Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Started Oct 27, 2010 | Discussions
glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Hi,

I have a 40D and am going to Colorado Springs and Banff next May. I am tempted to buy a second body so I can have my 100-400 IS Zoom at the ready while taking in the scenery with the 24-70L. Wildlife - birds and animals and all nature shots are my particular passion.

I've been following the thread about the 60D being a bit soft - in fact I thought that from the sample shots in the review and I would hate it if my shots are soft or lacking in colour saturation.

So the question is....if price is affordable, am I better with the 7D? One advantage of the crop camera is that my zoom lens gives me more zoom. So if I put the zoom on the 40D, and the 24-70L on the 7D, would I be getting the best of both worlds? It would also give me true 24mm and that sounds pretty good, too.

Is the 7D a lot better than the 60D? Conversely, if I buy the 60D, then that should be even faster with the 100-400 IS.

Comments about the 60D being downgraded to plastic? Is the 60D still better than the 40D or closer to the entry level models? (As a comparison in my mind).
There are rumours about a 70D. I could wait until next April.

Is it the camera that gives soft shots, or the lenses and of course the operator??? Would there be a difference between the 40D, 60D and/or 7D with the very sharp lenses I will be using?
Many thanks,
--
Glenys

Leigh A. Wax Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
For what it's worth.

I also do Wildlife / Nature Photography. http://www 'leighwax.com

I've owned 20D, 40D, 50D, & 7D.

I recently sold my 50D (back-up_ body), and bought a 2nd 7D.

Leigh

Musset Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Hi,

If by nature photography you mean taking a lot of burst then you should take into accound the fact that the 60D uses SD cards which is much slower than CF cards used by 7D and 50D, both of which support UDMA (the 40D lacks UDMA if I recall).

I have a friend that recently upgraded his 20D and got a 60D. His 60D is nice, much nicer than I expected from the spec and the early complaints, it doesn't feel fragile at all.

But even using the fastest SD card he cannot really keep up with a 7D or a 50D in burst.

Just my 2 cents...

-- hide signature --

Jeff

jagwap Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

The 60D and 7D have the same sensor and are both crop or APS-C cameras like your 40D, so the softness (of which there are no real worries) and zoom factor are the same.

Both are upgrades on your current body, so the best thing is go and handle them. Which one fits your hand.

photobug4741 Senior Member • Posts: 1,885
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

If you are just going to use the long zoom lens a 50D body would get the job done, at a really good price today.

ktownbill Senior Member • Posts: 2,191
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

You wrote that your 24-70mm would become a "true" 24mm on the 7D. That leads me to believe that you think the 7D is a FF camera. The 24mm on a 7D will in fact become a 36mm which isn't wide enough for scenery. The 7D is an APS-c camera as is the 60D.

What you need is a 60D and either a 15-85mm or a 10-22mm to shoot scenery. THe 7D is way over-kill for that. The 60D is an awesome camera. I think you are getting false information. If you believed everything you read on this forum you wouldn't be getting a 7D even. You might want to give the T2I a look-see. It is also 18mp. It doesnt have the top menu screen nor does it have an articulating LCD. It will save u some $$$.

Expect the same image quality as the 40D in the other cameras for scenic photography.

Bill

glenysjay wrote:

Hi,

I have a 40D and am going to Colorado Springs and Banff next May. I am tempted to buy a second body so I can have my 100-400 IS Zoom at the ready while taking in the scenery with the 24-70L. Wildlife - birds and animals and all nature shots are my particular passion.

I've been following the thread about the 60D being a bit soft - in fact I thought that from the sample shots in the review and I would hate it if my shots are soft or lacking in colour saturation.

So the question is....if price is affordable, am I better with the 7D? One advantage of the crop camera is that my zoom lens gives me more zoom. So if I put the zoom on the 40D, and the 24-70L on the 7D, would I be getting the best of both worlds? It would also give me true 24mm and that sounds pretty good, too.

Is the 7D a lot better than the 60D? Conversely, if I buy the 60D, then that should be even faster with the 100-400 IS.

Comments about the 60D being downgraded to plastic? Is the 60D still better than the 40D or closer to the entry level models? (As a comparison in my mind).
There are rumours about a 70D. I could wait until next April.

Is it the camera that gives soft shots, or the lenses and of course the operator??? Would there be a difference between the 40D, 60D and/or 7D with the very sharp lenses I will be using?
Many thanks,
--
Glenys

-- hide signature --

img7d

Howzit Regular Member • Posts: 468
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

8 FPS and 19 point Auto Focus could be compelling enough reasons to shoot wildlife on the move or birds in flight. The 7D is the top-dog here. Otherwise the 60D & 7D image quality is pretty much the same.

...which fits you best?

Nick5
Nick5 Contributing Member • Posts: 993
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Coming from the 40D as I did, the 7D for me is the true upgrade.

The new focus system that the 7D has, allows you to track your subject much, much better.
Better build quality with the 7D that is similar and better than the trusty 40D.
Also you have many CF cards which the 60D can not accept.
If the money is available, get the best you can get.
The 7D was designed to be a better camera than the great Nikon D300.

 Nick5's gear list:Nick5's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM +4 more
KeanuReeves Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

I went from a 20D to the 7D and have been a happy camper. I started looking for a used 40D to replace my 20D as a backup/second body but after using the 7D for a year and looking at the 60D after it hit the store shelves, I added a second 7D.

OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Thanks everyone for your input. I had incorrectly assumed that the 7D was a FF and have now done my homework.

Yes - I will just have to save up my pennies for a 7D. The Aussie dollar is strong at the moment, and so these 'toys' become very tempting.

8fps; wireless flash; dual axis level for those sunset/sunrise beach shots and of course the 19 point Auto focus.....obviously a genuine upgrade from the 40D.

I do have an EFS 10-22, so the 7D with my 100-400IS will be awesome!

Cheers,

Howzit wrote:

8 FPS and 19 point Auto Focus could be compelling enough reasons to shoot wildlife on the move or birds in flight. The 7D is the top-dog here. Otherwise the 60D & 7D image quality is pretty much the same.

...which fits you best?

-- hide signature --

Glenys

rcower Senior Member • Posts: 1,384
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

I went from a 40D to a 7D and am very happy, still have the 40D but the 7D gets more use - of course, I'm trying to figure out how to use it. It's got a LOT of options.

OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Your comments certainly made me sit up and think. The 8FPS is a real attraction. Do the extra frames per second make it quicker to auto focus on the subject, or is that mainly the quality of the lens' auto focus?

Now - the 19 point Auto focus...............I usually switch to single point for TRYING to track birds and do try to focus on the eye, but of course that is near impossible when they are in flight.

How well does the 19 point autofocus work for photographing wildlife? I am guessing they could be great for auto-focus in a clear blue sky, but does the subject still come up sharp amongst the rest of the scenery? What about bokka? Can you still get the subject in really sharp focus? (If you are lucky) Or is everything sharp.... but then F stop and depth of field come into it as well !!!

Comments on this would be appreciated, as I hadn't even thought of using the full focus points for tracking birds in flight.

Many thanks,
Glenys

Howzit wrote:

8 FPS and 19 point Auto Focus could be compelling enough reasons to shoot wildlife on the move or birds in flight. The 7D is the top-dog here. Otherwise the 60D & 7D image quality is pretty much the same.

...which fits you best?

OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Nick5 wrote:

Coming from the 40D as I did, the 7D for me is the true upgrade.

The new focus system that the 7D has, allows you to track your subject much, much better.
Better build quality with the 7D that is similar and better than the trusty 40D.
Also you have many CF cards which the 60D can not accept.
If the money is available, get the best you can get.
The 7D was designed to be a better camera than the great Nikon D300.

Thank you. I am going to take your advice. For me to splurge on a second body, it does have to be an upgrade, and some things on the 60D made me doubt that. I bought a SX1IS for a lighter option, but that will be going up on EBay - nice camera but frustrating after the gear I am used to. So I didn't want to make another purchase that I would be disappointed with.

Glenys

Colin Smith1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,001
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Boccah has to do with the lens not the camera body. I also like to shoot nature and use two 7Ds. Autofocus is great on flying birds using all points activated. The 7Ds are more weather resistant than the 60D.
--
Colin Smith

 Colin Smith1's gear list:Colin Smith1's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Panasonic 8-18mm F2.8-4 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Colin Smith1 wrote:

Boccah has to do with the lens not the camera body. I also like to shoot nature and use two 7Ds. Autofocus is great on flying birds using all points activated. The 7Ds are more weather resistant than the 60D.
--
Colin Smith

-- hide signature --

Thanks, Colin. You are making me think..... So would all points autofocus capture a flock of birds all in focus? Does it mean that you could have, theoretically only, of course, 19 birds in focus and the rest blurred by DOF? Or is the bokkah there regardless of the 19 points because of f stop and lens etc?

Say you have a single bird in flight - does the all points help with the problem of, say the head being in sharp focus, but the tail and wings a bit blurry?

Say I am lucky enough, when I visit US/Canada next May, to come across a big elk in a forest. Single point aimed at the head, or multi-point? What I am confused about, is the correlation between all points focus and DOF blur in relation to single point focus and bokkah.

These questions are a lot more relevant with 19 points instead of 9!!

Many thanks,

Glenys

Colin Smith1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,001
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Not exactly sure what you are asking, but I will give it a try. Teles have very shallow depth of field. In the case of a flock of flying birds you would only have those birds in focus that are in that shallow depth of field. Setting the 7D to select the focus point only allows for tracking that moving bird that you have selected to focus on as you pan. It is physically impossible to have multiple birds in flight all in focus unless by rare chance they are all in the same narrow plane of focus (or exactly parallel to your camera lens). In the case of a single flying bird, if his eye is in focus the rest of him probably will be, has nothing to do with the number of focus points. In the case of your stationary elk, if he is paralell to you you can get him all in focus, otherwise manually select the focus point that is closest to the eye, or using One Shot and a single point, focus on his eye and hold the shutter half way down and recompose.

Getting back to the original subject - the 7D focusing is somewhat better at holding focus on a moving subject because of the 19 cross sensor focus points and two Digic 4 Processors, than the 50 or 60D's with nine points and one Digic 4 Processor.
--
Colin Smith

 Colin Smith1's gear list:Colin Smith1's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Panasonic 8-18mm F2.8-4 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
Howzit Regular Member • Posts: 468
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Glenys, check out the video review of the 7D at cameralabs and Gordon does a nice job of explaining how to use the 19 point AF.

...basically if the subject is moving it will hit one of those 19 focus points - making it easier for you than if you tried to get it with a single chosen point.

Rakumi Veteran Member • Posts: 6,234
Re: I second this

Yep.
--

Darkness is the monster and your shutter is your sword, aperture your shield and iso your armor. Strike fast with your sword and defend well with your shield and hope your armor holds up.

OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Glenys

Not exactly sure what you are asking, but I will give it a try. Teles have very shallow depth of field. In the case of a flock of flying birds you would only have those birds in focus that are in that shallow depth of field. Setting the 7D to select the focus point only allows for tracking that moving bird that you have selected to focus on as you pan. It is physically impossible to have multiple birds in flight all in focus unless by rare chance they are all in the same narrow plane of focus (or exactly parallel to your camera lens). In the case of a single flying bird, if his eye is in focus the rest of him probably will be, has nothing to do with the number of focus points. In the case of your stationary elk, if he is paralell to you you can get him all in focus, otherwise manually select the focus point that is closest to the eye, or using One Shot and a single point, focus on his eye and hold the shutter half way down and recompose.

Getting back to the original subject - the 7D focusing is somewhat better at holding focus on a moving subject because of the 19 cross sensor focus points and two Digic 4 Processors, than the 50 or 60D's with nine points and one Digic 4 Processor.
--
Colin Smith

-- hide signature --

Thanks, Colin.....When you said the 7D was great for birds with all points activated, I misunderstood and thought I had been missing something in my understanding. I usually choose a single point where I would like the bird to be - usually centre so I can still give some lead space and focus on the eye or head if possible and recompose; but invariably one sees a bird in flight and has to hope the camera is set up. With a dedicated body and zoom, at least it can be left on an appropriate setting. Do you think it is better to leave the camera on multi-point or single point when travelling and hoping for something to catch one unawares?

Many thanks,
Glenys

OP glenysjay Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Upgrade from 40D to 60D or 7D for nature photography?

Howzit wrote:

Glenys, check out the video review of the 7D at cameralabs and Gordon does a nice job of explaining how to use the 19 point AF.

...basically if the subject is moving it will hit one of those 19 focus points - making it easier for you than if you tried to get it with a single chosen point.

Thank you - I will do that. I misunderstood what Colin meant.
--
Glenys

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