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Author Topic: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?  (Read 17349 times)

gshocked

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Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:30:53 PM »
Hi all, I'm looking to upgrade my Canon 500D. I've been looking into getting full frame but I've got some reservations about the 6D. Although I tried it out and loved the low light performance but the cost of the full frame kit is also holding me back. I want to do more sport photography and I'm looking into getting a 7D with either a 70-200 f2.8 non IS or a 70-200 F.4.
Has anyone got any thoughts on this? Has the new firmware 2.0 helped the 7D in any way? I would greatly appreciate any feedback! Thank you for your time!

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Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:30:53 PM »

jrista

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 04:07:34 PM »
I think it would help if you offered a bit more on your goals.

I own the 7D now, and I think it is an excellent camera. It's sweet spot is between ISO 400 and ISO 1600, however it performs quite well at ISO 100-200 if you don't expect to be lifting shadows by more than a few stops. Above ISO 1600, its performance really starts to drop off, so  wouldn't call it a particularly good low-light performer.

I say that, as the only real bit of information I have about your goals was the comment you made about loving the low light performance of the 6D. There is at least a stop, probably more like two stops difference between the 7D and the 6D when it comes to low light (high ISO) performance. You could probably comfortably use ISO 6400 with the 6D. You would likely rarely be able to use ISO 3200 with the 7D. If that difference matters a lot to you, then I would really go for the 6D.

Low light performance aside, the 7D is a great tool in all other areas. The 19-pt AF system is very good. It is not the best, and it sometimes has its quirks, but it is definitely better than the 9-pt AF systems in Canon's other bodies. Combined with the high frame rate of 8fps, and the 7D, in its ISO sweet spot, is an excellent camera for action shooting, for the price. I use it for birds and wildlife. I've had a lot of success with it (which you can see at my web site, jonrista.com, if you want any examples.) The body is rugged, and has survived a couple of nasty encounters with sand (albeit with a little bit of scratching on the upper right corner of the top LCD). I've used the thing in torrential rain, driving sleet, heavy snow, and even pounding hail, all under very windy conditions (even a downburst, which can drive wind as high as 150mph). If you need a rugged camera for action shooting, and don't need top of the line low-light performance like you might get from the 5D III, then the 7D will serve you well.

bholliman

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 04:42:44 PM »
I think it would help if you offered a bit more on your goals.

I own the 7D now, and I think it is an excellent camera. It's sweet spot is between ISO 400 and ISO 1600, however it performs quite well at ISO 100-200 if you don't expect to be lifting shadows by more than a few stops. Above ISO 1600, its performance really starts to drop off, so  wouldn't call it a particularly good low-light performer.

I say that, as the only real bit of information I have about your goals was the comment you made about loving the low light performance of the 6D. There is at least a stop, probably more like two stops difference between the 7D and the 6D when it comes to low light (high ISO) performance. You could probably comfortably use ISO 6400 with the 6D. You would likely rarely be able to use ISO 3200 with the 7D. If that difference matters a lot to you, then I would really go for the 7D.

I own both a 6D and 7D and would put the useable ISO at 3200 and 800 respectively.  Beyond 800 the noise on the 7D gets to be excessive in my opinion.

The 7D is a excellent sports wildlife camera.  For indoor sports in poorly lit environments, I often use the 6D since I can keep my shutter speed fast enough to stop the action without excessive noise, even a less capable auto focus system.  The 7D rocks for outdoor sports and wildlife when the light is good.

7D prices have dropped to where you can pick up a good used one for around $800, I'd suggest going that way.

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bholliman

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 04:45:06 PM »
The new firmware version is very good, a nice upgrade.

What lenses do you currently own?
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
EF Lenses: 35mm f/2.0 IS, 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, 135mm f/2.0L, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-70mm f/2.8L II, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II; EF-M Lenses: 22 f/2, 18-55
Speedlites: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

jrista

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 05:05:09 PM »
Oh, regarding the firmware updates. They have definitely been an improvement. The things I like most are the deeper frame buffer, which when you use the highest speed CF cards, can easily reach 35 continuous frames, if not more. Something else that I noticed with the updated firmware was much improved live-view contrast-detect AF. Previously that was fairly slow. It always locked well when it locked, but often it was just to slow to really use. I had to use that a few times recently, and it is much faster than it was. I use that for focusing on the moon as well, which can be very difficult when the frame is shaking. Now that it is faster, I have found that I can get clear focus on the moon without having to do it manually.

The faster movement when chimping is nice, but I wouldn't call it critical. I never really had any serious complaints about the speed of that before, but then again, I'm not a huge chimper. I tend to look at the eye, and if that's good, I call it good. I think there were some other review features added, like the ability to rate photos, and some in-camera editing. I've never used those features really, so I can't comment much on them.

I think it would help if you offered a bit more on your goals.

I own the 7D now, and I think it is an excellent camera. It's sweet spot is between ISO 400 and ISO 1600, however it performs quite well at ISO 100-200 if you don't expect to be lifting shadows by more than a few stops. Above ISO 1600, its performance really starts to drop off, so  wouldn't call it a particularly good low-light performer.

I say that, as the only real bit of information I have about your goals was the comment you made about loving the low light performance of the 6D. There is at least a stop, probably more like two stops difference between the 7D and the 6D when it comes to low light (high ISO) performance. You could probably comfortably use ISO 6400 with the 6D. You would likely rarely be able to use ISO 3200 with the 7D. If that difference matters a lot to you, then I would really go for the 7D.

I own both a 6D and 7D and would put the useable ISO at 3200 and 800 respectively.  Beyond 800 the noise on the 7D gets to be excessive in my opinion.

I would say the 7D is good beyond ISO 800. The majority of the work on my site (linked in my original answer) is at ISO's higher than 800. I would say the most common ISO setting I use is 1250, and the next most common is ISO 1600, with ISO 1000 and 800 coming in last. I also have too many shots at ISO's as high as 3200. My most recent post with photos of a rather fat American Coot were almost all shot at ISO 3200. I applied a moderate amount of NR, and a little bit of that noise can be seen in those photos, but for the most part...they were more than good enough for posting online. Some could probably be printed at native size (which is probably between 11x16 to 13x19).

The way Canon ISO works, where multiple forms of amplification are used for very high ISO, does not kick in on the 7D until ISO 3200. That is why ISOs 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, and 6400 all look very poor, because there is a downstream amplifier between the sensor and the ADC performing the final two stops of signal amplification, and that is only marginally better than a simple digital boost (which is what ISO 12800 is over ISO 6400.) I think ISO up to 1600 is quite good, certainly acceptable, especially if you can really fill the frame with your subject. If you are heavily cropping, then noise at ISO 400 can be quite bad...but that is more of a problem of using the wrong lens than really a problem with noise.

Don Haines

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 05:43:14 PM »
A lot of people get hung up on things like sensor size, dynamic range and ISO performance, but out in the real world all of this does not matter if you do not have the picture in focus and do not have a sharp lens.

If you are looking at crop cameras ( or the 6D) the camera with by far the best focus is the 7D. If you are dealing with fast moving or difficult to track objects I would HIGHLY recomend the 7D over any of the crop options. The other part of the equation is good glass..... any of the Canon 70-200L's are sharp... they are outstanding in the quality they deliver for the price charged. I particularly like the 70-200F4 IS version, it is almost as sharp as the F2.8 versions ( in the real world you would be hard pressed to detect a difference), and is a lot easier to carry around all day than the heavier F2.8 versions. The other kick-ass APS-C lens that is hard do do without is the 17-55 F2.8... Those two cover everything from wide to medium telephoto with great quality.

The 70D is rumoured to be announced soon (mid summer availability?), probably with minor IQ advances over the 7D, but probably not with as good focus. The rumoured 7D2 will probably not be in stores until Christmas..... you could wait for it, but remember it is a rumour.

Regardless of which way you go with cameras... wait, 7D, FF...... the 70-200 will be an eye-opener for you if you are not using good L-glass... The 70-200F4 on your 500D will work WAY better than any of the kit lenses on a new body. If it were me, I'd get the lens and then decide what to do about the body.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 05:49:59 PM by Don Haines »
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siegsAR

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 06:32:13 PM »
We're on the same boat, except for our subject preference as I'm more on landscape - my reason why I'm going ff and leaning towards the 6D.

Direct answer is, its not too late, especially for your type of photography - it screams the 7D.
Yeah, yeah its a bit dated and 7DMk2 is coming but looking at the current cost of the 7D;
you can save a lot compared with buying the 6D now - which is a pricy compromise if shooting sports.
That, you can either add to your budget for a better lens or save it later when the 7DMk2 arrives. ::)

Again, its not too late. ;)
If I were shooting sports instead of landscapes(88% of my shots) I won't be thinking much about the 6D.
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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 06:32:13 PM »

Krob78

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »
I've owned a 7d for close to 3 years and I own the 5d3.  The 7d is an awesome piece of gear and still quite relevant for the type of shooting you're talking about.  I still love my 7d for sports, especially outdoor although, I've never had any indoor sports issues with mine at all either.  For Wildlife it's also great but you really mentioned sports and for the current pricing of the 7d, I think it's a steal...

The Version 2 firmware made a great difference in my opinion as that of others, buffer is really sweet now and I agree with jrista, my AF definitely improved for some reason.

I find the 7d very usable between iso 200 to iso 3200.  Noise in shadows?  Yes, mostly for me with indoor portraiture, how big of an issue?  Not that bad, almost always easily and quickly corrected in LR4 and even decently in DPP.  That being said, it does add a little time to the work flow in post.  I've never had any issues with noise with my wildlife or sports work.

I'd buy another 7d in a heartbeat.  I still think they're worth more than what they are selling for and are definitely a best buy for the price range and the class... You'll love the 7d, especially if you TAKE THE TIME to study and work the AF system.  Once you learn how to exploit it to it's max, you'll have a difficult time ever getting rid of it.  It's a excellent camera! ;D
Ken

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ishdakuteb

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 08:13:28 PM »
canon 7d is a geat camera imo.  in low light, it does not offer as low noise at high iso as canon 5d series or 1d series.  however, images turning out might not be great when quality of light is not there even with full frame.  thus, number of people are choosing using flash (when shooting candid) or video light (when shooting portrait) in low light even with full frame, even pro... i am not a pro, just want to let you know.  i am a curious hobbyist who willing to learn (NOT pay) anything to make a great image :P

i own 5d mark iii too, but still keep my canon 7d and canon 30d (mostly experiment and shooting my kids) for fun as well as backup, yet something that canon 5d mark iii cannot perform.  for example:  last weekend was my FIRST TIME of shooting bird.  as if i did not have my canon 7d, i would probably not get any image or i would have to wait the bird get close to me.

in short, a crop mode camera is highly recommended if you do not own a long range tele-photo lenses:

here are some images that i shot last weekend with my friends.  these are NOT that great, but hey first time of shooting.  yet, i did not have flash, tripod (just camera and lens) since i do not have any experience about shooting bird.  thing that i have learned after last shooting is flash duration...

note:   these images has been cropped a lot, linked from facebook and shot with canon 7d, 70-200mm ii hand held... i am more about journalism than wild life  ;)





« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 09:05:40 PM by ishdakuteb »

greger

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 06:25:39 AM »
Read this thread. It will help with your decision.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=14045.0

There is supposed to be a big announcement from Canon on April 23.
If it is not about a 7Dll then go for the 7D which is an amazing camera. I bought one last August before the Vs2 Firmware
update. It was fine before and after the update and I am pleased with it. I agree with jrista and Don Haines and found what they had to say informative. I think from what I have read you will be happier with the 7D over the 6D in the long term. If you have a drawer full of Sd cards that you want to keep using then go with the 60D or wait for the 70D.
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Don Haines

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 08:28:38 AM »
You plan on getting one of the 70-200's..... it's a good lens if you are shooting FF and a fantastic lens if you are shooting crop.

The crop sensor cameras have a greater pixel density than FF cameras. The smaller pixels need superior quality glass to get a really sharp image, and the 70-200's are glass that is that good. A rebel with a $250 kit lens does not take sharp pictures... a rebel with a 70-200 does. I don't have any scientific basis for this, but I am certain that it focuses faster and more accurately than the kit lenses...... perhaps it is because with a sharp lens you can get a sharp image to focus on while a kit lens leaves the camera trying to get focus on a blurry image.... it's just a guess but seems reasonable...

If it were me, I would get the new lens now and then try to figure out what to do about the body.

As far as the crop bodies go... the 7D and the 60D both have the shoulder displays, and that makes a huge difference in how easy it is to use the camera away from automatic modes.... once you get used to the extra controls you will never want to go back. The 7D focuses much better than the 60D on moving objects, for stationary they are close, but I would give the edge to the 7D.

Nobody knows what the 70D and 7D2 will bring... it is just rumours. The 70D ANNOUNCEMENT is expected in a couple of weeks and the 7D2 announcement is expected in the fall. I would not buy a crop body until after the 70D announcement.... it will provide a lot of clues to the 7D2 and who knows... perhaps the 70D is the right camera? Only time will tell.

The only sure thing now is that the 70-200 will be a wonderful lens on whatever canon dslr you get, and will bring new life to your 500D while you wait out the next few weeks.
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chasinglight

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 10:09:21 AM »
I was in the same boat as you. I had a 550d and wanted an upgrade I could not justify spending ~$2500 on the 5d3 and I wanted better AF than the 5d2 or 6d would provide so I bought a new 7d for $1k. I immediately found that I like the camera a lot more than I thought I would. I though it would just be an incremental upgrade since the sensor was the same...so just an upgrade in AF and FPS. Not true at all, the ergonomics, 100% viewfinder, wireless flash (though I still need pocket wizards for high speed), and many more customizable features all left me feeling completely satisfied withy purchase. No regrets at all. So if you are looking for an upgrade from the 500d I would highly recommend the 7d. For the record I shoot landscapes, family events, travel, and wildlife and the 7d works great for all. I would like to piggyback on what someone said about good glass though. I got rid of my kit glass early a while back ago. Getting nice lenses like the 15-85 and the 70-200 really transformed even the 550d I had.

gshocked

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 10:20:40 AM »
Thanks everyone for your comments so far. I have used the 7D but with the 75 - 300 f4-5.6 III usm lens. It's not a great one as its very soft. I might burrow a friends 70 - 200, although he has the f2.8 IS II USM version.
Is there a massive difference between the f2.8 non IS vs the f4 IS? If I was to have a 7D would, is one better than the other? It would be used for sport and the occasional indoor event photog?

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 10:20:40 AM »

eddiemrg

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 11:23:34 AM »
Thanks everyone for your comments so far. I have used the 7D but with the 75 - 300 f4-5.6 III usm lens. It's not a great one as its very soft. I might burrow a friends 70 - 200, although he has the f2.8 IS II USM version.
Is there a massive difference between the f2.8 non IS vs the f4 IS? If I was to have a 7D would, is one better than the other? It would be used for sport and the occasional indoor event photog?

Non IS is really a good lense but not for indoor (IMHO) and it is out of production. High iso are not for 7D.....
f2.8 IS II is the "must" and it's not cheap and really HEAVY!
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Bosman

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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2013, 02:18:08 PM »
I was holding out for a 7d2 to replace my 1dm3. It was my goal of goals since 12,800 iso will prob be avail on the 7d2. I shoot weddings in addition to my sports so the 5dm3 and 7d2 would be a great duo. Well I went ahead and bought a 1yr old 7d with grip for $900. It is going to rock my work this year so i am not going to concern myself with the 7d2 until i have accumulated some new funds. Like someone else said You can get one cheap now and only loose a hundred or 2 from using it a year. Thats pretty cheap to me. I figure if i still sell it for 700/800 i will be happy. On the flip for those waiting this new 7d2 will be between $2500 and $3500 I'd guess. Prob lower than $3000 but then if it is a mini 1dx they could charge close to $3500 i think. Well I'd be happy to be wrong but for 3x the price of the current I have no regrets.
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Re: Is it too late to buy a Canon 7D?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2013, 02:18:08 PM »