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7D vs. 5D Mark II...I know it's been done to death...but...

Zvia Shever , Jan 10, 2011; 02:30 p.m.

I shoot with a 40D, 17-55 2.8 IS and 70-200 4L IS. As it's my big 4-0 in a few months, instead of the typical big party, I'd rather spend my hubby's money on a new body. I'm looking at the 5D Mark II or the 7D.
I like the 40D and have always shot with a crop, but getting the itch to switch to FF. I mostly shoot my kids and vacation travel.

Reasons for 5D Mark II: Landscape photography
* Grand Canyon in March
* Yellowstone and Tetons in June
* Arches and Canyonlands in October

Reasons for 7D: Kids
* Tennis tournaments
* Kids running around
* Tetons wildlife

What to do?
Money is a consideration. If I go with the FF, I may have to sell the 40D and I'd definitely sell the 17-55 to buy the 5D and 24-105L as a walk around, then rent a wide angle for my trips and eventually buy when I have enough $$'s. If I go with the 7D, I may be able to keep the 40D as a back up, I'd keep the 17-55 and then buy a wide angle (probably 10-22).

I've thought about this a lot and so far the best option I've come up with would be to buy the 5D and 24-105L, sell the 17-55 and keep the 40D to use with my 70-200 (love that lens). I guess I'd rent a wide angle for the 5D until I could afford to buy one. The issues with this combo though are 1. Price and 2. That's pretty heavy to lug around on vacation.

Any thoughts? Thanks, Zvia


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Peter E , Jan 10, 2011; 03:14 p.m.

I have both and would consider the 5DII the better all-around camera. With the 24-105 and the 70-200 you have enough lens coverage. Keep in mind that 24 mm is a pretty strong wideangle on a FF body. Keep the 40D to get more reach for wildlife on the 200 mm lens.

Harry Joseph , Jan 10, 2011; 03:15 p.m.

Truthfully, I would not upgrade from the 40 to the 7D. The cameras are too close in years although the 7D offers significant improvements. If I could swing it, I would upgrade directly to the 5D Mk II.
If you never shot FF before then you are in for a treat. I used a 30D for 5 years before switching to the 7D, but in between I purchased the 5D classic. The original 5D is still a great camera so I did not see any reason for me to update to the Mk II, yet . The 7D has weather sealing, Video, grid, advanced AF, LV, quiet shutter, 6+ frames per sec etc. plus it was cheaper so I went for that.
With that said, I would sell the 17-55mm, keep the 70-200 and get the 24-105 which is a very good lens. Keep the 40D as a back up since you can use the 24-105mm on that too, only now you are talking 38.4 -168mm because of the crop factor which is a great reach for travel. If you want true wide angle use the 24-105mm on the 5D beleive me you wont regret it.
If you want to go really wide angle you can maybe get a used prime like the Sigma 20mm f1.8 ($520) which gets pretty good reviews on the 40D that equates to 32mm. For wide angle work I usually don't go under 20mm unles I want to create special effects, there is just too much distortion.

Marlon Kuhnreich , Jan 10, 2011; 03:32 p.m.

Like Peter I have both cameras... I use the 7D for most of the catalogue work I do and the 5DII for anything else. Sometimes when my 5D isn't available and I use my 7D I still get results I'm happy with, but I always wish I had my 5D. Whenever you open up a shot taken on the 5D in Photoshop you immediately notice the difference in the details, the contrast and the color. It's just that much better.

Are you going to notice the difference in pictures of your kids? Not really... I take pics of my daughter in P mode most of the time, lol... or with my iPhone. But your vacation pics and landscape pics will be amazing.

Dave Kim , Jan 10, 2011; 04:27 p.m.

I upgraded from the 40D to 7D, and am quite happy, that said when I took my 40D in for service (sticky shutter button) and found out that for the price I paid for my 7D I could have upgraded to a 5D MkII I was sick. Actually I'm better off with the 7D, I'm often shooting at the long end of my 70-200mm (Kids Sports) , do you find yourself past the 150mm mark often? if so then the 7D would be the sensible choice. Although, the 5D with a 24-105 and 70-200 would make a great combo, remember a 24mm on a FF is a lot wider than your 17mm on the 40D, and the 300mm f4 IS is a great lens at a bargain price if you need the long FL.

Mike Hitchen , Jan 10, 2011; 04:28 p.m.

Deciding between two such excellent cameras can be an emotional decision as much as a rational one. So my first question would be ' why do you ahve the itch for the 5D?' Is it the constant talk of 'crop frame' (suggesting somehow 'inferior') versus the 'full frame'? Or is it the talk of the image superiority of the 35mm sensor?
When talking of image superiority, what size will you be printing? Although I have not used either (yet!) I am coming to the same decision point as you and the impression I get is that up to A4 (about 12x10) you are unlikely to see any realistic difference - do you want to pay the extra for little or no practical difference? You may be able to see the differences at 100% on-screen a 6-foot print! Is this irrelevant to you?

My preference would be for the 7D because of the better autofocus for wildlife. But it seems you have more of a bent towards landscape - the 5D would still make an excellent wildlife camera, the only difference being that your keeper rate may be lower than with the 7D. From the way you word your post I feel that if you get the 7D you may at times have that 'what if' feeling, soemthing you would not have if you got the 5DII.

Zvia Shever , Jan 10, 2011; 04:40 p.m.

I guess my only true concern going from crop to FF is the speed burst.
It's nice to have 6 fps when shooting my kids' sports etc.
Am I going to see a difference between the 2 cameras in landscape shots printed out to 16x24?...that's the largest I'd print. If not, then sticking with a crop may be better as I'd get to keep the high fps and length...but if the image quality is so much better with the 5D on 16x24 prints, then that's another issue.

BTW...although the best option is to keep the 40D for when I need it, I just don't see myself lugging round 2 bodies when hiking 1/2 the day. That's pretty heavy on my 100lb fame.

Alan Bryant , Jan 10, 2011; 05:07 p.m.

Truthfully, I would not upgrade from the 40 to the 7D. The cameras are too close in years although the 7D offers significant improvements. If I could swing it, I would upgrade directly to the 5D Mk II.

Since the 5D II is an older camera than the 7D, I'm not sure what this means....

Nathan Gardner , Jan 10, 2011; 06:17 p.m.

I can understand why both are appealing. Here's my take: Sure the 5D II is FF and would be amazing at landscapes, but the 7D is also very very good at landscapes, in fact, probably indistinguishable in moderate sized prints. Here's where I think the 7D wins if you can only have one; it has better AF and a faster frame rate, which makes it better at kids/sports/wildlife. Another big thing to consider is that with the 5D, you lose focal length compared to the 7D, but with the 7D you lose ot on the wide end, HOWEVER, wide glass is much cheaper than long glass. Buying a 10-22mm for the 7D to act as the 16-35mm would on the 5D is much more affordable than buying a 400mm, 500mm, or 600mm lens for the 5D to take the place of a moderate telephoto on the 7D with the 1.6x crop factor. So if you can only have one, the 7D is what I would choose.

Zvia Shever , Jan 10, 2011; 06:58 p.m.

Nathan...your argument for the 7D makes sense as I could buy a 7D and 10-22 for the same price as the 5D alone. Still back to one question though. In a 16"x24" print, will there be a noticeable difference in quality to the naked eye between the 7D vs. 5D?

Thanks for all the responses! Zvia

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