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Author Topic: Which Canon Camera  (Read 3408 times)

Etienne Cassar

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Which Canon Camera
« on: January 01, 2009, 12:05:13 pm »

Hi to all,
I am an amateur photographer and currently own a Canon EOS300D camera and an EF 24-105mm IS L lens.  This was a good camera to start me off on digital photography but as soon as I got hold of it, I immediately was unhappy with some of its limitation, mainly the focusing system which didn't let me stay in one shot AF, but Al servo focusing becomes activated after holding the shutter release button for a few seconds, and the inability to change the metering mode.  Lately I have forgot completely about shooting JPEG and only shoot RAW, and this has made this camera body very frustating to use because of the small buffer and the slow speed to save images to the CF card.  Image quality is not bad, considering that I very rarely print A3 or larger than.  But I have to say that I stay at ISO 100 whenever possible and shoot at ISO 200 and 400 only when it is unavoidable.  
So I have decided to upgrade.  I want a camera which has better noise at high ISO than my current EOS 300D, can handle RAW files much faster.  I am undecided between the 5D II and the 50D.  There is quite a difference in price and I have no idea whether the picture quality of the 5D II will be so much better than that of the 50D.  On the other hand the resolution of the 50D is much more than that of the 5D II but does this mean better photographs with much more sensor noise?

Thanks.

Etienne.
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DarkPenguin

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Which Canon Camera
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 12:53:28 pm »

I can't compare the 50D and 5D mk II but for A3 printing why don't you get the 40D?  It is under $800 and would crush the 300D.
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stever

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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 03:03:59 pm »

how about a 5D, it's missing some of the features of the 40d and 50D but will give better images than either with noticeably less noise - should be able to find one at a reasonable price
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 05:34:12 pm »

How about "none of the above?"  [EDIT: How about "neither?"  I don't want to imply that I disagree with the other posters above me.]

The 40D is a terrific bargain right now, a professional APS-chip camera for less than $800 new at Amazon. I would buy another 40D over the 50D at this point.

The original 5D is still available new in a few places, or can be acquired used for $1200-1400. It still has fantastic image quality, and would work very well with your 24-105 lens.

You could, for a reasonable cost, buy a used 5D, AND a new 40D, AND the 70-200 f/4 L IS lens (total cost ~$3200); this is not much more than the body-only price of the 5D Mark II. Put your 24-105 on the 5D, and the 70-200 on the 40D. Then you are covered from 24mm to 320mm (equivalent), shooting 10 or 12 megapixels, which is easily enough for print sizes to 16x24 and larger.

We are fortunate to be at the point where slightly older cameras are still great image-making machines.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 08:00:57 pm by k bennett »
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jeffreybehr

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Which Canon Camera
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 06:35:16 pm »

"...the resolution of the 50D is much more than that of the 5D II...".  Huh?  The 50D's resolution is 15MP while the 5D2's is 21MP.

I shot a 1Ds for several years, than sold all my hi-end Canon stuff and bought and used an XTi and 17-85 for a year and a half.  I was really disappointed with the crop-frame-camera's viewfinder and this fall bought a used 5D and 3 L-series lenses.  I LOVE that camera's viewfinder and image quality.

Go for the 5D2; I think you'll love it.  

BTW one of those L-series lenses is a 24-105, and I love it too.
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Pete Ferling

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Which Canon Camera
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 07:30:41 pm »

I have a 40D, and I use it more often than my 1Ds mkI.  Its just that extra 30mm you lose due to crop which prevents me from using all the time.  I also find the full frame sensor of the 1Ds to render portraits a touch better.

My next choice is leaning towards the 5D MkII to replace both.   That way I'll have both full frame, and a small body as my 1Ds sometimes draws unwanted attention vs. a stripped down 40D on 35mm prime.

The only caveate is that my non L glass lenses (save the 100mm f2.8 macro), will reveal their consumer grade characteristics on a 21mp sensor.  In which case, I'll need to replace at least three lenses, and the real cost of moving to the 5D will be much more.
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Etienne Cassar

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 03:24:38 am »

Hi to all,
I thank you all for your replies.  My actual dilemma is whether it will be worth it to invest in a 5D Mkii when for that amount of cash I can buy a 50D or a 40D, and still be left with enough cash to get a long reach lens.  I am still not convinced that a crop sensor will produce the same image quality as a full size sensor, even though it has a better resolution. And also I cannot understand the actual benefit of having an effective increase in the focal length of a lens when using a crop sensor.  I don't have a wide lens and most of the time a crop sensor is more of a problem rather than an advantage.  On the other hand if I had to take a picture with a full size sensor and then crop the central part of the image, wouldn't this yield the same result as taking the picture with a crop sensor?

Thanks,

Etienne
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Pete Ferling

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Which Canon Camera
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 08:04:46 am »

It depends on what your shooting and the lens you plan to use.  That is, with a full frame sensor, that extra 30mm over crop can be a make or break for interiors and close focus.  If I am shooting in cramp quarters (such as medical procedures in the OR), groups of people at events, I find the 1Ds beneficial.  If using the 40D, I have to resort to much wider lenses to achieve normal lens captures, or stand farther back.  Often using zooms at the widest settings (which is not the sweet spot for many and they go soft).  That's fine for stuff up to 8x10.  In shooting products for large banners, it can be a challenge.  

Outdoors or using zooms it can be a benefit with the extra reach.  In regards to landscape, I pan and stitch to achieve wide angle coverage, but avoid the wide angle distortions of a wide lens.  I like the results so much that if shooting 35mm film, I will mount a normal lens, pan and stitch the scene in the same fashion. Again, it depends on what you are shooting.

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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 10:03:12 am »

Quote from: ecassar
I cannot understand the actual benefit of having an effective increase in the focal length of a lens when using a crop sensor.


It simply provides a little extra "reach" when shooting with a long lens. On my 40D, a 300mm lens has the equivalent field of view of a 480mm lens, but with the same maximum aperture. So my 300/4 becomes, effectively, a 500/4. This can be a useful feature for some kinds of photography -- wildlife, landscape, photojournalism, etc.

Could you shoot with a full frame camera, and simply crop out the middle, and get the same result? Sure.

The downside to this field of view issue is, of course, shooting wide angle. On the 40D, my 16-35 becomes, at best, about a 28mm equivalent. Not very wide at all. I would have to purchase a 10-22mm lens to get the equivalent field of view on my 40D.

So we're left with the idea that different cameras have different strengths and weaknesses, and one chooses the appropriate camera for the job. This isn't a new concept -- photographers have always had different cameras for different assignments.

Etienne, none of us can tell you what camera to buy. All we can do is provide some information about our experiences with these cameras, and what we might do differently now. All I can say is that the crop sensor cameras do provide excellent image quality in and of themselves. Does the 5D Mark II provide better and larger files than the 40D? Sure -- but then a medium format digital back provides even better image quality than that, and you can go crazy spending more and more money to get smaller and smaller returns. Given your print size requirements, I think any current D-SLR from any manufacturer would provide excellent prints.

Good luck.
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stever

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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 11:44:12 am »

from my experience, the extra reach of the aps sensor cameras is an advantage if you regularly shoot longer than 300mm effective focal length and don't want to buy and carry big expensive glass

at 300mm and less the good available canon lenses combined with a full frame sensor will give better image quality and lower high ISO noise

one of the advantages of the aps sensor cameras was to be more compact lenses.  in practice this hasn't been realized and very few high quality lenses (2 or 3?) have been designed for these cameras
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DarkPenguin

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Which Canon Camera
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 01:00:13 pm »

Quote from: ecassar
Hi to all,
I thank you all for your replies.  My actual dilemma is whether it will be worth it to invest in a 5D Mkii when for that amount of cash I can buy a 50D or a 40D, and still be left with enough cash to get a long reach lens.  I am still not convinced that a crop sensor will produce the same image quality as a full size sensor, even though it has a better resolution. And also I cannot understand the actual benefit of having an effective increase in the focal length of a lens when using a crop sensor.  I don't have a wide lens and most of the time a crop sensor is more of a problem rather than an advantage.  On the other hand if I had to take a picture with a full size sensor and then crop the central part of the image, wouldn't this yield the same result as taking the picture with a crop sensor?

Thanks,

Etienne

The 5D mk 2 will have better IQ.  Will the difference show up in the size you print?
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