D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions
SystemAgnostic
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D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
May 9, 2013

Does anyone have experience shooting sports with both the D5200 and the 7D?  Or perhaps with the D7000 which has the same focus system?

I know they are different classes of camera and the 7D has a much higher FPS and buffer.  The 7D is weather sealed and more rugged.  I believe I can live without all that.  But in terms of focus speed and accuracy how do they compare?  The 39 point AF system sounds really appealing – but in real life how does it compare to the 7D?

Canon EOS 7D Nikon D5200 Nikon D7000
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SystemAgnostic
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

I guess a follow up question is - how does the D7100 compare to the 7D for sports.

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MTWewerka
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

SystemAgnostic wrote:

I guess a follow up question is - how does the D7100 compare to the 7D for sports.

Well, the D7100 has the improve focus system of 51-points, much like the high end D4. As for how it handles sports, I can't say for sure. I focus on landscapes, flowers and animals. Which I don't typically like to move. I would think the more focal points would cause the lens to go crazy while trying to focus on a specific type of action like running players and so forth. Again, I don't take sport shots, so I could be wrong. But if someone says you need more focal points, the D7100 has more than most DX cameras. So it may be worth a look.

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FoolyCooly
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

Why are you even comparing these? Canon's best crop body that costs 1300 body only to lesser Nikons? The best Nikon crop body for sports is the D300s but it is showing it's age.

Yes the buffer stinks on my D7000 but I bet I could shot sports with it. I've shot sports with older/lesser cameras with great success. I'm sure any of these bodies will be fine... assuming your not shooting for ESPN or Sports Illustrated.

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SystemAgnostic
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to FoolyCooly, May 9, 2013

Well, the D7100 and 7D are both $1200 body only.  So that certainly should be a fair comparison.

I ask about the D5200 because I could save $500.  So if the opinion is that it is great for sports, and comparable to the 7D / D7100 in autofocus performance, then I'd just assume save my money.

I know I can shoot sports with lesser cameras, as I do with my T1i now.  But I'm on this forum asking the question because I hope to upgrade.

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FoolyCooly
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

Do you have a good lens for sports? 70-200 f2.8 IS/VR, 300mm f2.8, 70-300 IS/VR for outdoor only, 50/85 f1.8 for indoor sports? If not then I would spend the money there first.

Since you already have Canon, I would go with the 7D. Many of my complaints about Canon were solved with that body. My biggest complaint was the cramped AF design. With Canon you can keep your Rebel as a backup.

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anotherMike
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

Tough one. The 7D definitely has a better AF system (1st aquisition speed primarily), but the image quality, well, you couldn't give me a 7D for free (the only Canon bodies I like are the 6D, 5Diii and best of all of course, the 1DX) - files are too gritty, shadows are a mess, compared to the Nikon DX or Nikon and Canon full frame bodies. This might be a case where you need to rent them to see how you feel about them for what you do...

-m

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inlawbiker
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to anotherMike, May 9, 2013

For sports only? The 7d no question. It's the newest crop sports camera you can get. But it's getting older.

I use a D5100 for sports and general use, it works fine. Especially for the price. A D5200 should be the same, but more so.

But for action Only I'd ditch it for a 7d in a heartbeat.

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SystemAgnostic
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to inlawbiker, May 9, 2013

I was afraid the consensus would be that the 7D is much better speed for sports.  Since that is the most challenging photography I do – I'd rather target the camera best for it.  I think any camera will give me satisfactory results for family snapshots indoors and out.  It does bother me to leave image quality on the table though – hence my dilemma.

I only need for outdoor soccer and softball, so I'd get the Canon or Nikon 70-200 F/4.  I rented the Canon version with IS this past weekend and it performed well on my T1i.  If I plan to stick with Canon, I can get the lens sooner, and a new body later  (so get the 70-200, and later get a 7D or maybe 7D mark II).  Note that I can save a lot of money by getting the non-IS version if I get a Canon – not sure yet if I want to.

But if I might switch to Nikon then I'd get the Nikon body first, rent the lens for a while, and later buy the lens.

Do folks have the same opinion when comparing the 7D to the D7100?  Is the 7D a clear winner for sports, if I shoot JPEG ONLY?

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anotherMike
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 9, 2013

Man, if you're going to be a jpeg shooter AND sports is your thing, I'd say wait until the 7D mk II (or whatever is rumored - I don't follow the canon rumor mill), or get the 7D if you absolutely positively need something now for summer season. Nikons aren't as nice a "jpeg only" machines as Canons without some tweaking - my feeling is that if you're in the Canon camp now, just hang loose until they improve upon the 7D (or get out the big visa card and swing for the 5d iii and be done with it)

-m

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greg mclemore
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to anotherMike, May 10, 2013

I have both the D 7100 and 7D, both do fine jobs, the 7D is faster, but also heavier( that is not alway a plus). The D 7100 files are cleaner, but the 7D has a pretty accurate focusing system, tough call.

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Petroglyph
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to SystemAgnostic, May 10, 2013

As I understand it the 7D has been around for about 3 1/2 years.  It is known for its capabilities in fast action photography.  The D7100 should be a very fine sports camera.  Its M4/3rds crop mode is interesting since it seems to spread the focus points to the edge of the frame while doubling the focal length (in 135 format terms) and also adding 1 more fps.  Some will consider the relatively smaller buffer a drawback I haven't had a chance to use the camera yet in that type of photography but I've now gotten to the point with the camera that I can tell you it is very very sharp.  Try it with the 50mm f/1.8 and take a look at 200% crops after PP sometime.

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stuntmonkey
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to greg mclemore, May 10, 2013

greg mclemore wrote:

I have both the D 7100 and 7D, both do fine jobs, the 7D is faster, but also heavier( that is not alway a plus). The D 7100 files are cleaner, but the 7D has a pretty accurate focusing system, tough call.

The few times I've used the 7D, same impression, focusing is very reliable, camera is quick. Ergonomics not as nice as Nikon, sensor is older, but virtually the same as the modern 18mp Canon with hybrid AF that doesn't seem to do a whole lot. Pretty much the mini D4 that Nikon isn't building. Overall the camera operation is quick, but a bit brutal.

The D7100 AF; also reliable, but not quite like D300s. AF Seems more reliable that D7000.  You might like the motion tracking of the Nikon better, or you may not. Also, the way that colours turn out on the D7000/D7100 might take some getting used to. D7000 images appear fairly bright because the JPEG engine tends to produce strong midtones. I get the sense that the D7100 is like that as well.

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spbStan
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to Petroglyph, May 10, 2013

The 7D was the first Canon with a good AF, which is fast for initial lock but does not track after that as well as the MultiCAM3500 upgraded AF system used in the D7100.

For good light, JPG, flip a coin but since you have Canon, that is a logical course. Note that the buffer on the D7100 with fast cards can take 100 frames before slowing down in JPG mode but if shooting 14 bit RAW it slows down after 7-12 continuous frames. It is moving a lot more data since it has higher resolution.

If you are going to take photos where the image quality more a more serious consideration, the D7100 is the clear winner. If you do post processing or printing large you will see the difference immediately the difference between a current and 3.5 year old design does. The D5200 is excellent also in IQ for a bargain price.

Whatever you decide, lenses will be more of an investment than the camera body. Every good lens you need is more expensive than either of these cameras.

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Stan
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SystemAgnostic
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Re: D5200 vs. 7D for shooting sports
In reply to spbStan, May 10, 2013

Thanks. In my experience, or at least how I take pictures - tracking is generally more important that initial AF acquisition.  Because I'll hopefully begin photographing the athlete prior to the big play, and then continue on.  So as the soccer player starts to break away - I'll begin photographing with the trigger down, and then I'll continue to capture photos as she runs and then takes the shot a second or two later.  I guess with softball the initial acquisition might be equally or more important, because I'll likely not take any shots until I see a play developing and need to react quicker.  Perhaps I need to change my softball shooting strategy.

I think it is best if I wait until the 70d and/or 7d mark II are released to see how they compare to the d7100.  I'm reluctant to switch because I like the handling of Canon, and the D7100 felt a bit foreign to me in the store.  And - I don't have the money now anyway... just planning for late this year or early next.  Just very eager - I don't think I can wait that long!

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