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  1. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Hi all.

    I wouldn't normally take to posting images in this forum and I considered putting it in the test forum. Anyway, I have had a 7D now since 2012 from new. I've had a love/hate relationship with it, I love the way it works/features etc etc but I have never been happy with the image quality from it. There's something wrong somewhere, it could be me, I accept that, operator failure, or it could be equipment. I have ruled out lenses as I get similar image quality no matter what lens I use.

    I know the 7d has a reputation as being a noisy camera but mine seems to be particularly bad in medium to low light but even in bright sunlight, the grittiness is still there. I've tried it all, exposing to the right, shooting in bright light, using the in camera noise reduction settings etc. I would blame myself but I get much better images, cleaner and sharper images off my Fuji X-T10. Long story short, I had a 40D before my 7, and I did well in competitions with that and I've done much better in competitions with my Fuji but always had mediocre competition results with my 7.

    With all that said, it brings me to the point of this post, and this image, which I posted on FB last night, and even after significant noise redution in PS, I still feel the grittiness was too much. It looked half decent on my monitor but I viewed it on my phone and it looked awful. I could be pixel peeping too, which I also accept but I think I do have a point about my copy. I have lifted the exposure, a small amount of shadow recovery and used the sharpen tool at 7% on the face. I also adjusted levels. Apart from the mentioned PP noise reduction, that's it.

    I'm not really posting this image for crit but I am looking for opinions on the noise, especially on the sky. My point is to get it out there on other monitors, ie yours:LOL: and get opinions on the image quality side, from an image file point of view. ISO was 640 for this but I've seen the grittiness at much lower levels.


    I'm going FF soon, it was to be the 6Dmkii but after reading the reviews about it's low iso performance and DR, I'm thinking twice now and may go the extra mile for a 5Dmkiv.

    Ta much. (y)



    [​IMG]7D NOISE/GRAIN TEST IMAGE by Dale, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  2. Diamonddec

    Diamonddec

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    You've described EXACTLY my relationship and experience with the 7d. A shooting pal gets much better/cleaner images on his 80d. I too was hoping that the 6dmkii was gonna be my replacement... doesn't seem likely now, although I would definitely miss the handling and ergonomics of the 7d that I've come to love. I can't go to the 5dmk4, so I don't know what my next move is.
     
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  3. Tom Green

    Tom Green

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    I also thought that all my Canon 7D images were a little like this. Never ever as sharp as I wanted them to be and seemed to show noise at low ISO's often.

    I ended up only owning it for 8 months and selling it - moved to the Sony A7 for a smaller but FF unit, works better for me as at the moment I am interested in landscape and travel photography.
     
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  4. Mike.P

    Mike.P

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    I have a MKI 7D and like you was all set to buy the 6DII but at the moment I can't see that happening. I have a 80D on loan atm and although I have had little chance to use the camera it seems a lot better in nearly every respect.
     
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  5. LCPete

    LCPete

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    Hi Dale I've had my 7D mk 1 for a while now got it not long after it came out I've been very happy with it
    Have now got a 7D mk 2 but still use the mk 1 on a regular basis as a second body
    I do find you need to nail the exposure and I'm normally a bit to the right but I go to ISO 800 on a regular basis and normally am at 400 with no issues with noise and get excellent image quality
    This is on wildlife and macro shots
    Last time I looked the shutter count was over 70K
    My main camera is now the mk2 which is even better especially autofocus and slightly better image quality
     
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  6. ESHTAL

    ESHTAL

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    always thought the same about my 7D . initially blamed different lenses and technique as results were inconsistent till I moved to 5D mark II and I never looked back. that kind of sky you got was a regular thing on my screen and I hated it.
     
  7. pooley

    pooley

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    Dale,

    its really difficult to look for technical reasons behind the result just off a processed jpeg on here. If you're willing to send me the RAW I'll take a look at it for you and try and offer some advice. I'll PM you if you're interested.

    Mike
     
  8. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Cool, thanks for the comments everybody. It's comforting, although I don't wish it on anybody to know it's not just me. I do think that various copies of the 7D weren't consistent, some bodies seem to be better than others.

    Mike, I'll get that file to you later, thanks for the help. I'm happy for you to post how you get on and maybe we can all learn something from it. :)(y)
     
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  9. Cobra

    Cobra Mr Magoo Staff Member

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    I always found my 7D mkI to be better at 800 iso than 400 iso for some reason.
    Obviously 100 - 200 iso was pretty damned good.

    About a year or so back I swapped to the 7DII and never looked back, even shooting 6400 produces better results than the MKI at 400 / 800 iso.

    (I'm more than happy with crop sensors and no thoughts of going FF)
     
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  10. pooley

    pooley

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    Hi Dale,

    Thanks for sending the RAW, heres my opinion on the file.

    Unfortunately the main issue here is the exposure. I took it into lightroom and opened it up 2 stops, and sadly the 7d just can't recover very well from that. I also made a slight adjustment of the white balance. This body really has to be exposed as far to the right as you can.

    This is the histogram out of camera -

    RK-hist-1.jpg

    And this is with the exposure boosted by 2 stops, which is close to the ideal histogram at time of exposure for this shot.

    RK-hist-2.jpg

    After raising the exposure, I didn't do a whole lot to the file, I think you pretty much got as much out of it as possible. What I did notice was your sky was more 'blue' than mine, so I tried to replicate this using the Hue'Saturation/Luminence controls. By lowering the blue tones to get a nice sky, this increased the digital noise and added to the noise issues.

    For a shot in these conditions I'd recommend just concentrating on the bird, and if the sky looks bad out of camera then so be it. As long as it's not blown then you can recover some detail in PP without it introducing the noise as it did here.

    I then took the file into photoshop and resized the file for this site - 1024 px at 72 ppi - and after resizing sharpened the bird only using smart sharpen, settings amount 100, radius 0.3px.

    On a separate layer I then reduced the background noise only using the highest setting I could.

    Lastly I did a small noise reduction on the underwings of the bird where I felt I could afford to lose a little detail

    This was my end result

    Dale-Red-Kite-RP.jpg

    Mike

    p.s. Some really nice stuff on your flickr - the red squirrels and hares are very nice
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  11. Dale.

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    My copy isn't great even at low iso settings. I've never been brave enough to push it much higher than iso 400, although sometimes, 640. I will try it at 800 though, I don't think I have much to lose. That said, a certain element of it all might be me and the way I use my copy, I'm not sure. I loved my 40D, the images off that were/are much cleaner (I still have it) but the feature list of the 7D is what wooed me towards it, especially it's 'speed' when it came to moving subjects. I also love my Fuji X-T10, it's a crop too and much better files from that than my 7, especially in low light and my starting point iso with the Fuji is confidently 800.

    Nothing against crops, I've had and still have some nice ones that I like, a lot but I think a step over to FF might be wise for me now.

    I'm now torturing myself between the 6Dmkii and the 5Dmkiv. Initial reports on the 6D's dynamic range have been a bit worrying but I'm sure they've been based on beta models and I'll wait until real world reviews come through. I can't help wonder that those reports are based on graphs, algorithithms and the like rather than what the naked eye actually sees, which should be the important bit imo. Saying that, the Mkiv is within touching distance now as I've been saving anticipating the release of the 6Dmkii for 2 years.

    Might just get the Mkiv and be done with it. ;-)
     
  12. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Mike, thanks for that.

    I'd agree about the exposure and your findings are just about what I thought. One thing I have noticed with the 7D is that exposing to the right helps and this can be shown by the histogram comparisons shown here. I have tried exposing to the right and it does help but at the expense of the brights and whites. I suppose though, in this case, the kite is the subject and I should've concentrated on exposing for the kite rather than trying to balance the 2, sky and kite. I noticed too, that the bluer I tried to get the sky, the more noise/grain was apparent. I find your post comforting Mike as I was thinking along the same lines but also blaming myself.

    My 7D's days are numbered before it is retired to the drawer but in the meantime, I will persevere and expose to the right, which does seem to help.

    EDIT, thanks for the words on my Flickr, the squizzers and hares were with my Fuji and the Fuji 100-400 that I had on loan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  13. LCPete

    LCPete

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    Have you thought about the 7D mk 2 it's an excellent camera super image quality
    For wildlife and birds you always need as much reach as you can get (assuming that's what you shoot)
    A bird against the sky is always difficult especially if it's a long way off and you have to crop the picture
    I have a 40D as well and it's an excellent camera but I think the 7D which I got to replace it has better image quality
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  14. Dale.

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    I have considered a Mkii Pete, but would I always be asking myself how much better FF 'might' be?


    Do you find the 7Dmkii any more forgiving than the mki in low light?

    Ta.
     
  15. Dale.

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    I've forgotten to add amongst all this, that one of the reasons I'm almost hellbent on going FF is that I do have some very nice L Glass, that should shine better on an FF body than it has ever been able to on my 7D.

    100L, f2.8,
    24-105L,
    100-400L,
    70-200 f4L,
    300L f4......

    ......so considerably invested in Canon, which almost negates a ship jump.
     
  16. ABTog

    ABTog

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    The 7D is a decent camera and if exposed well, the images should be good quality.
    The comment about your 40D compared to the 7D might be due to the fact that you are a better photographer now than when you had the 40D, so maybe your expectations of the 7D were a lot higher than the expectations you had when you used the 40D.
    The fact that in competitions you've not done so well with images from the 7D says nothing about the camera. Whether an image does well in a competition or not is down to: how good your image is, how good the other images from other people are; what the judges think, they might be different judges each time too. So you can't put that down to the camera. Also a photo doesn't win a competition because it's clean, sharp and noise-free does it?

    I wouldn't discount a 6D Mk2 just because some reports suggest it has less dynamic range (DXOMark haven't done a full test of the 6DMk2 yet so I'd take those reports with a pinch of salt). The images themselves will still be good and quite a lot of the time the minute difference in specs makes very little difference in the real world.
    The 7D Mk2 will definitely be better in low light than the Mk1 as it's a much newer sensor and if you kept with a crop sensor you'd retain the 1.6x crop factor that gives you a little boost on your lens length.
    Going full frame is good don't get me wrong, but for wildlife the extra crop factor is going to be pretty handy and if you lose that, your 300L goes from being 480mm equivalent (field of view) back to just being 300mm, which is significant if you're following birds in flight.

    One other point:
    Facebook is notorious for doing horrid things to your images. So you shouldn't use that as a benchmark for quality.

    If you really want to see if it's worth an upgrade, why not hire a 5DMk3/Mk4, 6DMk2 or 7D Mk2 to see if the image quality is that much better and also if the lack of crop factor is a problem with FF cameras. Spending £100 on hiring one for a day could be money well spent when you're looking at spending £2000+ on a camera.
     
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  17. LCPete

    LCPete

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    To be honest I haven't really tried to see how high I can go with the ISO
    last week at the zoo I had to go to 1600 because I needed to use my 2x converter on my 300 2.8 but I'm almost always at ISO 800
    When I'm doing macro when it's early in the morning and I can't get a high enough shutter speed I use a tripod and ISO 800

    Are you normally able to easily fill the frame and not have to crop much when on your 100 -400 ? if you are struggling for reach then maybe full frame isn't a good idea unless you get a longer lens:)
     
  18. Dale.

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    Much my way of thinking on competitions at club level, they are very subjective. I would say though, especially with wildlife, being sharp is a must. The noise thing is more a grievance of my own, I'm a bit OCD about it. I have had images marked down for lacking that critical sharpness, which admittedly could be me, or the mushy images I get out of my 7, or a combination of both. I've also had images marked down for being noisy but that's subjective and judge dependent. I had my best outing in our club annual competion last season, getting 3 of the top images out of 6, all taken with my Fuji.

    I'm also with you on the 'reviews' of the 6Dmkii, time will tell when production copies are reviewed by real users. Also, I think the differences in dynamic range are more to do with figures rather than what the eye will actually see. As you say, much salt needed, certainly until the real reviews appear for production copies rather than beta models, from real users/owners.

    Facebook drives me nuts sometimes, it compresses the life out of images. I always follow the sizing guidlines but it can still be bad.

    I have considered hiring and still may well do that. :)


    I'm still getting used to the 100-400 Pete, I've not had it long and I did find myself pulling it back last week with the kites for some reason. There were times I was at anything between 300 + 400, when I could've been at 400mm. Maybe it's something to do with subconciously thinking I'm still working with my 300. :thinking:

    I wouldn't normally go above 400-640 iso with my 7D, so being at 800 as a base would be a dream for me.

    The loss of the crop factor doesn't concern me too much as I think it can be compensated for but yes, it's bound to make it more challenging for sure.
     
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  19. Cobra

    Cobra Mr Magoo Staff Member

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    And yet I went from a 40D ( I loved mine too, the first "proper" camera I owned, but I found the 7D1 to be a huge jump, strange eh? )

    I had a quick look and found these
    Chimp 1600 iso Canon 7DII + 300mm f/4 prime
    Bear 2500 iso Canon 7DII + 300mm f/4 prime
    EXIF intact full sized, un-edited, just checked the details in CS5 and up loaded to flicker ..
    Click for for full size

    [​IMG]
    129A1726
    by Chris, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    129A1762
    by Chris, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  20. LCPete

    LCPete

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    Something I read I can't remember where is that when you are looking at noise differences between the 40D and 7D you shouldn't compare images directly but resize the 7D images down to the same size as the 40D from 18 mp down to I think it's 10mp ( it maybe 12 I can't remember) and then the 7 D images will show the same or less noise
     
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  21. Dale.

    Dale.

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    My 7d would melt at 1600 and 2500. Can't complain about those ones though.

    That makes sense Pete, I will try that.

    I'd ruled the 7dii out but now it's back in the fray, especially as I could import both a 6Dii and a 7Dii for far less than a 5dmkiv. :LOL:

    I see my bag's future, all my L, 6Dii as my main body, 7Dii as a back up.:naughty: :pint: (one heavy bag though):whistle:
     
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  22. GTG

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    You are the opposite of me, I spent everything on bodies and you spent everything on glass.

    I think you did the right thing
     
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  23. Dale.

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    I'd hoped the pro glass would help with the issues, how wrong I was. The problem now is that a friend said to me one day" go FF and let your glass shine". I can't get that comment out of my head.

    I want to blame myself in some ways and not the camera. Yes, it's partly operator error, as I think the 7D needs to be handled a certain way but I can't help feel I get far, far cleaner images out of my Fuji with far less effort.
     
  24. Archie747

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    It sounds like your mind is firmly made up and nobody will persuade you otherwise. I went from a 40D to a 7D at the time the model was due to be replaced and I got a very good deal. I was not aware of the reputation for noise when I bought it, but on my viewing my very first batch of photos, the noise was apparent.I only had the camera for 6 months and didn't take a lot of photos, but the results were OK. I moved to the 7D ii which I found to be much better with the RAW files easier to process, cleaner and more pleasing tonal qualities. I can accept the results up to 1600 ISO.

    I have subsequently bought two used old FF cameras and I prefer the IQ they produce but the AF system is better on the 7Dii so for birds in flight and fast moving subjects it is my camera of choice.

    I have tried a 6D and found its low light performance excellent, not so sure about the AF system.

    I was and still am considering the 6Dii despite what the initial reviews say, although it seems overpriced.

    Lack of reach is one of my concerns about moving completely to FF but others seem to cope.

    On my screen your image does not look a disaster. The subject and blue sky background makes it difficult, have a look at Cambridge in Colour, they have a good article on noise. Shots that cover the whole histogram seem to come out best but as others have said try ETTR.

    Have you considered new or used 5Diii?

    I expect you will end up with a 5Div and will never look back.
     
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  25. Cobra

    Cobra Mr Magoo Staff Member

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    That's being plain greedy :D

    I'd often thought about the 100-400 MKII but being f/4.5 - 5.6 I was always a little hesitant while I had the 7D mkI,
    My main lens is ( well was until a few days ago,) the 70-200 f/2.8 MKII but with the iso handling of the 7D MKII I finally decided to raid my piggy bank...

    I don't know if I missed what you mainly shoot, but if its birds / wildlife in general, don't forget that you will lose some reach going full frame..

    * disclaimer, don't blame me for what ever you decide to buy :D
     
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  26. LCPete

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    Yes you're right there lenses are the most important part of our kit
     
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  27. HoppyUK

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    If you're regularly increasing brightness in post-processing and/or lifting shadows, then it's because of under-exposure at the time of shooting. That's the worst thing you can do with cameras like the 7D and it's much better to raise the ISO instead. Higher ISO increases brightness at the pre-ADC stage (analogue to digital converter) and this is much more efficient than post-ADC as in post-processing.

    It's counter-intuitive though, because when you're concerned about noise at high ISO the tendency is to stay away from it. That's wrong though - and very easy to test for yourself by say taking a deliberately under-exposed shot, and again correctly exposed at higher ISO. Then adjust them both to the same brightness in post-processing and see which one has least noise - it'll be the one shot at higher ISO.
     
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  28. Dale.

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    Yip, I have and not entirely ruled it out. My mind was made up on the 6Dmkii but I'm not convinced it's worth the 2k asking price. It may be better to wait for prices to come down and real world reviews to happen. I'd waited a long time for the 6Dmkii but I need convincing, especially about shadow recovery as I don't want to be in the same boat as I am with my 7D. My Wife is a keeper but I doubt she'd keep me if I get this wrong and want a different camera anytime soon. I'd love a Mkiv and if money were no object, this would be easy, I'd go for it.

    I love my 100-400, despite the aperture, I've not had it long and have gotten some of my best images out of the 7D with it.

    I shoot mainly landscapes and wildlife, they are my main interests but I'll have a go at most things.

    Greedy? Maybe a glutton for punishment is closer to the truth. :LOL:

    That said, 6DMkii main camera, 7Dmkii as a back up has a ring to it. :whistle:



    Something I learned a while ago, like speakers on a hi-fi. (y)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  29. Dale.

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    Yip, that's a habit I'm trying to get out off, I am guilty of it at times. I still get grainy images in bright sunlight though. :thinking: I will look through the archives to try and find some of the first images I took with my 7 back in 2012 on a very bright, Spring day.
     
  30. HoppyUK

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    Its just as easy to under-expose in bright sun as at any other time, and direct sun is also when you get extremes of dynamic range, with very bright highlights but also harsh, deep shadows that are more than likely to be under-exposed.

    I have a 7D and don't suffer excessive noise, even if it's not the best camera for that. But I'm not afraid of high ISO and push it as high as it needs to go, plus a bit of ETTR as well ;)
     
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  31. jerry12953

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    Dale,

    You've been umming and aahing about your 7D for absolutely ages!

    It's never going to give you what you want. It's upgrade time!

    I was originally keen on the 6d2, then when some of the first reviews came out I changed my mind. Who's to say I won't change my mind again when all the hysteria has died down?

    jerry
     
  32. Dale.

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    I don't think I should be too afraid of high iso either as it's probably as bad higher up, I'm convinced mine isn't the best copy. It's better ETTR but still there.

    This is true Jerry, it's been a while now, since I got it really with hindsight but I had to try make it work. I've tried improving my handling of the camera but not with much success. The last 2 years of perseverence have been in anticipation of the 6Dmkii arriving, which has given me time to save the pennies. The way I'm going, a 5D will soon be in reach. ;) I'm not sure I can justify a 5D though, that's decent car money for a hobbyist.
     
  33. jerry12953

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    I can only give you the advice I've given you because I was there myself a few years ago. You won't regret upgrading.
     
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  34. Dale.

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    Did you go 7D to FF? :)
     
  35. Phil V

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    Dale I think you've reached the right conclusion (or not), the 7dII should be much better, but your 7d isn't a 'bad copy', unlike lenses where there's microscopic tolerances that can affect performance, a sensor fails for having dead pixels, 2 sensors built to the same spec will be identical, they're only counting 1's and 0's.

    As Richard said, to get the best out of that sensor you need to expose carefully, Canon sensors don't have Sony's tolerance for DR and exposure mistakes. It's your fault, but Canon aren't doing all they could to help you out. I still deliver high ISO 7d images to customers and I know I'm not alone. That's not to say I'd choose a 7d over the 6d where light isn't great, but I'm not afraid to use it if I have to.

    I know it might be an expensive shift, but if I was as frustrated as you about the Canon sensor, I'd seriously do the sums to think about a D750.
     
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  36. Dale.

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    Cheers Phil. I do think I could handle my 7D better than I have been doing. My conclusion is that it has to be ETTR, sometimes extremely so regarding whites in an image and popping them if need be. I'm the first to admit that I could've been using it better than I have. I didn't have to do this with my 40D though and not with my current Fuji (X-T10). The images off the Fuji are far better and I often publish images off that without any PP, something I could never do with the 7D. That said, the Fuji sensors are newer tech and that has to be considered.

    I'm quite heavily (for a hobbyist) invested in Canon glass and a ship jump might be expensive. I wouldn't rule it out though. I considered going Fuji entirely but I don't think they are quite there yet. I was talking to a mate last week and he's Nikon and he also recommended the D750.

    edit:- just to add, my Fuji iso is always 800 as my base setting and with no worries whatsoever. I will fiddle with it depending on conditions of course and what I want to achieve.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  37. HoppyUK

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    I had a 40D, went to try a 7D with some test shots out of Jessops doorway - okay, but only a marginal improvement. Jessops also had a 5D2 that I'd no intention of buying just then, but I tried it anyway and that was that :) Full-frame is just so effortless compared to APS-C, that's capable of excellent results for sure, but with FF you can crop a bit, don't have to worry about absolutely filling the frame every time or optimising every photon of exposure. And it's sharper, no doubt about that :)

    I got a 7D later when it was a run-out model going for a bargain price. I needed a faster camera, with better AF and higher frame rate, plus extra reach for wildlife and sport - 7D delivers well on that score.
     
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  38. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Dale.
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    I loved my 40D but felt I needed an upgrade and the 7D was my choice, particularly for it's AF, it's a brilliant camera regarding the feature set.

    Does anybody know anyone with a 6Dmkii yet? I'm looking forward to a user review here.
     
  39. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    Richard
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    Think very carefully before changing horses completely. Nikon 750D is a great camera and would give you what you want, but so would a 5D4 and overall would be the cheaper, safer, easier and arguably better option. If you're used to one brand, it can be quite a wrench adapting to something different. Some take to it quite readily though.
     
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  40. jerry12953

    jerry12953

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    Jeremy Moore
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    Yes, sold the 7d and upgraded my 5d2 to a 5d3 which has continued to do the job ever since. It may not be ideal for bird photography but it's very useable, and does everything else as well. I now also have a 6d1. The 5d4 is calling though, or possibly a 6d2. One of these days.......

    Edit: I believe you may be over-analysing your own capabilities and that of the 7d. Once you upgrade you won't look back. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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