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Canon 5D 2 + 7D

gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
8 Mar 2012 11:59PM
I have a Canon 5D 2 which I love but find the full frame limiting when shooting wildlife and action, I am considering adding a Canon 7D with its 1.6 crop senser which will give me more reach with my Sigma 150mm - 500mm, apparently it has better focusing and a much better frame rate, I will continue to use my 5D 2 for all other situations.

If anyone is using the 7D do you think I will get enough of an improvement to justify the outlay.

Regards. - gary

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justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
9 Mar 2012 12:15AM
The 7D works very well in conjunction with a 5D.
The 7D when you need frame the frame rate and extra reach. The 5D II when for when the light levels drop.
A jacket with a large pocket means you can switch between the two in an instant. I always carry both and switch between them constantly, for the reasons mentioned above.

Quote:If anyone is using the 7D do you think I will get enough of an improvement to justify the outlay.

I think so, yes. Besides, it's always handy to have a spare, and/or, back-up camera.
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Mar 2012 12:50AM
Thank you Justin, I just wanted someone tell me I am making the right decision.
User_Removed 15 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2012 7:11AM
Gary. The 5D is a studio camera? It's not meant for wildlife..................or anything that moves faster than dead still?

Go for a 7D. Smile
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Mar 2012 8:01AM
Thank you Gerry.
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
9 Mar 2012 8:20AM

Quote:Gary. The 5D is a studio camera? It's not meant for wildlife..................or anything that moves faster than dead still?

With respect, that's quite misleading IMO. Yes, perhaps the camera was designed with the studio photographer in mind but to say it's not meant for wildlife is a ridiculous statement.
Wildlife photography isn't just about sprinting cheetahs and anything else that moves at a great rate of knots, it encompasses a whole lot more than that.
Admittedly if you were intending to specialize in fast action photography or birds in flight then there may well be a better choice in camera, such as a 1D IV, but for general wildlife photography then a 5D Mk II is an excellent choice and even more so as it's being considered alongside the 7D. As mentioned previously, I find both cameras compliment each other perfectly and are an excellent combination.

I use a 5D II alongside a 7D and before that it was an original 5D alongside a 20D. Having used those combinations week in week out for years I've had no issues whatsoever after many tens of thousands of images, primarily shooting wildlife 99.9% of the time. I carry both bodies on every occasion and it's always the full frame camera which is mounted onto the lens as default, with, the crop factor body only being employed when the extra reach, and to a lesser degree, the faster frame rate, is needed. For the type of shooting I do, the full frame body's advantages far outweigh any disadvantages and shooting at dawn and dusk and beyond, then the 5D II's higher iso capabilities are invaluable (not that I'm saying you can't get good results from the 7D at high iso's, as is often stated).

I can appreciate there are plenty of people who find the AF of the 5D II may not be optimal, but I can only speak from experience and personally I've had no problem with the AF capabilities, whether in extremely low light or with moving subjects, whether that be moving animals, birds in flight or more recently, rally cars hurtling towards you at breakneck speeds in poor light. The 5D II coped admirably.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
9 Mar 2012 8:53AM
Let me put a view on this from a Nikon perspective.

I had a Nikon D300 which is a 12Mp camera with a 1.5x crop sensor.

I then bought a Nikon D3s which is a full frame 12Mp camera.

For over a year I kept both, in the belief that the crop sensor of the D300 gave me an advantage for wildlife photography.

What I eventually discovered, however, was that the better quality images from the D3s (same number of pixels but larger, better spaced pixels) allowed me to still get superb results when the image was cropped to the same size as the D300 image would have been. So, eventually I parted with the D300.

Incidentally, I have just had a print accepted for the Royal Photographic Society Nature Group 2012 Exhibition. A bird in flight, taken with the D3s and a Sigma 150-500mm lens.

So, on that basis, I would doubt if you would get value for money by augmenting your 5D2 with a 7D specifically for wildlife photography.
Techno Plus
9 2.7k 8 England
9 Mar 2012 9:33AM
If anyone is using the 7D do you think I will get enough of an improvement to justify the outlay.

No jagon, quite simply the answer from me is "yes" never regretted the added expenditure of owing both......
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
9 Mar 2012 11:07AM

Quote:With respect, that's quite misleading IMO

Agree with Justin here, My other half uses a 5D MkII, Her action images from many " Show Jumping " events or fast moving dog images, Are superb....Grin

What that tells me is this, No matter what the percieved limitations of your kit might be, If you know what your doing, You will ring the best out of whatever gear your using.

That said the crop factor of the 7D might help, Because no matter what some might say...Smile What is the point of shooting with lets say a 12 mega pixel camera, Then " Throwing Half The Data " away, This whole post crop mania, Is just a pointless waste of time and pixels..!!!

The real answer is of course to get closer to your subject, Be that physically or optically.....Wink

Whatever, Another point that Justin rightly makes is having a spare camera body, So go get your 7D, Then use it wisely....Smile
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Mar 2012 11:15AM
Vince you always give good advice thanks mate.
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
9 Mar 2012 11:30AM
Just to put a different slant on the point made above regarding cropping. IMO, cropping an image is always a very, very poor second to composing an image correctly in the first place. With wildlife photography that often means shooting with very long focal lengths from 500mm right up to 800mm, 1000mm to 1600mm if you include the use of a 2X extender and that's not even including the crop factor of a camera. The atmospheric conditions, with heat haze being one prime example, play a huge role in wildlife photography when using very long lenses, and can often determine whether a shot's a keeper or fit for the recycle bin. Getting physically closer and composing your image correctly in-camera will yield much, much better results (technically) than shooting from twice the distance and cropping heavily. If your end goal is small prints or small, compressed web images, then it may not be such a consideration, but if you want the best quality you can get and the ability to make big, good quality prints, then it matters greatly. Why buy a 20 odd mega pixel camera, or whatever, only to throw half the pixels away and greatly reduce the quality that your expensive camera and lenses can produce. Why not switch to the correct tool for the job, whether that means a camera body with a crop factor, or adding an extender, or very best of all, fieldcraft and subject knowledge, allowing you to be at the optimum distance for the shot. All of this automatically assumes, that close enough means close enough without undue disturbance of your subject.
To test the theory, put a zoom lens on your camera, photograph a highly detailed subject, a bank note works well, at either end of the zoom range from the same distance away. Compare the results and the difference between the fine detail captured at either end of the zoom range will be like night and day, because you're optically closer to your subject. It's the same by getting physically closer, but with wildlife photography, you have the added advantage of minimizing the detrimental atmospheric conditions between you and your subject of course and goes without saying.

Of course there are situations where getting closer isn't always possible or advisable and you have to make the best of the situation but in situations where this isn't the case, then putting in the extra effort to compose the image correctly in-camera is the way to go whenever possible.

EDIT Vince beat me to it almost word for word GrinSmile
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Mar 2012 5:10PM
An update, I have just come back home with the 7D, just learn its ways is the next thing, thanks for all the help.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2012 5:41PM
About the best feature for me is the Custom Settings - so easy when switching from birds in flight to macro.
gary_d 10 576 13 Wales
9 Mar 2012 6:21PM
I will look in to that Mikeh.
User_Removed 15 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2012 6:22PM
Well.............I stand corrected then Smile

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