7d vs 5d mk II choice

Started Jan 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
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andy101
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7d vs 5d mk II choice
Jan 12, 2010

OK at the risk of provoking more furious and vitriolic outbursts on this subject I would like to solicit some sensible opinion on the 7D vs 5D Mk II as to which is most suitable for my specific needs.

In deference to the many other threads on this let me first say that I've read much of the advice in the other posts and it predominantly seems to boil down to a case by case scenario as to which is 'best' (or perhaps 'most suitable') and since I have not come across anyone else asking this question with my specific requirements I ask the question again now - apologies to those who believe the question to already have been answered fully, please spare me your flames

Anyway getting on with the specifics - I will provide as much detail as I can in the hope that it helps.

1) I can afford either camera though of course saving $1000 is a big bonus and at this point I've not really considered any others - anything below the 7D seems inadequate, a 1D is too expensive and I'd be throwing away $1000's worth of lenses for a switch to Nikon.

2) I'm a serious amateur not a professional but I am considering a move into the professional world at some point in the future though probably not for a year or two (I will not however, be shooting weddings - ever).

3) It probably isn't so relevant in this instance but if anyone needs to make comparisons that I will understand in context of what I currently shoot with then it's a canon 450D (rebel xsi) and I also own a 350D (and a panasonic DMC LX3 for pocket size use and HD movie recording)

4) My photographic interests are many and varied but for the purposes of this particular argument I am mainly interested in studio portraiture (using various monolights and a occasionally a 580 MkII speedlite - fired by a speedotoron optical slave attachment) and sports photography - some outdoor sports e.g. football matches and some indoor sports e.g. cheerleading shot in pretty low light in high school gyms. I do also love to shoot landscapes and the odd macro shot but these styles should not be considered in swaying my decision.

5) The lenses I use most often are a Canon 24-70mm f2.8L and a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro AF. I do have one Tamron 18-200m IS EFS lens that's useful for travelling but it's relatively inexpensive and rarely used so it doesn't concern me not to use it anymore if I switched to full frame. I'm not particularly in the market for any other lenses at the moment but any further lens purchases will almost certainly be Canon L type only.

6) Shortcomings that I notice with my present 450D - low light performance - the noise from ISO 800 and above makes low light shooting very challenging and i spend far to long post processing trying to get something usable. AF on sports shooting also leaves quite a lot to be desired at the moment and Image quality in studio and sports shots could be improved in terms of larger size prints (e.g. at least 16*20) or crops.

7) Features that are of particular interest to me on the 7D and 5D Mk II - better low light/High ISO performance; better IQ; better AF; faster shooting speed; HD movies (not a big thing but it would a nice thing to use now and again and spare me carrying the panasonic around as well); weather sealing; gridlines on eyepiece view and horizon level (small but nice features); better screen.

8) Concerns with 7D - IQ from the crop sensor - how much am I really sacrificing vs the the 5D MkII that I might actually notice ? Low light performance - it appears to be a lot better than the 450D but also pretty clearly inferior to the 5D MkII - how much of a difference is there really in terms of actual results e.g. shooting in a high school gym ? Even if i like everything on it will I ultimately end up upgrading again if i go 'pro' because it's not full frame i.e. it lacks longevity compared to a full frame counterpart ?

9) concerns with the 5D Mk II - whilst I can afford it is it really worth the extra $1000 especially when we can clearly see the additional feature set on the 7D that will obviously (I would think) be implemented on the 5D Mk III ? Is the IQ and low light performance really so much better than the 7D that I would (a) notice it given my uses and (b) worth the extra cost ? Is the weather sealing adequate - I've read how good the 7D's is but not how bad (or not) the 5D Mk II's is. I've been to some pretty wet football matches where I've had to put my current camera away and it would be nice to keep shooting in such weather. The 5D lacks the new AF system on the 7D which is apparently very good, yes the 5D MkII has a better AF than the 450D but again how much better and how much better is the 7D's in terms of what I shoot e.g. fast moving sports (I tend to get quite a few misses on focus at the moment especially in the low light indoor gym conditions).

10) Whilst it's a nice aspect of shooting with a cropped sensor and the 1.6X magnification has made a difference sometimes, the extra 'reach' from the crop sensor isn't a big factor to me (I also have a 2x tele-converter for outside provided it's a sunny day)

11) I pretty much never use the on-camera flash so not having one isn't a concern.

So there you have it. In this instance I'm pretty torn between the two cameras both have greats assets and I'm sure either will do an admirable job in most respects, I'm just anxious not to waste $1000 if I won't really see the benefit of a full frame for my use and I'd miss the newer features of the 7D as a consequence. Or not to waste $1700 on something that may ultimately prove inadequate for my needs.

I could of course wait for a 5D MkIII but honestly I'm too impatient and I know that I'm not going to wait beyond March this year to upgrade.
So any and all advice is much appreciated and thanks for your help.

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