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Thread: Canon 7Dii vs 5D Mark iv

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    Default Canon 7Dii vs 5D Mark iv

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Size:  140.7 KBHi all,
    I have been agonizing over the purchase of a new body to help improve my photography. I have the 70D now and have obtained some wonderful shots with it but have found a couple frustrating limitations. I am an avid birder who also like photographing what I find. I do not take the approach of going out for a photo of a particular bird, but rather am out looking for birds and like to photograph what I find. So I am not often in a blind or a situation where I can fill the frame with a bird. Much of my photography is really just snapping pics so I can study them to help me with ID of the bird. Taking pics in low light is less than satisfactory with the 70D. I find that getting autofocus is sometimes problematic and noise becomes unacceptable pretty quickly. I have both the 400 5.6 prime and the 100-400 IS 4.5-5.6 ii lenses and use both. Neither lens works with a tele-extender (1.4) except when the scene is quite bright.

    I have been looking at the 5D Mark IV pretty hard but I'm thinking maybe the 7D ii might be better for my needs. I am ignoring the costs here, and just focusing on what the camera will do for me. I am thinking the full frame may be not quite fit my needs as I would be losing that 1.6 crop. I find that I am cropping my photos pretty standardly (remember I am shooting with a 400 and not hiding in blinds and the like to get close, but am out actively walking and seeking birds). Sounds like the AF is better on the 7D as opposed to my 70d and the performance is better in low light.

    I read a review of a bird photographer who shoots similar to my style in the rain forest. He has standardly used a 7D ii and thought the new Mark IV would perform better in low light and gave it a go. He found that with the need to crop the photo (losing the advantage of the crop sensor) that by the time he had a photo of the bird that he wanted, the difference between the Mark IV and the 7D ii was negligible. He decided to stick with his 7D for now and is hoping for the next generation of 7D to have a few improvements.

    I was just wondering what folks here think about the difference between these 2 bodies and if the improvements offered in the Mark IV make it a better choice or if the 7d may still make more sense for me.
    Last edited by Michael Foster; 01-11-2017 at 09:51 AM.

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    I have been looking at the same sort of change - I already have the 7D2 and am looking at the 1Dx2 and 5DIV as next step. I also own the 6D which has arguably one of the best sensors Canon had in their inventory until the 5DIV/1Dx2. I also rented the 1Dx2 for a weekend to compare directly with the 7D2 (not long to really get to grips but enough to show me what the very best can do).

    Firstly the review you refer to was, I believe, from Glenn Bartley and I found it really helpful with great examples to support his view. Most of his shots are, I believe static birds and he uses flash to avoid the need to recover shadows and avoid high ISOs. Certainly my experience has been that in good light (whether natural or flash) the 7Dii holds its end up very well especially if you have the chance to overexpose by a stop or two and bring it back down in post processing (Daniel Cadieux who posts on this site also uses a 7D2 and he produces some excellent work with this technique). One thing to bear in mind was that Glenn Bartley was asking himself 'is it worth the cost to change 7D2 to 5DIV' - he says the 5DIV is better but the differences not worth the outlay (to him) - your question is a bit different in that you are looking to go up to that level in the first place.

    From your description, most cases will involve cropping even the APS-C image so the key question is to compare resolutions when images from APS-C and FF are cropped to the same field of view, and with the FF you will have to crop more. In such cases and in good light, the 7D2 can out-resolve even the 1Dx2. However, in my view, the higher per-pixel noise on the 7D2 means that the effective 'reach' of the 7D2 is not the 1.6 suggested by pixel count (IMO more like 1.3-ish) but bear in mind the 5DIV has 30MP (the 7D2 is 50MP equivalent) and is a better designed sensor overall. This will narrow the gap and is probably why Glen Bartley found them so comparable.
    When light levels drop the difference between 7D2 and 1Dx2/6D becomes even less and I would think the 5DIV is pretty much the same.

    One other thing you mention is AF and the 7D2 is a bit tricky to get used to and can 'miss' at times - I am sure this is less to do with it being flaky or poor design and more to do with the high pixel count means it picks up things just off your main point of interest. By contrast, the AF on the 1Dx2 just does what it is designed to do: it hits AF right where you intend it to, it locks on and drives the lens really quickly. And from comments here and elsewhere the 5DIV is more like the 1Dx2 than the 7D2.

    Overall, if image quality on static birds is your main interest then I think the 7D2 will fill your needs at a much lower cost. If you want to shoot more birds in flight then I would go for the 5DIV.
    Have you considered the 5DSR? The same resolution as the 7D2 on a better sensor with slightly better AF? And cheaper than the 5DIV.
    Last edited by Mike Hitchen; 01-11-2017 at 10:18 AM.

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    Thanks Mike for the very thoughtful reply. I wish I was somewhere near where I could rent a Mark IV but I live in rural VT so I am stuck with doing research on the net. I do like to take BIF shots as well as static shots so maybe I might be happier with the Mark IV. It does sound to me that the performance of the Mark IV in low light edges out the 7D if cropping weren't a factor. I will probably invest in longer glass at some point, which would then decrease the factor of needing to crop as much as I do. I did look at the 5DSR, but I am willing to spend more for a body that I don't think I would grow out of and will perform for me as my photography improves. I have really enjoyed having the touchscreen on the 70D, so that is another plus for the Mark IV. I am also a bit hard on the camera as I am out in the field in all weather, so the rugged build of the Mark IV is also a factor to consider. Thanks again for your input, it really does help.

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    Hi Mike,

    Welcome to BPN!

    Let me help you understand this issue by first debunking the myth behind the crop factor. Crop factor does not increase your focal length, nor does it increase the "reach" by 1.6. What determines the reach is ONLY the pixel size. For e.g. a Full Frame 5DSR has the same reach as the 7D2. So delete the concept for crop factor from your head.

    Next, to determine how many pixels you would have with the 5D4 if you crop it to the same FOV of your 7D2. it would be 30/1.6^2 ~ 12 Mega-pixels (or the ratio of the pixel sizes). This may sound lower than the 7D2's 20 mega-pixels but each pixel on the 7D2 is much smaller and has lower DR/signal to noise ratio, this means you need to apply stronger noise reduction if you are shooting in low light. NR will reduce details and soften your files. If you have fast lens you may not need high ISO as much but with a slower lens it becomes a necessity usually.

    The other factor is focus performance, the 7D2 AF is not very accurate and stable, especially with slower lenses like yours. If you get the focus just a tad off the image will look soft and require strong sharpening which in turn will aggravate noise. So while in a controlled test the 7D2 might be OK, under real field conditions it unfortunately falls short IMO. That's not to say it's a bad camera or you can't make great shots with it, you can make great shots with any camera even your current one. But if you have a choice between a 7D2 and a 5D4, it's pretty much a no brainer for me. It also depends on what you want the images for, many online reviewers publish small size images on their site which will look just fine with any camera, but when it comes to printing or displaying at large size the small-sensor cameras usually don't fair well.

    Having said that if you are serious about bird photography, I would save $$$ and invest in a big white too, maybe before the body.

    If you want to learn more about the 5D4 read my review here http://arihazeghiphotography.com/blo...-field-review/
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    Thank you Arash. I did find your review and am about half way through it right now. I am still struggling with understanding some of the finer points of the technical aspects, but can easily see the results from the photo's and charts. I think I might just spring for the 5D4. It sounds like a camera that I can grow into. Hanging out in the forum here will give me plenty to work on. I haven't settled yet, but am leaning to the FF body. I would like some of the bigger glass, but will wait on that for now. I will read the rest of your review tonight when I get home.

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    Hi Mike I think overall the 5DMK4 is going to be a much better choice for you because it is also much more tolerant to user errors that we sometimes make. Because of the sensor's much better DR compared to the 7D2, if you accidentally underexpose your images you can easily recover them in post whereas with the 7D2 recovery isn't easy or even possible. Another example is shooting BIF, with the 7D2 the AF is more twitchy and cannot hold on the subject very well, with a lot of experience and technique one can overcome some of these limitations but for beginners it's much easier to make great shots with the 5D4. hope this helps
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    Default Canon 7Dii vs 5D Mark iv

    I had a 1DX and a5D3. I read so many good reviews and saw good pics posted with the 7D2, and went for it thinking the advantage of the "1.6X crop" factor, but I found the performance of the 7D2 disappointing against both the 1DX and 5D3. I ended up returning it. I have since updated my 1DX to the mark II, and the 5D3 to the 5D4. The higher megapixels and the quality of image the 5D4 are amazing for perched birds. For bird in flight, nothing would compare with the 1DX II.

    If money is an issue, I'd consider getting a used 1DX. I sold mine for as little as $2500 because it had many scrubbed marks, but the camera was perfectly fine at ~130K shutter count. You can't find even lower shutter count may in the $3000 - $3500 now I think.


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    Last edited by Loi Nguyen; 01-13-2017 at 02:27 AM.

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    My experience (although still early days with the 5D4 with only about 2000 images shot compared to 111,000 on 7D2 before selling it) mirrors everything Arash has said. There are two main issues with the 7D2 and that is small pixels and neurotic, bi-polar, twitchy AF...I've come up with all sorts of terms to describe the 7D2 AF over time and none of them are flattering!!

    I have more experience with the even lower MP 1DX2 (and 1DX before that). Even comparing the 20MP of 1DX2 to the 20MP of the 7D2 (crammed into the smaller sensor) you will usually not realize anywhere close to the theoretical 1.6 advantage. As soon as you hit ISO 800 and above I think almost all the advantage is gone. I can view a 1DX2 file in LR at 2:1 and it looks as good as a 7D2 file at 1:1.

    Also as mentioned the 7D2 AF is just not consistent enough to trust it to do what you want. Sure even the 1DX2 misses frames but it is a lot better and more consistent than the 7D2. So far with the 5D4 I'm finding the AF to be very good and no odd twitchy behaviour like the 7D2. Remember the 7D2's behaviour is even on perched subjects and I've even tested it on stationary tree branches and seen the fluctuations in the VF as the Servo seems to fight itself all the time.

    Another thing to remember is the 5D4 has very good f/8 AF and so far I've found that using it with the 100-400II and 1.4TCIII can produce very good results both in IQ and in AF. Still early days for me to say how it holds up to the 1DX2 AF at f/8....Arash's review shows it isn't up to those standards but I still think it is very good and much better than the older single-point f/8 cameras like 5D3, 5DSR and 7D2 and even 1DX.

    If you shoot the 100-400II/1.4TCIII on the 5D4 you will have more "reach" than shooting the 100-400II bare on the 7D2. I would argue that the high ISO performance and f/8 ability of the 5D4 makes that f/8 combo better on it than the f/5.6 combo on the 7D2 in all but the best of light and low ISO.

    Hope that helps....I would hands down buy the 5D4 if you are okay with 7FPS...otherwise for a similar budget you can get a used 1DX which is still a camera I use a lot despite owning the 1DX2 and 5D4 (although usually as my second body next to 1DX2).

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    This is an interesting thread, I am heading to Florida in 2 weeks! I have a new 5D mark iv ( couple months old) and a 7D2. At the time I purchased the 5D4 I was think primarily landscapes and close birds on perch! Now Im curious as to how they will compare for example with a 500 f4ii x1.4 iii and a 100-400 ii! Im like many when it comes to my 7D2 as I have shot some really nice shots but at times its left me scratching my head! I also have a 1D mark iv that I shelved when I got my 7d2 and I found the camera itself more user friendly! Maybe I should have put more effort into the 1D4?

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    Just as an update, I purchased the 5D4 and can't be happier. There is no doubt that the quality of my photos has drastically improved. The one thing I didn't really get before I purchase it was how much better the 5d4 AF works. If I put an extender on my 70Dm, it was a crapshoot if it would be able to AF. Now I can walk around with the extender on, confident that I will be able to get a shot. I just returned from a weeks trip to Georgia and gave the camera a workout. I am still learning how to best set the camera up for me, and how to access some of the key functions, but it is really a huge upgrade for me. One of the things I was looking for was better performance in low light, so I thought I would share one of the images I got that tested that. This was a Great Horned Owl that flew in after an afternoon of kayak fishing with my son on St. Simons Island. We were just getting out of the kayaks, the sun had set, and this owl decided to perch on the top of a gazebo right at dusk. I couldn't believe it. It let me approach quite close. This pic was cropped about 40% (should have taken it at full zoom). 5D4, 100-400 IS ii, 300 mm, 1/320 ISO 3200, 5.6, handheld. Cropped 40%, levels, sharpening and luminance. Not sure how it will translate to JPG as it lives in Lightroom as a DNG and I always wonder how well a JPG will render the image. I could have never obtained this image with my 70D and the noise would have been overpowering if I tried. I am thrilled to be able to capture such images.
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    I hired the 5D4 this weekend to compare with my 7D2, and as luck would have it the weather was not particularly good and the birds weren't very active. But over the last three days and 3,000 shots, and before I have looked at most of the shots in detail I can offer my thoughts.
    Like you, I am largely and opportunistic shooter and birds in flight is a challenge I may willingly seek out at times but it is not my main focus - I guess you could say I am the Art Morris behavioural side of things rather than Arash's raptors in flight.

    During the weekend I used both bodies with the 400DO LIS MkII, with and without the 1.4x and 2x tc, and with the 100-400 LIS MkII with/without the 1.4xtc. Where time permitted I took opportunities to alternate quickly with different subjects and different lighting just to see how they coped.


    If most of your images need decent amounts of cropping (and it sounds like they do) I would say that the image detail is the least reason I would choose to buy the 5D4 - as you mentioned after cropping more heavily on the 5D it pretty much cancels out. But the upshot is that the 5DIV gives nothing away...crop factor 'reach' be damned...and there is something about those 5D4 images....

    Where the 5D4 wins out is the solidity of focus - it just seems to 'hit it' and you get more images to choose from if only because it focuses better. Before I got my hands on the 5DIV I thought the 7D2 was quick to focus, but the 5DIV leaves it standing for speed even when used with or without extenders. And the 5DIV hunts for focus far fewer times (sometimes I could not even work out why the 7D2 was hunting at all).
    On premium lenses like the 400 DOii and 2x extender (making it f8), the 5DIV has all AF points available (7D2 is centre point only) which is a massive improvement on the 7D2. With the 100-400 and 1.4x tc the 5DIV has only has a horizontal strip of AF points but still more useful than the 7D2 single point. And the 5DIV clearly out performs the 7D2 with the 100-400 plus 1.4x tc on AF speed.
    The downside of the 5DIV (and this applies to other FF cameras like the 1Dx2) is that the subject is smaller in the frame so the AF point covers proportionately more of it so you need a bit more skill and care on placing the AF point - it then becomes the vagaries of your skill versus the much-documented vagaries of the 7D2 AF.

    Firing a burst, the 5DIV cleared the buffer far quicker which is so helpful when photographing sequences of behaviour.

    Before I tried the 5DIV I was seriously considering the 1Dx2, but now I am finding it hard to justify the expense. Having said that I can get a low-use second hand 1Dx (original) for less than the 5DIV...but the 1Dx is limited to centre point only with and f8 lens.
    On top of all of that, the 5DIV offers a camera that fills many reasons I looked for in the 1Dx2 in a smaller, lighter body (slightly lighter in fact than the 7D2!!).

    Having said all that, this weekend also showed me that the 7D2 is still a fine camera up to 1600 ISO (I am not as demanding as some on this forum!) but the 5DIV fills many of the frustrating little niggles I have with the 7D2 - and even if I do get the 5DIV I may well keep the 7D2 so I have a two-camera set up such as the 400DO on the 5DIV and the 100-400 on the 7D2.

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    Thanks for the update and all the info Mike. Question: you mentioned that on the 100-400 II the 5DIV + 1.4 TC "has only has a horizontal strip of AF points but still more useful than the 7D2 single point" How many AF point would you say were active, and was it only a single horizontal line of points? That's a bummer, was hoping that combo would allow all points at AF with that lens + TC.

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    Hi Roger - with the 5DIV, 100-4000 and 1.4x tc there is a single line of 7 AF points active plus one above and below in the middle. So you could not use the AF zone to focus on the eyes of a standing subject (unless you turned the camera portrait) but it does help with things like birds in flight to focus on the leading edge.
    The camera manual pages 115-125 explains which AF points are possible with lens/tc combinations

    http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0/030002...-mk4-im-en.pdf

    Even the 1dx has only AF with centre point at f8 so it still a step up.

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    great Mike, very helpful. Just an aside, thanks to everyone discussing the 7DII vs 5DIV on this forum. Super helpful and I'm stoked to get a 5DIV. Just saving the $ :-)

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    Picked up a 5DIV, so far its been fantastic. Love the AF, and the 100-400 II with 1.4III TC is spot on. This shot is without the TC, but heavily cropped and the 30MP holds up well.
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    beauty!

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    I am loving my 5D mark IV. Just getting used to it.Name:  Tufted Duck 14.3.17.2.Edit.jpg
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