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Canon 7D vs Canon 5D Mark II

dgvdgv Member
edited March 2012 in news & discussions
I am looking to get a new camera (photography is a passionate hobby of mine). I take pics for close friends and relatives only (their events...engagement..and i once did a trash the dress session). I currently own a Canon 40D. I dont shoot sports and so not really crazy for a fast camera. With these in mind, which of the above cameras would you recommend? High ISO performance is absolutely critical for me. I hear the Canon 7D has better focusing technology since it is a newer camera...and the Mk II is a couple years old. ISO performance..i dont know which ones better although i hear full frame cameras are generally better. I know the 5D is more exp..but i think i can swallow that difference if it makes that good of a diff.



  • The entertainers at Digital Rev have tackled this question:
  • StroNoobStroNoob Member
    edited April 2012
    It's probably the most debated purchase of Canon cameras. But if you don't shoot sports and high ISO is critical then I think the decision is already made. I know the 5Dii is a bit old now, but it's a helluva camera (not that the 7D isn't a great camera as well) that will probably be in heavy use for quite some time still. You do have to decide if you want to move to full frame. I don't think you can necessarily say the FF is unequivocally better, without qualifying it with "at low light", thinner DOF ability, or such. There are some advantages to cropped sensors too. But considering that you have a 40D that still functions, it's nice to have both available. So long as you have lenses for the FF.

    If you're up to some light technical reading you may find this interesting:


    To sum it up, the 5D has much better high ISO performance, as well as less noise in general.
  • Also, if FF is an option, consider the affect that lens length has on a subject's face. A 50mm lens on a 7D, and an 85mm lens on a 5D might allow you to compose similar compositions, but the distortion is not the same.

    I used crop sensor for a long time and couldn't see anything displeasing about it, until I went FF. Now I'm selling the 60D because the pictures just don't do it for me anymore.
    (And you should compare the price of a used 5D mkII with a new 7D, just for reference)
  • dgvdgv Member
    Thanks a lot! I am edging towards the 5D Mk II also...i think that's what i desire in the deepest parts of my soul :) .. i'll keep an eye out for used 5D's since the Mark III is out now.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    The only thing you need to be aware of is how many shutter actuations have been done on a used 5D MkII, since it's not a full pro body and only has 100,000 shutter count as it's normal range [yes, I know it should do many more] but if it's only done say 30,000, that's a 1/3 of its 'shelf life' already over.

    There used to be in some cameras in menu which would show that, don't know if this has it, but Canon can tell, if you want to go down that path.

    Make sure you look for signs of wear, if able to view it personally.

  • As far as I know, you can't determine the number of actuations without sending it in to Canon. I bought mine used, and now it has well over 100,000 actuations. So I know that at some point, I am going to need to spend $200-$300USD to replace the shutter box.

    But, with that in mind, make sure you are getting a discount of over $300 off a new one (and check the PC terminal on the left side for wear, as that indicates studio use rather than outdoor use)

    In my case, with over 100k shots, I am still getting predictable results in the studio with a flash sync speed of 1/160th. The Mk II is supposed to have a sync speed of 1/250th, but mine won't do it (black bar again). However, since I shoot most studio shots at 1/160 anyway, I'll continue using this shutter box until the results become un-predictable. Then I'll send it in for repairs.
  • Pretty sure the specs of the MkII is 1/200.

    Good tip on checking the PC terminal.
  • one suggestion, do a quick search on the net regarding the focusing problems with the 7D. I had two of them and both had the issue. After calling canon, they were no help, i sold them and replaced with another canon. i also own a 5Dmrk II. I used it for sports and weddings, terrible focus, back focus like crazy, i would focus on something and they were out of focus in the final image, when checked on the canon software, the focus points were bang on but most times the backgrounds were in focus and subject fuzzy.
    that was a shot explanation, but really have a read of the issues with the focus as canon is doing nothing about it
  • Yeah, if you get a 5DmkII, prepare for a lot of manual focusing. But hey! Some people pay 3x more for full frame manual focusing with a Leica!

    The 7D is definitely the less infuriating camera. I put down my 60D when I got my 5DmkII, even though the 60D focuses WAY faster, and takes more shots per second, and has more video options, and can wirelessly communicate TTL to Canon speedlights, and can use EyeFi cards, and has better metering, and weighs less.

    The 7D does all those things, but trades a flippy screen for weather sealing. So what is the point of a more expensive but extremely primitive-in-comparison 5D mkII?

    Full frame aesthetic. It's worth it.
  • dgvdgv Member
    thanks for pointing out the 1/160 sync. I did read about it on many blogs but totally forgot about it. The wireless TTL communication would be an attractive feature for me too. i think i should do a bit more reading on this. The 5D is mostly a portrait camera from what i understand. It will perform quite bad in sports photography.

    Thank you all for the feedback!
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