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Author Topic: Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others  (Read 5975 times)

sameerthawani

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Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« on: September 04, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »
I was wondering if anybody has practical experience shooting both the Nikon D7000 and the Canon 7d and had anything to say about the Autofocus accuracy. The Nikon D7000 - at least the one I have - seems to be having some focusing issues. I wanted to explore the Canon side of things (without necessarily dumping Nikon) and have always been interested in the Canon 7D. All other differences between them being aside, does anybody here have any practical experience shooting with both cameras and can they tell me if either one is generally significantly better, or is the AF accuracy in both expected to be the same?

Actually any other comments on the Canon 7d vs Nikon D7000 comparison (from a PRACTICAL point of view, I know the differences in specs and price!) appreciated.   

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Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« on: September 04, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »

Danielle

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Re: Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 07:33:08 PM »
Contrary to popular belief, you can't simply rely on your fancy camera to nail it for you regardless.

No I haven't tried the d7000 for real but I'm a content owner of a 7d. Personally I think the 7d has a great af system particularly for it's price. If you learn properly how to use it is definitely a good system. Do I ever swear at it? Oh yes! Is it faultless? Oh no... Of course not. Would I expect a 1dx af system to be faultless at all times? No.

I have had experience recently with a nikon d90, it's af system isn't on the same plane as the 7d. My partner was having trouble tracking really fast (I mean fast) penguins in the water at our city's aquarium. They couldn't do it, I showed them even with an af system nowhere near the capabilities of my 7d... It can be done. I got some clear of some extremely energetic penguins in the water. Actually clearer than the shots I got with my 7d because there was a cpl filter on the nikon, I don't have one myself.

What am I suggesting? I'm suggesting who cares, yes buy a camera which suits your needs, but before, after and during, skills matter more. Btw, the d300s has a better af than the d7000.
In the end, only the image matters... Not what equipment you used to get there.

jrista

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Re: Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 11:59:50 PM »
I would offer the exact opposite assessment than Danielle. Certainly, there is no question that skill matters, and that you must understand how to use any tool before you can use it effectively. On the flip side, it is absolutely false that better technology can't improve your own capability, whether you are highly skilled or only moderately skilled. Its not just one or the other, neither skill or the tool matter solely. But if you are using a 9-pt system and move to a 19-pt system, or using a 19-pt system and move to a 61-pt system, the improvements in the system will most certainly raise the bar.

When I went from a Canon 450D with a 9-pt AF system, which I knew how to use at a moderate level, to the Canon 7D with its 19-pt AF system, all of my photography that relied on AF improved considerably. Once I had more points to work with, my skill quickly improved as well...my problem, as I found out, wasn't simply that I sucked at using the AF system of my camera...it was that the AF system of my camera sucked. I've been using my 7D for about 9 months now, and I'd consider myself an expert at using the AF system. After two years working with the 450D I simply couldn't do with it what I knew was possible with an AF system, and I stopped bothering to push myself to learn more after a while.

So no, its not just about skill...the tool and its capabilities most definitely matter. In fact, a better, more capable tool can help you improve your skill by removing boundaries and limitations that could quite possibly be holding you back.



To offer a basic comparison of the D7000 and 7D AF systems. The D7000 certainly has more points, rolling in at a total of 39. However only 9 of those 39 are cross-type, where as every point in the 7D system is cross type. The D7000's cross type points are only present in the center 9-point 3x3 block, where as the 7D's cross type points fill the entire AF area. Single-line sensors are only capable of detecting phase in a single plane, and as such they will have trouble with certain types of subjects. Cross-type sensors are capable of detecting phase in both the horizontal and vertical plane. A diagonal cross-type sensor (often called a high-precision cross-type sensor) is capable of detecting phase better than a standard cross-type sensor, and are thus the most effective.

The 7D's AF system with a full spread of 19 all cross-type AF points is its strength. It may have fewer points than the D7000, but each if its points are more capable than the 30 single-line points in the D7000. For what its worth, Canon's tracking logic seems to be pretty good in the 7D. Its not top of the line...its certainly been surpassed by the 1D IV, 1D X/5D III, and D4/D800 AF systems now, but its pretty good and fairly configurable to meet differing needs. Another strength of the 7D AF system over the D7000 system is the dynamic point and zone selection options. You can select a smaller area of any given point for "spot AF" for greater single-point precision, select the four surrounding points of the selected point for "expansion AF" for better single-point tracking, and you can select any one of a variety of "zone AF" regions where multiple points, but not all 19 points, will be used for less predictable AF. Nikons 9, 11, and 21 point modes are not as effective or configurable as the 7D's.

Nikon has had an edge in AF systems for nearly four years, however starting with the advent of the 7D, Canon started clawing back the title. The 7D's AF system brought some new capabilities to the table that hadn't been offered before. They took those new capabilities the the limit with their new 61-pt Reticular AF system in the 1D X and 5D III. If your looking for top-grade AF, Canon certainly won't disappoint. How long Canon might maintain the AF crown, particularly in terms of configurability of the AF system will have to be seen. I'm sure the competition will put up a fight, and things will probably normalize in a few years (depending on whats been patented, I guess). If you do get a 7D, it certainly won't disappoint.

bdunbar79

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Re: Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 12:26:22 AM »
Contrary to popular belief, you can't simply rely on your fancy camera to nail it for you regardless.

No I haven't tried the d7000 for real but I'm a content owner of a 7d. Personally I think the 7d has a great af system particularly for it's price. If you learn properly how to use it is definitely a good system. Do I ever swear at it? Oh yes! Is it faultless? Oh no... Of course not. Would I expect a 1dx af system to be faultless at all times? No.

I have had experience recently with a nikon d90, it's af system isn't on the same plane as the 7d. My partner was having trouble tracking really fast (I mean fast) penguins in the water at our city's aquarium. They couldn't do it, I showed them even with an af system nowhere near the capabilities of my 7d... It can be done. I got some clear of some extremely energetic penguins in the water. Actually clearer than the shots I got with my 7d because there was a cpl filter on the nikon, I don't have one myself.

What am I suggesting? I'm suggesting who cares, yes buy a camera which suits your needs, but before, after and during, skills matter more. Btw, the d300s has a better af than the d7000.

I agree to an extent.

I want to word my opposition this way though.  A better camera will get you out of an adverse situation more so than a lesser camera, skill being constant.  You can be skilled as hell but you're not getting any good shots during a soccer game that starts at 12 noon.  However, if I have a 1DX with me, and someone else has a 7D, my shots are going to look good and his aren't, accepting that we are shooting equally into bad sun angles and we both have the same talent/skill.  This is of course with post-processing too.  Technology does matter.

I do agree, however, that basic photography skills should be mastered first.  After that, the camera does actually matter.
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Re: Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D In the AF Area + Others
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 12:26:22 AM »