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Author Topic: Suggestions for a difficult choice  (Read 5758 times)

janne

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Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 17, 2011, 03:03:11 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm a firsttime poster on this forum, yet I've been lurking a while. Right now I'm working for a month (as a student) and I will be using the money earned for new gear. I have recently started shooting concerts as a hobby, and I enjoy it a lot. My current equipment won't cut it for much longer though:

- Eos 1000D (Rebel XS for non-Europeans)
- Ef-s 18-55 3.5-5.6 (no IS)
- EF 50 1.4
- EF 70-200 2.8 (no IS)

The latter two work somewhat, but even with the 50mm shooting wide-open I have to crank up my ISO to 1600, which on the 1000D, looks horrible.
Now with my budget - I'm guessing around 2200 euros - I see two choices.

- Eos 7D + 17-55 2.8
or
- Eos 5DII

If I bought the latter however, I would be without standard zoom or wide-angle. The rest of the money (depending on which I take) would be spent on accessories.

Any suggestions as to which I should take and why?

Thanks in advance,

Janne

P.S.: I also own a 580EXII, but usually at concerts, flash is not allowed.

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Suggestions for a difficult choice
« on: July 17, 2011, 03:03:11 PM »

1982chris911

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 03:21:20 PM »
Well I think you give a good answer yourself saying that with 5dII you won't have a wide angle and standard zoom ... this will usually cost you many good shots and the 7d is not that bad ... anyway it is a strong upgrade from the 1000d ...
while 5dII will be replaced soon and you might a used one much cheaper in the future or have enough saving to buy the whole minimum package: which is for me Wide angle zoom, standard zoom and tele zoom ...

 
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Haydn1971

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 03:36:11 PM »
Personally, if I was shooting concerts, I'd go for the 7D for it's better AF, to give me longer reach on the 70-200mm and put what I saved towards a 17-55mm f2.8 to use at smaller venues.
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janne

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 03:42:09 PM »
Huh, interesting replies both of you, I had rather expected the contrary  :)
Thanks.

thejoyofsobe

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 04:31:07 PM »
if the 5DmkII is off the table i think a good question would be what kind of FPS do you need and do you also shoot a lot of sports?

i ask because the 7D, 60D, t3i and t2i share roughly the same guts. they are differentiated in a number of ways but with regard strictly to the ability to take stills the primary differences between the four cameras are in FPS and AF.

if you do most of your shooting wide open at f/2.8 or faster (i.e. like in low-light concerts) then the four cameras are on a relatively equal playing field because all of them only have one dual cross-type AF point (the center one). when shooting sports and fast moving action is where the cameras' AF systems would distinguish themselves as the Rebel's only cross-type is the dual one at the center whereas all 9 of the 60D's AF points are cross-type and all 19 of the 7D's AF points are cross-type. As a 60D owner and someone who has used a t2i to shoot sports, the 60D clearly shines in that regard as well as ergonomics. Admittedly I've never used a 7D but I would imagine the AF system would outdistance the 60D's by a similar margin. But the value in that is really if you shoot sports.

the other distinguishing characteristic with regard to stills is the FPS. the Rebel t2i and t3i will basically shoot 2 RAW files at 3.7 FPS before the buffer slows it down. frustrating as all get out. the 60D will shoot 16 RAW files at 5.3 FPS before the buffer slows it down. as an owner I am comfortable with my ability to not miss many moments. the 7D will shoot 15 RAW files at 8.0 FPS before the buffer slows it down. this is for someone who needs to capture every moment.

if it were me with that budget, existing equipment list and I'm primarily concerned about my ability to shoot concerts then I'd probably sacrifice the high FPS and improved AF whose primary value is found in shooting sports and go the route of purchasing a 60D with the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS (3-stop IS). Use the money I saved by not going with the 7D along with the money I would get from selling the 70-200mm f/2.8 to purchase the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (the mark I with 3-stop IS or the mark II with 4-stop IS).

That would leave me with two fast, image-stabilized zooms covering a good range along with the existing fast 50mm f/1.4. Probably would be a good set up for concerts.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 04:46:49 PM by thejoyofsobe »

janne

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 05:02:58 PM »
That does sound interesting, I have to admit. Sports might, one day, be part of what I shoot. For instance, my cousin plays rugby, and I have told him I'd be shooting one of his games in the near future.

Currently I'm studying journalism, which I might combine with photography, and I think it's good to have gear of myself. Especially since most journalists tend to work freelance, forced or not.

However, the 5DII is not yet off the table. Not by a long shot  :P

And to be honest I was indeed also thinking of maybe going for the IS version of the 70-200... I should be working again at Christmas for two weeks, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem by then.

1982chris911

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 06:44:01 PM »
Well the AF thing is also one thing I can tell you about, having a 5d MKII you def need sth with better AF for action shots.

The strength of the 5d MKII is Landscape, architecture, portraits under controlled distances ... but really really nothing that needs a fast AF or one that works reliable when it is very dark ...     
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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 06:44:01 PM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 02:07:17 AM »
A 7D comes with a built in flash, which is useful for getting past security guards.  It also has better weather sealing, which is useful for outdoor events.  But the 5dii has an advantage at high ISOs.  If you're not happy with the current ISO 1600 shots, I'd give some thought to the 5Dii. 

I took a zoom to a concert recently.  Once it got dark, I found it a bit tough to take sharp photos (a couple of blurry examples below to show what I mean). Am sticking with fast primes going forward.
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koolman

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 04:13:42 AM »
If you shoot concerts, I assume you need both long (for closeups of the performers) and possibly wide/normal for general stage shots. As far as focal lengths, your ok with your lenses, however concerts probably involve low light, and here you are a little weak on the wide normal.

I would suggest a 550d - same IQ as 7d much more cost effective - and Tamron 17-50. The 550d has great low light performance (same as 7d) and the Tammy is fast and not expensive.

For a hobby - I would see it somewhat an overkill the superior 7d which is primarily a pro sports camera.

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awinphoto

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 10:14:30 AM »
High ISO noise is a personal issue however for my POV, and I do shoot professionally, I was able to take my 7D, 50mm 1.4 and 35 1.4 (borrowed from CPS) and shot roughly on average 1200-3200.... Noise was barely visable at 100% on most of the shots... Yes, on some of the darker shots 1.4 wasn't quite enough, but so is the life of low-light photography (especially when flash isn't allowed in the venue.)...  For the most part, I was very comfortable showing these photos to clients and bands, however, my opinion is not yours so take that for what it's worth. 

Between the 7D and 5D mII, professionally, I shoot right now with the 7D.  Quality, for a crop camera, is very good or up to 100% at 11x17's.  Unless you are shooting primarily 3200-12800 iso and printing 11x17's and bigger, I wouldn't be too concerned about quality.  That being said, I fully expect to upgrade to the 5d M3 if and when it does show it's face in the wild, however given the advantages of AF, Level, flash commander, multifuntion button, weathersealing and I fully expect the new 5D to have some if not all of those features... I cant quite stomach losing those features to get the current 5D mark II.  But then again my needs aren't your needs.  Do your homework and go to your local store and play with them... hold them... see which one grows on your hand better... and then make your decision. 
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 10:56:03 AM »
For low light, you really need FF.  I use a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and it is just OK.  I bought a 7D as a backup and found that ISO 800 was noisy, and I really would want to set the limit to 1600.

Yes, you will want to trade in your ef-s for a 35mm f/2 or 28mm f/1.8, but being able to use ISO 3200 is a big step up.

Here is a image taken in near darkness with a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and a old Canon 50mm f/1.8 MK I.  AF was fast and accurate (won't see that on a 7D).



another with just a few colored lights, very Dark.  My iD MK III could not capture this, the image was so noisy as to be useless.


awinphoto

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 11:43:06 AM »
For low light, you really need FF.  I use a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and it is just OK.  I bought a 7D as a backup and found that ISO 800 was noisy, and I really would want to set the limit to 1600.

Yes, you will want to trade in your ef-s for a 35mm f/2 or 28mm f/1.8, but being able to use ISO 3200 is a big step up.

Here is a image taken in near darkness with a 5D MK II at ISO 3200 and a old Canon 50mm f/1.8 MK I.  AF was fast and accurate (won't see that on a 7D).

I've had no problems focusing my 7D with my 17-40 with little to no light with no AF lamp assist... AF, to me, on the 7D is superior to the 5D MII any day of the week, however this is personal opinion and I will leave it at that. 

Regarding High ISO, that is why i specified print... Prints to me is the benchmark as to compare noise.  Prints are a tad more forgiving and usually more standard from print to print than monitors are monitor to monitor.  Monitors, zoomed into 100% depending on so many factors may either look acceptable on some and crappy on others given things such as resolution and physical size within the resolution.  Pixel peeping, yes the 5D will have a more buttery smooth look than the 7D (mainly because with NR the 5d has a reputation of smearing the photo a bit to knock down noise whereas the 7d does less smearing so high iso's tend to be a bit noisier but sharper in my opinion and tests).  This is also a personal opinion and only the end user can answer.  I am anxiously awaiting the new 5D to get the best of both worlds, however until then, for my use and my clients needs, I will hang tight until then. 

I will agree about trading in the EF-s for a better prime... you'll be better off regardless. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 11:46:29 AM »
I'm going to agree with Mt Spokane Photography on the ISO issue - the 7D is noisy, plain and simple.  The 5DII is quite useable at ISO 3200, and acceptable results even at ISO 6400 in some situations.  However, some of that depends on post-processing, too, and I find that with DxO (which does an excellent job at handling ISO noise) allows ISO 1600 on the 7D to be decent, ISO 3200 acceprable sometimes (although I do still prefer to keep it at no higher than 800).

But, what percentage of your shooting will be concerts, vs. rugby, vs. whatever, and what is most important to you?  For sports, the AF of the 5DII is not adequate, IMO, and the frame rate leaves a lot to be desired, too.
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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 11:46:29 AM »

awinphoto

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 12:28:41 PM »
For both neuro and mt spokane, if i'm not mistaken first had 5d's and then got the 7D's as a second camera... Those who drive porsche's will always see fords as inferior... Those who drive kias will see fords as step up... everything is regarding perspective and need.  I do shoot for a living and 100% of my income is from my 7d's... I have never had clients complain with High ISO issues with my 7D and especially when printed on commercial presses for magazine shots, etc... high noise up to 1600 is barely noticeable. 

Is the 5d cleaner at high iso, yes, but is the 7D useless at high ISO, especially when the original poster is coming from a Rebel XS, No.  Yes, if i pixel peep at iso 800-1600 on a 27" imac screen, I can make out some noise in shadow/midtones if I really want to nit-pick, but it's not noticeable on my home 21" 1 year old imac.  That is what I'm getting at about perception and monitor to monitor variation.  When i take the same file, print it on my epson at 11x17... it's probably going to fall somewhere in the middle between the two regarding visible detail/noise.  It isn't anything where you should count out the 7D solely on. 

Plus when you take the featureset of the two, considering my car analogy earlier, it would be like a top to the line ford mustang vs a porsche sports car with a 4 speed automatic tranny.  The porsche is still a fine car, but it leaves a lot to be desired in it's current form.  Once it gets updated though, all bets are off.   
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 02:24:20 PM »
For both neuro and mt spokane, if i'm not mistaken first had 5d's and then got the 7D's as a second camera...

Actually, I started with a T1i/500D, upgraded to a 7D because the AF of the Rebel wasn't as effective as I wanted, then added the 5DII mainly for improved ISO performance.

with my 7D and especially when printed on commercial presses for magazine shots, etc... high noise up to 1600 is barely noticeable. 

Is the 5d cleaner at high iso, yes, but is the 7D useless at high ISO, especially when the original poster is coming from a Rebel XS, No.  ... It isn't anything where you should count out the 7D solely on. 

Agreed.  All else being equal, I'd take a shot with less noise over a shot with more noise.  But...the IQ is only better if the shot is in focus, and if your subject is moving, getting an in-focus shot is a lot more likely with the 7D than with the 5DII. 

AF issues aside, what you gain with the 5DII FF sensor vs. the 7D/60D/550D/600D APS-C sensor is ~1.3-stops of improved ISO performance.  Noise tolerance is specific to the individual and the final use of the image, so it's all relative.  But that means if you find the noise acceptable with the 7D at ISO 1600, you could be shooting at ISO 4000 on a 5DII.
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Re: Suggestions for a difficult choice
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 02:24:20 PM »