Aim of this article is to compare canon 7D to canon 5D mark II. In the comparison we will be considering ease of use, technology and image quality. We will concentrate on the benefits of the cameras, and let you make own decision about the merits of the two. This is a a follow up post on Full Frame vs Crop Sensor.
Benefits of 5D II over 7D
- Well, the first and the most significant advantage is a 1-2 stop advantage in noise performance over 7D (it _does_ have a larger sensor…) Images will have less noise but also better contrast especially at higher sensitivities. The images will have a cleaner outlook in general. The difference is most visible at ISO’s of 1600 and higher, where you will also have more detail in the images. I guess this is usually the most important factor for people choosing to use a 35mm sensor camera (it is for me). However, the difference in noise and image quality will only be visible at higher ISO’s and comparatively large magnifications or in very large prints or if you need to severely crop the image.
- If you need large aperture lenses for wide angle photography, you need a 35mm sensor camera. This means approximately 35mm equivalent focal lengths of 24-35 at apertures of f/1.4 to f/2. If can manage with f/2.8, you’re covered with an APS-C, if you need larger apertures, you need the 35mm sensor. The lenses that can be used to achieve the combination of wide angle and large aperture would be the 24mm f/1.4L, 28/1.8 and 35/1.4L.
- If you need the widest possible focal length, there is a 12-24mm solution for 35mm, the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 (it’s not _sharp_ in the corners, but it get’s the corners). You can’t get an angle of view this wide on the APS-C, except with a fisheye. Nikon has a full frame lens 14-24, which is also wider than the crop sensor lenses that start from 10mm.
- Also, TS-E lenses are usually most useable on a 35mm camera (TS-E 17mm f/4L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, TS-E 45mm f/2.8,TS-E 90mm f/2.8).
- You can achieve a bit more shallow DOF shooting middle distances (but in close up photography may be limited by closest focusing distance). A more shallow DOF is often an advantage in portrait photography in available light.
- Interchangeable (matte) focusing screens. These come in handy when you use manual focus lenses and need to determine point of focus (this includes for example Zeiss and Voigltänder lenses with a Canon mount, TS-E lenses and the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro). You can’t change the focus screen on the 7D (but can change it on x0D series cameras).
- You have more options of general purpose wide angle zoom lenses on a 35mm sensor camera that are weather sealed – 24-70/2.8L, 28-70/2.8L and 24-105/4L IS. Of course you can use these on an APS-C sensor camera, of which the 7D is the only one that is weather sealed, but you will lose the wide angle and thus the general purpose nature with the 1.6x crop. EF -S lenses don’t come weather sealed. The only weather proof option for this purpose on 7D would be the 17-40/4L (translating to a 27-64mm f/4 lens after the 1.6x multiplier).
Benefits of 7D over 5DII
- 7D has improved focusing system, 19 cross type focusing points and wider coverage of AF points through the image area (vs 5DII with one cross type sensor and the rest of the points are inconveniently more clustered around the center area).
- AI Servo AF can be fine tuned (and probably _has to_ be fine tuned to serve individual preferences).
- 7D has several AF point grouping methods and spot focus possibility.
- 7D can control external speedlites with the buil-in flash.
- 7D has dual axis electronic level, convenient for architectural photography, ultrawide and fishey photography (and shooting test targets…).
- 7D has custom button functions.
- 7D can shoot 8 frames per second, while with the 5DII it is 3.9 fps.
Which one to buy?
This my friend isn’t my decision to make, it’s all up to you. Think what you shoot the most, is FPS important to you? or you shoot High ISO more? Understand your needs, and answer to the question will be obvious.