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Author Topic: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS  (Read 2890 times)

timkbryant

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AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« on: January 21, 2012, 04:48:25 PM »
First post.

OK, I already have an idea of what the answer I'm going to get is, but...

I currently have a Rebel XS, which I use in my job as a reporter. I am primarily a writer, and since I work for a small-town weekly, super high-quality photos are not critical. But I use it for (small town) sports on a fairly regular basis and I'm mostly content with the shots I get.

But, I'm looking to upgrade to a FF, and considering I know I don't need something as sophisticated as the 1D, that means the 5D in one of its iterations.

So, given what all your experiences are with the 5D AF, and how I've heard it's not great for sports, my question is this:
How much better is the 5D AF compared to the Rebel XS? And given that the XS has served me well for shooting sports, how happy would I be with the 5D even with its AF "problems"?

Thanks.
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AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« on: January 21, 2012, 04:48:25 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 05:05:14 PM »
i dont think you will notice much of a difference, it seems my 5d AF is pretty similar to my parents 600D, although you might find the center point a bit snappier on the 5d moving up from the XS
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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 05:41:27 PM »
You might notice a slight AF performance boost with the 5D for moving subjects. With static subjects and the center AF point, there will also be some improvement. 

Other improvements will be IQ (big bump), the viewfinder will be much nicer, and better ergonomics.

Might I ask - why FF?  Do you have EF-S lenses you'd need to sell?  If your primary need is high ISO, the 5DII is hard to beat. But...if you're shooting mostly in decent light, have you considered the 7D?
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mathino

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 06:57:52 PM »
Quote
Might I ask - why FF?  Do you have EF-S lenses you'd need to sell?  If your primary need is high ISO, the 5DII is hard to beat. But...if you're shooting mostly in decent light, have you considered the 7D?

+1 on that.

All depends on what you'll be shooting. If sports you will need faster AF for action. 5D Mk II is great for studio/portraits/landscapes/low light work but AF is not meant for sports and tracking subjects. I had 7D for a couple of days (borrowed it from friend) and it's AF is far better then superb compared to my 450D. I think you'll be happy with 7D. What is nice abou 7Ds AF is that cluster type, center + 4 surrounding point - really useful. And you can buy a nice prime for price difference between 5D Mk II and 7D - for example EF 28 f/1.8 and/or EF 85 f/1.8. Primes are great for indoor sports.

You can also look at used market and search for 1D Mk III and again - for price difference you can buy a prime.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 07:02:11 PM by mathino »
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katwil

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 11:09:57 PM »
For sports photography, the higher ISO will be a huge advantage if you’re shooting anything indoors or at night.  I made several attempts to use my XS with my 70-200 f/2.8 and my 200 f/2.8 at spring training and minor league baseball.  Generally I had my choice of slow shots or grainy shots.  That won’t be an issue with the 5D mk II.  I’ve only had the mk II for a month, so I can’t speak to the AF issues outside of the center point.  But, if I do encounter issues with the outer AF points, I plan to just shoot dead center and crop later.  After all my field of view on the same lens is now much larger.

Regarding earlier posts about upgrades other than FF, I would agree that you don’t have to go to FF to potentially get better shots.

timkbryant

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 12:26:53 AM »
Thanks all. I'll take your words under advisement.

For the record, I'm months away from making this decision/purchase. But I like to be as informed as possible about my purchases, so I'm starting my research well in advance.

i dont think you will notice much of a difference, it seems my 5d AF is pretty similar to my parents 600D, although you might find the center point a bit snappier on the 5d moving up from the XS
That right there is fairly enlightening. To say the difference wouldn't be a lot means maybe I should rethink my plans.

Might I ask - why FF?  Do you have EF-S lenses you'd need to sell?  If your primary need is high ISO, the 5DII is hard to beat. But...if you're shooting mostly in decent light, have you considered the 7D?
Why FF? Well, I like to have fairly high-end things. If I had known the XS was the lowest of Canon's offerings, I would have picked up something a bit higher at the time.
Lenses. The only EF-S lenses I have are the kit 18-55 and a 55-250. I have gone out and picked up the 70-200 2.8L not too long ago, and I plan to grab a 24-105 in the near future.
ISO and 7D. Well, when the XS tops out at 1600 and most everything else is higher, anything would be an upgrade there.
Bodies: 5D Mk III; 1000D
Lenses: EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 70-200 f/2.8 L; EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS
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briansquibb

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 02:26:14 AM »
Thanks all. I'll take your words under advisement.

For the record, I'm months away from making this decision/purchase. But I like to be as informed as possible about my purchases, so I'm starting my research well in advance.

i dont think you will notice much of a difference, it seems my 5d AF is pretty similar to my parents 600D, although you might find the center point a bit snappier on the 5d moving up from the XS
That right there is fairly enlightening. To say the difference wouldn't be a lot means maybe I should rethink my plans.

Might I ask - why FF?  Do you have EF-S lenses you'd need to sell?  If your primary need is high ISO, the 5DII is hard to beat. But...if you're shooting mostly in decent light, have you considered the 7D?
Why FF? Well, I like to have fairly high-end things. If I had known the XS was the lowest of Canon's offerings, I would have picked up something a bit higher at the time.
Lenses. The only EF-S lenses I have are the kit 18-55 and a 55-250. I have gone out and picked up the 70-200 2.8L not too long ago, and I plan to grab a 24-105 in the near future.
ISO and 7D. Well, when the XS tops out at 1600 and most everything else is higher, anything would be an upgrade there.

So is it AF and high ISO performance which is your priority? Where does fps come in the scale?

If it is all 3 then the 1 series will be the way to go if you get my line of drift

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 02:26:14 AM »

PeterJ

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 02:30:08 AM »
The only EF-S lenses I have are the kit 18-55 and a 55-250. I have gone out and picked up the 70-200 2.8L not too long ago, and I plan to grab a 24-105 in the near future.
ISO and 7D. Well, when the XS tops out at 1600 and most everything else is higher, anything would be an upgrade there.
Depending on the kind of sport one other thing to remember is that 250 x 1.6 = 400mm (or 320 for your new 200) equivalent field of view and now you'll be dropping to 200mm on FF which may or may not be an issue depending on whether you tend to shoot at the long end a lot. I'd mirror other comments, for fast moving sport in fairly decent light (especially if focal length is an issue) go for a 7D with it's better AF, fps and crop factor, for low-light the 5D2 will be better.

briansquibb

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 02:39:45 AM »

Depending on the kind of sport one other thing to remember is that 250 x 1.6 = 400mm (or 320 for your new 200) equivalent field of view and now you'll be dropping to 200mm on FF which may or may not be an issue depending on whether you tend to shoot at the long end a lot. I'd mirror other comments, for fast moving sport in fairly decent light (especially if focal length is an issue) go for a 7D with it's better AF, fps and crop factor, for low-light the 5D2 will be better.

I agree with that - providing the light is reasonable then the 7D give a IQ not significantly worse than the 5D and the better AF using expansion points makes tracking fast moving objects a lot easier

EOBeav

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 01:17:03 AM »
I just went from an XSi to a 5DmkII, and the difference is remarkable. I don't think you want a ton of AF points for sports photography, but correct me if I'm wrong. If you've got the coin and want a FF, I'd make the jump now before the 5DmkIII rolls out.
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Positron

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 02:07:28 AM »
Well, when the XS tops out at 1600 and most everything else is higher, anything would be an upgrade there.

Don't forget that the max ISO itself is not the critical component of high-ISO performance. Low-light performance tends to increase much more dramatically between camera refresh cycles than other metrics. I used to have an XSi (released just a few months before the XS), and when I switched to a T2i (only 2 years newer, and same model line; not even an "upgrade"), I gained almost 2 full stops of ISO performance. On the XSi ISO 800 was fine but 1600 was noisier than I'd like, whereas on the T2i even 3200 is acceptable, while at 1600 I'm more than pleased with the image. Obviously FF has a huge advantage in this regard just as a side-effect of the sensor size, but I'd suspect that even a newer crop body like a 60D or 7D would give quite dramatically increased noise performance while also adding better AF, burst speed, resolution, and improved handling.

Edit: Similarly, this has been my main concern with the idea picking up a used 40D or Lumix GF1. Even as a shooter of primarily stationary subjects, the regression of ISO performance (as opposed to max ISO) worries me because I definitely use my camera for everyday snap shooting even when I'm not setting up a tripod for a landscape or macro shot, and it should be able to handle both well.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 02:10:00 AM by Positron »

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Re: AF question - 5D v. Rebel XS
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 02:07:28 AM »