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Thread: New Canon - Help me decide please

  1. #1
    whited3's Avatar
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    New Canon - Help me decide please

    As a result of this Break and enter I find myself looking for a new camera.

    It'll be a Canon 600D, 60D, 7D or 5D and to avoid my usual 12 month's of over analysis and procrastination I'd like some guidance please.

    Some thoughts of mine from preliminary investigation:
    1) I see little diff in the specs between the 600D and 60D, other than shutter speed of 4000 vs 8000. But being mainly a landscape photographer I don't see this as a real issue.
    2) The main diff I see between the 60D and the 7D is the CF card, AF points and the price(!).
    3) I'm struggling to justify the additional $1000 to go for the 5D over the 7D as I don't really see an significant advantage in the 5D.

    So right now I'm leaning toward the 7D.

    Thoughts and sage advice (other than "buy a Nikon") welcome

  2. #2

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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    If you primarily do landscapes I think you might want to look at the 5D Mark II to get the most out of your lenses. The 600D, 60D, and 7D are all crop-sensor cameras that will create a passive 1.6x zoom on every lens you use with it. Just a thought.

    Doug

  3. #3

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    Val Mansfield

    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    I have just been through this agony! In my case it came down to deciding between the 60D and the 7D.

    What decided the issue for me was the moveable screen on the 60D that allows you take photographs you couldn’t take with a 7D

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    I cannot speak for using the 60D because I have never used, nor even seen, one of these cameras.

    However, I have recently purchased the 7D and I am in love with that camera. I dislike using live view for any photography and, when I do use that form of viewing; I use a Hoodman HoodLoupe which effectively makes it into an eye level viewer. That negates any advantage of the tilting LCD for my uses. I do not shoot much video with my 7D and use the video capability only to identify my still images (as an example, I photographed a group of female models on a recent shoot and videoed each model stating her name and email address).

    Since I have not used the 60D, I cannot say whether the control system of the 7D is better, worse, or the same as the control system of the 60D. What I can say is that the control system of my 7D is absolutely remarkable and I am constantly amazed at the capability I have to control the parameters of this camera.

    Many of the controls are not even alluded to in Canon brochures but are wonderful to use and there is one capability that I seldom see mentioned when the 7D is discussed: the three USER SELECTED CONTROLS: C-1, C-2, C3. These allow me to set shooting parameters for the camera such as: Mode, ISO, Focus, Drive, AEB, Exposure Controls, Mirror Lock Up and virtually any other control; register these on the camera and then select the grouping of these parameters with a simple twist of the mode dial to C-1, C-2, C-3. I use these controls often and have my favorite camera setup parameters saved for quick selection.

    Yes, the 60D has a watered down version with a single User Selected Mode instead of three. However, in keeping with its "Super Rebel" status in the Canon DSLR hierarchy; the 60D retains the "dummy modes" such as "Portrait". "Landscape" Etc. I guess that a lot of entry-level photographers use these modes but, I have absolutely no use for them.

    IMO, it is a lot easier to incorporate AEB with Exposure Compensation on the 7D than on my earlier Canon DSLR cameras.

    Is the 7D the perfect camera? Heck no! If I were to design a 1.6x DSLR, I would steal a few parameters of the 1D cameras such as: Five Stop AEB, ISO 50 capability (heck I would go down to ISO 25), and the ability to autofocus at f/8 (which would allow a photographer to use the great 400mm f/5.6L lens with a 1.4x TC and retain A/F). I would also trade the RAW/JPEG button for a mirror lock-up button any day...

    Some photographers complain that their mode dial on the 7D (I don't know about the 60D) gets inadvertently twisted. I have not had that problem in the month or so I have been using the 7D. I have not had that problem using a 10D, 30D, or 40D but, consistently switched modes in error when I used a 350D. The mode button was right where my thumb landed when I was shooting...

    All-in-all, I really like my 7D but, very likely the 60D will satisfy the needs of many photographers and for those who demand or simply want an articulating LCD, might be the best choice (but, this brings the T2i into the equation - and that's a new subject)...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 18th May 2011 at 03:09 PM.

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    1) I see little diff in the specs between the 600D and 60D, other than shutter speed of 4000 vs 8000. But being mainly a landscape photographer I don't see this as a real issue.
    Look past the specs. The 7D, 60D, and 600D all more or less share the same sensor and processor, so the image resolution, iso performance, etc. will look the same. This isn't about image quality as much as it's about usability features.

    Between the 600D and 60D, there are significant UI differences. I'd highly recommend looking at the "Operation and Controls" pages in the reviews for each camera on dpreview or physically handling these cameras in a store to get a feel for the differences. The 600D (and all the dRebels) have only one control wheel under the forefinger near the shutter button. Four-way buttons are used for menu navigation and settings, and there's a modal button which expands the function of the control wheel. So, if you're in M mode, the wheel controls your shutter speed, holding down the mode button and turning the wheel controls your aperture.

    With the 60D and 7D, there are two wheels. The additional one replaces the four-way buttons on the back. Turning the dial is faster and easier than the four-way buttons. And it also takes the place of the mode+wheel. So, you use one wheel for shutter speed, the other for aperture. Much more direct and easier to use.

    The 600D has a single quick-access function button on the top: ISO. The 60D has four: AF, Drive, ISO, and Metering can all be quickly accessed and set with a top LCD the 600D does not have. The 7D has three buttons, but each button controls two different settings (depending on which wheel is turned), so you have immediate access to AF, Drive, ISO, Metering, White Balance, and FEC. In addition, the 60D has a multi-controller inside the main dial for AF point selection. The 7D has an even handier and faster joystick. The 60D has one Custom mode you can program. The 600D has none. The 7D has three (and finally removes all those scene modes you never use from the dial).

    The higher up you go, the more controls you have.

    2) The main diff I see between the 60D and the 7D is the CF card, AF points and the price(!).
    AF microadjust, a metal body, LCD overlay in the viewfinder, way more ways to configure the camera buttons and AF zones, and a higher burst rate are probably the other key features of the 7D. Weirdly, however, the 60D can use interchangeable focus screens, while the 7D can't. They also have different cards, batteries, and cable release connectors. If you're upgrading from a dRebel to the 60D, you don't have to rebuy cards and release cables. If to a 7D, then you do.

    3) I'm struggling to justify the additional $1000 to go for the 5D over the 7D as I don't really see an significant advantage in the 5D.
    A used 5D (whoops. Edit: Mark I) goes for about $1100 these days, so it can be had for significantly LESS than a new 7D. And I picked up my refurbed 5D Mark II via the Canon Loyalty Program for $1800 (unfortunately it's off the list again), which made it only $100 more than a new 7D at the time. The far higher resolution, larger/brighter viewfinder, and the ability to go wide with longer lenses definitely makes it worth the additional expense for a lot of landscape shooters.

    Personally, if you're not shooting fast action photography of some kind (sports, wildlife, performances), then I think you should either save your money with the 600D/60D and go for higher-end glass, or consider a used 5D Mark I. If you want some of the additional controls and the metal build of the 7D and you don't care about video, you could also consider picking up a 50D. I'd also ask yourself if you really need a body upgrade. The T1i is still quite a reasonable camera to be shooting with.
    Last edited by inkista; 19th May 2011 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Meant to say MkI 5D is $1100 used, not the Mk II.

  6. #6

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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    Hi Mark,

    Not a lot to add - just wanted to say "cross the 600D off the list". Image quality is fine, but the ergonomics will limit you - happy to expand on this if you want, or you can "just trust me"

    7D is like a 1.6x crop-factor version of a 1D series. 60D is a solid choice, as is the 5D2. All 3 are nice cameras - and there's no right or wrong ... there's a HUGE overlap between them.

  7. #7
    rob marshall

    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    I have the 5D Mk2. It's a beautiful camera, and the image quality is terrific. You will need very good lenses for it though. A 5D with a 24-105mmL or a 17-40mmL will take you the best shots you should ever need. Did you have your lenses stolen too? Go for a kit package. In the UK they sell the 5D (or the 7D) with the 24-105mmL for a decent reduced price. If you buy them separately they will cost you more.

    The 60D is good if you shoot low down (flowers etc) with the tilt screen. I find my panasonic great for that.

  8. #8
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    I have the 5D Mk2. It's a beautiful camera, and the image quality is terrific. You will need very good lenses for it though. A 5D with a 24-105mmL or a 17-40mmL will take you the best shots you should ever need. Did you have your lenses stolen too?
    Yes, they took the 24-105 L and Sigma 10-20 3.5, flash, filters, blah, blah.

    Thanks everyone for the detailed comments. To be honest I'm still not sure but I'll wait for the insurance people to pay up and then decide.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    gcowan's Avatar
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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    Mark,

    I recently went through this process. It came down to the lenses I use, how I conceive the images I make, the size of the prints I make and the low light shooting I do. I used the original 5D and I use wide angle lenses for landscape work. I do not do sport photography, or wildlife, so longer lenses are not really decisive for me. I have the 24-105 lens and use it if I don't really know what I am looking for but usually use a 21mm lens or a 50mm lens or a 100mm lens.

    I am used to conceiving images for a full frame camera, I only recently changed from using film and still use film for panoramic work and portraits. I make A3 to A2 sized prints and until very recently used the original 5D which is 13 mpixels, but it is pushing the limits. Bigger pixels tend to have lower noise, so these factors and the wide angle lens work leads to the full frame option. I stayed with full frame.

    If you make really big prints then you need more pixels, so the 7D with 18 mPixels should make very satisfactory big prints. If you don't need the no. of pixels ( but at 18mP for the 7D, that is not an issue), or don't do a lot of low light shooting, then the crop frame 7D is probably the camera for you especially if you are used to conceiving your images for that format.

    I haven't really considered the 7D or used one so I can't comment on its performance, and it is difficult to advise on it one way or the other. The 5D may perform better at the limits or not but it really is only of importance if you are working at the limits.

    Broadly speaking though that is the process I went through. Have a look at dpreview website and decide if the comparative performance suits you, make your decision and then don't look again.

    These are all really good cameras so the decision becomes one of preference. If you like working with crop frames then stay with it.

    Graham

  10. #10

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    Re: New Canon - Help me decide please

    Hello Mark,

    I would believe we shoot alot of the same things.

    I would have to say that I agree with all post I just bought myself a 60D and I will tell you why because I did look at the 7D but didn't purchase this for many reasons.

    1) Because of my CP the 7D was a little to heavy for me but, I really thought about it and yes I could use a tripod ( and I should )

    2) Because I normally shoot nature, still life and macro I love the tilt-screen when in live view... the different angles are great I couldn't do without it.

    3) The 60D feels great in my hand and don't really get tired using it.... I wouldn't really look at the specs because the 60D and 7D are really close if I remember right IQ I believe is comparable.. I really enjoy my 60D great camera.

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