7D vs 5Dii Portrait Tests

Here they are- the first side by side portrait tests I shot this afternoon. For the most part, there are some things each camera does a little different. It seems to me the 7D is more sensitive to green light and the 5Dii more to red. I tried to be as careful as possible and took the following pre-cautions:

No support for 7D RAW files yet (I know I can convert them but I dont feel like RAW is fair, so we shot on JPEG)

1. Same Lens was used
2. Same Exposure Settings were used
3. Same lighting conditions were used
4. Tried to get same pose, though we were not perfect- obviously.
5. Same picture styles were used.
6. Lighting Optimizer was the same in both camera in all images compared (either off or normal)
7. Same JPEG Quality was used in all images compared.
8. All images were taken on Manual.
9. Same color space was used- (I converted it to sRGB for comparison)
10. Saved on the absolute highest quality, so these images may take a while to load.

There are a few things I would have done better, but this should give you a good idea of what we are dealing with.
A few other things I noticed:

– Check out how the DOF changes, even though the aperture used is the same (I had to back up with the 7D to get similar compositions)
– Terra seems thinner in many of the 7D images. Again, I had to back up to make her appear the same size and the result is she appears a little thinner.
– I think the 7D is boosting the green pixels, in most cases you cannot see it. (and the 7D looks slightly brighter), in the green shade test. You can see it.
Green Shade test was very interesting to me. Bayer Sensors have 2 green sensels per red and blue. There was a big tree to my left and it was reflecting a slight green hue on Terra. The 7D seemed to be more sensitive to it, the 5DII wasnt effected at all by it. We re-took this image in a walkway that had white and grey walls. Seems the 5Dii favors reds a little more and the 7D is brighter. I am wondering if the processor has been tweaked to over boost the green pixels? Not happy with the green shade test, I may try this again tomorrow.

Overall I was very impressed with the 7D, especially how fast and accurate the focusing seemed. It was a very pleasant shooting experience.

More tests to do….I should have the ISO tests up tomorrow.

Day 257

Needed to do some quick tests with the 7D today- Terra stepped in to help out with really no notice at all and after treated me to a quick dinner! How awesome is that? She wouldnt even let me pay! She’s been a HUGE help with modeling for various projects.

Im very pleased with the 7D, there are a few little things I am noticing, so example, it may be more sensitive to green light that the 5Dii. That aside, the focusing was absolutely better, I just cant believe how much its improved. In the past, Ive been very happy with my 5DII, but Im wondering now if its a little on the pink side? Posts to come shortly!

Canon 7D vs Canon 5DII – Is Full Frame Worth $1000?

Having owned (and loved) the Canon 5DII since it’s release last year, it has been my #1 go to camera. Today I picked up my Canon 7D and took a very close look at the specs, and started playing with the new features. Granted, not everyone has a need for a photo/video hybrid SLR camera but I do, so I will make a few notes on the video systems as well. Even without the new video features (1080p @ 24 fps), the Canon 7D very well could be a 5DII killer.

First lets start off with the things I DON’T like about the Canon 7D, there aren’t many:

1. Its not full frame
2. It only goes down to ISO 100, unlike the 5DII, which goes down to 50
3. The 7D feels a little heavier.
4. No ISO control for video in Av or Tv modes
5. No SD video @24 or 30 fps, only 60 fps… ?!?! …. !?!?! This surely is a mistake.

I just cant see how Canon will not fix #4 and #5 with the firmware updates. I mean, I might just want to shoot regular old standard def at 24 or 30 fps instead of 60, it should reduce the file size by half and speed up my workflow. Just because I can shoot HD, or at 60 FPS, doesnt mean its ideal for the job.

Things I LIKED (or LOVED!!) –

1. The FOCUSING Systems- OFF. THE. HOOK. Greatly improved. Many, MANY different focusing options. Works much better in low light than the 5DII. The guy at the camera store tested the Beta and he said it’s the best he’s ever seen in ANY Canon model. For me, this alone is HUGE and a potential time saver with workflow (nailing focused images instead of having to take many more…just in case)
2. High Burst doubles the 5DII speed, 8fps vs 3.9 fps
3. Built-In Speedlite Transmitter- (The equivalent ST-E2 runs about $300, which if you discount off the camera, puts the price of a Canon 7D around $1400, not to mention the bag space you save)- Transmitter can control: Channels, Groups and Ratio controls (Up to 1:8). To me this feature was really impressive.

These 3 main improvements make the Canon 7D a very attractive camera when compared with the 5DII, the rest of this stuff is really just gravy, but its some tasty gravy at that! ☺

4. RAW – JPEG Button (If you are shooting in one, press this button, and you will shoot in the other as well, automatically goes back after a few seconds)
5. Exposure Compensation is now +/- 5 EV, vs typical 2. Bracket shows 3, but it works up to 5.
6. View Finder Grid (you turn it on or off in your menu) – To me this was awesome, makes you wonder what else they can do with this feature.
7. Copyright Info Embedding
8. Battery Information (Percent), shots remaining
9. Electronic Level (You can see it in LV too!)
10. Improved Spot Metering (2.3%)
11. Selectable Aspect Ratio Selections – Shoot in 8 x 10!!
12. Customizable Buttons- like all of them. Not Just Shutter and AF-On, DOF- Preview, Pop-Up Flash, etc
13. Uses same batteries and charger as 5DII.
14. Variable Frame rate HD (24-30fps) on 1080p – very nice.

As far as photography goes, again, the only 2 real things the 5DII has is Full Frame and extra low ISO. To me that just doesn’t warrant an extra $1000- Does it to you?!?

On the flip side, with the greatly improved focusing systems, built in transmitter and shooting speed, the 7D absolutely will out perform the 5DII for sports/action shots. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but Ill be taking it out either tomorrow or Thursday to test the image colors for portraits and colors (Full Frame typically samples colors a little better). If the colors are comparable to the 5DII, I just don’t know why anyone would even want a 5DII.

The 5Dii is an amazing camera, don’t get me wrong. I will be hanging on to my 5DII…for now. If you are considering it or the 7D, I would highly recommend taking a very close look at the 7D, my initial impressions are that its a very good overall camera.

Looking forward to shooting with it as soon as possible! Ill post the images when I can.


What it boils down to is this:

If your goal is to shoot amazing portraits, landscapes or you doing very technical type video shooting that requires shallow depths of field and manual audio controls for video, you will want the 5DII.

If you are primarily shooting Nature, Sports and need a decent camera for portraits, go with the 7D.


I know I am a fairly rough movie critic, its not my fault- Movies are just super sucky right now, but I finally caught “Pandorum” last night. Whether or not you will like this movie really depends on the types of movies you like. If you liked “Alien” (the first one) you are probably going to like it. If you don’t like movies like “Alien”, scary movies, movies that will probably give you nightmares, R Rated movies in general…you should skip it.

Surprisingly, I kinda liked it, slow at times, but otherwise not too bad. That said, the best movie out there right now, in my humble opinion is still “District 9”. Im going to check out “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” on Thursday, Ive heard some good things about it.

Various Updates

From your side, I am sure it seems things have slowed down a little, from mine- I am as busy as I have ever been. Here is what I have been up to:

– The T1i Crash Course DVD should wrap up sometime this week, I only have a few lessons left and spend most of my time working on it. It should be available for purchase sometime by the end of October.
– Still have all the loose ends from the trip I need to finish, (mostly the remaining slideshows- they are coming- but first thing is 1st and the T1i DVD is several months behind schedule).
– A second DVD is also currently being edited by Adam (my editor in Alabama) which will be called “Advanced Shooting Techniques”. Its geared more towards Advanced and Expert Photographers who are looking to get the edge in certain complex situations. It should be about 2-3 hours of little tips and tricks I have and should be a really outstanding dvd.
– The Canon 7D is already popping up in stores (as well as Ebay). I’m certain Ill have one in my hands by the end of the week. The week after the T1i DVD wraps up, production will start on the Canon 7D DVD. I’m confident mine will be the 1st on the market.
– This weekend I am flying to Atlanta for a one-day workshop with Canon and Vincent Laforet for an advanced workshop on shooting HD video with the Canon 5DII and Canon 7D.
– Once the Canon 7D DVD finishes, there is a really good chance I will be immediately headed to Maui to start focusing full time on the Lighting Photography and Wedding Photography Crash Courses.
– Ill also be putting on a very limited number of One-on-One workshops about once a month while I am on Maui.
– Have about 30 new free videos coming to the school- most have already been shot.
– I also imagine the Canon 60D will be released in December, yet another DVD.
– Look for a Summer 2010 Workshop on Maui, space will be extremely limited, and it will probably be the only group workshop I will do in 2010.
– I need to take a few photo trips: Alaska, Boston, and Australia and Id like to do all before the end of the year.
– Still doing the 365 and considering ideas for a new 365 next year.
– I have a book and audio book I would like to finally get around to publishing. Its already written.

So I have all this work on my plate, but I find myself staying very focused.I dont worry so much about everything all at once, just one project at a time, one lesson at a time. If I worked on everything, I would never finish. Right now all that exists is the T1i DVD. I feel that the road trip has really helped me to stay focused and work more efficiently than I have in the past.

Probably wont be shooting any weddings any time soon, but would like to do a couple for the Wedding Photography Crash Course.