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Questions About Canon 7D  
User currently onlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

Hello everybody,

since recently there have been some discussions about the 7D, and since I have put my sight on it... I would like to ask some questions, just to make sure if it is the right step to do.

At the moment, my equipment is:
- Canon EOS 450D
- Canon EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
- Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM
- Canon EF TC 1.4x II
And I am quite happy with it.
But now that I have some "good glass" (yet it might be better, I know, but for the moment they work fine for me...) I think that the time for a camera upgrade has come.
In fact, my 3 year old 450D (about 50000-60000 shots) sometimes makes me feel a bit limited for several reasons (that I am going to point out below) and I have found in the 7D a possible upgrade, with all its pros and cons.
Just a little foreword: I haven't thought to a FF camera since they are far too expensive and because I would lose the crop factor that sometimes comes in help. Losing it, would mean buying new lenses to reach the same focals.

But now let's come to some clarification I would like about it:

1. The long debated noise at low ISO: I have read a lot about it, but I have read that it could also be overcome with some adjustments to your own shooting and post production technique. Is that correct? Is that enough or is there something more?

2. How does it behave at high ISO (800+)?
This is one of the key reasons for my possible upgrade, because most of the times my 450D drives me crazy giving me unusable images if I shoot in low light at ISO 800 or 1600.
If the 7D had a good ISO tolerance in this sense, it would be great! (both for aviation photography and "general" photography)
Let's say that a good high ISO tolerance would make me more keen on getting it! LOL
(also, if you have some sample images, feel free to post them!)

3. What about the AF module?
Is it ok and capable of tracking the subject in a good way? (You know, this sometimes could be a vital element...)

4. Let's talk about image quality: would I have any benefit in this sense, too? (of course, keeping the same lenses)

5. I have a plenty of SD cards, but I have read that the 7D doesn't support this memory card format. Are some adapters available on the market? It would be a pity to waste all of them!
(I know I would lose some of the camera capabilities, but I would use this trick for those situation where a fast burst or a large buffer is not required. i.e.: static aircraft or, why not, trips etc.)

Well, this could be enough for now...  

Thank you very much in advance,

Matteo

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinechris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2822 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

Matteo,

It is very likely given the 7D's age and the rumours that seem to be spreading about online that a successor to the 7D will be announced very soon. If you can wait a few months you will likely see something like a 7D mk2 which would likely accept SD cards which would solve one of your problems listed above.

The 7D is a great camera and would probably meet all of your criteria, however if you can wait, i would reccomend it.

Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 768 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

From what I'm reading I think the 7D mk ii is a bit off - I'd bet a year. A 70D might be round the corner though.

With regards to the 7D. The noise thing is perhaps overstated. There are some (myself included) who were disappointed that noise at low ISO was not better, but this is largely in comparison with 1d/5d cameras. Noise is not a bigger problem than it is on any of the recent high density crop DSLR sensors. Just be careful to avoid under exposure.

The good news is that high ISO (above 800) is much improved over previous crop sensor models, and with larger files to play with you have scope for reducing image size making for an even cleaner looking image compared to equivalent size images from earlier models.

As far as I'm concerned, the AF is the 7D's party piece. It is miles ahead of any previous crop model, and IMHO more effective in the real world than the 1D3. You will not be disappointed.

Regarding CF/SD adapters - yes they exist, but you will lose some speed. This may impact on the 7d's frame rate and time to clear the buffer. Personally, given the comparatively low prices of CF cards, I would go with them (one less potential problem area) but perhaps get an adaptor (they're not expensive) for times when you run out of CF card space.

If buying from a real shop, ask the dealer to throw in a couple of cards as part of the deal. You may also want to consider a spare battery - battery life is good on the 7D (1000+ frames); but if your concerned about storage you may be shooting more than that.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently onlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days ago) and read 4103 times:

First of all, I would like to thank you very much for the replies... really, I am getting more and more convinced on the purchase.

You have mentioned possible future developments of 60D and 7D that would be appealing too.
Of course, I'd be really interested in it... but:
- I think that 7D mkII will come with new and improved features and probably Canon will make you pay for this. Appealing, of course, but I'm not sure if it would be affordable for me.
- Which placement should a possible 70D have in the market? Would it be a "mere successor" of the 60D or would it be something closer to the 7D?

Anyway

Quoting ckw (Reply 2):
The noise thing is perhaps overstated

A good news... if it is all about taking more care to the technique to avoid underexposure, well, this is not a problem. As it wouldn't be a problem to pass some time to re-work on my workflow in order to adapt it on the new camera.
If also the high ISO performances are good enough... we're moving in the right direction!  
Of course I am not pretending the quality of a FF camera, but just a step forward my actual body.
(I was asking this becuase I read some comments on a review that put on the same level the ISO 800-1600 performances of the 7D and those of the 450D. Pretty weird, I thought... and it seems that I was right).

Quoting ckw (Reply 2):
As far as I'm concerned, the AF is the 7D's party piece. It is miles ahead of any previous crop model, and IMHO more effective in the real world than the 1D3. You will not be disappointed.

Yet it seems that we have another good mark for this camera...

Quoting ckw (Reply 2):
Regarding CF/SD adapters - yes they exist, but you will lose some speed. This may impact on the 7d's frame rate and time to clear the buffer.

Well, I agree with you that the "native" CF format would be the best, but if I use an "adapted SD" it would be only in those situations where the great performances of the camera in this sense are only a "plus". Just to save some space in the CFs for situations where the camera performances would be more needed.
You know:if you are on a trip and you don't have a computer with you...  

To end my reply: can you tell me the real "cons" of this camera?
I mean... something you don't like, something that have disappointed you etc.
Just to have the situation more clear.

Thanks again!  


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 768 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4087 times:

Actually I don't really have too many cons - I do think Canon made a mistake pushing the pixel count to 18mp, simply because the IQ would have been better if they'd kept it to 15mp or so.

I was personally disappointed with the image quality initially because it was noisier than my 1D3 and 5D at 100-200 ISO but its a relative point of view, depending what you compare it to.

A few little niggles - I found the live view button badly placed, resulting in me pressing it accidentally while shooting - resulting in a black viewfinder, which can be disconcerting until you realise what's happened.

The mode dial is very easy to knock out of place (eg when putting in or out a bag), so you think you have it set to AV and then discover you're shooting in manual - this seemed more prone to accidental movement than any other Canon I've owned. (Interestingly Canon added a locking pin to the 5D3 - very welcome).

And of course its not weatherproof, which I think at this price range shouldn't be the case. Nikon do it. This proved to be the downfall of my 7D when I got swamped by a wave last summer - the partially weatherproofed 5d3 survived, the 7D didn't.

But these are fairly insignificant matters compared to the huge step up in performance compared to previous crop cameras. If you've not used one of Canon's recent releases, the AF performance and functionality will be a big surprise, and, at 8 fps it's plenty fast if you need that.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently onlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 4037 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 4):
But these are fairly insignificant matters compared to the huge step up in performance compared to previous crop cameras. If you've not used one of Canon's recent releases, the AF performance and functionality will be a big surprise, and, at 8 fps it's plenty fast if you need that.

You hit the point.
I think that it's only about the "getting in touch" with the camera... once you know these "dangers" you would be more careful to avoid them.

But then, coming from a 450D I will only see it under a positive light, I bet...

Again, many thanks!  


User currently offlineshufflemoomin From Denmark, joined Jun 2010, 480 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3995 times:

I've been shooting the 7D for a few years, so I think I can offer something useful to you, especially since I'm a concert photographer and shoot almost exclusively in low light, as you'd expect. I interact with many photographers at each shoot and I've yet to meet one still using a 7D for this purpose. It's low light performance just simply isn't up to par and there are many better alternatives available. In really low light, it's useless above 3200. If you're shooting aircraft in daylight to maybe early dusk, you'd have the benefit of exposing to the right and pulling the exposure back in post. The worst thing you can do with the 7D is under-expose even slightly and try to push shadows in post. You'll lose a lot of detail and introduce tons of noise.

As for the AF performance, again, in low light, it can really struggle. I've also had odd failures in good light with the AF performance as have many, many others. A quick google search for 7D autofocus will give you some idea. I have an old 5D, the original model, laying around and it poops on the 7D for Image Quality, as you'd expect and also isn't all that far behind it in AF performance but can be had for so much less. You say you want to stay away from FF because you enjoy the crop factor and only you can say how important that is to you. You're always going to suffer to some degree in image quality if you stay with crop bodies, but if you're truly set on staying with that (and Canon), then I guess the 7D is about the best you can get.

All I can say about the 7D, is that up until recently, within my world of pro gig shooters, I was the only one still using one. It's been replaced with the 6D and although the AF performance can lag behind the 7D just a bit at times, for low light AF, high ISO noise and Image Quality, the 7D isn't even in the same league. There's also not too much difference in price, so that's something to think about. The 6D also uses SD cards like you wanted, but it's madness to base a purchase of this level on the memory cards it takes, especially when a 32Gb card of either SD or CF costs so little in comparison.

If you have somewhere near you that rents cameras or even someone you can borrow a body from, nothing we can say can compare to you trying each body for yourself and seeing if it meets your needs before parting with your cash.


User currently offlinejosuek6 From Costa Rica, joined Oct 2006, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3980 times:

Hi Matteo,

As a 7D owner, I would like to contribute and try to guide you in the right direction. Let's start with your questions:

1. ISO debate: at low noise there is more noise than what you get with other cameras. Personally I have owned a 350D and a Nikon D200. When purchasing the 7D after using the D200 for several years, the quality bump was amazing. I didn't even notice noise at low ISO's because of this. However, after a while I started seeing noise at ISO100, but pretty much I was able to overcome this problem by adding a bit of noise reduction when processing the RAW files on Photoshop. For me, it was pretty simple to solve and I couldn't be happier with the quality.

2. High ISO: for aviation, I would pack my bag after ISO1000, it's just not worth it. If you are creative and still want some photos for personal usage, then I believe you can pull it off at ISO2500 with great care on the exposure. For other types of photography, I've been able to obtain pretty satisfactory results at ISO3200, which I was never able to with previous cameras and I'm sure you will notice if the upgrade from 450D is done. More than ISO3200 is pointless for me.

3. AF: I've worked at some racing events, AF has never been an issue. The performance is top notch. For aviation, you are more than covered.

4. Image Quality: this is a hard one, with L lens the 7D shines, with non-L lens glass... Not so much. The problem is that the 18 MP requires pretty good glass in order to shine and deliver. The 70-200 f/4 is going to be great, however I would consider either a 17-40 L or 24-105 L as a replacement for the 15-85. I use my 7D with 100-400 L, in my opinion it's the best kit for aviation photography.

5. SD Cards: though one, but I would purchase a CF Card and get rid of the SD ones  I use a 32 GB CF Card that is pretty much the only thing I need.

A few other things:

For me the body quality is impressive, it feels like a rock in the hand. You will notice that coming from the 450D. It's been rumored that a 7D2 will come shortly. I'm not sure about this, I've heard 100-400 II rumors for years as well. I'm sure that once the 7D2 comes, I will buy it. Cons? To be honest, I wasn't able to think of one. I think everyone would love to have a FF camera someday, but I can't justify it for what I photograph. Also, crop factor is cool to have sometimes.

Since ISO performance seems to be one of your main concerns, here are some photos I was able to upload to A.net. Most of them are ISO500-800:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Josué Saavedra


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Josué Saavedra


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Josué Saavedra


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Josué Saavedra



Regards, Josué.


User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2648 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3977 times:

When it comes to ISO (both low and high) the 7D is probably one of the best in the crop sensor world. However, seeing that this is a major concern to you I would try and go full frame. Keep in mind, with the increase in IQ at full frame you can crop much more and it pretty much neglects the "1.6x crop factor" added zoom. Yes, an aircraft at 200mm will fill less of the frame on a FF camera but you can also crop much tighter and retain quality. So it is kind of the same as long as your FF camera is above say 20MP. But as far as ISO, on my 5D2 I actually don't go BELOW ISO500. Even in sunny conditions. It keeps my shutter speed nice and high as well, and I barely ever have blurry images.

User currently onlineteopilot From Italy, joined Jul 2010, 548 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3944 times:

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 6):
A quick google search for 7D autofocus will give you some idea.

I have had a quick google search, as you suggested, and I have noticed that there are two main "poles": some are very happy with it and some are very disappointed (even if the latter are less in number than the happy ones).
In some cases it was a fault of the "disappointed", who had to find the "perfect settings" for the AF to match his/her needs, in other cases it was a fault of the camera itself (either fixed in assistance or immeditely changed for a new body).
Is it really about to getting used to the AF system and find the perfect modes to meet your shooting technique/needs or is there something more in it? A little more demanding, of course, than having all set and ready, but still not impossible...
I mean, I don't think that a 1k € camera would have remained in the market for such a long time having so much success having an unreliable and inefficient AF system in most cases.
(By the way, I have read of a few people who had problems in daylight... )

Just an addition: most of unsatisfied reports I have read were made in 2009/2010... is it possible that, probably, Canon have worked to fix some eventual issues on the camera produced later?


Quoting josuek6 (Reply 7):
For other types of photography, I've been able to obtain pretty satisfactory results at ISO3200,

Would you mind to specify what kind of shots are you talking about?
Since I wouldn't be using the 7D for aviation only...

Quoting josuek6 (Reply 7):
4. Image Quality: this is a hard one, with L lens the 7D shines, with non-L lens glass...

I was thinking of a lens upgrade for my 15-85, but I feel more the need of a new body that would help me to expand my photography experience.
in this sense:

Quoting josuek6 (Reply 7):
I think everyone would love to have a FF camera someday, but I can't justify it for what I photograph.

I agree with you. I think that this may be the right step to do instead of investing more money on a FF camera and new lenses (at the moment, all this is out of my budget).


User currently offlinejosuek6 From Costa Rica, joined Oct 2006, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Quoting teopilot (Reply 9):
Would you mind to specify what kind of shots are you talking about?
Since I wouldn't be using the 7D for aviation only...

Most of these photos were taken indoors and outdoors at night. I like landscape photography so pretty much this is what I've used my 7D for.

Quoting teopilot (Reply 9):
I was thinking of a lens upgrade for my 15-85, but I feel more the need of a new body that would help me to expand my photography experience.

It will help you improve your IQ, but I'm sure you will notice the need for L glass eventually. It happens to all of us at some point.

Quoting teopilot (Reply 9):
I think that this may be the right step to do instead of investing more money on a FF camera and new lenses

I went through this phase a few months ago, wanted to upgrade to 6D to go FF but I was not able to justify the investment. I prefer buying some good glass for my 7D. I've heard very good comments about upgrading to FF, however I think I'll try that later.


User currently offlineshufflemoomin From Denmark, joined Jun 2010, 480 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

I'm was mainly using the 7D with the EF-S 17-55 2.8 which is regarded by most as L glass in a non-L casing. It's certainly in the right price range. Despite using a top-shelf 2.8 lens, I still got occasional odd AF failures with the 7D. I understand the settings of my camera inside and out but I still have AF issues now and then. All I can add to your concerns is that low-light AF and high ISO noise issues were the reason why it was moved to a backup body for me. If that's your main concern, I recommend you take the time to read all your can on it, especially pro reviews where this is covered and see if it meets your requirements. It didn't really for me and there are better choices for me out there, but that's not to say it's not acceptable to you.

User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 768 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3905 times:

Of course everything is relative! No, the 7D is not as good a ISO performer as any of the current full screen. A lot of high ISO performance relates to pixel size, and a densely populated crop sensor will always be at a disadvantage. But it is a significant improvement over previous crops.

I've always been puzzled by AF complaints on the 7D. Yes there are options to tune the AF to your needs (plus micro-adjust capability) which may need a bit of thought. But compared to the 1D3, this is much easier, and shouldn't take long to optimise. Of course the fact that you can tune the AF opens up the possibility of tuning it incorrectly! Low light AF is not as good as the latest FF cameras, but it is better than earlier crops and the original 5D.

You will often hear statements along the line of "no one uses X anymore, cause Y is so much better" BUT this overlooks the fact that until Y came along, people were using X quite happily. There is always something better, and it is very easy to be seduced by the latest and best.

Bottom line - if high ISO photography is important, then there is no getting round the fact FF is the way to go. But at the moment there simply isn't a better crop sensor option than the 7D.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4859 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3898 times:
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Quoting ckw (Reply 12):
You will often hear statements along the line of "no one uses X anymore, cause Y is so much better" BUT this overlooks the fact that until Y came along, people were using X quite happily.

EXCELLENT point! I remind myself that all the time.

I have the 7D. I loved it for a long time. Then I jumped to FF with the 5D2 and now going back to my 7D can be a little painful because I have become so accustomed to 5D2 files. If you get the 7D, stay away from any FF raw images and you will love your 7D. Ignorance is bliss!  



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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