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Which takes better pictures

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by johnf3f, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. johnf3f

    johnf3f Active Member

    HELP!I am currently musing on a new/used camera purchase. The camera is to be used for wildlife/action photography so I have limited my choices to the only two Canons within my budget, namely a 7d or second hand 1d mk3. The frame rates, metering and autofocus on either seem to be up to my requirements (or better) and prices are similar - the 7d being slightly dearer with a battery grip and a few batteries.
    What I cannot find on the web is a fair and unbiased assesment of their relative image qualities. I know the 1d mk3 does good prints up to A3 but would the 7d compare. I am not a fan of higher than necessary pixel counts but will use whatever is necessary.
    It will be used, primarily on 70-200 F2.8, 100-400 and 600f4 at the lowest iso the light/subject will allow.
    Does anybody have experience of both cameras and what would you advise.
  2. T_Sargeant

    T_Sargeant Well-Known Member

    Personally I'd go for the 7D myself, a 2nd hand 1 series is likely to have seen heavy pro use. Lot's of other reasons but I'm sure other people will be along in a moment :)
  3. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

  4. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I'd rather use my 7D at the higher ISOs than my Dad's(or a mate's) 1D3 though. There's more to it than the sensor I think.

    The 7D seems hide noise rather well - would anyone like to hazard a guess at what ISO I shot this at?
    (taken purely to get a little bit more familiar with a lens that's new to me)

    It's been a while since I messed about with a 1D3 though. Comparing one to a 7D for the sake of my own curiosity was on my 'things I might try one of these days' list. I suspect the 7D will hold it's own well enough for my needs for AF and high ISOs. It'll make lenses even longer too :cool:
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    No it won't Andy. [​IMG]
  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The size of the sensor and the subject in mind occured to me, for the apparent increase in focal length may well be an advantage in this type of photography. The poster has not stated which body he is currently using, if it is say a 40D there may be little point in shelling out a large sum of money for a very marginal improvement in technical quality. The notion that one camera takes better pictures than another is just that, the camera merely records what the user effectively tells it to do. Most camera are capable of producing a decent A3 size print, when viewed at a normal viewing distance, we do have a tendency to put our noses on the paper!

    Normally it would be more advisable to spend on lenses, but the OP would seem to have that covered already.
  7. johnf3f

    johnf3f Active Member

    Thanks for all of your observations. For reference I am currently using a 5d(mk1) and 50d. Both produce decent images with relatively static or large subjects, the main problem I am having is getting smaller and faster moving subjects such as birds in sharp focus. On things such as Deer and Rally cars both cameras focus almost 100%.
    Going over what has been said I think I may be better waiting & saving until the 1d mk4 is available second hand or perhaps a 5d mk3?
  8. Wheelman

    Wheelman Well-Known Member

    I am in a similar situation (see post in Canon room if interested) and have almost decided that the 7D is probably the best bet the only slight downside being it doesn't Auto focus at F8.

    This is finally swayed by the fact that the 1D MkIII bodies I have looked at so far don't seem to have any provenance. If they are early serial numbers there is no paperwork to confirm the mirror box fix has been done and if later numbers there is no paperwork to confirm the March 09 check and re-calibration has been done.

    I know I could probably check with Canon through CPS, but I do not really fancy buying an expensive body only to have to send it back to Canon before I can use it properly.

    I will probably purchase a 7D in the next couple of weeks as I have a Car Trial on the 21st and Sprint meeting on the 4th so will need to have a play before then.

    I may still add a 1D III later, if I can afford it and can find one with the correct paperwork.
  9. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Are you sure?

    You may be confusing the fact that cameras often won't auto-focus with lenses with maximum apertures slower the f:5.6. As the aperture remains open until the shot is taken, in terms of AF it's irrelevant what aperture you set provided that the maximum aperture allows enough light in while you're focusing.

    (There may be some limitations with continuous AF functionality, however the camera should be able to AF at f:30, never mind f:8.
  10. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I had assumed that Wheelman (Colin) was referring to the problem of using a 7D to AF with an extender between his lens and camera.

    If his lens is an EF 400 f5.6L (or EF 100-400 zoom at the long end) the only bodies which allow a Canon extender and the possibility of AF are the 1 series. On other bodies, taping the pins of a Canon extender may allow hesitant/hunting AF but that's about it, and the noises from the lens suggest that the USM is taking a beating. Using other extenders which don't report the effective aperture correctly has other problems.
  11. Wheelman

    Wheelman Well-Known Member


    Maybe not explained all that well (it is Friday!)

    So an expanded version of what I meant:-

    The 1(and 3) series auto focus works with lenses where the effective aperture is F8 or larger (numerically smaller)

    The 7D as with all other Canons will auto focus with lenses where the effective aperture is F5.6 or larger (numerically smaller)

    As most (all?) Canon lenses are F5.6 or larger the only times this is a factor is where extenders are used. If I use a 1.4 on my 100-400 F5.6 it will still auto focus (albeit only with the centre point) on a 1 series as the effective aperture is F8, but not on my 5D or the 7D.

    I could still use manual focus and there are ways of tricking the camera into thinking the max aperture is F5.6 which is how some of the slower independent glass seems to work.

    As I do occasionally use the 100-400 with a 1,4 and a 300 F4 with a 2x it would have been nice if it did focus at F8, but as its rather cheaper than a 1D Mk IV...

    EDIT And after that Malcolm beat me to it :D
  12. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    It is quite possible that buying a later camera body may yield no improvement in the focusing in the situations that you describe, these are the very kind of circumstances that cameras struggle in. Simply a small light coloured object on a relatvely light coloured background, trying to lock onto a moving target.
  13. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I do bird photography of mainly wild foul, and at quite long ranges and frequently on water or marshy terrain. The viewing angle is often quite close to grazing, and under these conditions, a small and correctly sited AF sensor is vital. My 1D Mk III gives me this, (more so than my 5d or 30D) and I frequently use it with an EF 300 f2.8L with 2x extender.

    One new feature which the 1D Mk IV has (and 7D, I believe) is Spot Focus, and this could be ideal for my typical usage.
  14. johnf3f

    johnf3f Active Member

    Thanks for all your advice folks!
    I have been playing with a friend's 1d MKiii, - the af is superb - don't know what people were complaining about! BIF no problem! (Though I should say this was a late example) Tried the 7d - cracking camera at the price (nothing compares at this level and one of the best viewfinders going) though I was still nor certain what to do, after spending some time thinking I have gone for the NUCLEAR OPTION and bought a 1d mkiv!
    What a camera! Nothing is perfect buit this is close - fine detail and excellent resolution for landscape and a wildlife camera to die for! Could it be better - YES of course it could - a full frame sensor would be nice - but then so would a 1.6 crop sensor! 1.3 is a good compromise, though not perfect for everyone though it makes my 600 f4 into an effective 780 without converters. I have only three (small) criticisims:
    1. Weight - does it really need to be so heavy - I am currently carrying upto 50lbs on my back - I don't need more! Do Canon use lead in their 1D models?
    2. It does so much and is so versatile that I have actually read the manual! This is the 1st time I have needed to do this with ANY camera! (8 EOS models)
    3. Wonderful though it is I cannot (quite) justify the price.
    Final note, if you can sell the husband/wife for a decent price - get a 1d mkiv! You will feel guilty - but it's worth it!

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