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Old 28th of October 2013 (Mon)   #1
stpix
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Default 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Currently I have a T3i. My favorite subject is birds in flight, particularly ospreys. My most often used lens is my 400 5.6 L prime. I have enjoyed the T3i but plan to upgrade to a 7d or 70d by Christmas.

No interest in FF since I seem to always wish I had a longer lens even with the 400 L 5.6. Almost never shoot video.

Main reason to upgrade is that I am starting to notice the limitations of the pentamirror viewfinder and 9 point AF of the T3i.

1) Does anyone here have real world experience with both the 7d & 70d viewfinders ? On paper the specs look very similar with perhaps a very small size advantage for the 7d.

2) can anyone share their BIF AF experience with both cameras?

i like the metal 7d body. I bought my first SLR in 1972 so I remember and appreciate that style body but still I would take a polymer body if it meant better performance.

For me the 7d vs 70d question then comes down go the viewfinder and AF. Any comments appreciated.
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Old 28th of October 2013 (Mon)   #2
GregDunn
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

If you're shooting video, 70D. If you're shooting sports or other moving targets, 7D.
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Old 28th of October 2013 (Mon)   #3
Keyan
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Some 7D users have ditched their 7Ds and are using the 70D instead, they say the AF for BIF is as good or better.

If you have a 70D...you will probably end up using it for video at some point, it is very good at it. I never shot video with my 60D...I do all the time with my 70D.

Things to keep in mind - the 70D has better out of camera jpegs, more MP for cropping, articulated touchscreen, wireless support, and it uses SD cards so your investment in SD cards for your T3i won't be lost. The RAW files are easier to clean up vs the 7D. The 70D also has the new style of MFA that allows for compensation for both ends of a zoom.

The 7D does have the edge in viewfinder and it has two viewfinder AF modes the 70D does not, spot focus and expansion. It also has a larger burst buffer.

For me, I had no interest in the 7D, new it still costs more than the 70D but it is running on a much older base platform. I use many of the features of the 70D that the 7D doesn't have and I have no complaints about the AF, it seems to track birds very well.
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Old 28th of October 2013 (Mon)   #4
jwcdds
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyan View Post
Some 7D users have ditched their 7Ds and are using the 70D instead, they say the AF for BIF is as good or better.
Not that I'm doubting or challenging what you're saying (since I've never handled a 70D). But I'm just trying to understand how the 70D's AF for BIF could be "better". As good could make sense. But better?
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Old 28th of October 2013 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

The 7d has 100% view finder coverage and its own processor for the af system.The 70d lacks that.The 70d might have wifi built in and newer processor but does the af system focus as quick as the 7d?
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

I currently have a 7D and Focus point expansion is my BIF setting, I also shoot a bit of video and in that regard the 70D is better, however I'm reluctant to give up my two extra focus modes, so if you have no or little interest in video then I would say get a 7D, it's also cheaper!
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Switched from 7D to 70D. AF is as good or better. I shoot probably 10K BIF images a year. I still have the 7D so I can do further tests if needed.
IQ is better, both in real life and according to my controlled tests.
The difference is not big, but better is better.
However, if someone insist on having the AF point expansion mode, only the 7D has it.

If someone wants to buy new, the 7D is expensive. Used prices however are very reasonable and there are tons of 7Ds for sale these days. Used 7Ds are the a great value.
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Last edited by gabebalazs : 29th of October 2013 (Tue) at 06:33.
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #8
Keyan
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

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Originally Posted by Fred2176 View Post
The 7d has 100% view finder coverage and its own processor for the af system.The 70d lacks that.The 70d might have wifi built in and newer processor but does the af system focus as quick as the 7d?
Straight focus speed is more dependent on the lens than the camera. Mine locks on stupid fast with the 70-300L or the 17-55, even if they start out completely OOF.

The Digic5+ is something like 17 times more powerful than a single Digic4 - this is becoming a dead horse as it seems that now that the 70D is out the "lack" of a AF subprocessor is not impacting results, guys who own both say the 7D and 70D are comparable, and some say the 70D does a better job tracking. I don't see why it's so hard for 7D owners to think that after 4 years that Canon wouldn't have made improvements to the AF tracking subroutines.

I've had great luck with mine tracking small speedy birds in flight, such as this guy (cropped in):


Bird by slcko, on Flickr

Both are excellent cameras and both yield incredible images. For me the feature blend of the 70D was more compelling, however a refurb or used 7D may fit the needs of the poster better here. I am just pointing out the differences between the two and what I have heard from 7D owners who have used or now own a 70D. Personally I have not used a 7D enough to compare them, however I am quite happy with my 70D's performance so far.
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Exactly! 7D rocks, 70D rules!

Now, someone buy my 7D please (perhaps I should list it first )
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #10
stpix
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Thanks for the comments.

Has anyone seen a head to head viewfinder comparison between the 7d and 70d?
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Old 29th of October 2013 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

At least traditionally in EOS cameras, Canon have had separate processors for image handling and sequence/AF calculations. They don't specify if they still use a separate CPU for the phase detect AF (separate from the image processing Digic, that is), or if these tasks are now done by the Digic chip as well.
For some cameras in the past, they did specify. The 1D Mark III, as an example, uses dual Digic images for picture processing, a separate processor for camera sequence control and yet another processor for AF calculations. The 7D has the same configuration, but there the Digic image processors are also involved in AF, since they do contrast and face recognition AF when in live view. The 5D Mark II and the 50D don't do AF with the Digic chip, but rely on the Digic chips for some supporting roles to the main AF calculations.

But I haven't seen any such detailed information about how the computational workload is distributed in the very latest models. Hence it may be so that the old rule that the speed of the Digic image processing CPU is irrelevant to AF performance is no longer true. But at least a few years ago, it was, in EOS cameras.
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Old 7th of November 2013 (Thu)   #12
stpix
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

Drove the 50 miles over to a Best Buy in Orlando that had both the 7d and 70d in stock last weekend since nobody had both in stock in my local area.

I liked the 7d better. The viewfinder was noticeably larger and brighter. For me that and the overall feel of the 7d has me pretty much sold on going 7d. My most often used lens is a 400 5.6 L so the 7d is a good fit.
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Old 7th of November 2013 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

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Originally Posted by jwcdds View Post
Not that I'm doubting or challenging what you're saying (since I've never handled a 70D). But I'm just trying to understand how the 70D's AF for BIF could be "better". As good could make sense. But better?
Keep in mind that the EOS 7D is using 4-year old tech. Around 2010-12, Canon made steady improvements in auto focus precision for both new cameras and new lenses. Newer cameras and newer lenses have benefited from these upgrades.

For example, it has already been shown that the center AF point of a Digital Rebel T4i is significantly more precise than that of an EOS 7D. In fact, the center point of a T4i is about as precise as that of an EOS 1Ds III. If you're interested, you can see the results of the comprehensive tests done by Roger Cicala at lensrentals.

It's reasonable to assume that the 70D's center point precision would also be more precise than the 7D's. Of course, given that the 70D's AF system is less configurable than the 7D... it's debatable whether or not the entire AF system as a whole is "better".
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Old 7th of November 2013 (Thu)   #14
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

I might just do some controlled test comparing the two.
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Old 7th of November 2013 (Thu)   #15
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Default Re: 70d vs 7d Viewfinders/AF

got the 70D, got the 400mm 5.6 and EVERY time I go out NOT ONE bird, ok one mockingbird last week who sat patiently forever letting me get the pic but no BIF, what am I supposed to do, throw rocks to get him in flight! Nope wasn't even tempted.....
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