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Author Topic: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts  (Read 19458 times)

kirispupis

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Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:09:58 PM »
I currently own a 5D3 and a 7D.  I still have the 5D2 my 5D3 is meant to replace and am waiting for the market to clear a bit before selling it.

Yesterday I photographed a pair of hooded mergansers that I had earlier photographed with my 7D.  The lens was the same - 70-200/2.8 II + 2x III, and the location was exactly the same.  I also photographed the birds at the same exact location in the pond with both cameras.  The only difference was the shots were taken several weeks apart.

I was curious to compare them, so I took two photos of the same merganser at the same location and compared them.  The crop from the 7D made its version larger, but the following is what I noticed with my very unscientific experiment (partly due to laziness and partly because there are flaws in this test I will not post the crops).  Here are two different shots from each shoot, but note that these are not the ones I compared.  They won't tell you much about the quality of the cameras but they'll give you an idea of the conditions.

7D - http://500px.com/photo/5118931
5D3 - http://500px.com/photo/6268179

- The 5D3 had a huge advantage in noise.  I had taken the 7D shots at ISO 800, while the 5D3 shots were taken at ISO 1600.  Nevertheless the 7D had very noticeable noise while the 5D3 was significantly cleaner.
- The 5D3 had far more detail in the shot.  I could see far more details in the feathers than the 7D - even when the crop was taken into account.
- The 5D3 seems to have better dynamic range.  With the 7D the black parts of the bird were solid black, while with the 5D3 there was a lot more detail there.  This may also have been an exposure issue.

When I look at this, I am seeing really no reason to keep the 7D.  Other than having two more fps, the 5D3 outperforms it in every aspect - even when the crop is taken into account.  Perhaps this may not be true for ISO 100, but for bird photography that is extremely rare.

My question is to those who also have both cameras.  What have you noticed in the difference?  I am not looking for theoretical discussions here but practical ones from other individuals who have used both cameras.

This is just a single test and ideally I should test both cameras on a tripod with the same subject at the same time, but I am curious if others have noticed the same thing.  At this point I am strongly leaning towards selling the 7D and going back to a single body, with the proceeds going towards funding a future 600/4 II.
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Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« on: April 03, 2012, 01:09:58 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 01:12:56 PM »
I swapped a 7D for the 1D4 for sports shooting - been the best buy for that.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 01:33:45 PM »
My question is to those who also have both cameras.  What have you noticed in the difference?  I am not looking for theoretical discussions here but practical ones from other individuals who have used both cameras.

This is just a single test and ideally I should test both cameras on a tripod with the same subject at the same time, but I am curious if others have noticed the same thing.

I don't have a 5DIII, but I did a controlled test of the 7D vs/ the 5DII, and came to the conclusion that after cropping the 5DII image to the FoV of the 7D, the 7D image had a slight edge for sharpness, and the 5DII had a slight edge for noise - overall sort of a wash.  The other shortcomings of the 5DII precluded it's use for birds/wildlife, but those issues have been fixed by the 5DIII. 

What I did not test is further cropping - many times I need to crop my 7D images by 25-40% - what would that look like with a 5DII/5DIII image, and would the resulting final resolution (4-5 MP) be sufficient?

When my 1D X shows up, I'll likely to a similar controlled comparison with the 7D.  Currently, though, I'm planning to keep the 7D after getting the 1D X.
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aginggeek

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 03:25:33 PM »
I plan to keep both my 7D and my 5D3.

The 7D has a built-in flash. Sure, the flash isn't that great, and wide zoom lens can block it. But I can pop it up in a second, as opposed to close to a minute to attach a speedlight. If I brought one with me, that is. I can also use the 7D's built-in flash for AF assist.

It's a lot faster to switch between two lenses if they're on two different bodies.

And finally I have a super-wide EF-S 10-22 for the 7D. Yes, someday I'll get a regular EF super-wide -- but first my credit card has to recover from the shock of the 5D!

kirispupis

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 03:54:33 PM »
I have taken two bodies on my last two trips - to Uzbekistan/Tajikistan and to China.  At the time I felt it was very useful.  I generally kept a TS-E 24 II on my 5D2 and a 70-200/2.8 II to my 7D.  This allowed me to quickly take photos near and far.  However, looking through my photos from those trips I do wonder if this really helped my photography.

The problem is I travel with my wife and two kids and I therefore have a feeling two bodies cause me to rush more than if I just took my time with one.  I also have shots where I pushed my 7D too much.  Had I taken it with the 5D2 the shot would have been better.

I do believe for pro jobs such as weddings two cameras are essential, but for my travel purposes I am beginning to think they are not.

The main question though is whether I am giving up anything wildlife-photography wise through losing the crop the 7D offers.  So far on initial inspection this does not appear to be the case, but I am curious to hear other opinions.
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keithfullermusic

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 03:58:01 PM »
I have neither, but my guess is that a good crop sensor camera is going to be better than a FF camera simply because of reach.

I have a 100-400 and use it with my 50D, and the images with that thing are superb (even up ISO 500).  the 100-400 is actually like a 160-640mm on the 50D.  If you have a FF camera and have a 600mm lens you might have to take out a second mortgage on your house.

I am planning on getting a 5Diii eventually, but I will definitely use my 50D when taking bird shots or other things that are far away.
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briansquibb

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 05:01:57 PM »
I have neither, but my guess is that a good crop sensor camera is going to be better than a FF camera simply because of reach.

I have a 100-400 and use it with my 50D, and the images with that thing are superb (even up ISO 500).  the 100-400 is actually like a 160-640mm on the 50D.  If you have a FF camera and have a 600mm lens you might have to take out a second mortgage on your house.

I am planning on getting a 5Diii eventually, but I will definitely use my 50D when taking bird shots or other things that are far away.

I think perhaps you meant that "but my guess is that a good crop sensor camera is going to be cheaper than a FF camera simply because of reach"

The longest reach is from the 1D4, 1.3 crop bodies because they focus at F/8
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 05:42:44 PM by briansquibb »

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 05:01:57 PM »

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 06:14:20 PM »
I love the 7D's AF. It was terrible at first to use and missed alot of photos until i tweaked the C-Fn and now is superb.

I always use AF-expansion and its the greatest thing since a certain food that can be sliced.  ;D


CanineCandidsByL

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 07:44:36 PM »
I'm finding the 5Dm3 comparable or better than the 7d. The number of pixels is roughly a wash vs the crop unless you can fill the frame of the 5Dm3 where it pretty much wins hand down.....except for the price, the fps, and the flash.  The flash can be quick use or can act as a controller for other flashes. Also I believe the HDMI is superior on the 7d (full output?), but I'm not positive.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 7d for those on a budget or the 5dm3 for those with deeper pockets.

katwil

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 08:01:10 PM »
Two reasons for holding on to the 7D could include: 1) your desire not to spend a lot of time cropping mk iii images and 2) the ability to focus on your subject with the mk iii.  If your subject is too far away to accurately focus on it with the mk iii, cropping down to an out-of-focus bird serves no purpose.

In full disclosure, I have neither of your bodies, but it’s still a similar good crop body vs. better FF body discussion.

briansquibb

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 08:02:23 PM »
I'm finding the 5Dm3 comparable or better than the 7d. The number of pixels is roughly a wash vs the crop unless you can fill the frame of the 5Dm3 where it pretty much wins hand down.....except for the price, the fps, and the flash.  The flash can be quick use or can act as a controller for other flashes. Also I believe the HDMI is superior on the 7d (full output?), but I'm not positive.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 7d for those on a budget or the 5dm3 for those with deeper pockets.

Flash for birding?

dr croubie

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 08:39:31 PM »
Despite the loss of megapixels, and moreso pixels-on-target, a 1D4 is definitely an upgrade to the 7D for wildlife, the fps, iq, and f/8 all trump it, even taking cropping into account (more if you count in less cropping if you're T/Cing at f/8)

But now comparing the 5D3 (which unfortunately, i don't have ... yet). You're still getting more megapixels, you're getting a lot nicer looking pixels at that. But you've got less pixels-on-target than 7D and 1D4. You've got sort-of better AF (more points, but no f/8), and less fps (is 6 not enough?).
Also, the 5D3 is running about the same price as a used 1D4. Between those two, it's a very very tought call.

Until the direct-comparison reviews filter through, we can't know if cropping a 5D3 beats a 1D4, or if cropping either beats a 7D. But my guess is that it's going to be very very close. Don't forget that the 5D3 is about 2-3 years younger than the 7D and 1D4. So maybe 5D3 will win comparing to those two. But the 7D2 should be out by the end of this year (or the dedicated wildlife APS-H 10fps 50pt-AF with 10 f/8 points 3D? I can dream can't I?), and then the balance might tip back away from the 5D3.

I'd say that for the price, 7D is good. For double that price, between a 5D3 and 1D4, it's probably a tough call (i'm glad I don't have the money so I don't have to make the decision).
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dr croubie

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 08:42:07 PM »
I'm finding the 5Dm3 comparable or better than the 7d. The number of pixels is roughly a wash vs the crop unless you can fill the frame of the 5Dm3 where it pretty much wins hand down.....except for the price, the fps, and the flash.  The flash can be quick use or can act as a controller for other flashes. Also I believe the HDMI is superior on the 7d (full output?), but I'm not positive.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 7d for those on a budget or the 5dm3 for those with deeper pockets.

Flash for birding?


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OK, that's a setup, but having an onboard-flash controller like the 7D leaves your 550/580EX free to add more light on the subject...
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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 08:42:07 PM »

Pieces Of E

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 09:02:18 PM »
Enhanced noise reduction on the EOS 60Da sensor offers photographers the ability to experiment with the wide array of ISO settings and increased ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800


Too bad the 7D missed out on the 'enhanced noise reduction' sensor, or there wouldn't be any posts to the contrary here or all over the web.
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kirispupis

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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 10:26:20 PM »
Thank you for the replies, but just to target this discussion.

- I am sure a 1D4 is much better than a 7D, but that is not the question.  The question is whether it is worth keeping the 7D along with a 5D3.

- I already have both the 5D3 and the 7D, so it is not a question about which camera to purchase.  I have already compared the two cameras - unscientifically - and found that even when the crop is considered the 5D3 produces much better images.  My main question was whether anyone else who actually has both cameras has done a similar comparison.
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Re: Canon 5D3 vs 7D for birding thoughts
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 10:26:20 PM »