Canon 5dMarkII vs 7D reactions


It has not been 24 hours since the announcement of the Canon 7D and we are already seeing some very strong reactions in the blogosphere. Those who did not purchase a 5D are happy like kids at Christmas while 5D Mark II owners feel betrayed and frustrated to various degrees.

First, if you own a 5D Mark II, it is as good today as it was two days ago. You can still take great pictures and video with it, the release of this newer model did not affect your capabilities to take great shots and make money out of them. If you were pleased with your camera, you should still be. I know this sounds obvious but that is something people tend to forget when a newer model is released.

Now some of my observations…

30p vs 24p

I find it interesting that so many people talk about 24p and how it makes the 7D so much better than the 5D MarkII for video. Yes, it makes it better, but to what level? Most people I know can’t see the difference between 24 and 30p unless I put the two clips side by side.

Be careful about the echo chamber effect the internet can have on your judgment. To me, 60p is a much more desirable feature than 24p because it gives me more creative control over my work. It is always possible to emulate 24p from a 30p clip, but 60p is much better for time remapping.

Rolling shutter?

I am taking a wild guess here but since the 7D has a smaller sensor, the frequency of each pass should could be faster, resulting in a reduction of the jello effect. Of course, this is something that will need to be confirmed by experimentation. For explanation of the jello effect, check this clip.

Why not in the 5d?

A lot of people (me included) are hoping a firmware update will bring some of the 7D features to the 5D Mark II. Variable frame rate being the main point of interest. While I have no sources on this, I find in hard to believe that it can’t be done from a strictly software point of view. So, unless there are some hardware issues with this, we can always hope!

Mitch from planet5D and some of his contacts think otherwise. It would be great if they could be proven wrong and me right for once!

Should you still buy a 5d Mark II?

To answer this question, you have to ask yourself: Do I need a full frame sensor to do my work? Do I need the best sensor for low light work? If you answered yes to these questions, the 5D is still the camera for you. After some discussion with my photographer friend, it seems like only wedding and portrait photographers would answer yes. Pretty much every other photographic field is better covered with the 7D. Of course, we will have to wait for more people to try the camera to see its actual performance (anyone remember initial 50D reviews?).

Another cool thing about the 7D is how cheap it is. For the first time in my life, I will advice people to actually get the kit lens! For about 200$ you get a decent lens which can always be resold for the same price of more afterward. On a crop sensor the focal range is decent and versatile.

Final thoughts

If you just bought a 5D and are having some remorse, just think about people who went into the Nikon or Panasonic system recently!

Note: 7D are back order on Amazon US already!

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • coppa

    That´s all true but somehow i just can´t stop thinking Canon made a overall better camera for video at half price of the 5d Mkii
    So as a 5dMkii owner i am really pissed of with canon …

    When Scarlet is out i will leave Canon for good

    • admin

      I feel you Coppa and I might go the Scarlet route too if my video business is going the way I want. Don’t forget that Red cameras are totally different than the 5DMarkII and unless you pull 10k$ out of your pocket, the sensor is going to be much smaller. But I have to agree with you, Red is geared toward its user much more than Canon.

  • Gonçalo Lemos

    I currently own a 5D MarkII and I am probably end up buying de new 7D. Why? I am a nature photographer and it makes sense to have a full frame (for landscapes, and others) and a cropped sensor for wildlife in general. Movie mode is not that important yet. I understand both 5D MKII and 7D as the little brothers of 1DMKIII and 1DsMKIII. I think that canon is introducing a new category with the 5D and completing it with the 7D. For nature photographers this makes sense. For sports photography and others I don’t really know. This is my simple opinion.

    • admin

      Goncalo: I partially agree with you, Canon is heading toward 1D replacement soon with higher end version of these.

      To my eyes, the 7D is what the 60D should have been. I am having a hard time trying to figure out what the 60D is going to be and how much they are going to ask for it! Seems like an overlap to me, no?

  • Gonçalo Lemos

    Looking at the 7D, it doesn’t make much sense to have a 60D on the market. One will look at the 7D and 500D and will make an option. Where will the 60D fit? How much better than the 500D will it be and how much worse than the 7D will it be? I wonder…

  • Harry Bisel

    Along with portrait and wedding photographers, I believe another group who will be happy to stick with the 5D Mk II are those who shoot architecture. Although the 10-22mm EFS lens is good, the t/s options are where it’s at for my kind!

  • If there is room for a D90 between the D5000 and the D300s then there will be room for a 60D – but I agree, it should be interesting to see what that holds when announced sometime in early 2010

  • ryusen

    I own a 5dMkII. While i’m a bit sad that i don’t have the improved AF, i hardly think less of my camera. I mainly do portraits, so the shallower DoF and the better low light sensitivity is still more important. As for video, i almost never use it and don’t really feel it’s an asset to what i do.

  • Hank Graham

    I’m seriously considering going from the 5D2 to the 7D, because of the video.

    Where you’ll see the HUGE difference between 30p and 24p is if you make a film copy for projection. If Canon would just shift the 30p to 29.97p (which is the industry standard), it would be possible to get very good conversions to 24p. As it is, you lost a LOT when you convert from 30p down to 24p.

    Additionally, because Canon went with 30p, your footage can look a little weird when output at 29.97p.

    The rest of your points I pretty much agree with, and this is still a superior camera for stills.

  • admin

    Hank: the question is, how many people are going to project their clip in theaters? Not that many, that is why I think people are reacting very strongly to something that does not affect them as much as they believe.
    Still, Canon screwed up big time by not giving 24p to the 5D!

  • admin

    For pro work you better record the sound on an external device anyways such as the H4n. We have a post about this from last week I think. Check it out.

    But even with just a small shotgun mic installed in the hot shoe, I managed to get decent results.

  • I would advise a landscape photographer to keep the 5D Mark II. I also find the “3D effect” of certain images to be better as the sensor gets larger. For me the digital full frame Canon 5D is the smallest sensor I will accept for my work.

  • chuck

    To the comments so far, I would add intended final image size to the considerations for keeping the 5D. With 21MP, you have full size sensor that approaches the quality of a 35mm negative.

    • admin

      Chuck: Did you know that at 21mpx the sensor out resolve almost every lenses? Actually, the 5D has a better resolution than most negatives I have played with (color and BW).

      The only place where negs are still better than electronic sensor is the dynamic range but I think they will lose this battle soon, judging by the progress made with the medium format bodies (check the new phase one bodies!).

  • chuck

    Oh, I agree. Indeed, I submit that the largest advances in the “pre-digital” age were in improving the optics and 35mm platform in general to take advantage of the full capabilities of the film. However, there’s a reason we have medium format and full-size view cameras, not the least of which is size of the negative in relation to the size of the final print (remember those ‘circles of confusion’?).

    So, although the 7D may be a step forward in functionality, I feel it is a step back in resolution; specifically where 35mm camers have the ability to continue to encroach on territory reserved for medium format cameras :-)

  • Edwin

    first of all, canon is not a company of art, is a business company and all they want is money, can they do a 24p update firmware to the 5DmkII? obviously YES, are they aware of all the angry men who wants this? YES!, but they are business man, and they won’t do it. at least not today, so yeei!, lets spend all of our savings in the new shitty camera, and wait until these bastards drop a bone to us…. or pray for a decent hack

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