.5x3/2.58=13.95 The 1D X is 13.95 times better than the 7D.

Does it make sense? As much as if you think  you would see a full 2.21 times increase in resolution using the 7D vs the 5D II.

LOL. Good one. :)

Humor aside, resolution is resolution. It is a rather simple spatial construct. Assuming you did not take care to address the *needs* of the 7D, sure, it is highly unlikely you'll realize the full 2.21x resolution benefit the 7D has to offer. However, that does not change the fact that the 7D DOES offer that benefit, and when you use a good lens, with solid 4-stop IS, and/or a stable tripod, the chances of realizing a close approach to that 2.21x resolution benefit are very good. If we take the moon as an example, I always set up my tripod as low as it will go, with legs out wide for maximum stability, on windless nights whenever possible, and I use a wireless shutter release with mirror lockup to actually take the photo. Assuming I photograph the moon high in the sky on dry nights when it is center of the lens, I believe I can easily realize around 2x of that 2.21x reach benefit.

If you don't think you can, or don't care to, properly utilize the tools in hand, you should probably be using different tools. It is definitely easier to get "sharp" photos with a FF sensor that has larger pixels. That just follows the line of reasoning regarding pixel size, the diffraction limit of the sensor, and the effects of camera shake.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 21, 2012, 06:04:55 PM


LOL. Good one. :)

Humor aside, resolution is resolution. It is a rather simple spatial construct. Assuming you did not take care to address the *needs* of the 7D, sure, it is highly unlikely you'll realize the full 2.21x resolution benefit the 7D has to offer. However, that does not change the fact that the 7D DOES offer that benefit, and when you use a good lens, with solid 4-stop IS, and/or a stable tripod, the chances of realizing a close approach to that 2.21x resolution benefit are very good. If we take the moon as an example, I always set up my tripod as low as it will go, with legs out wide for maximum stability, on windless nights whenever possible, and I use a wireless shutter release with mirror lockup to actually take the photo. Assuming I photograph the moon high in the sky on dry nights when it is center of the lens, I believe I can easily realize around 2x of that 2.21x reach benefit.

If you don't think you can, or don't care to, properly utilize the tools in hand, you should probably be using different tools. It is definitely easier to get "sharp" photos with a FF sensor that has larger pixels. That just follows the line of reasoning regarding pixel size, the diffraction limit of the sensor, and the effects of camera shake.

What you just described is a better description of landscape photography than wildlife photography. Really it is, it is moonscape photography. Actually the only time I did use the 7D after I bought the 1D IV was for taking pictures of the moon.

Remember we are talking wildlife photography. If you are setting up posed pictures on posed roosts at your back yard bird feeder you can incorporate some of what you say. Probably you will not be using mirror up or a wireless release but you might. But there are other levels of wildlife photography. Wildlife photography photographs wild things, they do not always cooperate in such a clinical manner. There are times a person might be shooting off a tripod, times when they might be shooting hand held at BIF or shooting in low light situations. Now, were any of those methods "not properly utilizing the tool in hand"?  The resolution benefit decreases in real life situations, and the other benefits that the 7D offer the wildlife photographers are far greater than this one. But, how does one really quantify how much better, I just think if we base our opinions on the actual numbers we know (1.6x or 2.21x) we deceive ourselves.

I was thinking about this as well, if the 5D III AF system is as accurate as the 1D series bodies it would be a far better choice. The 7D and 5D II AF systems are not as accurate and precise as the 1D x or IV. You can have all the sensor resolution you want, if the AF system is more accurate it will give you better resolution because it is more precise in its focus.  I haven't had the opportunity to try the 5D III yet, it would be fun to compare.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 21, 2012, 08:20:53 PM


LOL. Good one. :)

Humor aside, resolution is resolution. It is a rather simple spatial construct. Assuming you did not take care to address the *needs* of the 7D, sure, it is highly unlikely you'll realize the full 2.21x resolution benefit the 7D has to offer. However, that does not change the fact that the 7D DOES offer that benefit, and when you use a good lens, with solid 4-stop IS, and/or a stable tripod, the chances of realizing a close approach to that 2.21x resolution benefit are very good. If we take the moon as an example, I always set up my tripod as low as it will go, with legs out wide for maximum stability, on windless nights whenever possible, and I use a wireless shutter release with mirror lockup to actually take the photo. Assuming I photograph the moon high in the sky on dry nights when it is center of the lens, I believe I can easily realize around 2x of that 2.21x reach benefit.

If you don't think you can, or don't care to, properly utilize the tools in hand, you should probably be using different tools. It is definitely easier to get "sharp" photos with a FF sensor that has larger pixels. That just follows the line of reasoning regarding pixel size, the diffraction limit of the sensor, and the effects of camera shake.

What you just described is a better description of landscape photography than wildlife photography. Really it is, it is moonscape photography. Actually the only time I did use the 7D after I bought the 1D IV was for taking pictures of the moon.

Remember we are talking wildlife photography. If you are setting up posed pictures on posed roosts at your back yard bird feeder you can incorporate some of what you say. Probably you will not be using mirror up or a wireless release but you might. But there are other levels of wildlife photography. Wildlife photography photographs wild things, they do not always cooperate in such a clinical manner. There are times a person might be shooting off a tripod, times when they might be shooting hand held at BIF or shooting in low light situations. Now, were any of those methods "not properly utilizing the tool in hand"?  The resolution benefit decreases in real life situations, and the other benefits that the 7D offer the wildlife photographers are far greater than this one. But, how does one really quantify how much better, I just think if we base our opinions on the actual numbers we know (1.6x or 2.21x) we deceive ourselves.

I was thinking about this as well, if the 5D III AF system is as accurate as the 1D series bodies it would be a far better choice. The 7D and 5D II AF systems are not as accurate and precise as the 1D x or IV. You can have all the sensor resolution you want, if the AF system is more accurate it will give you better resolution because it is more precise in its focus.  I haven't had the opportunity to try the 5D III yet, it would be fun to compare.

Well, it depends on how you conduct your photography. As a bird and wildlife photographer myself, I use a tripod frequently. The only times when I'm not using a tripod, or a ground pod, or a bean bag in my car, is when I'm tracking something that is moving pretty quickly, like a bird in flight, or an elk chasing down a rival. I just went out yesterday, and photographed some migrating Long-Billed Dowitchers. I spent most of the time laying down in wet, silty sand, with my camera resting on my outstretched arm (and the camera battery grip resting on the ground behind my arm:

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-iZpEQSaJPj0/UISNqnpfnQI/AAAAAAAAADs/qb1ZcniQ-h4/s800/Long-Billed+Dowitchers+Dynamic+Duo+Tall.jpg)

The image above is slightly softer than the one below, thanks to the fact that it was taken with a lens, the 100-400 L IS, that doesn't match the capabilities of the 7D. I did much the same thing as with the photo a number of weeks back, photographing some Sandpipers:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-X4MLECX55Ag/UISOEoUhLhI/AAAAAAAAAD0/GKEEnl0qrqY/s1024/Sandpiper+with+Grub.jpg)

The photo above is quite a bit sharper, as it was taken with the 300mm f/2.8 L II IS + 2x TC III (600mm combo, far sharper than the 100-400). When I utilized the right tools the right way, the results were better. Both results are great, thanks to the fact that I wasn't just plain-old hand-holding the lens, which would have certainly reduced the resolution of both shots. I put as much stabilization behind both as I possibly could, because that's how you maximize the potential of a piece of gear like the 7D.

Now, while I completely agree that basing all of our decisions, such as purchasing, purely off of numbers is a bad idea, I disagree that the numbers are meaningless. A valid number tells you what your hardware is capable of in the best of circumstances. In the case of the 7D, it is possible to get as much as 2.2x the reach as a 5D II (or III, for that matter), r 2.6x the reach of a 1D X. In the case of Nikon cameras with high dynamic range like the D800, you can get around 13.2 stops of DR, vs. around 11 stops of DR for the 5D II, 5D III, the 7D and I would figure the 1D X. I would never base my purchasing decisions off of what DXO says, however I most definitely DO reference their "Screen" scores to learn what the hardware I already own is capable of, and where there might be room for improvement (from an IQ perspective anyway.)

All that said, obviously there is functionality well beyond the scope of the sensor that usually ends up being far more significant to one's decisions. I'd never argue that the 7D's AF system could beat a 5D III or 1D X. Neither would I claim the 7D framerate was more useful than the 1D X's frame rate, or ISO for that matter. I'd give up my 7D in a split second if someone offered me a 1D X, regardless of the 2.6x resolution/reach benefit it has over the latter.

None of that changes the fact that the 7D DOES have oodles of spatial resolution, and you can utilize most of it if you aim to.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 21, 2012, 09:05:50 PM
... the 7D DOES have oodles of spatial resolution...

How many lp/mm in an oodle?   ;)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 21, 2012, 09:09:39 PM
... the 7D DOES have oodles of spatial resolution...

How many lp/mm in an oodle?   ;)

Well, I would first have to calculate exactly how many oodles the 7D has... ;)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: neuroanatomist on October 21, 2012, 09:13:22 PM
Touché, Sir.  :D
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 21, 2012, 09:17:59 PM
You do realize that the 300mm f/2.8L II would have looked oodles better than the 100-400mm on the full frame as well. :P
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 21, 2012, 09:48:51 PM
You do realize that the 300mm f/2.8L II would have looked oodles better than the 100-400mm on the full frame as well. :P

Sure, but at the same distance the 7D would still produce an image with more detail, as you would be getting a ton more pixels on subject regardless. Stabilized like I was doing it, the tiny bit of remaining camera shake might knock off that extra .26x reach factor, but a 200% improvement is still pretty incredible. I'd have needed a 1200mm f/8 lens to get the same shot at the same detail level with a 1D X. At 600mm and less than half the pixel density, a better AF system that can nail perfect focus 95% of the time is simply not going to give you enough additional detail to close the gap.

In the case of the Sandpiper, I would have used a 1D X if I had it, as I had the option to get closer. But in the case of the Dowitchers, I might have still used the 7D, since I was a bit limited in how close I could get. They were shore wading right at the border of the lake and the mud flats. The mud flats themselves were about 12 feet across, and I couldn't lay down in that stuff. It's sticky, black, gooey, sucking clay and silt mud, covered with detritus, debris, bird S____ and spitup, decaying fish, and got knows what kind of diseases. :P I'd probably have sunk a foot or more into it if I'd tried. I didn't have the option to get closer with a FF camera to make up the difference in resolution. I would have either had to use a longer lens (such as a 600mm), or use a camera with a higher pixel density, to get the kind of reach I needed.

My point is that the 7D provides a kind of value that no other camera on the market really does. It may be a noisy camera at ISO 100 and ISO 3200...but between those two, it is really a unique option that excels at what it does for those moments when you need exactly what the 7D is. ;) I'll probably always have a camera like the 7D in my kit. A high density, weather sealed DSLR with a decent AF system. Such a thing would always be my backup vs. a full frame like the 1D X or 5D III, so I could swap just in case that extra reach was really necessary. (Unless such time occurs when we have 12fps FF cameras that support 40-50mp worth of resolution and quality high ISO....in which case all bets are off!)
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 22, 2012, 02:40:26 PM
1D X vs. 7D?  No contest.  ISO 12800 on the 7D = a speckled, noisy mess.  ISO 12800 on the 1D X = a usable image.  Comes in very handy with an f/5.6 or f/8 lens or TC combo.

Well if we apply some good old DxO type summary evaluation (meaning it will have little to do with reality)

The 1D X processors are 4 times faster than the one in the 7D, and the 1D X has 2 of them. So that would be 8 x better.
But then you take the faster frame rate the 1D X is 1.5 x better than the 7D.
Then take the improved ISO, definitly 3 stops so 3 x better.
And finally take back the the 2.58 pixel density of the 7D.

So 8x1.5x3/2.58=13.95 The 1D X is 13.95 times better than the 7D.

Does it make sense? As much as if you think  you would see a full 2.21 times increase in resolution using the 7D vs the 5D II.

The 7D has dual Digic 4, not one. Your normalization is flawed and I don't believe your Scores have validity.   :P

 :-[ Oh no, it does have an error there are two processors. It would only be 7 times as good.
You forgot to adjust for inflation. I'd say 2.12452553x better.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: natureshots on October 22, 2012, 02:46:12 PM
Also, important to point out that all of this is a pointless discussion if you are not cropping. If you can get close the bigger sensor will look better than the crop sensor pretty much 100% of the time so are you taking pictures of deer or warblers becomes the important question.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 22, 2012, 03:43:01 PM
Also, important to point out that all of this is a pointless discussion if you are not cropping. If you can get close the bigger sensor will look better than the crop sensor pretty much 100% of the time so are you taking pictures of deer or warblers becomes the important question.

Thats why I keep putting in the "focal-length limited" frame of reference. If you can get closer, or use a longer lens, sure. But when you are stuck at a certain distance and can only use the same lens on a low density vs. high density camera, the high density camera is the one to use.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: PackLight on October 22, 2012, 04:41:20 PM
Also, important to point out that all of this is a pointless discussion if you are not cropping. If you can get close the bigger sensor will look better than the crop sensor pretty much 100% of the time so are you taking pictures of deer or warblers becomes the important question.

Very true, that is another reason I consider the crop sensor advantage isn't as big as can be implied. If you have a crop body and a full frame, and they have equal AF systems and options the Crop body would only benefit you at your longest focal length. For instance if you have the 24mm to 500mm range covered with your lenses, and you put the 1.4x on your 500mm, and you still need more reach then the crop body is a benefit. With all of your other lenses if you can frame fully and properly the 5D II sensor would be putting more pixels on the subject than the 7D sensor.

But, all bodies AF systems are not equal and not all have the same options. In the 5D II vs the 7D race the 7D AF system would be far superior for wildlife and sports.

While we got sidetracked from the OP's origional question, to me the answer is that the OP would benifit more from the superior AF system of the 7D than a full frame 5D II, provided wildlife is the driving factor.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 22, 2012, 04:59:08 PM
While we got sidetracked from the OP's origional question, to me the answer is that the OP would benifit more from the superior AF system of the 7D than a full frame 5D II, provided wildlife is the driving factor.

Totally agree, with the added benefit that the 7D will produce more detailed photos on top of the better AF.
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: dlleno on October 22, 2012, 05:31:26 PM
While we got sidetracked from the OP's origional question, to me the answer is that the OP would benifit more from the superior AF system of the 7D than a full frame 5D II, provided wildlife is the driving factor.

Totally agree, with the added benefit that the 7D will produce more detailed photos on top of the better AF.

provided distance limited wildlife is the driving factor, and where the OP as met the optimum conditions including glass, light,  and support to take advantage of the 7D resolution. 
Title: Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
Post by: jrista on October 22, 2012, 07:24:13 PM
While we got sidetracked from the OP's origional question, to me the answer is that the OP would benifit more from the superior AF system of the 7D than a full frame 5D II, provided wildlife is the driving factor.

Totally agree, with the added benefit that the 7D will produce more detailed photos on top of the better AF.

provided distance limited wildlife is the driving factor, and where the OP as met the optimum conditions including glass, light,  and support to take advantage of the 7D resolution.

My argument about getting new L-series glass was to realize the maximum potential resolution the 7D has to offer, which was...what, 2.21x times more than the 5D II. Even without perfect glass, the 7D is still going to resolve more detail than the 5D II, just not necessarily 121% more.