6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions
mariadc
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6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
May 4, 2013

This is not another 'which camera to buy'.  I recently purchased a 6D and although it took awhile, my skills have greatly improved at tracking moving objects (sports, BIF, etc.).  I started thinking that perhaps I could get even more shorts - or a higher 'keep' rate - with a 7D.  I borrowed one for a few days and took a few shots yesterday.  Yes, the AF is a little faster.  And there were more 'keeper' shots.

HOWEVER...  there's no comparison to the IQ of the 6D.  Even with the extra reach I get with my 100-400 on the 7D, if I crop in just a little, the noise is just terrible, at least after a month of using a 6D.  Granted, it was about 7:30am this morning and the lighting wasn't great yet, but it wasn't dark by any means.   This may sound crazy, but I feel that I got less noise with my 30D.

I would post comparison shots but I don't feel that I have the same conditions.  I'm going to try to go out this afternoon with both the 6D and 7D, set up my tripod, and get some shots.  Don't know if I can get comparable BIF shots but I can get an osprey in the nest.  (it's a nice sunny day so the 7D should do well - hopefully better than early this morning)

I just wanted to post because I see everyone saying that if you shoot BIF or action, then you should go with the 7D.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  I'd rather have the better IQ...

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atodzia
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 4, 2013

I agree. The noise on the 7D just sucks above ISO 200 and 400 is marginal with blue sky in the pic. That's why I sold my 7D and am just using the 5D III and waiting for Canon to release a 7D upgrade that doesn't have all that noise. Except for the noise, it was a great camera.

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 4, 2013

If you search for 7D images you will find quite a few fantastic images from the 7D.  I've owned one and now have a 5Dmk3, the processing of 7D files and handling of that camera differs quite a bit from the 5D.  Selective sharpening and nailing exposure, etc...I've been able to get great shots from the 7D, but it's trickier and requires more back end effort, though once you've gotten your presets all done in lightroom, it's not THAT much more effort.  I'm always somewhat surprised when experienced photographers come out bashing the 18mp cameras.  The image quality of the 35mm format cameras is better, but to make sweeping statements about how terrible a 7D is seems very short sighted.  It would take all of 5 minutes online to discover the truth of the situation.

Granted some people seem to be more sensitive to the differences than others, but still...in head to head comparisons at ISO 400 or below with good processing techniques the difference is there, but isn't a show stopper.  You are talking about a camera with a much higher pixel density, it's going to take different technique, certainly I find my 5D3 to be more forgiving than my 7D, but both have produced great images for me, and both can produce stinkers too.

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brudy
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, May 4, 2013

I've had a 7D for over 3 years and it's been a great camera. But the sensor is noisy, even at the lowest isos. I've had various focus issues with it as well (mostly just a lot of inconsistency), although in general it's been a great tool. I find it best for birding, which is why I've kept it, but I'm hoping to pick up a 6D for everything else.

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to atodzia, May 4, 2013

atodzia wrote:

I agree. The noise on the 7D just sucks above ISO 200 and 400 is marginal with blue sky in the pic. That's why I sold my 7D and am just using the 5D III and waiting for Canon to release a 7D upgrade that doesn't have all that noise. Except for the noise, it was a great camera.

I also agree. I really liked my 7D but I was almost always annoyed by the noisy skies. I traded the 7D for the 5D3 and I no longer have to worry about that. My 7D was a great camera but I am happier with the images from my 5D3 in general and see much less noise, even at high ISOs.

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gfspencer
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to MikeFromMesa, May 4, 2013

I have both.  The image quality on the 6D is better.  I'll keep the 7D for race photography but I'll use the 6D for just about everything else.

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to brudy, May 4, 2013

Yeah, I thought about that route as well, keep the 7D and get a 6D, but I lucked into a friend selling his 5D3 for a steal.  There's no question that the 7D is noisier but the difference is overblown most of the time, especially if people are interested in actually printing their photographs.

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atodzia
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, May 4, 2013

That's exactly why I sold mine. Disappointing to get a  good shot and not be able to do a 24x36 print if you want to without a lot of extra work and still not be 100% satisfied. I do my own printing on an Epson 7900 and I know this from experience.

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x-vision
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, May 4, 2013

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

There's no question that the 7D is noisier but the difference is overblown most of the time

DxO measures the ISO/noise difference between the 6D and 7D at two full ISO stops.
That is, the 6D totally blows out the 7D. So, I guess it could be said that the 7D is overblown.

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Blake Cook
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 4, 2013

The bottom line is that unless properly exposed, every camera is noisy, even the 1Dx.  Granted some are much better than others but poor exposure still produces noise on them all, even at low ISO's.

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24Peter
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to Blake Cook, May 4, 2013

Blake Cook wrote:

The bottom line is that unless properly exposed, every camera is noisy, even the 1Dx.  Granted some are much better than others but poor exposure still produces noise on them all, even at low ISO's.

No one is talking about underexposing images. The problem with many (but apparently not all) 7D's was extreme mosaic pattern noise even in properly exposed low ISO images. Esp. noticeable in blue skies for instance. I had one for 29 days and just couldn't live with the noise and returned it for a 5DII. I had previously had a Rebel XT and 40D, and currently have the 5DII and a 60D. Interestingly, while the 60D shares the same sensor as the 7D, it doesn't have the same noise characteristics.

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liquidstone
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 5, 2013

mariadc wrote:

I just wanted to post because I see everyone saying that if you shoot BIF or action, then you should go with the 7D.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  I'd rather have the better IQ...

Try the IQ comparison when you are focal length limited. The 7D will capture mored detail using the same lens than any FF EOS camera. In this scenario, the 7D's IQ is better than the 6D.

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John Vant Land
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to liquidstone, May 5, 2013

It strikes me that it's not quite fair to compare a relatively new 6D with a 3 year old 7D.  It's not only about sensor size and quality but about the level of technology when it is produced.  Let's hold this discussion until the 7D Mk II comes out and the playing field is a little more level.

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usedtobedontrustme
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to John Vant Land, May 5, 2013

John Vant Land wrote:

It strikes me that it's not quite fair to compare a relatively new 6D with a 3 year old 7D.  It's not only about sensor size and quality but about the level of technology when it is produced.  Let's hold this discussion until the 7D Mk II comes out and the playing field is a little more level.

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This isn't a fight or a competition. this is just a comparison of two cameras where supposedly "there is no comparison." Nevertheless, If the 7d looses, I'm sure that lots of us 7d owners will still treat our 7d's with love and respect. by the way, my 7d and 6d sleep together!

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mariadc
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to liquidstone, May 5, 2013

liquidstone wrote:

mariadc wrote:

I just wanted to post because I see everyone saying that if you shoot BIF or action, then you should go with the 7D.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  I'd rather have the better IQ...

Try the IQ comparison when you are focal length limited. The 7D will capture mored detail using the same lens than any FF EOS camera. In this scenario, the 7D's IQ is better than the 6D.

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Romy
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I went back this afternoon with better lighting and got much less noise on the 7D.  Still some noise, especially with a blue sky or some background bokeh (like trees in the distance).  But it performed better than this morning.

I took both the 6D and 7D and my 100-400.  But I can't really post comparison shots because I had it set to Auto ISO, and the cameras chose different ISO's for the same setting, something I hadn't counted on.

I'd love to do a more controlled comparison before I have to give up the 7D back to its owner.  Tell me what/how to set it up, and I'll do my best tomorrow.

I have a 100-400, 24-105, and a 50 1.4 that I could test.  I'm just not that good with deciding how to set it up but will be glad to do so if someone has any ideas.  Probably can't control enough factors for BIF but will try.  But an osprey is always in the nest these days...

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liquidstone
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 5, 2013

mariadc wrote:

I'd love to do a more controlled comparison before I have to give up the 7D back to its owner.  Tell me what/how to set it up, and I'll do my best tomorrow.

Here's a comparison between my 7D and 5D2 - my 7D's IQ is better (because of more detail captured) when shooting focal length limited.

http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/7dvs5d2

When not focal length limited, I'd agree that FF sensors have better IQ than APS-C ones of the same generation.

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to x-vision, May 5, 2013

OH NO!!!! DXO SAID SO?!?!?!?  I guess I'll burn all of these 30x20 prints from the 7D that look great because DXO SAID SO!!!

Whatevs, be happy reading stats, I'm happy with my prints, as I said the 5D3 is better, there's no question, but people here are a bit insane about things, honestly.  How many 36x24 prints do you need??  A lot?  Ok, don't get a 7D!  It's all relative to what you intend to do with the camera.

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 5, 2013

I'm not quite sure what the point would be honestly, there are quite a few controlled comparisons, including those done here at DPReview, look at a review of either camera and you can see a head to head shootout in a controlled environment and make the call yourself if you need to.

I couldn't resist doing it either though when I had both the 7d and 5d3 here.  My results were that in low iso shots you could see the difference but it wasn't major until you went over ISO 400 with the way I process my 7D images and my 5D3 images.  Anything over that and the 7D got slaughtered.  I've taken some decent higher ISO images with the 7D, but it's not even close to what you can do with a 5D3 (and thus also a 6D).

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ASR45
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, May 5, 2013

Thought it would stand to reason the high ISO alone on the 6D blows the 7D out of the water.    

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mariadc
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Re: 6D vs 7D --- Image Quality (there's no comparison)
In reply to mariadc, May 5, 2013

I tried some comparison shots but due to the different ISO, I don't think it's fair to post them (it wasn't very controlled - I haven't been able to go back out today because of a sick child here at home).

But here are some real-life BIF shots with both.  I'm wondering if I have to eat my words - haha.  I like the color of the detail on the 7D better - it doesn't seem as 'high contrast' (correct term?) as the 6D, which almost looks unnatural.  Hmmm....  Thoughts?  (Again, these aren't controlled shots and there are different factors that could also be affecting the pictures such as ISO, etc, but these are real life examples).

I still think the 6D wins hands down with low light, such as sunset and sunrise, when bird are active and hunting/fishing/gathering.

Lens:  100-400 @ 400mm

Shot in JPG, no post-processing (30D was converted from RAW to JPG)

30D:

30D

7D:

7D

7D

6D:

6D

6D

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