With all the talks about the 7D, it might be a good time to step back and look at one of the most useful feature of the 5D Mark II: its high megapixel count. While the 7D is very close to the 5D in terms of pixels, the 5D still has about 20% more and, for someone like me, it matters.
Most people will tell you megapixel are just a marketing trick to lure less knowledgeable photographers toward “newer camera models”. While this claim is true for Joe Average trying to buy a new camera, for the serious photographer, megapixels are important. Even if you are not planning to print anything larger than 8×12, the more you have, the more comfortable you will be in your edit.
Expert will tell you also that more megapixel means smaller pixels which means more noise in low light. While this is relatively true, this noise is also easier to fix in post production since you have more pixels to work with. The more pixels you have, the more details you can capture and the better the post processing will be. All of this sounds interesting but that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the creative flexibility offered by having (too) many pixels.
My friend has a D3, a great camera but with only 12mp. Every time he takes a shot at a wedding, he has to figure out if the picture has to be in landscape or portrait format. With the 5DMrk II, I just have to take a shot and figure out in post which one works best and I will have the same resolution image in the end as his D3 (or more if I keep the original format).
This is a killer feature for event photographers when you cant ask the subjects to stand still. The added megapixels also allow you to do creative cropping, numeric zooming, and even adjust the camera settings for sunset. While in a perfect world you should get the perfect image in camera, it rarely happen this way.
Here is an example of one picture with a very different variations. Some of these variations might seem small, like the first and last two, but they are quite obvious once you look at the picture in full resolution.
The moral of this? None, really, I was just trying to find something positive to say about the 5DMrkII vs the 7D…