...Some may recall that I'm on my 3rd 7D2 body. This body is definitely better than the first two...which were total stinkers.
However, being "better" doesn't necessarily mean "good," and over the past few weeks I've taken a boatload of pictures with the 7D2 using Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM, Canon 24-105 f/4 IS USM, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS USM, and the Tokina 11-16 f/2/8. I've also taken a ton of pics with my 5D3...just to calibrate my expectations.
I'm a bit befuddled with my 7D2. It clearly focuses better than the previous two, but every now and then it give me heart attacks because it misses focus on something that should be a can of corn. Here's an example of an inexplicable miss (Tokina 11-16 shot at the extra wide end). Lucky me the puppet was in focus:
When I got my first 7D2 body, it happened to snow the next day and I went out to the local dog track ("North Boulder Park" in case any locals are reading this) and took some pics. After taking about 300 I scampered home and found that virtually all of them were OOF...not by a little, but by a longshot. Here's a 100% crop from that day:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pCQJoA
...So all this front focusing with the 7D2 has got my panties in a bunch. I was ready to send #3 body back to Adorama, but as luck would have it, we got a good snow the other day and I thought I'd return back to North Boulder Park to do a comparison between these two bodies: How does the 7D2 stand up to my tried and true 5D3? Would the 5D3 miss on shots like those my 7D2 has missed? Is the 7D2 focus system that much better?
Here are my results. I've still got one more test to do tomorrow with the 7D2 to shoot high-speed oncoming traffic (from the sidewalk). Right now my results are a little skewed because shooting oncoming traffic should be a piece of cake for the 7D2...which will boost it's overall keeper rate.
Go out and take some pictures. Come home, review, and tag each photo "Green" "Yellow" or "Red" using this metric:
Green: nailed it
Yellow: looks acceptable when not pixel peeping; slightly out of focus at 100% zoom (1:1 zoom)
Red: total miss
Cross country skiers/skaters (velocity guesstimate 10-20mph; lots of side/side motion);
Oncoming traffic (velocity guesstimate: 35-45mph; no side/side motion)
Bright sun; shooting with and into the sun
Most taken with Canon EF70-200 f/4 IS USM
A few taken with Canon EF24-105 f/4 IS USM
Tv, Av, Manual, sometimes with +1/3 = +2/3 stop EC (love that feature on the 7D2)
1/1250 - 1/2500 (I think a few 1/3000 as well)
Wide open to f/5.6; a few at f/8
Mostly full Auto ISO
Focus points used:
Single point AF
AF Point Expansion (4, 6 points)
Large Zone AF
Focus Cases used:
All cases used; many taken with Case 4, Case 6, Case 5
Case 1, Case 2 couldn't keep up
Some shots with Case 4, and Case 4 Accel/Decel tracking bumped +1 from default
Red: 13 (5.1%)
Yellow: 31 (12.3%)
Green: 208 (82.5%)
Yellow + Green = 31+208=239
Total Keepers: 94.8%
Red: 83 (18.4%)
Yellow: 95 (21.1%)
Green: 271 (60.3%)
Yellow + Green = 95+271=336
Total Keepers: 74.8%
Ouch. To me, it looks like the 5D3 wins big over the 7D2...20% more keepers, although this could be slightly misleading since I haven't taken pics of oncoming traffic with the 7D2 yet, which should boost the keeper ratio.
Anyways, here are some samples from the past two days. We are limited to 8 images so I'll just link to some on Flickr...
7D2 Green, Yellow, and Red samples:
Green (in focus):
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qxx6mC
Yellow (slightly off...but not a miss):
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qzKqz7
Yellow full (shows what a slightly OOF image looks like on my monitor):
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pCPD4Q
Red (total miss):
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qifz77
Here's a static focus shot...no problems here...
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qifzQS
Here's a link to a 26 shot sequence (gotta love the 10fps and the buffer!) There were 20 keepers (green+yellow), but 6 misses (all misses followed an obstruction of tracked point of focus; Case 4 Zone AF)
Here's a link to a sequence...you can see the 7D2 hits, then misses, then hits, then misses...
Here's a link to a sequence where the 7D2 absolutely nails it...a fast moving, panning, challenging focus scenario:
Here are links to a bunch of screenshots from DPP showing focus points and various hits/misses:
Here's a link to a 5D3 sequence:
...and another 5D3 sequence:
...and yet another:
Regarding 7D2 AF performance...some misses were definitely due to user error:
1. I used AF Point Expansion (4 points) paired with Case 5 (should only be used with Zone AF and All Points AF)
2. With my 5D3 I never used Cases other than 1, 2, and 4...so using the other cases with the 7D2 is a learning experience
3. Some misses probably shouldn't be considered "real" misses...perhaps I'm being too critical with slightly soft images...when viewed at full-screen rez (not 100% or 1:1 pixel ratio) they look acceptable.
Anyways, since I've returned several bodies to Adorama and don't want to be labeled a "serial returner" I'm considering sending the 7D2 into Canon for calibration. If bigcountry is reading this thread, how did you go about sending yours in? Did you call someone first or just send it in?
Comments and criticisms welcome. Thanks for your time...