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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 29 Mar 2011 (Tuesday) 22:54
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Buy Canon 5D Mark II or wait for the Mark III

57 posts
Joined Oct 2009
Mar 29, 2011 22:54 |  #1

I would like your advice: I am thinking of purchasing a 5D MK II. The problem is I do a wide range of photography assignments for my school, ranging from candid shots to sports and performing arts. My photos appear on school publication and website.
I have rented the 7D and the 5D MK II.

The 7D captures outdoor sports such as football, soccer and track & field with ease using the high speed burst setting. My basketball photos IQ depends on how much natural light I get from the skylights and eventually the artificial light when it gets completely dark outside. The AF is amazing fast in any sports where I dont have to go beyond 1600 ISO.

The 5D does well in classrooms, labs, or the theater where I can push the ISO a bit higher than the 7D and not get too much noise. It also does very well in candid shots of students and faculty. But I have difficult focusing with this one in sports. I have more misses than keeps. Yet, the keeps are unbelievable beautiful (see attached photos).

Having both bodies would be great with my set of (3) 2.8 L and 1.8 lens. Unfortunately, I can only afford one. My current camera body is a 20D. I am ready to upgrade to a better body.

A friend suggested I get the 7D now and wait for the next 5D to come out as posted in Canon quote here:

"5D Mark III: I received 2 different announcement dates. September timeframe and in the 28mp range from a decent source and 30mp and June from an unknown source."

September of 2011, June 2012? With current events in Japan, who knows...

Another friend suggested I hang on to the 20D, rent the 7D or 5D MK II when needed, until the Mark III comes out.

Your thoughts and feedbacks are appreciated.


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2,248 posts
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Joined Jul 2007
Location: Louisiana
Mar 29, 2011 23:22 |  #2

You could buy a refurbished 7D and 5DII direct from Canon for $3300. I'm sure the 5DIII will cost that or more. If you actually have that amount of money to spend now, then you should buy the refurbished models instead.

If you are being published now with an 8 MP camera, you probably don't need 28 MP.

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151 posts
Joined May 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Mar 30, 2011 00:36 |  #3

Did you pay attention to the name of website? "Canon Rumors dot com"! 5D replacement at this point is just a rumor.

It is true that Canon replaced its pro cameras in three years, in the last two generations. However they have not yet replaced 1Ds Mk III, which has been out 3.5 years. I don't know what Canon will do next, update 1Ds or 5D, but I won't hold my breath for either. Even if mark III is announced this fall (typical time for such announcements), it may take supply a few months to me the demand.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the next generation of FF is proving to be a challenge. Canon has not had a brand new FF sensor since 2007, and Sony/Nikon combo has not had it since 2008.

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Mar 30, 2011 00:44 |  #4

If you're thinking about waiting, you might as well wait for the 5D4. I hear it's going to be much better than the 5D3. ;)

But in all seriousness, get the right tool for the job (and "right" doesn't mean the most expensive, nor the newest). Things to consider:
1) Are you being paid by your school for these photography assignments?
2) If yes to #1, what kind of "quality" are they expecting you to produce?
3) Then buy the "right" tool that will satisfy those expectations in #2. If it's a 7D, 5D2, 1D4, etc... (all depending on a realistic budget).

It's different when you're shooting for fun (hobby) vs. shooting as a business/livelihood. As Mark noted above, you can likely get both the 7D/5D2 as refurbs from Canon and it'll probably still be cheaper than the 5D3. And if you're being paid to shoot things, it's wiser and more efficient to shoot with 2 cameras. (Not to mention both share the same batteries for added convenience.) The 5D3 (if it ever gets released) may not be that magic bullet that everyone is hoping it to be.

In any case, whatever camera you decide to go with, it won't be perfect. But people have been taking photos looooong before autofocus was even a feature. Learn the tool, work around it's deficiencies. Get the shots.

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57 posts
Joined Oct 2009
Mar 30, 2011 01:11 |  #5

Thanks for your feedback guys. Mark-B and JWCDDS (Julian) brought up some good points. I think refurbished would be the way to go if I am going to afford both cameras.

Yes, I am a fulltime staff photographer/graphic designer/layout editor at the school. I also do freelance work on the weekends. Every 2-3 years, I pushed the big wigs to rise the bar on the quality of work we produced by upgrading our equipment, from our macs to cameras, and our skills.

You would be amazed at how complaced these people can be until they are shown difference. Hello!
Julian, you hit it right on the nail about working around deficiencies. Been doing that with our 10D & 20D cameras.

Thanks again.

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212 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mar 30, 2011 02:16 as a reply to  @ hmgrau's post |  #6

How is your 20d "sports" keeper rate compared to the rented 5d II?

Can you live with the 5dII for sports? Sounds like it misses a lot - or could additional use help you overcome this? If not, I wouldn't get it as your only body.

Of course, one of these discussions wouldn't be complete if somebody didn't ask if you had considered the 1d III... :)

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3,417 posts
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Joined Jul 2008
Location: Florida, Weston
Mar 30, 2011 05:52 |  #7

Well the 5D3 will show up. The trouble is when and can you wait?
No one knows when it will be released and what features it will bring.


Senior Member
424 posts
Joined Jul 2010
Location: Singapore
Mar 30, 2011 06:43 |  #8

If you really need a FF, go for it. With the current situation in Japan, it's gonna be a long wait for 5DM3.

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Location: Just South of Ballard
Mar 30, 2011 06:47 |  #9

I'm glad I didn't wait.

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Senior Member
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Mar 30, 2011 06:48 |  #10

Get the 5D2 and start enjoying it! you know, it's a fabulous camera!

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Senior Member
425 posts
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Utah
Mar 30, 2011 08:20 |  #11

It took 3 years to update the original 5D. That's pretty typical for Canon's high end cameras. If that's the case with the 5D2 then we are looking at an announcement in the fall and availability late this year early next year. Do you want to wait that long? The 5D2 is still going to be an awesome camera even after an update comes out.

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Location: Mississauga, ON
Mar 30, 2011 10:26 |  #12

Have you considered a 1DmkIII?

51 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Illinois
Mar 30, 2011 11:32 |  #13

I also debated on buying the 5Dmk2 last September, as rumors were flying even then (and a while before) that the 5Dmk3 was just around the corner, with a 2011 1st quarter release. I don't know the fiscal calendar of Canon, but would guess the 1st quarter is over, and not 5dmk3. If you would fundamentally prefer the 5Dmk2 over the 7D, go for it now. It'll be a great camera long after the 5Dmk4 even. If, instead you want the full frame aspect with improved autofocus and fps
- you should probably save for the 1Ds series. I doubt the 5D series will combine them as it would essentially eliminate the need for their high-end 1ds series.

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97 posts
Joined Feb 2011
Mar 30, 2011 11:37 as a reply to  @ ASmith's post |  #14

I would like to echo the notion that I'm glad I didnt wait. Just got mine last month and I'm very satisfied with it (=

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Joined Jan 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Mar 30, 2011 11:53 |  #15

I would not wait for the 5D3 unless it have been announced. No one know when it will come out at this point. You can always sell the 5D2 when the 5D3 comes out. Camera gear retains it a high resale value. There is always the option of going with a 5D classic. I am not sure on its ISO performance capabilities versus the 5D2, or even the 7D (given the difference in product age and the technology level).

Out of your two scenarios which one is more critical? Which one do you find yourself in more often? Sports vs indoors. If it is sports get the 7D. If it is indoor shooting you should consider the 5D2 then. Does the 20D accel in either scenario?

I'm in Canada. Isn't that weird!

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Buy Canon 5D Mark II or wait for the Mark III
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