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Trying to Decide on a new/used camera body.

jrollf
Occasional Contributor

Hi Everyone,

 

I currently have a first generation EOS 7D.  I have always been a bit dispapointed with the hi ISO performance of this camera, and sometimes it can seem dificult to get sharp images from it (there were a lot of complaints about this in the first EOS 7D production runs).  IMHO it is pretty much useless above ISO 800 and that is pushing it, just too much noise in the pictures.  I'm thinking about buying a used/refurbished camera body with budget of about $1,000.  I shoot a lot of subjects wildlife, landscape and travel (including night shots) are my main subjects, but I also shoot Macro, night sky, and the ocasional wedding for family / friends that can't afford a wedding photographer.  Baiscally I'm looking for that mythical perfect all purpose camera on a budget.

 

Must haves:

  1. Reliable / sharp auto focus
  2. Excellant hi-iso performance.

Desired features:

  1. Full frame (helps with hi ISO and most my lenses are already EF not EF-S)
  2. Weather sealed
  3. Higher burst rates are nice to have but not required
  4. GPS (low priority)

Don't care:

  1. HD Video recording (don't care at all, will not affect my decision in ANY way)
  2. Wi-Fi (Usually not shooting anywhere around wi-fi networks)
  3. "Dual Card" memory slots.
  4. Slight preference for CF memory cards, but SD is fine also.
  5. "Auto modes"  I spend most my time in shutter or apeture priority, and full manual.  I don't care about "sport", "sceneray" etc.
  6. Large size.  I almost always have a battery grip on my 7D so it is already almost as big/heavy as the EOS 1D series.
  7. Tiltable / moveable LCD Screen.

 

In a nutshell I care about picture quality and performance, not all the "foo-foo" features that everyone seems to be adding to their cameras.  I also always shoot in RAW format.

 

Looking at DxO and other reviews, I'm currenlty leaning towards a EOS 6D which I can find used with warranty and seems to have the highest iso perforamnce/image quality I can find for the budget and the camera is still "new enough" that Canon services and repairs them.  So far the 6D Mark II I have been finding are outside my budget.  I've also found 7D Mark II's in my price range but it looks like the 6D is better at high ISO, probably due to being full frame.

 

Thoughts?  Any other EOS body I should consider?  I only have one EF-S lens and it is a cheapie, my good lenses are all EF so moving to a full frame sensor is not an issue for me.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

14 REPLIES 14

Waddizzle
VIP

I will narrow your choices for you: 80D, 7D Mark II, 6D, or 6D Mark II.  Go for the Canon Refurbished Store, and one year warranty.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/cameras/refurbished-eos-digital-slr-cameras

The Refurbished Store is currently selling a 5D Mark II body, BTW.  But, here is the deal you want.  7D Mark II.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/eos-7d-mark-ii-body-ef-50-14-refurbished-holiday-bundle

 

Not the best when it comes to noise out of the 80D, 7D2, 6D, 6D2, 5D2, but it is pretty good out to ISO 6400.  You can go higher, provided you're not doing closeups.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

ScottyP
Respected Contributor

I have a 6d; it was my only body until I got a 5d4 last month.  It is very good at high ISO. Not the most sophisticated autofocus, but I was able to shoot kids playing soccer quite successfully. 

 

If you want to compare high ISO image quality go to the DXO Mark website and compare several bodies. The not at all intuitively named "Sports" rating is actually the highest ISO number at which they deem image quality to be good.  Your threshold for good may be different from theirs of course, but it does provide a comparison between different bodies.  Camera A has the same image quality at ISO 765 as camera B has at ISO 1273 as camera C has at ISO 2,236, etc...

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?


Waddizzle wrote:

I will narrow your choices for you: 80D, 7D Mark II, 6D, or 6D Mark II.  Go for the Canon Refurbished Store, and one year warranty.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/cameras/refurbished-eos-digital-slr-cameras

The Refurbished Store is currently selling a 5D Mark II body, BTW.  But, here is the deal you want.  7D Mark II.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/eos-7d-mark-ii-body-ef-50-14-refurbished-holiday-bundle

 

Not the best when it comes to noise out of the 80D, 7D2, 6D, 6D2, 5D2, but it is pretty good out to ISO 6400.  You can go higher, provided you're not doing closeups.


I'm not sure I'd have the 6D on that list. It's reputed to have excellent low-light performance, but I believe its autofocus system is more primitive than that of the 7D. I used two 7D's extensively when I was doing event photography. (Still have one, gave the other to my daughter.) And I guess my experience was a lot better than that of the OP. My pictures were generally sharp if the lenses were, and I could go to ISO 1250 or 1600 without seeing significant noise. So I'd be inclined to include having the OP's 7D cleaned and tuned (refurbished, essentially) by Canon as one of the options. Even if he were to choose to go with one of the other options. the "refurbished" 7D might make a fine backup camera.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

"I'm not sure I'd have the 6D on that list. It's reputed to have excellent low-light performance, but I believe its autofocus system is more primitive than that of the 7D. "

 

I only mention the 6D because the OP had cited it.  It has a very good AF system.  It can meter exceptionally well in low light.  But, you're talking about tracking, I know.

 

I believe the 7D has 19 AF points, and the 6D has 11 AF points.  The 6D does a fairly good job tracking large subjects in the viewfinder, like kids playing sports and larger birds, without issue.  Of course, a lot depends upon how well the photographer can use the camera/lens combo, too.

 

All of the newer cameras have a much wider base ISO range, by at least two stops, than the 7D.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."


Waddizzle wrote:

... 

All of the newer cameras have a much wider base ISO range, by at least two stops, than the 7D.


I don't disagree. My point was just that I thought the OP should have been seeing at least a full stop better low-light performance from his 7D than he apparently was.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:

... 

All of the newer cameras have a much wider base ISO range, by at least two stops, than the 7D.


I don't disagree. My point was just that I thought the OP should have been seeing at least a full stop better low-light performance from his 7D than he apparently was.


It is a subjective metric, for sure.  I would take it for what it is worth, a measure of what the OP expects from a camera.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

jrollf
Occasional Contributor
"I'm not sure I'd have the 6D on that list. It's reputed to have excellent low-light performance, but I believe its autofocus system is more primitive than that of the 7D."

It's pretty rare that I shoot fast moving objects, especially fast moving small objects.  So I don't think that will be huge deal.  When I bought the 7D I thought I would use it more for "action" photography than I ended up using it for.  Instead I find that I am quite often taking pictures in low light situations where flash is either not ideal or not allowed and such wanting better high ISO performance and often using only 1 AF point or a small group of defined AF points to constrain what is focused on.  In these situations, I usually use my EF-50mm/1.4 and still find I'm wanting better low light performance, most noticeably less noise.

 

My personal opinion (I know it is very subjective) is that anything higher than ISO 800 on my 7D is too grainy / noisy, at least for my standards, there are quite a few reviews on the 7D out there that have come to similar conclusions.

 

I initially started looking at the 6D because according to DXO, it's hard to get a higher low light ISO quality without spending a lot more... I am considering saving a while longer and getting a refurbished 6D Mark II as it is supposed to have better autofocus and the high ISO capability almost on par with the 5D Mark IV for about $300 dollars more.  But on the other hand I would really like to stay around $1,000 or less.

jrollf
Occasional Contributor

“I'm not sure I'd have the 6D on that list. It's reputed to have excellent low-light performance, but I believe its autofocus system is more primitive than that of the 7D.”

 

I don't shoot fast moving, especially small fast-moving objects very often, so I’m not too concerned about it.  I do often find myself using 1AF point or a defined small group of AF points to constrain what is focused on in low light situations and even with my EF 50mm f/1.4 lens I find my self wanting pictures with less noise in them.  My personal opinion is anything above ISO 800 is too noisy and I have found many reviews of the first gen EOS 7D that have made similar conclusions.

 

I’m really trying to stick to my $1k budget, but it is tempting to save a while longer as the 6D Mark II (Refurbished) is about $300 more and provides a better AF system and high ISO performance almost on par with the 5D Mark IV… but I really want to stick with my budget.


@jrollf wrote:

“I'm not sure I'd have the 6D on that list. It's reputed to have excellent low-light performance, but I believe its autofocus system is more primitive than that of the 7D.”

 

I don't shoot fast moving, especially small fast-moving objects very often, so I’m not too concerned about it.  I do often find myself using 1AF point or a defined small group of AF points to constrain what is focused on in low light situations and even with my EF 50mm f/1.4 lens I find my self wanting pictures with less noise in them.  My personal opinion is anything above ISO 800 is too noisy and I have found many reviews of the first gen EOS 7D that have made similar conclusions.

 

I’m really trying to stick to my $1k budget, but it is tempting to save a while longer as the 6D Mark II (Refurbished) is about $300 more and provides a better AF system and high ISO performance almost on par with the 5D Mark IV… but I really want to stick with my budget.


Either save for a full frame 6D, 6D Mark II, or grab the "holiday package" on the 7D Mark II before it is gone, and gone for good.  Keep in mind, that you are looking at special holiday pricing, not the "normal" refurbished list pricies.

 

 

Many reviews say the 6D has better dynamic range than the 6D2.  If you look at the difference in the numbers, then it realhy boils down to splitting hairs.  The human eye is not going to see much diffrence.  But, Canon has managed to increase the number of photosites on the image sensor by 30%, yet the size of the individual photosites has remained relatively unchanged. 

 

In other words, the dead space between photosites has been significantly reduced, and more of the sensor surface is being used to collect light.  This translates into more detail.  You will not notice a difference until you make very large prints, or start pixel peeping.

 

 

If you are shooting in low light, then the only AF point that you want to use is the center AF point.  As a general rule of thumb, in all Canon DSLRs, except for the latest iterations of the 1D Series, the most sensitive AF point is the center one.

 

Both the 80D and 6D2 have a greater number of f/8 AF points.  This difference can become significant when you are shooting action photography with a super telephoto lens.  For most static scenes, the increased number of AF f/8 ponts is entirely irrelevant, just use the center AF point.

 

I have used an 80d, a 6D, and a 7D2 for at least several thousand action photos each.  You now can add a 6D2 to that list.  The 7D2 has the most noise, but  that does not mean it produced noisy photos.  Shots at ISO 6400 were mostly usable.  The 80D had a higher keeper rate shooting action photography at ISO 6400. 

 

Both versions of the 6D were just as good out to ISO 128000.   I have found the 6D2 to have the higher keeper rate.  I have no idea what reviewers are talking about when they knock the 6D2 body's ability to track in AI Servo mode.  The 6D2 is often criticized for having AF points that are densely packed in the center of the viewfinder.  In AI Servo mode, this means more AF points are providing data to the CPU, which seems to translate into better focus tracking.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."