How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare

Started May 21, 2013 | Discussions
Ralph Arvesen
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How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
May 21, 2013

Does anyone know how the quality of higher ISO 30D and 7D compare (raw, not jpg)? I use the 30D at ISO 1600 and 3200 quite a bit. Everyone always wants one more stop, but the two extra stops in the 7D would be very useful.

I know it depends on a lot of factors, I'm just trying to get an idea...

  • Do you think the 7D ISO 6400 has about the same quality as the 30D ISO 1600?
  • Or is it more like the 7D ISO 1600 is about the same quality as the 30D ISO 1600 but you can go up to 12800 ISO, with even worse quality than the 30D ISO 3200?

It's really useful when review sites show the same photos taken with different cameras, but I can only find that going back to the 50D (can compare ISO quality for 7D and 50D, not the 30D). Thanks for any info / opinions.

Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 50D Canon EOS 7D
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TTMartin
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to Ralph Arvesen, May 21, 2013

While it doesn't give you an identical side by side comparison. You can always download high ISO RAW files from here or other sites and compare them to your own 30D photos.

RAW files for download

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mailman88
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to Ralph Arvesen, May 21, 2013

2000ISO

2000ISO

2500ISO

All pics are shot with the 7D...

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TTMartin
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to mailman88, May 21, 2013

mailman88 wrote:
All pics are shot with the 7D...

And run through your multi-step noise reduction process I assume?

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Mark B.
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7D is much better
In reply to Ralph Arvesen, May 21, 2013

Ralph Arvesen wrote:

Does anyone know how the quality of higher ISO 30D and 7D compare (raw, not jpg)? I use the 30D at ISO 1600 and 3200 quite a bit. Everyone always wants one more stop, but the two extra stops in the 7D would be very useful.

I know it depends on a lot of factors, I'm just trying to get an idea...

  • Do you think the 7D ISO 6400 has about the same quality as the 30D ISO 1600?
  • Or is it more like the 7D ISO 1600 is about the same quality as the 30D ISO 1600 but you can go up to 12800 ISO, with even worse quality than the 30D ISO 3200?

It's really useful when review sites show the same photos taken with different cameras, but I can only find that going back to the 50D (can compare ISO quality for 7D and 50D, not the 30D). Thanks for any info / opinions.

Until earlier this year I was using the 30D as a backup to the 7D; recently I swapped the 30D for 50D.  The 7D is much better at high ISO.  I can't say definitively how many stops better it is, just my subjective opinion from shooting with the 30D as a primary camera for a few years before upgrading to the 7D.

On top of that, however, the 7D is better in many other ways:

  • File handling is much faster.  I occassionally ran up against the image buffer on the 30D; not so with the 7D.
  • Frame rate is obviously much faster. 
  • AF is faster, and better in low light.  There are many more AF options. 
  • Wireless flash, although not radio controlled as on the 6D, is still far more convenient than the 30D which had no wireless flash capability built-in. 
  • Larger LCD
  • 100% viewfinder
  • Better weather sealing

...just to name a few.

Mark

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mariadc
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Re: 7D is much better
In reply to Mark B., May 21, 2013

I'd like to piggyback here for a moment, if you don't mind.  I've had a 30D for years and decided earlier this year to upgrade.  I got a 6D package deal from Best Buy.  I love the 6D (like, really love it), but since then, we've taken a closer look at our finances and I realized that I shouldn't be spending that kind of money on a camera right now.  I'm still within my return period, so I borrowed a 7D for a weekend from a friend and tried it out a couple of weeks ago.  I really wasn't happy with the noise, not for that kind of an upgrade ($$$).

Which leads me to another question as the return period on my 6D is nearing:  I have a chance to buy a 50D with very low shutter count for $425.  I've never shot with one and I don't think the person selling it is going to let me borrow it for a day or so.  It would be an improvement over the 30D and give me time to save up and buy something else in a year or two.  Maybe a 7D2 will be out, or I can still get a 6D then if I really want one.  The price should be lower on the 6D, and if not there should be some in refurb by then.

Thoughts on the 50D for now, vs something like a 60D or the 7D?

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TTMartin
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Re: 7D is much better
In reply to mariadc, May 21, 2013

mariadc wrote:

I'd like to piggyback here for a moment, if you don't mind.  I've had a 30D for years and decided earlier this year to upgrade.  I got a 6D package deal from Best Buy.  I love the 6D (like, really love it), but since then, we've taken a closer look at our finances and I realized that I shouldn't be spending that kind of money on a camera right now.  I'm still within my return period, so I borrowed a 7D for a weekend from a friend and tried it out a couple of weeks ago.  I really wasn't happy with the noise, not for that kind of an upgrade ($$$).

Which leads me to another question as the return period on my 6D is nearing:  I have a chance to buy a 50D with very low shutter count for $425.  I've never shot with one and I don't think the person selling it is going to let me borrow it for a day or so.  It would be an improvement over the 30D and give me time to save up and buy something else in a year or two.  Maybe a 7D2 will be out, or I can still get a 6D then if I really want one.  The price should be lower on the 6D, and if not there should be some in refurb by then.

Thoughts on the 50D for now, vs something like a 60D or the 7D?

The 50D is a great camera. You almost double the number of megapixels from your 30D. The lens micro focus adjustment IMO is a must have. The camera performs well shooting sports though the AF system of the 7D is a nice step up. High ISO performance will fall somewhere between the 7D and the 30D, but, no where near that of the 6D.

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mariadc
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Re: 7D is much better
In reply to TTMartin, May 21, 2013

TTMartin wrote:

The 50D is a great camera. You almost double the number of megapixels from your 30D. The lens micro focus adjustment IMO is a must have. The camera performs well shooting sports though the AF system of the 7D is a nice step up. High ISO performance will fall somewhere between the 7D and the 30D, but, no where near that of the 6D.

Thank you.  I do realize that the 6D is going to have the best low ISO, but right now, we could put that ~$1400 difference elsewhere.  If I were a pro or even an amateur selling a few photos here and there, it may be worth it.  But at this point, I'm just a hobbyist.  

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mailman88
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to TTMartin, May 22, 2013

Three step process and time consuming....but worth it!

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mailman88
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Re: 7D is much better
In reply to mariadc, May 22, 2013

I own both, 50D and 7D. I've shot 3200-6400ISO with both cameras and printed 11x14. The difference...7D has more megapixels, better AF and better detail.

Not a pro, but I do sell my pics from my gallery at work. Done a few weddings and other photo-ops. for pay

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Searching
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buy the 50D
In reply to mariadc, May 22, 2013

I have it and the 7D.  I find the 50D a bit better for noise than the 7D.  Others will disagree.  There is very little difference in operational and image quality without pixel peeping to death.  If you can get the 50D at a good price (and that looks like a good price) then get it and keep it as a backup until the 7D MK2 comes out, you'll be quite happy with it.

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Dale Garman
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to Ralph Arvesen, May 22, 2013

I recently moved from a 30D to a 7D.  I realize my point of view is subjective, but to my eye the 7d is 1-2 stops better in noise.

But I'm also finding that the key is don't underexpose as that magnifies noise everywhere.  It is always the temptation to underexpose to get a little more speed.  I'm finding that it is often better tradeoff to instead go up one more click on ISO and if anything expose just a bit to the right.

The second key is always shooting RAW.  Programs like LR can do amazing things for NR and sharpening in RAW where the most data is available.

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mariadc
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Re: buy the 50D
In reply to Searching, May 22, 2013

Thank you.  When I look at the noise of my 30D vs the 7D pictures that I took, I do believe the 30D has more noise but it's qualitatively different.  The noise of the 7D bothers me more.  Does that make sense?

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TTMartin
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Re: buy the 50D
In reply to mariadc, May 22, 2013

mariadc wrote:

Thank you.  When I look at the noise of my 30D vs the 7D pictures that I took, I do believe the 30D has more noise but it's qualitatively different.  The noise of the 7D bothers me more.  Does that make sense?

Yes it does.

But, when you compare, don't compare both at 100%, if pixel peeping remember the 7D has twice as many pixels, so maybe the 7D at 50% and the 30D at 100%. This is more representative of the difference you will see in a photo on a digital display or when printed.

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Alastair Norcross
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Re: buy the 50D
In reply to Searching, May 22, 2013

Searching wrote:

I have it and the 7D.  I find the 50D a bit better for noise than the 7D.  Others will disagree.  There is very little difference in operational and image quality without pixel peeping to death.  If you can get the 50D at a good price (and that looks like a good price) then get it and keep it as a backup until the 7D MK2 comes out, you'll be quite happy with it.

I'm one who disagrees. I had the 50D before the 7D. I liked my 50D a lot, but I love my 7D. The 50D was certainly better at high ISO than my 20D, which has the same sensor as the 30D, but the 7D is definitely better again than the 50D. In fact, until this post, I hadn't seen a single claim that the 50D is better for noise than the 7D. As to the operational quality, the 7D is simply miles ahead of the 50D. The speed, accuracy, and flexibility of its AF system is, again, miles ahead of the 50D.

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Alastair Norcross
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Re: buy the 50D
In reply to mariadc, May 22, 2013

mariadc wrote:

Thank you.  When I look at the noise of my 30D vs the 7D pictures that I took, I do believe the 30D has more noise but it's qualitatively different.  The noise of the 7D bothers me more.  Does that make sense?

It makes sense, in that I know what you mean. However, I have the opposite reaction. I find the noise of the 7D to be more film-like, which I find more pleasing.

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olsem007
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to Ralph Arvesen, May 23, 2013

I would suggest you to check Philip Ryan's reviews of all these cameras published in Popular Photography magazine.

As for his comparison of 50D(Pop Photo January 2009) and 7D(Pop Photo January 2010) noise levels I find his test results (noise levels measured for different ISOs) to be equal to my own experience with these two cameras: 7D has higher noise levels than 50D. Especially at ISO 800-6400 . On the other hand you should keep in mind that modern PP software makes these differences barely noticeable.

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clarkent1234
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Re: How higher ISO 30D and 7D compare
In reply to olsem007, May 26, 2013

you are 100 correct. In PP you can bring them to look identical, check out my canon 5dmk3 vs nikon d800e, which i lied about is really a canon 40D IQ/high ISO test. People had no idea second image was 40D.

ISO 6400, shot at 1600 which is 40d's max, pushed ISO digitally in PP to 6400, noise ninja on both.....and at a very large print people couldn't tell the difference between canon 5dmk3 image and the "nikon d800e" one.

its in the fullframe forum here.

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