What's the difference?


TPF Noob!
Mar 3, 2011
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Changing over to canon soon. Besides the basics, I'm not familiar with all the very technical aspects of cameras, will someone please explain what the differences are between the 7D and the 5D mark ii ? In the side-by-side comparison on Canon's website they appear nearly identical with the exception of the metering mode.

Almost all of my work is portrait and I'm considering picking up a couple of weddings in 2013. I may also buy a used camera so I can put more $ towards lenses.... would anyone recommend doing so/not doing so?

Thanks for all your help!

o hey tyler

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Aug 3, 2009
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The major differences between them are:

1. The sensor size. The 5D2 has a larger sensor (full frame) whereas the 7D has an APS-C sized sensor. The 5D will handle noise better because of this, and have a larger workable ISO range.
2. The AF system. The 5D2 has a lacking AF system. It has one cross type point (the center point) whereas the 7D has 19 (all of them). The 7D is made for acquiring focus fast, and reliably and being able to take many burst photos with high AF accuracy.
3. The pop up flash. Canon has a wireless flash control system on the 7D which utilizes its popup flash to control speedlights wirelessly off camera (With TTL metering) the 5D does not have a popup flash.
4. The 7D also has a color aware metering system which the 5D doesn't have. However, I've never run into an issue using a 5D2 and metering accuracy.

Overall, both cameras would be suitable for shooting a wedding. The 7D would be better at getting sharply focused shots continuously compared to the 5D, and the 5DII will blow the 7D out of the water when it comes to noise handling.

Both cameras have strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day, I'd suggest a 7D and some nice glass to go with it.

Big Mike

I am Big, I am Mike
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Dec 16, 2003
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Tyler laid it out pretty well.

The 5D (series) is about putting a high end, full frame sensor into a 'regular' camera body (as opposed to a pro level body like the 1Ds or an entry level body like the Rebels).
The 7D is about putting a high end focusing system into a 'regular' camera body that has an APS-C (cropped) sensor.

The 5D series seams geared more toward studio/portrait/landscape while the 7D seems more geared toward action/sports etc.
Weddings can be a bit of both, largely depending on your shooting style. I'd guess that more Pro wedding photographers lean toward the 5DII because of the better image quality / high ISO.

Also as Tyler mentioned, good quality lenses are going to be just as, or more important than the difference between these cameras.

Here is a side by side comparison, with the new 5DIII thrown in.
Side by Side Comparison: Digital Photography Review

Here is a blog post that might be good reading for you Edmonton Photography School | Edmonton Photography Courses | The Canadian Photography Learning Centre Blog

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