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Author Topic: do crop sensors really add reach?  (Read 21344 times)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #30 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 trump 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.



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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2012, 12:21:59 AM »

weixing

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #31 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.

PackLight

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #32 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 trump 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.

PackLight

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #33 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.

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #34 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.

weixing

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #35 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.

epsiloneri

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2012, 02:32:58 AM »
Just adding my moon comparisons of 7D vs. 5D2+TC1.4x to the thread.

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2012, 02:32:58 AM »

TexPhoto

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #37 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)

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #38 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.



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....

sandymandy

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #39 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.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 05:10:29 AM by sandymandy »

studio1972

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #40 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.
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serendipidy

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2012, 05:47:42 AM »


Top and bottom bills= Before tax
Middle two bills= After tax   :o
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 05:54:31 AM by serendipidy »
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Eimajm

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #42 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...

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2012, 09:00:11 AM »

dlleno

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #43 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.

PackLight

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #44 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.



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.

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Re: do crop sensors really add reach?
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2012, 09:31:01 AM »