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550d or 7d?


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#1 TheRedDarren

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:09 AM

Hi all,
just thinking of upgrading to dSLR and want to know whether to stick to a budget and go for the 550d or go up the range a little to the 7d?
Given that they both use the same sensor and processor will there be much difference in the final image quality?
A 7D user on another forum has said that the quality will be very similar, and a trust his judgement but am also looking for a few more opinions!
All the best,
D.

#2 james

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:21 AM

I think the image quality will be similar but the 7D will be MUCH easier to use underwater. It has a bigger viewfinder and it has TWO command dials (one front one back) instead of just one.

Have a look at the two cameras at the shop and hold them, test them, etc - to get an idea of what's right for you. The cost difference shouldn't be too much in the long run.

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#3 bkkchriss4

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:35 AM

I would say that after owning the 7d and having used the 550d/T2i the images are pretty much the same. I am sure there are some out there that might argue that, but I don't think anyone could really tell the difference in image quality.

When it comes to usability, ergonomics and build the 7d is light years ahead of the 550d. I find the 550d to be very hard to use in the way that I am used too (I went to a 7d from Nikon who are still, in my opinion, king of the DSLR build/ergo) and too small and fragile feeling. I just got back from a few weeks in remote China and the 7d took all the water/mud/rain and abuse I could throw at it no problem. Doubt the 550d would have survived.

Underwater I would imagine that the ergonomic differences will really be tough to deal with, although that said, the Nauticam solution for the 550d looks pretty sweet and is probably easier to use in the housing than the camera alone!

I say spend the extra now and get the 7d. Only thing I have noticed for sure on both is that these high mp cameras really require good glass. So if your really looking to save money, spend more on glass and save on the body. The glass will last you longer than your body will.

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#4 greedo5678

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:45 AM

Just got my 7d and got the nauticam housing, and got it wet for the first time today (pool session only). So easy, so obvious, all the controls are right there and easily adjustable. I LOVE IT.

I agree that if your spending that much on a camera and housing, u might as well get the best you can, or can afford. I spent over budget with the 7d and housing and ports, and new inon strobes and can say its worth it. Theres nothing worse than having to update almost straight away.

Chat to Alex at nauticam who is amazing and they do both the 550 and 7d. check out uwvisions.com.

Cheers Olly
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#5 Cp

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:27 PM

Hi all,
just thinking of upgrading to dSLR and want to know whether to stick to a budget and go for the 550d or go up the range a little to the 7d?
Given that they both use the same sensor and processor will there be much difference in the final image quality?
A 7D user on another forum has said that the quality will be very similar, and a trust his judgement but am also looking for a few more opinions!
All the best,
D.


I've had a chance to dive with both. As some have mentioned, as far as image quality, I think you'd have a hard time telling the difference. In video, the 550D has one processor, whereas the 7D has dual - so you should get better video with 7D, but again, it may be hard to tell the difference for many types of shots.

As far as ergonomics go, the 7D definitely feels better in the hand, imo. The 550D is smaller and lighter, and more, well, plasticky. 550D only has one command dial, making some menu/setting things have an extra step. 7D is easier, though I sometimes get confused about things like "is drive on the front dial or the back". While shooting, it only matters in Manual mode. The Nauticam 550D housing has a switch for the Av button, so you don't have to hold down a button while twisting a dial underwater. (Aquatica has this switch too. Not sure about other housings). It actually may be easier than the 2 command dial way - once your muscle memory is trained.

One thing I don't like on 550D is the way that movie mode is done - as a stop on the mode dial. 7D's method is preferred here, I think. But 550D can shoot manual video, it's just done differently.

The 550D housing is smaller than the 7D housing, and you do feel a difference. 550D packs really well - in fact, I'm working on a blog post about that right now.

I'd have no qualms about diving with either camera....

Cheers,
Cp

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#6 Cp

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:29 PM

I think the image quality will be similar but the 7D will be MUCH easier to use underwater. It has a bigger viewfinder and it has TWO command dials (one front one back) instead of just one.

Have a look at the two cameras at the shop and hold them, test them, etc - to get an idea of what's right for you. The cost difference shouldn't be too much in the long run.

Cheers
James


re: the viewfinder.... I was using external viewfinders on both so this wasn't an issue, but without one, as James points out, advantage 7D.

Cheers,
Cp

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#7 bubbless

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:08 PM

Guess I'll have to play devil's advocate as I just went through pretty much the same decision making process and opted for the T2i with the Nauticam housing. I was upgrading from an older (*much* older) Canon Rebel so for me it was very easy moving to the T2i. I can see how it might be tougher moving from a Nikon.

For me, it really came down to ease of travel as the most important factor, so the fact that the T2i and the Nauticam housing were significantly smaller and lighter was a major plus for me. Saving almost a thousand dollars on the camera body also opened up the option of picking up a spare camera body - something I'd probably not do for years with the 7D.

The Nauticam housing (as has been pointed out) really simplifies the controls on the T2i and puts everything important in pretty easy reach from the handles.

If I didn't have to travel to dive, I may have made a different choice, but this works well for me. Now to just get it into salt water! :P

#8 Cp

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:42 AM

Guess I'll have to play devil's advocate as I just went through pretty much the same decision making process and opted for the T2i with the Nauticam housing. I was upgrading from an older (*much* older) Canon Rebel so for me it was very easy moving to the T2i. I can see how it might be tougher moving from a Nikon.

For me, it really came down to ease of travel as the most important factor, so the fact that the T2i and the Nauticam housing were significantly smaller and lighter was a major plus for me. Saving almost a thousand dollars on the camera body also opened up the option of picking up a spare camera body - something I'd probably not do for years with the 7D.

The Nauticam housing (as has been pointed out) really simplifies the controls on the T2i and puts everything important in pretty easy reach from the handles.

If I didn't have to travel to dive, I may have made a different choice, but this works well for me. Now to just get it into salt water! :P


Hi Bubbless,

There's a lot to be said about having a second body.... I definitely like to have a second body ready on a big dive trip, maybe with a 70-200 attached to it and ready to shoot. You never know what might start jumping out of the water.... :-)

Enjoy your 550D!

Cheers,
Cp

Edited by Cp, 20 July 2010 - 06:42 AM.

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#9 mcliffy2

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:55 AM

No one has mentioned the better autofocus on the 7D...as someone who is just getting into using a DSLR underwater, this seemed like a big plus to me. The 7D focuses quicker and stays locked, which is especially noticeable in macro shots. Tony Wu commented on the autofocus capabilities of the 7D here: http://www.tonywublo...non-eos-7d.html

#10 derway

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 10:51 AM

What about the 60D? Why is it no one ever mentions the 60D? It looks like a nice upgrade, with better AF and viewfinder.

And the new t3i, 600D...

Quite a few folk report the dual processors in the 7D are a problem - excessive heating. For shooting video longer than 10 minutes, they get heat warnings and have to stop.

Edited by derway, 08 February 2011 - 10:53 AM.

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#11 Otara

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 03:04 PM

What about the 60D? Why is it no one ever mentions the 60D? It looks like a nice upgrade, with better AF and viewfinder.

And the new t3i, 600D...

Quite a few folk report the dual processors in the 7D are a problem - excessive heating. For shooting video longer than 10 minutes, they get heat warnings and have to stop.


The 600d was announced yesterday, so was a bit hard to mention before that.

The 7D has a 4gb limit for files, which will work out to 12 minutes or so on HD video. There are reports of people having trouble with individual cameras, but also many of people having no trouble shooting for hours in a row, only needing to stop for the 4gb limit each time. I suspect some of these reports are people not realising the file limit issue.

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#12 DerekB

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 04:22 PM

I have a nauticam housing for the t21, I love it!


If I had to give it a negative, maybe over under shots would be easier with the 7d because of its shooting speed.

#13 ileiman

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 02:34 AM

The Canon 7D, 60D, 600/550D have all the same 18Mpix sensor, same metering system, and share a lot of the same technology and core firmware, so the still image quality on all of them should be basically the same. However as you go down from the top-of-the-line 7D, you progressively lose some features which may affect to the way you take pictures.

The image processor and frame memory size affects how fast you can shoot and how quickly the camera responds. Probably there is also an effect to video quality as well. The 7D is fast as a lightning and really good for fast action.
- 7D has dual DIGIC4 processors and the largest memory, it can shoot 8 frames per second, up to 58 JPG or 16 RAW in sequence
- 60D has single DIGIC4, and can shoot 5.3 fps
- 600/550D has smallest memory, and can shoot 3.7 fps up to 34 JPG or 6 RAW in sequence

More computing power and bigger memories do amount to higher power consumption. However, if you use the LCD a lot, or the internal flash a lot, then that consumes much more power than anything else.

The body structure:
- 7D has all magnesium alloy body with full environmental sealing, solid like a tank and even works in rain
- 60D has plastic + aluminium body, no seals
- 600/550D is mostly plastic body & no sealing, quite fragile but also lightweight, gets ruined in rain

The user interface:
- 7D has the most complete interface with dual dials, joystick, customization, 3 custom modes etc.
- 60D has reduced interface, no joystick, fewer buttons, limited customization, 1 custom mode
- 600/550 has a very simplified interface

The autofocus-system is different in all of these:
- 7D has 19 point all points cross-type autofocus with highly configurable & customizable settings, AF works really fast & is very realiable
- 60D has 9 point all points cross-type autofocus, limited configurations
- 600/550D has 9 point AF with only 1 cross-type point

The optical viewfinders are different:
- 7D has 100% 1.0x pentaprism, this means full and bright view of what you are shooting
- 60D has 96% 0.95x pentaprism
- 600/550D has 95% 0.87x pentamirror

Both 7D and 60D have 2-axis electronic spririt levels. 600/550D has only orientation sensor.

Connectivity:
-7D has USB2, HDMI, Video, N3 remote, external Microphone, PC-sync, IR-remote
-Others have no PC-sync, no IR-remote, and only support E3 wired remote

Accessories:
- battery grip available for all
- for 7D you can also get WFT-E5 wifi/remote controller grip

Canon Speedlite wireless flash support:
- 7D can act as wireless flash master with multigroup & channel support
- 60D can act as wireless flash master but no multigroup support
- 600D can act as wireless flash master but no support for channels or groups
- 550D has no wireless flash support

Rear view LCD:
- On 7D and 550D LCD is fixed
- On 60D and 600D LCD is articulated

Memory cards:
- 7D has CF-cards, others use SD/SDHC/SDXC

In conclusion: it is up to you to decide if the added features on the more expensive models are something you need and are willing to pay for. One thing to note though is the fact that any underwater housing with ports is going to cost you more or much more than the 7D body. Any lenses you have - or will eventually have - will cost you more than the 7D body. :(
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