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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: CanNotYet on January 23, 2013, 04:26:05 AM

Title: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: CanNotYet on January 23, 2013, 04:26:05 AM
I am thinking of upgrading to the current 7D (yes, tired of waiting for the new one) from a 30D, who have served me well. My limitations are in the high ISO areas, as 30D has a max of 1600 (which is BARELY usable for web). I usually try to keep it at 1000 or lower.

I do take pictures of indoor sports, so that is the reason for the upgrade. I also have an EF-S setup, so FF, though it would be awesome, is out of the question (and budget) for me atm.

I have seen the 7D getting bashed for bad high-ISO performance here, but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high. Since I am not a professional, and probably never going to sell any of these pictures, my view of what is acceptable is somewhat lower.  :)

That said, I do not want to invest a large sum of money into a camera that has bad IQ over ISO 1000, as I already own one of those...

So, the question is: How bad is the 7D on high ISO (1000-6400)? Really?
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: vbi on January 23, 2013, 05:01:59 AM
I have taken mine up to 3200 and even 6400 as long as you expose to the right by between 1/3 and 1 stop so that you don't have to boost the shadows which is where noise is prevalent.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: dasgetier on January 23, 2013, 05:38:10 AM
The ISO 1600 on the 7D is totally usable, whereas it was crap on my 400D (which should perform similarly to your 30D).
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: bycostello on January 23, 2013, 05:54:03 AM
bit of noise reduction in post and it is good...
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: K3nt on January 23, 2013, 06:09:22 AM
Feel free to check out the Tenpin Bowling thread in the Sports section of this forum. I routinely shoot certain events above ISO3200. Granted, it takes some post-proc to get it looking alright but it is ok I think. The shots I posted there are a 7D at 4000+ ISO. Should give you an idea what you can get out of it.  ;)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: beetle on January 23, 2013, 06:11:19 AM
up to ISO 1600 no problem at all. Basically this is the value I have selected as a max for auto ISO. When I´m forced ISO 3200 works too. ISO 6400 is my limit.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: K3nt on January 23, 2013, 06:14:15 AM
One more thing... If you go to my flickr stream and checkout the Ballmaster 2013 set you'll see a bunch of images NOT edited, which will give you an idea of high ISO before the edits. Them images are only there for certain organizations to make their selections and then I'll do proper edits as they let me know which ones they want.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: RLPhoto on January 23, 2013, 06:17:23 AM
Had a 7D and everything is great about it except the sensor. It's usable from 100-3200 and 6400 in a pinch. As long as you know the limits before you buy, the photos downsized to 10MP look fine to me.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: J.R. on January 23, 2013, 06:20:25 AM
Not bad at all ... It is a very good camera actually with the ISO beyond 1600 becoming an issue only if you print large - should be OK for the web. The only reason it gets bashed up here is because people compare its high ISO performance to the 5d2 / 5d3.

Considering that you have a EFS setup, a 7D would be a great upgrade. Given the rumour that a 7D mark 2 or a 70D is on the horizon, you may consider to buy a used 7D for the moment and upgrade later.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: 87vr6 on January 23, 2013, 06:21:50 AM
but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high.

Wrong. Most of the people on this forum are pixel peepers who don't enjoy photography. The 7D will be a huge upgrade over that 30D in exactly the areas you need it to be. Buy one and enjoy for years to come...

People forget that the man makes the tool, not the other way around... Catch my drift?

If not, I know someone who runs a very profitable business on a twice outdated camera, the Canon 5D... Seems to do just fine.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: sandymandy on January 23, 2013, 06:41:11 AM
If i was you i would save more cash for a FF body. The 7D is not that new anymore and probably gets replaced in 1 or 2 years or even this year. If you buy a modern Ff body then u can even use it for 10 years from now probably. With a bright lens u will probably never go much higher than ISO 6400 and thats really useable today already. Even Isos over 10k produce usable pics (check high iso thread here). I think ISO quality wont improve much anymore, next big thing might be DR but it will also take many years to notice the difference.
Plus the 7D is not really cheap too if u buy it new. Just save more and you will see a HUUUUGE difference over APS-C :)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tomscott on January 23, 2013, 06:48:34 AM
Similar to you went from a 40D ->7D to fill as I couldn't quite afford a 5D MKIII at the time.

Now I found the high ISO incredible compared to the 40D, not amazing but useful and most important useable. Up to 3200 is was ok whereas on the 40D banding and noise were awful. With a little noise reduction the images cleaned up really nicely.

What I found really frustrating was the quality where it counts. 100-400 was noisy and noticeably so, unless the conditions are spot on. 100-400 is where I most used my 40D as thats where it performed best but the 7D didn't.

You also need really good glass to resolve that sensor so you either need L glass or high end EF-s like the 17-55mm or 15-85mm.

But the 7D is an incredible camera overall, handling, performance, features and especially the AF I was blown away with it in comparison to the old 9 point system. The high res screen is so much better too, cant describe the difference it just makes your images look like they should whereas with the old ones you weren't that sure whether the image was completely sharp. FPS great, video good. Overall a brilliant camera and a real worthy upgrade. But it is showing its age.

The thing is were not sure if there will be a MKII when it will be in consumer hands and if current price trends go it will be a good 1/3 more expensive. At the moment you can buy a 7D from Digital Rev for a little over £750 which is a bargain really.

So for you I think it will be a great upgrade. Such a huge gap in the tech for you that it will be a huge noticeable upgrade. I was just after something of better quality as I do use it commercially, and wanted something that would last me a few years. Bought a 5DMKIII and haven't looked back the difference is amazing 6400 is like 1600 on a 7D. But I do miss the reach the 7D gives you, with a 70-200mm F2.8 and a 2x extender and the crop factor your at 640mm, to get the same with a 5DMKIII you need to spend a lot more or carry more lenses.

Kept the 40D which I still love and will keep forever although its a bit battered.

Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tomscott on January 23, 2013, 06:56:12 AM
I went to the Porsche museum in October and took the 7D with me as one of the first big shoots I did with it. All of these were shot at 1000ISO bar a few. Here are a couple of faves quality is great A1 prints would be no problem

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8362/8357696547_0436307b4f_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357696547/)
IMG_8268 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357696547/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8230/8357707101_9d3aed7342_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357707101/)
IMG_8275 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357707101/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8358777102_9d4ae8eeca_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358777102/)
IMG_8281 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358777102/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8358793646_1f630c4b57_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358793646/)
IMG_8290 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358793646/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8326/8358883180_9d1220044f_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358883180/)
IMG_8341 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358883180/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8494/8357892433_9bbb8af81a_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357892433/)
IMG_8418 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357892433/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8363/8358959162_c0bc55b366_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358959162/)
IMG_8427 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8358959162/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8505/8357973387_7fac19a5e3_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357973387/)
IMG_8541 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/8357973387/#) by tom_scott88 (http://www.flickr.com/people/tomscottphotography/), on Flickr

Have a look at the set

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/sets/72157632460914809/with/8357973387/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomscottphotography/sets/72157632460914809/with/8357973387/)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tortilla on January 23, 2013, 06:58:33 AM
So, the question is: How bad is the 7D on high ISO (1000-6400)? Really?

That depends on your post processing routine, how large you intend to print, and how high your standards are. I wouldn't ask anyone - best thing is, get high ISO JPGs or better raws from the internet and do your post processing on them and make your own decision.

I bought a 7D myself last week, and I'm very happy with it. ISO 6400 is totally usuable for 8x5 inch prints (raws, JPGS I haven't tested yet).
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: AvTvM on January 23, 2013, 07:03:21 AM
but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high.

Wrong. Most of the people on this forum are pixel peepers who don't enjoy photography. The 7D will be a huge upgrade over that 30D in exactly the areas you need it to be. Buy one and enjoy for years to come...

+1!

I upgraded from 40D to 7D - on the first day it became available. I shoot quite a lot in low light situations - concerts, theaters ... where flash is not allowed. I routinely go to ISO 3200.

As long as the exposure is to the right ... only very little NR is needed. I use Lightroom 4 native NR for both lumi and chroma noise - and only a little.

ONLY if you pull up the shadows by more than 1 EV, banding and ugly noise in Hi-Iso will become a problem. In those instances I occaisonally use Topaz 5 Denoise in "Raw, Medium" setting.

Overall, the 7D was my first DSLR ever, that never left me wanting for more. In my opinion, it was and still is the only recommendable APS-C DSLR from Canon. I may eventually move to FF, but only once a really good successor to the 5D 3 [in terms of sensor performance, specifically DR] will ever be released.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tortilla on January 23, 2013, 07:05:57 AM
but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high.

Wrong. Most of the people on this forum are pixel peepers who don't enjoy photography.

Haha. Yes there are pros here who shoot for living, but many people here are pixel peepers who just love photography.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tomscott on January 23, 2013, 07:15:30 AM
but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high.

Wrong. Most of the people on this forum are pixel peepers who don't enjoy photography. The 7D will be a huge upgrade over that 30D in exactly the areas you need it to be. Buy one and enjoy for years to come...

Overall, the 7D was my first DSLR ever, that never left me wanting for more. In my opinion, it was and still is the only recommendable APS-C DSLR from Canon. I may eventually move to FF, but only once a really good successor to the 5D 3 [in terms of sensor performance, specifically DR] will ever be released.

Having owned both in a recent time frame, the 5D MKIII is head and shoulders above the 7D in all those areas and you would see it a very good upgrade. Was for me, find I get much more keepers and DR is much better. There is something about the images they just look better. Something about FF.

Worth having a good go anyway, but yes the 7D is a great camera the 5DMKIII is just much better.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: nicku on January 23, 2013, 07:31:07 AM
I own a 7D. I can say that you can use ISO 3200 with above average results. Using a good soft to remove noise and downsizing the image to about 10MP the results are very pleasing.

PS you must use good quality glass.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: crasher8 on January 23, 2013, 07:49:20 AM
I used a 7D for 2 years. Under 3200 I would spend minimal time with each image in post but at 3200 and above I found myself trying to salvage photos and that just wasn't a way I wanted to capture things. I bought a noise program just because of the 7D's limitations. Not the way I like to do things! In camera is what photography is all about and if you are finding yourself spending over 2 minutes on each image (caveat: paid gigs I understand) to get rid of noise then you become a computer image manipulator. I enjoy my camera time much more than my post!
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Stichus III on January 23, 2013, 08:27:13 AM
The 7D is a pleasure to use. It's a great camera. However, the high iso noise performance is not comparable to full frame camera's.

Images shot at iso 3200 and 6400 (please shoot RAW) need processing to reduce noise (Adobe Camera RAW does a great job) but are very usable unless (1) the images are underexposed or (2) you intend to print the images large.

For me the 7D has always delivered. Even at high iso's. 
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: TAW on January 23, 2013, 08:28:19 AM
I used my 7D for two years and loved it.  I tried not to go above ISO 1000.  The 5D III is just an improvement in so many ways.   Many of my pictures are of kids & school related stuff and it seems every gym and fieldtrip is in challenging lighting where the higher ISO of the 5D III was so helpful.  With that said, when I am out taking pictures of my kids skiing, I was (and would be today) completely happy with my 7D.  IMHO, You will not be unhappy with the 7D unless you need a lot of 1000+ iso.  You should at least give the 5D III a test drive.  I fall into the armature that loves photography and I can also add that I loved moving to full frame.  In a year or two, we will be having this same conversation about the 7D III vs the 5D X.  God help us when they introduce a new sensor  ;D

Have fun shooting

tom
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Wilmark on January 23, 2013, 08:33:13 AM
Any camera will shoot good pictures and the 7D certainly shoot good pictures even under the conditions you describe with some limitations. If that's all you are going to use to make your decision the 7D will be fine. I owned the 7d and I was terribly disappointed with it especially in lowlight high ISO situations. I was also disappointed with the IQ. I believe that the 7d is a Rebel in a pro body. There is little difference in IQ between the 2ti (and its successors) and the 7D, there is some debate about whether it uses the same sensor. The 7D has almost every pro body feature of the big bodies that does not affect IQ - weather sealing, advanced auto focus, high frame rate, 60p 720 video, etc but i could never get over why canon chose to put a Rebel quality sensor in this body. Canon is already in the dumps with its sensors and the 7D's sensor the lowest performing sensor in their pro lineup. It is old and outdated, and we are just on the verge of a new wave of cameras and possibly new sensors, I would never buy a new 7D at this point. Esp that its rumored a new 7D will be out this year. If you ever plan to make the leap to FF body stop buying any EFS lenses.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: DaveQ on January 23, 2013, 08:43:40 AM
I shoot wildlife for some very demanding clients with the 7D and 100-400L, and a couple of L Telephoto lenses, and do not hesitate to use ISO 3200 and even ISO 6400 when necessary. I process in RAW, and then run the images through Topaz Denoise. My customers and I are very happy with their A2 and A3 size prints. Go ahead...use the camera and don't let the ISO setting limit your creativity!
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: insanitybeard on January 23, 2013, 08:54:47 AM
Any camera will shoot good pictures and the 7D certainly shoot good pictures even under the conditions you describe with some limitations. If that's all you are going to use to make your decision the 7D will be fine. I owned the 7d and I was terribly disappointed with it especially in lowlight high ISO situations. I was also disappointed with the IQ. I believe that the 7d is a Rebel in a pro body. There is little difference in IQ between the 2ti (and its successors) and the 7D, there is some debate about whether it uses the same sensor. The 7D has almost every pro body feature of the big bodies that does not affect IQ - weather sealing, advanced auto focus, high frame rate, 60p 720 video, etc but i could never get over why canon chose to put a Rebel quality sensor in this body. Canon is already in the dumps with its sensors and the 7D's sensor the lowest performing sensor in their pro lineup. It is old and outdated, and we are just on the verge of a new wave of cameras and possibly new sensors, I would never buy a new 7D at this point. Esp that its rumored a new 7D will be out this year. If you ever plan to make the leap to FF body stop buying any EFS lenses.

To be fair, to my knowledge, when the 7D was new- ie, 3+ years ago, it WAS a new sensor which, as I understand it was competitive at the time (without getting dragged into arguments involving low ISO noise and banding) against the then comparable models- e.g, Nikon D300. It is only because subsequent Rebels have used basically the same sensor that the 7D now offers no IQ benefits compared to them (disregarding the improved AF, FPS performance etc), so whilst I agree the 7D needs an overhaul/refresh, to say the sensor is 'Rebel quality' is comparing the newer Rebels with a 3 year old camera.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: K3nt on January 23, 2013, 09:18:50 AM
I say get the 7D now, especially if you can find a good price, which shouldn't be too hard. It's a step up from your current gear and will serve you well.
There's always the option of upgrading to the next bells-and-whistles device that's "just around the corner", and then you'll make a decision on keeping the 7D as a backup body or selling it, it's not a hard sell by any stretch.
I will probably keep mine even when I do upgrade as I simply LOVE the way the 7D works. It is awesome. I haven't tried 1D-series stuff which I'm told are brilliant as well.
But, when and if you get the 7D, take the time to learn its ways, it'll pay off.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: SPL on January 23, 2013, 09:25:22 AM
The 7D is a very nice camera that will serve you well.  I have had mine for about 2.5 years and have enjoyed it.  I have however, on several occasions been very annoyed by its noise and banding (especially with some landscape shots) at ISO 100.  Now,..I am an enthusiast and an amateur who very much enjoys his hobby,…but I honestly at times do a good amount of pixel peeping, when I shouldn’t be pixel peeping.  I love the ergonomics and functionality of the camera, and the FPS and reach of the crop are very nice when you need it.  I recently upgraded to a 5D III and the IQ is far superior.  Some people might say this is a lame comment, but as some other posters have said,..there is just something about a FF image,…there is…  The current prices that we have seen for a new 7D body are interesting,…looks like a replacement is coming soon,..so as another poster said,..a used body or a refurbished one may be a good choice..
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: vargyropoulos on January 23, 2013, 09:32:59 AM
I picked up a 7D about a month ago and I've used it for both studio and wildlife. I have a few decent ISO1600 shots for wildlife that did not lose too much detail during noise reduction but if you want those magazine quality photos try to stick with ISO 640 or less.. .maybe ISO800 with good light

for studio, I do find that FF will give you some better detail resolution but I'm not making money off photos.... so for me the 7D is proving an excellent value... to upgrade it for studio use... is about a $2000 deal... to upgrade it for wildlife use.... is more than a $10,000 deal
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Trovador on January 23, 2013, 09:36:27 AM
Bad?, best camera ever!  ;D

All pics on my website taken with 7D: www.ruddyflorentino.com (http://www.ruddyflorentino.com)

That said, ISO 1600 is as high as I went, 3200 if absolutely necessary to get the shot.  You can always reduce noise on post though.  For your needs I think is more than OK, unless you plan to use isos higher than 1600 often, then I'd recommend going full frame.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: FatDaddyJones on January 23, 2013, 09:40:45 AM
I don't think most of the people that replied really cared to read the original post. He's NOT looking to upgrade to full frame.

That being said, I would highly recommend the 7D, having spent the last three years shooting with it exclusively. To be fair, the new t4i is supposed to have one more stop of ISO usability than the 7D, and will benefit from the new Digic 5 processor in noise reduction, mostly in the in-camera processing when your shooting JPEG. They're both great cameras. The 7D is a lot more sturdy and just feels better in your hands. After shooting with a 7D, a Rebel will feel more like a toy. If you don't need that toughness, weather sealing, and 8fps, look into the t4i, which should give you equal, if not better, ISO noise quality.

I just got a 5D Mark III, and I can't bring myself to part with my 7D. With the price of the 7D right now, you can't go wrong if that's your camera of choice for upgrade. The quality is head and shoulders above the 30D, and I'm sure you would be pleased.

If you're not looking to upgrade to FF, don't listen to all these guys going on about how much better it is. There's ALWAYS something better out there for lots more money. You need to look at your needs and your price range and decide what camera is best for you. The 7D will make an awesome upgrade in IQ and ISO quality. There are other options (60D, t4i, etc.) that you ought to look at also when choosing a crop body, but considering that you take sports photos, the 8 frames per second on the 7D might be a deciding factor of what would best fit your shooting needs. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: danjwark on January 23, 2013, 09:59:22 AM
The 7D still is a great camera. However, ISO wise it is really no better than any other current 18MP APS-C cameras - even the Rebels. The key to having less noise in your high ISO shots is to have good light. In poor (low) light, ISO 1600 will look noisy on a 7D. With better light you can go up to 6400 in a pinch and it may look OK. Just don't try using 6400 in very low light as the noise will be very bad.
In terms of comparing it to your 30D, try this site: http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM (http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM)
It allows you to compare different models side by side. Just bear in mind that these are studio shots with good light so it makes it hard to see huge differences.
Handling wise, you will definitely enjoy the 7D over the 30D. Almost everything about it is a vast improvement.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: awinphoto on January 23, 2013, 10:11:26 AM
As any professional photographer, and you will notice that photographers standards and expectations are different than clients standards and expectations... most noise, within reason, goes un-noticed by most clients...  That and crisp razor sharp focus... That being said, what the 7d is good and bad are totally up to user interpretation...  In certain situations, I wouldn't blink of bringing the ISO to 1600, even 3200 if the light was bad.  I've shot higher than that for paid shoots for different situations with success, it just matters how you light the subject, what method of NR you use, and what's your tolerance.  On my 5d3, on a wedding last year in really bad lighting situations, I was able to bump my ISO up to 20,000 and exposed it just right so even on large prints, you would be tasked to find any bad noise.  If your really worried about noise, try out a 7d, borrow one, rent one, whatever... test it for yourself to determine what your willing to live with and what you are not. 
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 23, 2013, 10:13:45 AM

I have seen the 7D getting bashed for bad high-ISO performance here, but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high. Since I am not a professional, and probably never going to sell any of these pictures, my view of what is acceptable is somewhat lower.  :)

To be fair, some of the standards on this forum aren't that high.  Don't confuse who has spent the most or posts most frequently or whatever with ability.

Quote
That said, I do not want to invest a large sum of money into a camera that has bad IQ over ISO 1000, as I already own one of those...

I shoot stills with my 7D at 1600 comfortably and 3200 at a push.  The key is in shooting RAW and being subtle with the sharpening and noise reduction.  I find applying any NR first works best, then applying as little sharpening as possible, LUMA NR for lower ISO images where required, slight luma and heavier CHROMA NR for higher ISO.

The 7D is mostly maligned by folk who never bothered to set up the AF or cannot work RAW properly.  One or two of the dissenters might have got a duff cam, but in my experience for the most part folk just bought a camera that was designed for personal set up, and never bothered setting it up.

The kind of folk, who in the first part of my answer, think that buying a more sophisticated camera makes you a better photographer.

If you compare photos of resolution charts with those from a 5D3 or 1DX then the 7D isn't as good.  Handy for those who shoot resolution charts and can afford a 5D3 or 1DX.  Which many folks can't.

Within your budget, with your lenses and for your application the 7D is the camera to go for.  Just be prepared to crack the manual.  It'll really sing if you add a fast aperture USM lens (something like an 85mm f1.8 or 100mm f2.0)
 
Quote
So, the question is: How bad is the 7D on high ISO (1000-6400)? Really?

If you are confident using RAW you'll get great images at 1600, good images at 3200, and 6400 is probably more akin to what your current camera is giving you.

Bear in mind that super-high ISO is a relatively recent trend.  I remember the noise from Fuji 1600 print film, to the point where I'd usually restrict myself to 800 or lower.  So it's changed days.

The only arguement I can think of to get you to hold off from buying a 7D just now is that there is a new model pending, you might be in line for a bargain on the 7D if you can wait a while.

In the meantime, get to grips with RAW, as it makes the absolute best of the 7Ds images.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: sandymandy on January 23, 2013, 10:19:31 AM
I don't think most of the people that replied really cared to read the original post. He's NOT looking to upgrade to full frame.

Sorry my bad, but why would somebody not want to go FF? Anyway, If not FF then get 7D, best aps-c at the moment.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 23, 2013, 10:40:45 AM
@sandymandy
Quote
but why would somebody not want to go FF?

Performance for cost (6D and 5D2 are very different cameras to the 7D)
Cost alone
They already have a range of EF-s or DC lenses
They find the effective increase in reach useful
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: papa-razzi on January 23, 2013, 10:48:22 AM
I agree with all the other posts.  The 7D is a great camera, and ISO 1600 is very usable, with 3200 ok in certain situations.

However, my experience with the 7D taught me it is not just ISO in isolation (i.e. ISO 1600 or 3200 is always acceptable) - the amount of light is also very important.  For example, if I have reasonably good light, but need a high ISO to push the shutter speed up for sports, then the noise is not too bad.  However, if the ISO is pushed up because I have very poor lighting, then the noise at the same ISO (say 1600) will be too much for me.

For what you describe as your uses, the 7D should work just fine.

Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: insanitybeard on January 23, 2013, 10:49:49 AM
@sandymandy
Quote
but why would somebody not want to go FF?

Performance for cost (6D and 5D2 are very different cameras to the 7D)
Cost alone
They already have a range of EF-s or DC lenses
They find the effective increase in reach useful

Yep, cost is the main factor preventing me from going FF! :-\
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: digital paradise on January 23, 2013, 10:50:55 AM
ISO 12,800 and NR using CS6

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/_MG_2542-6.jpg)

ISO 1600

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/_MG_0407.jpg)

a crop

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/orig-1.jpg)

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/_MG_9463.jpg)

Other fun stuff with it

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/qff.jpg)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tortilla on January 23, 2013, 10:52:22 AM
Sorry my bad, but why would somebody not want to go FF?

You tell us. According to your signature you shoot APS-C by yourself  :)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: digital paradise on January 23, 2013, 10:59:38 AM
BIF

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/_MG_086680920PM.jpg)

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/_MG_9631-2.jpg)

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/1024gull2.jpg)

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/crop-3.jpg)

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/Ultiduck-2.jpg)

Another Crop

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/DPP07DB0A18083455.jpg)

Click on it to see it at full size

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/7D-test.jpg)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: RLPhoto on January 23, 2013, 11:12:17 AM
Another thing that factors to help NR in post is having very good lenses. When you have a sharp lens to start with, at High ISO, adding Heavy NR won't affect the sharpness of the photo too much.

But if you combine a duff lens, with high ISO, and Heavy NR... Expect ugly results.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tomscott on January 23, 2013, 11:20:34 AM
Great pics. Shows how much of a fantastic camera it is in the right hands.

Thats correct as the 7D is in a price gap that is very affordable compared to the FF equivalent but is aimed toward more advanced/pro shooters and the attitude amateurs have toward glass. Therefore many marry the camera with poor glass. Just because it is EF-s putting the cheap inexpensive glass on it will be detrimental. But many think cameras are more important, especially some that aren't photo buffs but like having the best.

This was always my qualm with Canon and its 18mp sensor as all the recent XXXDs and 60D have it too. Unless quality glass is used to resolve that pixel density then yes the camera wont perform well in terms of IQ. Give it high end lenses and the camera sings, but then it does have its drawbacks. There is always a compromise, add more IQ and it creates a slower camera at a higher price point. The 7D hits the spot pretty well, as long as you are willing to hunt for the light and spend some time editing the RAW files in post.

I enjoyed the 7D but it wasn't quite what I wanted and needed for my work, although I wish I had kept it and used it with my 5DMKIII.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: pardus on January 23, 2013, 11:21:46 AM
7Dmki will be a fantastic camera for you. I upgraded from a 40D a couple years ago primarily to shoot my sons hockey game as the 40D and 70-200mm 2.8L still wasn't enough for poorly lit hockey rinks. most arenas you need to shoot 3200 iso at 2.8 and 1/500. I have since bought a 5D mkiii which is even better at the low light but still use my 7D as well for hockey as the reach is better. I would say wait a couple weeks to see if there is an announcement for mkii version at the japan show coming up, but if you really need it now go for it.

this shot was 1/500sec; f/4.0 iso 3200 focal length 108mm
(shot as jpg, cropped and saved for web in photoshop at 90 quality) but otherwise unedited.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Bombsight on January 23, 2013, 11:33:29 AM
The 7D is a pleasure to use. It's a great camera. However, the high iso noise performance is not comparable to full frame camera's.

Images shot at iso 3200 and 6400 (please shoot RAW) need processing to reduce noise (Adobe Camera RAW does a great job) but are very usable unless (1) the images are underexposed or (2) you intend to print the images large.

For me the 7D has always delivered. Even at high iso's.

That is the plain & simple truth of it all.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 23, 2013, 11:34:11 AM
No offence to Pardus, this excellent image shows the detail and saturation possible even at high iso's with a 7D, I would say that set up for RAW and with the slightest of post-processing a lot of the background noise (unobtrusive in this JPEG, but there in the shadows) could be easily removed.

I think, as this and the earlier images posted show, any fears of poor image quality are largely ill founded.

I would augment my earlier comments by saying that good glass is important (what lenses do you have just now? the 85 f1.8 and 100mm f2 make brilliant short sports lenses on the 7D) and camera set up is important (tweak the AF, shoot RAW)

The latest cameras in the best of hands are better, but for the money, in fact at any price, the 7D can be a formiddable sports camera.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: digital paradise on January 23, 2013, 12:03:35 PM
Great pics. Shows how much of a fantastic camera it is in the right hands.

Thats correct as the 7D is in a price gap that is very affordable compared to the FF equivalent but is aimed toward more advanced/pro shooters and the attitude amateurs have toward glass. Therefore many marry the camera with poor glass. Just because it is EF-s putting the cheap inexpensive glass on it will be detrimental. But many think cameras are more important, especially some that aren't photo buffs but like having the best.

This was always my qualm with Canon and its 18mp sensor as all the recent XXXDs and 60D have it too. Unless quality glass is used to resolve that pixel density then yes the camera wont perform well in terms of IQ. Give it high end lenses and the camera sings, but then it does have its drawbacks. There is always a compromise, add more IQ and it creates a slower camera at a higher price point. The 7D hits the spot pretty well, as long as you are willing to hunt for the light and spend some time editing the RAW files in post.

I enjoyed the 7D but it wasn't quite what I wanted and needed for my work, although I wish I had kept it and used it with my 5DMKIII.

In all honesty I almost did not buy it. Don't get me wrong because I do appreciate the resolution for cropping, etc but I think if Canon had kept it at 15 megapickles coupled with the new sensor tech no other manufacturer could have beaten at that time. Stall a bad a$$ today and would have been even more at it's release.

I had all the 5D series and have the 5D3 as well. Both bodies have their places and uses.   
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: AprilForever on January 23, 2013, 01:22:36 PM
The 7D is an extremely usable camera. Google "7D and 300 2.8" You'll find all kinds of stuff from birders all over the world who use this excellent lightweight efficient combo.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: unfocused on January 23, 2013, 01:33:31 PM
Okay, this discussion has gotten me intrigued by those who get such great results at higher ISOs. I've started a new thread asking for tips and tricks. http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12529.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12529.0) Please take a few minutes to share with your fellow Canon 7D users.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: tphillips63 on January 23, 2013, 01:43:13 PM
No offence to Pardus, this excellent image shows the detail and saturation possible even at high iso's with a 7D, I would say that set up for RAW and with the slightest of post-processing a lot of the background noise (unobtrusive in this JPEG, but there in the shadows) could be easily removed.

I think, as this and the earlier images posted show, any fears of poor image quality are largely ill founded.


The latest cameras in the best of hands are better, but for the money, in fact at any price, the 7D can be a formiddable sports camera.
I would augment my earlier comments by saying that good glass is important (what lenses do you have just now? the 85 f1.8 and 100mm f2 make brilliant short sports lenses on the 7D) and camera set up is important (tweak the AF, shoot RAW)

I have to agree.  I bought a 7D as my first dSLR having not shot in years, and back then it was film.
My post skills were, and still, are not the best, so I kept thinking the shots were not that great and very noisy.  Lo and behold, I had become a pixel peeper, and did not even know it.

Anyway what Paul said is great advice.  Spend a bit of time to get the RAW work flow down.  You will need to eventually anyways.  Had I figured some things out sooner I would probably still have the 7D and not done the full frame upgrade which I can't say I regret a lot but, it's only money.
 
As others suggested, look up photos of what the 7D can do and you will see it can do a whole lot!
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: pardus on January 23, 2013, 01:50:33 PM
No offence to Pardus, this excellent image shows the detail and saturation possible even at high iso's with a 7D, I would say that set up for RAW and with the slightest of post-processing a lot of the background noise (unobtrusive in this JPEG, but there in the shadows) could be easily removed.

no worries, that was just a random shot from a tournament a couple years ago. nothing special but thought it would be a good example of real world expected results with jpg, unedited and no noise reduction. I shoot raw for things that matter but shooting for fun at a 6 game tournament, way too much time to deal with 3000 thousand raw files :)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: sandymandy on January 23, 2013, 02:16:27 PM
Yep, cost is the main factor preventing me from going FF! :-\

Same here but id rather save 6 years or such than getting another APS-C. FF ill probably use it another 6 years or more anyway since its like "goal reached" :)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: SPL on January 25, 2013, 08:57:09 AM
Great images Ruddy!
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: CanNotYet on January 25, 2013, 11:05:56 AM
Thanks for all your input! I appreciate it.

The pictures really shows what to expect, and it seems to be in line with specs. 1.5-2 F-stops better. The hockey picture looks close to what I get at around 1000 with my current setup. Not bad.

Also looking forward to improved AF and AFMA to tweak my current lenses.

And the other pictures are really good, thanks!
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: babiesphotos on January 25, 2013, 11:20:25 AM
I am thinking of upgrading to the current 7D (yes, tired of waiting for the new one) from a 30D, who have served me well. My limitations are in the high ISO areas, as 30D has a max of 1600 (which is BARELY usable for web). I usually try to keep it at 1000 or lower.

I do take pictures of indoor sports, so that is the reason for the upgrade. I also have an EF-S setup, so FF, though it would be awesome, is out of the question (and budget) for me atm.

I have seen the 7D getting bashed for bad high-ISO performance here, but I also realize that the standards on this forum is VERY high. Since I am not a professional, and probably never going to sell any of these pictures, my view of what is acceptable is somewhat lower.  :)

That said, I do not want to invest a large sum of money into a camera that has bad IQ over ISO 1000, as I already own one of those...

So, the question is: How bad is the 7D on high ISO (1000-6400)? Really?

I had 30D and I used it EXACTLY the SAME way you do, so our tolerance for noise is probably similar, my experience may be similar.

I played for couple of day with t4i which is the same as 7D in terms of noise, and I couldn't quite like ISO 3200. It was probably like ISO1600 on 30D. In the meantime, I had 5D Mark II and used up to 6400 (maybe like ISO800 on 30D), and now 5D Mark III at ISO 10000-12800 is equivalent.

This is all JPEG, no noise manipulation. When cleaning noise, you get a bit better results, but then it depends on the picture, it may soften unacceptably. I returned T4i, and will not look at current crop of crop sensors until next generation.

So yeah, 7D will buy you marginally better ISO, probably 1 stop, and then Mark III at least another 2 on top of it...
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: ashmadux on January 25, 2013, 11:44:31 AM
As far as noise profiles, the 7d and t4i are NOT the same.

Look at some of the images posted earlier in this thread...the iso noise is deplorable, well hidden with the web file sizes. Zoom in and check the clarity. Unless you have perfect light, the 7d is likely to give you a headache.

Pixel peepers should stay away from this body. I found it totally unacceptable for portrait work, unless you 'really work hard' to get the best light possible. Going from a xsi- known for its pixel level sharpness - to a 7d, the difference was like WTF?

Downsized, cleaned up images are not a way to show what images come out of the camera. I feel like its disingenuous. My goal is for hardware to produce the most incredible images possible. The 7d creates mush-tastic images. Also, the 7d's atrocious iso 100 noise is nothing like ive seen on any other canon camera. Not to kick the horse, but the sensor can also exhibit mosquito noise, which according to canon is not proper. my 7d came down with it twice.

The t2i version of this 18mp sensor kills the 7d version in terms of sharpness AND especially noise. And hopefully you dont run into the 7d's Af issues like i did...canon was never able to fix mine after 4 tries, and i had to take a big loss on that body.

get a t4i and enjoy it while you save up for a full frame, i would say.

The more info the better. I dont even bother listening to photogs when they say they are not pixel peepers.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: coreyhkh on January 25, 2013, 11:51:12 AM
Its a wonderful camera, people that bitch about it don't no how to use a camera.

you cant get a better camera for the price.

check out my shots http://www.flickr.com/photos/54773292@N07/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/54773292@N07/)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: digital paradise on January 25, 2013, 12:32:45 PM
Nice sharp pics.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: digital paradise on January 25, 2013, 12:49:44 PM
(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/DPP-1.jpg)

100% crop

(http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d74/Zenon1/DPP-6.jpg)
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Larry on January 25, 2013, 01:16:00 PM
no worries, that was just a random shot from a tournament a couple years ago. nothing special but thought it would be a good example of real world expected results with jpg, unedited and no noise reduction. I shoot raw for things that matter but shooting for fun at a 6 game tournament, way too much time to deal with 3000 thousand raw files :)

Wow! 3 million shots?   :o

Lets see - superfast post (10 seconds per image), no sleep 24hrs/7days, - nearly a year to process.

Talk about dedication, ...and all for just one tournament!

Is my math correct?  ;)   
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Spooky on January 25, 2013, 01:19:38 PM
Its a wonderful camera, people that bitch about it don't no how to use a camera.

you cant get a better camera for the money

+1

I have just bought a 5D3 to gain my wide angle ranges but I will still use my 7D to compliment it. You need to expose correctly and when you do, noise is NOT an issue, neither is sharpness if you have good glass and technique.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 25, 2013, 04:26:32 PM

I have just bought a 5D3 to gain my wide angle ranges but I will still use my 7D to compliment it. You need to expose correctly and when you do, noise is NOT an issue, neither is sharpness if you have good glass and technique.

+1.

99% of folk who bitch about the 7D had upgraded from something simpler and didn't put in the work the 7D requires to deliver results.  A good camera doesn't make life easier, it makes reaching your potential easy.  A 7D set up right is a joy to use, and will deliver briliiant results.

I actually only bought my 7D because it was the first DSLR with a 25 PAL video mode.  But it made my photography so much more rewarding.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: bdunbar79 on January 25, 2013, 06:11:46 PM
Its a wonderful camera, people that bitch about it don't no how to use a camera.

you cant get a better camera for the price.

check out my shots http://www.flickr.com/photos/54773292@N07/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/54773292@N07/)

By "don't know how to use a camera" you mean they try to use a 7D at ISO 6400?  Because that certainly is not knowing how to use a 7D.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 25, 2013, 07:34:07 PM

By "don't know how to use a camera" you mean they try to use a 7D at ISO 6400?  Because that certainly is not knowing how to use a 7D.

Correct about the 6400.  Not as good as cameras costing twice as much or four times as much.
But then thats not the budget the OP has.  For Sports use.  Within the OP's budget.  7D=best.

Most 7D moans originate from folk wanting better jpegs than they got from their 50D's.   And folk who thought they could shoot sports or nature, but when given a decent AF system with tweakability, wigged out.  And folk who thought spending more automatically meant better pictures.

I know the whole noise thing trickles down, in that if its well controlled at 6400 it's going to be far less at the everyday ISO's.

Apart from not really wanting to push the 7D beyond 3200, I can't actually think of an occasion when I had to push it beyond 1600.  I think this might be the old film user in me where less ISO is more.  Maybe because of my video work I'm just used to adding light, which I know isn''t practical or desirable for many.

Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: bdunbar79 on January 25, 2013, 07:36:25 PM

By "don't know how to use a camera" you mean they try to use a 7D at ISO 6400?  Because that certainly is not knowing how to use a 7D.

Correct about the 6400.  Not as good as cameras costing twice as much or four times as much.
But then thats not the budget the OP has.  For Sports use.  Within the OP's budget.  7D=best.

Most 7D moans originate from folk wanting better jpegs than they got from their 50D's.   And folk who thought they could shoot sports or nature, but when given a decent AF system with tweakability, wigged out.  And folk who thought spending more automatically meant better pictures.

I know the whole noise thing trickles down, in that if its well controlled at 6400 it's going to be far less at the everyday ISO's.

Apart from not really wanting to push the 7D beyond 3200, I can't actually think of an occasion when I had to push it beyond 1600.  I think this might be the old film user in me where less ISO is more.  Maybe because of my video work I'm just used to adding light, which I know isn''t practical or desirable for many.

I agree.  I actually like the 7D outdoors and for macro work. 
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: James Lowe on January 25, 2013, 09:14:37 PM
I just got my 7D in Oct. I bought it to replace my stolen 40D. My 7D does everything I want it to with terrific results. Seems like there are a lot of grips with the 7D but why?. The 7D is a perfectly good camera, top in it's class. No regrets buying it.
Title: Re: 7D - How bad is it? Really?
Post by: Trovador on January 25, 2013, 10:55:01 PM
Great images Ruddy!

Hey thank you! :)