October 24, 2014, 08:26:05 AM

Author Topic: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?  (Read 15811 times)

thgmuffin

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2013, 03:23:07 AM »

My real expectation of upgrading from a 550d to a 70d is:-

  Significant improvements (for me):-

          Low light capability for the concerts and indoor or other low-light shots.  Seems to me there should be a noticeable improvement?
          AF performance and flexibility, especially for the birds in flight and low light situations.  I’m thinking this should be the real deal clincher? 

I guess there are other things, I do very occasionally video things so the new Live View AF looks like a big jump and of course the touch / vari-angle screen will be a genuine step forwards.

What I’m really after though is opinion on whether the two areas that I point out (AF and low light capability) are genuinely things that I will see a genuine improvement in.  I don’t plan to buy just yet, I will let the price run down first but I’m curious to see if my expectations are roughly in line with reality 

Thanks.

Fyi, I shoot with the 7D (folks keep saying the 70D has the 7D af array) as a back up & I've rented the 6D.  My opinion is that w/ the cameras you've mentioned, you can have one but not both of your key specs. 

      The 6D is incredibly good at focusing in low light. I was incredibly impressed with the camera when I shot in low natural light w/ a prime.  But it's focusing ability is not one I would want in a sports camera.  I don't think you'll feel that there was a great improvement in that area, certainly not 3-4 years worth. 

      I haven't shot with the 70D but most folks keep talking about it's af array being similar/the same as the 7D. If thats the case, it will be huge improvement over your T2i for sports photography.  Once you're used to it, you'll wonder how you ever got a good shot with your rebel.  But as far as low light goes, I had hoped the 70D would have the same capability as the 6D.  I was prepared to buy a 70D when it came out because of this.  Unfortunately, the -3ev sensitive cross center focus point was not given to the 70D (I decided to just stick w/ my 7D partly because of this).  And because of the lack of -3ev focus point, my reading of the spec sheet & experience with the 7D-I don't think you'll see a big improvement in the 70D for your concert/low light shooting. At least not enough to upgrade for. Although, to be honest, I may have been so spoiled by the 6D that even "good" low light focusing now seems just ok.   Anyway, once the reviews come out we'll know a good bit more.

You're smart to wait a while, read the various reviews & watch the price drop a little.  But unfortunately I just don't see one camera suiting both your main needs perfectly. Regardless, good luck w/ your selection & kudos on your glass selection.  I think you've really managed to squeeze the very best out of your T2i.
6D Center AF point for sports is beyond enough.  :D

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2013, 03:23:07 AM »

The Bad Duck

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2013, 04:38:36 AM »
A used 1D mkIV? Perhaps too expensive, I don´t know. But it is built for what you want to do, and you have lenses for it. And it´s cool!

That, or wait for 7D mkII. Your 550D is not bad, you may be able to stick with it for a little while longer, if you are not loosing sales with your current gear.

Good luck with your choise.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2013, 05:25:56 AM »

6D Center AF point for sports is beyond enough.  :D

For a subject that is in the centre of the frame, or if you are happy with that composition, certainly.

TO be fair, I did suggest that the ideal set up if the OP was going to continue using their 550D would be to select the centre AF point, that was to make the most of what they had whilst they are using it, but I would not recommend somebody buys a camera for sports or nature based purely on the performance of the centre AF point.

7D AF much better for action stuff, and the 70D which is fairly similar to 7D AF should perform better when the subject isn't under the centre AF point.

thgmuffin

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2013, 07:24:38 PM »

6D Center AF point for sports is beyond enough.  :D

For a subject that is in the centre of the frame, or if you are happy with that composition, certainly.

TO be fair, I did suggest that the ideal set up if the OP was going to continue using their 550D would be to select the centre AF point, that was to make the most of what they had whilst they are using it, but I would not recommend somebody buys a camera for sports or nature based purely on the performance of the centre AF point.

7D AF much better for action stuff, and the 70D which is fairly similar to 7D AF should perform better when the subject isn't under the centre AF point.
It's probably because I jumped from the T2i to the 6D and it's worlds better. Though I am thinking of replacing the T2i with a used 7D in a few months.

fragilesi

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2013, 07:55:01 AM »

True, it is.  And also, True, it is.

Your 550D might be nearing it's tested shutter durability, some keep going much longer, some fail much sooner.
You have a working camera for now it seems so no real need to panic buy.

However, keeping shooting with your 550D is fine too.

1. Select the centre AF point only. It's the only cross type.

2. Set the drive rate to burst.  Get a class 10 SD card.

3. Select AiServo for sports and nature.  Track track shoot.  Track track shoot.  This really helps predictive AiServo.  And will help keep things in focus when your mirror is flapping around during a burst.  The small short bursts help you keep things composed and also let the cameras buffer clear, ready for the next important bit.  If you keep your finger on the shutter everything will slow to a crawl.

4. Consider faster aperture lenses.  They will also really really help your AF, especially on your current body, but every EOS DSLR has improved AF with f2.8 or faster lenses.  Something like a 200mm f2.8L is a very fast focusing high quality lens that will also work on full frame if you go that way.  Certainly a brilliant sports lens, if not really long enough for a lot of nature.

5. Consider a mono or tripod.  Especially where any panning is involved.  Mono-pods cheap and have virtually no footprint.  If you pan, you'll pan 10x with a little support.  And this will also really help your AF keep up.

6. Finally, consider JPEGS in good light.  This will also speed things up and clear your buffer giving you more burst depth.

Thanks again to all, this is incredibly useful.  I didn't expect everyone to agree but the opinions and points mentioned have certainly expanded my knowledge of the important points to consider.

And Paul, thanks for this advice.  Steps 1 thru 3, part from the short bursts are pretty much standard for me - I shall try those a bit more.  Faster apperture lenses . . . in general "I wish" but there's a limit to what I can have  :-)  I shall add the 200mm F2.8L to my "maybe one day" list but I'm also wondering should fortunes be good about the 70-200L with IS as it could be good both for low light (IS and flexibility) and sports but the 200 may be more realistic for me.

Mono or tripod I wonder about though.  Given that I am usually talking about shutter speeds of 1/1000 or faster what will they give me?  For the birds as well being able to manuevre myself quickly is often very useful . . . so I'm curious as to how these things improve my chances?  (To be clear I'm definitely not disagreeing just wondering how it helps).

JPEGs in good light?  Maybe I should, normally I shoot RAW and to be honest often the post-processing benefits there don't really materialise because the shadows are too extreme to extract anything that will greatly improve the picture.  That said given that in my favourite haunt I'm often in the thick of it (Terns flying around me) I'm often fluctuating between shooting into the light and with the light.  I'll leave it to the imagination how often I remember to adjust the exposure correctly!

fragilesi

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2013, 08:03:07 AM »

But the 70D may well be better than the 6D at focusing on things that move, even something as slow as cricket.... ;)  I'll leave it to others to comment on that, as I don't photograph that sort of thing.  It could be that the two factors you singled out - low light performance and shooting action - lead to conflicting recommendations (the 5DIII will give you both, but at quite a price), so you'll have to decide which of the two matters more.  Any chance of renting in your part of the world so you can find out first hand?

While it would bore everyone to death if I replied to everyone I had to pick up on this too . . . cricket?  Slow?  You might not know it but AI Focus was actually invented specifically for cricket.  You focus on the cricketer and in case something unexpected happens and he actually moves (heaven forbid) you still get the picture!  ;D

It's actually (like so many things when you really analyse them) a really interesting subject.  With the players wearing all white (traditionally at least) you need to be careful on exposure and the action which can actually be quite brutally fast when it does happen keeps you on your toes.  The challenge of getting both the batsman hitting the ball and a fielder catching it as well a second or two later can be quite entertaining as it's so unpredictable!

paul13walnut5

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2013, 09:24:13 AM »

5. Consider a mono or tripod.  Especially where any panning is involved.  Mono-pods cheap and have virtually no footprint.  If you pan, you'll pan 10x with a little support.  And this will also really help your AF keep up.


Mono or tripod I wonder about though.  Given that I am usually talking about shutter speeds of 1/1000 or faster what will they give me?  For the birds as well being able to manuevre myself quickly is often very useful . . . so I'm curious as to how these things improve my chances?  (To be clear I'm definitely not disagreeing just wondering how it helps).

It gives you a smoother pivot, the camera is much more stable throughout your burst (IS and fast shutter may capture the action for a frame, for a burst you need to think contiguous) so a supported camera means that the position of your subject within the frame is uniform frame to frame, and so gives the AF a much better chance.  You'll be amazed how much an unsupported camera dips when the shutters pressed, magnified by a long sports or tele lens.  A supported camera will also help you keep your composition uniform as well.  Honestly, try one out, you'll be amazed at the difference it can make.  Especially if you fancy a slower shutter for panning drag effect, or thats what the light is giving you.

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2013, 09:24:13 AM »

sdsr

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2013, 09:50:34 AM »

But the 70D may well be better than the 6D at focusing on things that move, even something as slow as cricket.... ;)  I'll leave it to others to comment on that, as I don't photograph that sort of thing.  It could be that the two factors you singled out - low light performance and shooting action - lead to conflicting recommendations (the 5DIII will give you both, but at quite a price), so you'll have to decide which of the two matters more.  Any chance of renting in your part of the world so you can find out first hand?

While it would bore everyone to death if I replied to everyone I had to pick up on this too . . . cricket?  Slow?  You might not know it but AI Focus was actually invented specifically for cricket.  You focus on the cricketer and in case something unexpected happens and he actually moves (heaven forbid) you still get the picture!  ;D

It's actually (like so many things when you really analyse them) a really interesting subject.  With the players wearing all white (traditionally at least) you need to be careful on exposure and the action which can actually be quite brutally fast when it does happen keeps you on your toes.  The challenge of getting both the batsman hitting the ball and a fielder catching it as well a second or two later can be quite entertaining as it's so unpredictable!

Oh, I know, I know; you weren't supposed to take my comment seriously.  I grew up in Australia and England and was forced to play it (and rugby) at school.  As a cricket-hating schoolmate of mine described it, hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror.  Or as Robert Morley once described it on "Any Questions" in the mid 1970s - "an awful, boring game played by awful, boring people and watched by awful, boring people."  But yes, it can't be easy to photograph....

awinphoto

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2013, 10:36:07 AM »
As far as my 2 cents, I was in the market of upgrading my backup 7d as it's getting kinda long in the tooth and the camera is intermittently freezing up during inopportune times.  The 7d2 is not here and likely wont be here until 2014 and from all signs, there likely will be a price jump, probably similar to the 5d2/5d3 jump.  That makes the 7d2, being and aps-c camera less appealing.  I was very interested in the 6d, and then my good friend won a 6d in a contest and I had a chance to play with it the other day... The AF is really as good as the 5d2 and rebel lineup.  The center point is more accurate in low light, as expected, and the outside points are ok, maybe a tad better than the 5d2, but it's nothing to write home about.  The thing that kinda bothered me other than i would be stuck with the center point, focusing and recomposing all the time was the picture quality.  My friend has a vast selection of L lenses, and in areas of repeated patterns, like roofing shingles and stuff like that, morie pops up abruptly.  Also disturbingly, although the 70D is the same way, they have eliminated the double functionality of the top LCD buttons which means white balance has gone away, and you cannot reprogram that button =(  So... if you want to change white balance, you have to dig through your menu and save that to your "my menu" to have that option readily available.  I guess for me there are no clear winners, but since the backup camera may be seeing more video than stills, the 70D is looking better from my POV
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sdsr

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2013, 12:29:58 PM »
My friend has a vast selection of L lenses, and in areas of repeated patterns, like roofing shingles and stuff like that, morie pops up abruptly.  Also disturbingly, although the 70D is the same way, they have eliminated the double functionality of the top LCD buttons which means white balance has gone away, and you cannot reprogram that button =(  So... if you want to change white balance, you have to dig through your menu and save that to your "my menu" to have that option readily available.  I guess for me there are no clear winners, but since the backup camera may be seeing more video than stills, the 70D is looking better from my POV

A couple of things:

1. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough, but I don't see the moire you refer to on photos taken with my 6D unless I use a small JPEG setting (and even then it's rare, e.g. on the occasional cat's whisker), and I only use that for quick photo checking to weed out photos before processing raw files. 

2. Changing the white balance on the 6D is not as complicated as you describe above.  All you do is press the "Q" button to bring up the main info screen, scroll to the white balance icon and select it; that can't be more than one or two extra steps from what you're used to; and on the 70D (assuming it's a similar design"), with its touch-screen, it should be easier still. 

Rienzphotoz

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2013, 01:11:56 PM »
Guys,
What I’m really after though is opinion on whether the two areas that I point out (AF and low light capability) are genuinely things that I will see a genuine improvement in.  I don’t plan to buy just yet, I will let the price run down first but I’m curious to see if my expectations are roughly in line with reality 

Thanks.
The simple answer to your question is: Yes, the 70D provides noticeable difference in the AF and low light capability over the 550D ... plus the ergonomics are far better than the 550D.
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awinphoto

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2013, 02:15:49 PM »
My friend has a vast selection of L lenses, and in areas of repeated patterns, like roofing shingles and stuff like that, morie pops up abruptly.  Also disturbingly, although the 70D is the same way, they have eliminated the double functionality of the top LCD buttons which means white balance has gone away, and you cannot reprogram that button =(  So... if you want to change white balance, you have to dig through your menu and save that to your "my menu" to have that option readily available.  I guess for me there are no clear winners, but since the backup camera may be seeing more video than stills, the 70D is looking better from my POV

A couple of things:

1. Maybe I'm not looking closely enough, but I don't see the moire you refer to on photos taken with my 6D unless I use a small JPEG setting (and even then it's rare, e.g. on the occasional cat's whisker), and I only use that for quick photo checking to weed out photos before processing raw files. 

2. Changing the white balance on the 6D is not as complicated as you describe above.  All you do is press the "Q" button to bring up the main info screen, scroll to the white balance icon and select it; that can't be more than one or two extra steps from what you're used to; and on the 70D (assuming it's a similar design"), with its touch-screen, it should be easier still.

As for #1, I didn't do any extensive shooting with his camera, but he pulled up on the computer a few shots he did with the camera and pointed out the moire.  He mentioned that he was getting that a bit in his shots and he mentioned when he looked into the cause, he found through the university of google that the Aliasing filter is removed on the 6D's causing moire to come more easier (same as the nikon D800E). 

And for #2, thanks for pointing that out.  To be honest on my prior cameras (whether they had that Q button or another button that took you to that screen) I always found that set up to be annoying, but if this is any indication of button layouts on future cameras, I may have to learn to deal with it. 

Anyways I will look more into the 6D's moire thing but after playing the AF, after being spoiled with the 7D and 5d3 AF, i may hang myself focusing and recomposing =) 
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.

fragilesi

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2013, 06:51:51 AM »
Oh, I know, I know; you weren't supposed to take my comment seriously.  I grew up in Australia and England and was forced to play it (and rugby) at school.  As a cricket-hating schoolmate of mine described it, hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror.  Or as Robert Morley once described it on "Any Questions" in the mid 1970s - "an awful, boring game played by awful, boring people and watched by awful, boring people."  But yes, it can't be easy to photograph....

Noooo, I didn't take it seriously as I'd hoped my first paragraph showed!  I think your mate probably had it right in many ways for a lot of people, I just love the game but it's easy for me to understand why others might have a problem watching people mostly standing about for five days and then agreeing sagely that the result is a draw  ;D.

The point I meant to make is that with photography I've come to the conclusion that often subjects that sound less interesting can make the best pictures.  For example I was quite excited to visit a local castle recently expecting to take excellent pictures!  of course I came back with some pictures that looked like everyone else's pictures of the castle!  Nothing special.  Simple lesson, don't expect the subject to make the picture great without the help of decent technique and the eye for a good shot.  I say simple lesson and meant it but it does beg the question of why I have to re-learn it most times I go out with a camera in my hands!

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2013, 06:51:51 AM »

Niki

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2013, 09:39:10 AM »
why not wait and buy a Canon 35mm film camera cheap in the meantime?

sdsr

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »


The point I meant to make is that with photography I've come to the conclusion that often subjects that sound less interesting can make the best pictures.


True.  It helps if you develop the sort of photographer's eye that lets you see the world in terms of what might make a good/interesting etc. photo as opposed to what's good/interesting etc. to look at (which isn't, of course, to say that they don't overlap).  That's one reason why I like lenses that allow for extreme isolation - macro lenses, long zooms/primes, fast primes; it's fun to take photos that bear little resemblance to what you actually see (and to see the puzzled looks on people's faces while you do so!).

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Re: Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?
« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2013, 09:45:06 AM »