Advice - worth the jump 550d to 70d?

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paul13walnut5

Guest
fragilesi said:
- With the 550d I certainly landed on my feet, for its price point it has always felt a hell of a camera.

- It’s prudent to wait a bit longer (70d price drops, 7d MkII news possibly), I’m just about to hit 100k actuations on the 550d, I’m not sure how long these things last but at my level there’s still a lot it can help me learn, I'm sure of that much.

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.

I haven't suggested full frame because it isn't the answer to your question, or by any stretch, your dilemma. Some folk just like saying full frame full frame a lot I guess.

The 7D and 70D AF is similar in phase mode, but in terms of flexibility and tweaking etc the 7D has more user variables, if you are very serious about AF and want the best possible within budget the 7D still has the upper hand.
Just. The 70D will probably work just fine out the box, the 7D needs a bit of playing about to get sorted, but it will reward you.

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

I would recommend the following, if you don't already..

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.
 

whothafunk

EOS RP
Apr 17, 2013
268
21
only thing i dont like about the 7D is that it is REALLY soft when shooting JPEGs. my 550D is sharper than a 7D. 70D is even sharper. same story with the ISO. other than that, terrific dslr the 7D
 

DRR

EOS RP
Jul 2, 2013
253
0
paul13walnut5 said:
I haven't suggested full frame because it isn't the answer to your question, or by any stretch, your dilemma. Some folk just like saying full frame full frame a lot I guess.

Yes I don't understand the recommendations for FF either. For what the OP is shooting, a faster crop sensor camera seems to make much more sense. I am not saying that FF is not a worthwhile investment or that you can't shoot any of these things with a FF camera, I just happen to think a faster crop sensor camera is the better tool in this case. All things being equal, sure go FF, but at that point you're looking at a 1DX - no compromises.

• Nature, most especially birds in flight.

Crop factor and AF speed seem ideal for this.

• Sports, especially football and cricket.

Again, the ability to get in tighter with the same lens, faster burst modes, and AF speed for quick moving subjects, is ideal for a crop camera.

• Rock concert photography.

You need the fastest AF and metering you can get for concerts, with moving subjects and constantly changing light.

• A smaller amount of landscape / architecture photography and occasional macros.

Macro shots again benefit from the crop factor. Landscape/architecture is the only thing on this list that's a clear win for FF cameras. You want to be able to get wide, you can afford to have a slower shutter speed, because your subject isn't moving.

FF is great. The 6D is a wonderful camera. I shoot with a 5D2 and for what I shoot it's a better choice than a crop camera. For what you shoot, I would suggest the 70D or save a few bucks with the 7D. Unless you can afford a 5D3 or 1DX.
 

preppyak

EOS R
Oct 18, 2011
1,026
80
sarakoth said:
As a few have said, strongly consider a 6D.. even though the 70D had just been announced at the time I upgraded my 500D to a 6D as I didn't think the 70D would improve much on overall IQ and it seemed there was not going to be a huge difference in price. Now the real world tests are out it seems like I was right as far as IQ goes.
Agreed, and if the OP is getting by doing nature and concert work with a T2i, then a 6D will AF just as well if not better. And what you gain in low-light ability is worth the trade. If you didn't keep the T2i, then you could probably swap your 10-22 for a 17-40 for around the same price

I could also agree with people suggesting the 7D over the 70D, since it's a well-known commodity and a great price right now. Itd be MUCH better for nature and sports work than a 6D, but, it loses the low-light performance against the 6D at concerts. Still, the 7D is plenty capable for landscape work, etc. For BIF work, it;s hard to top
 

jblake

EOS M50
Apr 20, 2013
35
0
fragilesi said:
What I find almost impossible to gauge from all the informed opinion and debate about ISO charts, sensor IQ and the like is just how much of real-world difference I’d notice and would like the opinions of anyone with greater knowledge than me. To be clear, that’s pretty much anyone who regularly remembers to take the lens cap off for their first shot .

If you attached a Canon 85 1.2 L to both camera's, T2i and 70D, and took a photo, I doubt you would see much difference, unless the 85 needed to be micro-adjusted or it would not acquire focus because of the single type outer AF points that the T2i has. High ISO JPEG images would look much better on the 70D as well.

I have owned and used all the camera's in question and my advice is to purchase the 70D and not the 6D or the over-rated 7D; you will be much happier. I now own the 70D and did own/use the 7D for around eleven months, and bought and used the 6D for about two months.

The 7D does not focus very consistently; for my 7D, AI Servo yielded around a 60% hit rate for indoor/outdoor sports. And the IQ was not that great on these RAW images either, a bit soft even when focus was spot on. I then bought a 1D3, and my hit rate went to over 90% and the 1D3's images were so much sharper than the 7D's images. Goodbye 7D and have never missed it.

If action/fast moving objects are important for you to be able to capture, then forget the 6D. It is an incredible camera if you understand it's one limitation, the outer AF points. Now you could work around that and just use the center AF point on the 6D and then later in post just crop to re-compose. I did this and the results were pretty good, you just lost some resolution. For me, I need to be able to rely on the outer AF points for composition right then while I am taking the photo, not later in post, so the 6D was sold. If the 6D had the outer AF points like the lowly T4i has, f/5.6 cross type, then I would still have the 6D today and would need no other camera.

I used my 70D at a local High School night football game the Friday before last, and in between the intermittent rain showers, out of 60 some photo's, all were sharp and in focus; something my copy of the 7D could never do on it's best day. Keep in mind, that I achieved this with just the single AF point, I did not have access to the expanded AF point option like the 7D has. I used the default AI Servo settings straight from the factory for the 70D. This impressed me very much.

The 70D produces sharper images than the 7D does. The 70D has better IQ with low ISO RAW images than the 7D has, think studio stuff or landscape photography. However, the high RAW ISO images like at ISO 6400, are similar between the two cameras. The JPEG images from the 70D are superior to the 7D at all ISO's.

The 70D allows you to micro-adjust your zoom lenses at the wide and telephoto ends where the 7D you can only make one micro-adjustment for the entire zoom range, The 70D, from my experience, has better and more consistent auto-focus than the 7D, not even close to be honest. In all fairness, I have not had time to do any BIF shot's, so the jury is still out in that area. The 70D has a silent shutter option which is very nice, similar to the 6D's. And when not in silent mode, the 70D's shutter is quieter than the 7D's, this includes high continuous shooting as well. The 70D is the first DSLR that makes taking video's fun and makes me want to take video's.

Keep one thing in mind, everything that I just said is only my opinion and nothing more. Just thought I would give you my impressions from my actual experience/take on of these camera's. Good luck with your decision and as you know there is no one perfect camera; the closest to that level of greatness cost around $6800. Way too many confusing and expensive compromises in this hobby.
 

vlim

EOS RP
Sep 14, 2011
274
0
47
Paris
Thanks per_e and jblake for your reviews about the 70d in the real life... I'm actually using a 40D and of course i'm thinking about adding another body mostly for wildlife photography and the 70D looks promising one ! i'll take it if it's better body than the ol' 7D ;)
 

skfla

EOS M6 Mark II
Feb 5, 2013
58
0
PS: for what it's worth, here is one of the early reviews out on the 70D.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_70D/

As an fyi, I've personally grown a little cool on Gordon's reviews since he got on a mirrorless kick a couple years ago. I don't think I'm the only one. This review has a little bit of a feeling like a fob to the tradionalist DSLR crowd to reestablish some of his cred. Probably me just reading too much into it but even so. Regardless though, it is nice to get some additional info on the camera.

Update: Digital Rev has their youtube channel review of the 70D uploaded
 

dgatwood

300D, 400D, 6D
May 1, 2013
922
0
DRR said:
paul13walnut5 said:
I haven't suggested full frame because it isn't the answer to your question, or by any stretch, your dilemma. Some folk just like saying full frame full frame a lot I guess.

Yes I don't understand the recommendations for FF either. For what the OP is shooting, a faster crop sensor camera seems to make much more sense.

For bird photos, yes, because the crop factor is an advantage in terms of reach. For concert shooting, no, because the extra couple of stops of usable dynamic range make full-frame cameras really shine.
 

sarakoth

EOS M50
fragilesi said:
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 suggested looking at a 6D because from these comments.. Low light capability and performance, 6D wins easily. AF performance and flexibility I would suggest is about equal.. BIF 7D/70D but low light the 6D.

I have not used my 6D with BIF so can't comment on that.. I think football (soccer?) and cricket would be fine for most shots, but the higher FPS of the 7D if you want to catch the exact moment the ball is caught or hits the stumps, goes past the keeper, etc would make it more likely to capture. I was quite surprised how well the 6D handled a recent track day I was at after all the negative comments I had heard about it.
 

thgmuffin

EOS M6 Mark II
Jul 12, 2013
92
0
skfla said:
fragilesi said:
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
 

The Bad Duck

EOS 90D
Oct 27, 2011
108
0
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.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
thgmuffin said:
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

EOS M6 Mark II
Jul 12, 2013
92
0
paul13walnut5 said:
thgmuffin said:
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

EOS RP
Sep 2, 2013
468
1
paul13walnut5 said:
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

EOS RP
Sep 2, 2013
468
1
sdsr said:
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!
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
fragilesi said:
paul13walnut5 said:
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.
 

sdsr

EOS R
Jul 14, 2012
912
7
fragilesi said:
sdsr said:
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

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 26, 2010
2,091
0
www.reno-photography.com
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
 

sdsr

EOS R
Jul 14, 2012
912
7
awinphoto said:
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.