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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-05-2013

deciding between 6d & 7d

I'm trying to decide between a 6D and a 7d. I'm upgrading from a T3i.. Any suggestions? I mostly take pics of my 14 year old playing baseball and portraits..

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

The 6D and 7D are two very different cameras so it will be a tough choice.

 

1. Image quality wise, I'd say on a big picture level, is the same so take your pick there.

2. Low light level - the 6D being newer will give you a couple of extra stops having higher ISO level

3. GPS, Wireless - the 6D gives you this.

4. The 6D is full frame, the 7D is 1.6x crop.  Here is one of several major differences between the two.

4a. using the same lens at same focal length (say 50mm), the view will be much wider on the 6D than the 7D.  When you take pictures of sceneries (landscapes), the 6D generally will give you an advantage.

4b.The reverse is true, if you are far away (say from a baseball player), the 7D will give you an image 1.6 times closer.  So for sports and birds in flight, the 7D has a huge advantage.

4c.  If you take a picture and frame it a certain way...for the same exact framing, the 6D will give you more blurred background image (called bokeh) than the 7D so it's better to have the 6D for portraits if you are into bokeh.  The effect is slight though.

4d. With the 6D you cannot use your EF-S lenses.  It only takes EF lenses.  The 7D will take either.

5. The 6D's focusing system is not as good as the 7D.  The 7D is designed for actions (sports, birds in flight) and the focusing is more responsive in those conditions.

6. The 7D is designed for action so the shooting rate is very high compared to the 6D (8 frames per second instead of 4)

 

These are the general points in a nutshell.  I probably missed a few.  For details comparison between the two cameras, you should try this link.  I find it very useful:

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/cameras

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

[ Edited ]

I mostly agree with Diverhawk, with one major exception:  There's no comparison of Image Quality on anything outside of ideal conditions.  And the improved ISO performance has more to do with the full frame sensor than it does being newer.  Bigger sensor, bigger pixels, more light capturing ability.  On a more subtle level, the 6d will also have more color depth and dynamic range, but it's not something the casual eye would notice.

 

As diverhawk said, they are two very different cameras.  It all comes down to whether or not you want to jump to full frame.  You'll need lenses that will work on a full frame, and many will argue that you don't really take advantage of the larger sensor if you're not buying good (read: expensive) glass.

 

The 7D excels at sports, and the extra reach of the crop sensor is good for getting closer to the action.  All your lenses will also be compatible.  Portraiture isn't an area the 7D is known for, relatively speaking, but it certainly can make very nice portraits.

 

The 6D will far excel at natural light portraits.  If you're using flash the difference isn't as noticable, but as a recent convert to full frame, I still feel there's a difference.  However, for sports it's autofocus and burst rate is markedly worse than the 7D.  Also, to get in close requires some expensive lenses.

 

I would recommend the 7D, unless you really understand what you're getting into with full frame.  But I guess first off I'd ask: why even bother upgrading at all?  What is the T3i not doing for you?

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-05-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

Thanks, very helpful, now to decide which is more beneficial to me will be tought :-) Thanks again!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

[ Edited ]

@Skirball - I think you misread what I wrote. I said there's no image quality difference to speak of  which is the same of what you're saying? Regarding sensor size having better ISO...why doesn't the 5D2 have the higher ISO then?

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,388
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

I think Hank has covered the differences very nicely & agree that a full frame sensor has larger photosites (the itty bitty device that actually captures 1 pixel of light) so it produces a cleaner image all other things being EXACTLY identical. That's very important in lab testing but far less important in actual use by the majority of us who don't make a full time living thru photography. More importantly I don't think many users these days really need the better pixels because generally speaking fewer & fewer of us make large prints, buy the highest quality lenses or the right focal length to fill the frame and instead rely on heavy crops viewed on a computer monitor. Generally speaking very few consumers out there even know what photography is all about & will rely on automatic settings like Auto or Program (I use P a lot & admit it) which is why there are so many P & S and DSLR bodies with those settings available. With that in mind my recommendation is pretty simple because both can do the job for just about anyone who hasn't taken a photography course & won't print a lot of their better work large.

7D great body for action (for the price) and the 1.6 crop factor is a huge benefit if you don't want to buy lenses that cost $5000 & more USED. (over 400 mm)

6D (note: never used one so not based on real use) A good entry level camera for those more interested in the shallow depth of field (DOF) style of photography with the bonus of having GPS & WiFi built in.

When upgrading you need to see improvements over your current body for it to be an upgrade so the real question becomes what can't you do now that you want to do via spending money on a different body? Faster FPS, faster & more accurate AF, or better low light AF, or maybe cleaner high ISO? I've shot all 3 Canon formats (1.6, 1.3 crop & FF) and I print large & other than the few serious photographer friends I have NOBODY else could tell which of the 3 formats I shot with.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d


@bmckee wrote:

Thanks, very helpful, now to decide which is more beneficial to me will be tought :-) Thanks again!


What don't you like about the T3i?  What situations does it underperform for you?  That's the best way to decide which direction to go.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

[ Edited ]

@diverhank wrote:

@Skirball - I think you misread what I wrote. I said there's no image quality difference to speak of  which is the same of what you're saying? Regarding sensor size having better ISO...why doesn't the 5D2 have the higher ISO then?


No, I think that there is a significant difference in IQ at less than optimal conditions, i.e. low light.

 

I'm not saying that technology doesn't improve, certainly the newer sensors perform better than the old as system noise is reduced.  But I'm saying the high ISO performance of the 6D over the 7D has more to do with the larger sensor than the technology.   Larger pixels absorb more light, that's just physics, no way around it (yes, I know this is only one source of noise).  What do you mean the 5D2 doesn't have higher ISO?  The 5d2 does have better high ISO performance.  Note: having a high iso ability doesn't necessarily mean it performs well at high ISO. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d

@Skirball...OK I think I now understand what you're saying.  That is true that noise performance is way better in low light in the 6D, even at the same ISO.  I missed that. 

 

Regarding the 5D2 vs. 6D, I was thinking about the 6D can go up to 25,600 when the 5D can only go up to 6400 - same as the 7D (without boosting).  This despite both having the same size sensors.  This is the new angle I was talking about.

================================================
Diverhank's photos on Flickr
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: deciding between 6d & 7d


@diverhank wrote:

Regarding the 5D2 vs. 6D, I was thinking about the 6D can go up to 25,600 when the 5D can only go up to 6400 - same as the 7D (without boosting).  This despite both having the same size sensors.  This is the new angle I was talking about.


I thought that's what you may be getting at, but was trying to keep my post from getting too lengthy. 

 

From the samples I've seen it looks like there's a bit of performance increase from the 5D2 to 6D, which would be technology driven (though technially the 6D pixels are slightly bigger than the 5D but we're not talking by much).  But I don't know that the difference is markedly different within the non-boosted range.  However, there's a difference in high ISO performance and ability.  I think Canon added the extra range on the 6D (and 5dIII) more as marketing hype than anything.  Conversely, I think they were being conservative with the 5d2 and making sure that it performs extremely well over its nominal ISO range. 

 

I didn't mean to make it sound like technology doesn't play a role.  The old Canon 10D had huge pixels, bigger than the 6D or 5d3, but there's no comparing the high ISO performance.

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