Search Terms, Questions and Answers Part 1

Over the last several months I’ve collected some of the search terms that led people to read my blog (it is easy with WordPress to check your daily/ weekly/ monthly stats such as this). I’m presenting several of them here, along with brief but informative answers. Whenever I say Canon xxD, please substitute 5D, 7D, 50D, 60D, 550D, etc. as you see fit. They are in no particular order except for the first one, which is the most common search. This is part 1 of 4 of this series. The next ones in the series include questions on humanitarian photography, the Canon 7D specifically, and finally lenses.

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Compare Canon 5D vs 7D vs 60D vs 50D vs 550D – (or any variation there-of: 60D vs 50D, 7D vs 60D, 60D vs 550D, etc.)
I’ve discussed these various comparisons in depth in several previous posts. Please check out these posts:
Post 1
Post 2
Post 3

Should I wait for Canon xxD or buy Canon xxD?
If a new camera has been announced and will be coming out soon, or a current camera is reaching the end of its typical life cycle, I would wait for the new camera. (You can see if a camera is reaching the end of its typical life by looking at the Canon EOS Digital SLR Timeline at the bottom of this Wikipedia page.) Otherwise you are buying a model that is possibly 12-24 months old already and has been improved upon by the newer models. And then you will be using it for another 2, 3, or more years. This is particularly applicable since the new 63 zone metering system is now being used in the latest Canon cameras instead of the older 35 zone system, plus some other nice features. From experience, I can tell you the new metering system makes a difference. That being said, there will always be improvements in the newest models, so it is a never ending process. Also, unfortunately, you should wait several months after a new Canon camera or lens is released because they have a solid history of real problems and quality control issues on early models.

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How much better is a Canon 7D than a 550D?
A Canon 7D costs $1534
A Canon 550d / T2i costs $799
The difference of the two cameras:
1534 – 799 = 735
735 = m% x 799
m = 735/799
m = .92
Move the decimal point over 2 places
The 7D is 92% better than the 550D.
Or perhaps the 550D is 92% as capable as the 7D? This is actually much closer to the truth, at least when it comes to features like image quality. I guess it’s all in how you do the math.

Canon 5D Mk2 vs. 550D / Why Canon 5D instead of 550D?
As I have said many times before, these two cameras are on opposite ends of the spectrum. It is a strange comparison between a full frame professional dSLR and an entry level dSLR that, quite frankly, confuses me. If the 5D fits your expanding needs as a photographer, you would already pretty much know that you needed a 5D after your extensive time using a Rebel or a 20D, 40D, etc. Otherwise, getting a 5D means most likely you’d be investing in far more camera than you will actually need or use. Please note, there is no such thing as a Mark II camera. “Mark II” means it is the second version of a particular camera or lens. There is a 1D Mark II, a 5D Mark II, a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS Mark II, etc.

Canon 50D vs. 7D for football stadium picture
It would depend on what teams are playing, what color jerseys they are wearing, which quarter it is and/ or the score, and the light temperature of the stadium lights mixed with the natural ambient light. The (very) slightly lower dynamic range of the 50D along with its tendency to overexpose by 1/3 a stop in evaluative metering mode would indicate that you would only want to use a 50D in the later quarters, when the ambient light is decreasing and the score is probably higher. Also, the digital sensors of both the 50D and the 7D have the tendency to overexpose and lose detail in areas of the color red. So if, say, Alabama was playing at home, you would want to consider using a film camera. The final consideration would be that the 7D has a built in level that can be used in Live View. If you wish to keep the playing field level, you might want to utilize this option. However, it will be hard to follow the action and keep your eye on the level at the same time. If you shoot in a more dynamic photo-journalistic style that includes tilted frames and dynamic perspectives, either camera will do.

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Canon 7D vs 5D autofocus speed
They are both more than fast enough for your needs. I promise.

How to set deep depth of field
Depth of field is determined by the aperture you select (plus, your focal length and distance-to-subject play a role too). First, put your camera in Av mode. Then turn the main dial (the one up top near the shutter button) counter-clockwise until you have the widest aperture your lens allows, possibly 2.8, 3.5, or 4.0. Then read this post: