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canon 5D MK II any good for wildlife,birds in flight ect...?

ireid7 12 11 Scotland
4 Dec 2010 1:07AM
i have a canon 50d and would love to upgrade to a full frame 5d mk II but ive read the autofocus is sluggish for tracking fast moveing objects like birds in flight ect. mabey better with 7D but also like landscape photography.
any advice

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I've owned both the 5Dii and the 7D. Both are equally good cameras, but the 7D will do landscapes better than a 5D will do moving subjects, generally speaking. Plus, the cropper gives you extra reach for shooting birds.

A good UWA lens will give you great landscapes on a 7D but you can't get a lens which will improve the AF on a 5D.
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2010 8:33AM
Initially i though a 5dmk2 for landscapes with its better colour rendiion etc, but the birds part sounds tricky on a 5d.
So sounds like Bills got a good comparision there, one camera to be the best at everything is unlikely .
However do you need to sell the 50D - keep that for the birds and use the 5d for the landscapes?
adyj 9 30 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2010 11:59AM
It's an over-used expression but here it really is a "no brainer". The 7D is a fast camera and targeted at wildlife/sports enthusiasts. The crop sensor will get you more reach out of your lenses and provide more depth of field - which can be a benefit for landscape work. A further consideration is of course the weather sealing on the 7D which you'll also need if out shooting landscapes and birds.

For quality ultra wide glass on a CS camera check out the Canon 10-22, Tokina 11-16mm or the new Sigma 8-16mm .

Yes, the 5DMKII does provide slightly better colour gradation and more shadow detail - and its high ISO performance kicks arse above 800. The shallower depth-of-field is also great for portraits but for the most part IQ differences on the average 16x12" print will be marginal if noticeable at all at low ISOs.

Apart from deciding on what subjects you will most likely shoot ask yourself what the end use of your images will be. I wish I had such an easy decision to make when buying a new camera.

da_nige 14 1.2k Scotland
4 Dec 2010 2:37PM
I have a friend who is a professional wildlife and wedding photographer. He likes to chop and change his kit. He sold his 1D III to buy a 7D and release a bit of cash. After a couple of days shooting he got rid of it as he found it too noisy. Personally I think he just got a bad one (there are a few about). He then decided to try the 5D II. He loves the 5D and although the AF is not as good it is still very competent for BIF etc. The overall image quality is the best of any camera he has seen and the high ISO stuff is excellent. Ultimately he would like a 1D IV (which I use) but he can't afford it just now due to big glass purchases.

All I am really saying is don't discount the 5D II based on AF performance. It will be no worse than the 50D

justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
4 Dec 2010 3:00PM
Seeing as you already own a 50D with the advantageous 1.6X crop factor, buying a 5DMk II would be a good move IMHO. You're often battling with the light with wildlife photography at either end of the day and the superior high ISO/low noise performance of the 5D Mk II can be very useful indeed.
If you didn't own a 50D I'd perhaps be inclined to go for the 7D. As you do, I would personally go for the 5D Mk II (to be used alongside your existing camera), for when the light gets low and when you want the highest image quality.

I can't comment on the AF performance between the 7D and the 5D Mk II, having never used a 5D Mk II but I've heard good things on the 5D Mk II's performance for birds in flight.
Anyone who tells you that a 5D is good for BIF is only justifying their buying decision. You don't buy a 5D for wildlife or sports. You buy it for studio and landscape. Of course, you can use it for other things, but it's a compromise. It just doesn't match a 1D or a 7D for sport and wildlife, any more than they can beat the 5D at high IQ studio work. The OP has to decide if he wants a compromise, single camera solution or a two camera solution which will give him the best options for the job in hand. As always, it comes down to cash.
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
4 Dec 2010 4:54PM
If you want to use it for wildlife and BIF mainly, I wouldn't really recommend 5D2. The af system isn't brilliant. Even with a f2.8 lens, you will still struggle to lock focus most of the time. Not saying it is not possible, but you will have less keep rate. That's my personal experience anyway.
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
4 Dec 2010 5:14PM
I use a 5D2 but mainly for portraits, landscapes, low light and architecture. However, I did go on a birds in flight day with a 9 other photographers and there were different experiences depending on the camera used. For whatever reason none of the Nikon owners had any problems (all D300, D700). My 5D2 was fine and only occassionally missed focussing (even the Nikon missed some) but I was using an f2.8 lens which helps. However one person using the older 5D Mk1 found focussing almost impossible and gave up and used his 40D instead. Two Sony owners also had focus problems. Based on my limited experience, if I were a wildlife photographer, I would want a 1D4 or 7D but for portraits, landscapes, low light etc. I would choose the 5D2. If you are like me and only occassionally shoot wildlife then the 5D2 is fine but ideally I would like a 5D2 and 7D.


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