Jump to content


Photo

Canon 5d MK2 vs. Canon 7d


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Tom Savige

Tom Savige
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Student
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:21 AM

Hey Guys,

Im after either a Canon 5d MK2 or a 7d. What would you guys reccommend i buy?
The 7d shoots 24p full HD and 60p 720 but the 5d MK2 has the full 35mm sized sensor and I was planning on using a f1.2 lens with the camera.

Thanks, Tom
  • 0

#2 Jean Dodge

Jean Dodge
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 110 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:57 AM

As always, the answer is "better how?" and "better for whom?"

This is the answer that could probably be tagged onto every post with "vs" in the subject heading: SHOOT YOUR OWN TEST AND JUDGE THE RESULTS FOR YOURSELF (and then post the results for others....)

So yeah, borrow or rent them together and do a serious test in the conditions that fit your project/s. That said, here are some gross generalizations:

If you are shooting low light, you are going to like the 5D better. The 7D has the benefit of newer firmware and 24p is indeed slower (meaning longer exposure per frame) than 30p, but the larger sensor on the 5D has an interesting factor going for it, and that is the ratio of usable photosites to the ratio of unusable area on the sensor - the dividers, as it were between each little lens that makes a pixel. The better that ratio, the smoother the image and that adds up to less noise at higher ISOs. (Keep in mind however that the newer pro canons will improve on the low light/ high ISO stuff as they are released, too and may quickly outpace both of these prosumer cameras.)

If you are planning on finishing to 35mm film for theatrical presentation, you are going to want to shoot 24/25p and should pick the 7D if you are shooting right away.

But be advised that the 24/25p firmware update for the 5D mk2 is now officially in the works from canon, but may not be here for a few more months. They are saying "first half of 2010" which seems to mean "after we sell all these 7Ds in the warehouse for christmas."

If you are hoping to use some PL mount lenses, go with the 7D. Many cine lenses will be compatible, and people have built PL adapters already that fit longer focal lengths and some zooms as well. The wide lenses that are not retrofocus are a problem, since the rear element does not clear the SLR mirror.

What are your intentions, who is your audience and what presentation format are you hoping for? What is your budget/ experience level and artistic intentions? What will the size/ breakdown of your crew be?

What lenses do you already own? What is your editing workflow likely to be? All of these are factors you need to consider in choosing one camera over the other.

Lots of questions before you can say one is better than another. Also, keep in mind the overall cost of your entire shooting/ editing package and plan accordingly. The money you save buying a 7D can be applied towards getting a better follow focus or a better monitor, etc. and possibly even some more lights which you will need to shoot indoors with....

Edited by Jean Dodge, 28 October 2009 - 11:00 AM.

  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11936 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:09 PM

The only thing I can point out is that the full frame sensor on the 5D is difficult as regards focus. There's depth-of-field control then there's just complete insanity and I think the 5D may well be in the latter group. An APS sized sensor is much more like 35mm motion and may be a better bet from that perspective.

The only thing that would dissuade me is if the aliasing on the 7D is worse than the 5D. the 5D's chroma aliasing really is absolutely execrable, so point both at a fine-grained chart and see what funny rainbow patterns result. I would not buy the 5D on that basis alone, so unless the 7D is considerably better, which I strongly suspect it isn't, then I'd eschew either.

P
  • 0

#4 kyle merryman

kyle merryman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 30 October 2009 - 01:44 AM

As always, the answer is "better how?" and "better for whom?"

This is the answer that could probably be tagged onto every post with "vs" in the subject heading: SHOOT YOUR OWN TEST AND JUDGE THE RESULTS FOR YOURSELF (and then post the results for others....)

So yeah, borrow or rent them together and do a serious test in the conditions that fit your project/s. That said, here are some gross generalizations:

If you are shooting low light, you are going to like the 5D better. The 7D has the benefit of newer firmware and 24p is indeed slower (meaning longer exposure per frame) than 30p, but the larger sensor on the 5D has an interesting factor going for it, and that is the ratio of usable photosites to the ratio of unusable area on the sensor - the dividers, as it were between each little lens that makes a pixel. The better that ratio, the smoother the image and that adds up to less noise at higher ISOs. (Keep in mind however that the newer pro canons will improve on the low light/ high ISO stuff as they are released, too and may quickly outpace both of these prosumer cameras.)

If you are planning on finishing to 35mm film for theatrical presentation, you are going to want to shoot 24/25p and should pick the 7D if you are shooting right away.

But be advised that the 24/25p firmware update for the 5D mk2 is now officially in the works from canon, but may not be here for a few more months. They are saying "first half of 2010" which seems to mean "after we sell all these 7Ds in the warehouse for christmas."

If you are hoping to use some PL mount lenses, go with the 7D. Many cine lenses will be compatible, and people have built PL adapters already that fit longer focal lengths and some zooms as well. The wide lenses that are not retrofocus are a problem, since the rear element does not clear the SLR mirror.

What are your intentions, who is your audience and what presentation format are you hoping for? What is your budget/ experience level and artistic intentions? What will the size/ breakdown of your crew be?

What lenses do you already own? What is your editing workflow likely to be? All of these are factors you need to consider in choosing one camera over the other.

Lots of questions before you can say one is better than another. Also, keep in mind the overall cost of your entire shooting/ editing package and plan accordingly. The money you save buying a 7D can be applied towards getting a better follow focus or a better monitor, etc. and possibly even some more lights which you will need to shoot indoors with....


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

alot to ponder indeed.
i've just recently stumbled on the new reality of still cameras with HD,
first with seeing an add for a Nikon, and then days soon after acting in a film with the
Canon 5D being used by the cameraman, with his 4 or so extra lens choices
for a well done student film:



this past week, i came across an article, in which the reviewers were favoring the
Panasonic Lumix GH-1 to the Canon or Nikon versions, especially for it's AF focusing in decent light:

http://www.photograp...onic-lumix-gh1/

i've yet to research it, but a Pentax K-7 with HD just came out.....
scratching my head of these choices i am.
  • 0

#5 Joseph Hung

Joseph Hung

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 October 2009 - 02:19 PM

Yes I know exactly what you mean! So many things to consider. What it came down to for me, is what took priority, video or photo? What are the most repeated aspects of your shooting style? What sort of productions do you have in mind? As the previous posters have already stated, it's what you do that will determine the camera.

The Canon 7D is pretty sweet, and I think it's better than the 5DMKII. It offers a few extra video caps like PAL, HDMI out during preview and record, faster processors, 24p at 1080 and 60p at 720 for slow mo, and of course Canon is superior in glass and more accessible. It has a smaller cropped sensor, but it's closer to the 35mm academy size so cine lenses would be a decent match here. And its cheaper! It's at a good price point too, but I wouldn't get the kit lens, go for the L series, they are expensive, but better builds and glass. It does have a few drawbacks though, like the H.264 codec, which I am not a fan of for compressing full quality HD video, even though it has a higher bit rate but requires high speed expensive CF cards.

I got the Lumix GH1 before the 7D dropped. It's a good camera overall. It does have its various limitations for video though - many forums highlight these, such as no HDMI out for preview and record, AVCHD not the best implementation that Panasonic has done, no audio controls (if you are shooting cinema, you have to record to separate audio anyways, such as an H4N), doesn't do PAL, limited lens options, and few others. But alot of these issues could change easily with a firmware update, giving them time to come out with options/lens lines, and Panasonic letting go of their protection over their video camcorder lines. Except for Audio though, that's a redesign inside and out. Overall I am happy with this camera though, and have gotten really stunning footage with it.

Ever since the 7D was released, I've been obsessing over it and am waffling about selling my Lumix and getting the 7D. It would definitely give better images than the Lumix. But then there was one thing that stopped me. The 7D does not have an articulated LCD. I'm an indy filmmaker with a lifelong penchant for photography in all its forms. Not only do I set up sets with cameras on sticks and dollies, etc., but I also like to shoot from the hip and on-the-fly to capture different perspectives and feels. The fact that the 7D does not have an articulated LCD was a slap in the face from Canon. I'm sorry, but they dropped the ball on that one, BIG TIME. I guess everyone they interviewed for the making of the 7D were all photographers and not video/film people. Why come out with an almost fully capable video DSLR that blows all others in that class out of the water, without an articulated LCD? All videographers understand the utmost importance of the articulated LCD/monitor for the cameras they are using. Canon fully understands the purpose of this but didn't put it into the design on the 7D. A real shame honestly. You can't compose shots from the hip, low, or high, or even shoot yourself, because you can't see the LCD without being right behind the camera like a photographer.

So for me, since video came as first priority, and photo came as a very close second, the articulated LCD meant a lot to me, and thus I have been leaning towards keeping my Lumix GH1, until something else comes out that has all of these features.

Regardless the GH1 is great, it shoots great video, and great stills. There is room for improvement, and by then, I'll be ready to upgrade to another camera.

I'm hoping the online petition to Panasonic will get them to fix other issues such as no HDMI out, better AVCHD compression codec, etc. through a firmware update. This could happen, and it would make the Lumix even better.

Hope this helps.
  • 0

#6 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 30 October 2009 - 04:45 PM

My impressions from shooting both. Full disclosure, I'm a 7D owner.

5D: Great image out of the box. Better dynamic range, sharpness, more "magic" than the 7D. Looks awesome in 1080P. With L series or Leica lenses, it looks ridiculously good. Bad aliasing on fine patterns. 30P (not 29.97, but straight 30!) sync is a nightmare. Bottom line, amazing MOS camera for the money. 24P firmware coming next year!

7D: Decent image, softer than the 5D at 1080. Less dynamic range, higher noise floor, slower ISO. With fast lenses, definitely usable in low-light (800 ISO). Have not seen much aliasing yet, but have only had it a few days. Some banding in out of focus areas. Good value for the money. No regrets, but wish it had an articulated screen!

GH1: Have not shot the GH1, only seen transcoded footage from it. Love that you can put PL lenses on it, Illya Freidman's Hot Rod adapter is brilliant (must get CSH version for my 7D!). Love the articulated screen. But I see a lot of nasty banding in the out of focus areas. Have not personally seen macro blocking in transcoded footage, only in web footage. But it worried me enough not to buy it. Hopefully there's a firmware update that addresses some of this. 24P wrapped in non-standard pulldown is really, really dumb.
  • 0

#7 Peter J DeCrescenzo

Peter J DeCrescenzo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 620 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR, USA www.peterdv.com Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/

Posted 30 October 2009 - 05:26 PM

... The only thing that would dissuade me is if the aliasing on the 7D is worse than the 5D. the 5D's chroma aliasing really is absolutely execrable, so point both at a fine-grained chart and see what funny rainbow patterns result. I would not buy the 5D on that basis alone, so unless the 7D is considerably better, which I strongly suspect it isn't, then I'd eschew either.


Yes, Barry Green's res chart tests concur:
http://www.dvxuser.c...ad.php?t=186334
http://www.dvxuser.c...ad.php?t=187165

Meanwhile, certain DPs are having fun (and probably making some money, too) despite the very real weaknesses of these cams; for example:
http://hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/
http://www.przyborsk...0x540_H264b.mov
http://www.dvxuser.c...mp;postcount=95

Many other examples -- both good and awful -- are available online. YMMV.
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

The Slider

CineLab

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Opal

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Opal

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio