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Author Topic: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?  (Read 9827 times)

TDL2024

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6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« on: August 14, 2013, 03:31:22 AM »
Hello all, I'm considering an upgrade to the 6D and I've scoured the web for info on the body but can't find solid info on what concerns me: the outer AF points.  Everyone raves about the center being more sensitive than apparently any other Canon body (or other manufacturers too apparently), but no one ever comments on the outer points or compares them to anything else.  I've checked about a dozen youtube reviews, and read a couple threads on this site as well as a pair of other photography forums....no info on anything other than the center point.

A little bit of background info:
I've been a Nikon user since '05 when I got my D50, progressed through a variety of bodies (D100, 200, 300, 7000) before my D7000 for whatever reason started backfocusing horribly out of the blue.  Had a high shutter count (~170k) and was already tired of the wonky AF in low light so I figured I'd sell it and wait until something else came along (have a NEX6 I used for fun in the meantime).  D600 seemed perfect, except it shared the same AF system as the D7K, so I decided to switch over to Canon (I've long been a fan of the lens lineup).  I'm currently using a 7D I got a month ago for what I think was a pretty good deal ($700 for body, grip, 2 batteries, and friend gave me her 70-200 f4), but I've known for a while that I've wanted to go full frame for the low light benefits and of course wider FOV.  Whatever decision I plan to keep the 7D as a backup/inclement weather/location/beater body.

The 5DIII seems amazing, but a bit out of my price range...and if I were to save up as much I'd probably be tempted to go back to Nikon for the DR and resolution of the D800. 

This leaves the 6D (or a 5DII, but from what I'm told and have read its AF outer points suck) so I'm wondering: while the center AF point is apparently amazing, can anyone compare the 6D to the 7D?  I actually like the AF on the 7D, definite improvement over the Nikon D7K.  I rarely ever use the center point, probably only 10% of the time at most.  I tend to shoot in portrait orientation with the far right (outermost) point selected so that it lines up with the subjects eyes when in portrait.  Does anyone have any insight as to the performance of these other points?  Are they the same as the 5DII?  Better?  Same as the 7D?  Better? Thanks for any insight!

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6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« on: August 14, 2013, 03:31:22 AM »

Sporgon

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 04:43:23 AM »
I have a 5D, 5D mkii, 6D and a 1100D. I've never owned a 7D but have used one.

The answer to your title question is it depends upon why you purchased the 7D. To pigeon hole the two cameras the 7D is first and foremost an action camera, the 6D is first and foremost an image quality camera. You state you purchased the 7D for its AF which was first rate for its day.

The 6D AF is much better than the 5Dmkii - much more reliable accuracy. However the best way to describe the outer points is that they are not fool proof. You're best to have an understanding of what you are aiming the AF point at. You need some contrast in the appropriate plane of the sensor to be reliable, but significantly less than the 5D.

Also bear in mind the design age of lenses with ultra accurate camera AF systems. Often the older lenses cant mechanically match the accuracy of the new cameras AF. Roger at Lens Rentals produced a series of very good articles on that subject.


TDL2024

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 05:26:44 AM »
I have a 5D, 5D mkii, 6D and a 1100D. I've never owned a 7D but have used one.

The answer to your title question is it depends upon why you purchased the 7D. To pigeon hole the two cameras the 7D is first and foremost an action camera, the 6D is first and foremost an image quality camera. You state you purchased the 7D for its AF which was first rate for its day.

The 6D AF is much better than the 5Dmkii - much more reliable accuracy. However the best way to describe the outer points is that they are not fool proof. You're best to have an understanding of what you are aiming the AF point at. You need some contrast in the appropriate plane of the sensor to be reliable, but significantly less than the 5D.

Also bear in mind the design age of lenses with ultra accurate camera AF systems. Often the older lenses cant mechanically match the accuracy of the new cameras AF. Roger at Lens Rentals produced a series of very good articles on that subject.

Thanks for the quick reply. 

To be honest, I bought the 7D because it was cheap lol.  I've always liked the out of camera colors of Canon's bodies, and also how they handled skin tones so I figured I'd give it a try with a budget-minded option.  Now having played with the 7D I'm growing more comfortable with the handling/ergonomics (originally my biggest concern), layout, and menu to the point I'm willing to invest more into the system.  That being said, if I had $4k to spend I probably would have gone another direction, but considering all the sub-$1000 options available to me at the time it seemed like a good value purchase. 

That being said, I'm aware that contrast is necessary for the points to lock focus...unfortunately I've experienced a variety of differences (albeit with Nikons) where the same type of lighting situations produce wildly varying degrees of focus with different bodies (most likely due to the corresponding focusing systems..ie. cam3500 vs cam4800).  For the typical stuff I shoot, the 7D (and if anyone is familiar with Nikon, the D200/300/700 as well) focuses well enough for what I do, which is not necessarily low light, but usually open shade, windowlight, or on rare occasions backlit stuff.  My former D7000, the D600, and to a lesser extent NEX6 are all subpar in the same lighting conditions.  Two of my friends had the 5DII and they shoot similar stuff...they said the 5DII was almost unusable with any point other than the center point and to avoid it.

As for lenses, I'm only using the 40mm 2.8 (I actually like the lens, and on FF I think would be my go to choice) and the 70-200 f4.  The zoom will probably give way to the 100 f2, or 135 f2.  Other than that, for my style of shooting I don't really need or forsee getting any more lenses, so in theory if I were to stick with the 40mm and one of the f2 telephotos would that be enough to get the most out of the 6D's focusing system?

At the end of the day I'll probably rent the body before I make a decision; just want to know what I'm getting myself into before hand though and see if anyone has any insight :)

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 06:26:26 AM »
From the standpoint of the off-center AF points, the 6D is not a logical upgrade from the 7D, IMO.  The 5DIII is the better choice.
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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 12:45:37 PM »
sounds like you need a camera with good high iso....  i guess how good depends on how much u wanna spend...

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 01:52:22 PM »
As a 6D owner I will tell you this: the outer points are accurate and reliable in good light. In low light, they start to struggle with both time to achieve focus and accuracy of focus.

My solution is to keep a 600EX-RT mounted on the 6D in low-light situations, which has an AF assist beam. The 600EX-RT is big and heavy, but I often have one on the body to control my off-camera flashes anyway, so it doesn't bother me.

If you find you will be using the outer points in dark situations, and mounting a flash with AF assist to the body would add an unacceptable amount of weight (or stop you from using Pocket Wizard, etc.), and you have an extra $1000 to spend, then you are better off with the 5D Mark III.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 01:55:17 PM by Wildfire »

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:55:43 PM »
From the standpoint of the off-center AF points, the 6D is not a logical upgrade from the 7D, IMO.  The 5DIII is the better choice.

+1, and you'll miss the 7D's build if you get the 6D instead of the 5DIII.
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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:55:43 PM »

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 03:45:04 PM »
Since you plan to keep the 7D, the 6D is a perfect combo with it.  It's what I did.  I keep my 7D for any action shots, wildlife, etc.  For everything else I use my 6D.

If you want to get rid of the 7D and upgrade to one single camera, then the 5D MkIII is a better choice.  It is also a better choice if budget is not an issue. 
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CarlTN

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 03:56:43 PM »
I have a 5D, 5D mkii, 6D and a 1100D. I've never owned a 7D but have used one.

The answer to your title question is it depends upon why you purchased the 7D. To pigeon hole the two cameras the 7D is first and foremost an action camera, the 6D is first and foremost an image quality camera. You state you purchased the 7D for its AF which was first rate for its day.

The 6D AF is much better than the 5Dmkii - much more reliable accuracy. However the best way to describe the outer points is that they are not fool proof. You're best to have an understanding of what you are aiming the AF point at. You need some contrast in the appropriate plane of the sensor to be reliable, but significantly less than the 5D.

Also bear in mind the design age of lenses with ultra accurate camera AF systems. Often the older lenses cant mechanically match the accuracy of the new cameras AF. Roger at Lens Rentals produced a series of very good articles on that subject.

Well said!  +1

CarlTN

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 04:03:29 PM »
I have a 5D, 5D mkii, 6D and a 1100D. I've never owned a 7D but have used one.

The answer to your title question is it depends upon why you purchased the 7D. To pigeon hole the two cameras the 7D is first and foremost an action camera, the 6D is first and foremost an image quality camera. You state you purchased the 7D for its AF which was first rate for its day.

The 6D AF is much better than the 5Dmkii - much more reliable accuracy. However the best way to describe the outer points is that they are not fool proof. You're best to have an understanding of what you are aiming the AF point at. You need some contrast in the appropriate plane of the sensor to be reliable, but significantly less than the 5D.

Also bear in mind the design age of lenses with ultra accurate camera AF systems. Often the older lenses cant mechanically match the accuracy of the new cameras AF. Roger at Lens Rentals produced a series of very good articles on that subject.

Thanks for the quick reply. 

To be honest, I bought the 7D because it was cheap lol.  I've always liked the out of camera colors of Canon's bodies, and also how they handled skin tones so I figured I'd give it a try with a budget-minded option.  Now having played with the 7D I'm growing more comfortable with the handling/ergonomics (originally my biggest concern), layout, and menu to the point I'm willing to invest more into the system.  That being said, if I had $4k to spend I probably would have gone another direction, but considering all the sub-$1000 options available to me at the time it seemed like a good value purchase. 

That being said, I'm aware that contrast is necessary for the points to lock focus...unfortunately I've experienced a variety of differences (albeit with Nikons) where the same type of lighting situations produce wildly varying degrees of focus with different bodies (most likely due to the corresponding focusing systems..ie. cam3500 vs cam4800).  For the typical stuff I shoot, the 7D (and if anyone is familiar with Nikon, the D200/300/700 as well) focuses well enough for what I do, which is not necessarily low light, but usually open shade, windowlight, or on rare occasions backlit stuff.  My former D7000, the D600, and to a lesser extent NEX6 are all subpar in the same lighting conditions.  Two of my friends had the 5DII and they shoot similar stuff...they said the 5DII was almost unusable with any point other than the center point and to avoid it.

As for lenses, I'm only using the 40mm 2.8 (I actually like the lens, and on FF I think would be my go to choice) and the 70-200 f4.  The zoom will probably give way to the 100 f2, or 135 f2.  Other than that, for my style of shooting I don't really need or forsee getting any more lenses, so in theory if I were to stick with the 40mm and one of the f2 telephotos would that be enough to get the most out of the 6D's focusing system?

At the end of the day I'll probably rent the body before I make a decision; just want to know what I'm getting myself into before hand though and see if anyone has any insight :)

I own the 6D with around 8k shutter cycles so far, also own both the 40 pancake and the 70-200 f/4 (non-is).  That 70-200 focuses the most quickly and accurately with the camera of all my lenses, even the 135 f/2L.  Even in very low light.

However, if you are wanting to buy a camera for its autofocus ability alone, you will be disappointed with the 6D.  I make it work for me, but if all I did was fast sports action in decent light, I would buy a 5D3 or 1DX.

The outer points are not very reliable in servo mode, but the center point can be.  The problem with leaving all points active, is the camera seems to want to use the weaker outer points more often than the center point...so focus accuracy in servo mode can suffer.  This is the basis of all the 6D haters out there who usually own 7D's, 5D3's, etc.  Why the camera attempts to lock focus with the outer points more often than the center point, I can't say.  When using a telephoto lens it's become very easy for me to just leave center point selected, and deal with framing/cropping in post.  To each their own, though...for the 6D haters who think the camera is a sensor only without a camera around it...nothing will be good enough for them other than to buy a different camera.

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 05:11:14 PM »
The answer to your title question is it depends upon why you purchased the 7D.

+1

The 6D has excellent iQ, but its AF system isn't the best choice for action or sports photography, so it depends on what you shoot.


you'll miss the 7D's build if you get the 6D instead of the 5DIII.

I own both a 6D and 7D and haven't noticed much difference in build quality.  The 6D has an plastic upper body so the WiFi and GPS can function, but its a well built camera. 

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TDL2024

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 06:46:57 PM »
Interesting responses....sounds like it might be sufficient.  To answer the question of what I shoot: I don't shoot sports, so a 1D series AF system probably isn't necessary.  I shoot editorial fashion, and from time to time shoot low(ish) light stuff.  The models aren't static, but they're not moving around that much either.  I'm just wary after my recent Nikon experiences with focus in general using outer points.  To be honest I've never had a camera that the center point wasn't the bee's knees....the only problem is I rarely use those points. 

I think I'll have to rent one in the next couple weeks and put it through it's paces, probably after I get a faster telephoto though.  Will also look into the 5dII if I can find one locally for rent, since I am quite fond of that joystick on the 7D.

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 07:56:03 PM »
I upgraded from a 7D to a 6D.... the improvement in picture quality is amazing, very little noise. The low light focussing albeit from the only the centre point has to be seen to be believed!!

I don't miss the 7D at all!!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 08:27:42 PM by Janbo Makimbo »

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 07:56:03 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 08:11:16 PM »
I upgrade from a 7D to a 6D.... the improvement in picture quality is amazing, very little noise. The low light focussing albeit from the only the centre point has to be seen to be believed!!

I don't miss the 7D at all!!

Nice to see posts like this!

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:04:49 PM »
you'll miss the 7D's build if you get the 6D instead of the 5DIII.
I own both a 6D and 7D and haven't noticed much difference in build quality.

Agree. The 6D is built tough just like the 7D, 5D Mark II, and 5D Mark III. No concerns with the build quality of mine whatsoever.

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Re: 6D logical upgrade from 7D?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 09:04:49 PM »