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Author Topic: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)  (Read 5398 times)

kalmiya

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Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« on: March 05, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »
Hello,

I currently own a 550D with 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 F4 lenses. With introduction of the new MK3 I was wondering if it might be interesting for me to upgrade to a 5D2 (+ a 16-35 or 17-40 lens in the not-too distant future). My main area is portrait, zoo-photography (esp. flying bird-of-prey shows) and landscapes.

Now I've been scavenging the internet to see how these camera's compare (besides FF, micro-adjustment, higher mpix, iso performance). You mainly see the 5D2 (advised for studio/portrait/low-light 3,9fps) compared to the 7D (with quick AF, advised for sports)

Now my main questions is how the AF of the 550D compares to the AF of the 5D2 - especially in the case of (flying) bird photography ? 
I know I'm able to capture that with the 550D (with a pretty high miss-rate, admittedly - but that's not necessarily the camera's fault ^^ ) -

Below an example I shot with the 550D -  how would the 5D2 do in this scenario?

Regards

« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 08:10:32 AM by kalmiya »

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Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« on: March 05, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »

koolman

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 08:16:49 AM »
I currently own a 550d - my first DSLR.

I think the 550d is one of the most important bodies canon introduced over the past few years. Its very cost effective, and has the same IQ as the 7d, 60d. (some say better then the 7d!).

Your shot of the bird is very nice. I cannot comment on a 5d compare as I never shot one.
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Maui5150

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 08:57:24 AM »
I currently own a 550d - my first DSLR.

I think the 550d is one of the most important bodies canon introduced over the past few years. Its very cost effective, and has the same IQ as the 7d, 60d. (some say better then the 7d!).

Your shot of the bird is very nice. I cannot comment on a 5d compare as I never shot one.

Huh? 
7D and 60D have better coverage viewfinder 7D is 100%, T2i is 95%
7D shoots 1/8000 t2i 1/4000
FPS 8 vs 3.7
High ISO on the 7D will be better
AF on the 7D much better

Now the t2i is more than 50% cheaper, but IQ on the 7D I always found better

Now performance to price, the T2i was a major camera, that I will give you, but features not withstanding, If I had to choose based on IQ, I would go for the 7D.  I started out with a T2i, have shot the 7D, and stepped up to a 5D MK II.

moody

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 09:10:17 AM »
I can tell you right now - 7D AF is far better for flying bird tracking than AF system of 5dII. With 19 cross-type points vs only one center cross-type + 8 points around, in case of 5dII. Of course you have to pair it with reliable and fast AF (USM in case of Canon).

Also, statement that 550D delivers better images than 7D...I deffinitely can not confirm it, since my friend does have 550D and the difference is mostly visible in higher-iso values.

Image quality, however, is better on 5dII (because of fullframe, you can not bypass that fact). The best you can do, is try both cameras and choose the best one for you.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:12:09 AM by moody »

Carny

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 09:26:29 AM »
I'm interested to know the same thing.  Looks like this is turning into another 7D vs 5D Mk II thread though!

Please note that the OP is interested in comparing the AF on the 5D II and the 550D.  We all know how great the 7D's system is.

eos650

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 09:38:05 AM »
I shoot a lot of sports. I primarily use my 60D, but when I want a second body I'll take my 5D Mark II. In the past, I've also taken a t2i as a second body.

One thing that worried me about the 5D, prior to getting one, was all of the complaints about the AF. My experience has been that the 5D has the best AF of the three. They all work well, when I have time to set up a shot, but when action is involved, the 5D has the quickest and most accurate AF.

For action shooting, the 5D loses out to the 60D on frame rates and shutter lag. I don't know what the shutter lag is on the t2i, but the frame rate is about the same as the 5D.

I am looking for better AF and higher frame rates for action shots. The 1-Series is beyond my current budget, so I am considering a 7D. I plan to make the 7D my primary body for action, while using the 60D as a second body. The 5D will be used primarily for portraits, etc.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:40:20 AM by eos650 »

Maui5150

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 09:40:33 AM »
I'm interested to know the same thing.  Looks like this is turning into another 7D vs 5D Mk II thread though!

Please note that the OP is interested in comparing the AF on the 5D II and the 550D.  We all know how great the 7D's system is.

7D was brought up since a poster made reference to the T2i IQ being on par or better than 7D which it is not. 

AF on the 5D MK II will be better than the T2i, especially with moving objects, and especially at Center-Point.  I may have preferred a wider spread with the 5D MK II, but find the AF faster and better tracking

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 09:40:33 AM »

ronderick

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 09:53:29 AM »
As a former owner of a 5D2, I would say that it is possible to catch bird action with the slow FF body; however, chances are that you'll have to be pretty good with the central focus point AF.

It takes a bit of practice to get used to the center AF and the slow FPS rate, but once you get accustomed to it and catch the actions promptly, the quality of photos from the 5D2 will be very rewarding.
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kalmiya

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 10:00:00 AM »
As mentioned in my OP, I am aware that the 7D has a way better AF then the 5D2.

However, my question is not "what is the best AF I could possibly get" but rather "what is good enough"?

So, knowing the AF on the 550 is good-enough for me (mainly using centerpoint & aware of a high "drop-out" ratio when photographing flying birds) - will the 5D2 perform simular or better,  or does the 550D outperform the 5D2 in AF ?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:02:41 AM by kalmiya »

BK

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 10:14:08 AM »
I made this exact upgrade about 6 months ago when the prices first started dropping in Canada last year. I had the 550D for about a year and a half before making the change.

I'm very happy with the upgrade. With regard to your specific question about autofocus I find the cameras fairly equivalent. I've seen an increase in the keeper rate, but my experience has been that I still miss a bit more than I would like. I've seen this with things like birds in flight and running dogs. You'll probably also see an improvement, but don't expect a night and day difference.

The brighter, larger viewfinder probably contributes to the higher keeper rate in my case. (Hey, who knows, maybe it's just due to my dogs getting older?) I never thought the viewfinder was an issue with the 550, but now every time I pick it up I find it frustrating.

I've found that I can live with the autofocus on fast moving subjects just fine. My bigger issue has been with finding focus in darker areas. I can't say for sure that the 5D is worse than the T2i, but it certainly isn't any better.

I'm using the 5D with a 24-105, 16-35, 70-200 f4 IS, 50 1.8 and 85 1.8. I'm extremely happy with all of those lenses. I kept the T2i when I upgraded, but sold my 17-55 and Sigma 10-20 to move up to full frame lenses. I miss the 17-55, but either the 24-105 or the 16-35 make great walk-around lenses depending on the situation and my mood.

I use the 5D anytime I'm specifically going out to shoot, but I keep the T2i with me pretty much all the time now. It almost feels like a point and shoot to me now that I have the 5D (especially with the 50 1.8). I guess it's all relative.

Fire away if you have any other questions about the upgrade.

MK5GTI

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 10:27:08 AM »
i used to have a T1i, (assuming the AF is same as T2i?), now with a 5D1

the AF performance difference isn't noticeable, i always thought they are the same system, with 1 cross type at the center?

the biggest complaint on the 5d2 was its AF, thats why the 5D3 has a major upgrade.

my concern for you at the other hand is you are losing the reach you get from crop, how are you going to get back the extra reach? extender?

snyder17315

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 11:19:04 AM »
I have all three bodies (T2i, 7D, 5D MK II) and I upgraded in that order. All things considered, the T2i is certainly not a bad camera - especially for it's price. Since the AF system in the 5D MKII is more comparable to the T2i than the 7D I'll start there. The 5D MKII has the exact same 9 point AF, 3.9fps system you're used to in the T2i. So, from a composition perspective using the 5D MKII should feel extremely comfortable; if not possibly a bit disappointing considering the upgrade cost to the 5D MKII. It's doubtful you'll see any real difference in keeper rates betwen the two bodies from an AF perspective and you'll be trading reach for image quality. The image quality of the 5D MKII absolutely destroys the T2i (and the 7D imho), so when you do get the shot it will look considerably more detailed. The ergonomics and usability of the 5D MKII is also much better than the T2i, if for no other reason than the physical size difference.

Now, all THAT said. The 7D is a waaaay faster camera to use compared to both in every regard except arguably the ergonomics compared to the 5D MKII. The 7D has faster AF, more AF options, less shutter lag, almost 100% faster fps. Aside from the 1-Series bodies and the new 5D MKIII, the 7D is the most affordable, fastest camera Canon makes. Add in the crop factor of the body and when you combine it with a long prime or long zoom, it's hard to argue giving it the nod for fast, action oriented shooting.

Other little tidbits is the 7D has better weather sealed compared to the either the T2i or the 5D MKII. The 5D MKII has much cleaner high ISO rendering and better video quality compared to the T2i or the 7D. The 7D has a built-in electronic level and can command remote, off-camera flashes (the T2i has a built in flash but no control, the 5D MKII has neither).

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 11:24:31 AM by snyder17315 »

koolman

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 11:26:44 AM »
I currently own a 550d - my first DSLR.

I think the 550d is one of the most important bodies canon introduced over the past few years. Its very cost effective, and has the same IQ as the 7d, 60d. (some say better then the 7d!).

Your shot of the bird is very nice. I cannot comment on a 5d compare as I never shot one.

Huh? 
7D and 60D have better coverage viewfinder 7D is 100%, T2i is 95%
7D shoots 1/8000 t2i 1/4000
FPS 8 vs 3.7
High ISO on the 7D will be better
AF on the 7D much better

Now the t2i is more than 50% cheaper, but IQ on the 7D I always found better

Now performance to price, the T2i was a major camera, that I will give you, but features not withstanding, If I had to choose based on IQ, I would go for the 7D.  I started out with a T2i, have shot the 7D, and stepped up to a 5D MK II.

The 550d is not a 7d. It is however in my opinion a very good buy and one of the best "bang for buck" offerings from canon over the past few years. Specifically for this thread, which is discussing AF, I'm not at all sure that the 500d is any worse then the older 5d mk2
Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 11:26:44 AM »

kalmiya

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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 02:15:03 PM »
Thanks everyone for their input.

It looks like the general consensus is that the AF of the 5D II is more or less (probably even exactly) equal to the 550D :)

Furthermore the 7D seems to have more 'features' - but the 5D2 has better IQ + FF.
It appears a full-frame 7D is called the 5D III ( which I cannot justify pricewise for hobby-purposes ) ^^

my concern for you at the other hand is you are losing the reach you get from crop, how are you going to get back the extra reach? extender?
I have an 1.4 extender - together with the higher resolution (and manual cropping) on a 5D2 that should compensate it, I guess. Besides that, I noticed that I make most pictures in the wide-to-medium zoom.  Also I might hang on to the 550D as a 'snapshot' camera ( I really do like it ).


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Re: Upgrade from 550d (t2i) to 5d II (autofocus)
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 02:15:03 PM »