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Archive 2011 · Canon 7D recommendations
  
 
Jimna
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Canon 7D recommendations


Hello, I have lurked here for a long, long time but this is my very first post. Anyway I am looking to invest in my rig but cant seem to find the appropriate body to move too for my needs. I am wondering if the Canon 7D is the right move for me, or am I being short sighted?

First, about me:
I am first and foremost an audio recording engineer, specifically live music, and with all those shows I have also been an amateur concert photographer for a long time. My progression has been rather slow and natural until about 4 yrs ago when I got my first DSLR, at that point something snapped and I saw it all in a new light, and now I am consumed. I now am finding my shots are selling, almost by accident, and bands are asking me to shoot them live and portraits too, and not just for a free ticket. The latest chain of events finds me offered some regular work with a few online and print entertainment magazines here locally. With all this opportunity I am realizing the limits of my current rig, a Canon XSi and sigma 24-70mm f2.8 + 50mm f1.8. Its time to move forward. I really think that a wise lens for me to get first is the Canon 24-70 f2.8L as I am a crowd worker and usually get my best stuff from the front few rows in the thick of things, that lens has the most versatility in that application IME, followed by a few primes and the 70-200 f2.8L eventually. But to compliment that glass a new body is first in the order, I need a body that can handle more than ISO1600(so the 50-60D are out), and the XSi is very grainy at that! I also need better performance out of the AF, I have used the 28mm f2.8, the 85mm f1.8, and the 70-200mm f2.8 with my body enough to know that it just does not cut it, or all Canon glass sucks...and I think I can deduct the right answer here.

.....so all this said, is the 7D the body for me? I really am flexing my budget to even buy it. I cant see myself affording the 5DMII without selling my body, and the more I read I am not sure its the one for my main use anyway so I am not sure its worth stooping below my standards anyway. Will the 7D work for me outside fast moving low light situations? Whats my biggest trade off settling for this level body in the Canon line? Should I be looking at the 5D just for a full frame sensor or can I thrive with a crop sensor?? It seems easy to nail a models strengths when researching, but the weakness is harder to research/google. I do have aspirations of moving into portrait work too eventually.

To expand more on my hopes with this upgrade and investment; I have 2 different local photogs offering me work as a second shooter on weddings and the like, so I need this body to not be a one trick pony either, I plan to work it outside of dark clubs

One thing I have learned from my yrs in audio recording, buying things twice because you didnt do your home work the first time is more expensive than buying the right thing first. Help me make the right decision please.



Dec 24, 2011 at 08:06 AM
BluesWest
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Canon 7D recommendations


I need a body that can handle more than ISO1600

As much as I like my 7D (I've been using it for wildlife photography since the day it was released), I would say that it probably isn't the best camera for the application you've described. I do use it routinely at ISO 800, and occasionaly up to ISO 1600, but above that ISO value the image falls apart quickly.

Although the 5DII is more expensive, I suspect it is the camera you will need. Others who have used it for concert photography will probably chime in here, but I'm guessing they'll agree.

I cant see myself affording the 5DMII without selling my body

There's a certain poetic resonance in the concept of selling your actual body to purchase a camera body. That might be reason alone to go ahead and do it...

Are you committed to Canon gear? Some people claim the Nikon D7000 has superior noise handling compared to the Canon 7D. If you aren't already heavily invested in the Canon mount, this might be something to consider.

John



Dec 24, 2011 at 08:24 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Canon 7D recommendations


Interested to hear what others say.
I do not have the 7D but have owned a 5D, have a 5DmKII and a 50D.
High ISO is great on the 5D and MK II is better. Many wedding and portrait folks love the 5D MKII, often with the 24-70.
From your description, low light, IQ and versatility are the key issues. Reach sounds less important, since you say you are able to shoot from a few rows back.
While either the 7D or 5D will do the trick, the big issue here is full frame vs crop. The main advantage of the crop sensor is reach. The main advantage of FF is IQ, wide. Either 7D or 5D will be a big improvement in IQ, low light compared to your current camera. I'd suggest you try a 5DMKII and see if you like FF and how the lenses you use work with the FF. Very differently.
Personally, I would choose the 5D if you had one body. I only have a crop sensor camera for reach for birding.
Canon glass does not suck. You have used some excellent lenses.
Finally, price sounds important to you. But the price difference between 7D and 5D is not that great and easily overcome by a few gigs.
Congratulations on a quickly moving career!
Scott



Dec 24, 2011 at 08:34 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Canon 7D recommendations


One more thing.
I have many images off the 5D MKII at high ISO that work beautifully.
Here is one shot at 6400. Processed in LR but predominantly with sharpening, contrast, some noise reduction. In my experience very high ISO shots are more forgiving in BW. With the 5DII there should be no problem routinely shooting at 1600-3200.






and a color portrait (minimal processing) at 3200.
Both on the MKII

Scott



GoetzPhotoz 2011

  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens    100mm    f/4.0    1/20s    3200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 24, 2011 at 08:45 AM
svassh
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Canon 7D recommendations


I started with an XS but I don't believe the XSi is much better a couple more megapixels. When I moved to a T2i I saw a marked improvement in my shots. I would think any move to a newer body would net you some improvement both ISO and otherwise. Some great deals on T2i, T3i and 60D now which would save you about half of what you would invest in a 7D. That may be worth considering if the 5D MKII is too costly. I recently upgraded again to a 7D, great camera but it loves to auto IS at 3200 where there seems plenty of light to me. I am using alot of flash indoors to compensate or nr cleanup. I would think the swivel sensor on the 60D and T3i would be beneficial to someone holding a camera up over their head for a concert shot.


Dec 24, 2011 at 01:43 PM
form
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Canon 7D recommendations


7d and 60d and the last two rebel cameras all have the same sensor and approximate high iso noise levels. The main differences are feature sets and performance under demanding conditions, like focus and burst capabilities. 5d II is about 1 to 1.5 stops better in high iso noise than the 7d etc. But the overall versatility of the 7d is greater. It is harder to get subjects all in focus with full frame than with crop cameras because of the depth of field difference. Rebel t3i might even be suitable for your type of work if you are planning on 7d unless you need the focus or other features.


Dec 24, 2011 at 02:52 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Canon 7D recommendations


I hear what you have said about your budget, and then I read what you say your needs are, and honestly I don't think the two go together that well.

You need a 5DII, but, what would be better is a D700. I have owned both and a D700 would perform much better in low light situations and the files look much cleaner without the 5D II pattern noise.




Dec 24, 2011 at 03:22 PM
TrojanHorse
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Canon 7D recommendations


He says affording a 7D would be a stretch so you recommend a D700?

I hope you're considering buying a used camera - 7D's go for about $1100 these days and I've seen 5d2s as low as $1600. I'm not sure if that's an effect of the recent sales on 5d2 or if it's just speculation that a 5d3 is around the corner but in either case a 5d2 would be ideal for what you're doing if you want to stay with Canon. The 7D is no slouch though.



Dec 24, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Jase1125
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Canon 7D recommendations


If 7d is the top end of your budget then it will work. I would consider pairing a 17-55 2.8 IS with it instead of the 24-70. The FOV will be comparable to a 24-70 on a 5DII.

Iso 3200 is easy and 6400 is respectable if you really learn how to post process the images. The 7D is really sensitive to under exposure. If you underexposed you will pay a significant noise penalty. YMMV




Dec 24, 2011 at 03:38 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Canon 7D recommendations


If you aren't totally opposed to learning how to use bounce flash from a 430exii or 580exii, I think that would net you the best bang for your buck in the iq department over any new camera body would. If you can't use flash, the 5dii sounds like the correct camera for you. Good luck!


Dec 24, 2011 at 04:04 PM
 

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davenfl
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Canon 7D recommendations


Jase1125 wrote:
If 7d is the top end of your budget then it will work. I would consider pairing a 17-55 2.8 IS with it instead of the 24-70. The FOV will be comparable to a 24-70 on a 5DII.

Iso 3200 is easy and 6400 is respectable if you really learn how to post process the images. The 7D is really sensitive to under exposure. If you underexposed you will pay a significant noise penalty. YMMV



The advice given by Jase1125 is very sound, careful exposure is the key to obtaining excellent and extremely acceptable results with 7D raw images in PP. We consistently intermix ISO 6400 7D images with 5d2 images with no issues. Here is a good mixture of ISO 6400 7D images from Flickr which more then highlight the camera's capability.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=canon%207d%20iso%206400

Dave



Dec 24, 2011 at 04:19 PM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Canon 7D recommendations


Jase1125 wrote:
I would consider pairing a 17-55 2.8 IS with it instead of the 24-70.


I love my 17-55 f/2.8 IS and wouldn't think that the 24-70 f/2.8L would do "any" better for my application. However, if you're using his 24-70 f/2.8L effectively and it works for you, I can't say I'd swap without a bunch of hands on experience.

Now, the 7D...It's heads and shoulders above anything in the Rebel line to me, in every area that matters. If you can swing a 5D II you might just expand on your creativity just a bit...But again, the 7D is a great camera, and is a fairly economical way to expand your capability also...

Just my $.02, and we all know, you get what you pay for, so my free advice ain't worth much...



Dec 24, 2011 at 04:23 PM
form
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Canon 7D recommendations


The real point of this post is that the OP wants justification to spend all of his money on a 7D because it appears to have all of the basic features and functions that he is after. It has the best Canon AF system outside the 1D series cameras and is a very well-rounded camera overall. I am pretty much a no-crop shooter now and it would be hard to go back to crop, but the 5D series definitely requires a lot of sacrifices (limited AF, sluggish overall feel in comparison even to a 40D) and is not the do-it-all-easily camera. The very best choices for the OP are out of his price range...OR they are Nikon, e.g. D700. Or, at this point, maybe even Sony's newer dSLRs.

Edited on Dec 24, 2011 at 05:12 PM · View previous versions



Dec 24, 2011 at 05:10 PM
robstein
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Canon 7D recommendations


I dunno... I have been fighting the noise on the 7D as well.... I agree - underexpose just a tad and your in trouble. I really wish they would have limited the pixel count on the 7D as it would be a better camera :-/

Obviously a FF would be better from that point of view but neither of the 5D have good AF anyway (I know the mk2 is out of your price range), so if you need AF then the 7D or maybe an older 1D-IIn or something in a similar price range would be a better choice. If you can MF then think about a 5D classic as you can get them for @$1100 ish.

Good luck... maybe rent a 7D for a week to give it a try first?



Dec 24, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Canon 7D recommendations


You do not need a FF for the type of photography you describe. Even sitting in the front two rows, you may want the extra reach for lots of shots.

Before investing in all-Canon gear, you might seriously want to look at the Nikon D7000. Sounds like it would fit your budget and your high ISO needs. This coming from a Canon 7D owner.

Of course, posting your question on this forum, you may get a lot of anti-Nikon comments.



Dec 24, 2011 at 05:19 PM
InternetJunky
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Canon 7D recommendations


Given your main choice of subject matter I would say high ISO performance is your #1 factor, so it's either a 5DII or D7000. I love my 7D, but I do not love the noise at higher ISOs.


Dec 24, 2011 at 05:39 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Canon 7D recommendations


I recently got a 7D and shot a concert with it got more keepers and much less noise than the 1DmkII I usually use. Focus and noise were far better than my old 1DmkII.
I shot up to iso 6400 and if not under exposed the noise was easy to handle between Lightroom and Nik.

ZZ Top cover band "Zband"









Dec 24, 2011 at 06:14 PM
form
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Canon 7D recommendations


I can definitely see color noise creeping into the skin and dark areas, not just from reflections.


Dec 24, 2011 at 06:17 PM
Jimna
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Canon 7D recommendations


Wow, excellent advise, thank you all.

I really have not considered Nikon, but for no good reason either. Should I?

I am planning to buy a used body, that will help me replace the Sigma quicker. I have seen the 7D going for $1100 as mentioned, but have not seen a 5DMII for $1600....more like $2k, with the occasional $1800 body but those always seem to have an issue that I wouldn't buy them for anyway. But that used price on the 7D made me feel it was a good value compared to the next step up in the chain.

Dave, thanks for the flickr link, I liked seeing shots from the 7D. Waycool, ditto, is that band from Texas? Seems like ZZ Top is the #1 covered band in the Lone Star State.

I will say that the reach I get from my crop sensor and the 24-70 is as short as I would care to go and still be able to get my standard shots, buying a FF would almost force me to buy the 70-200 f2.8 also, and thats not happening right away. And my original hesitation on the 5D was the slow AF, I often get the first 3 songs in the pit at bigger venues like Red Rocks and the Pepsi Center, and thats all (depending on the band), so the more in focus keepers is the second biggest reason for the upgrade. Keep in mind performers are often moving all around the stage, dancing, head-banging, ect.. so a more responsive AF matters.

Tough call, but I will say the 5DMII is now more on my radar than before considering some of the ISO arguments made here. I do have a little while until my taxes are back to make this move so keep the wisdom flowing, I am all ears. One of the other factors in the back of my head is that the body is something I will always want to upgrade, but the glass "should" be forever.

Thank you all!



Dec 24, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Jimna
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Canon 7D recommendations


rogie wrote:
If you aren't totally opposed to learning how to use bounce flash from a 430exii or 580exii, I think that would net you the best bang for your buck in the iq department over any new camera body would. If you can't use flash, the 5dii sounds like the correct camera for you. Good luck!

no this is a strict no no. Flash in most venues will get you escorted out.

Funny but this is current after Matisyahu kicked a photog in the face for repeatedly using a flash last weekend.
http://www.papermag.com/2011/12/matisyahu_snaps_attacks_photogrpaher.php




Dec 24, 2011 at 07:10 PM
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